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 2,073 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Top Posts

  • What People are Saying:

    Arctic Wolf on Contact Me
    JerW on Contact Me
    Arctic Wolf on Contact Me
    captain krunk on Contact Me
    Robert on Last Mountain Sweet Tea Flavou…
    Arctic Wolf on Contact Me
  • Archives

  • Visitors

    • 9,751,571 pageviews since inception

Archive for the ‘Whisk(e)y’ Category

#100: Kicking Things off with Stalk and Barrel Blue Blend

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 16, 2017

The Rum Howler Top 100 Canadian Whisky Countdown kicks off with a brand new whisky from Barry Bernstein and Barry Stein own and run the Still Water Distillery.

#100 Stalk and Barrel Blue Blend

“… The nose is rye and corn forward with hints of anise and a few touches of sour fruit. Dusty sandalwood spices follow with clear impressions of vanilla and almond. I noticed some hints of canned fruit (peaches and apricots) and a building sweetness …”

Of course you can follow the countdown on Twitter  (#Top100CanadianWhisky) or check in on my Reveal Page which will be updated about once per week.

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

Enjoy the Countdown: Chimo!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Note: As indicated yesterday, I will not be posting every whisky in my countdown here on the website, but I am going to try to highlight every Canadian spirit that I have not reviewed previously. (Rum Howler on Twitter)

Advertisements

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Oh My: The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 15, 2017

Tomorrow, I will begin to reveal my largest ever round-up of Canadian Whisky, The Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017.

That’s right, the best 100 Canadian Whiskies in the nation!

When I published my first such list for Canadian Whisky in 2013, I was only able to include 25 spirits. Even then, I remember one person commenting on my website that they didn’t even know that there were 25 different Canadian Whiskies. Things have really changed. Most major distilleries in Canada have broadened their whisky portfolios by added new whisky brands. We may have lost some brands (for example Highwood Distillers have recently discontinued their Century 21 Reserve and Lot1525 Reserve); but many more brands have been added. In addition to the new brands available from Canada’s major distillers, we have had a sudden influx of new Micro-distillers (some like Shelter Point in British Columbia are not so micro) across the Country who in the last few years have began to market and sell their whisky regionally and across Canada.

As well as being the largest such list I have ever compiled, this list is also current. All of the Whiskies on this list are available in Canada at this time. I have also tasted and reviewed all of these whiskies within the past three years. Most of the reviews were based upon full bottle samples provided to me by industry; however, in order to include many of the new regional whiskies, and the new spirits from our young Micro-distilling industry, I also have included whiskies which I tasted and reviewed based upon the samples and tasting notes I generated as a juror for the 2017 Canadian Whisky Awards. (Davin De Kergommeaux does a great job with these awards, and last year in particular he did a fantastic job in discovering new Canadian Whiskies for the judges to rank and score.)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Unlike other years, I am not planning to reveal every whisky with a front page posting (I will be revealing each whisky one at a time on Twitter instead.) However, I will be providing a front page post whenever the countdown reaches a whisky which I have either not reviewed before or a whisky whose character has changed such that a new review is needed. Additionally, when I reach the final 25 to Canadian Whiskies in early December, (just before Christmas), I will reveal those best spirits in a daily countdown as I have in years past.

This means that to follow the entire list on a daily basis, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter). And then in December follow my postings here of the Rum Howler Blog.

Another easy way to follow the countdown is to view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

This is my largest Canadian Whisky Countdown ever, I hope you all enjoy it!
( PS: use the hashtags  #Rumhowler  #Top100CanadianWhisky)

 

 

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Pure Scot Blended Scotch Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 8, 2017

The Bladnoch Distillery was founded in 1817 which means that this year Bladnoch is celebrating its 200th year. The Distillery was built in the lowlands on the River Bladnoch by two brothers, John and Thomas McClelland. It is in fact, the southernmost whisky distillery in Scotland, and at 200 years of age, one of the oldest Lowland Scotch Whisky producers.

After a recent retrofit, the Distillery has began to resume production and Bladnoch has released two new Blended Scotch Whiskies (Pure Scot and Pure Scot Virgin Oak 43) and three new Single Malt Whiskies (Bladnoch Samsara, Bladnoch Adela, and Bladnoch Talia). These expressions are just beginning to arrive in the Canada.

