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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!

 

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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

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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!

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Review: Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 27, 2016

late-bottled-vintage-2008Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Port wine is (as the name implies) a style of Port which is bottled later than the more prestigious Vintage Port. LBV Port wine remains in neutral wood between four to six years, rather than 2 years which would be typical for a Vintage Port. Since Port wine matures more quickly in oak vats than it would in the bottle, it is ready to be served when it is bottled.

However, Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port, (unlike many other LBV Ports) is not filtered before it is bottled, as a result the Fonseca will continue to age and should continue to improve if stored properly.

The wines used to produce Fonseca LBV were drawn from a reserve of some of the best full-bodied red ports produced during the 2008 harvest. These grapes were grown both on Fonseca’s own vineyards as well as on other properties in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior areas of the Douro Valley. The wines are aged in wood vats of 50 pipes (27,500 litres) capacity and then bottled after five years.

Here is a link to my review of this outstanding Port Wine:

Review: Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008

“… As the glass breathes things change and I begin to taste the fruity flavours ripe BC cherries and fresh plums. The wine continues to open and stronger sherry-like flavours of raisin and dark fruit advance across the palate along with hints of oak and bittersweet chocolate. When I pour myself a second glass, the fresh fruit practically leaps onto the palate this time. The Port tastes sweeter, and now along with impressions of cherries and plums, I taste blackberries and raspberries along with strong hints of bittersweet baking chocolate and black licorice …”

Please enjoy this review of the unfiltered Fonseca LBV Port, a few more Port Wine reviews will follow in the coming weeks.

Chimo!

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2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Pusser’s Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 26, 2016

Pusser's Spiced and Cola SAM_2521Pusser’s Rum is advertised as the original rum of the British Royal Navy. And it is a fact that for over 300 years it was a tradition of the British Navy that each member of the crew was issued a daily ‘tot’ of rum. This tradition began in 1655, and by 1731, the tradition of the daily ‘tot’ was in general use throughout the British Navy. As it was the ship’s purser who was responsible for issuing the rum, the tot of rum became known as Pusser’s Rum in a sort of slang derivation of the term ‘Purser’s Rum’.

Pusser’s Spiced Rum is new to the Pusser’s range. According to the producer’s website it is flavoured with a blend of locally sourced Caribbean spices which have been steeped in Caribbean rum over 7 days. The final rum is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the 6th best Spiced Rum currently on my bar shelf:

#6 Pusser’s Spiced Rum

“… The nose reveals one of the main spices which is cinnamon, and that cinnamon when combined with the caramel flavours of the underlying rum reminds me of cinnamon buns baking in the oven. There are indications of other spices as well. I sense a pungent spiciness that reminds me of allspice and nutmeg …”

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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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Review: Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 24, 2016

Bacardi 8 Anos SAM_2679In 1862, Facundo Bacardi and his brother José bought the Santiago de Cuba Distillery and began to distill what would become the most popular commercial rum in the world. Using a method of charcoal filtering, and oak barrel aging  along with a still of copper and cast iron, Facundo Bacardi created a smoother more refined version of the locally made rum. His smoother version of the spirit became local favourite, and over time, an international sensation.

Of course, Bacardi Rum is not made in Cuba anymore, the Ron Bacardi Company left Cuba in the wake of Fidel Castro’s plans to nationalize all private property and privately held bank accounts on the Island. The Bacardi family moved important trademarks out of Cuba, and using a Bacardi owned plant built in Puerto Rico, were able to continue to build their company. Bacardi is now the largest family owned spirits company in the world.

The Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum is  produced using column still distillation and oak barrel aging. This rum has been aged for a full 8 years in ‘hand selected’ oak barrels. According to various sources, at least part of the rum was aged or perhaps finished in sherry oak barrels.

Here is a link to my new Review:

Review: Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum

“… The aroma is gentle, inviting, and very well-balanced. As I poured the bottle into the glass, I was enticed by soft fragrances of dried plums, soft caramel, bits of vanilla, and a wonderful fine oak spiciness. Hints of baking spice drift in the air, some cinnamon and a few indications of nutmeg and allspice …”

Please enjoy my review,

Chimo!

 

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Cocktail Hour: Treacle

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 23, 2016

Treacle SAM_2599I found this recipe upon the Bacardi Company website in their cocktails section. It is apparently a variation of the classic Old Fashioned Cocktail created by Dick Bradsell. Dick manages several bars in London (England) including: The Colony Room, Zanzibar and The Pharmacy. I have modified Dick’s recipe using sugar syrup instead of caster sugar, but otherwise his mixed drink is unchanged.

Treacle

2 oz Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum
1 tsp Sugar Syrup
1 oz Fresh Apple Juice
2 dashes of Orange Bitters
ice cubes
Orange Peel Garnish (optional)

Place the sugar and the bitters into a rocks glass
Add 2 ice cubes and one half of Bacardi 8 Años rum
Give it a stir
Add some more ice cubes and a second part of rum.
Pour in the apple juice
Garnish with a strip of orange peel (optional)
Stir gently and serve.

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 I revisit the Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum and provide a new review based upon a more current bottling.

Chimo!

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2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 22, 2016

Captain Morgan 100 SAM_2672Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum is an overproof variation of the Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum. It is bottled at 50 % alcohol by volume rather than at the 35 % alcohol by volume strength of the original spiced rum. The overproof Spiced Rum is a blend of Caribbean rums which have been aged in white oak barrels. It should be pointed out that the particular bottle of Captain Morgan Rums which is the subject of this review is a Canadian bottling which I acquired several years ago. In the past, Captain Morgan Rums sold in Canada included both Caribbean and Canadian distilled rum in their blends for tax purposes. Although it is unclear whether this practice will continue going forward, I note that my sample bottle does make mention of the Canadian Rum in the blend upon the front label.

Here is a link to the review for the 7th best Spiced Rum upon my rum shelf:

#7: Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum

” … This rum is smoother than its lower proof sibling even though it carries more of an alcoholic punch. The spiciness of the rum is more apparent in the higher proof rum. I think perhaps these characteristics have been watered down in the 70 proof spirit, which allows only the vanilla to come to the fore. The 100 proof spirit with its higher alcohol content and more concentrated flavours just seems richer, smoother and more appealing …”

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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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