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Review: Spytail Black Ginger Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 31, 2017

last-saks-pirate-sam_3003Spytail Black Ginger Rum is produced by Biggar and Leith, who are based in the New York area with distribution across North America and in 16 Countries worldwide (and growing). Biggar & Leith own a small portfolio of spirits which are produced by established, family owned distilleries.

Spytail Black Ginger Rum pays homage to the submarine, SPYTAIL, as apparently plans for the legendary underwater ship were discovered by Biggar and Leith’s distillers in Cognac, France. While that may seem unlikely, this actually makes sense as the first mechanical submarines were not only invented in France, they were tested within the Charente River which flows near their distillery. The production of Spytail Rum is based on a 19th Century recipe which calls for the aging of fresh ginger root and spices in barrels of Rum. The spirit is produced from a blend of Caribbean rums which are both blended and bottled at the Cognac, France facility.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Spytail Black Ginger Rum

“… The rum brings a tasty combination of rum-like brown sugar and spicy oriental ginger across the palate. The spirit is not as sweet as the nose implied; however there is enough sweetness to help balance the overt spiciness of the ginger root. Bits of orange marmalade meander into the rum’s flavour along with hints of cinnamon and some more obvious vanilla …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with a very nice cocktail, The Last Saskatchewan Pirate.

Chimo!

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

Review: Invergordon 1984 – 28 Year Old (SKU W&M 228)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 29, 2017

inverInvergordon 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 Wilson and Morgan 1984 Invergordon 28 Year Old Single Grain Whisky (SKU W&M 228) was distilled in 1987 and bottled in 2016. This whisky is part of Wilson and Morgan’s Special Release Series which is comprised 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 (56.5% alcohol by volume).

Here is a link to my full review of this special whisky:

Review: W&M Invergordon 1984 – 28 Year Old

“… This is a complex whisky full of charred oak and cereal grain, but tempered with rich vanillans and butterscotch toffee. There is a firm herbal quality within the grain which reminds me of fresh-cut green hay with just a smidgen of heather and menthol …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding grain whisky, Chimo!

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

Review: Malfy Gin (Con Limone)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 27, 2017

The Lady From Sicily

The Lady From Sicily

Malfy Gin is a brand owned by Biggar and Leith, who are based in the New York area with distribution across North America and in 16 Countries worldwide (and growing). Biggar & Leith own a small portfolio of spirits which are produced by established, family owned distilleries.

Malfy G.Q.D.I. (Gin di Qualità Distillato in Italia) is distilled by the Vergnano family in Moncalieri, Italy. (G.Q.D.I. stands for ‘Gin di qualità distillato in Italia’. It is a stamp and guarantee of quality and origin.) The family uses a traditional stainless steel vacuum still and produces their gin from a distillation of lemons (coastal grown Italian lemons – some from Amalfi and some from Sicily) and juniper (of course) as well as 5 other botanicals (including coriander, angelica and cassia bark).

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Malfy Gin (Con Limone)

“… the gin revels in the lemon. At first , that is all I taste. However, as I let my palate adjust I begin to notice other flavours playing within the lemon construct. Lightly bitter juniper, hints of dark licorice, and a spiciness which at first I took for lemon zest, but which certainly has the imprint of coriander upon it as well …”

Please enjoy my review, and my cocktail suggestion which follows, the Lady From Sicily, Chimo!

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

Review: Victoria Caledonian Mac na Braiche

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 26, 2017

mac-na-braiche-sam_3038The Victoria Caledonian Distillery has been on my radar for a while now. I first heard of it when founder Graeme Malconey invited me to an information seminar and whisky tasting several years ago. At that time the distillery was just in the planning stages and Graeme was touring the country raising money to build his distillery.

In the fall of 2016, word reached me that the Victoria Caledonian Brewery & Distillery had began to produce and age new make spirit. Then in January of 2017 Andrew Walls, Sales Manager and Brand Ambassador for the aforementioned distillery reached out to me asking if he could share some samples for me to review. He, in fact agreed to come all the way to my house in Edmonton and provided a private tasting for my tasting group, the Rum Chums. One of those spirits we sampled was a ‘whisky in progress’,  Victoria Caledonian Mac na Braiche.

Andrew left me with a sample, and although the spirit is not a whisky yet, I felt it deserved a full review on my website.

Here is a link to that review:

Review: Victoria Caledonian Mac na Braiche

“… The nose carries both the signature of both the ex red-wine cask and single malt whisky. I notice a ribbon of cherry-like turkish delight in the breezes wrapped up in fine oak spice and a malty sweetness. There are some impressions of dry raisins as well as canned pears and yellow-green apple slices. Bits of almond, vanilla, ginger spice and a light grassiness rounds out the aroma …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful new spirit from the Victoria Caledonian Distillery, chimo!

Note: The Victoria Caledonian Distillery And Brewery has a very interesting custom cask program which allows interested consumers to design and order their own custom cask from a variety of cask options. If you are interested, please contact Andrew Campbell Walls at Andrew@MacaloneyDistillers.com  or download the cask offer here:

http://vcaledonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Cask-Offer.pdf.

Posted in Moonshine and New-make | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Victoria Caledonian Mac na Braiche

Review: Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 24, 2017

On March 23rd, 2017 I attended to a very special tasting event hosted by Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum. This wasn’t an ordinary tasting event. Joy Spence and Appleton Estate were serving a very special new rum.

Joy is celebrating her 20th anniversary as Master Blender of Appleton Estate Rum. She joined Appleton Estate Rum in 1982 as Chief Chemist and was appointed as the brand’s Master Distiller/Blender in 1997. At that time, Joy Spence became not only first woman to be the Master Blender of a premium rum brand, but also the first woman in the world to be the Master Blender of a global spirits brand. Since then, she has earned numerous awards, including the honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Louborough and, in 2016, the Golden Rum Barrel Award for the Most Influential Rum Blender of the Last 10 Years.

To acknowledge her extraordinary career, Appleton Estate is paying homage to the revolutionary Joy Spence by releasing Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend, a rare 25-year-old minimum aged limited edition rum.

Here is a link to my full review of the Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum which I cobbled together from the tasting notes I wrote at yesterday’s tasting event.

Review: Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum

“… I was extremely pleased to find Jamaican pot still character (camphor and resin, bits of menthol, and vague hints of tar and iodine) very much in evidence within the oak and spice. Also within the merry little breezes was the Appleton Estate Rum signature of orange peel combined with dark brown sugar and rich baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and hints of allspice) …”

I hope you enjoy the review which concludes with a few serving suggestions from none other than Joy Spence herself as Joy shared with me how she would recommend enjoying her special Anniversary Rum with a small group of friends.

 

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum

Review: Royal Pride Exquisite Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 22, 2017

Black Cove (Royal Pride)Royal Pride Exquisite Whisky is produced by Jagatjit Industries Limited  who both distill and bottle the blended whisky in the small town of Hamira which is situated in Kapurthala district, India. (Jagatjit Industries was founded in the year 1944 by Mr. L.P. Jaiswal in the erstwhile State of Kapurthala under the patronage of its Maharaja Jagatjit Singh.) In addition to whisky, this company also produces Rum, Gin and Vodka, and is currently the third largest IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) producer on the sub continent.

The spirit is a blend of selected Indian grain whiskies and imported (aged) Malt Whiskies from the Highland, the Speyside and the Islay regions of Scotland. The website goes on to tell us that:

Master Blenders from Scotland then carefully blend in the aged imported scotch malts & a very Special Single Malt Scotch whisky to achieve smooth, mellow & full bodied blend with a tinge of peat that delivers a sensational taste to your deserving palate.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Royal Pride Exquisite Whisky

“… There is a soft punch of peat smoke, and perhaps a few indications of sherry cask flavours (dark fruit) underneath the soft peat. As I continued to sip, I noticed a light cane-like sweetness coming forward as well …”

Please enjoy my review>

Chimo!

 

Posted in Indian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Royal Pride Exquisite Whisky

Review: Grays Peak Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 20, 2017

vodka-darby-sam_3017Grays Peak Vodka is an American spirit produced in Minnesota apparently for the Prestige Wine Group. According to their website information, the spirit is distilled five times from corn using water that undergoes a proprietary reverse osmosis process to any trace minerals and trace elements. The resulting spirit is then filtered through charcoal for added smoothness and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

The spirit is part of the Preferred Selection at the Western Canadian Liquor Depot chain of stores.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Grays Peak Vodka 

“… When I brought my full shot glass to my nose, I noticed very little in the breezes at first. However as the spirit warmed I began to sense a light hint of vanilla beside some grain spice with perhaps a touch of mint (or menthol) in the breezes as well …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice cocktail recommendation, the Vodka Darby.

