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Review: J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 26, 2016

Rye Splash SAM_2616Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky has undergone a bit of a face-lift recently as a new bottle and label have been rolled out. In fact the entire Wiser’s family of whiskies has undergone a bit of a re-branding as the company now refers to itself as J.P. Wiser’s rather than simply Wiser’s. This ties the whisky more directly to the founder, J.P. Wiser and perhaps signals that the whisky company is beginning to see the ties to its historical past as something to be embraced rather than ignored.

Additionally the whisky now carries the name ‘Rye’ upon the label. Thus we now refer to this particular brand as J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky. This could signal a stronger rye presence in the whisky, or just be an acknowledgement that all Canadian Whiskies which carry a rye forward flavour profile may be labeled as ‘Rye”.

J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Rye Whisky is the flagship of the J.P. Wiser’s Brand. The whisky carries no age statement and is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my new review:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky

“… My initial impression when I take the first sip is that the whisky is very rye-forward with accents of lightly sweet butterscotch and fine wood spices. There is an appealing dry rye-like bitterness which presents itself alongside flavours of wood sap, almond and tobacco. Dry fruit, orange peel, bits of vanilla and hints of cinnamon round out the flavour profile …”

Please enjoy my review, Chimo!

Posted in Whisk(e)y Review, Whisk(e)y, Canadian Whisky | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 24, 2016

Plantation Rums Stiggins' Fancy btl RVB BD

Yesterday I introduced a flavoured rum from Alexander Gabriel (President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand), Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum.

Cognac Ferrand for those who do not know is a Cognac House in France which produces the Plantation Rum brand. Plantation Rums are produced and aged in various part of the Caribbean, after which they are sent to France to be aged for a further length of time in the cellars at Cognac Ferrand in used cognac barrels.

Alexander Gabriel in collaboration with Dave Wondrich (cocktail guru and author of Imbibe) researched the original recipes of Pineapple Rum (which was quite a popular delicacy in the 19th century) and then set about to re-create this lost libation.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum

” … The aroma from the glass is very inviting. Rum-like scents of butterscotch toffee, vanilla and baking spice (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) lead out with both orange peel and yummy citrus pineapple scents riding along. There are light accents of almond and a mild sweep of tobacco which complete the nose …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding flavoured rum!

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Cocktail Hour: Fancy Pineapple & Lime Daiquiri

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 23, 2016

Pineapple Rum was quite a popular delicacy in the 19th century. In fact, in Charles Dickens first serialized novel, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (published in 19 monthly magazine instalments, from March 1836 to October 1837), Pineapple Rum is the preferred tipple of the fictitious Reverend Stiggins, a man who staunchly preached of temperance while secretly enjoying his pineapple rum, usually mixed with hot tea.

In a research collaboration between Dave Wondrich (cocktail guru and author of Imbibe) and Alexander Gabriel (Alexandre Gabriel, President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand), the spirit has been revived as Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum.

To make this new flavoured rum, Alexandre Gabriel began with flavourful Victorian Pineapples. These pineapples are peeled by hand, and the left over rinds are infused with Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum (see review here) for one week. The resulting infused spirit is then distilled upon Cognac Ferrand’s copper alembic pot stills.

Fancy Autumn Pineapple SAM_2737The leftover pineapple fruit is infused with Plantation Original Dark Rum (see review here) for a full three months. Then the re-distilled Plantation 3 Star Rum (which had been infused with the pineapple rinds) is then combined with the pineapple fruit infused Plantation Original Dark Rum. The two spirits are allowed to marry, and then they are re-casked in oak barrels for three months.

I was sent a sample bottle a few months ago, and now that my Spiced Rum series of reviews is complete, I have had time to play with the new Plantation Pineapple Rum. Here is a nice fancy cocktail which pairs the infused pineapple flavour of Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum with fresh lime.

Fancy Pineapple & Lime Daiquiri

1 3/4 oz Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao
3/4 oz fresh Lime Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
dash or two Angostura Bitters
Ice
Orange Coil

Add the first five ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Add an orange peel coil with a lump of ice for garnish

Enjoy!

If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more mixed drink recipes!

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PS: My complete review of Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum will publish tomorrow, Chimo!

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Review: Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 21, 2016

Cyrus Nobel SAM_2742Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon Whiskey is a product of Haas Brothers who were established in 1851 and headquartered in San Francisco. According to their website, the Cyrus Noble brand was originally established in 1871 (in San Francisco), and is currently distilled (in Kentucky) according to the original family recipe.

