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Review: Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 6, 2017

okerlund-sam_2960

‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund’s Cocktail

Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka is produced by Goodridge & Williams, an independent craft distilling company located in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). According to the company website, the Vodka is produced from a slow distillation using traditional copper pot-still. I should note that the label on the bottle clarifies this information stating that the distillation process includes distillation through 38 column plates. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

I  sampled three other new vodkas in a tasting flight with Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka (Foothills, Tryst, and Provincial Vodka). I served each of the spirits chilled where I sipped them each neat, swallowed shots, and then sampled each with a variety of foods. I finished the tasting with some cocktails made from each spirit.

Here is a link to my newest Vodka Review:

Review: Sid’s Handcrafted Vodka

“… I took a cautious sniff at the breezes above the glass and I noticed a touch of creme de fresh on the nose with vanilla pudding and cream of wheat porridge. The impression was subtle but it was quite pleasant. When I took a small sip, those aromatic impressions manifested upon the palate as light flavours of lemon and citrus zest melded with vanilla and some of that cream of wheat porridge …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a mixed drink suggestion, ‘Mean” Gene Okerlund’s Cocktail!

Chimo!

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Beyond Islay: Part 2 – The Arran 18 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 5, 2017

18yo-arranThe Arran 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky is a Single Malt produced from unpeated barley by Arran Distillers. I tasted the spirit at an event hosted by Ryan Engen who is the Director of Spirits, for Liquor Stores N.A. Inc. at the Edmonton Wine and Beyond McTagggert Ridge location. At the tasting I enjoyed 7 different Single Malts in what was termed the Beyond Islay Single Malt Whisky Tasting. The Whiskies at the tasting were selected to represent the diversity of Scotland’s Island Whiskies reaching beyond the popular Islay Whiskies to the malts produced on the lesser known Islands. The Isle of Arran is of course showcased by this whisky.

Arran Distillers was founded by Harold Currie, former director of Chivas. Located in Lochranza, Scotland, it is the only distillery on the Isle of Arran. Their 18 year Old spirit is a blend of both aged ex-Sherry Cask and ex-Bourbon Cask whiskies.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: The Arran 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

“… As I examined the dram I began to notice an increasing malty sweetness with apple and canned pear aromas developing. Some almond-like marzipan is hinted at in the breezes and as I enjoy myself grassy notes come forward and the fine oak spice builds. This is a whisky which grows in the glass …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a cocktail suggestion at the conclusion, the Old Fashioned Cocktail.

Chimo!

 

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

Review: El Pasador de oro XO Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 3, 2017

sam_2909El Pasador de oro XO is a new rum brand brought into Western Canada by Charton Hobbs. The rum is produced by Les Bienheureux S.A.S. (in Paris France) and (according to the information sheets given to me) is a blend ‘grand XO’ Guatemala rums aged from 6 to 15 years in oak barrels at selected Guatemalan distilleries. The rum undergoes a final aging process in France where the spirit is rested in used cognac barrels in the cellars of Les Bienheureux.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: El Pasador de oro XO Rum

“… The breezes above the glass bring yummy scents of oak spice, dark tobacco, and rich baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla). There are hints of licorice and raisins in the air as well as luscious chocolate notes …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding new Guatemalan Rum!

Chimo!

 

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Review: Rangeland Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 1, 2017

rangeland-sam_2966Rangeland Rye Whisky is produced from western prairie wheat and grains. It is aged in charred American oak barrels for a minimum of three years (as per Canadian Law) before being blended and bottled at the Highwood facility in High River, Alberta.

Rangeland is what I refer to as an economy whisky. It is inexpensive compared to other whiskies in its category, and is a whisky meant for tall drinks as well as other cocktails in bars and restaurants (or on your back deck).

Highwood Distillers is the only Canadian distillery which uses wheat as its primary distilled grain. I have noticed when tasting the wheat based spirits in their portfolio that this grain seems to lend a soft gentleness to the final spirit. They use Rye is in smaller quantities, and this grain adds a flavourful spiciness. Corn may also be used, and when it is, the corn provides additional sweetness, and body to the spirit. The grains are distilled in a small batch production cycle.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Rangeland Rye Whisky

“… I discovered that this new whisky had a very traditional taste profile with an old-fashioned dry Canadian Whisky flavour complete with that soft bitterness that accompanies the rye grain. It also carries dusty grain and light tobacco flavours alongside a mild butterscotch and vanilla …”

Please enjoy my review of this new Canadian Whisky from the folks at Highwood Distillers. The review includes one of my favourite cocktail creations, the Canadian Caribou.

