The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • Copyright

    Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. Thus, all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.
  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Industry Interviews


    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Rum Reviews

  • Whisky Reviews

  • Gin Reviews

  • Tequila Reviews

  • Vodka Reviews

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,089 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Visitors

    • 12,113,383 pageviews since inception
  • Archives

  • Follow The Rum Howler Blog on

Review: Black Velvet Reserve Canadian Whisky 

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 23, 2020

The Black Velvet brand has a long history in North America, originally produced at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec in the late 1940s. The whisky was initially called Black Label; but because of its perceived smoothness, the producers soon changed the name to Black Velvet. It has been a staple of the Canadian whisky scene ever since and is now produced at the Black Velvet Distillery (also called the Palliser Distillery) in Lethbridge, Alberta.

According to the Black Velvet Website:

Using crystal clear Canadian water, plus the finest rye, grains, and corn, the whisky is painstakingly distilled, blended at birth, and put up in premium oak barrels to gently mature. Black Velvet Reserve was started in 1991 and has steadily grown in popularity due to its smooth taste from longer aging.

Review: Black Velvet Reserve Canadian Whisky

“… A nice combination of butterscotch, vanilla and almond combined with sweet corn drifts into the breezes above the glass with baking spice and wood spice climbing up as the glass breathes …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my serving suggestion, The Canadian Caribou.


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

Review: Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 2 (42 Year Old)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 22, 2020

According to the original press releases, Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 2 is a 42-year-old whisky called The Dock Man. which celebrates dock workers who loaded sea freighters with crates of Canadian Club Whisk to be delivered whisky to bar owners and consumers during the American Prohibition. This ‘Dock Man’ bottling follows the launch of the original Canadian Club Chronicles: Issue 1 (Aged 41 Years) which I reviewed (here) earlier this year.

At it’s heart, the 42 Year Old whisky is an ultra aged Corn Whisky which was barreled in 1977. This corn whisky was first revealed to Collectors and whisky enthusiasts in 2017 when Canadian Club released the 100 % Corn distillate as Canadian Club 40 Year Old Whisky (reviewed here).

However, the Canadian Club blenders couldn’t resist tinkering with this sublime whisky. In 2018 they blended some of this whisky (now a year older) with small amount of cognac, rye and sherry (This was issued as the aforementioned Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 1. And last year (2019), with the whisky one more year older again, the spirit was blended with a 16 Year Old Rye Whisky, a 12 Year Old Pot Distilled Rye and a small amount of Brandy as Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 2 (42 Years Old). It will be interesting to find out whether this ‘stretching’ of the ultra aged 42 Year Old corn spirit was a good thing in terms of flavour. (It has the potential to go either way.)

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 2 (42 Year Old)

“… the breezes bring me dusty grain and wood spice mingling with ginger, almond vanilla and light butterscotch. Both the rye and the corn are speaking to me and the effect is quite enchanting. As the glass breathes orange marmalade begins to appear followed by rich toffee, maple and baking spices …”

Please enjoy this review of what is I believe, the oldest Canadian Whisky currently produced.



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

Review: Sheringham Kazuki Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 20, 2020

Sheringham Distillery is located in Sooke B.C., a locale which overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Southern Vancouver Island. The name ‘Sheringham” is an homage to the name original name given to the area in 1846. When the first postal service arrived and the first Post Office was built, the name Sheringham was shortened to ‘Shirley’ so that it would fit properly on the postage stamp. (The Distillery was originally located at Shirley B.C which is about 20 minutes north of Sooke.)

The distillery produces two gins, Sheringham Seaside Gin which is a traditional juniper forward gin with a unique Island twist. They also produce the Kazuki Gin which brings an oriental flair to the Sheringham style. Sheringham Distillery also has an award winning Akvavit, and has began to bottle whisky as well (Red Fife, and Woodhaven).

The Modern Gin Cocktail

Sheringham Kazuki Gin is produced from B.C. grown white wheat and malted barley. Traditional botanicals are paired with Cherry blossom petals (imported from Japan) as well as premium yuzu peel,  and green tea leaves and flowers from Westholme Tea Farm in Cowichan Valley. It is meant to be a sort of East meets West gin with a mix of traditional and exotic botanicals.

Here is a link to my full Review:

Review: Sheringham Kazuki Gin

“… Alongside the juniper were spicy scents reminiscent of coriander and ginger which I suppose represent the tradition botanicals within Kazuki. However, there was also an exotic flair which evoked quite a response from my tasting group …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my serving suggestion, the Modern Gin Cocktail.


Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Montelobos Mezcal Joven

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 19, 2020

Montelobos Mezcal Joven is an artisanal mezcal made in Santiago Matatlán Oaxaca. The mezcal is crafted by Montelobos agave expert Iván Saldaña according to his vision and passion for agave and with respect for traditional production methods. Montelobos which means mountain of wolves is an unaged mezcal produced from 100 % organic Highland Espadin agave (sourced in Santiago Matalán Oaxaca). Espadin is a different variety in the agave family than what is used to make tequila (which uses the Blue Webber variety).

This agave is prepared in the traditional way which includes fire pit roasting for 5 to 7 days, followed by crushing the roasted agave by a mule drawn stone tohona wheel, after which the released juice is allowed to ferment naturally. Then the distilled agave juice is distilled in small wood fire copper pots.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Montelobos Mezcal Joven

“… The ‘highland’ agave characteristic is apparent when I nose the glass as I notice similar zesty citrus and pepper notes which we commonly associate with Highland tequila. These peppery notes are somewhat milder than I was expecting allowing me to notice the more earthy agave which lies underneath …”

Please enjoy the review which includes two cocktail suggestions, the Montelobos Picador, and (in an homage to the 80’s rock group Red Rider) As Far As Cyan.

Posted in Mezcal | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Burwood Honey Rhum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 18, 2020

The Burwood Distillery is a small craft distillery founded by Jordan Ramey, Marco Cilic, and Ivan Cilic located in Calgary Alberta (4127 6th Street N.E). The Distillery includes a restaurant and Cocktail Lounge which offers a casual environment to enjoy the not only the distilleries fine spirits but also locally sourced farm-to-table menu items.

At Burwood, the focus is upon locally grown raw materials brought from the farm straight to the glass. The barley they use is grown and malted in Alberta by Rahr Malting Company of Alix, AB. Their honey comes from Ivan and Marko’s Father’s honeybees just outside of Chestermere, AB and through Greidanus Honey Mill in High River, AB. The team hand-crushes every grain, hand-scoops every ounce of honey, distills every drop of liquid, and bottles and packages it all in their Calgary facility.

According to the distillery, Burwood Honey Rhum is an Albertan spin on classic Sugar Cane Rum. A 100% Honey product produced from product from their own family farm. The spirit is finished with a dash of caramelized honey for extra dimensions of flavour.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Burwood Honey Rhum

“… The flavours from the nose translate well, although the spirit is perhaps more herbal than I anticipated. Not that I am complaining, the herbal grassy flavour which underlies the honey and caramel sweetness is welcome. Some pungent spiciness is apparent as well, some ginger, hints of cinnamon as well as a sort of earthy quality that is almost like licorice root and angelica …”

Please enjoy the review which concludes with my cocktail suggestion, Easy.


Note: I take exception to the use of the word ‘Rhum’ on the label. This is a mead spirit and should be proudly labeled as such. Distillate of spirit from honey, bears only a passing resemblance to sugar cane rum and as the word ‘rum’ is defined in Canadian Regulations to include only sugar cane or sugar cane products (here), in a bilingual country the defined term rightly includes it French spelling as well.

Posted in Moonshine and New-make | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: