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Cocktail Hour: Alpine Meadows

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2021

Alpine Meadow in its earliest form (yeah I know … terrible photo)

My Alpine Meadows cocktail had its beginnings back in January 2010 when I introduced the serving as a suggested cocktail for the Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Single Malt Whisky. This was early days for my website, and at that time I was just dipping my toes in the cocktail world.

The genesis of thought for the serving, is that I felt the floral notes within the Glenfiddich whisky and its firm oak character could be paired with the piny flavour of gin. It was just a thought, albeit perhaps a thought that ran contrary to the more common view that one should leave fifteen year old Single Malt whiskies alone as they are just fine the way they are.

I knew that a bridge needed to be built to encourage the coupling of the piny gin and the floral oaky single malt scotch, and so I added an orange liqueur and was pleased enough with the result to publish the serving within the body of that whisky review.

I have returned to that serving several times as a suggested serving for other whisky spirits as I have discovered that it’s construction is suitable for a wide range of Single Malt and Canadian Whiskies.

Today I am going to give everyone an improved construction based on a few tweaks which I believe improves the libation. The first tweak is the addition of bitters, Bittermen’s Boston Bittahs to be exact. These particular bitters have a firm citrus backbone which is paired heavy dose of chamomile. This adds a light floral punch to the cocktail. I am also adding a garnish, specifically orange zest which compliments not only the whisky, but also the gin and the citrus forward bitters in the serving.

This time around I am using a young Canadian Single Malt Whisky, Macaloney Caledonian Invermallie – Portuguese Re-charred Red Wine Barrique (that’s a mouthful isn’t it) paired with Burwood Dry Gin which is made in Calgary.  Hopefully many of you will find the improved version of my cocktail as enjoyable as I do.


Alpine Meadows

1 1/4 oz  Macaloney Caledonian Invermallie (Port Red Wine Barrique)
2/3 oz  Burwood Gin
1/3 oz Bols Triple Sec (sub any quality triple distilled orange liqueur)
dash Bittermen’s Boston Bittahs
Citrus Zest

Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with citrus zest

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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Ampersand Nocino! Named Canadian Artisan Spirit Of The Year

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 9, 2021

Today Artisan Distillers Canada (ADC) proudly announced the 2021 results for the Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition (CASC). A nationwide spirits competition which I participated in as one of the nationwide panel of CASC Judges. (CASC is Canada’s only national spirit competition reserved exclusively for artisan distilleries.)

The 2021 edition of CASC included an expanded set of categories, reflecting the growing size and diversity of spirits produced by artisan distillers across the country. Best in Class, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals were awarded in 19 spirit categories. The competition also includes Terroir honours, recognizing distilleries whose use of local ingredients is reflected in the character of their spirits.

Alex Hamer (ADC’s founder) made the following statement:

“This year I am pleased to see spirits from across the country represented in our Best in Class awards, with distilleries in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia all taking Best in Class prizes.  It’s also great to see that even in the face of considerable pandemic-related business interruptions, our distillers continue to produce high quality spirits of every kind.”

Image courtesy of Artisan Distillers Canada

And this years top honour for  CANADIAN ARTISAN SPIRIT OF THE YEAR was awarded to Ampersand Distilling Company (located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island) for their Italian-style green walnut liqueur, Nochino! made with walnuts handpicked in the Cowichan Valley and sweetened with local honey.

It was apparent the Judges (including myself) loved this spirit, with the following notes cited in the judging results:

“pronounced aromas of walnut, and medium notes of orange peel, nutmeg, coffee, and burnt sugar … very complex and exceptionally balanced … with a deeply roasted flavour and a pleasing note of bitterness … [a] carefully crafted liqueur.”

In addition, the following spirits earned the top scores in their respective categories:


  1. Absinthe: Distillerie Fils du Roy (QC) – Courailleuse
  2. Akvavit: Confluence Distilling (AB) – Vinland Aquavit (Best in Class, 2020)
  3. Amaro or Vermouth: The Woods Spirit Co (BC) – Pacific North-West Amaro
  4. Brandy or Eau de Vie: Wynndel Craft Distilleries (BC) – Apple Brandy
  5. Flavoured or Infused Vodka: Arbutus Distillery (BC) – Espresso Vodka
  6. Aged Gin: The Liberty Distillery (BC) – Endeavour Old Tom Gin
  7. Classic Gin: Patent 5 Distillery (MB) – Navy Strength Gin
  8. Contemporary Gin: (tie) Compass Distillers (NS) – Gin Royal; The Dubh Glas Distillery (BC) – Noteworthy Gin – Navy Strength
  9. Flavoured Gin: Raging Crow Distillery (NS) – Spruce Tip Gin
  10. Liqueur: Ampersand Distilling Company (BC) – Nocino!
  11. Fruit Liqueur: La Vallée Bleue (QC) – Cassimix
  12. Alternative Rum: Merridale Cidery & Distillery (BC) – Cowichan Spiced Rhumb
  13. Traditional Rum: Last Straw Distillery (ON) – Blackstrap Rum – Double Barrelled
  14. Classic Vodka: Bandits Distilling Inc. (SK) – Northern Lights Vodka
  15. Contemporary Vodka: Ironworks Distillery (NS) – Ironworks Vodka
  16. Single Grain Whisky: Shelter Point Distillery (BC) – Double Barrel Batch 5
  17. Single Malt Whisky: Odd Society Spirits (BC) – Commodore Single Malt Whisky
  18. Young Whisky: DEVINE Distillery (BC) – Ancient Grains (Best in Class, 2019, 2020)
  19. White Spirit: Silver Fox Distillery (ON) – 4 Peppercorns

An additional category of Bitters was also included with the Best in Class – Bitters award presented to Distillerie Fils du Roy (QC) – Fils du Roy Bitter.

