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Archive for the ‘Whisk(e)y’ Category

Review: George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Sour Mash Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 24, 2016

George Dickel No. 12George Dickel Whisky is produced at the Cascade Distillery in Cascade Hollow, Tennessee, near Tullahoma, by George A Dickel & Co. (the brand is currently owned by Diageo). As a Tennessee Whisky, George Dickel is required by state law to be not only produced in Tennessee, it must also undergo charcoal filtering through the use of what is called the Lincoln County Process (which involves maple charcoal filtering). As well, all Tennessee Whisky must meet all the requirements in place for bourbon whisky. It must have a mash bill of at least 51 % corn, it must be aged in new charred oak barrels with limits on the alcohol concentration for distillation, aging, and bottling).

The No. 12 brand is therefore both a bourbon (although it is not labeled so) and a Tennessee Whisky. It is produced from a mash bill of 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley. The twice distilled mash is matured in oak with #4 Char, and the final whisky is bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Sour Mash Whisky

“… The breezes above the glass brought me maple and corn syrup, some oak and wood sap, and a very nice impression of damp cigar tobacco. There is both honeycomb and cedar and perhaps a touch of grain spice in the air with obvious some vanilla accents and some baking spices (cinnamon, clove and nutmeg) which seem to grow as we let the glass breathe …”

Please enjoy my review!

Chimo!

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Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 12, 2016

founder's ReserveIt’s that time of year again, each year in May or June, Forty Creek Whisky announces their annual special limited release whisky. This years release has been named Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve, and the distillery is once again inviting the public to participate in the release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle.

Reservations for choosing your bottles open at noon on Monday, June 2nd and continue until 5:00 p.m. on June 16th, 2016. Of course numbers are available on a first come basis and no two bottle numbers will be the same. (Only 12000 bottles will be produced.)

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.

The new special release whisky will be bottled at 45% alcohol by volume, and you can find more information here:

Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve

(I find it interesting that barley whiskies will dominate the Founder’s reserve blend. I usually reserve a few specially numbered bottles of these Limited Special Release Whiskies for myself, and this year will be no different.)

 

 

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Review: Girvan 1979 – 35 Year Old Single Grain Whisky (Cask #900009)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 9, 2016

W&M Girvan 35 SAM_2514Wilson and Morgan is an independent bottler of Scotch Whisky based in Italy. The company was founded in 1992 by Fabio Rossi who also founded Rum Nation. Wilson and Morgan specialize in high quality single grain and single malt whiskies which have been purchased by the barrel from selected Scottish distillers. The whisky barrels purchased range in age from 10 years to 30 years and are left to age (usually at the distillery where they were purchased) until they are ready to be bottled sometimes after they have been re-casked for finishing in port, rum or Marsala casks.

The Girvan distillery is located in the Lowland region of Scotland in South Ayrshire. The distillery (currently owned by William Grant & Sons) was founded in 1963 and features six column stills which produce grain whisky from a mix of 90 % wheat and 10 % barley.

The Girvan 1979 – 35 Year Old Single Grain Whisky was distilled in 1979 and bottled in 2015. This offering is bottled at cask strength (51.6% alcohol by volume), and is part of Wilson and Morgan’s Collector’s Edition which comprises of special bottlings all of which are currently aged 30 years or more.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Girvan 1979 – 35 Year Old Single Grain Whisky (Cask #900009)

“… a combination of butterscotch and maple scents have melded themselves into the grain and wood spice bringing about a wonderful richness which almost makes my mouth water. Canned fruit (apricots and peaches) aromas are quite obvious in the breezes and cherry-like scents akin to red licorice are hinted at as well. Baking spices (vanilla and bits of cinnamon) and almond turning to marzipan round out the nose which is extremely inviting …”

Please enjoy my review of the well aged wheat based grain whisky.

Chimo!

