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Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #16 – George Street Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeThe capital of Newfoundland and Labrador is a city called  St. John’s, and there they have a place where the rum consumption reaches its apex. That place is George Street! A street full of music and revelry, lined from top to bottom with Pubs and Restaurants, where almost everyone’s drink of choice seems to be rum! And it is for that place that the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission (NLC) have named their spiced rum, George Street Spiced Rum.

George Street Spiced SAM_2721This isn’t an ordinary spiced rum. The rum itself is from Guyana, the home of the world-famous Demerara Rum, and that rum has been well aged blended from marques which are two, five , and seven years old. This blended aged rum is then spiced using both extractions and distillations of real spices. The product is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume and is sold across Canada.

Here is a link to the Number 16 spirit in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown:

#19 – George Street Spiced Rum

“… There is a light bitterness winding throughout the spirit which reminds me of walnut and pecan. Additional impressions of tobacco, cola and bittersweet chocolate can all be found if one takes the time to look for them.

As indicated in my first review for the George Street Spiced Rum, spiced rum and coke cocktail is a natural combination for this spirit as the sweetness of the cola works beautifully with the dryer, more bittersweet elements of the rum. However, I also made a splendid short cocktail mixing the spiced rum with lemon and grapefruit juice …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #16 – Coyote Ugly

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016On January 27, 1993, Wall Street intern, Liliana Lovell opened the first Coyote Ugly Saloon in New York City. If you watched the Jerry Bruckheimer movie Coyote Ugly (released in 2000), then you know all about this place where the waitresses, called ‘Coyote Girls’, serve the drinks, dance and sing, and even (apparently) down shots of whisky with the customers.

It was a flick that was panned by critics, but loved by the public becoming a box office hit during the late summer and early fall of 2000. The movie must have been good for business because in 2001, another Coyote Ugly Saloon opened up in Las Vegas followed by other locations across the USA, and even as far away as Russia.

coyote-ugly-sam_2765With all this success, it was apparent that the Coyote Ugly brand had reached what I will call, ‘celebrity status’. The term ‘Coyote Ugly’ has in fact become firmly entrenched into the public consciousness. When that happens, the resulting cache of the brand is well worth capitalizing on. Which is why Celebrity Cellars International founder, Jeff Harder, teamed up with the founder of the Coyote Ugly Saloon, Liliana Lovell. They have decided that it is time to get Ugly (Coyote Ugly that is) with the launch of Coyote Ugly Canadian Whisky!

I received a sample bottle of this whisky from PURE Global Imports who asked me to provide a review here on my website to serve as a preview for the world-wide launch of the new Coyote Ugly Canadian Whisky on March 12, 2012. Four years later, I am revisiting this review as part of my 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown, with an aim to see if the whisky has changed, and to re-score it if it has.

My re-tasting has launched the Coyote Ugly Whisky all the way to the number 17 slot in my yearly countdown. Here is my newly re-scored review:

#16: Coyote Ugly Canadian Whisky

“… The whisky smells of rich butterscotch and caramel. Light rye scents waft into the breezes with dabs of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. A light footprint of vanilla and almond compliment the delicate baking spices leaving impressions of marzipan in the air above the glass …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the number 15 Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

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* You may follow my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

 

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #17 – Famous Newfoundland Screech

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 8, 2016

2016rum_howler_badge“…As the story goes, the commanding officer of the first detachment was taking advantage of Newfoundland hospitality for the first time and was offered a drop of rum as an after dinner drink. Seeing his host toss back the liquor with nary a quiver, the unsuspecting American adhered to local custom and downed the drink in one gulp.

ScreechThe look of shock and the glorious shades of color on the American’s face were overshadowed by the bloodcurdling howl made by the poor fellow as he managed to regain his breath. Sympathetic persons from miles around rushed to the house to assist the poor man in such obvious agony and of course to satisfy their curiosity as to what was going on. Among the first to arrive was a garrulous old American sergeant who pounded on the door and demanded “What the cripes was that ungodly screech?”

The taciturn Newf who had answered the door replied simply, “The screech? Tis the rum, me son.”

Here is a link to the Number 17 spirit in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown:

#17 – Famous Newfoundland Screech

“… The rum is moderately complex, and there are nice nuances of flavour if you look for them. I detect a light smokiness of dried fruit and tobacco, and a bit of walnut in the depths of the glass. There is also a light bitterness which is not unpleasant as this element seems to match the dried fruit and tobacco and act as a foil against the tartness of the banana peel. I did a little mixing with cola as I sipped on the rum and I discovered that The Famous Newfoundland Screech takes to the Rum and Cola style cocktail very well …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #17 – Canadian Club Small Batch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 8, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016A few years ago there were some changes in the Canadian Club family. One of the brands which underwent a revamping was the Canadian Club Classic (12 Years Old) which was replaced by the Canadian Club Classic Small Batch (also 12 Years Old). The newer version of the whisky has a new bottle (shown below) and the two words, “Small Batch” have been added to the label. My understanding is the whisky is now constructed from a smaller selection of aged whisky (oak barrels) in an effort to bring a fuller flavour and more smoothness to the blend.

