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Cocktail Hour: The Fog Horn

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 11, 2016

Ray Bradbury is one of my favourite writers. His most famous work is the Martian Chronicles which was published in 1950 as a series of loosely connected short stories chronicling the exploration and colonization of Mars. Primarily a short story writer, Ray Bradbury published several more of these loosely connected short story collections. R is for Rocket, S is for Space, The Illustrated Man and Dandelion Wine, are some of my more favoured selections.

Fog Horn SAM_2707Bradbury’s stories ran the gamut from hard science fiction to horror fantasy, often with the two disparate genres colliding in wonderful ways. The inspiration for one of these stories came when he saw the ruins of a broken roller coaster on a California beach which suggested to him a dinosaur skeleton. In conceiving how the monster came to be washed up on shore, Ray Bradbury was inspired to write, The Fog Horn, a haunting tale of a lone sea monster who mistakes the sound emanating from a remote lighthouse as a call from one of his own kind.

Famous Newfoundland Screech Rum is blended in Newfoundland and Labrador, a Canadian province very familiar with the isolated setting of Ray Bradbury’s short story. Thus The Fog Horn serves as the inspiration for my latest cocktail recommendation which mixes Famous Newfoundland Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum with fresh Orange and Lime juices and a touch of Campari.

The Fog Horn

2 oz Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum
3/4 oz fresh Lime Juice
3/4 oz fresh Orange juice
1/8 oz Campari
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Orange Peel

Add the first five ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the out side of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a thin strip of orange peel

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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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Note: Tomorrow I return to my 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown with the third best spiced rum on my bar shelf, Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum, Chimo!

 

 

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Review: Invergordon 1984 – 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky (W&M204)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 9, 2016

Invergordon 30 SAM_2697 Invergordon Distillers (currently owned by Whyte & Mackay) was founded in 1959 in the Highlands region of Scotland and the newly built distillery began to operate in 1959.  The distillery has three working Coffey stills which produce grain whisky (primarily from wheat and corn) for various Whyte and Mackay blended whiskies as well as other Scottish producers.

The 1984 Invergordon 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky was distilled in 1984 and bottled in 2015. This whisky is part of Wilson and Morgan’s Special Release Series which comprises of special bottlings of Scotch whiskies, all of which are 25 years of age or older, and many of which have received an unusual or special maturation regime. This particular whisky was matured for its entire life in a 2nd fill Sherry butt and bottled at cask strength (57% alcohol by volume).

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Invergordon 1984 – 30 Year Old Single Grain (W&M204)

“… The initial notes of caramel toffee, oak spice sherry-like dry fruit have gained strength and been joined by a light but firm impression of peat smoke. There is a nice winding of vanilla in the breezes as well as firm hints of old leather saddles and bits of baking spice. Impressions of corn syrup and Graham wafers bring the grain into focus with a touch of grassy meadow in the background …”

Please enjoy my latest Single Grain Whisky review.

Chimo!

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

Cocktail Hour: Gin and Tonic Vesper

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 8, 2016

Orthydox

Gin and Tonic

The weather has been warm recently, and I found myself wanting to make a nice cold Gin and Tonic. On this particular day I was feeling adventurous and wanted to try an experiment that I had been mulling for some time. I wanted a Gin and Tonic; but I wanted to challenge myself by mixing the serving with a gin which I had previously deemed as being unsuitable for that particular libation. That gin was Tanqueray Rangpur.

Tanqueray Ranpur is a relatively new spirit in the Taqueray family. When I reviewed it last year, I stated that I thought the spirit possessed more than just a passing resemblance to the new “American Style” of gin. This was because within the spirit, the juniper is held in check and other botanicals (in this case strong citrus flavours) are allowed greater expression. Frankly this ‘American Style’ is not a direction I prefer; I like my gin to have a firm juniper presence reveling in the flavour of the berry which gives the spirit its name, especially if I am making a Gin and Tonic. In the case of the Rangpur Gin, I felt that a strong flavour of lime zest would spoil my G & T cocktail. (Lime zest is derived from the lime peel not the lime juice.)

