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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rum Countdown #2: Panama Red 108

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 23, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgePanama Red 108 is a Panamanian rum brought to you by PANAMONTE BRANDS. The rum is handcrafted by the creator of Zafra Master Reserve, Master Blender, Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez. It is produced from the sugar cane that grew in Las Cabras de Pese, the same region where the Distillery is located.

Panama Red 108Although the rum is stated as overproof, Don Pancho has assured me that the rum will feel much smoother in the mouth than a typical overproof rum. It has as its base, a 3 year molasses based rum which is aged in used Bourbon casks at the distillery warehouse in Pese.

Don Pancho was certainly accurate in his assessment, and his wonderful rum is the Number 2 spirit in my 2016 Rum Howler Top 50 Mixing Rum Countdown. Here is my original review:

#2: Panama Red 108

“…  After just a few sips, the rum has heated the mouth with orange peel spiciness, and then I began to notice the baking spices building. The longer I allowed the glass to decant, the richer and more complex the flavour became as the baking spices continued to build in the glass to the benefit of my palate …”

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Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I will be revealing my choice for the Number 1 Cocktail Rum in the entire world, stay tuned!

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

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Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #2: Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 23, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016In November of 2005, Highwood Distillers finalized the purchase of Potters Distilleries (founded by Ernie Potter in 1958). Part of this acquisition, was the purchase of all of the remaining barrel aged stocks of whisky in the Potters facility. The whisky brands which Potters Distilleries had established (Century and Potters) were added to Highwood’s portfolio of spirits where they have not only been maintained but also expanded upon. Part of that expansion was the 2013 addition of the ‘Ninety’ branded whiskies to the Century Distillers line-up.

sam_2646Highwood Distillers chose the brand name ‘Ninety’ for their new corn grain whiskies because these whiskies are bottled at 90 proof (or 45 % alcohol by volume) rather than the usual 80 proof (40 % alcohol by volume). The higher bottling strength means that the final whisky will retain a character closer to the original cask strength whiskies from which they were blended. In the case of the Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky, the bulk of blend almost certainly has been drawn from Highwood’s treasured reserves of remaining Potters whisky stocks which are rumoured to contain barrels of whisky as old as 33 years.

Here is a link to the number 2 ranked whisky in my 2016 Rum Howler Canadian Whisky Countdown:

#2: Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old

“… The different aspects of the aroma (the wood and rye spiciness and the corn and butterscotch sweetness) are melded together beautifully creating a very enticing aroma in the air above the glass. As I enjoy those breezes, I also notice impressions of creamy vanilla pudding, hints of almond turning to sweeter marzipan, zesty orange peel turning to sticky marmalade, and lightly sweetened cereal grain …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 1 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 »

2016 Top 50 Mixing Rum Countdown #3: Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 22, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgePineapple Rum was quite a popular delicacy in the 19th century. In fact, in Charles Dickens first serial novel The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (published in 19 monthly magazine instalments, from March 1836 to October 1837), Pineapple Rum is the preferred tipple of the fictitious Reverend Stiggins, who while publicly preaching temperance, secretly enjoys his pineapple rum, usually mixed with hot tea.

Fancy Autumn Pineapple SAM_2737Alexander Gabriel (President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand) in collaboration with Dave Wondrich (cocktail guru and author of Imbibe) researched the original recipes of Pineapple Rum, and then set about to re-create this lost libation.

The collaboration was an unmitigated success and their Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum has roared up my list to grab the honour of being the 3rd best Mixing Rum in my 2016 Countdown.