canadian-club-classic-sam_2655The new Canadian Club Classic Small Batch 12 Year Old is now one of my favourite expressions of the Canadian Club brand, and it arrives on my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown at the #18 spot:

#17: Canadian Club Classic Small Batch 12 Year Old

“… I notice some rye spices and some sweet corn pushing though. The oak and tobacco scents have deepened bringing me impressions of fresh-cut cedar and honeycomb. The caramel and wood spice come together as toffee, and the orange peel has softened into marmalade. After my glass has been emptied I notice a few light baking spices which I had missed earlier …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the number 16 Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

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* You may follow my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #18 – Brugal Anejo

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeThe Brugal Distillery was founded in 1888, by Andrés Brugal Montaner. Over the next one hundred and twenty years the company grew steadily, and it is now one of three large rum distillers in the Dominican Republic. Although the Edrington Group now controls the company, George Arzeno Brugal, is the current chairman, and most of the current board members are direct descendants of the original company founder.

Brugal Anejo SAM_2347I reviewed Brugal Anejo about six years ago when it was called, Ron Brugal Anejo – Desde 1888. My understanding from talking to the local Brugal Brand Ambassador about two years ago at the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Show is that the spirit has undergone a few changes since my original review. In particular, since the Edrington Group gained control of the company, they have instituted a new wood policy which governs how all of the Brugal spirits are aged. This practice brings the cask selection process into line with the wood policy the company uses for its Scotch whiskies.

According to the Brugal USA Website, the company continues makes their rum in the traditional manner (from molasses) and ages the spirit on site in Puerto Plata. The Brugal Anejo is aged for two to five years in medium toasted ex-Bourbon American white oak casks.

Here is a link to the number 18 spirit in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown:

#19 – Brugal Anejo Superior Rum

” … I can enjoy myself without ice, although I did find that adding a couple of cubes brought out some very nice milk chocolate flavours which I enjoyed tremendously. Having said that, the rum seems to be begging me to mix it into a cocktail. I found the Brugal Anejo plays nicely with both cola and ginger-ale, and it also makes nice amber daiquiri style cocktails …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #18 – Alberta Springs

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016When I began to write about whisky, one of the perks I received was a private tour of the ADL Distillery where I met Rick Murphy, the Production Superintendent. He explained the heritage of Alberta Springs to me, how it started as a pure rye whisky, and how economics dictated a move to rye and corn in the 90s. He then explained how his computerized dials and gauges in the distillery, and his quality assurance tasting panel, ensure that the flavour does not change as the mash bill may change slightly over time. He even made it clear to me that the Alberta Springs is one of his most favourite whiskies.

Alberta Springs SAM_2641This year, I noticed that the flavour seems to moving towards a stronger corn profile. It’s hard to be sure, but when I tasted a new bottle earlier this year, it seemed to have just a touch more sweetness than before. I decided that I should perhaps take the time to revisit the Alberta Springs once again and pen an entirely new review.

Here is a link to the review for the #20 Whisky in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown:

#18: Alberta Springs Canadian Whisky

“… As the glass breathes the rye becomes more apparent. It is a fruity sweet and sour rye which also carries that familiar tell-tale undercurrent of bitter citrus pith. As more time goes by the rye continues to build drowning out my earlier impression of corn. When I return to the empty glass after my sampling session the breezes bring me ripe grain and chaff with just a hint of sweetness …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the number 17 Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

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* You may follow my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

 

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #19 – Diplomatico Anejo Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeIn the late 1950s, the main companies involved in the production and distribution of alcoholic spirits in Venezuela were grouped into one organization called Licorerias Unitas S.A by the initiative of Seagrams who owned 51 % of the new entity until 1992. After a series of mergers and acquisitions involving Seagrams, Diageo, and Pernod Richard, a decision was made to divest in facilities and concentrate on brand commercialization.

Diplomatico AnejoThe result was a group of local investors who purchased the manufacturing assets of Licorerias Unitas S.A and formed Distilleries Unitas S.A. (DUSA) on August 22, 2002. Although the company is relatively new, the tradition of making quality rum in Venezuela using the these facilities which is not. In fact sugar cane has been cultivated in Venezuela perhaps as early as the 16th century.  Systematic rum production in Venezuela can be dated to 1896.

Diplomatico Anejo Rum is a blend of rum spirits which have been aged in a variety of oak casks (predominantly ex-bourbon and ex-malt whisky casks) for up to 4 years.