I grabbed my bottle of Rangpur Gin from the shelf, and then (feeling a little like James Bond) I grabbed a vodka bottle as well, in this case Iceberg Vodka. My aim was to use the vodka in the serving to dampen the firm flavour of lime zest while at the same time keeping the alcohol strength of the mixed drink the same as it was before. In essence I was ‘vespering‘ my Gin and Tonic (see post on the Vesper Cocktail here).

G & T Vespet SAM_2735

Gin and Tonic Vesper

After a few tries, I developed a recipe I was quite happy with.Although the resulting Gin and Tonic Vesper was not nearly as juniper forward as would be the case in my usual gin and tonic cocktail, the final serving was nevertheless, refreshing, and the lime zest push from the Rangpur Gin was held in check.

Gin and Tonic Vesper

1 1/3  oz Tanqueray Rangpur Gin
2/3  oz Iceberg Vodka
1/4  oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/8  oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
Q Tonic
Cucumber chunk

Add the first four ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with cucumber

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!

If you are interested, you may read my reviews for Tanqueray Ranpur Gin and Iceberg Vodka by clicking the links below:

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Review: Tanqueray Rangpur Gin

Review: Iceberg Vodka

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Enjoy my vespered cocktail and my reviews, Chimo!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 6, 2016

SAM_0991Lemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the production of the blend had shifted to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada.

Recently, the Lemon Hart brand has been re-energized with the launch of Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Rum (three years ago). The spiced rum (which is the subject of this review) is an 86 proof offering (43 % alcohol by volume), developed for Mosaiq (the brand owner) under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master Blender, Mike Booth.

Here is a link to the fourth best spiced rum upon my rum shelf:

#4 Lemon Hart Navy Spice Rum

” … The initial aroma from the glass is very pleasant. Things begin with a candied sweetness reminiscent of Butterscotch and/or Rum & Butter Lifesaver candies. Within that candied aroma I sense the spiciness of cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom as well as perhaps a touch of orange zest. There are obvious vanilla notes, a very light indication of treacle and hints of tobacco and oak which appear only after the glass sits for a few minutes …”

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I hope you are finding this countdown enjoyable. You can follow the rankings here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

 

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Cocktail Hour: The Merry Widow

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 5, 2016

Merry Widow SAM_2711After tasting and re-examining Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum as part of my 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown, I started flipping through the pages of one of my  cocktail books, 1001 Cocktails (Alex Barker compiler) for a suitable cocktail to showcase the spiced rum. A recipe called the Black Widow caught my eye as it featured the unusual flavour combination of Dark Rum with Southern Comfort shaken with Sweet and Sour mix. I decided to swap out the dark rum for Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum.

The result is my newest cocktail, the Merry Widow.

Merry Widow

1 oz Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum
1/2 Oz Southern Comfort
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Twist of Lime

Place the four main ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of lime peel

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

Note: Tomorrow I return to my 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown with a re-examination of Lemon Hart Spiced Navy Rum.

Chimo!

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Review: Shadow in the Lake Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 3, 2016

Cosmo SAM_2700Legend Distilling is a small craft distillery in the heart of B.C. Okanagan Wine Country. Owner’s Dawn and Doug Lennie moved to Naramata 11 years ago and witnessed the progression of the wine business happening all around them. They were already running their own businesses, but had a dream of working together to build a new company they could share. Whiskey was always been a passion of Doug’s and he had also been watching what was going on with craft distilling in the US. Both Dawn and he decided that spirits would be a great business to bring to the community as a compliment to all the great wines available around them. For Dawn and Doug, offering something new in the area was key. This included their unique location along the Naramata Bench, as other distilleries were being located in more industrial areas.

The Distillery’s flagship Vodka  Shadow In the Lake Vodka which pays homage to the legendary beast Ogopogo. The spirit is produced from 100 % wheat grain grown in the South Peace area of British Columbia which is ground on site at the distillery. It is produced one batch at a time using the distillery’s 3000 litre mash tun and 600 litre hybrid pot still which has one 4 plate column and one 16 plate column attached.