Here is a link to my recent review:

#3: Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum

“… Alexandre Gabriel and Dave Wondrich created this spirit with and eye towards cocktails, and so I thought I would try my hand at mixing one. With the pineapple accent so obvious within the rum, I decided that pairing that flavour with lime make the most sense. I added a bit of Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, a dash of bitters and a touch of sugar syrup and shook it over ice. The result was wonderful …”

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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

 

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Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #3: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 22, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016I began hearing about Mt. Logan Whisky just this past summer as a few of my regular readers sent me requests for a review. When I researched the brand, I discovered it was a ‘destination’ brand exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond (Liquor Stores N.A. Inc.) stores in Western Canada. Apparently, Ryan Engen, Director of Spirits, Liquor Stores N.A. Inc., worked closely with Highwood Distillers to produce a new Canadian WHisky range for their family of Liquor Stores.

mt-logan-old-fashioned-sam_2860According to the label on the back of the bottle, Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced in a batch style distillation with the spirit was matured in charred American white oak. According to Ryan, the spirit is a 100 % corn whisky blend making this a true Single Grain Whisky.

Here is a link to the 3rd Best Canadian Whisky in the World, the Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Whisky.

#3: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old

“… The initial breezes above that glass are rich with vanilla, dusty dry oak spice, butterscotch and canned creamed corn. The strength and purity of the corn scent surprises and delights me. As the whisky breathes, the fine oak spices gain momentum. Orange peel begins to turn to marmalade as the butterscotch melds into the spice; dark tobacco wells up; and a firm sense of marzipan begins to unravel into the breezes …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 2 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: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #3: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old

Rum Howler Top 50 Rums of 2016

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2016

On My DeckFor the first time in 5 years, I did not publish a daily countdown for the Best Rums of the Year. I did however compile a list, and this is my reveal of the Rum Howler Top 50 Rums of 2016.

Every year when I publish my annual list I receive emails wondering why certain rums were left off. It always boils down to the same two answers.

  1. That particular Rum just wasn’t up to the standard of the rest of the spirits on the list.
  2. That particular spirit was not made available for me to taste and access in time for inclusion.

On the first score, I make no apologies for my rankings. Just because some other publication or a particular marketing campaign says that such and such a rum is the Elixir of the Gods, that doesn’t make it so. I trust my tasting sessions. I do not trust marketing hype.

If you are wondering how your favourite rum fared this year, Here is my Rum Howler List of the Top 50 Rums of 2016:

Rum Howler Top 50 Rums of 2016

Just in time for Christmas giving!

Chimo!

 

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #4: Noxx & Dunn Florida Rum 2-4-5

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeTwo years ago when Campari purchased J Wray & Nephew, they terminated the Appleton Estate Rum sales team in here in Canada. Then early last year they also terminated the long-term contract of Michael Delevante, aka the Rum Doctor. This meant that after 50 years of service as Rum Master and Rum Blender for Appleton Estate Rum, the Rum Doctor was able to team up with some of his old collaborators, and together they are bringing to the market an aged Florida Rum.

Noxx And Dunn 245 SAM_2590The Noxx and Dunn 2-4-5 Rum they created is made from a blend of 100%  Florida sugar cane molasses pot and column distilled spirit. These rums were aged for 2, 4 and 5 years in the sub tropics (in Florida of course) in once used bourbon barrels. Importantly, no flavouring and no colour were added. The colour and flavour of the rum in the bottle is completely natural and derived from the ageing process.

Here is a link to the Number 4 Mixing Rum in my 2016 Mixing Rum Countdown:

#4: Noxx & Dunn Florida Rum 2-4-5

“… The rum is a natural for a rum and cola bar drink. I would go heavy on the rum and light on the cola to give the libation a delicious kick of oaky rum flavour. But I sense more versatility than that and a Rum Old Fashioned is certainly not out of the question. This Noxx and Dunn Rum even has the strength and character to stand up to a sweetened liqueur …”

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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: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #4: Noxx & Dunn Florida Rum 2-4-5

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #4: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016In the past, Wiser’s 18 Year Old advertised itself as a Limited Release bottling totaling only 3500 bottles for each batch produced. Last year I noticed that the whisky had undergone a subtle brand change as well, and it is now listed as J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old Canadian Whisky. As part of the brand re-identification the bottle no longer contains any information on the label with respect to the batch size.

j-p-wisers-18-sam_2902Whether any real substantive change in the whisky inside the bottle has occurred is unknown to me; but since we know that we can expect the whisky to change from batch to batch at a minimum, I usually look at this brand each year and write a new review if I notice any substantive change. (It turns out, there was very little change from last year to this year.)