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Review: Bulleit Small Batch 95 Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 30, 2016

Bulleit RyeBulleit Small Batch 95 Rye Frontier Whiskey (bottled as Bulleit Frontier Rye Whisky in Canada) is bottled at 45% alcohol by volume and (according to the Bulleit  website) the spirit is a straight whiskey produced from a heavy rye mashbill (95 % rye) which also contains a small amount of malted barley (5 %). The whiskey carries no age statement, however based upon my tastings I would estimate the age of the spirit to be in the range of 5 years old with some of the whiskey possibly older, and some of the whiskey possibly younger.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Bulleit Small Batch 95 Rye Whiskey

“… Dusty dry grain and honeycomb are evident. There is a sense of fresh tobacco with some light baking spices (vanilla, ginger and cinnamon) and maple syrup. As the glass sits, woody oak smells build, some bittersweet chocolate drifts into the air and more rye grain and rye spice well up into the breezes …”

Please enjoy the review.

Chimo!

 

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Review: Cameronbridge 1984 – 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 18, 2016

Cameron Bridge 1984Wilson and Morgan is an independent bottler of Scotch Whisky based in Italy. The company was founded in 1992 by Fabio Rossi who also founded Rum Nation. Wilson and Morgan specialize in single grain and single malt whiskies which have been purchased by the barrel from selected Scottish distillers. The whisky barrels  purchased range in age from 10 years to 30 years and are left to age (usually at the distillery where they were purchased) until they are ready to be bottled sometimes after they have been re-casked for finishing in port, rum or Marsala casks.

The 1984 Cameronbridge 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky was distilled in 1984 and bottled in 2015. The whisky is part of Wilson and Morgan’s Collector’s Edition which comprises of special bottlings all of which are currently aged 30 years or more. Because of the small number of bottles obtained from cask #12973, it was most probably an ex-bourbon hogshead. (After checking with Morgan and Wilson, I learned that the whisky had never been re-casked or subjected to any special finishing process.) This 1984 Cameronbridge offering is bottled at cask strength (56.7% alcohol by volume).

Here is a link to my full review of this well aged Single Grain Whisky:

Review: Cameronbridge 1984 – 30 Year Old Single Grain (Cask #12973)

“… Coarse brown sugar mixed with vanilla and bits of cinnamon make my mouth water as impressions of my Mom’s famous cinnamon rolls  have began to form in my consciousness. Within all of that rich goodness are light herbaceous impressions of grassy meadows and piny forests …”

Please enjoy this review, and you can look forward to more reviews from the Wilson and Morgan Collector’s Edition Series in the months that follow.

Chimo!

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Review: Sonoma County Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 2, 2016

Sonoma Rye SAM_2393The Sonoma County Distilling Company is located in Sonoma County, California. The company was founded in 2010 with the intention to bring spirits to the market using a ‘Grain to Glass’ philosophy. The production is done in-house including mashing and fermentation of grains, direct-fire copper pot distillation, maturing the spirits in American oak barrels, as well as bottling and labeling.

Several of their whiskey spirits have hit Alberta store shelves including their Sonoma County Rye Whiskey. According to the information provided to me the whiskey is produced from a mash bill of 100 % Rye, the primary grain being Canadian unmalted rye (80%) with a smaller proportion being malted rye from the UK (20%).

The Sonoma County Rye Whiskey is bottled at varying alcohol proofs depending upon the blenders decision for that bottling. My sample bottle is showing me a full 98 proof on the label.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Sonoma County Rye Whiskey

“… The aroma is full of thick rye notes mingled with woody tones of fresh-cut planks. This is followed by both honeycomb and sweet caramel as well as some bittersweet treacle. There are also firm impressions of baking spices (allspice, vanilla nutmeg, and cinnamon) with a few of chocolate-like notes drifting alongside, and a growing push of damp cigar tobacco. I am impressed …”

Please enjoy the review, Chimo!

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Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 18, 2016

Knappague12 YrKnappogue Castle Irish Whiskey is produced by Castle Brands who are an international owner of premium spirits brands which are sold primarily in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Irish whiskey brand pays homage to the historic Knappogue Castle in County Clare, Ireland which was originally built by Clan MacNamara in 1467.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey is a triple distilled Irish Whiskey (most probably produced at the Middleton Distillery) made from unpeated barley one batch at a time in copper pot stills. The spirit is aged in ex-bourbon barrels for at least 12 years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

“… The immediate nose is appealing with scents of budding willow trees alongside sandalwood and grain spice. There is also a beguiling malty sweetness. The spirit seems very mellow and approachable, and this suits my current mood as the winter snow is melting in the backyard and the warm sunshine of springtime is heading my way.”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful Irish Whiskey.

