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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!

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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!

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Review: Ketel One Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 13, 2017

ketel-martini-sam_3029Ketel One Vodka is a Dutch spirit distilled from European Wheat in copper pot stills. It is produced by the Nolet Distillery in Schiedam (the Netherlands). The Nolet Distillery was founded in 1691, has remained a family owned distillery to this day.

When the Ketel One brand was developed the name was chosen to recognize the coal-fired copper still that was originally used to distill it. In dutch that name is  Distilleerketel #1.  Although the brand was created by the Nolet family (in 1981) and is still produced at their facility in Schiedam, Ketel One Vodka is now sold world-wide by Diageo through an agreement reached with the distillery in 2008.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Ketel One Vodka

“… there was unanimous consent around the table that the vodka was extremely smooth going down. I could feel a bevy of clean peppery spice in my mouth, but there was no burn or discomfort after the swallow. There were light after flavours of vanilla, lemon zest and grain spice, but no metallic flavours nor any sign of vegetal aftertaste …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

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Beyond Islay: Part 7 – Ledaig 18 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 12, 2017

ledaig-18yoIt is back to the Isle of Mull for the finale of my Beyond Islay Single Malt Whisky review series. The series of reviews has been based upon 7 different Single Malt Whiskies I taste at the Beyond Islay tasting event hosted by Ryan Engen who is the Director of Spirits, for Liquor Stores N.A. Inc. at the Edmonton Wine and Beyond McTagggert Ridge location. At the tasting,Ryan had selected Single Malt Whiskies which represented the diversity of Scotland’s Island Whiskies produced on the lesser known Scottish Islands.

As indicated, Ledaig is produced at the Tobermory Distillery upon the Isle of Mull. The peated spirit was matured for 18 years in oak casks and then finished in ex-Sherry casks.

Here is a link to my review:

Beyond Islay: Part 7 – Ledaig 18 Year Old:

“… The breezes above the glass carried a complex aroma with peat smoke entwined with sherry-like scents of cherry licorice and raisins. Baking spices came forward with rum-like dark brown sugar mixed with vanilla and bits of cinnamon and clove. The peaty scents were somewhat pungent as organic boggy smells mixed with oily phenols, licorice root and menthol …”

Please enjoy my review which ends with a short cocktail, What Rough Beast.

Chimo!

 

 

 

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Review: Tullamore Dew Finest Old Irish Whiskey (12 Years Old)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 10, 2017

irish-splash-sam_3025Tullamore Dew Finest Old Irish Whisky has been replaced in the Tullamore lineup by the new 12 Year Old Special Reserve, however bottles of the 12 Year Old Finest are still available (at least in my locale).

Tullamore Dew Whisky is composed of three different mature Irish Whiskies: Irish Pot Still Whiskey, which is distilled three times in a giant copper ‘pot’ still from a mash of malted barley as well as other cereal grains; Irish Grain Whiskey which is distilled on a multiple (two or three) column continuously operating ‘patent’ still from a corn (or maize) based mash with small amounts of malted barley; and Irish Malt Whiskey which is distilled three times on a pot still using only malted barley.

The Tullamore Dew Finest Old Irish Whisky was matured for a minimum of 12 years in oak barrels and bottled at 40% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Tullamore Dew Finest Old Irish Whiskey

“… The initial breezes above the glass bring fine oak spice and punky caramel with light almond and vanilla accents. As I let the glass breathe the fine oak spices gained momentum, cereal grain joined in along with light baking spices (vanilla, ginger and cinnamon) and the almond aroma deepened somewhat towards marzipan …”

Please enjoy my review which begins a short series of Irish Whiskey reviews which I will publish on the run-up to St. Patrick’s Day.

Chimo!

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Review: Barbancourt Reserve Speciale 8 Year Old Rhum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 8, 2017

sam_3054

Haitian Gentleman

The world of Rum was saddened by the loss of Thierry Gardère. After stating that he wasn’t feeling well and was having trouble breathing, Gardère passed away on Wednesday February 27 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on the way to the hospital. Thierry Gardère was the fourth generation of his family to direct the Society du Rhum Barbancourt, which is the company responsible for the distillation and production of Rhum Barbancourt. Thierry was described to me as a real gentleman and benefactor to his country. When I learned of the sad news, I decided to pay a very small tribute to both the man and the rhum he produced by re-visitng my 7 year old review of the Barbancourt Reserve Speciale 8 Year Old Rhum.

Rhum Barbancourt is produced  in Port Au Prince on the Isle of Haiti. The Haitian company (founded by Dupré Barbancourt ) began producing rhum on March 18, 1862, distilling their spirit directly from sugar cane juice rather than using molasses.

Here is a link to my newly revised review:

Review: Barbancourt Reserve Speciale 8 Year Old Rhum

“… I notice smells of banana, orange peel, almond, vanilla and mild oak spices. The light butterscotch and brown sugar notes move into those light oak spices bringing yummy toffee forward and a few scattered baking spices. The almond notes I noticed initially are moving towards marzipan, and the orange peel is moving towards marmalade …”

I hope everyone enjoys my revised review and the cocktail suggestion, Haitian Gentleman which follows.

(My sincere condolences to all friends and family of Thierry Gardère, as well as to the staff and workers at Thierry Gardère who are mourning his loss.)