Chimo Everyone!

 

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

Review: Foothills Vodka (Gluten Free)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 30, 2017

reverse-vesper-sam_2950Foothills Vodka is produced by Highwood Distillers from selected corn grain to ensure the product remains wheat and gluten-free. The spirit is produced from a batch style distillation, distilled ten times for maximum smoothness and purity.

As part of my review process, I held a Vodka tasting for my friends (the Rum Chums) where we sampled three other new vodkas (Norvegia, Tryst and Provincial) in a tasting flight with the Foothills Vodka. I served the spirits chilled where we sipped them each neat, swallowed shots, and sampled each with a variety of foods. We finished the tasting with some cocktails made from each spirit.

Here is a link to my review for the Foothills Vodka:

Review: Foothills Vodka (Gluten Free)

“… As we sipped, we noticed that the corn-like sweetness was firmer than the nose would have implied and it was accompanied by impressions of black licorice, vanilla and a mild butterscotch. These impression grew quickly as the spirit warmed …”

Please enjoy the review which contains two suggested cocktails which mix Highwood’s Empire Gin with their Foothill’s Vodka: the Vesper, and the Vespered Lime Gimlet.

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Beyond Islay: Part 1 – Tobermory 10 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 29, 2017

tobermory-10The Tobermory 10 Year Old is an unpeated Single Malt which I tasted at an event hosted by Ryan Engen who is the Director of Spirits, for Liquor Stores N.A. Inc. at the Edmonton Wine and Beyond McTagggert Ridge location. At the tasting I enjoyed 7 different Single Malts in what was termed the Beyond Islay Single Malt Whisky Tasting. The Whiskies at the tasting were selected to represent the diversity of Scotland’s Island Whiskies reaching beyond the popular Islay Whiskies to the malts produced on the lesser known Islands. The Tobermory brand is distilled upon the Isle of Mull.

While I normally do not write full reviews based upon my impressions tasting events, in this case I thought the theme of the event (going beyond Islay) was such a good idea that I did indeed write full tasting notes for each whisky as I tasted it. Later I expanded these tasting notes into a full review for each whisky and I plan to publish them in my 7 part Beyond Islay Series.

Here is my link to my full review of the Tobermory 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky:

Review: Tobermory 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

“… The light peatiness I noticed was enveloped in orange and citrus notes. Herbal impressions of heather and menthol come through, and perhaps there is a clump of willow trees setting in the background. Grassy notes of fresh hay compliment the herbal notes and the nose is rounded out with light vanilla and almond impressions …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my cocktail suggestion, the Single Malt Crusta.

Chimo!

 

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

Review: Embargo Ron Extra Del Caribe

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 27, 2017

embargo-cocktail-sam_2931Embargo Ron Extra Del Caribe is a new rum brand brought into Western Canada by Charton Hobbs. The rum is produced by Les Bienheureux S.A.S. (in Paris France) and is a blend of two aged ’round and smooth’ Spanish-style molasses rums, one from Guatemala and one from Cuba, combined with a small amount of a younger French agricole rhum from Martinique (which is said to provide a ‘powerful aromatic kick’).

The spirit carries no age statement, however the information sheets provided to me by the distributor indicate that the rum is classified as an ‘Anejo Extra’ which implies approximately a 3 year aging period. It is my suspicion though, that this designation would apply only to the Guatemalan and Cuban portion of the blend with the small amount of agricole rum from Martinique being younger.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Embargo Ron Extra Del Caribe

“… I can identify both styles of rum within the blend quite readily. The Spanish rums within the blend bring a light butterscotch scent into the air which mingles with banana peel and citrus (lemon and orange) zest. There are hints of sandalwood and ginger, as well as light impressions of warm toast, vanilla and almond. The agricole rum from Martinique brings an herbal quality into the breezes with a light menthol scent, wisps of licorice and cinnamon, bits of heather and hints of resin-like camphor …”

Please enjoy my review of this new (and very interesting) rum from Les Bienheureux.

