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#Top100CanadianWhisky #18: Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve (2016)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2017

Forty Creek Whisky has for the last number of years produced a special limited release whisky. These special release whiskies are built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and are basically versions of this whisky which have spent additional time finishing in selected oak barrels.

What makes the 2016 Limited Edition whisky unique was that it was the first of the Forty Creek expressions to be dominated by barley.

According to the folks at Forty Creek:

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.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #18 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve (2016)

“… Founder’s Reserve crosses the palate bringing forward a light maple and butterscotch sweetness which is followed by a robust nut and grain flavours the combination of which reminds me somewhat of Graham wafers. Sweet (and lightly sour) fruit flavours join in with orange peel, apricot jelly, and light raisin-like flavours …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #16 Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solera) Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 5, 2017

Ron Zacapa rums are made from sugar cane harvested in southern Guatemala, which is pressed into virgin sugar cane honey. They are aged using a process they call ‘Sistema Solera’ which is based on the system used to age Spanish sherry. The subject of my review, Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solera) is blended from solera aged stocks which range in age from 6 years to 23 years. The aging barrels used are a mixture of American Whisky casks, and Sherry and Pedro Ximenez wine barrels. The combination of solera aging and the variety of reused barrels creates a complex rum with a rich aroma and flavour.

Ron Zacapa is owned by Rum Creation and Products Inc. (RCP), who have signed a global distribution and joint marketing agreement with Diageo.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #16 Rum of 2017:

Review: Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solera) Rum

“… The flavour leads out with dark caramel (treacle) and toffee accented by honey, wood spices and just a touch of sharp orange and banana peel. I taste dry fruit, cocoa, walnuts and baking spices, the combination of which gives me an impression of Christmas fruitcake …”

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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #19: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Years Old Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 5, 2017

John Philip (J.P.) Wiser, purchased a distillery in Prescott Ontario in 1857, and began to produce Wiser’s Whisky.  In fact, it may have been J.P. Wiser who first used the term “Canadian Whiskey” on a whisky label when he introduced his spirit to the World at the Chicago’s World Fair in 1893. In 2015, Wiser’s 18 Year Old Whisky underwent a brand change whereby the whisky was re-identified as J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old Whisky. It was also no longer advertised as a Limited Edition Release. The spirit inside the bottle however, is still aged a minimum of 18 years in used bourbon barrels.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #19 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Years Old

“… The entry into the mouth is a double whammy of wood and grain spice combined with vanilla, light baking spices and sweet butterscotch and maple. The wood and grain spices are definitely the hallmark of the dram, and if fine oak spices are your thing the J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old will have you enthralled …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #17 Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 4, 2017

In the late 1950s, the main companies involved in the production and distribution of alcoholic spirits in Venezuela were grouped into one organization called Licorerias Unitas S.A. by the initiative of Seagrams who owned 51 % of the new entity until 1992. After a series of mergers and acquisitions involving Seagrams, Diageo, and Pernod Richard, a decision was made to divest in facilities and to instead concentrate on brand commercialization. The result was a group of local investors who purchased the manufacturing assets of Licorerias Unitas S.A. and formed Distilleries Unitas S.A. (DUSA) on August 22, 2002. Although this company is relatively new, the tradition of making quality rum in Venezuela using the these facilities which is not. In fact sugar cane has been cultivated in Venezuela perhaps as early as the 16th century.  Systematic rum production in Venezuela can be dated to 1896.

Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva is described as a premium rum produced from both column still rums and pot still rum. Within the blend are rums which are aged up to 12 years. The combination of tropical aging, batch still production, and those rich aromas and flavours which I mentioned above yields an exquisite rum which has long been one of my favourites.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #17 Rum of 2017:

Review: Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum

“… There is a nice underlying nuttiness (walnuts and hazelnuts), some sweet caramel and some very delicious baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar). As the glass breathes, The richness of the rum builds and I taste even more brown sugar and cinnamon with butter …”

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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #20: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 4, 2017

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky was released in 2015 by 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.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #20 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

“… The whisky has an overt youthful brashness with both wood and rye spices abounding, I receive barely a whisper of gentle alcohol burn. Malted milk chocolate and crusty rye bread flavours seem to ooze from the woody spices. When sipped neat, the whisky is robust with a stronger presence of rye, orange peel and yellow fruit. With an ice-cube added, the whisky is oozes milk chocolate and light impressions of marzipan …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #18 Rum Nation Panama (Aged 21 years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2017

Rum Nation has recently invaded my home Province of Alberta with a very interesting assortment of aged rums from the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The man behind this invasion is Fabio Rossi, who began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied winemaking). After his studies, Mr. Rossi left the wine business and started up a whisky company in Edinburgh (Wilson and Morgan) acting as an independent bottler of Single Malt Scotch Whisky. His interest turned to rum and in 1999 Fabio Rossi founded Rum Nation. His company is headquartered in Italy; but Fabio purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas. As a result Rum Nation provides a rather unique assortment of rare limited edition rum bottlings.

