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Archive for the ‘Whisk(e)y Review’ Category

The Rum Howler’s #19 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Forty Creek Copper Pot

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2015

copper-pot-heroIn a change of direction, I have decided that I have the time to do the rest of the Rum Holwer 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies Countdown properly after all:

The Copper Pot Reserve is a more ‘premium’ version of the Barrel Select. Mr. Hall chose his best grain whiskies as the base for the Copper Pot. He aged these best whiskies a little longer to bring in more flavour from the oak, and then he chose the best of these whiskies to marry together in oak once more to complete the final blend. The Copper Pot Whisky is bottled at 43 % abv (rather than the traditional 40 %) allowing this premium whisky to showcase its robust flavour.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #19 Canadian Whisky of 2015

Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve

“…The first sip of whisky is all spice and everything nice as the spirit heats the mouth with the alluring spiciness of oak, rye and orange peel zest. Embers of cloves and cinnamon stir in the background, and it takes me a moment or two to notice the dark caramel and chocolate flavours that lie beneath. The second sip of whisky reminds me of an old-fashioned Christmas …”

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You may read about the Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler’s #19 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Forty Creek Copper Pot

#19 Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2015

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is part of Jim Beam’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection. This collection is composed of Knob Creek, Booker’s, Baker’s and, Basil Hayden’s. The whiskey collection is considered by Jim Beam Distillers to be a selection of ‘ultra-premium’ bourbon whiskeys created to establish a high-end category for bourbon, and thus to appeal to the serious whiskey aficionado.

Knob Creek 9Knob Creek is the oldest of these small batch whiskeys, and is aged a full nine years in newly charred oak barrels, then bottled at 100 proof or 50 % alcohol by volume. The whiskey brand is owned by Beam Global and is produced at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.

Here is a link to the review of the #19 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#19 – Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

“… The initial aroma is deep and rich with smells of freshly hewn oak timbers dripping with sap. I also sense loads of honeycomb, barbequed corn on the cob, baking spices (vanilla and cinnamon), brown sugar, and fresh maple toffee. As I take my time with the glass, indications of chocolate caramel and cola rise in the breezes along with rich pipe tobacco and crushed walnut shells …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #19 Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

#21 Angel’s Envy (Rum) Finished Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 4, 2015

Angel’s Envy was founded by Lincoln Henderson (a former Brown-Forman Master Distiller) and his son Wesley in 2010. According to Wes, when the company began to contemplate their Rum Finished Whiskey, they began by sampling over one hundred rums to find the right flavour complement for their bold style of rye whiskey. They also compared six different blends of rye which were eventually narrowed down to just one, a 95 % Rye Whiskey which (according to my emails with the distillery) was aged for 7 to 8 years in new charred American oak barrels. They chose to finish this Rye Whiskey for 18 months in ex-Plantation XO Rum Barrels.

Angels's Envy Rum Finished Rye WhiskeyIn case you did not know, these Plantation barrels began their life as French Cognac barrels which were then were used as the finishing barrels for Plantation’s fantastic XO Anniversary Rum (See my review for Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Rum here). Thus these finishing barrels contained not only the compliment of a fantastic rum within their oak fibres, they also may have contained hints of cognac as well. The finished whiskey is bottled at 50 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the review of the #21 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#21 – Angel’s Envy (Rum) Finished Rye Whiskey

“… As the glass sits we begin to notice the rye asserting itself into the air alongside rich dark brown sugar and baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon and even more maple). The combined effect of the whiskey’s candied sweetness coupled with the spicy oak and cedar (and the assertive rye) is almost breathtaking. Roasted walnuts, pungent cigar tobacco, rich honeycomb, and hints of raisins and other dry fruits round out the aroma which has me completely enthralled …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on #21 Angel’s Envy (Rum) Finished Rye Whiskey

#22 Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2015

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky is a new blend from the folks who run the Crown Royal Distillery in Gimli, Manitoba. It is a bit of a throwback in style as the whisky features a heavy dose whisky produced from Canadian Winter Rye grain in the blend (almost 90% of the spirit is produced from Canadian Winter Rye grain). Winter rye imparts a robust spiciness throughout the spirit when distilled which (in my opinion) provides a much stronger ‘Canadian Whisky’ feel for this particular Crown Royal Whisky than we find with the flagship blend Crown Royal Deluxe which is produced predominantly from corn rather than rye.