The whiskey is bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume and carries no age statement; however, according to the little booklet which is attached to the neck of the bottle the spirit in the bottle is five years old.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon

“… The breezes in the air above the glass give me impressions of oak sap and a woody spiciness which is coupled with mild indications of both vanilla and butterscotch. Tall grassy meadows wave in the breezes beside the oak spice with orange peel and scents of green apple and cinnamon …”

I hope you enjoy this review and stay tuned for a few more bourbon whiskey reviews in the coming weeks.

Chimo!

 

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Talk Like a Pirate: Nine Tasty Spiced Rum Cocktails Matey!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 19, 2016

Aarh, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day so I thought that would be a good excuse to bring forward some of my favourite Spiced Rum Cocktails from this past summer’s Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off. Spiced Rum doesn’t have a very good reputation when it comes to cocktails. Most of my friends (when they consume spiced rum) stick to the tried and true recipe of Spiced Rum and Cola mixing the serving with lots of ice. And if you followed my 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off you have noticed that I certainly have no trouble recommending that simple libation for many of the spiced rums I review. Rum, with its obvious caramel and molasses flavours mixes very well with cola, and if that rum has been spiced, the result is a nice tall deck drink that is not only refreshing, it has a bit of welcome attitude as well.

However, if you did follow my 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off this past summer you would also have noticed that I have attempted to elevate the spiced spirit with a few new cocktail suggestions to demonstrate that spiced rum doesn’t have to be just a base spirit for tall deck drinks. It can be a spirit of sophistication as well.

I thought I would augment my efforts on behalf of spiced rum with a listing of Nine Tasty Spiced Rum Cocktails that do not require the use of cola or soda. These are short, sipping cocktails which (in my opinion) could easily grace the menus of any fine cocktail bar.

And so, in no particular order, here are 9 Tasty Spiced Rum Cocktails:
(click on the name of the cocktail to view its recipe)

Trolley Car

The Trolley Car

  1.   Spiced Darwin  (A nice libation I made specifically for Captain Morgan’s White Spiced Rum. Charles Darwin helped us understand the concept of evolution; this serving serves to signal the new evolution of Spiced Rum Cocktails.
  2.   The Pedestrian (This tasty recipe pays homage to Ray Bradbury’s tale of a not too distant future where television and video entertainment has become so ubiquitous that a lone person who enjoys an evening stroll arouses the suspicions of the city robot police car.)
  3.  The Cable Car  (The Cable Car was created at the Starlight Room in San Fransisco by Tony Abou-Ganim. Based upon the modern Sidecar, Tony’s recipe is considered by many to be a modern classic.)
  4.  The Jerrycan (I designed this short cocktail specifically for Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. The flavour profile of Sailor Jerry contains very strong impressions of Dr. Pepper soda which means similar spiced rums such as Blackheart Spiced Rum should also work very well in the new mixed drink.
  5.  The Fog Horn (Another Rum Howler creation inspired by a Ray Bradbury short story which this time features a lonely sea monster and the wail of a distant fog horn. Tony Abou’s Cable Car was most definitely a strong influence here as well.)
  6.  The Honey Badger (The media team for the spirits conglomerate Diageo sent me this great recipe which was designed for their Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. If you are a fan of that other Black Spiced Rum, you will be pleased to know it works well for The Kraken as well. )
  7. The Merry Widow (I stumbled across a recipe called the Black Widow in the cocktail book, 1001 Cocktails (Alex Barker compiler) which combines Dark Rum with Southern Comfort and Lemon Juice. Swapping out the Dark Rum for Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum, I created a delightful new indulgence, the Merry Widow.)
  8. The Trolley Car (The Trolley Car was created from a combination of High-proof Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Triple Sec, Orange Juice, Lime Juice, and Bitters.  The result is simply delicious! (Yet another recipe of mine inspired by Tony Abou’s Cable Car.))
  9. Bitter Blood and Spice (This is one of my favourite creations. Based upon a Hennessey Cognac cocktail, Blood Orange Bitters, my serving mixes 100 Proof Spiced Rum with the juice from Navel and Blood Oranges and then accents the libation with Angostura Bitters.)

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Try these spiced rum cocktails and let me know your favourite.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Last Mountain 306 The Original Saskatchewan Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 17, 2016

sask-libre-sam_2771Colin Schmidt was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1992. After being drafted, he spent four years playing College Hockey and then signed his first pro contract in 1996. Colin’s pro experience was brief, cut off by a few shoulder injuries after a short spell of what Colin referred to as “playing left bench.” Fortunately, as far as we are concerned, Colin’s story did not end there.