Here is a link to the number 19 spirit in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown:

#19 – Diplomatico Anejo Rum

” … I find the flavour moderately complex and engaging, and as the nose promised, I can sip the anejo rum easily with ice. I also found the rum mixed very well in both short and tall cocktails. Being a guy that likes a good rum and cola, I began with that simple bar drink, but on other days when my mood was more contemplative, I did enjoy the Diplomatico Anejo in a Rum Old Fashioned as well. …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #19 – Gibson’s Finest 18 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016In 1856, John Gibson purchased 40 acres and built a distillery along the shore of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. By the turn of the century, the Gibson’s Distilling Company was the largest producer of rye whisky in North America. Unfortunately, early in the new century, fate dealt the company a tragic blow, in the name of Prohibition. Consumption of legal whisky all but dried up, and Gibson’s Distilling Company went bankrupt. In 1923, the entire contents of the distillery including the stills, the aging barrels, all of the remaining spirit, (and even the grain which was on site) was sold via Sherriff’s auction to Schenley Industries of New York.

Fifty years later this whisky brand, which was born on the US side of the border in Pennsylvania, was resurrected by the brand owner at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec. Now, of course, it has become one of the iconic brands of Canadian Whisky.

The eighteen year old expression of Gibson’s Finest is now known as Gibson’s Finest Venerable 18 Years Old Whisky. All of the whisky in the blend, is of course 18 years old or more, and it is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is my link to my newly published review:

#19: Gibson’s Finest Venerable 18 Year Old Whisky

“… Oak spice is certainly the centerpiece of the whisky. It is hot with rye spice and white pepper; but the spiciness brings along light flavours of caramel, butterscotch, maple, and canned fruit (apricot and pear) as well. Their is a sense of rye which brings me impressions of ginger and cardamom. I sense waving fields of ripened rye and barley in the foreground, and more distant fields of ripened corn in the background …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the number 18 Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

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* You may follow my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

 

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #20 – Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 5, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeCoruba Rum is produced by J. Wray and Nephew who trace their history back to 1825 when company founder John Wray set up ‘The Shakespeare Tavern‘ in Kingston, Jamaica. By the middle of the century John Wray was distilling and blending his own rums (primarily for his patrons at the Tavern), and by the early 1860s Charles J. Ward joined his uncle, and they began to sell their Jamaican rums internationally.

Coruba Dark Rum SAM_2449In 1916, J. Wray and Nephew was purchased by the Lindo Brothers & Co. who also acquired the prestigious sugar cane estate, the Appleton Estate. Lindo Brothers merged the two Jamaican entities into one company, J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. In 2012, J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. was purchased by the Campari group.

In Canada, the Original Dark Rum is labeled Coruba Imported Jamaican Rum. The dark spirit is produced from is a blend of pot and column still rums that has been aged for at least two years in American oak barrels.

Here is a link to the number 20 spirit in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown:

#20 – Coruba Imported Dark Jamaican Rum

” … This Jamaican influence provides a bevy of character with the musty, oily flavours of the pot still. Combined with this is a mixture of molasses, treacle, orange peel, brown sugar and cinnamon spice, menthol, and vanilla all sliding across the taste buds filling the mouth with their rich flavours. Complimenting everything a light dusting of oak spice which seems to help bind everything together. When I mix the aforementioned bar drink I find the Coruba be particularly well suited as a dark Cuba Libre’ mixer as the flavour of the rum pushes through and enhances the cocktail …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #20 – Wiser’s Small Batch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 5, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Wiser’s Small Batch Canadian Whisky was released in the fall of 2008 replacing the Wiser’s Reserve. There were a few important differences in Wiser’s Small Batch which made it somewhat unique as far Canadian Whisky is concerned. First, it is made in small batches using traditional distilling methods, hence the name Wiser’s Small Batch, and secondly, the bottling strength is 43.4 % rather than the traditional 40 %. This slightly higher strength should allow the whisky to display more texture in the mouth and a more concentrated flavour and aroma.

small-batch-sam_2815Wiser’s Small Batch Canadian Whisky has not yet been re-branded into the new J.P. Wiser’s family of whiskies. Hopefully this is not a signal from the brand owner that the whisky is soon to be replaced as the Small Batch is a regular attendant in my annual top Canadian Whisky Countdowns. This year it is number 21.

Here is a link to my newly revised review:

20: Wiser’s Small Batch Canadian Whisky

“… Wiser’s Small Batch is soft and supple on the tongue with hot oak spices which carry a bevy of flavour along for the ride across the palate. I taste some fresh oak and cedar; some sweet caramel, butterscotch and maple; soft corn and spicy rye; some light impressions of honeycomb and tobacco, and some delicious canned fruit (marmalade, apricots and pears). As I let the whisky sit in my mouth a Demerara sweetness forms with brown sugar and spice combining with honey to present a richly flavoured toffee …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the number 19 Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

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* You may follow my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

 

 

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

 
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