The subject of this review, Pure Scot Blended Scotch Whisky, is a blending of Bladnoch Single Malt Whisky with aged Speyside, Highland and Islay Malts. The whisky has no age statement, however it is known that the Bladnoch Single Malt Whiskies used in its construction are at least nine years old. The final whisky is chill filtered and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Pure Scot Blended Scotch Whisky

“… The breezes above the glass reveal a lightly sweet whisky in which butterscotch is playing nicely with wisps of oak and grain spice and malt barley. As I let the glass breathe I noticed some vanilla melding with nutty almond and hazelnuts which reminded me somewhat of marzipan, and some indications of canned fruit (peaches and apricots) …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a new cocktail, Cerise Old Fashioned.

Chimo!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Red Cask Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 2, 2017

The Wayne Gretzky Distillery had its grand opening this past June (on the weekend of the 9th, 10th and 11th). The new 23,000 square foot facility (a cooperative effort between Andrew Peller (Wines) LTD. and the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky) was constructed over two years and includes both a winery and a distillery as well as tasting areas and barrel aging cellar.

Prior to the grand opening, the distillery released its first Canadian Whisky, Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Red Cask Canadian Whisky.

According to the Wayne Gretzky Estates website information:

”  Wayne Gretzky No. 99 ‘Red Cask’ Canadian Whisky is made in small batches from grain (rye, malted rye and corn) that has been individually mashed, fermented and distilled. After aging, the whisky is finished with red wine casks from the Wayne Gretzky winery. “

Of course the Wayne Gretzky Distillery has not been operating long enough to have distilled their own Canadian Whisky. This means the new spirit was produced at a third-party Canadian Distillery. However, Joshua Beach (Wayne Gretzky Distillery’s Master Blender) apparently oversaw the production of the Whisky that bears the Distillery’s name.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Red Cask Canadian Whisky

“… When I brought the glencairn to my nose to inspect the breezes above the glass, I noticed touches of butterscotch with dusty rye and oodles of clean wood spice. There is a hint of cinnamon in the air as well as just a trace of red cherry licorice and a few wisps of vanilla …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my recommended serving, the High Level Streetcar No. 99.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Pemberton Valley Organic Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 29, 2017

The Pemberton Distillery is located in the heart of the Coast Mountains, an area known for its massive ice caps and pure glacial streams. The Master Distiller, Tyler Schramm, studied a Masters of Science in Brewing & Distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. The distillery first broke onto the scene in August of 2009 with their Schramm Organic Vodka (reviewed here), an authentic sipping vodka produced  from whole organic potatoes (grown just 15 km from the distillery in the Pemberton Valley). This special Vodka is produced using an all natural fermentation process that does not use of chemicals, synthetic anti-foaming agents, or additives. In fact, the distillery boasts that they follow the same traditional methods used by single malt scotch distilleries. They distill in small batches using a hand-operated copper pot still, and the entire distillation is performed by Tyler Schramm, who is continuously testing and sampling the distillate for quality.

All that care and attention which the distillery displayed in producing their organic vodka has also been turned towards their production of Single Malt Whisky. According to the Pemberton Distillery website the spirit is:

” A true West Coast style single malt Whisky. Pot distilled in small batches from organic BC malted barley …”

I was sent a bottle from Cask No. 4 which was distilled in September of 2012, and bottled in April of 2017. The Whisky was matured in an ex bourbon cask and bottled at 44 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Pemberton Valley Organic Single Malt Whisky

“… My first impression was of warm buttermilk porridge with firm nutty smells of barley wafting upwards. There is a leather-like impression which reminds me of burlap, and hints of sweetness which seem like graham wafers dipped in cane syrup …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding Single Malt Whisky which includes a my recipe recommendation, Provenance.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Summer Cocktail #3: The Whisky Splash

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 18, 2017

Some of my favourite mixed drinks are what I call ‘deck drinks’. I have written about this serving style before; they are libations which we can easily mix with no cocktail shakers, no fancy garnishes, and most importantly of all, no fuss! The best deck drinks have only three ingredients, a base spirit, a mixer (soda or juice) and ice. Rum and Coke, and Gin and Seven are good examples of the deck drink craft. Sometimes, rather than soda, I will use fresh citrus juice. Vodka and Orange Juice (a Screwdriver) is a good example of a citrus based deck drink.