A few years later, Colin, who was working in the mortgage industry, and his wife, Meredith, whose background was in banking, began to look for their own business opportunities in Saskatchewan. Colin had a friend who had started up a micro-distillery in Colorado, and the idea to begin a similar operation in Saskatchewan was very appealing to them. In August of 2010, Colin and Meredith’s hard work and perseverance paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.

In 2012 Colin reached out to me and sent me samples of both his Vodka (see review here) and later his first whisky (see review here) for me to taste and review. I was surprised at the quality of each spirit and have kept tabs on the folks at Last Mountain ever since. Recently the distillery released a brand new rum distilled (in Saskatchewan) from molasses and aged for two years in once filled bourbon barrels. Colin sent me a bottle and asked me to provide feedback in the form of a review here on my website.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Last Mountain 306 The Original Saskatchewan Rum

“… The use of once used bourbon barrels has paid dividends as the rum immediately throws fine oak spice into the air accompanied by light aromas of vanilla, almond, butterscotch, orange peel and coconut. The fine oak spice is a little firmer than one would normally encounter in such a young rum; but it is appealing bringing very mild whisky-like scents, (rye, ginger and grain) into the air alongside the light rum aroma. The result is a spirit which displays nice complexity despite its young age …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a very nice Rum and Cola recipe, the Saskatchewan Libre’.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Easy

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 16, 2016

The Big Rig Craft Distillery opened their doors on October 17, 2015 and they already have an impressive line-up of spirits for sale at their boutique store within the facility. These spirits include their Premium and their Saskatoon Vodka, Wildrose Gin; their selections of White Dog Distillate (not whisky for three years yet); and their intriguing Sugar Beet Brum. As well, they are experimenting with an array of new flavoured Vodkas some of which are bottled and ready for sale, and others which are in development.

easy-sam_2775Sugar Beet Brum is produced from raw (brown) sugar manufactured from Alberta Sugar Beets on the company’s main still (Mighty Morley). This is a versatile still consisting of a large wash still, two columns, and a condenser. Chemically, sugar manufactured from sugar beets has the same composition as sugar derived from sugar cane, and in fact if this product was manufactured from cane sugar it could legally be called rum. As Sugar Beets rather than Cane is the source of the raw material for distillation, the folks at Big Rig decided that Brum was a suitable name.

Here is a simple recipe based upon the Commodore (which is a whisky cocktail I happen to enjoy).  I am using Brum rather than whisky which of course means that the cocktail deserves its own name. I thought it would be fun to keep with the Commodore theme, and so I named this cocktail after a Commodores’ song called Easy.

Easy

2 oz Big Rig Sugar Beet Brum
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
dash of Orange Bitters
Sugar Syrup to taste

Mix a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake it up until the shaker frosts over
Strain into a fancy glass of your choice
To keep things easy, no garnish required

(By the way, I realize that the whisky cocktail was not named for the music group, the Commodores, but their song, Easy, sure fits the mood of this cocktail, especially on a Sunday morning.)

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink servings!

Note: I will be reviewing Big Rig’s Sugar Beet Brum in the coming weeks, Stay tuned!

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The 2nd Annual Edmonton Rum Festival

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 15, 2016

159736The folks at Vines Riverbend Wine Merchants (who have produced the very successful Edmonton Whisky Festival for the past 6 years) have teamed up with Lexus Edmonton and Capital FM 96.3 to bring you the Edmonton Rum Festival for the second year in a row!

All proceeds raised at the event will be donated to the MS Society of Canada – Alberta Division.

This is a great chance to taste a strong selection of rums produced from around the world as well as to meet and discuss the noble cane spirit with industry and distillery representatives.

Monies raised at the event will help those affected by MS in our community, as well as help to fund research towards a cure.

2015_Presenting-Sponsors-680x130

Where: Edmonton Delta South Hotel – Grand Ballroom
4404 Gateway Boulevard

When: Friday, September 30, 2016
7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Ticket Price: $90.00 each: available online here
(Tickets are also available in-store at Riverbend Wine Merchants (780 434 9444 ))

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What do you receive for the price of a regular admission ticket?

A commemorative Glencairn glass, an event program, a gourmet buffet throughout the evening, over 75 rums to sample, a chance to win a bottle of rum a month for a year and an opportunity to bid on a number of rum themed silent auction items. The price of a ticket includes entrance and rum sampling (you do not have to buy additional sample tickets).

