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Review: Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 21, 2016

Cyrus Nobel SAM_2742Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon Whiskey is a product of Haas Brothers who were established in 1851 and headquartered in San Francisco. According to their website, the Cyrus Noble brand was originally established in 1871 (in San Francisco), and is currently distilled (in Kentucky) according to the original family recipe.

The whiskey is bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume and carries no age statement; however, according to the little booklet which is attached to the neck of the bottle the spirit in the bottle is five years old.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon

“… The breezes in the air above the glass give me impressions of oak sap and a woody spiciness which is coupled with mild indications of both vanilla and butterscotch. Tall grassy meadows wave in the breezes beside the oak spice with orange peel and scents of green apple and cinnamon …”

I hope you enjoy this review and stay tuned for a few more bourbon whiskey reviews in the coming weeks.



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

Talk Like a Pirate: Nine Tasty Spiced Rum Cocktails Matey!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 19, 2016

Aarh, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day so I thought that would be a good excuse to bring forward some of my favourite Spiced Rum Cocktails from this past summer’s Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off. Spiced Rum doesn’t have a very good reputation when it comes to cocktails. Most of my friends (when they consume spiced rum) stick to the tried and true recipe of Spiced Rum and Cola mixing the serving with lots of ice. And if you followed my 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off you have noticed that I certainly have no trouble recommending that simple libation for many of the spiced rums I review. Rum, with its obvious caramel and molasses flavours mixes very well with cola, and if that rum has been spiced, the result is a nice tall deck drink that is not only refreshing, it has a bit of welcome attitude as well.

However, if you did follow my 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off this past summer you would also have noticed that I have attempted to elevate the spiced spirit with a few new cocktail suggestions to demonstrate that spiced rum doesn’t have to be just a base spirit for tall deck drinks. It can be a spirit of sophistication as well.

I thought I would augment my efforts on behalf of spiced rum with a listing of Nine Tasty Spiced Rum Cocktails that do not require the use of cola or soda. These are short, sipping cocktails which (in my opinion) could easily grace the menus of any fine cocktail bar.

And so, in no particular order, here are 9 Tasty Spiced Rum Cocktails:
(click on the name of the cocktail to view its recipe)

Trolley Car

The Trolley Car

  1.   Spiced Darwin  (A nice libation I made specifically for Captain Morgan’s White Spiced Rum. Charles Darwin helped us understand the concept of evolution; this serving serves to signal the new evolution of Spiced Rum Cocktails.
  2.   The Pedestrian (This tasty recipe pays homage to Ray Bradbury’s tale of a not too distant future where television and video entertainment has become so ubiquitous that a lone person who enjoys an evening stroll arouses the suspicions of the city robot police car.)
  3.  The Cable Car  (The Cable Car was created at the Starlight Room in San Fransisco by Tony Abou-Ganim. Based upon the modern Sidecar, Tony’s recipe is considered by many to be a modern classic.)
  4.  The Jerrycan (I designed this short cocktail specifically for Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. The flavour profile of Sailor Jerry contains very strong impressions of Dr. Pepper soda which means similar spiced rums such as Blackheart Spiced Rum should also work very well in the new mixed drink.
  5.  The Fog Horn (Another Rum Howler creation inspired by a Ray Bradbury short story which this time features a lonely sea monster and the wail of a distant fog horn. Tony Abou’s Cable Car was most definitely a strong influence here as well.)
  6.  The Honey Badger (The media team for the spirits conglomerate Diageo sent me this great recipe which was designed for their Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. If you are a fan of that other Black Spiced Rum, you will be pleased to know it works well for The Kraken as well. )
  7. The Merry Widow (I stumbled across a recipe called the Black Widow in the cocktail book, 1001 Cocktails (Alex Barker compiler) which combines Dark Rum with Southern Comfort and Lemon Juice. Swapping out the Dark Rum for Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum, I created a delightful new indulgence, the Merry Widow.)
  8. The Trolley Car (The Trolley Car was created from a combination of High-proof Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Triple Sec, Orange Juice, Lime Juice, and Bitters.  The result is simply delicious! (Yet another recipe of mine inspired by Tony Abou’s Cable Car.))
  9. Bitter Blood and Spice (This is one of my favourite creations. Based upon a Hennessey Cognac cocktail, Blood Orange Bitters, my serving mixes 100 Proof Spiced Rum with the juice from Navel and Blood Oranges and then accents the libation with Angostura Bitters.)


Try these spiced rum cocktails and let me know your favourite.



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Review: Last Mountain 306 The Original Saskatchewan Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 17, 2016

sask-libre-sam_2771Colin Schmidt was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1992. After being drafted, he spent four years playing College Hockey and then signed his first pro contract in 1996. Colin’s pro experience was brief, cut off by a few shoulder injuries after a short spell of what Colin referred to as “playing left bench.” Fortunately, as far as we are concerned, Colin’s story did not end there.

A few years later, Colin, who was working in the mortgage industry, and his wife, Meredith, whose background was in banking, began to look for their own business opportunities in Saskatchewan. Colin had a friend who had started up a micro-distillery in Colorado, and the idea to begin a similar operation in Saskatchewan was very appealing to them. In August of 2010, Colin and Meredith’s hard work and perseverance paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.

In 2012 Colin reached out to me and sent me samples of both his Vodka (see review here) and later his first whisky (see review here) for me to taste and review. I was surprised at the quality of each spirit and have kept tabs on the folks at Last Mountain ever since. Recently the distillery released a brand new rum distilled (in Saskatchewan) from molasses and aged for two years in once filled bourbon barrels. Colin sent me a bottle and asked me to provide feedback in the form of a review here on my website.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Last Mountain 306 The Original Saskatchewan Rum

“… The use of once used bourbon barrels has paid dividends as the rum immediately throws fine oak spice into the air accompanied by light aromas of vanilla, almond, butterscotch, orange peel and coconut. The fine oak spice is a little firmer than one would normally encounter in such a young rum; but it is appealing bringing very mild whisky-like scents, (rye, ginger and grain) into the air alongside the light rum aroma. The result is a spirit which displays nice complexity despite its young age …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a very nice Rum and Cola recipe, the Saskatchewan Libre’.


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Cocktail Hour: Easy

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 16, 2016

The Big Rig Craft Distillery opened their doors on October 17, 2015 and they already have an impressive line-up of spirits for sale at their boutique store within the facility. These spirits include their Premium and their Saskatoon Vodka, Wildrose Gin; their selections of White Dog Distillate (not whisky for three years yet); and their intriguing Sugar Beet Brum. As well, they are experimenting with an array of new flavoured Vodkas some of which are bottled and ready for sale, and others which are in development.

easy-sam_2775Sugar Beet Brum is produced from raw (brown) sugar manufactured from Alberta Sugar Beets on the company’s main still (Mighty Morley). This is a versatile still consisting of a large wash still, two columns, and a condenser. Chemically, sugar manufactured from sugar beets has the same composition as sugar derived from sugar cane, and in fact if this product was manufactured from cane sugar it could legally be called rum. As Sugar Beets rather than Cane is the source of the raw material for distillation, the folks at Big Rig decided that Brum was a suitable name.

Here is a simple recipe based upon the Commodore (which is a whisky cocktail I happen to enjoy).  I am using Brum rather than whisky which of course means that the cocktail deserves its own name. I thought it would be fun to keep with the Commodore theme, and so I named this cocktail after a Commodores’ song called Easy.


2 oz Big Rig Sugar Beet Brum
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
dash of Orange Bitters
Sugar Syrup to taste

Mix a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake it up until the shaker frosts over
Strain into a fancy glass of your choice
To keep things easy, no garnish required

(By the way, I realize that the whisky cocktail was not named for the music group, the Commodores, but their song, Easy, sure fits the mood of this cocktail, especially on a Sunday morning.)

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

Note: I will be reviewing Big Rig’s Sugar Beet Brum in the coming weeks, Stay tuned!

