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 2,070 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

    • 9,747,717 pageviews since inception

Archive for the ‘Canadian Whisky’ 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: 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

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: Last Mountain Private Reserve Wheat Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 5, 2017

The Last Mountain Distillery is Saskatchewan’s first micro distillery. It is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Colin and Meredith Schmidt. After Colin left his hockey career with the Edmonton Oilers behind, he and his wife, Meredith began to look for business opportunities in Saskatchewan, and the idea of starting up their own micro-distillery still appealed strongly to both of them. To make a long story short, in August of 2010, the ambitions and hard work of Colin and Meredith paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.

According to the distillery website,  Last Mountain’s Private Reserve Whisky is a blend of 4 to 5-year-old wheat whisky which has been aged in a combination of used bourbon barrels and then finished in new 10 gallon oak barrels.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Last Mountain Private Reserve Wheat Whisky

“… The rich nose does not disappoint in terms of flavour across the palate. I taste yummy butterscotch and maple melding with oakspice, leather and tobacco. There is a very appealing rye-like flavour and bitterness as well as a dusty dry spiciness which features both grain and wood spice combining with orange pith and touches of cinnamon …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful Canadian Whisky from Saskatchewan’s First Micro Distillery.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Last Mountain Private Reserve Wheat Whisky

The Hansen Distillery

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 19, 2017

Head Distiller Kris Sustrik

On January 26, 2017, I attended the VIP Launch Event for the Hansen Distillery, a brand new Craft Distiller situated here in Edmonton. The small distillery is located in Edmonton’s West End (17412 111 Ave NW), and the launch included a small tour of the distillery as well as an evening of cocktails made from Hansen’s craft spirit.

The Hansen Distillery has an unlikely history that began in the midst of the Great Depression when Carl and Amanda Hansen began to make moonshine in Southern Alberta. As I learned at the VIP event, this wasn’t about running ‘shine across the border to make tons of money off Prohibition, this was about keeping their farm and feeding a growing family by providing a little hooch for local socials and dances. Apparently Amanda made the moonshine, and Carl made it available to the local community. When World War II ended, the Depression was over as well, and Carl and Amanda left moonshining behind to go back to farming full-time. Of course they continued to distill the odd batch here and there for family occasions, and the recipe Amanda created was handed down to her children, and then to her grand children, and finally all the way to great-grandchildren, Kris and Shayna Sustrik. Kris and Shyna have decided to relaunch that family tradition and together they built the new Hansen Distillery here in Edmonton Alberta.

Border Crossing Rye Spirit

For more complete information about the Hansen Distillery you can follow this link to read about the launch event and my subsequent my tour of the facility.

The Hansen Distillery Tour

and if you are interested in how their spirit tastes, here is a link to my review of their Border Crossing Rye Spirit (a 100% locally Alberta-grown, un-aged white rye).

Review: Hansen Border Crossing Rye Spirit

“… The nose is very interesting with scents of mushy banana and plantain rising alongside zesty citrus notes and fresh spicy rye grain. Grilled zucchini and pineapple are hinted at as well …”

Please enjoy both the distillery tour and my Border Crossing Rye review which incidentally includes a great signature cocktail designed especially for the rye spirit called the Green Card.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Distillery Tour | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on The Hansen Distillery

Review: Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 1, 2017

northumberland-sam_3013

Northumberland Cocktail

Caldera Distilling is a new Canadian distillery located in the historical shipbuilding community of River John, in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Interestingly, on the distillery property, (inside a barn which has been standing since at least 1939) a curious handwritten notation was found on one of the old supporting beams of the structure. This notation reads, “October 18 1939 Storm”. When the official records for the area were inspected, it was discovered that this particular storm was recorded as Hurricane #5.

Apparently this Atlantic storm was so severe that someone thought to make note of it in this particular place. I am only guessing, but perhaps the barn served as a refuge of sorts for someone, or perhaps a group of people who were seeking protection from the hurricane. Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky serves as a link to this piece of history regarding the River John community and the storm known as Hurricane #5.

Here is a link to my latest Canadian Whisky Review:

Review: Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky

“… The entry is smooth with an interesting combination of fruity rye and sweet corn. Flavours of butterscotch and vanilla mingle with fine wood spice, and soon impressions of baking spices develop as well (cinnamon and a touch of cloves and nutmeg). There is a little orange peel struggling to make the transition to marmalade, and a light winding of grassy tobacco and nutty almond flavours …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my latest cocktail creation, the Northumberland Cocktail.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky

Review: Last Mountain Single Cask 100 % Wheat Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 15, 2017

last-mountain-wheat-sam_2952The Last Mountain Distillery is Saskatchewan’s first micro distillery. It is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Colin and Meredith Schmidt. After Colin left his hockey career with the Edmonton Oilers behind, he and his wife, Meredith began to look for business opportunities in Saskatchewan, and the idea of starting up their own micro-distillery still appealed strongly to both of them. To make a long story short, in August of 2010, the ambitions and hard work of Colin and Meredith paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.

Last Mountain’s Single Cask Wheat Whisky is Saskatchewan’s first Single Cask Wheat Whisky, and it is produced from wheat grown at the Brewster Farm in Earl Grey, SK. The whisky is drawn from a single cask once used bourbon barrel, non blended and non chill filtered. It is bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review of this wonderful craft whisky:

Review: Last Mountain Single Cask 100 % Wheat Whisky

“… The initial nose is enticing with woodspice, butterscotch, honeycomb and vanilla as well as yummy accents which remind me of graham wafers dipped in corn syrup. I also notice very light baking spices with cinnamon and hints coarse yellow/brown sugar. For a young whisky, this dram is surprisingly complex. …”

Please enjoy my review of Saskatchewan’s first Single Cask Whisky which include my cocktail suggestion, The Last Saskatchewan Pirate.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: