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Review: Ratu Dark Rum (5 Years Old) 

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 25, 2020

Ratu Rums have been produced by the Rum Co. of Fiji since 1980 at their distillery in Lautoka Fiji. There are three rums in there line-up at this time, the 5 year old Ratu Spiced, the 8 year old Ratu Signature, and the 5 Year Old Ratu Dark.

According to their website, the rums are produced from hand cut sugar cane grown in Fiji’s rich volcanic soil. The distilled spirit is filtered through charcoal made from coconut shells and aged locally in oak barrels before being bottled. Interestingly, the 5 year old Spiced and Dark rums are bottled at 40 % abv. whereas the signature 8 Year Old is bottled at 35 % abv. (This could have something to do with the Angel’s Share bringing the older rum below 40 % abv. by the time 8 years of tropical aging is completed.)

Here is a link to my full review which includes my tasting notes and serving suggestion:

Review Ratu Dark Rum (5 Years Old)

“… The breezes above the glass bring me a mingling of treacle (burnt caramel), molasses and dark licorice and tar. As the glass breathes, the treacle dominates but we also notice oak and baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon and clove), firm molasses with a hit of licorice and some herbal menthol as well …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my serving suggestion, the Brooklynite with Ice.

Chimo!

 

 

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Review: Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Canadian Whisky (Lot 271)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 23, 2020

This past December, I noticed that Forty Creek Double Barrel Canadian Whisky had undergone a change. At least the bottle had changed. It was no longer sold in the typical tall sleek bottle which Forty Creek uses for all of their Special Edition Whiskies. It was now sold in the medium tall cylindrical bottle typical of their production whiskies. The change made sense as Forty Creek Double Barrel has for quite a while now been in regular production and probably belongs in the main line-up rather than in a bottle which identifies it as a special release whisky.

There was another more significant change though, the whisky is now almost half the price that it used to be ($39.95 in the new bottle vs. $69.95 in the old bottle). The significant price change begs the question, have the contents changed as well making this a less expensive whisky to produce?

So I reached out to the Campari team here in Alberta and asked them about the changes to the bottle and price. I was told that so far as Alberta team knew the whisky was that same as always, but they had no objection to giving me a sample bottle so I could judge for myself.

Here is a link to my review of the new Double Barrel from Lot 271 with tasting notes:

Review: Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve (Lot 271)

“… The breezes bring a nice combination of maple and fine oak spice into the air. This is accompanied by rye grain and spice and some light vanilla, almond and canned apricots. As the glass breathes grassy tobacco and baking spices join in as the almond turns to marzipan,and hints of orange liqueur can be found …”

Please enjoy the review which also includes two serving suggestions, the 1794 Cocktail and The Blinker.

Chimo!

 

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

Review: Bombay Sapphire Limited Edition Estate Gin 

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 21, 2020

Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin was launched in 1987 and draws its unusual name from a competition where several marketing agencies were asked to submit possible names and bottle designs for the new Gin. Bombay Sapphire, the chosen name, refers to the British Empire and heritage for the spirit in India, as gin was an extremely popular spirit during the time of the British Raj. The Star of Bombay (featured on the label) is a famous Indian Sapphire now on display at the Smithsonian Institute.

Bombay Sapphire is a London Dry Gin. This style of gin is produced through a double distillation of a neutral grain spirit with botanicals added during the second distillation. The botanicals include, Spanish almonds and lemon peel, West African grains of paradise, Chinese licorice, juniper berries from Tuscany, orris root from Italy, angelica root from Saxony, coriander seed from Morocco, cassia bark from Indo China, and cubeb berries from Java.

Bacardi (the brand owner) recently extended the Bombay Sapphire family of gins with a new  limited-edition version, Bombay Sapphire Limited Edition Estate Gin which according to the press releases was inspired by the English countryside summer season, and contains three new botanicals, Pennyroyal Mint, Rosehip and toasted Hazelnut.

Here is a link to my review of Bacardi’s new Limited Edition Gin:

Review: Bombay Sapphire Limited Edition Estate Gin

“… Generally, I am not a fan of gins that mask the juniper in favour of highlighting the other botanicals. But, I am a fan of what I am tasting here. The reason is, that although the juniper does not leap out at first tasting, it nevertheless comes forward just a little stronger each time you taste the spirit. And that juniper flavour is melded very well into the overall profile of the dry gin …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my serving suggestion, a Wet Martini.

Chimo!

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Review: Rum Nation – Engenho Novo Amarone Cask

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 19, 2020

Rare Rums is the special selection of Rum Nation bottlings. These are particular special limited edition releases with very few numerated bottles. Engenho Novo Amarone Cask (Nat84) was bottled from two casks (186 and 187) from Madeira’s Engenho Novo Distillery (William Hinton). It is a 9 year Old Agricole Rhum which was finished for 18 months in Amarone Casks, after an initial aging period in 2nd fill bourbon casks.

According to Rum Nation’s Rare Rums website (here):

This traditional distillery from Madeira conducted an experiment finishing their rum for 18 months in casks of the heavy, fruity Italian red wine: Amarone. It was a risky experiment; however the result was more conservative than expected. The typical herbal richness of their rum, full of earthy notes, was preserved: dark, and with the influence of the Amarone wine appearing as as a different twist in the peppery character and tannic astringency of the long, warm, lingering finish.

Rum Nation – Engenho Novo Amarone Cask is bottled at 52 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Rum Nation – Engenho Novo Amarone Cask (Nat 84)

“… I smell rum and hints of red licorice with vanilla and spice. There are herbal herbal scents of camphour and heather and hints light minty candies. As the glass breathes I notice building aromas of dry fruit (dates and raisins), spicy oak, rich baking spices and luscious chocolate all joining in with those cherry-like red licorice scents …”

Please enjoy my review of this Rum Nation Rare Rum.

Chimo

 

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

St. Paddy’s Cucumber-lime Spritzer

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2020

Today is the day of St. Patrick, and in many places throughout the world, this is a day to revel in the Irish heritage which we either share by birth, or (on St. Patrick’s Day at least) we share by spirit. We wear green; we attend parades; and some of us even drink green beer in what has become more of a secular holiday which celebrates Irish culture, than a religious holiday which celebrates the Patron Saint after which the day was first named.

And celebrating Irish culture is not a bad thing; it was after all the Irish who first distilled “uisce beatha“, which translates into English as “the water of life“. I could go into a long and detailed etymology,  but suffice it to say that “uisce beatha” is probably very close to the original form of the word which would later become “whiskey”.

Of course whiskey and beer are not necessarily the only libations one can savour on the Day of St. Pat’s, any well made serving enjoyed in moderation and in the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day will do.

So, in the spirit of St. Paddy’s, I thought I would share a recipe given to me by the folks at Smirnoff who also sent me a bottle of their new Smirnoff Cucumber-Lime Zero Sugar Infusions several months ago.

Let me introduce the St. Paddy’s Cucumber Lime Spritzer:

St. Paddy’s Cucumber-lime Spritzer

2 oz. Smirnoff Cucumber-Lime Zero Sugar Infusions
1 oz. Cucumber Puree
1 oz. Brewed Green Tea
1 oz. Bottled Sparkling Water
1 Lime Wheel
1 Cucumber Wheel

In a mixing glass combine the Smirnoff Cucumber-Lime Zero Sugar Infusion with the other ingredients
Add ice to an empty serving glass
Pour the mixed ingredients into the serving glass over ice
Garnish with fresh lime and cucumber

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

Chimo!

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