Although I like short cocktails (shaken or stirred), the truth is that when I am on my back deck with friends, I sometimes do not want to take the time to measure ingredients into my cocktail shaker or mixing glass let alone taking even more time to shake and double strain the final serving into a fancy glass. And in fact, it is not unusual for me to have a variety of juice and sodas with ice in my back yard cooler so everyone who has joined me can mix their own servings with whichever spirit they happen to have brought over that day.

Recently, the good folks at Glazer’s sent me a bottle of Revel Stoke Deluxe Canadian Whisky  which is a product of the Phillips Distilling Company. The spirit is named for the town of Revelstoke, located in the mountains of British Columbia. The whisky itself is not produced in British Columbia; instead it is distilled on the other side of those mountains at an undisclosed Canadian Distillery. According to the producer’s website, the whisky is produced by blending a young 3-year-old whisky (the youngest allowed by Canadian Law) with a more mature 8-year-old whisky. The final blend is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume, and during our recent spate of hot weather I found it to be an ideal spirit to enjoy in the Deck Drink format. The Whisky Splash made with Revel Stoke Deluxe Canadian Whisky is the third mixed drink in my Summer Cocktail round-up.

The Whisky Splash

2 oz Revel Stoke Canadian Whisky
2 Large Ice-cubes
Splash of Ginger-ale (1 -3 oz depending upon your preference)

Add the Ice-cubes to a rocks glass
Pour the Revel Stoke over the ice
Add a splash of Ginger Ale (to taste)
Garnish with a lime slice
Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

______________________

BTW: Here is a link to my previously published review of this wonderful Canadian Whisky:

Review: Revel Stoke Deluxe Canadian Whisky

“… The flavour of the whisky leads out with a lightly sweet impression of toffee alongside both bitter and spicy rye grain. The mouthfeel is soft, however the whisky has plenty of wood spice to both heat and pucker the palate between sips.  This is a dusty dry whisky, and as I sip, impressions of ripened grain fields and dry grassy hay lands both find their way into my consciousness …”

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer Cocktail #3: The Whisky Splash

Review: Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 7, 2017

Bernard and Rosemary Walsh began producing their own independent Irish Whiskey brands in 2007 with the introduction of The Irishman 70 (aka The Irishman Original Clan in the USA) and The Irishman – Single Malt. In 2009 they expanded the portfolio with the introduction Writers Tears, a boutique brand which was created to bring additional nuance to the Irish Whiskey Category. Although these brands are distilled and aged by a third-party distillery, Bernard and Rosemary recently opened the Walsh Whiskey Distillery and began to produce their own new-make spirit in 2016.

The subject of this review, Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whisky, This Whiskey is a vatting of Single Malt and Single Pot Still whiskeys (60% Pot Still and 40% Single Malt), triple-distilled, and aged in American Oak ex-bourbon casks.

Here is a link to my full Review:

Review: Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey

“… I really like the nose which seems very well-balanced with just the right amounts of spice and sweetness. Although the oak and barley-like scents dominate, they do not smother the lighter nuances which continue to wind their way into the breezes above the glass …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my latest mixed drink creation, the Munster Cocktail.

Chimo!

Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey

Review: The Irishman Founder’s Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 28, 2017

Bernard and Rosemary Walsh began producing their own independent Irish Whiskey brands in 2007 with the introduction of The Irishman 70 (aka The Irishman Original Clan in the USA) and The Irishman – Single Malt. In 2009 they expanded the portfolio with the introduction Writers Tears, a boutique brand which was created to bring additional nuance to the Irish Whiskey Category. Although these brands are distilled and aged by a third-party distillery, Bernard and Rosemary recently opened the Walsh Whiskey Distillery and began to produce their own new-make spirit in 2016.

The subject of this review is Walsh Whiskey’s flagship brand The Irishman Founder’s Reserve. This is a direct descendant of The Irishman 70, made to the same recipe of 70 % Single Malt Irish Whiskey and 30 % Single Pot Still Whiskey (with no column distilled whiskey in the blend at all).

Here is the link to my full Review:

Review: The Irishman Founder’s Reserve

“… The immediate nose brings a nice combination of fine oak and grain spices forward with hints of ginger and orange peel in the breezes. This is quickly followed by nutty barley grain with aromas of hazelnut, almond, burlap and leather. A light sweep of vanilla with hints of baking spice (cinnamon and nutmeg) works its way into the air above the glass as do light impression of poplar and willow …”

I hope you enjoy the review, please stay tuned as next week I will take a look at the Writer’s Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey.

