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Archive for the ‘Whisk(e)y’ Category

Review: Glenmorangie the Sherry Cask Finish Lasanta

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 18, 2016

sherry-cask-lasanta-sam_2868The Glenmorangie Distillery was officially licensed to produce whisky in 1843 (how long the distillery was unofficial is unknown to me). Glenmorangie, from the beginning, established a tradition of innovation beginning with the construction of tall gin styled stills which would be used to distill their whisky rather than the traditional shorter onion shaped stills in use at the time. They were also amongst the first distilleries to use American oak for maturing their whisky, and in the early 1990’s they were at the forefront of the new style of ‘extra matured’ whiskies which are finished (or perhaps we can say flavoured) by spending time in used wine barrels. (I suggest flavoured because these used wine barrels rarely impart any oak into the whisky, and the primary result of their use is to impart some of the previously held wine’s flavour into the whisky.) The core range of Glenmorangie includes three of these unique extra matured whiskies, the Sherry cask Finish Lasanta, which is a Sherry finished whisky, the Nector D’or, which has a Sauternes wine finish, and the Quinta Ruban, which has a Ruby Port Finish.

Recently the Lasanta received a bit of a make-over from the distillery. Previously the expression was branded Glenmorangie the Lasanta, and to produce the whisky the distillery began with a spirit very similar to their Glenmorangie Original (a ten-year old spirit matured in first and second fill bourbon barrels) which was finished or extra matured in Spanish Olorosso Sherry Casks. The new Glenmorangie the Sherry Cask Lasanta on the other hand carries a full 12 Year Old age statement in clear view, and this spirit is extra matured for the two final years in a combination of  Olorosso and PX Sherry Casks.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Glenmorangie the Sherry Cask Finish Lasanta

“… The initial aroma in the breezes carries obvious scents of dry raisins and dates. It is also oak filled with assertive wood spice, and it is stained with coca and cola.Taking my time with the glass I notice a few citrus notes and building baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon) in the air as well …”

Please enjoy my review of the new Lasata expression from Glenmorangie.

Chimo!

 

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Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (2016)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 14, 2016

It is that time of year again, and I have finished my private deliberations for my annual Canadian Whisky Countdown. This is an exercise I thoroughly enjoy every year. For the year that is 2016, my list is bigger than ever as I will have tasted close to 70 Canadian Whiskies during my deliberations.

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If you are wondering how I manage to rank all those whiskies, I will take this opportunity to walk you through the process.

royal-reserve-sam_2648Almost every whisky I considered for this year’s countdown was already tasted and reviewed upon my website. I began with my review scores and placed all of the whisky samples into groupings based upon those scores. Then I tasted the newest bottling of every spirit within my groupings to ascertain whether any deserved to be moved up or down into higher or lower groups. I did not rank anything yet, I just want to recognize whether any spirit (in my opinion) had changed since my most recent review. Those spirits which seemed to have changed were moved up or down as required.

Then I tasted each spirit again. This time I assigned scores to each spirit and compared my new tasting notes and my new scores to my written reviews. All samples which seemed to show quantifiable deviation from my review scores and/or tasting notes were flagged as candidates for revised reviews. (This year, I noticed that an unusual number of samples were flagged.)

Then I did my final deliberations. Each spirit that had been flagged for re-scoring was tasted one more time and new tasting notes were written and new scores assigned. Then I tasted my final groupings one last time and assigned my rankings. The entire process kept me busy for almost ten weeks.

The Rum Howler 2016 Top Canadian Whisky Countdown is the largest ranking of Canadian Spirits I have ever completed. The reveal will begin on November 20th, starting with numbers 50 through to 46; however, I couldn’t help but reveal today, the spirit which would have been added if the list were extended by one:

#51  Royal Reserve Canadian Rye Whisky

“… I taste a nice old-fashioned rye profile with a light dryness that goes for the tonsils. The whisky is crisp on the tongue and the dryness has the ability to pucker the palate making it receptive to another sip. A good dose of caramel arrives with the rye, and the oak spices carry flavours of fresh fruit and citrus peel …”

Stay tuned for the 2016 Rum Howler Top Fifty Canadian Whisky Countdown; the reveal begins on November 20th.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Glenmorangie Milsean Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 12, 2016

milsean-sam_2872Glenmorangie was among the first Scottish distillers (1960s) to use ex bourbon barrels to age their whisky rather than Spanish oak (sherry casks). This helped to change the taste profile of Scottish Whisky in a significant manner, and today ex bourbon barrels are use extensively alongside ex sherry casks in many Scottish distilleries. Then, in 1996, Glenmorangie introduced their wood finish range which began the distillery’s experimentation with a range of new wood finishes like port wood casks and wine barriques. Again, the industry followed suit, and now wine finishes have become common in the Single Malt industry. Once again Glenmorangie can claim credit for helping to extend the range of the Scottish whisky flavour profile.

