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Archive for the ‘Moonshine and New-make’ Category

Review: Rig Hand White Dog Corn Distillate (An Aging Simulation)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 19, 2017

Rig Hand White Dog Corn Distillate aged for 14 weeks in a small 1 liter cask.

The Rig Hand Craft Distillery (formerly Big Rig Distillery) opened their doors on October 17, 2015 and they already have an impressive line-up of spirits for sale at their boutique store within the facility. These spirits include their Premium Vodka and their selections of White Dog Distillate (not whisky for three years yet); and as well as their intriguing Sugar Beet Brum.

The distillery’s White Dog Malted Corn Distillate is produced from 100 % Alberta grown corn distilled upon the company’s main still (Mighty Morley). This is a versatile still consisting of a large wash still, two columns, and a condenser. The columns are different sizes, a short 4-plate column is used for stripping the spirit (reducing the water content), and a tall 16-plate column is used for Vodka production. The Corn Distillate is distilled twice through the through short 4-plate column to produce a more flavourful spirit than if the 16 plate column had been used. After distillation the spirit is either filtered and reduced to bottling proof (53.4 % alcohol by volume for my sample) to be sold as White Dog Corn Distillate, or it is placed in re-used oak casks to become whisky in three years.

For this review, I decided to aged the distillate for 14 weeks in a small 1 litre oak barrel in an attempt to simulate the maturation of a premium well-aged whisky. As you can see from the picture I snapped of the final product (placed in a new decanter), the hue of the whisky had reached deep copper .

I thought it would be interesting to share my simulation results as a ‘Whisky in Progress Review’.

You can read the results here:

Review: Rig Hand White Dog Corn Distillate (An Aging Simulation)

” … The harsh astringency of the new make distillate and its firm vegetal notes had been soothed by the time in the barrel, and firm woody notes, hints of chocolate and pungent baking spice were now the dominating aspects of the whisky …”

Please enjoy my review, Chimo!

Please bear in mind that this was only a simulation and all conclusions reached should be interpreted with caution.

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Review: Red Cup Distillery Wheat Shine

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 23, 2017

This past winter (on January 31, 2017), I took a little tour east of Edmonton along the Yellowhead Highway to the Town of Vegreville. This small town, which lies about 100 km east of Edmonton, is in the heart of what I call Alberta’s rural Ukrainian Country, and it is home to the world’s largest Easter Egg or Pysanka.

I was visiting Rob and Barb de Groot at the new Red Cup Distillery to learn about the Distillery and to sample some of their locally made prairie moonshine.

When I arrived, I found that Rob and Barb had developed a spirit which hearkened back to a time before prohibition. This is a spirit which was first produced when a small rural population (who had immigrated from Europe) carried on a centuries old tradition of small pot distillation. Before prohibition, (with very few police to patrol the vast prairie) the tradition prospered. However first prohibition, and then government taxation, drove the spirit underground where it almost vanished. Fortunately for us today, distillers, Rob and his wife Barb have (through their steadfast research and commitment) brought back a spirit steeped in the agricultural heritage of Alberta.

Rob gave me a tour of the entire facility as I was stepped through the entire process from grain to glass. I was even allowed to take a few pictures (like the one of the small copper pot still) but, because much of what I was shown was proprietary, Rob asked me to be discrete in the manner in which I shared what I learned.

Fortunately I was given a bottle of Red Cup Distillery’s Wheat Shine, and I have decided to share my thoughts on that spirit, here on the website.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Red Cup Distillery Wheat Shine

“… The breezes above the glass are rich and complex. Wheat shines the brightest as a distinct porridge-like scent is immediately noticeable. There is more as mushy banana and plantain combined with a light grassiness rise up alongside the firm wheat aroma. Grilled zucchini and pumpkin, cooked pineapple, and citrus zest is hinted at as well …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my cocktail suggestion, The Mad Trapper.

Chimo!

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Whisky in Progress: Rig Hand White Dog Barley Distillate

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 11, 2017

The Rig Hand Craft Distillery (formerly Big Rig Distillery) opened their doors on October 17, 2015 and they already have an impressive line-up of spirits for sale at their boutique store within the facility. These spirits include their Premium Vodka and Wildrose Gin; their selections of White Dog Distillate (not whisky for three years yet); and as well as their intriguing Sugar Beet Brum. Additionally, they have been experimenting with an array of flavoured Vodkas some of which are bottled and ready for sale, and others which are in development. (I took a tour of the craft distillery last year and have slowly been working through the samples they gave me.)

The distillery’s White Dog Malted Barley Distillate is produced from 100 % Alberta grown Malted Barley distilled upon the company’s main still (Mighty Morley). The malted barley distillate is distilled twice through the through short 4-plate column to produce a more flavourful spirit than if the 16 plate column had been used. After distillation the spirit is either filtered and reduced to bottling proof (51.4 % alcohol by volume for my sample) to be sold as White Dog Malted Barley Distillate, or it is placed in re-used oak casks to become whisky in three years. When sold as White Dog, the spirit arrives with a stick of oak which the consumer can place in the bottle to ‘flavour’ the spirit so as to glean at least a small understanding of how the spirit’s flavour profile will change do to the oak flavours permeating the whisky.

With my sample I decided to go a step further by placing my bottle of White Dog into a brand new charred 1 litre oak cask. I allowed it to sit for 6 weeks in an aging simulation. I thought it would be cool to share the results with my readers as a ‘Whisky in Progress Review’.

Here is a link to that full review:

Whisky in Progress: Rig Hand White Dog Malted Barley Distillate

“… I can taste the influence of the oak as light butterscotch and chocolate flavours now reside alongside oak and grain spice. The spirit is still developing yet I can already sip my glass and find enjoyment. Orange peel and banana and a light almond-like flavour have also joined in the parade …”

Please enjoy the review!

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Review: Victoria Caledonian Mac na Braiche

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 26, 2017

mac-na-braiche-sam_3038The Victoria Caledonian Distillery has been on my radar for a while now. I first heard of it when founder Graeme Malconey invited me to an information seminar and whisky tasting several years ago. At that time the distillery was just in the planning stages and Graeme was touring the country raising money to build his distillery.

In the fall of 2016, word reached me that the Victoria Caledonian Brewery & Distillery had began to produce and age new make spirit. Then in January of 2017 Andrew Walls, Sales Manager and Brand Ambassador for the aforementioned distillery reached out to me asking if he could share some samples for me to review. He, in fact agreed to come all the way to my house in Edmonton and provided a private tasting for my tasting group, the Rum Chums. One of those spirits we sampled was a ‘whisky in progress’,  Victoria Caledonian Mac na Braiche.

Andrew left me with a sample, and although the spirit is not a whisky yet, I felt it deserved a full review on my website.

Here is a link to that review:

Review: Victoria Caledonian Mac na Braiche

“… The nose carries both the signature of both the ex red-wine cask and single malt whisky. I notice a ribbon of cherry-like turkish delight in the breezes wrapped up in fine oak spice and a malty sweetness. There are some impressions of dry raisins as well as canned pears and yellow-green apple slices. Bits of almond, vanilla, ginger spice and a light grassiness rounds out the aroma …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful new spirit from the Victoria Caledonian Distillery, chimo!

Note: The Victoria Caledonian Distillery And Brewery has a very interesting custom cask program which allows interested consumers to design and order their own custom cask from a variety of cask options. If you are interested, please contact Andrew Campbell Walls at Andrew@MacaloneyDistillers.com  or download the cask offer here:

http://vcaledonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Cask-Offer.pdf.

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