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Review: Lowry Park Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 6, 2017

sam_3018Lowry Park Vodka is an American spirit produced by Terrapure Spirits in North Charleston (South Carolina). The spirit is distilled six times from grain, and is part of the Preferred Selection at the Western Canadian Liquor Depot chain of stores.

As part of the review process, I first sampled the spirit on my own side by side with three rival vodkas (Antrim, Gray’s Peak, and Ketel One) where I put all spirits through the paces of my review methodology. I served the spirits chilled and sipped them each neat, swallowed shots, and then sampled each with a variety of foods. I finished the tasting session with some cocktails made from each spirit. The following week held a Vodka tasting for a few friends where we repeated the tasting in a group format. Based upon these two tasting sessions, and based upon comments from my friends I constructed my review for each spirit.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Lowry Park Vodka

“… When I tossed down a full swallow (served cold), I found the spirit smooth. The light mint flavour and the grain spice felt nice in the mouth and throat although there was perhaps just a hint of burn as well. The light burn didn’t really concern me as it could easily be that I was misinterpreting grain spice as burn at the cold temperature I was serving the spirit at …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice cocktail suggestion,

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Beyond Islay: Part 6 – Talisker Distiller’s Edition (2015 Bottling)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 5, 2017

2015-de-talisker-bot-70cl-300dpi-a4This is the sixth Single Malt Whisky which I tasted at the Beyond Islay tasting event hosted by Ryan Engen who is the Director of Spirits, for Liquor Stores N.A. Inc. at the Edmonton Wine and Beyond McTagggert Ridge location. At the tasting I enjoyed 7 different Single Malts in what was termed the Beyond Islay Single Malt Whisky Tasting. The Whiskies at the tasting were selected to represent the diversity of Scotland’s Island Whiskies reaching beyond the popular Islay Whiskies to the malts produced on the lesser known Islands. Talisker Distiller’s Edition (2015) continues our exploration as we visit the Isle of Skye in which is the largest and the northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.

Talisker Distiller’s Edition (2015) is produced from peated malted barley. The spirit was distilled in 2005 and prior to bottling was finished in Amoroso Sherry casks before being bottled at 45.8 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Talisker Distiller’s Edition (2015)

“… As the glass breathes I notice some nice butterscotch and caramel notes which seem to be lightly accented with smokey tones of dry fruit (dates and raisins). There are also sweet malty notes, and the peat has both a light briny quality and a mild herbal quality that reminds me of menthol and heather …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my serving suggestion, the Rob Roy Cocktail.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Lamb’s Palm Breeze Amber Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 3, 2017

spence-cocktail-sam_3037In my part of Canada, Lamb’s is one of the most popular rum brands. The brand is owned by Corby, and they trace the rum’s history all the way to 1849 when Alfred Lamb opened his wine and spirits business in London, England. Apparently Alfred stored his rum barrels (which had been imported from the Caribbean) in his underground cellars which were directly beneath the Thames River. The cool underground air which did not experience large seasonal fluctuations in temperature nor large fluctuations from day to night is reckoned to be one of the secrets behind the unexpectedly smooth taste of his rum.

Of course the rum no longer is aged under the Thames River in Britain; but it does maintain its Caribbean heritage as the Lamb’s blend is sourced from a variety of Caribbean rums which have been aged for a minimum of one year in oak casks. The final rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume and sold as Lamb’s Palm Breeze.

I recently received a new sample bottle of the Lamb’s Rum and decided to revisit my review of several ago to see if I noticed any changes. Here is a link to my revised review:

Review: Lamb’s Palm Breeze Amber Rum

“… I notice light smells of butterscotch, sandalwood and spice. It is the sandalwood and spice (rather than the butterscotch) which grows in the breezes as I let the glass breathe. I soon notice traces of white pepper and cinnamon as well as building citrus zest and banana peel …”

Please enjoy my review and the cocktail suggestion included, the Spence Cocktail.

Chimo!

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Review: Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 1, 2017

northumberland-sam_3013

Northumberland Cocktail

Caldera Distilling is a new Canadian distillery located in the historical shipbuilding community of River John, in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Interestingly, on the distillery property, (inside a barn which has been standing since at least 1939) a curious handwritten notation was found on one of the old supporting beams of the structure. This notation reads, “October 18 1939 Storm”. When the official records for the area were inspected, it was discovered that this particular storm was recorded as Hurricane #5.

Apparently this Atlantic storm was so severe that someone thought to make note of it in this particular place. I am only guessing, but perhaps the barn served as a refuge of sorts for someone, or perhaps a group of people who were seeking protection from the hurricane. Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky serves as a link to this piece of history regarding the River John community and the storm known as Hurricane #5.

Here is a link to my latest Canadian Whisky Review:

Review: Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky

“… The entry is smooth with an interesting combination of fruity rye and sweet corn. Flavours of butterscotch and vanilla mingle with fine wood spice, and soon impressions of baking spices develop as well (cinnamon and a touch of cloves and nutmeg). There is a little orange peel struggling to make the transition to marmalade, and a light winding of grassy tobacco and nutty almond flavours …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my latest cocktail creation, the Northumberland Cocktail.

Chimo!

 

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