The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Visit My Online Memorabilia Store

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • Industry Interviews

    Interviews

    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Follow Me on Twitter!

  • Copyright

    Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. Thus, all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,073 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Top Posts

  • What People are Saying:

    Arctic Wolf on Contact Me
    JerW on Contact Me
    Arctic Wolf on Contact Me
    captain krunk on Contact Me
    Robert on Last Mountain Sweet Tea Flavou…
    Arctic Wolf on Contact Me
  • Archives

  • Visitors

    • 9,767,145 pageviews since inception

Cocktail Hour: The Emerald

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2017

For the next few weeks I will be mixing and tasting Whiskey from the Emerald Isle. The spirit from Ireland has been making a strong comeback as evidenced by a surge in sales worldwide including a 20% increase in sales in the United States last year (see: The Spirits Business).

In an effort to reflect this increased popularity, I am attempting to increase both in the number of reviews I publish, and in the selection of cocktail suggestions that I provide for Irish Whiskey.

With that in mind, here is a mixed drink that combines Irish Whiskey with Sweet Vermouth and Bitters. The libation is called the Emerald, and it is a close relative of the popular North American cocktail, the Manhattan. It is important, when mixing an Emerald, to consider the pairing of Sweet Vermouth and Irish Whisky as each spirit has a multitude of brands, and the flavour profiles of each can differ significantly. As I happen to be mixing with a flavourful copper pot distilled Irish Whiskey, I chose the bold Cinzano Rosso which also has a complex flavour profile, one which I felt would pair well with my chosen Irish Whiskey, Hell-Cat Maggie.

The Emerald

1 1/2 oz Hell-Cat Maggie Irish Whiskey
3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso Sweet Vermouth
3-4 drops Angostura Orange Bitters
Ice
Orange Peel & Brandied Cherries

Add the three ingredients with ice cubes into a metal shaker
Shake until chilled
Double strain into a Martini Glass
Garnish with a strip of Orange Peel and a few Brandied Cherries

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 new review for Hell-Cat Maggie Irish Whiskey will publish this coming Saturday.

Chimo!

 

Advertisements

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Cocktail Hour: The Emerald

Review: Mount Gay Black Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 2, 2017

Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum was introduced in 2014. It is comprised of a blend of rums produced from both pot and column still distillation and aged in heavily charred bourbon barrels. According to the Mount Gay Distillery Master Blender, Allen Smith the Black Barrel Rum was specifically blended to give rum enthusiasts the best of two worlds:

“We actually launched Mount Gay Black Barrel in 2013 to give drinkers a complex premium rum that they could enjoy as a sipping rum or by mixing in cocktails, and it has become one of our most popular rums. It’s a small batch, handcrafted blend that has a balanced, but bold spicy flavor.”

Here is a link to my full review of Allen Smith’s Black Barrel Rum:

Review: Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum

“… I noticed sweet dark caramel and toffee aromas leading out in front of fruity scents of orange peel and banana. All of this is accented by impressions of light baking spices (vanilla and hints of cinnamon). Lurking within this sweetness are impressions of oak spice and ginger, faint hints of copper pennies and some mild indications of pipe tobacco …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with two very nice recipe suggestions, The Black Storm, and Crimson Cane.

Chimo

 

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Mount Gay Black Barrel

Cocktail Hour: Crimson Cane

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 31, 2017

Here is a new recipe based upon the popular Scottish Whisky Cocktail, Blood and Sand. It came about as I was experimenting with an unusual new cherry-flavoured spirit, Wisniak na Rumie which uses Jamaican Rum as well as natural cherry juice as flavouring ingredients for the spirit. When I encountered the liqueur for the first time, I thought to myself that the spirit could serve quite well as a substitute for Cherry Heering which is of course the common cherry flavoured spirit used when mixing the aforementioned Blood and Sand.

Things came together for this cocktail when I received a sample of Mount Gay’s Black Barrel Rum. The thought occurred to me that the complexity of Mount Gay Rum parallelled the complexity of Scotch Whisky. Would it be possible I wondered, to swap out not only Cherry Heering for Wisnak na Rumie, but also to swap out Scotch Whisky for Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum.

