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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

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

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2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #6 Century Reserve Lot 1525 & 21 Year Old Whiskies

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016In November of 2005, Highwood Distilleries Ltd. 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. These barrels of whisky were transferred from the Potters warehouse facilities in Kelowna, B.C. to the newly constructed warehouse facility in High River, Alberta, where they were allowed to continue to age at the foot of the Rocky Mountains on the western edge of the Canadian Prairies. The whisky brands which Potters had established (Century and Potters) were added to the Highwood portfolio.

sam_2647Highwood produces two well aged whiskies under their Century Distillers label, Century Reserve 21 Year Old & Lot 1525 ( blend of 15 to 25-year-old corn whiskies). I have noticed that the flavour profile of these two blends has began to merge in recent years to the point that this year when I did some blind tastings, I could no longer tell which whisky was which. (It could be that after tasting 70 Canadian Whiskies for this countdown, my palate was beginning to shows signs of fatigue.)  

This means that the Number 6 Whisky in my Rum Howler Top 50 Canadian Whisky countdown is actually two whiskies, both the Century Reserve 21 Year Old and Century Reserve Lot 1525 Rye whiskies.

Here is the link to the review for the Lot 1525:

#6 Century Reserve Lot 1525 Canadian Rye Whisky

“… Oak spices and marzipan weave in and out of the corn, the rye, and the honey, but in spite of the ages of the whisky in the blend, this never turns awkward or woody nor does the oak  swamp the mouth with bitter tannins. I find the balance to be superb!  The entire presentation is suave elegance and luxurious smoothness …”

Note: My Review for Century Reserve 21 Year Old can be found here.

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 5 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 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #6 Century Reserve Lot 1525 & 21 Year Old Whiskies

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #7: Harbour Rum (Yongehurst Distillery)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeThe Yongehurst Distillery is a brand new Micro-Distillery located at 346 Westmoreland Ave near Dupont and Dovercourt in Toronto, Ontario. The facility is owned by long-time friends, Rocco Panacci and John-Paul Sacco who are making what just might be Toronto’s first micro-distilled rum upon their brand new small pot/column combination still.

Yongehurst DaiquiriSAM_2708And this rum is extremely good. In fact when I reviewed it earlier this year, I was blown away by the rich Jamaican-like pot still flavours which permeated both the aroma and the flavour. This rum that Yongehurst is producing is unique  as it is one of the first micro distilled rum produced entirely in Canada, and it is perhaps the first rum produced in Canada which is completely unaged.

Here is a link to the 7th Best Mixing Rum in my Rum Howler Top 50 Countdown:

#7: Harbour Rum (Yongehurst Distillery)

“… The flavours from the nose translate well to the palate with hints of cotton candy and mint playing in the rum alongside flavours of banana and citrus zest. A light herbaceousness is present with lemongrass and hints of heather manifesting themselves from the grassy aromas I noted earlier. Of course I wanted to try a few cocktails and working with that mint-like flavour I could sense both on the nose and in the mouth I started with a very short mojito-like cocktail. The result was well worth the effort and I was emboldened to try another serving in the daiquiri style …”

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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 #7: Harbour Rum (Yongehurst Distillery)

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #7 Mt. Logan 15 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016The Mt. Logan whisky brand 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.

mt-logan-15-sam_2806This is a finely nuanced whisky which delighted me as a sipper.It just oozes elegance and class and as a result, it has found itself all the way up to the Number 7 spot in my Countdown of the 50 Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016.