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Review: Dictador Orange 100 Month Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 12, 2016

Dictador Orange SAM_2680Recently Dictador Rum released what they call their 100 Month Series which includes four new rums all aged for 100 months. Unlike the more premium Dictador Solero Aged Rums, the 100 month series is meant to be a gateway series consisting of spirits which are meant to be embraced both as entry-level sipping rums as well as cocktail spirits.

The Dictador Orange 100 Month Aged Rum was created to be a discerning spirit for the cocktail enthusiast. The base rum within the flavoured spirit is a continuous column still rum which was aged (for 100 months) in ex-bourbon oak barrels. At maturity the rum was macerated with fresh Colombian orange peel. The flavoured rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Dictador Orange 100 Month Rum

“… The maturity of the rum is quite obvious as when we sip firm oak spices come forward combining with the orange flavour. Although the oak spice was hidden from view when I nosed the rum, it shows itself clearly across the palate. There is also a light  sweetness of caramel toffee and hints of baking spice which give the rum additional character …”

Please enjoy my review, chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Proxima b Daiquiri

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 11, 2016

On August 24, a team of exo-planet researchers (led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé of Queen Mary University of London) made an exciting announcement confirming the discovery of an earth sized planet orbiting our sun’s nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri. Making the discovery even more exciting is the possibility that this newly discovered planet is in the so-called ‘Goldilocks Zone’ where liquid water could be present on its rocky surface.

Autumn Orange SAM_2738Why is this so important? Because if life (at least as we might recognize it) exists somewhere else in the universe, then the star (Proxima Centauri) which is the closest neighbouring star to our sun has just become one of the most likely places where we might find it. In fact, the discovery of this earth-sized planet which has been given the temporary name Proxima b circling our nearest stellar companion is almost certainly the most important astronomical discovery of the current year.

Here is my new cocktail which celebrates our newfound planetary neighbour, the Proxima b Daiquiri.

Proxima b Daiquiri

2 oz Dictador Orange 100 Month Rum
1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz fresh Lime Juice
2/3 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
dash or two Angostura Bitters
Orange Peel Coil

Add the first five ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Add an orange peel coil for garnish


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

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Review: Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 8, 2016

Alberta PremiumAlberta Distillers Limited (ADL) own the oldest distillery in Western Canada. It is situated in Calgary Alberta and has been producing spirits in the same location for well over 60 years. The distillery is part of the Beam/Suntory portfolio.Alberta Premium is the flagship whisky of Alberta Distillers Limited (ADL), and according to the Beam/Suntory Brands website:

This whiskey is made by Alberta Distillers in the heart of Canada’s rye-growing country where cold barren winters give way to an abundant crop of the finest rye. Made by blending two aged whiskies, one of which is aged for flavor in used bourbon casks. Then, after blending, it is aged some more. Alberta Premium is aged for 5 years. The slow aging in cold temperatures preserves the natural rye spice.

I was recently given a bottle of Alberta Premium by a guest at one of my tasting events and I thought I would revisit my review of this 100 % Canadian Rye Whisky.

Here is a link to my new review:

Review: Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky

 ” … The breezes above the glass bring me the scents and smells of a fruit-filled rye with additional notes of vanilla. Fine oak spices and a touch of citrus zest mingle within the fruity rye smells. As I allow the whisky to breathe, some nice smells of butterscotch and maple come forward and the overt fruitiness gains momentum. I receive impressions of canned apricots and pears from the glass, and  I also sense a light touch of almond in the breeze …”

Please enjoy my review of this fine 100 % rye whisky which tastes better now than it did 6 years ago when I first reviewed it.


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

Dennis’ Cocktail: Whoa Dennis!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 7, 2016

I mentioned two days ago that my good friends Ally and Dennis just got married, and that I was honoured to have been asked to design/recommend the signature cocktails for the reception and banquet. Earlier this week I shared Ally’s Cocktail, the Bluebird of Happiness, and today I am going to share with you Dennis’s Cocktail, Whoa Dennis!

Dennis is a huge fan of both Rye Whisky and Dark Caribbean Rum. He is also very fond of both Lemon and Grapefruit Juice, and earlier this year I happened upon a recipe put together by Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin ( In the Land of Cocktails) (with the assistance of Ted Haigh (Dr. Cocktail)) which seemed ideal for my purpose. Their recipe Whoa Nellie! seemed ideal as it combined all of the ingredients Dennis loved with a small hit of sweetener and a few dashes of Fees Cocktail Bitters.