Here is a link to my newest Vodka Review:

Review: Shadow in the Lake Vodka

“… The Shadow in the Lake Vodka was slightly thickened at that cold temperature, and when I brought my shot glass to my nose I noticed the spirit a light vegetal aroma creeping out of the glass. There was also a very light grainy spiciness and a pleasant mint-like scent rising into the breezes …”

Please enjoy my review and the accompanying cocktail suggestion, the Cosmopolitan.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Three Point Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 2, 2016

Vodka Daiquiri SAM_2699Eau Claire Distillery opened as Alberta’s first craft distillery in the summer of 2014. The facility is located 35 minutes southwest of downtown Calgary in the picturesque Hamlet of Turner Valley. The name ‘Eau Claire’ has historical significance in Alberta, meaning ‘clear water’, and is representative of the clear water from the nearby Rocky Mountains that is used as the water source of the distillery.

The folks at Eau Claire pride themselves in sourcing locally farmed ingredients, including grains and potatoes from neighbouring farms. Each ingredient is secured from suppliers who are known and respected in Alberta’s agriculture profession. In addition to the direct from the farm suppliers, Eau Claire has a special connection to the land through its own, unique stable of plough horses. Horse farmed grain is a part of the Eau Claire story and culture. It was founder David Farran’s weekend pursuit of traditional horse farming that led him to establish Eau Claire in the first place. A number of the distillery’s products will be made with ‘horse farmed grain’ using agricultural methods dating back to the settlement of Alberta.

Eau Claire’s Three Point Vodka was launched in June 2014 and was the first spirit to be commercially distributed by the distillery.

Here is a link to my latest Vodka Review:

Review: Three Point Vodka

“… The Three Point Vodka was slightly thickened at that cold temperature, and when I brought my shot glass to my nose I was very surprised by the firm aroma which had climbed into the breezes. My guests at the tasting noticed it too and we spent considerable time debating what we had encountered …”

Please enjoy my newest Vodka Review which includes a nice cocktail suggestion, the Vodka Daiquiri.

Chimo!

 

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Tickets on Sale: The 2nd Annual Edmonton Rum Festival

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 1, 2016

159736I am pleased to announce that the tickets for this year’s Edmonton Rum Festival are on sale now! The folks at Vines Riverbend Wine Merchants (who have produced the very successful Edmonton Whisky Festival for the past 6 years) have teamed up with Lexus Edmonton and Capital FM 96.3 to bring you the festival for the second year in a row!

All proceeds raised at the event will be donated to the MS Society of Canada – Alberta Division.

This is a great chance to taste a strong selection of rums produced from around the world as well as to meet and discuss the noble cane spirit with industry and distillery representatives. And as indicated:

Monies raised at the event will help those affected by MS in our community, as well as help to fund research towards a cure.

2015_Presenting-Sponsors-680x130

Where: Edmonton Delta South Hotel – Grand Ballroom
4404 Gateway Boulevard

When: Friday, September 30, 2016
7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Ticket Price: $90.00 each: available online here
(Tickets are also available in-store at Riverbend Wine Merchants (780 434 9444 ))

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What do you receive for the price of a regular admission ticket?

A commemorative Glencairn glass, an event program, a gourmet buffet throughout the evening, over 75 rums to sample, a chance to win a bottle of rum a month for a year and an opportunity to bid on a number of rum themed silent auction items. The price of a ticket includes entrance and rum sampling (you do not have to buy additional sample tickets).

Are tickets available at the door?

Although tickets will be available at the door, it is strongly advised that you order your tickets in advance to ensure your attendance! Last Year’s event sold out!

Is there parking at the hotel?

The hotel has limited available free parking. However, it is encouraged that you use public transportation and cabs.

Can you get a preferred rate at the Delta as part of the Festival?

Yes! Stay at the Delta Edmonton South for the night at a rate of $165. Call the Delta Edmonton South at 780-434-6415 and ask to book in the Rum Festival open block.

How do you find the rum’s on the list that you want to sample?