Today Glenmorangie continues to extend the taste profile of their whisky with their annual Private Edition Range which features limited edition whiskies which are meant to bring a new or unique characteristic to the Glenmorangie line-up. I was introduced to the newest (the seventh) of these Private Edition bottlings, Glenmorangie Milsean in an old-fashioned St. Louis Streetcar at the top of Edmonton’s High Level Bridge during a whisky tasting hosted by Glenmorangie’s global brand ambassador, Karen Fullerton.

Here is my Review:

Review: Glenmorangie Milsean Single Malt Whisky

“… The initial breezes bring hints of butterscotch and maple that are quickly drowned out by oaky spice and nutty barley grain. There is a bit of leather and burlap giving the dram an earthiness which is quite pleasing.  As the glass sits, the wood and grain spices build up bringing more of that leathery earthiness forward as well as undertones of licorice root and Angelica …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful new dram from Glenmorangie.

Chimo!

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Review: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 2, 2016

mt-logan-20-sam_2802The Mt. Logan whisky brand has been turning up in the local Liquor Depot chain of stores in my locale. It is in fact a ‘destination’ brand exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond (Liquor Stores N.A. Inc.) stores in Western Canada.

Three expressions of Mt. Logan Whisky are available, a 5 Year Old spirit produced from prairie grain (wheat and rye) and a 15 Year Old and a 20 Year Old Spirit each produced from 100% corn grain. These whiskies are produced by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 kilometers south of Calgary).

According to the label on the back of the bottle, Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced in a batch style distillation. The spirit was matured in charred American white oak.

Here is a link to my full review of this new Canadian Whisky:

Review: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… The initial breezes above that glass are rich with vanilla, dusty dry oak spice, butterscotch and canned creamed corn. The strength and purity of the corn scent surprises and delights me. As the whisky breathes, the fine oak spices gain momentum. Orange peel begins to turn to marmalade as the butterscotch melds into the spice; dark tobacco wells up; and a firm sense of marzipan begins to unravel into the breezes …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a nice recipe for an Old Fashioned Cocktail, Chimo!

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Review: Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 25, 2016

mt-logan-15-sam_2806

The Mt. Logan whisky brand has been turning up in the local Liquor Depot chain of stores in my locale. It is in fact a ‘destination’ brand exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond (Liquor Stores N.A. Inc.) stores in Western Canada.

The whisky itself is produced by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 Kilometers south of Calgary). According to the label on the back of the bottle, Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced from prairie grain in a batch style distillation with each grains distilled and aged separately.

When I discussed the brand with Ryan Engen, Director of Spirits, Liquor Stores N.A. Inc., he clarified for me. According to Ryan, the information from the distillery regarding the brand is that the 15 and the 20 Year Old Mt. Logan Whiskies are both 100% corn distillate aged in charred American white oak.

Here is a link to my review of this new Canadian Whisky

Review: Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… it is tender corn that is the star within the breezes above the glass. Mild indications of butterscotch and vanilla join in with dusty dry oak spices building as the glass breathes. A kiss of rye spice meanders into the air and light touches of almond round out the nose which has an almost fragile quality …”

Please enjoy my review of this new Canadian Sipping Whisky.

Chimo!

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Review: Mt. Logan 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 15, 2016

mt-logan-splashThe Mt. Logan whisky brand has been turning up in the local Liquor Depot chain of stores in my locale. It is in fact a ‘destination’ brand, and is exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond stores in Western Canada.

The whisky itself is distilled and blended by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 Kilometers south of Calgary). According to the label on the back of the bottle, Mt. Logan 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced from prairie rye and wheat grain in a batch style distillation with each grains distilled and aged separately. The whiskies are aged for at least five years in charred American white oak barrels (without the addition of additives) and when they are mature, they are blended to produce that distinctive Canadian ‘rye’ flavour profile consistent with our Canadian Whisky.