Here is a link to my recent review:

#7 Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… The label may read rye whisky; but it is tender corn that is the star within the breezes above the glass. Mild indications of butterscotch and vanilla join in with dusty dry oak spices building as the glass breathes. A kiss of rye spice meanders into the air and light touches of almond round out the nose which has an almost fragile quality. The whisky may not be a centerpiece of complexity; but this is outweighed by the purity of the nose which displays uncommon polish and sophistication …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 6 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: #7 Mt. Logan 15 Year Old

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #8: El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 17, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeDemerara County (in Guyana) is popular across the world for its rich, three hundred year history of rum production. Using a combination of old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL), has built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. In fact, Demerara Distillers is the currently the largest supplier of bulk Caribbean Rum to Europe and North America.

admin-ajax-phpThe El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum is blended from aged stocks (the youngest being no less than 3 years old) and then filtered twice through charcoal filters to produce a clear rum. All of the Demerara Rum produced by El Dorado is aged exclusively in American oak (bourbon barrels).

Here is a link to not only one of the best clear rums in the entire world, it is also the 8th Best Mixing Rum.

#8: El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged

” … the soft butterscotch/caramel flavours remain firm through the palate accented with light minty candy-like flavours. There is also a light spiciness which hints at citrus zest and banana peel. As I sip I also begin to sense very light undercurrents of dry fruit, chocolate and a light but firm impression of baked coconut. Of course I mix a few cocktails, and I remain impressed. Lime based cocktails like the daiquiri are outstanding as is the cola based Cuba libre …”

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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 #8: El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #8 Caribou Crossing

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 17, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Although Canadian whisky by volume is the best-selling whisky in the USA, the perception of this class of whisky (amongst spirits writers and whisky critics) is that the Canadian spirit is perhaps thin and uninteresting, (fortunately the millions of people who buy whisky appear to be much more impressed than the critics and writers). The landscape however, appear to be changing, especially at the premium end of the whisky market, where the Canadian spirit has seen strong growth in market share. Recognizing this trend, the Sazerac Company has recently made a push towards the premium end of the Canadian Whisky market with two new releases, Caribou Crossing and Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whiskies.

sam_2657Caribou Crossing is what is known as a Single Barrel Whisky. From the company’s inventory of over 200,000 barrels of Canadian whisky, Sazerac’s whisky making team selects what they deem to be some of the very finest barrels. Each of these chosen barrels is bottled individually capturing its unique flavour. This means that each individual barrel offers a unique taste experience for the Canadian whisky connoisseur.

Here is a link to the newly scored review for the 8th Best Canadian Whisky of 2016:

#8 Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Whisky

“… This is a whisky which grows a little in the glass as you let it breathe. The oak and the rye grain seem to gain strength as sawdust and rye husks fill the breezes above the glass with very nice accents of vanilla and baking spice. Fresh corn on the cob rises into those breezes; and impressions of butterscotch pudding and vanilla ice cream tempt me into taking my first sip …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 7 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: #8 Caribou Crossing

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #9: Momento Amber Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeThe Number 9 spot in my rankings of the Best 50 Mixing Rums in the World may at first seem like an unlikely candidate, a young amber rum which is sold only in Western Canada by Highwood Distillers. Upon further examination however, the high esteem I hold for this rum is more easily understood. Although this rum is sold only in Western Canada, it is in reality a Demerara Rum distilled and crafted at the world-famous Diamond Distillery (think El Dorado Rum folks) in Guyana, South America.

Momento RumHighwood Distillers have purchased aged rum (probably one year old) in bulk from Demerara Distillers and then set the barrels of rum they purchased down to age for a further time at their aging facility at the foot of the Canadian Rockies. This addition aging in the northern latitudes (at high elevation) gives the final blended rum an additional layer of fine oak spice which just begs to be mixed in cocktails.

This is a countdown of the best Mixing Rums I have ever tasted, and Momento Amber Rum deserves its top ten spot. Here is my original review written 6 years ago (re-scored based upon a recent tasting) where I express my delight at finding this diamond in the rough:

#9: Momento Amber Rum

“… The entry of the rum into my mouth is very much like the delivery of a smooth and clean whisky.   Crisp flavours of sandalwood mingle with honey and caramel.  The additional flavours of a mild citrus oils  makes this just a little tangy and mildly sweet at the same time. The balance is very good between these flavours.  This is undoubtedly a Demerara style rum, but it is a laid back style of Demerara with a much cleaner body and texture than other rums I have experienced from Guyana …”

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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 #9: Momento Amber Rum

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #9 Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Lot 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 has 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. According to the Corby Website:

lot-no-40-rye-sam_2885Lot No. 40 is expertly distilled in small batches using only the finest locally sourced ingredients. By distilling in a single copper pot still, the result is a whisky that starts off earthy and woody tasting and then becomes full bodied and complex with a velvety vanilla oak finish.

Those locally sourced ingredients must include rye grain as the new label tells us:

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 9th best Canadian Whisky of 2016:

#9 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. After about 10 minutes, some dusty grain notes begin to climb out of the glass as well …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 8 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: #9 Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #10: Plantation 3 Stars

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgePlantation 3 Stars Silver Rum is relatively new white cocktail rum from Cognac Ferrand. In producing this rum Alexandre Gabriel (President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand) blends rum from three different Caribbean Islands in order to achieve the correct balance between flavour and character suitable for a cocktail rum bearing the Plantation name. These three Islands (Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad) are considered by the folks at Cognac Ferrand to be the three “star” producers of the Caribbean, hence the name “Plantation 3 Stars” was chosen for the rum.

plantation-3stars-bAccording to the media materials I received, each style of rum serves a unique purpose: unaged rum from Barbados provides aromatics and character; a clear filtered 3-year-old rum from Trinidad provides classical elegance and refinement, and the Jamaican rum provides structure and an unmistakable ‘funk’ to the final recipe. The Jamaican portion of the rum is actually composed of two Jamaican styles, an unaged rum which contributes to that Jamaican ‘funk’, and a small amount of very expensive 12-year-old rum which contributes just the right flavour component to make this a rum ideal for classic cocktails. Indeed the 3 Stars rum is, at its heart, a cocktail rum meant to add elegance and complexity to your favourite cocktails.

Here is a link to the 10th best Mixing Rum of 2016:

Review: Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum

“… I even taste some of that Jamaican funk that the creators of the rum were careful to incorporate (it is much more obvious in the mouth than it was on the nose) which seems to consist of orange peel zest, a light swath of oak and a certain briny/musty flavour that defies my ability to adequately describe. Overall the flavour is very delicious and very interesting. I made a few cocktails with my small sample. I began with a simple Daiquiri which had a noticeable earthy quality which I enjoyed. I followed that with a classic cocktail called the Celebration which adds rum, gin and grapefruit juice with Groseille Syrup to great effect …”

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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 #10: Plantation 3 Stars

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #10 Canadian Club Chairman’s Select

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Canadian Club Whisky is now the oldest (and probably the most influential) Canadian Whisky brand in the world.  It is found in over 150 countries, with sales in Canada that are unmatched by any other premium whisky brand. In 2014, Canadian Club (owned by Beam Suntory) launched a new 100% rye grain whisky, Canadian Club Chairman’s Select – 100% Rye. 

sam_2659It is of course produced exclusively from rye grain, distilled (and almost certainly aged) in Calgary by Alberta Distillers Ltd (who are also owned by Beam Suntory). The Chairman’s Select is aged in American Oak (bourbon barrels), cut to bottling strength (40 % abv) and then bottled in Walkerville Ontario, the home of Canadian Club.

Here is a link to the 10th best Canadian Whisky of 2016:

#10 Canadian Club Chairman’s Select – 100% Rye

“… I am delighted by the impressions I receive in the air above the glass. As it should be, the Chairman’s Select 100 % Rye whisky is very rye forward with lots of fine peppery wood spice dancing with that rye in the breezes. Melded into the spicy rye is a lovely light sweetness of butterscotch with a gentle sweep of vanilla and a few bits of almond. I also receive strong impressions of freshly harvested grain fields with dusty chaff blowing in the wind and lots of fresh straw lying in the windrows …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 9 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: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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