After a bit of trial and error, I settled upon my recipe. Although a changes and substitutions had taken place, my final creation bears an unmistakable resemblance to the original cocktail. It is though a rum cocktail not a whisky cocktail, and therfore deserves its own name. I have chosen, Crimson Cane.

Crimson Cane

3/4 oz Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
5/8 oz Sweet Vermouth
5/8 oz Wisniak na Rumie (Cherry Rum)
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
ice
Orange Zest
Brandied Cherry

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with flamed orange zest and a brandied cherry

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

____________________________________________________________________

Note: A little later this week I will be publishing my review for Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum. My review for Wisnak na Rumie can be found here (Review: Wisnaik na Rumie).

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Cocktail Hour: Crimson Cane

An Interview with Allen Smith (Mount Gay Rum)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 29, 2017

I would like to welcome Allen Smith, Master Blender at Mount Gay Rum Distillery to my website. I was offered an opportunity to sample his newest creation, the Mount Gay 1703 Old Cask Selection (see review here) and to follow-up my tasting sessions with an interview to learn more about Mount Gay Rum.

I will be forthright and admit I am not an experienced journalist so rather than conducting an oral interview over the phone, I submitted a list of questions via email to Allen and after a few weeks he sent them back with his responses. The interview covers a range of topics from the Micro-Distilling Industry to the Cocktail Revolution, as well as general questions regarding his Mount Gay Rum and of course the Mount Gay 1703 Old Cask Selection Rum.

The entire interview has been posted in the Industry Interviews section of my website and you can access it via the following link:

Interview with Allen Smith: Master Blender – Mount Gay Rum Distillery

I hope you enjoy the Q & A with Allen Smith where he not only reveals some of the secrets behind his latest creation, Mount Gay 1703 Master Select Rum, he also indulges me by revealing his favourite cocktail, the previously posted Black Storm.

Chimo!

 

 

 

Posted in Extras, Interviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on An Interview with Allen Smith (Mount Gay Rum)

Cocktail Hour: Black Storm

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 27, 2017

Allen Smith – Master Blender, Mount Gay Rum

Several weeks ago, I was given an opportunity to interview Allen Smith, Master Blender at the Mount Gay Distillery in Barbados. Smith was promoted to Master Blender at Mount Gay Rum Distillery in 2010. In this role, Allen overseas all aspects of the brand’s new blending facility at St. Lucy with a continuing focus on innovation shaped by his years of experience.

One of the topics I brought up was the Cocktail Revolution and how Mount Gay Rum is reacting to this world-wide trend. Allen responded by noting how bartenders and mixologists have embraced his rums:

” As I travel across the globe and meet rising bartenders and mixologists, I love how they are embracing Mount Gay. They are coming to me to learn about the key aromatics in our rums, so that when they create their cocktails they are enhancing the spirit rather than masking it. I’m thrilled to hear that they are mixing our rums and creating delicious drinks with it.”

During the Interview, Allen said, that although he prefers to drink his rum directly from the barrel (neat and at full strength), occasionally he does enjoy a certain cocktail as well, the Black Storm. The Black Storm is of course a variation upon the popular Dark ‘n Stormy. It is though mixed with Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum rather than with Goslings.

The Black Storm

My interview with Allen Smith will be published in a few days, and I thought that a nice way to introduce that interview would be to feature Mr. Smith’s preferred mixed drink and the rum he prefers to mix with, Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel.

The Black Storm

2 oz Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel
Citrus Wheel (usually Lime)
ice
5 oz Ginger Beer

Add ice and a citrus wheel to large glass
Add Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum
Top with ginger beer

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!

____________________________________________________________

I hope you enjoy the Black Storm. My alluded to Interview with Allen Smith will publish on Monday, and my review of Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum will publish on Friday.

Chimo!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Cocktail Hour: Black Storm

Review: Appleton Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 25, 2017

Today I am concluding my trip through the Appleton Estate Rum line-up which was triggered by special tasting event in Edmonton hosted by Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum. At the event, the guests were not only walked though the main range of Appleton Rums (the Signature VX Blend, the Appleton Reserve, and the Rare 12 Year Old)  we were also allowed to sample Joy’s stunning new Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend which commemorates her 20th Anniversary as Master Blender of Appleton Estate Rum (see review here).

