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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

#Top100CanadianWhisky #13: Review: J.P. Wiser’s Legacy Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 11, 2017

Wiser’s Legacy Canadian Whisky (a Corby Brand) was released in early 2010 as a new entry into the fledgling “Super Premium” category of Canadian Whisky. At the time, a few other Super Premium Whiskies already existed in the market-place (Wiser’s own Red Letter, and Crown Royal’s, Cask No. 16 and Crown Royal XR); but the category hadn’t really caught the buying public’s imagination. In fact the Super Premium category had seen more failures than successes to that point (at least as far as Canadian Whisky was concerned). However the tipping point for the category seems to have been the year 2010, and the brand which (in my opinion) which helped the most to bring about a this change was Wiser’s Legacy.

The Legacy is produced from a rye forward mash bill (Canadian rye, rye malt and barley malt) using a slow copper pot distillation technique which was ‘fine-tuned’ to capture the very specific flavours and aromas during distillation. The new oak barrels used to age the resulting distillate were lightly toasted rather than heavily charred to help bring more of these specific flavours forward.

Wiser’s Legacy was recently re-branded (as was the entire Wiser’s range) by adding the first two initials of the founder (J.P. Wiser) to the brand name. This means the spirit is now properly called, J.P. Wiser’s Legacy.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #13 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review:  Review: J.P. Wiser’s Legacy Canadian Whisky

“… Fresh oak and sap are at the forefront of the flavour which is also heavy with butterscotch, rye and bourbon-like corn notes. I catch hints of maple and cedar, as well as a light herbaceous quality that reminds me of menthol. There is so much more, rich pipe tobacco, vanilla and baking spices …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #11 – El Pasador de oro Gran Reserva Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 10, 2017

El Pasador de oro XO is a new rum brand brought into Western Canada by Charton Hobbs. The rum is a product of Les Bienheureux S.A.S. (in Paris France) and (according to the information sheets given to me) is a blend ‘grand reserva’ Guatemala rums. Selected barrels were chosen by Jean Moueix and Alexandre Sirech, and brought to France where the spirit is rested in used cognac barrels in the cellars of Les Bienheureux.

There is no age statement assigned to this rum. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #11 Rum of 2017:

Review: El Pasador de oro Gran Reserva Rum

“… The breezes above the glass bring rich indications of fine oak spice and treacle alongside damp tobacco, orange peel and rich baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla). I seem to catch a few glimmers of resin and tar climbing into the breezes as well …”

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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #14: Lot No. 40 Cask Strength Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 10, 2017

Lot No. 40 has received a bit of a makeover recently as the spirit which was previously branded, Lot No. 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Whisky received a new label, and the whisky is now known simply as Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky. Lot No. 40 is of course the Corby branded whisky which was first released in the 1990’s as an upscale connoisseur’s whisky for the North American market. Alas, timing is everything, and according to Don Livermore (Master Blender for Corby and J.P. Wiser’s branded whiskies), the whisky never really caught on as the market wasn’t quite ready for such a new style of Canadian Whisky. However, with the new upsurge of interest in Canadian Whisky across North America (and in particular at the premium end of the market), Corby (the owner of the Wiser’s Brand), relaunched the whisky in 2012.

This year, as part of Corby’s  Northern Border Collection, a cask strength version of Lot No. 40 was released across Canada labeled simply as Lot No. 40 Cask Strength. It is a brute of a whisky bottled at 55 % alcohol by volume. According to the label on the bottle, the whisky is crafted in small batches using rye grain in a single copper pot still and aged for 12 years in oak barrels.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #14 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review:  Lot No. 40 Cask Strength Rye Whisky

“… The flavour hits like a sledge-hammer with rough oak and cedar spice pushed by alcohol heat, dark chocolate and heavy rye bread. Add in Christmas fruitcake, and lots of peppery spice including black pepper and cloves and we are still only part way into describing the sheer volume of flavour …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #12 – Plantation XO 20th Anniversary

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2017

The Plantation 20th Anniversary Rum is a blending of the company’s oldest Bajan Rum reserves. These selected rums were first aged in the Caribbean (in ex-bourbon casks). Then they are transported to France to be blended by Plantation Rum’s Cellar Master at Château de Bonbonnet. The blended rum is matured a second time in small French oak casks for another 12 to 18 months. This “double aging” gives rise to a startling increase in both the body of the rum and its complexity, and is the signature of Cognac Ferrand’s Plantation Rum portfolio.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #12 Rum of 2017:

Review: Plantation XO 20th Anniversary

“… This Plantation Rum exhibits a fair amount of heat in an entry full of oak spice smothered in a creamy honey-like caramel syrup. Orange peel and marmalade; bits of dark fruit (raisins, dates, and plums); baking spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla); tufts of tobacco; and little dabbles of cocoa (both bitter dark chocolate and sweeter milk chocolate) all swim around in the flavours of that oak-spiced caramel syrup …”

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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #15: Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2017

The Mt. Logan whisky brand has been turning up in the local Liquor Depot chain of stores in my locale. It is in fact a ‘destination’ brand exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond (Liquor Stores N.A. Inc.) stores in Western Canada.

The whisky itself is produced by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 Kilometers south of Calgary). According to the label on the back of the bottle, Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced from prairie grain in a batch style distillation with each grains distilled and aged separately.