Northern Harvest RyeThis movement towards a more rye forward flavour profile seems to be a common theme within the Crown Royal family as two other recently released blends (Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, and the new Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend) have also followed that common path.

It is a path which I obviously endorse as this is the second time a new Crown Royal Release has entered into my Countdown of the best 100 spirits I have ever tasted. Here is a link to the #22 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#22 – Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

“… As the glass breathes, I sense a stronger underlying oakiness within the spirit as fine wood spices rise into the air and the merry little breezes above the glass are tinged with crisp spicy rye notes as well. Fresh baked bread crust, light caramel smells, hints of vanilla ice cream, and bits of nutmeg and allspice round out the aroma which continues to impress me …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #22 Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

Countdown Begins: Rum Howler 2015 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 2, 2015

Against my better judgement I have decided that it is time to begin my Annual Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2015. I have published a similar list the last three years in a row, and I have received many requests to continue the tradition this year.

cq5dam.web.1280.1280My time is limited more than usual as Connor McDavid Mania is raging in my memorabilia store (Cardsharks Memorabila Store) (it is after all important to keep the bills paid). As well my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown continues unabated. For those reasons, I have decided that I will reveal my top Canadian Spirits in three groups of seven spirits once per week and one last group of four during the last week before Christmas rather than as I usually do one at a time, one day at a time. In this way I can spare myself the need to do an extra post every day, especially since my Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums list needs to be compiled and published as well.

So although it is not quite how I usually do things, I shall begin today with the first seven spirits that made the cut, numbers 25 through to 19.

# 25   Windsor Canadian
# 24   J.P. Wiser’s Hopped  (New Review!)
# 23   Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend  
# 22   Canadian Club 20 Yr Old Whisky 
# 21   Centennial Rye Whisky (NAS)
# 20  Pendleton 1910 (Aged 12 Years) Canadian Whisky  
# 19   Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve Whisky

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Note: You may follow the list and read more about The Year 2015 in Canadian Whisky here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Please Enjoy the weekly reveal!

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

#23 Highland Park 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 2, 2015

The 12 Year Old Highland Park Whisky is the core expression of Highland Park Distillery, that is to say, it is their flagship brand. Highland Park prides itself in not making any compromises when making whisky. The twelve-year expression is the youngest in their impressive lineup. All of Highland Park whiskies are matured in Spanish and American Oak in warehouses with earthen floors and stone walls. The combination of different oak provides some of the whisky with an American whiskey enhancement and some of the whisky with a Spanish sherry enhancement. The whisky is matured in a cool consistent climate, and blended to create the unique Highland Park taste and character that the distillery is famous for.

Highland Park 12Of particular note is the heather rich meadows which provide a rich floral backdrop around the aging warehouses which seems to impart its character to the whisky as well. I note the floral character in the review.

Here is a link to the review of the #23 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#23 – Highland Park 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky

“… I smell that boggy muddy creek bottom in the glass when I fill it with Highland Park whisky. It is not an intense boggy smell, just a whisper of that muddy creek and sawgrass meadow rising from the glass. I smell the willow thicket, and a faint floral scent which I am told is heather. This is the aroma of the Orcadian peat of which Highland Park is famous for …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #23 Highland Park 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky

# 25b Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 30, 2015

Wiser’s Red Letter was re-introduced to Canadians in 2007 to pay homage to the 150th anniversary of John Philip Wiser’s distillery in Prescott, Ontario 1857 – 2007), as well as to the original Red Letter Whisky which Wiser’s produced in the late 1800s. In 2009, when I reviewed the inaugural 150th Adversary Edition (see review here), I was told by my contacts within Corby, that the spirit contained various blends of whisky which (although they ranged in age) were all ten years old or more. After these mature whiskies were blended they were then finished in virgin white oak barrels for 150 days. Once the final characteristic of flavour had been achieved, the Red Letter was bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume (non chill filtered).

Red Letter SAM_1386 Two years ago, Corby once again in a tribute to their founder J.P Wiser released Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release. As with the 150th Anniversary Edition the whisky was finished in virgin white oak casks and then bottled without chill filtering at 45 % abv..