Whoa Nellie SAM_2398

Whoa Dennis!

I needed to make only one very small change. All of the suggested constructions for the Brennan and Martin Cocktail I found online called for American Rye Whiskey, whereas I knew that Dennis (and  I too) preferred Canadian Rye Whisky. So I invited Ally and Dennis over, and I made him the cocktail with a particular rye whisky that Dennis is extremely fond of, Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky.

Whether this one change (which perhaps isn’t really a change at all) warranted a renaming of the cocktail is open to debate. But when Ally insisted, I agreed that the cocktail could be renamed for one day.

Whoa Dennis!

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Alberta Premium 100% Rye)
1/2 oz Dark Rum (Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum)
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Cointreau)
1/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/3 oz Lemon Juice
a few dashes of Bitters (Fees Cocktail Bitters)
1/3 oz Sugar Syrup
Grapefruit Twist

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with plenty of ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of Grapefruit

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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


Please note: I took this oppertunity to revisit Alberta Premium Rye Whisky and my new review will publish tomorrow.


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Ally’s Cocktail: The Bluebird of Happiness

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 5, 2016

This past weekend, My good friends Ally and Dennis took the plunge into the unknown and got married. I was extremely happy for them, and was also quite honoured when they asked me to design signature cocktails for the reception and banquet. One cocktail for the bride, and one for the groom.

Bluebird of Happiness

Bluebird of Happiness

Ally is partial to vodka, and so for her cocktail I dove into W.J. Tarling’s, 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book, and selected a serving of Tarling’s called Blue Bird. The recipe mixes Vodka, Cointreau, and Lemon Juice in a 2:1:1 ratio and then adds 3 dashes of Maraschino and 3 dashes of Blue Extract for colour.

For the wedding celebration, the recipe required only one tweak to make it easier to construct. I replaced the Cointreau and Blue Extract (food colouring) for Bols Blue (Triple Sec). Bols Blue has a very nice orange flavour which is quite similar to Cointreau however, it carries a lower alcohol content making it quite suitable for a large gathering where not everyone wants a full strength cocktail.

This is Allie’s Cocktail: I call it, the Bluebird of Happiness.

Bluebird of Happiness

1 1/2 oz  Vodka
3/4 oz  Bols Blue (Triple Sec)
3/4 oz  Lemon Juice
3 dashes (about 1/8 oz)  Luxardo Maraschino
Lemon Garnish

Add the first four Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with thin slice of lemon
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: I will be publishing Dennis’ cocktail in a few days.

You may follow these links for my published reviews of Bols Blue and Luxardo Maraschino.



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Review: Forty Creek Confederation Oak (Lot 1867F)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 2, 2016

SAM_2635In 2010 Forty Creek Whisky introduced Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Whisky. What made this whisky unique was that it had been finished in Canadian Oak Barrels. These oak barrels were made from oak trees (growing only 40 miles from the distillery) which began their growth in Canadian soil approximately 150 years ago at the time of Confederation (The birth of Canada as a nation), hence the name Confederation Oak.

It has been 6 years since Confederation Oak Reserve Whisky was first released over that time the spirit has become one of the staple whiskies in the Forty Creek Whisky family. Each year a new batch is produced, and when I recently received a bottle from the newest batch (Batch Number 1867F), I decided to revisit the spirit to see how it has changed over time.

Here is a link to my latest Canadian Whisky review:

Review: Forty Creek Confederation Oak (Lot 1867F)

“… Lot 1867F however seems more subdued with less oak spice and woody vanillans at the forefront of the whisky. This time the breezes bring me more obvious scents butterscotch and maple syrup. Rye notes (and the tempered wood spices) are melded within this light sweetness. As the glass breathes, I notice a bit of a bourbon flair with indications of corn whisky, vanilla, almond, honeycomb and damp tobacco all apparent as well in the air above the glass …”

Please enjoy the review, Chimo!

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

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