Medals were awarded to distillers and bitters-makers from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

If you are interested in a complete listing of all the results, they can be found on the Artisan Distillers Canada (ADC) website:


Artisan Distillers Canada is a national organization focused on celebrating and highlighting artisan distilleries and spirits across Canada. The annual Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition was founded in 2017 to recognize the best of Canadian artisan distilling. Distilleries must meet our qualifications ( to participate in the competition.

The first annual Artisan Distillers Canada Conference & Trade Show will be held October 19 – 20, 2021, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

For more information, visit

CASC is grateful to their sponsors: South Peace Grain, nwPURE, & Specific Mechanical Systems

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Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label Blended Malt

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 8, 2021

Johnnie Walker is one of the most iconic whisky brands in the world. With its unique square bottle, and the labels tilted off-center, the company has created a strong brand image and its spirit is considered by many to be the quintessential Scottish whisky.

Johnnie Walker Green Label was apparently discontinued for several years from about 2012 to 2016; however, the brand was quietly reintroduced in 2017. Based upon my recent recognition that both Johnny Walker Red and Johnny Walker Black seem to have undergone changes in their blending regimes it is likely that when Johnny Walker Green was reintroduced that changes may have occurred with this expression as well. Whereas the brand was previously promoted as containing specific Malt whiskies as part of its construct, the Johnny Walker website is now non committal regarding any specific malt whisky within its blend.

The Green Label is what is termed, a blended malt whisky, and as such it is produced without any grain whisky. Rather it is produced as a mixture of Single Malts from various whisky producing regions of Scotland, specifically Speyside, Highland, Lowland and Island malts. As well, all of the malt whiskies used within its construct have been aged for a minimum of 15 years in both European and American Oak casks.

Here is a link to my latest review:

Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label Blended Malt

“… Sandalwood and fine wood spice, vanilla, orange zest and fruity citrus, leathery barley, fresh cut hay, heather and tobacco as well as a light somewhat smoky peat underneath. There are also some notes of banana and banana peel, some baking spices (ginger, cinnamon and allspice) and bits of almond …”

Please enjoy my review!


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

Review: Ron Inmortal Colombian Rum (Aged 12 Years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 5, 2021

In the historic port of Barranquilla (Colombia), situated between the Magdalena River and the Caribbean Sea, three generations of the Riascos Family have been producing rums at Casa Santana for over two decades. They source sugar cane spirit from various producers in the Caribbean to produce rum for a variety of independent rum companies.

Ron Inmortal is produced at Casa Santana for Yotomo Imports a Texas based spirits company. According to the marketing presentation for the Inmortal Rum the spirit is targeted towards the growing North American Market for Premium rum. The rum is distilled from sugar cane molasses, aged  for 12 years in American Oak barrels, and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Ron Inmortal Colombian Rum (Aged 12 Years)

“… Toffee and oak meld with vanilla and baking spices (cinnamon, allspice and clove). There is a indication of orange peel in the breezes which seems to be moving towards marmalade as it joins with the vanilla and the caramel toffee. There are also nice hints of bitterness with treacle and dark chocolate notes evolving …”

Please enjoy the review of this tasty Colombian Rum.


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Review: Taynton Bay Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 3, 2021

It was about a year ago that I received a bottle of Taynton Bay Gin to review, and I will admit that I have been somewhat remiss in my obligation to sit down and write my review. Unfortunately just as I was to open the bottle, North America began feel the effects of the Covid 19 virus. My own sports memorabilia retail store was shut down for two months, and as I had developed a mild but stubborn cold, I spent over a month in isolation in March and April.

After that things were a bit of a scramble for me, with my mind preoccupied with keeping my business running, and allowing my hobby which is reviewing spirits on my website to suffer. It was not until December, that I really was back on track and my backlog of spirits to write about had become huge.

Fortunately, I have began to catch up, and I have finally got to that bottle of Taynton Bay Gin.

Taynton Bay Spirits are located in Invermere British Columbia making their spirits from wheat which is grown only 10km from their distillery. Their website advertises that they use only real ingredients in the production of these spirits with no artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners. 

Here is a link to my full review and cocktail suggestion:

Review: Taynton Bay Gin  

“… The juniper is soft and muted and it takes a little while for the impact of the piny aroma to become apparent. It is the same for the lemon citrus and coriander which begin to penetrate the breezes only after the glass has had an opportunity to breathe for a few minutes …”

Please enjoy the review:



Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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