Will the Festival be as crowded as last year?

Based upon the overwhelming success of last year’s festival, the event has been moved to a larger ballroom venue; however the amount of tickets available for sale has not increased. This should ensure a relaxed atmosphere where you can spend time enjoying the noble spirit we call rum.

Are tickets available at the door?

Although tickets will be available at the door, it is strongly advised that you order your tickets in advance to ensure your attendance! Last Year’s event sold out!

Is there parking at the hotel?

The hotel has limited available free parking. However, it is encouraged that you use public transportation and cabs.

Can you get a preferred rate at the Delta as part of the Festival?

Yes! Stay at the Delta Edmonton South for the night at a rate of $165. Call the Delta Edmonton South at 780-434-6415 and ask to book in the Rum Festival open block.

How do you find the rums on the list that you want to sample?

The booklet you receive on entering is set out alphabetically by the local agent/importer responsible for each rum company. The tables in the ballroom follow that list in a clockwise direction. Each table is marked with the name of the agent/importer to help you find them easily.

Do you need to purchase drink tickets to be able to taste the rums?

Certainly not! Sampling is included in the admission price. However, you will require a stamp book for your samples which will be available at the door.

Should you wear perfume/after-shave?

One of the great joys of any spirit tasting event is nosing the glass to identify subtle nuances and delicate aromas. Unfortunately this experience can be compromised by perfume, cologne and after-shave worn on your own person or even by somebody else some distance away. So please refrain from wearing any perfumed scents for the duration of the Festival and advise your guests accordingly.

Should you keep your ticket stub?

Absolutely! Bring your stub into Vines Wine Merchants by the end of Nov. 2016 to receive a 10% discount or $10 off, whichever is the better deal on a rum purchase.

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VinesThe folks at Vines do a fantastic job every year with both the Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival and the Annual Edmonton Rum Festival.

I encourage you to attend and enjoy yourself. It is a relaxed atmosphere with Rum Insiders, Brand Ambassadors, and Rum Enthusiasts from across Canada and around the World. You might even run into the Rum Howler, as I have my two tickets reserved already!

Note: All proceeds raised at this event are donated to the MS Society of Canada – Alberta Division.

For more information please contact:

Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants (Edmonton)

Posted in Festivals, Festivals and Events | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Dictador Orange 100 Month Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 12, 2016

Dictador Orange SAM_2680Recently Dictador Rum released what they call their 100 Month Series which includes four new rums all aged for 100 months. Unlike the more premium Dictador Solero Aged Rums, the 100 month series is meant to be a gateway series consisting of spirits which are meant to be embraced both as entry-level sipping rums as well as cocktail spirits.

The Dictador Orange 100 Month Aged Rum was created to be a discerning spirit for the cocktail enthusiast. The base rum within the flavoured spirit is a continuous column still rum which was aged (for 100 months) in ex-bourbon oak barrels. At maturity the rum was macerated with fresh Colombian orange peel. The flavoured rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Dictador Orange 100 Month Rum

“… The maturity of the rum is quite obvious as when we sip firm oak spices come forward combining with the orange flavour. Although the oak spice was hidden from view when I nosed the rum, it shows itself clearly across the palate. There is also a light  sweetness of caramel toffee and hints of baking spice which give the rum additional character …”

Please enjoy my review, chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Proxima b Daiquiri

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 11, 2016

On August 24, a team of exo-planet researchers (led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé of Queen Mary University of London) made an exciting announcement confirming the discovery of an earth sized planet orbiting our sun’s nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri. Making the discovery even more exciting is the possibility that this newly discovered planet is in the so-called ‘Goldilocks Zone’ where liquid water could be present on its rocky surface.

Autumn Orange SAM_2738Why is this so important? Because if life (at least as we might recognize it) exists somewhere else in the universe, then the star (Proxima Centauri) which is the closest neighbouring star to our sun has just become one of the most likely places where we might find it. In fact, the discovery of this earth-sized planet which has been given the temporary name Proxima b circling our nearest stellar companion is almost certainly the most important astronomical discovery of the current year.

Here is my new cocktail which celebrates our newfound planetary neighbour, the Proxima b Daiquiri.

Proxima b Daiquiri

2 oz Dictador Orange 100 Month Rum
1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz fresh Lime Juice
2/3 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
dash or two Angostura Bitters
Ice
Orange Peel Coil

Add the first five ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Add an orange peel coil for garnish

Enjoy!

Note: If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more mixed drink recipes!

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