One such Bottling is the Rum Nation Panama 21 Years.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #18 Rum of 2017:

Review: Rum Nation Panama 21 Years

“… The rum leads out with the flavours of sweet candied fruit (apricot and peaches) and oak spices. I can also taste rich caramel and molasses which are mingled in nicely with underlying leather and tobacco flavours. Raisins, dates, prunes and chocolate give the rum a nice smokiness …”

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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #21: Canadian Club 20 Year Old Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2017

Canadian Club Whisky (C.C. Whisky) is blended before it is aged, and this process, which has been called ‘Blended at Birth’, is the foundation for the entire portfolio of Canadian Club Whiskies. The particular whisky which is examined in this review is the Canadian Club 20 Year Old Whisky. It is a blend of rye, rye malt, corn, and barley malt spirits which were set down to age together 20 years ago. In fact, I believe that the actual blending formula of base spirits for the 20-year-old Whisky is the same as the blending formula used for Canadian Club’s flagship brand, Canadian Club Premium, which is of course the 6-year-old Whisky which anchors the Canadian Club brand.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #21 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Canadian Club 20 Year Old Whisky

The whisky is smooth with oak spice and hints of sap melded nicely into the other flavours. There is also a smoky quality with dry fruit flavours of raisins and prunes holding the whisky together. A peppery rye note bobs up to the surface, and somewhere in the mix, and I taste dabs of nutmeg and cinnamon as well as a dash of Apricot Brandy. 

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #19 Flor de Caña Centenario 18

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 2, 2017

Flor de Caña has a history of rum production which is dated to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The company was founded by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and today, over 120 years later, the company is led headed by the fifth generation of the Pellas family. It has grown to be not only one of Central America’s leading brands of rum, it is also one of the most recognized rum brands in the world. According to the company website, all of the Flor de Caña rum is produced from molasses which is made from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery in Chichigalpa. This molasses is fermented and then distilled five times in a continuous column still. The resulting distillate is laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses built without air conditioning in an undisturbed environment.

Flor de Caña Centenario 18 is now blended to an average age of 18 years.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #19 Rum of 2017:

Review: Flor de Caña Centenario 18

“… This is a clean dry rum displaying a strong fine oak spice personality. This spicy personality is tempered slightly with mild indications of butterscotch accenting the oak spice. There is a lightly bitter flavour of poplar sap and tobacco keeping the mouth dry and heated. As I let the rum breathe the butterscotch sweetness grows slightly in intensity providing a nice foil for the dry spicy bitterness. I can taste a ribbon of orange peel and vanilla and a growing impression of marzipan …”

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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #22: Crown Royal Cornerstone Blend

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 2, 2017

This year Crown Royal introduced what they call their Noble Collection, and  the first limited release Whisky in that Noble Collection is the Crown Royal Cornerstone Blend. Cornerstone is a blending of three of Crown Royal’s most essential whiskies. Two of these ‘essential’ whiskies are predominantly corn-based, one produced on the large multi column still (about 60 % of the blend), one of them produced on Crown Royal’s Coffey Still (about 6 % of the blend). The third whisky which comprises about 33 % of the blend is a high percentage rye blend whisky. These three whiskies represent the cornerstone of the Crown Royal Whisky flavour profile.

Each of the whiskies in the blend is aged at least 8 years and the final spirit is bottled at 40.3% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #22 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Crown Royal Cornerstone Blend

The rye grain is complimented by the lightly spicy flavour of sap from freshly split wood. There is also a nice fruity sweetness which brings me impressions of marmalade, canned peaches, butterscotch, maple and vanilla. There are also underlying flavours of raisins, damp tobacco, hints of clove and ginger, some fresh leather and a touch of musty burlap.

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100Rums of 2017: #20 Brugal 1888 (Ron Gran Reserva Familiar)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 1, 2017

The Brugal Distillery was founded in 1888, by Andrés Brugal Montaner. Although the Edrington Group now controls the company, George Arzeno Brugal, is the current chairman, and most of the current board members are direct descendants of the original company founder. My understanding based upon discussions with the local Brugal Brand Ambassador for Brugal is that when the Edrington Group gained control of the rum company, they instituted a new wood policy which governs how all of the Brugal spirits are aged. This practice brings the cask selection process into line with the wood policy the company uses for its Scotch whiskies.

Although Brugal still makes their rum in a traditional manner (from molasses) and ages it on site in Puerto Plata, the Brugal 1888 (Ron Gran Reserva Familiar) now undergoes a special double maturation process. The rum is first aged in medium toasted, ex-Bourbon White American Oak Casks for 6 to 8 years. This is followed by a second maturation in first-fill Spanish Oloroso Sherry Casks.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #20 Rum of 2017:

Review: Brugal 1888 (Ron Gran Reserva Familiar)

“… Despite the sherry enhancement the rum remains true to its cane roots as the initial nose brings forward classic aged rum notes of  oak sap, semi-sweet caramel and treacle, and spicy tobacco aromas. There is a light dryness implied with dusty sandalwood notes and light scents of banana and orange peel. As the glass sits, luscious baking spices evolve with dark brown sugars, vanillans, cinnamon and nutmeg all forming a wonderful menagerie of scents in the breezes above the glass …”

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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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