Here is a link to the review of the second #25 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#25b – Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release

“… The 2013 version has all the wonderful flavour and zest of the 2007, but (to me anyways) there seems to be an added layer of silky elegance this time around. I taste a firm presence of sharp wood spices and orange peel, however, this sharpness ( which I am sure is also due to the 90 bottling proof) is contrasted by the silky mouth feel of a luscious corn whisky. Honeycomb and maple flavours slide through the hot spiciness of the whisky, and soon the orange peel tastes more like marmalade, and the fine wood spices more like a nice spicy maple toffee …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 25b Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release

#26 The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 29, 2015

The Macallan Fine Oak Series is a series of single malt Scotch whiskies, produced at The Macallan Distillery at Craigellachie in the Speyside region of Scotland which are matured in seasoned American oak casks, (sherry as well as bourbon), as well as sherry casks from Jerez Spain. The Fine Oak Series has drawn rave reviews some quarters (Jim Murray for example awarded it “Best New Scotch Brand” when it was launched), and dramatic criticism from others who considered the American barrels inferior to the Sherry oak casks from Spain due to the lighter flavour profile of the American Bourbon Cask.

The Macallan 15 Fine Oak SAM_1741I find myself siding with Jim Murray as I find the lighter influence of the American oak barrel allows the whisky to express more fully the subtle nuances of oak and whisky flavours which can be drowned out by the strong sherry influence of a first fill Sherry barrel. Unfortunately for myself, The Macallan Fine Oak series has been discontinued in Canada, although it is my understanding that this series is still available south of the border in the USA.

Here is a link to the review of the #26 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#26 – The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Year Old

“… my nose is greeted by a soft honeycomb/butterscotch, a firm little dollop of vanilla and firm oak spices. A light sherry smoke is in the air carrying wisps of dry fruit (prunes and raisins) and a smidgen of treacle.  As you allow the glass to decant, a demerara sweetness  becomes evident as does a wonderful floral meadowland with saw grass, timothy and wild flowers presenting themselves to the delight of the nostrils …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #26 The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Year Old

#27 Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 28, 2015

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is the first production Canadian Whisky ever to sold in the single barrel format. It drawn from a single oak cask and bottled a full 51.5 % alcohol by volume bottling proof. Now the folks at Crown Royal didn’t just go into their warehouse and start checking random casks of whisky for this expression. They chose a very particular whisky to showcase as their first Single Barrel Whisky. A whisky from a rye heavy mashbill (64% corn, 31.5% rye, and 4.5% malted barley) which was distilled upon their one of a kind Coffey Rye still which is located in their Gimli facility. This is reported to be one of the key whiskies which is found in their flagship blend, Crown Royal Deluxe.

Crown Royal Single Barrel (Davin) SAM_1633Note: Although the whiskey has no age statement, I did a little research and according to Davin’s De Kergommeax’s article in Whisky Advocate (see here), Crown Royal Master Blender, Andrew MacKay, leaves the Coffey Rye spirit in virgin oak bourbon barrels for seven years.

Here is a link to the review of the #27 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#27 – Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

“… A fairly intense aroma of butterscotch rises from the glass with scents of fresh rye bread trailing just afterward. As the whisky breathes I notice an abundance of rye and wood spices, more butterscotch, some honeycomb cereal (you know that children’s breakfast cereal from POST) and fresh rye grain. By the time the glass is fully decanted I also notice an abundance of vanilla, cinnamon spice, sourdough and milk chocolate …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #27 Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

#30 Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 25, 2015

The town of Midleton, near Cork City, is home to the largest distillery in Ireland, aptly named the Midleton Distillery. This distillery is part of the Pernod-Ricard group of companies, and it is home to a variety of Irish Whiskey Brands. Powers, Paddy, Tullamore Dew, and Red Breast all are distilled at the Midleton Distillery, as is of course, the largest selling Irish Whiskey Brand in the world, Jameson.  (Incidentally, the Jameson Brand is also part of the Pernod-Ricard conglomerate of companies.)

Jameson 18 Limited ReserveThe Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey is a blended Irish Whiskey, the components of which are matured for a minimum of 18 years in a combination of American Bourbon Oak and Spanish Olorosso Sherry Oak Casks. The whiskey includes both grain and pure pot still whiskey varieties and is finished in fresh fill Bourbon barrels. This is the upper end of the Jameson range, and although it has been in regular production since 2002, it is considered to be a connoisseur’s whiskey and is produced in rather limited quantities each year.

Here is a link to the review of the #30 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#30 – Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve

“… The initial aroma from the glass is of a punky sweet butterscotch and mildly spicy toffee with obvious notes of marzipan. As the glass decants I notice a light woodiness developing, and a light scent of rum in the air with some brown sugar aromas. The overall effect is quite nice …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #30 Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey

 
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