The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Visit My Online Memorabilia Store

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

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

  • Industry Interviews

    Interviews

    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Follow Me on Twitter!

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

    Join 1,929 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Top Posts

  • What People are Saying:

    Arctic Wolf on Review: Last Mountain Single C…
    Jer Mar on Review: Last Mountain Single C…
    Cody on Review: Last Mountain Single C…
    Arctic Wolf on Contact Me
    Vlad Von Stroh Stran… on Contact Me
    Arctic Wolf on Contact Me
  • Archives

  • Visitors

    • 8,901,152 pageviews since inception

Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

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 …”

________________________________________________________________________________

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

Advertisements

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #18 – Brugal Anejo

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!

_______________________________________________________

* 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: #18 – Alberta Springs

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. …”

________________________________________________________________________________

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 #19 – Diplomatico Anejo Rum

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!

_______________________________________________________

* 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 …”

________________________________________________________________________________

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: , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #20 – Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum

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!

_______________________________________________________

* 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: #20 – Wiser’s Small Batch

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #21 – Bermudez Ron Viejo Blanco

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 4, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeThe Ron Bermudez Company, has a long history that stretches back to 1852 with the Bermudez Distillery being the oldest commercial rum distillery in the Dominican Republic. In fact, both the company (and the distillery) are almost as old as the Dominican Republic itself, and I think it is easy to suggest that the Ron Bermudez Company represents an important part of the history of the Island. Don Erasmo Bermudez apparently created the company’s first rum, sold as Bitter Panacea, and it quickly became extremely popular providing the foundation for the company’s initial success.

bermudezronviejoAlthough the Bermudez Ron Viejo Blanco is not a typical clear white rum, the words on the bottle  ‘Viejo Blanco’ translate from Spanish to English as ‘Old White’. Unlike other white rums which may be aged a few years and then filtered clear, the Ron Viejo Blanco does not undergo a filtering process prior to bottling. Exactly how long the rum ages in oak is unclear to me, but based upon the colour of the rum in the bottle, I would guess it is aged anywhere from 3 months to a year.

Here is a link to the number 21 spirit in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown:

#21 – Bermudez Ron Viejo Blanco

” … The main characteristics of flavour are a firm but light oak spice, a mellow butterscotch, a hint of orange peel, dabs of cinnamon, and perhaps a smidgen of Apricot Brandy. Perhaps the apricot flavour was imagined, but I seemed to find it resting with light oak spices. When it comes to mixing cocktails, Bermudez Ron Viejo is outstanding. I ran the spirit through the gauntlet of quintessential rum cocktails. I loved the spirit served in a Cuba Libre; and when I mixed a Daiquiri and then a Mojito, I could not find fault with any of the cocktails …”

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 #21 – Bermudez Ron Viejo Blanco

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #21 – Gooderham and Worts Four Grain

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 4, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Corby Spirit and Wine Limited has added yet another premium brand to its whisky line-up, Gooderham and Worts 4 Grain Canadian Whisky. The whisky pays homage to the former whisky giant, Gooderham and Worts which in the latter half of the 19th century was the largest spirits producer in Canada. (The company was founded in the early to mid-nineteenth century by James Worts and his brother-in-law William Gooderham.)

gooderhan-and-wortssam_2900Gooderham and Worts was merged in 1926 with Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. (producers of Canadian Club Whisky) by Harry Hatch who at the time owned both companies. Over time, distilling declined at the Gooderham and Worts distillery until 1987 when it was sold to Allied Lyons who chose to close the facility in 1990. The Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery remains in operation, although it now owned by Pernod Ricard. Pernod Ricard incidentally own a major share (about 46 %) of Corby Spirit and Wine Limited who market and distribute Pernod Ricard’s products in Canada.

Gooderham and Worts Four Grain is produced from corn, barley, wheat and rye grains and bottled at 44.4% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the review for the Number 16 Whisky in my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown:

#21: Gooderham and Worts Four Grain

” … When I bring the glass to my nose, I receive firm indications of oak and grain spice. Honeyed toffee rises up as well as dank corn smells and a lightly sour fruitiness. If I was to nose this in a blind format, I might be tempted to believe I was nosing an Old Canadian Club whisky from the 70s and early 80s when the brand had a stronger overt sour fruit aroma and taste profile …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the number 20 Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

_______________________________________________________

* 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: #21 – Gooderham and Worts Four Grain

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #22 – Lemon Hart One Hundred British Proof

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 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 production of the blend had shifted to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada.

LemonHart_BottleRendering750_NEWTrue to its roots as a Navy Rum, the brand remained a Demerara blended rum with the bulk of the blend shipped from Guyana to the Hiram Walker Distillery where it was aged and blended with a small amount of Canadian Rum (1.5 %) for tax purposes.

The Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum is a full British 100 proof offering (57.1 % alcohol by volume), developed for the brand owner, Mosaiq under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master Blender, Mike Booth.

Here is a link to the number 22 spirit in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown:

#22 – Lemon Hart One Hundred British Proof

“… I am quite enthusiastic about the Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum. This rum has a concentrated, complex flavour profile which combines a bevy of heated spice with rich vanillans, brown sugars and fruit. I found the rum was quite nice over ice, and that strong assertive spicy flavour also works great in tiki style cocktails as well …”

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: , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #22 – Lemon Hart One Hundred British Proof

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #22 – Ninety 5 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016

Just before the massive disruption caused by flooding during the summer of 2013 in Southern Alberta, Highwood Distillers released a limited quantity of their new “Ninety” branded whiskies under their Century Distillers banner. The news of these whisky releases was unfortunately drowned out (quite literally) by the waters that engulfed Southern Alberta. If you followed the news regarding the aftermath of the flood (see story here) you will know that it took more than a few weeks for the company to bring itself back onto its feet. In fact, all of the bottled inventory in Highwood’s warehouse had to be destroyed due to potential contamination from the water that penetrated the distillery.

ninety-5-sam_0928An unfortunate victim of all this disruption was those “Ninety” branded whiskies which temporarily disappeared from liquor store shelves as Highwood had to suspend production of this new brand in order to focus on re-establishing their other major brands across Canada. Fortunately for everyone, the brand was re-established a 5 and a 20 Year Old version.

Here is a link to my review of the number 22 spirit on my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown:

#22: Ninety 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… As the glass breathes, the wood spice and corn each seem to build with equal intensity. Although the mouth becomes heated with impressions of citrus zest, ginger and spice; the whisky remains soft and sippable with the underlying sweetness of corn and butterscotch providing a perfect complement to the spice …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues on tomorrow with the number 21 Canadian Whisky. Chimo!

_______________________________________________________

* You may follow my 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: #22 – Ninety 5 Year Old

 
%d bloggers like this: