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Archive for the ‘Extras’ Category

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

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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 »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #11: Mount Gay Eclipse Gold

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 14, 2016

2016rum_howler_badge1703 is the year that the Mount Gay Rum was first produced on the Isle of Barbados, making Mount Gay Rum one of the oldest, if not the oldest brand of rum in the world. Because Barbados is situated as a gateway from the Atlantic to the Caribbean, sailors from the Old World often used the island as the  first resting point on the way to the New World.  This meant Barbados was ideally suited for trade between the two worlds in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.  Part of that trade was rum which is why the island is rightfully considered the birthplace of  the rum trade.

mount_gay_rum_eclipseIt was in 1910 that the appearance of Haley’s comet coincided with a total solar eclipse, and this event is said to have inspired Mount Gay to create their Eclipse Rum. The Eclipse is a traditional double distilled gold rum produced from copper pot stills and aged in white Kentucky oak barrels which were previously used to age bourbon.

Here is a link to the Number 11 Rum in my countdown of the Best Mixing Rums of 2016:

Review: Mount Gay Eclipse Gold

“… I began to add a small splash of cola to my glass.  Unlike the Eclipse Silver which did not seem to enjoy the cola, the Gold Eclipse Rum tasted absolutely wonderful with a dash of cola. I added only a small splash and the sharper notes of citrus peel and oak tannin melted into a wonderfully smooth cocktail. I mixed a few more cocktails, a daiquiri, a mojito and a few of my favourite rum cocktails  and was quite content with everything I tried. This Eclipse Rum is a good sipping rum and an excellent mixer …”

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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: #11: Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 14, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016,Forty Creek Whisky has for the last number of years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in the release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle. As well you can have your bottle signed by their own Master Distiller and Whisky Maker, John Hall, when you arrive to pick up your pre-ordered bottles. These special release whiskies are built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and are basically versions of this whisky which have spent additional time finishing in selected oak barrels.

sam_2878-founders-reserveWhat makes this year’s Limited Edition whisky unique is that it is the first of the Forty Creek expressions to be dominated by barley.

According to the folks at Forty Creek:

As the 10th Annual Limited Edition, Forty Creek is excited to introduce Founder’s Reserve – a special, rare whisky and a tribute to our founder, John K. Hall. John was a pioneer in the Canadian Whisky industry and after 10 years of special editions, it is only fitting we pay tribute to his legacy.

This whisky is an artful blend of rye, corn and barley whisky stocks. Barley is the dominant whisky with rye and corn whiskies added for further complexity. The whisky stocks have been aged from four to nine years in a mixture of both lightly toasted and heavily charred American White oak barrels.

Here is a link to the Number 11 Whisky in my 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown

#11: Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve

“… the dusty grain note increases in strength as the sweet maple and butterscotch notes begin to merge with the oak spice bringing me impressions of marzipan and marmalade. I decided to allow the glass to breath for a full ten minutes and the oak and dusty grain continued to increase joined now by some leathery notes of burlap and deep tobacco scents. At this point I am extremely impressed …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the number 10 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: #11: Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #12: Monymusk Classic Gold Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 13, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeMonymusk Classic Gold Rum is produced in Jamaica by a partnership called the National Rums of Jamaica. The spirit is produced at the Claredon Distillery (also called the Monymusk Distillery), near Lionel Town in the heart of Jamaica’s sugar cane producing region. The Claredon Distillery contains a modern column still plant and a second older plant with two  double-retort pot stills.

brooklynitesam_2847While the vast majority of the rum distillate produced at the distillery is destined for bulk sales (much of it to Diageo), about 10 % of the rum distilled is set down to rest in American Oak barrels and aged at the NJR facility at Innswood, an older distillery which now serves as an aging and blending facility for Claredon.

Monymusk Classic Gold Rum was produced from aged rum from both the modern column plant and the double-retort pot stills.

Here is a link to the Number 12 Mixing Rum in my Top 50 Countdown:

#12: Monymusk Classic Gold Rum

“… The Jamaican pot still is in evidence as I notice camphor, some black licorice, a light menthol coolness, and a touch of brine-like saltiness. The flavours across the palate are true to what the nose had promised. Perhaps there is a touch more sweetness and perhaps a little stronger oak presence than I expected; however the Jamaican pot still remains the centerpiece of the rum’s flavour. With an ice-cube the rum is very easy to sip and enjoy. With a light dollop of cola, it becomes a great bar-drink especially as the pot still flavours push through …”

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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, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #12: Monymusk Classic Gold Rum

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #12: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 13, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky is a new blend from the folks who run the Crown Royal Distillery in Gimli, Manitoba. It is a bit of a throwback in style as the whisky features a heavy dose whisky produced from Canadian Winter Rye grain in the blend (almost 90% of the spirit is produced from Canadian Winter Rye grain). Winter rye imparts a robust spiciness throughout the spirit when distilled which (in my opinion) provides a much stronger ‘Canadian Whisky’ feel for this particular Crown Royal Whisky than we find with the flagship blend Crown Royal Deluxe which is produced predominantly from corn rather than rye.

Northern Harvest RyeThis movement towards a more rye forward flavour profile seems to be a common theme within the Crown Royal family as two other recently released blends (Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, and the Limited Edition Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend) have recently followed that common path.

Here is a link to the Number 12 Whisky in my 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown:

#12: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

“… The initial smells from the glass are enticing as I notice some obvious notes of golden delicious yellow apples and some green grapes rising into the air alongside sourdough rye notes which hint at milk chocolate. As the glass breathes, I sense a stronger underlying oakiness within the spirit as fine wood spices rise into the air. The merry little breezes above the glass are tinged with crisp spicy rye notes as well …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the number 11 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: #12: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

 
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