Here is a link to my newest Canadian Whisky review:

Review: Mt. Logan 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… Fine oak spices and rye grain drift upwards with a light aroma of butterscotch and vanilla. The breezes above the glass also carry hints of baking spice (ginger and cinnamon), some light tobacco smells and aromas of dusty grain fields ripe and ready to be swathed …”

Please enjoy my review of this new Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Mt. Logan 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Review: Buck 8 Year Old Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 29, 2016

BuckBuck 8 Year Old Bourbon is a Kentucky Straight Whiskey produced and bottled by Frank-Lin Distillers, Products Ltd. who have been a bottler and producer of distilled spirits since Frank Maestri founded the company in 1966. (Frank-Lin currently operates out of their new facility in Fairfield California with annual capacity of over 10 million cases of wines and spirits.)

Buck Bourbon is bottled at 90 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Buck 8 Year Old Bourbon

“… the initial nose brought forward light grassy smells with an added light sweetness of caramel and butterscotch and a gentle sweep of vanilla. Somewhere in that mixture was a mild impression of graham wafers as well. I allowed the glass to sit, and aromas of corn syrup began to separate from the butterscotch, with wood spice and hints of rye grain. The grassiness which I noticed initially gave way to a more herbaceous quality which reminded me of heather with a light licorice scent melded into it …”

Please enjoy my review!

Chimo!

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Review: J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 26, 2016

Rye Splash SAM_2616Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky has undergone a bit of a face-lift recently as a new bottle and label have been rolled out. In fact the entire Wiser’s family of whiskies has undergone a bit of a re-branding as the company now refers to itself as J.P. Wiser’s rather than simply Wiser’s. This ties the whisky more directly to the founder, J.P. Wiser and perhaps signals that the whisky company is beginning to see the ties to its historical past as something to be embraced rather than ignored.

Additionally the whisky now carries the name ‘Rye’ upon the label. Thus we now refer to this particular brand as J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky. This could signal a stronger rye presence in the whisky, or just be an acknowledgement that all Canadian Whiskies which carry a rye forward flavour profile may be labeled as ‘Rye”.

J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Rye Whisky is the flagship of the J.P. Wiser’s Brand. The whisky carries no age statement and is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my new review:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky

“… My initial impression when I take the first sip is that the whisky is very rye-forward with accents of lightly sweet butterscotch and fine wood spices. There is an appealing dry rye-like bitterness which presents itself alongside flavours of wood sap, almond and tobacco. Dry fruit, orange peel, bits of vanilla and hints of cinnamon round out the flavour profile …”

Please enjoy my review, Chimo!

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Review: Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 21, 2016

Cyrus Nobel SAM_2742Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon Whiskey is a product of Haas Brothers who were established in 1851 and headquartered in San Francisco. According to their website, the Cyrus Noble brand was originally established in 1871 (in San Francisco), and is currently distilled (in Kentucky) according to the original family recipe.

The whiskey is bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume and carries no age statement; however, according to the little booklet which is attached to the neck of the bottle the spirit in the bottle is five years old.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon

“… The breezes in the air above the glass give me impressions of oak sap and a woody spiciness which is coupled with mild indications of both vanilla and butterscotch. Tall grassy meadows wave in the breezes beside the oak spice with orange peel and scents of green apple and cinnamon …”

I hope you enjoy this review and stay tuned for a few more bourbon whiskey reviews in the coming weeks.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 8, 2016

Alberta PremiumAlberta Distillers Limited (ADL) own the oldest distillery in Western Canada. It is situated in Calgary Alberta and has been producing spirits in the same location for well over 60 years. The distillery is part of the Beam/Suntory portfolio.Alberta Premium is the flagship whisky of Alberta Distillers Limited (ADL), and according to the Beam/Suntory Brands website:

This whiskey is made by Alberta Distillers in the heart of Canada’s rye-growing country where cold barren winters give way to an abundant crop of the finest rye. Made by blending two aged whiskies, one of which is aged for flavor in used bourbon casks. Then, after blending, it is aged some more. Alberta Premium is aged for 5 years. The slow aging in cold temperatures preserves the natural rye spice.

I was recently given a bottle of Alberta Premium by a guest at one of my tasting events and I thought I would revisit my review of this 100 % Canadian Rye Whisky.

Here is a link to my new review:

Review: Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky

 ” … The breezes above the glass bring me the scents and smells of a fruit-filled rye with additional notes of vanilla. Fine oak spices and a touch of citrus zest mingle within the fruity rye smells. As I allow the whisky to breathe, some nice smells of butterscotch and maple come forward and the overt fruitiness gains momentum. I receive impressions of canned apricots and pears from the glass, and  I also sense a light touch of almond in the breeze …”

Please enjoy my review of this fine 100 % rye whisky which tastes better now than it did 6 years ago when I first reviewed it.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky

 
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