Chimo!

Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: The Irishman Founder’s Reserve

Forty Creek Heritage

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 26, 2017

Forty Creek Founder John Hall with some of his award winning Whiskies!

It’s that time of year again as each year in May or June, Forty Creek Whisky announces their annual special limited release whisky. This years release has been named Forty Creek Heritage, and it is an homage to their first ever, and most sought after release, Forth Creek Three Grain.

Once again the Forty Creek Distillery has invited the public to participate in this special release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle.

According to the press release I received yesterday, this special whisky was crafted from specially selected barrels of corn, rye, and barley whiskies.  The blended whiskies were finished in toasted American Oak barrels (as opposed to more traditionally used charred American Oak) to release more elegant vanilla flavours and to highlight the bold wood spices of the toasted oak. Less than 16,500 bottles will be released across both Canada and the United States at a retail price of $74.95.

This year the process to reserve you own special bottle is a little different from before:

How to Reserve Your Bottle:

  1. Visit www.fortycreekwhisky.com 
  2. Choose the ‘Whisky Weekend’ option from the top menu, then select the ‘Bottle Reservations’ option from the sub-menu.
  3. You will be prompted to either ‘Login’, or ‘Create an account’.  If it is your first time visiting, select the ‘Create an Account’ option and fill in the appropriate information.
  4. As part of the registration process, Forty Creek asks that you provide a mobile phone number.  This will help us to better fulfill your order on Whisky Weekend – we will be able to message you know when your bottle is ready for pickup! (I do not use a mobile phone nor do I ever disclose a phone number just to make a retail purchase so for me this may be problematic.)
  5. Once your account has been created, you will be prompted to select a number.  If your number has already been chosen by someone else, you will receive an error message and be asked to try another number.
  6. This year, you must pay a $20, non-refundable deposit to reserve your bottle.  This is to ensure that more numbers are available to be reserved by true Forty Creek fans. The $20.00 amount will be deducted from the total purchase price of your bottle of Forty Creek Heritage when you pick it up from our retail store.

THE RESERVATION WINDOW WILL BE OPEN FOR ONE WEEK, BEGINNING MONDAY JUNE 26th.

Numbers will be reserved on a first come, first served basis.  Due to provincial and federal regulations, the bottle reservation offer is only available in Ontario, Canada as unfortunately, Forty Creek cannot ship bottles, and they must be purchased and picked up at the Forty Creek distillery in Grimsby, Ontario. (I usually have a friend pick up my bottles for me.)

Normally when I get these press releases from Forty Creek, some tasting notes and a little more information about the whisky is available (such as the bottling proof) to assist the consumer in making their purchase decision. Hopefully I will soon receive little more information as well as a bottle shot to add to this posting.

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Howls, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Forty Creek Heritage

Review: Writers Tears Red Head Single Malt Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 16, 2017

Bernard and Rosemary Walsh began producing their own independent Irish Whiskey brands in 2007 with the introduction of The Irishman 70 (aka The Irishman Original Clan in the USA) and The Irishman – Single Malt. In 2009 they expanded the portfolio with the introduction Writers Tears, a boutique brand which was created to bring additional nuance to the Irish Whiskey Category. Although these brands are distilled and aged by a third-party distillery, Bernard and Rosemary recently opened the Walsh Whiskey Distillery and began to produce their own new-make spirit in 2016.

The subject of this review, Writers Tears Red Head Single Malt Irish Whisky, is a triple-distilled spirit matured in Spanish butts which were previously seasoned with Olorosso sherry. The Sherry butts impart both flavour and a coppery orange hue which has given rise to the name of the Whiskey, ‘Red Head’.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Writers Tears Red Head Single Malt Irish Whiskey

“… I gave the glass about ten minutes to breathe and the fine oak spices did not relent although I should note that there was also an accompanying sweetness of caramel and malt which promised to balance the dram. The different scents and smells melded together creating an impression of an oak and raisin syrup which was most delightful …”

Please enjoy my review Writer’s Tears Red Head Irish Single Malt Whiskey (released in Ontario this past Saturday through Vintages).

Chimo!

Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Writers Tears Red Head Single Malt Whiskey

 
%d bloggers like this: