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#Top100Rums of 2017: #5 – Dictador XO Insolent

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2017

Dictador Insolent

Dictador Rum is produced in Colombia on the Caribbean coast at Cartagena de Indias City. Rather than being produced from molasses, the rum is produced from the virgin honey of sugar cane which has been distilled upon a stainless steel alembic, and aged using Dicatador’s unique take on the solera-style aging system.

For Dictador XO Insolent Rum the aging barrels used in the Solera are pre-used oak barrels which have a significant percentage of oak obtained from Jerez Spain, as well as pre-used Port Wine Barrels. Near the end of the aging process, the barrels earmarked for the XO Insolent Rum are emptied (and the rum stored of course), and these barrels are subjected to an open flame process which caramelizes the rum soaked oak fibres on the interior of the barrel. These barrels are then refilled with the same rum allowing the spirit to draw the sweet caramelized flavours from the interior of the oak barrel. The final rum is blended and barreled at 40 % Alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #5 Rum of 2017:

Review: Dictador XO Insolent

“… simply luscious with sweet toffee smells rising from the glass tainted with impressions of butterscotch, vanilla, corn syrup, creme de brulee, maple syrup and peanut brittle. There is a backbone of firm oak sap and spice melded wonderfully into these sweeter butterscotch like aromas with delectable baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and hints of milk chocolate lying underneath …”

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We  have reached the top 5 rum spirits of 2017. In mid November, I tasted each of the top 5 rums side by side to determine the final rankings. These final rankings may not absolutely agree with my previous scores when reviewing each spirit, but they do reflect my feelings regarding the relative merit of each rum in mid-November 2017.

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

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#Top100CanadianWhisky #8: Caribou Crossing Single Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2017

Sazerac has made a push towards the premium end of the Canadian Whisky market with their Caribou Crossing Canadian Whisky. Caribou Crossing is what is known as a Single Barrel Whisky. From the company’s inventory of over 200,000 barrels of Canadian whisky, Sazerac’s whisky making team selects what they deem to be some of the very finest barrels. Each of these chosen barrels is bottled individually capturing its unique flavour. This means that each individual barrel offers a unique taste experience for the Canadian whisky connoisseur.

Although, the Sazerac Company is based in New Orleans, its holdings include many of  North America’s most popular distilling companies, the Buffalo Trace Distillery, A. Smith Bowman, the Glenmore Distillery, and more.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #8 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Caribou Crossing Single Barrel

“… The initial flavour reminds me of freshly cut planks of oak and cedar with rye grain and rye spice quickly building alongside. Flavours of dank corn whiskey weave in and out of the cedar and oak, and the rye spices are joined by orange peel and hints of fresh citrus lime …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #6 – Pusser’s 15 Yr Old Navy Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2017

Pusser’s Rum is advertised as the original rum of the British Royal Navy. And it is a fact that for over 300 years it was a tradition of the British Navy that each member of the crew was issued a daily ‘tot’ of rum. This tradition began in 1655, and by 1731, the tradition of the daily ‘tot’ was in general use throughout the British Navy. As it was the ship’s purser who was responsible for issuing the rum. The Rum became known as Pusser’s Rum in a sort of slang derivation of the term ‘Purser’s Rum’.

Although the naval tradition of the daily tot had ended, in 1979  Charles Tobias obtained the rights and the blending information for the British Naval Rum, and formed Pusser’s Ltd. on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. His company produces their Pusser’s Rum following the blending information and the traditions of the Admiralty, including producing the rum from wooden pot stills just as the had been the tradition for over 200 years.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #6 Rum of 2017:

Review: Pusser’s 15 Yr Old Navy Rum

“… A full thrust of spice and brown sugar. Not that pale yellow-brown sugar you buy in most grocery stores; but the rich dark brown sugar you find in specialty shops and bakeries. The spices remind me of hot cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, allspice and cloves; and the mouth-feel is oily leaving these spices lingering …”

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We  have reached the top 10 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of the top 10 rums within the past year. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #9: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2017

Mt. Logan Whisky has been turning up in the local Liquor Depot chain of stores in my locale. It is in fact a ‘destination’ brand exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond (Liquor Stores N.A. Inc.) stores in Western Canada. Three expressions are available, a 5 Year Old spirit produced from prairie grain (wheat and rye) and a 15 Year Old and a 20 Year Old Spirit each produced from 100% corn grain.

