The 2010 Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 10, 2010
This year I was back at the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival checking it out with a few of my good friends from the rum club. This was a two-day event held at the Shaw Conference Centre on November 4 and 5th. I took in both days and enjoyed myself thoroughly. (I really do recommend that everyone who is in the Edmonton area make an effort to go to this festival next year as it is a blast.)
One of the big hits of the show was the Juana Berry Tea made with Hispaniola Mamajuana. A nonstop lineup was created at the Rum Runner Imports booth as their specialty cocktail seemed to be hitting all the right spots for all who stopped by. In fact, I thought I might share the recipe here:
Juana Berry Tea
1 oz Hispaniola Mamajuana
1 oz Sourpuss Raspberry
2 oz Cranberry Juice
2 oz Iced tea
Stir and garnish with a lemon twist.
For those who do not know, Hispaniola Mamajuana is a Dominican rum beverage which is reported to have beneficial effect for the libido. (Perhaps that is why the cocktail was so popular at the show.)
Perhaps the most unusual product presentation at the show was the Crystal Head Vodka. A vodka bottle, shaped like a Crystal Skull, complete with two skull cups to serve it in. The pleasant woman in the Crystal Head booth went to great lengths explaining how the vodka is filtered a real diamond filter and uses the freshest water in the world, but I’ll be honest, they had my attention with the crystal skull and the two glasses.
I was amazed at the sheer numbers of Vodka booths I encountered. There was O2 the World’s first ever Sparkling Vodka, which I sampled (and enjoyed). A Ukrainian Vodka called Nemiroff had a delightful slightly rough and tumble flavour which I thought would be ideal for shots. There was also a dizzying array of Nemiroff flavoured Vodka’s and my Rum Chum, Dennis, was enchanted by their Cranberry Vodka.
But I want to get back to the Rum for a minute. At Paul Charabin’s Booth (Paul is the importer of Diplomatico Rum), he was sharing samples of the new Dictador. Paul also informed me that Dictador is not the only new product of his to hit the shelves here in Alberta. Hacienda Saruro is about to be launched. Hacienda Saruro is a brand new luxury dessert rum from Diplomatico and based upon a small sample I had back in January, I am excited that this rum is finally here..
Of course the show featured a few other rums which have entered the Albertan market in the last six months. The Beam Global table was serving up Moscow Mules (Vodka, Ginger Beer and Lime) with their Russian Standard Vodka, but I (being the Rum Howler after all) could not help but ask for a Dominican Mule to be made with their brand new Brugal Rum. Then I had a nice long chat with the Beam Global Brand Ambassador, J. Leslie Wheelock. He confirmed for me that Beam is planning to continue to expand the lineup of Cruzan Rums in the Alberta market, and according to Simon Mooney (Beam Ambassador), a new 30-year-old rye whisky from Alberta Distillers is on the horizon.
Other new rums I encountered news of at the show (these will be new to Alberta at least) were the Castillo Spiced Rum, the Mount Gay Silver Eclipse in the brand new Bottle (awesome with tonic water), the Kilo Kai Spiced Rum and the St Nicholas Abbey Plantation.
And I haven’t even got to the Whisky! The show was full of tables of great whisky. The Tullibardine Brand Ambassador James Robertson, (See my Interview with James Robertson) brought in some extra special bottles, the 1968, and the 1966 Tullibadine. The 1966 bottle was scored in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible at 94 points, and I believe it is only available here in Alberta. James gave me a small sample of a new a 1987 Vintage Single Cask Bottling of Tullibardine Single Malt Scotch which tasted just awesome. It is a bottling from a single sherry cask brought into Alberta by Andrew Dunn of Gold Medal Marketing Inc.
I received news of a new 12-year-old Single Malt from Diageo, The Singleton of Glendullan, (an awesome malt based upon my sample). Then I learned that Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve will soon arrive in my Province. As for bourbon, the Jefferson Reserve shocked me with its wonderful flavour goodness, and I also tried some wonderful Maple Whisky from the guys at Highwood.
Anyway the show, as I stated above, was an absolute blast and it would be impossible for me to list all of the booths I was treated well at, or all of the spirits which I learned were being brought into my market.
Truly, if you are an aficionado of quality spirits, Alberta is a great place to be!
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