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2016 Rum Howler Spiced Rum Taste-off: Bacardi Oakheart

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 18, 2016

Oakheart and ColaMy 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off has reached the final stages, and if you are looking for trends in my countdown, the one that shines through most clearly for me is that barrel aging matters. It’s not a perfect correlation; but if you have been following my Countdown List of spiced rums as it has grown over the summer you will have seen that the spiced rums which exhibit a little of the depth and character which come from oak aging are outperforming those that do not.

Bacardi’s Oakheart Smooth Spiced Rum is one of those spirits which shows firm signs of age in the glass. It is produced from a blend of column distilled rums which have been aged in charred oak barrels. This aged rum is then spiced to reach a flavour profile which walks the path of a vanilla accented by fragrant spices the combination of which is meant to compliment the aged rum but not to dominate it.

Here is a link to the second best spiced rum on my rum shelf:

#2 Spiced Rum: Bacardi Oakheart

“… I taste a lot of vanilla, some nice rummy butterscotch and a little dollop of maple syrup. The rum has a bit of spicy heat as well, with some orange peel, cinnamon and cloves heating the palate. The oak seems a little lost in the spice when you sip the rum neat. I suspect it is adding to that orange peel zest flavour I noted, but it is hard to decide where the light spice flavours end and the oak begins …”

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

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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Cocktail Hour: The Flying Machine

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 17, 2016

A few weeks ago I introduced a spiced rum cocktail (The Fog Horn) which paid homage to one of my favourite short story authors, Ray Bradbury. I thought that today was a good day to introduce another. The Flying Machine is a very short story written in 1953 when the world was still feeling the aftershocks of World War II and Hiroshima.

Flying Machine SAM_2725This is perhaps one of Bradbury’s lessor known tales, it is nonetheless an important work with a theme often taken up by other writers. I do not want to give too much away, suffice it to say that it is a Pandora’s tale which warns of unintended consequences. You can find the story in two separate Ray Bradbury short story collections: Golden Apples of the Sun and S is for Space.

May I present The Flying Machine.

The Flying Machine

1 1/2 oz Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Ice
2 oz Old Thyme Ginger Beer

Add a slice of Lime to the bottom of your favourite tall drinking glass
Fill with Ice
Pour the first three ingredients into the glass over the ice
Add two dashes of Bitters and complete with Ginger Beer
Stir to mix thoroughly
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!

Note: Tomorrow, my 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off continues with a look at Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Harbour Rum (Yongehurst Distillery)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 15, 2016

Harbour Rum SAM_2704The Yongehurst Distillery is a brand new Micro-Distillery located at 346 Westmoreland Ave near Dupont and Dovercourt in Toronto, Ontario. The facility is owned by long-time friends, Rocco Panacci and John-Paul Sacco, and what has me particularly excited is that Rocco and John-Paul are making what just might be Toronto’s first micro-distilled rum upon their brand new small pot/column combination still.

Yongehurst Distillery’s Harbour Rum is produced on their new still from imported (certified organic) South American molasses (from Paraguay according to my secret sources) which has been fermented with wild Ontario yeast.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Harbour Rum (Yongehusrt Distillery)

“… A light sweetness which reminds me of cotton candy drifts upwards into the breezes with feathery indications of mint and menthol alongside. The breezes indicate that the rum has somewhat firm vegetal nature, and this presents itself beside scents of mushy banana and ripe plantain. There are also intriguing aromas in the air (resin-like esters which remind me of camphor) that resemble the notes I would find in Jamaican pot still rum. The nose is rounded out with hints of lemon and orange zest, banana peel as well as  grassy herbal notes akin to the aroma of freshly mowed hay …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

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

Cocktail Hour: The Yongehurst Daiquiri

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 14, 2016

Yongehurst Still IMG_4727

Yongehurst Distillery Combination Pot/Column Still

The Yongehurst Distillery is a brand new Micro-Distillery located at 346 Westmoreland Ave near Dupont and Dovercourt in Toronto, Ontario. The facility is owned by long-time friends, Rocco Panacci and John-Paul Sacco who are making what just might be Toronto’s first micro-distilled rum upon their brand new small pot/column combination still.

A little over a month ago I was contacted by fellow rum lover Blair Phillips, who like me reviews the odd spirit or two. He had just received a rum sample from the Yongehurst Distillery and was curious about the taste profile he encountered which to him was quite unlike other white rums he had sampled in the past (see his review here).

When Blair described what he was tasting, a vegetal white rum with grit and character, I immediately began to think of citrus based cocktails which might be pushed to a new level by this sort of rum, and when the folks at Yongehurst reached out to me for an independent review I had my chance to put theory to the test.

Yongehurst DaiquiriSAM_2708The Yongehurst Daiquiri was the result. (Yumm!)

Yongehurst Daiquiri

2 oz Yongehurst Harbour Rum
3/4 oz Fresh Orange Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Orange Peel

Add the first four ingredients with ice into a metal shaker
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a 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!

Note: My full review of Yongehurst Distillery’s Harbour Rum will be published tomorrow.

Chimo!

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2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 12, 2016

Spiced ScreechThe Famous Newfoundland Screech is an amber rum which has become part of Canadian folklore. The tale I found upon the company website a few years ago goes like this:

“… the commanding officer of the (American) first detachment was taking advantage of Newfoundland hospitality for the first time and was offered a drop of rum as an after dinner drink. Seeing his host toss back the liquor with nary a quiver, the unsuspecting American adhered to local custom and downed the drink in one gulp.

The look of shock and the glorious shades of color on the American’s face were overshadowed by the bloodcurdling howl made by the poor fellow as he managed to regain his breath. Sympathetic persons from miles around rushed to the house to assist the poor man in such obvious agony and of course to satisfy their curiosity as to what was going on. Among the first to arrive was a garrulous old American sergeant who pounded on the door and demanded “What the cripes was that ungodly screech?”

The taciturn Newf who had answered the door replied simply, “The screech? Tis the rum, me son.”….”

Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum is crafted from the same 4 separate marques of Jamaican rum which are used to produce the Famous Newfoundland Screech which are aged anywhere from 2 to 5 years. However, because this is a spiced rum which is bottled at 50 % alcohol by volume, the treatment of these marques will necessarily be slightly different.

Here is a link to the review of the third best spiced rum upon my rum shelf:

#3 Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum

“… As the glass sits those baking spices seem to take over giving the rum in the glass a rich scent similar to fresh cinnamon buns taken from the oven. There are also aromas of roasted pecans and walnuts, a touch of treacle as well as a meandering scent of marmalade. I cannot say for certain, but it seems to me that I also notice some evidence of oak in the air floating beside the baking spices …”

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I hope you all 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 »

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

 

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

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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