Chimo!

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Review: Sonoma County 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 1, 2016

2nd chance wheat whiskeyThe Sonoma County Distilling Company is located in the in Sonoma County (California. The company was founded in 2010 with the intention to bring spirits to the market using a ‘Grain to Glass’ philosophy. The production is done in-house including the mashing and fermentation of grains, the direct-fired copper pot distillation, maturing the spirits in American oak barrels, as well as bottle labeling.

Several of their new whiskey spirits have hit Alberta store shelves including their new 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey. According to the information sheets given to me the whiskey is produced from a mash bill of 80% Canadian Winter Wheat, and 20% Malted Rye from the United Kingdom.

Head distiller (and Owner), Adam Speigel, uses natural gas fire heated stills (two 250 gallon Copper Alembic Pot Onion Head Stills and one 125 gallon Copper Alembic Pot Onion Head Still) and no synthetic enzymes in his fermentation process to produce the whiskey distillate. The whiskey is aged in both 15 gallon and 30 gallon used American Oak barrels from Minnesota with a third degree char. (Each of these barrels was previously used to age rye whiskey.) Individual barrels in the blend are each aged a minimum of one year, with some of the barrels for the blend aged over two years.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Sonoma County 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey

“… The initial aroma has some mild butterscotch and toffee aromas with a creamy ‘porridge’ like scent reaching up from further in the glass. There are bits of dry fruit and orange peel drifting into the breezes, and as I let the glass sit, I notice very light rye and baking spices with vanilla, cinnamon and hints coarse yellow sugar …”

Please enjoy my latest whiskey review.

 

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Review: Catto’s Rare Old Scottish Blended

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 15, 2016

Catto'sJames Catto launched his Rare Old Scottish Highland Whisky in 1861. Today the brand is within the portfolio of Inver House Distillers.

According to the information provided to me and what I could glean from the James Catto’s Blended Scotch Whisky website, Catto’s Rare Old Scottish blended scotch whisky is Catto’s flagship whisky brand. It is produced from a blend of Inver House Distilleries’ (Old Pulteney, anCnoc, and Balblair)  Highland and Speyside unpeated Single Malts, and from Lowland grain whisky.

The whisky was presented to me as a low-cost ‘bar rail’ brand, although the Ontario Agent for the brand (Woodman Wines and Spirits) was also quick to point out that Jim Murray had given the whisky an astonishing score of 92 points of his 2015 ‘Whisky Bible‘ publication. The blend is reputed to have a very high malt content which might be part of the reason it appealed to Jim so much.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Catto’s Rare Old Scottish Blended

“… The initial nose rising into the breezes above the glass has a firm aroma of malt and honey which is accented by a hint of peat (or perhaps sherry smoke), some fine grain spices, and a light herbaceous note reminiscent of heather and mint. Bits of orange peel add another dimension of spice, and some green grapes and cherry-like impressions …”

Please enjoy the review!

 

 

 

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Review: Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 2, 2016

Evan Williams SAM_1709Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a whiskey brand produced and bottled in Kentucky by Heaven Hill. This company refers to its entry-level whiskey as a ‘black label brand’, and as such it is meant to be the flag bearer of the Evan Williams line-up. The whiskey has no age statement, however the Evan Williams website tells us that it is aged longer than required by law. (Straight whiskeys must by law be aged for 2 years in new oak barrels; however, if they do not have an age statement they must be aged for 4 years. )

Here is a link to my review of the Evan Williams Black label Bourbon:

Review: Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon

“… The initial aroma is nice with scents of corn-syrup and maple mingling with oak and wood sap. There are also pungent spicy tobacco aromas, a gentle hay-like grassiness, a few indications of raisins, bits of orange peel, and a mild influences of canned apricots in the breezes. A light banana-like aroma is hinted at …”

Please Enjoy my review.

Chimo!

______________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested, here is a link to another of my whiskey reviews of the Evan Williams brand:

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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