Chimo!

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Grays Peak Vodka

The Hansen Distillery

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 19, 2017

Head Distiller Kris Sustrik

On January 26, 2017, I attended the VIP Launch Event for the Hansen Distillery, a brand new Craft Distiller situated here in Edmonton. The small distillery is located in Edmonton’s West End (17412 111 Ave NW), and the launch included a small tour of the distillery as well as an evening of cocktails made from Hansen’s craft spirit.

The Hansen Distillery has an unlikely history that began in the midst of the Great Depression when Carl and Amanda Hansen began to make moonshine in Southern Alberta. As I learned at the VIP event, this wasn’t about running ‘shine across the border to make tons of money off Prohibition, this was about keeping their farm and feeding a growing family by providing a little hooch for local socials and dances. Apparently Amanda made the moonshine, and Carl made it available to the local community. When World War II ended, the Depression was over as well, and Carl and Amanda left moonshining behind to go back to farming full-time. Of course they continued to distill the odd batch here and there for family occasions, and the recipe Amanda created was handed down to her children, and then to her grand children, and finally all the way to great-grandchildren, Kris and Shayna Sustrik. Kris and Shyna have decided to relaunch that family tradition and together they built the new Hansen Distillery here in Edmonton Alberta.

Border Crossing Rye Spirit

For more complete information about the Hansen Distillery you can follow this link to read about the launch event and my subsequent my tour of the facility.

The Hansen Distillery Tour

and if you are interested in how their spirit tastes, here is a link to my review of their Border Crossing Rye Spirit (a 100% locally Alberta-grown, un-aged white rye).

Review: Hansen Border Crossing Rye Spirit

“… The nose is very interesting with scents of mushy banana and plantain rising alongside zesty citrus notes and fresh spicy rye grain. Grilled zucchini and pineapple are hinted at as well …”

Please enjoy both the distillery tour and my Border Crossing Rye review which incidentally includes a great signature cocktail designed especially for the rye spirit called the Green Card.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Distillery Tour | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on The Hansen Distillery

Review: Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength – Batch B1/16

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2017

red-beast-cask-strength-sam_3021The town of Midleton (near Cork City) is home to the largest distillery in Ireland, aptly named the Midleton Distillery. This distillery is part of the Pernod-Ricard group of companies, and it is home to a variety of Irish Whiskey Brands. Powers, Paddy, Tullamore Dew, and Red Breast all are distilled at the Midleton Distillery, as is of course, the largest selling Irish Whiskey Brand in the world, Jameson.  (Incidentally, the Jameson Brand is also part of the Pernod-Ricard conglomerate of companies.)

The Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength Irish Whiskey is made from a mash of Malted and unmalted barley which is triple distilled in copper pot stills and aged in first fill Olorosso sherry casks. The spirit is non-chill filtered and bottled at 57.2% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength – Batch B1/16

“… Reviewers of whisky often talk about a long lingering finish. This one is the real deal as the combination of oily pot still whisky and concentrated cask strength flavours ensure that a full 20 minutes after swallowing the whiskey I can still taste its rich goodness. This is about as perfect as the exit can be …”

Please enjoy my St. Patrick’s Day review of this stunning Irish Whisky.

Chimo!

Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 15, 2017

jameson-select-reserve-sb-sam_3020John Jameson, a Scotsman, established the company that bears his name in the year 1780, in Dublin Ireland. The popularity of Jameson Irish Whiskey grew steadily, and by the early 1800’s it was the most popular whiskey in the world. Social and political events such as the temperance movement in Ireland, and the Irish War of Independence (which caused a trade war with Britain) caused Jameson to lose its position as the world leader in whiskey sales, however in spite of these set backs, Jameson remains the third largest single distillery whiskey brand in the World.

The Jameson Select Reserve Small batch Irish Whiskey is a blended whiskey produced with from both Pot Still Irish Whiskey (said to be 12 years old) and a smaller amount of Irish Grain Whiskey (said to be 5 years old). The grain whiskey within the blend is apparently made only once per year and is exclusive to this particular brand.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch Irish Whiskey

” … The whiskey has a medium length finish which features a both spicy oak and lively fruit flavours. With ice added vanilla and milk chocolate become the focus in the exit. Either way with or without ice, this is Yumm …”

Please enjoy the second of my Irish Whiskey reviews to help you get ready for St. Patrick’s Day.

Chimo!

Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch Irish Whiskey

 
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