According to the label on the back of the bottle, Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced in a batch style distillation. The spirit was matured in charred American white oak. (These whiskies are produced by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 kilometers south of Calgary).)

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #9 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… breezes above that glass are rich with vanilla, dusty dry oak spice, butterscotch and canned creamed corn. The strength and purity of the corn scent surprises and delights me. As the whisky breathes, the fine oak spices gain momentum. Orange peel begins to turn to marmalade as the butterscotch melds into the spice; dark tobacco wells up …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #7 – Rum Nation Caroni 1998

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 14, 2017

The Caroni Distillery in Trinidad and Tobago was established in 1918, and was operated at near full capacity until 1993. Unfortunately, due to industry consolidation, rum production at the facility began to decline late in the 20th century and the distillery was closed in 2002. As a matter of interest, the consolidation of the rum industry during the last two centuries is amply illustrated in Trinidad and Tobago where there this small country featured 50 distilleries at the turn of the 19th century. One hundred and fifty years later (in 1950) only 8 had survived, and today there is but one, Angostura. It seems a pity that so much tradition and history has vanished. Although I guess we can count ourselves lucky that some of the rum barrels from the Caroni distillery are still finding their way into the market place.

The Rum Nation Caroni 1998 is one such offering from the folks at Rum Nation. This is an old-style heavy column still rum which was distilled in 1998 and aged for nine years in American Oak casks on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. From this tropical locale, the rum was transported to Europe for further aging in  refill American Oak (bourbon) casks which had been also previously used to age Rum Peruno (8YO). The resulting Rum Nation Caroni 1998 rum was bottled at cask strength (55 % alcohol by volume).

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #7 Rum of 2017:

Review: Rum Nation Caroni 1998 (Bottled in 2014 @ 55%)

“… a firm underlying presence of cloves and some accompanying bitterness which tasted of sap and fresh-cut cedar and oak planks. The spirit also brings forward some indications of sweet caramel toffee, dollops of vanilla, baking spice (nutmeg and cinnamon) and hints of rich dark brown sugar. These sweet flavour impressions are counterbalanced by bitter impressions of treacle, a touch of tar and licorice stained molasses …”

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We  have reached the top 10 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of the top 10 rums within the past year. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #10: Forty Creek Heritage

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 14, 2017

Forty Creek Whisky has a very nice annual tradition of producing a special limited release whisky which is built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select. These annual special releases each seek to bring new character to the Forty Creek family. This year Forty Creek sought to go back to their roots with the release of Heritage.

According to the press release issued this past Spring when Forty Creek Heritage was announced, this year’s special limited edition whisky was crafted selected barrels of Forty Creek corn, rye, and barley whiskies. The blended whiskies were then married (or finished) in toasted American Oak barrels to release elegant vanilla flavours and to highlight the bold wood spices of the toasted oak. The whisky was released in the fall of 2017 just in time for the Christmas buying season.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #10 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Forty Creek Heritage

“… Oak and cedar with honeycomb maple and corn syrup. Vanilla and baking spices evolve as do impressions of canned apricots, hints of marmalade and walnut. Yumm! …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #8 – El Dorado 12 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 13, 2017

Demerara County (in Guyana) is popular across the world for its rich, three hundred year history of rum production. Using a combination of old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL) has built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. In fact, Demerara Distillers is the currently the largest supplier of bulk Caribbean rums to Europe and North America.

The El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum is blended from aged stocks (the youngest being no less than 12 years old) from the original Wooden Enmore Coffey still, the original metal Diamond Coffey still, as well as from the ancient Port Mourant double wooden pot still which was used to produce ‘navy’ rum for the English Admiralty. All of the Demerara Rum produced by El Dorado is aged exclusively in American oak (bourbon barrels).

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #8 Rum of 2017:

Review: El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

“… Deep dark brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and hints of orange peel and citrus fruit lay upon a foundation of oak and wood spices. Rich tobacco accents the flavour and some luscious dark fruit (dates and raisins) finds its way into the flavour profile. The overall flavour is sweet but not overwhelmingly so …”

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We  have reached the top 10 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of the top 10 rums within the past year. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #11: Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 13, 2017

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is the first production Canadian Whisky ever to sold in the single barrel format. It drawn from a single oak cask and bottled a full 51.5 % alcohol by volume bottling proof. For this whisky, Crown Royal Master Blender, Andrew MacKay, hand selected the barrels to be used for this expression. Because each barrel will have different characteristics there will be differences in each individual barrel bottled. However, the casks chosen share common characteristic flavour profiles which gives the brand a general consistency of flavour and maturation.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #11 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

“… The spirit is soft in the mouth with corn and rye playing with firm oak and cedar spices along with rich butterscotch/maple and vanilla. I can taste some nutty barley notes which remind me of burlap and almond. With the sweetness of the butterscotch/maple the nutty barley soon turns to marzipan. The whisky carries a bevy of spiciness which in turn leads to impressions of cinnamon and peppery cloves …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #9 – Appleton Estate Rare Blend

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 12, 2017

The Appleton Estate is located in Nassau Valley in St. Elizabeth which is part of Jamaica’s Cockpit Country. The Cockpit Country is a karst formation which was formed over millions of years as the underlying limestone was eroded by the chemical action of rain.  Within a cockpit karst formation are valleys known as Poljes. They are formed where a river floods, then recedes and forms a flat valley over millions of years. The soil in the poljes is very fertile and rich in nutrients because of the sediments left behind after the river had receded.

In 1749, within the polje known as the Nassau Valley, the Appleton Estate Sugar Factory was founded. The Nassau Valley has a special mild micro-climate which is ideally suited to the growth of sugarcane. As well, a water source wells from the limestone formation and provides an exceptionally soft pure water which used for the production of Appleton Estate Rums.

Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend is crafted in small batches. This is a true 12 Year Old spirit as the Appleton Estate website informs us that it all of the rums which make up this blend are each aged at least 12 years.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #9 Rum of 2017:

Review: Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old

“… Dark brown sugar and toffee meld with oak spice, orange peel and marmalade. Baking spices in the form of vanilla, cinnamon, a touch of allspice and hints of nutmeg weave in and out of the oak spice with some nutty almond and crushed walnuts lurking just underneath. As I let the rum sit I notice a firm impression of pipe tobacco carrying notes of camphor and hints of menthol …”

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We  have reached the top 10 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of the top 10 rums within the past year. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #12: Forty Creek Double Barrel (Lot 263)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 12, 2017

John Hall opened the Kittling Ridge Winery & Distillery in 1992. The whisky he developed, named Forty Creek, is like none other on the landscape of Canadian Whisky. John chose three grains as the base of his Whisky. He distilled a corn whisky and aged it in heavily charred white oak barrels; he distilled a rye grain whisky and chose to age it in a lightly charred white oak; and he distilled a barley grain whisky to age in medium charred white oak. Interestingly, Mr. Hall chose to distill each grain only once, as by distilling only once, he believes the distillation captures the best that each grain has to offer in terms of flavour. The blend is then married in John’s own sherry casks to create what he calls his meritage. This serves as the base for the family of Forty Creek  Whiskies.

For the whisky which is the subject of this review, Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve, one more step is taken. The final blend is set down in first run bourbon barrels for a final period of aging before it is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #12 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Canadian Whisky (Lot 263)

“… The flavour includes maple and corn carried by rye spice, firm oak tannins, tobacco and wood spices which dry the mouth. Honeycomb, orange peel spice, and marzipan also seem to bobble within the oakiness adding complexity to each spirit …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

 
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