The booklet you receive on entering is set out alphabetically by the local agent/importer responsible for each rum company. The tables in the ballroom follow that list in a clockwise direction. Each table is marked with the name of the agent/importer to help you find them easily.

Do you need to purchase drink tickets to be able to taste the rums?

Certainly not! Sampling is included in the admission price. However, you will require a stamp book for your samples which will be available at the door.

Should you wear perfume/after-shave?

One of the great joys of any spirit tasting event is nosing the glass to identify subtle nuances and delicate aromas. Unfortunately this experience can be compromised by perfume, cologne and after-shave worn on your own person or even by somebody else some distance away. So please refrain from wearing any perfumed scents for the duration of the Festival and advise your guests accordingly.

Should you keep your ticket stub?

Absolutely! Bring your stub into Vines Wine Merchants by the end of Nov. 2016 to receive a 10% discount or $10 off, whichever is the better deal on a rum purchase.

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VinesThe folks at Vines do a fantastic job every year with both the Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival and the Annual Edmonton Rum Festival.

I encourage you to attend and enjoy yourself. It is a relaxed atmosphere with Rum Insiders, Brand Ambassadors, and Rum Enthusiasts from across Canada and around the World. You might even run into the Rum Howler, as I have my two tickets reserved already!

Note: All proceeds raised at this event are donated to the MS Society of Canada – Alberta Division.

For more information please contact:

Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants (Edmonton)

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2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Bayou Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 30, 2016

Bayou Spiced and Cola SAM_1668Louisiana Spirits was formed in 2011 with the stated aim to produce a world-class rum in Lacassine, Louisiana from Louisiana sugarcane.  By 2013 their distillery located a few miles east of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was producing a craft rum in what they call the largest privately owned rum distillery in the USA.

Bayou Rums are distilled upon a traditional copper pot still using 100% locally (Louisiana) produced cane sugar and molasses. According to the company website:

Spiced Bayou Rum is infused with classic traditional spices with a Louisiana twist. Featuring Louisiana grown ingredients, this special gumbo of spices creates a unique and satisfying blend that makes it the perfect rum for mixing. Spiced Bayou Rum livens up everything from a rum and cola to unsweet tea or an ice cube.

Here is a link to the review of the fifth best spiced rum currently on my bar shelf:

#5  Bayou Spiced Rum

“… When I brought the rum to my nose, I noticed a butterscotch and vanilla sweetness rode in the breezes alongside a pleasant, somewhat pungent, spiciness. The spiciness reminded me of nutmeg and allspice, with perhaps a touch of cardamom and ginger as well. I also seemed to sense some sharper aromatic spices akin to cinnamon and cloves …”

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I hope you find this countdown enjoyable, and you can follow the rankings here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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

Review: Rum Nation Jamaica 25 Year Old Supreme Lord V

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 28, 2016

RN_Jamaica_25Rum Nation is an Italian company created by Fabio Rossi, who began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied wine-making). 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 limited edition bottlings. One such bottling is Rum Nation Jamaica 25 Year Old Supreme Lord V Rum (201o release).

This small batch bottling was distilled upon a pot still at the Long Pond Estate in Jamaica in 1985 and was bottled in 2010 by Rum Nation. (In case you did not know, the Long Pond Distillery is the original home of Captain Morgan Rum.) The rum is apparently produced from locally grown Jamaican sugar cane molasses, and was originally aged in American Ex Bourbon Casks after which the rum was transferred to Oloroso Sherry butts where it aged for an additional time period.

Here is a link to my latest Rum Review:

Review: Rum Nation Jamaica 25 Year Old Supreme Lord V

“… As the glass breathes, sweetness develops with impressions of butterscotch and dark brown sugar appearing as well as rich baking spices in the form of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. There is an herbal grassiness present reminiscent of green tobacco and heather with perhaps a little fresh poplar and willow thrown in for good measure. A touch of sea brine, bits of iodine and a phenol (rubbery) scent of fresh tar round out the aroma which seems to grow larger the longer the glass breathes …”

Please enjoy my review!

Chimo!

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

 
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