When I discussed the brand with Ryan Engen, Director of Spirits, Liquor Stores N.A. Inc., he clarified for me. According to Ryan, the information from the distillery regarding the brand is that the 15 and the 20 Year Old Mt. Logan Whiskies are both 100% corn distillate aged in charred American white oak.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #15 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… Light flavours of corn, vanilla, butterscotch and almond are chased merrily across the palate by fine oak spice. The light corn builds with each sip bringing a beguiling sweetness forward which plays very nicely with the dusty wood spices. Hints of cinnamon appear within the spice adding a lovely nuance to the soft parade …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #13 – Ron Matusalum Gran Reserva 23

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 8, 2017

Ron Matusalem prides itself on being a Cuban style of rum with a history in Cuba they trace back to 1872 when two brothers, Benjamin and Eduardo Camp, together with a partner, Evaristo Álvarez opened a distillery in Santiago de Cuba. According to the information I found a few years ago on the Matusalem website, the rum they were producing began to win acclaim by the first quarter of the 20th century. The distillery apparently operated until the 1960′s when due to the Cuban Revolution the Álvarez family was exiled, and the rum they made disappeared from the landscape.

The brand was resurrected by Claudio Álvarez Salazar, who is the great-grandson of Evaristo Álvarez. Of course, it was not possible, given the political situation in Cuba, for Claudio to produce or bottle the rum in Cuba. Apparently, it is produced (presumably by a third-party as Ron Matusalem does not own a distillery) in the Dominican Republic, and then bottled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana by Proximo Spirits.

The Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva 23 Solera Blender is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #13 Rum of 2017:

Review: Ron Matusalum Gran Reserva 23

“… The rum demonstrates a nicely melded flavour of dark caramel (treacle), vanilla and oak spice which gives us spicy, but smooth delivery. Baking spices ( nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon) separate from the oak spices with hints of burlap and leather, fresh toast, baked banana and coconut, touches  marmalade, and a lovely underlying flavour of toasted pecans …”

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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #16: Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 8, 2017

Lot No. 40 is of course the Corby branded whisky which was first released in the 1990’s as an upscale connoisseur’s whisky for the North American market. Alas, timing is everything, and according to Don Livermore (Master Blender for Corby and J.P. Wiser’s branded whiskies), the whisky never really caught on as the market wasn’t quite ready for such a new style of Canadian Whisky.

However, with the new upsurge of interest in Canadian Whisky across North America (and in particular at the premium end of the market), Corby (the owner of the J.P. Wiser’s Brand), relaunched the whisky in 2012.

According to the bottle label:

Lot. No. 40 is crafted in small batches using rye grain in a single copper pot still aged in virgin oak barrels.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #16 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

“… The initial nose is filled with the scents and smells of milk chocolate and bread crust alongside fresh rye grain and strong oak and cedar scents. Caramel toffee, baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon) and more fresh rye pour out of the glass into the breezes. As the glass breathes, the smells of oak and cedar strengthen with firm undertones of leather and burlap revealing themselves …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #14 – Angostura 1824

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2017

The House of Angostura traces its beginnings to 1824 when German doctor, Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, who was then a Surgeon-General in the Venezuelan Army, created a blend of aromatic herbs which he called “Amargo Aromatico” and which would become the world-famous Angostura Bitters. Although the company he created to manufacture these bitters was originally founded in the town known as Angostura (later to be renamed Bolivar City), the company was relocated by his successors (his younger brother and son), who  moved it to Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1876.

Angostura 1824 pays homage to the company’s humble beginnings in Angostura, Venezuela. It is a premium rum produced from molasses. All of the spirit within the blend has been aged a minimum of 12 years in charred American oak bourbon barrels.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #14 Rum of 2017:

Review: Angostura 1824

“… I am pleased by the smooth flavour which seems to present me with a combination of zesty orange peel and oak spice which are melded into butterscotch with hints of maple, all of which are underlain by a oozing chocolate flavours (both bittersweet cocoa and creamy milk chocolate) …”

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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #17: Crown Royal Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2017

Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is currently produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian whisky brand. In 1992, a premium version of Crown Royal was introduced as Crown Royal Special Reserve. This whisky was produced from specially selected casks which were tasted and monitored closely by the Crown Royal Master Blender. These ‘premium casks’ represented whiskies with special character, and they were allowed to age longer with the aim of producing a more premium whisky. In the fall of 2008, this more premium Crown Royal Special Reserve was relaunched as Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #17 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky

“… The whisky is lightly oaky with wood spices leading out as orange peel and pepper. Some clear rye spices (ginger in particular) jump in, and this spicy montage of flavour is accented by sweet flavours of caramel and maple. There is of course that typical punky corn/bourbon presence winding through the whisky that seems to be the signature flavour of Crown Royal …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #15 Plantation Jamaica (2002) Vintage Edition

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2017

Cognac Ferrand has long had a special relationship with a variety of Caribbean rum producers which is based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Based upon this relationship, Cognac Ferrand is able to acquire certain old and unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources, which they bring back to France and finish in their own warehouses and of course their own Cognac Casks.

Plantation Jamaica (2002) Vintage Edition was first aged in bourbon casks in tropical Jamaica after which it was transported to the Chateau de Bonbonnet in France, where it was aged for 3 more years in used 350 litre Pierre Ferrand Cognac casks to enhance the rum before it was bottled as part of Cognac Ferrand’s growing line-up of Vintage Plantation Rums.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #15 Rum of 2017:

Review: Plantation Jamaica (2002) Vintage Edition

“… When I take the first sip of the Plantation Jamaican Rum, it is a combination of lightly sweet butterscotch and the esters of the Jamaican which commands my attention. Spicy orange peel plays with soothing menthol. Herbal flavours of eucalyptus, lemongrass and peppermint pushing their way through …”

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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

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

 
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