Chimo!

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Review: McDowell’s No. 1 Reserve Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 25, 2017

indian-summer-2-sam_2796United Spirits Limited (USL) is the owner of the McDowell’s No. 1 spirits brand which (with its sales of Whisky, Rum and Brandy) is one of the largest spirits brands in the world. The company is headquartered in India where the lion’s share of those sales take place. In 2013, the spirits conglomerate, Diageo purchased a controlling share in USL (54.8 %) and it was shortly after this acquisition that I began to see the McDowell’s No. 1 Whisky appearing on the store shelves here in Alberta.

McDowell’s No. 1 Whisky is described on the USL website as the flagship brand of the company. It is their best-selling spirit with sales of over 53 million cases per year, and is produced from a blending of both imported Scotch whiskies and selected Indian malts and grain spirits.

Here is a link to my latest whisky review:

Review: McDowell’s No. 1 Reserve Whisky

“… I would describe the aroma as honeyed with a mixture of sweet grain spice and butterscotch, coupled with fine oak spice and hints of malt. I let the glass sit to see how the nose developed, and noticed that fine wood and dusty grain spices began to dominate the breezes …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a very nice tall cocktail, Indian Summer 2.

Chimo everyone!

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Review: Tryst Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 23, 2017

Reverse Vesper

Lemon Gimlet

Tryst Vodka is an American spirit distilled six times from grain.The spirit was produced by TerrePURE Spirits, located in North Charleston, South Carolina, and the company boasts of it ‘revolutionary’ TerrePURE* process which is said to offer the cleanest, smoothest and best tasting vodka know to man. The Spirit is part of the Preferred Selection at the Western Canadian Liquor Depot chain of stores, and I was recently provided a bottle for review here on my website.

As part of the review process, I held a Vodka tasting for my friends (the Rum Chums) where we sampled three other new vodkas (Norvegia, Provincial and Foothills) in a blind tasting flight with the Tryst Vodka. I served the spirits chilled where we sipped them each neat, swallowed shots, and sampled each with a variety of foods. We finished the tasting with some cocktails made from each spirit. Comments from my friends often make it into my reviews

 

Here is a link to my thoughts regarding Tryst Vodka:

Review: Tryst Vodka

“… When we all took a full shot I noted that a corn-like sweetness had been building and I also tasted hints of mint meandering within a firm spicy grain. The combination of spice and clean alcohol warms the belly after the swallow; however it does not bring an undo amount of burn to the throat …”

Please enjoy my review which includes two nice cocktail recipes, the Lemon Gimlet and the Reverse Vesper.

Chimo Everyone!

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Review: Legendario Elixir de Cuba

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 20, 2017

elixir-de-cuba-sam_2956My first review for Legendario Elixir de Cuba was published in 2009, However, as US restrictions of Cuban products appear to be easing I thought it would be timely to revisit the brand. The brand owner, Legendario Rum is headquartered in Spain, however the rum used within the Elixir de Cuba’s blend is apparently imported from Cuba. The brand, was founded in the city of Havana in 1946.

According to the research I conducted, Legendario Elixir de Cuba, is produced from a blend of  2 to 4 year-old Cuban Rums (source: Rum Distribution.com). The rums were aged in American oak barrels at temperatures which approached 47°C. After the rums were blended, extracts of macerated raisins, syrup, and demineralised water are added, and this blended mixture is rested (or married) in American oak barrels for several weeks (30 days) after which the final spirit is filtered through a traditional system of activated carbon filters and silica sand before bottling.

According to Phil Moncton of the GFH Group (the Ontario importer), Legendario Elixir De Cuba is now available in Ontario (via the GFH Group) through LCBO Private Order.

Here is a link to my newly written review for the Legendario Elixir de Cuba:

Review: Legendario Elixir de Cuba

” … The aroma is rich and inviting with smells of oak infused rum and caramel, brandy and raisins, and some dark chocolate drifting in the breezes above the glass. It is almost as if we are encountering a sweet mixture of rum, cognac, and dark caramel …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding rum liqueur, Chimo!

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