Here is a link to the Number 5 Canadian Whisky in my Rum Howler Countdown of the World’s Best!

#4: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old Canadian Whisky

“… The initial breezes are full of fine oak spices with hints of butterscotch and clean grain. As the glass breathes the spiciness within the breezes above the glass continues unabated. Meandering within the spice are rich smells of butterscotch and maple with a few hints of sharp orange peel and dusty grain. Some baking spices begin to form after about five minutes with vanilla and  brown sugar spice, bits of cinnamon white pepper and cloves …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 3 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: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #4: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #5: Brugal Titanium

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 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. The original family which founded Brugal is still in the control. George Arzeno Brugal, is the current chairman, and most of the board members are direct descendants of the original company founder. In fact, the Brugal Distillery has become an institution in the Dominican Republic.

SAM_0972 Brugal TitaniumJust about every friend of mine who has visited this the Dominican Republic has a vivid tale to tell of their amazing bus ride to the distillery, and another tale to tell of how much fun it was to sample the Brugal Rum. Brugal Titanium Rum is a triple distilled premium white rum produced primarily for the domestic market (and in parts of Europe) as a high-end cocktail spirit meant to compete with ultra premium Vodka.

Here is a link to the Number 5 Mixing Rum in my 2016 Countdown of the World’s Best:

#5: Brugal Titanium Rum

“… I begin by mixing a daiquiri. Delicious is an understatement as this is one of the best daiquiris I have had in quite a while. Next I moved to a mojito and my sentiments remain the same. Each of the cocktails seem to carry a ‘refined’ quality which I usually encounter only in the best white spirits. Again I find the Titanium spirit implies the refinement of a great vodka; yet it also carries the charm (and flavour) of quality white rum …”

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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, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #5: Brugal Titanium

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #5: Wiser’s Legacy

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Wiser’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).

wisers-legacy-sam_2656However 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.

According to David Doyle, who was at the time, Master Blender for Wiser’s“:

“I have selected only the finest new, white oak casks, which are essential to the aging process and help mellow the perfect distillate under tightly controlled conditions. It is this careful and deliberate craftsmanship that makes Wiser’s Legacy the ultimate achievement in traditional Canadian whisky distilling.”

Here is a link to the Number 5 Canadian Whisky  of 2016:

#5: Wiser’s Legacy

“… The aroma from the glass is rich in rye spice and caramel toffee, with a subtle corn and bourbon influence. The oak is very apparent as well, bring sappy notes of oak and cedar forward as well as rich damp tobacco. There are some nice indications of baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon) as well as vague impressions of baked muffins full of banana, walnuts and chocolate chips …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 4 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: , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #5: Wiser’s Legacy

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #6: Lemon Hart Demerara 151 Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeLemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the rum was no longer being produced in England, rather the blend was being produced at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada.

Hart BreakerIt was during this time that Lemon Hart 151 Demerara Rum became a relatively famous cocktail rum. In fact, the rum is called for by name in many of Trader Vic’s and Don the Beachcomber’s tiki recipes. The rum is a 100 % Guyanese rum blend with rum distilled and aged in Guyana. It is currently bottled in Canada by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) for the brand owner Mosaiq.

Here is a link to the Number 6 Mixing Rum in the Rum Howler Countdown of the 50 Best:

#6: Lemon Hart Demerara 151 Rum

“… I decided to try a few cocktail recipes to see for myself what all the fuss is all about. I started with a recipe, the Guyana Zombie …   I followed this up with my recipe, the Hart Breaker …  It was in these cocktails that I really found a soft spot for the Lemon Hart 151 Demerara Rum. Both cocktails were extremely nice, (although I admit the Guyana Zombie gives your tonsils a nice swift kick on the way down) …”

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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, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #6: Lemon Hart Demerara 151 Rum

 
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