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Bitter Reviews: Fees Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 18, 2019

According to their company website Fees Brothers has been a family business since 1864, and is currently now owned and operated by the fourth generation of the family to do so, Ellen and Joe Fee. The company currently produces about 100 different products including an impressive line-up of Cocktail Bitters,

Fees Aztec Chocolate bitters were inspired by the idea that Ancient Aztecs would celebrate with a bitter beverage made of cacao beans, peppers and spices. Fees brothers recommends that you use a few dashes of Fee’s Aztec Chocolate Bitters to expand the flavor of your cocktails.

Here is a link to my review of the Aztec Chocolate Bitters:

Review: Fees Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

“… If you allow a drop to be added it to your mouth instead of the cocktail, you will find the flavour is indeed all about intense chocolate and this chocolate flavour is supported by a nice spicy bite of what appears to be cinnamon …”

Please enjoy the bitter(s) review and the cocktail which accompanies my thoughts.



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Review: Marauda Steelpan Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 15, 2019

Marauda Steelpan Rum is produced by TerraPure Spirits located in North Charleston (South Carolina).

The Steelpan rum was apparently inspired by the steelpan music of Trinidad which evolved from the music created from steel drums (or steelpans) made from discarded steel barrels. This steelpan music is culturally linked to Trinidad but can be found throughout the Caribbean Islands.

Producing this rum begins with a 3-year-old column distilled rum from Trinidad. Added to the blend is a heavier 3-year-old column distilled Demerara rum from Guyana as well as a heavy pot distilled 3-year-old rum from Jamaica.

Here is a link to my completed review:

Review: Marauda Steelpan Rum

“… As the glass breathes I notice orange peel with touches of oak and sandalwood. A fruitiness is apparent as I receive impressions of canned apricots and banana. That Jamaican funk manifests itself with indications of resin and camphor with hints of cinnamon …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with two cocktails for your enjoyment.


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Review: The Irishman Caribbean Cask Finish Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 13, 2019

Bernard and Rosemary Walsh began producing their own independent Irish Whiskey brands in 2007 with the introduction of The Irishman 70 (aka The Irishman Original Clan in the USA) and The Irishman – Single Malt. In 2009 they expanded the portfolio with the introduction Writers Tears, a boutique brand which was created to bring additional nuance to the Irish Whiskey Category.

The Irishman Caribbean Cask Finish Irish Whiskey is the second expression in The Irishman Founder’s Reserve Cask Series. This limited edition Founder’s Reserve Whiskey, after being aged in bourbon barrels is then finished for 6 months in Chairman’s Reserve Rum casks from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia.  The spirit is then bottled at 46 % alcohol by volume.

The Caribbean Cask Finish Irish Whiskey is part of the 7 brand Walsh Whiskey feature which launched in the LCBO Whisky Shop on February 7, 2019.

Here is a link to my full Review:

Review: The Irishman Caribbean Cask Finish Irish Whiskey

“… The Caribbean Cask Finish Whiskey. however, seemed to wear a mask. The nose was very retrained at first as if the barley and oak were unable to rise up out of the glass. There was a light cane sweetness apparent which seemed to cover over the barley grain and the oak spice. In fact, it seemed to me that some of the residual rum from the finishing cask was competing for my attention …”

Please enjoy the review which concludes with an Old fashioned Cocktail.



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

A Valentine Suggestion: Cosmo for Two

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 11, 2019

Valentines is only a few days away and my cocktail suggestion this year is the Contemporary Classic, the Cosmopolitan, which according to the IBA (International Bartenders Association) is a cocktail made with Vodka Citron (lemon flavoured vodka), Cointreau (orange liqueur), Cranberry Juice, and freshly squeezed Lime Juice.

The serving is by no means consistent, and if you order a Cosmo (as the bar drink is frequently referred to) you will most likely receive a variation on the recipe usually using an unflavoured vodka, a sweetener, Cranberry juice and lime juice. An orange peel garnish is also quite popular, (the IBA formulation states a lime slice garnish).

Like most home bartenders, I do not have a ready supply of Vodka Citron, nor a suitable substitute in my home bar. However, I wanted to build my Valentine’s Cosmopolitan with a light influence of lemon flavour as in the official IBA formulation. I did this by using a recently acquired bottle of Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka and tweaking the recipe with a touch of lemon juice while decreasing the lime juice by the same amount. I decided that for Valentine’s Day a raspberry garnish would be an interesting twist.

Here is my Valentine recipe (built for two) of the Contemporary Classic Cocktail!

Valentine’s Cosmopolitan for Two

3 1/2 oz Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
1 1/4 oz Cointreau
1 1/4 oz Cranberry juice
1 oz Lime juice
1/4 oz Lemon juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Fresh Raspberries

Add the first six Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain the cocktail into two matching chilled glasses
Garnish with fresh raspberries.

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

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day


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Bitter(s) Review: Bittermens Boston Bitters

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 8, 2019

Bittermens Boston Bittahs were formulated in the summer of 2008 from a combination of combination of citrus & chamomile. The formulation was originally called “Summer Bitters” but the name was changed to Boston Bittahs later that year as the new flavour combination celebrated both the return of summer and a return to Boston after 14 years.

According to the company website:

It’s citrus, citrus, citrus and more citrus, supported with a heavy dose of chamomile. We think it smells like summer. Try it in your favorite fizz, sour or bright tropical drink. It works extremely well with pisco and scotch as well.

Here is a link to my thoughts regarding Boston Bittahs:

Review: Bittermens Boston Bittahs

“… I was glad when I discovered that Bittermens recommended Boston Bittahs in fizz style drinks and citrus cocktails as this meshed with my observations. Tall Rye and Ginger-ale drinks, Tom Collins and Palomas, and shorter ‘Gimlet’ style cocktails all seem to work with Boston Bittahs …”

Please enjoy the review and my suggested cocktail (the Boston Patriot) at the conclusion.


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