Appleton Estate Reserve Rum is the only rum in Appleton’s main range which has not undergone a re-branding. I am not sure why not, although perhaps it has something to do with Joy’s revelation to me that the Appleton Reserve Rum is her preferred rum for personal enjoyment. She loves all the Appleton Rums; but if she were to be stranded on a desert island with just one, the Reserve would be her rum of choice. Based upon this it is a reasonable conjecture that Appleton Estate sees no reason to tweak this particular rum blend, not even for the sake of a re-branding.

Although the Appleton Reserve Rum has apparently not changed in any material fashion since my first review seven years ago, I nevertheless took this opportunity to revisit the brand. Here is a link to my newly written review:

Review: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum

“… oak carries some obvious sweetness with vanilla and light baking spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) accenting the honeyed wood spices. Spicy orange peel and light aromas of the Jamaican pot still (camphor and resin, bits of menthol, and vague hints of tar) begin to arrive as well as a light grassy quality which has wound its way into the air …”

Please enjoy the review which concludes with Joy Spence’s favourite cocktail which she revealed to me in an interview in 2012. Although Joy’s Bio now calls the serving, “The Joy” (I suspect the Campari Marketing Team at work), I prefer the original name I gave the mixed drink when I first published it five years ago, The Spence Cocktail.

 

Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Red Cup Distillery Wheat Shine

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 23, 2017

This past winter (on January 31, 2017), I took a little tour east of Edmonton along the Yellowhead Highway to the Town of Vegreville. This small town, which lies about 100 km east of Edmonton, is in the heart of what I call Alberta’s rural Ukrainian Country, and it is home to the world’s largest Easter Egg or Pysanka.

I was visiting Rob and Barb de Groot at the new Red Cup Distillery to learn about the Distillery and to sample some of their locally made prairie moonshine.

When I arrived, I found that Rob and Barb had developed a spirit which hearkened back to a time before prohibition. This is a spirit which was first produced when a small rural population (who had immigrated from Europe) carried on a centuries old tradition of small pot distillation. Before prohibition, (with very few police to patrol the vast prairie) the tradition prospered. However first prohibition, and then government taxation, drove the spirit underground where it almost vanished. Fortunately for us today, distillers, Rob and his wife Barb have (through their steadfast research and commitment) brought back a spirit steeped in the agricultural heritage of Alberta.

Rob gave me a tour of the entire facility as I was stepped through the entire process from grain to glass. I was even allowed to take a few pictures (like the one of the small copper pot still) but, because much of what I was shown was proprietary, Rob asked me to be discrete in the manner in which I shared what I learned.

Fortunately I was given a bottle of Red Cup Distillery’s Wheat Shine, and I have decided to share my thoughts on that spirit, here on the website.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Red Cup Distillery Wheat Shine

“… The breezes above the glass are rich and complex. Wheat shines the brightest as a distinct porridge-like scent is immediately noticeable. There is more as mushy banana and plantain combined with a light grassiness rise up alongside the firm wheat aroma. Grilled zucchini and pumpkin, cooked pineapple, and citrus zest is hinted at as well …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my cocktail suggestion, The Mad Trapper.

Chimo!

Posted in Moonshine and New-make | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Red Cup Distillery Wheat Shine

Cocktail Hour: The Reserved Gentleman

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 21, 2017

It is hard to believe that it was eight years ago when I began to write spirit reviews. And if I am honest, my first attempts were rather crude affairs, the popularity of which had more to do with my quirky honest style, than with the quality of the writing. One of those quirks has been the inclusion of a cocktail or mixed drink with almost every review. And just like my initial writings, many of my early cocktails were crude affairs which lacked finesse and polish.

I have been revisiting some of those early cocktails with the idea that perhaps some of them should be polished up, and perhaps some should be dropped from my cocktail section entirely. However, after reviewing these early servings, I realized that every once in a while in those early days of my blog, I got it right. And that is the definitely the case with the recipe I am sharing today.

The Reserved Gentleman was designed with a specific rum in mind, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum. The serving is a simple mixture of Appleton Rum, Fresh Lime Juice and Triple Sec with just a touch of added simple syrup. Keeping everything simple allows the rich, complex Appleton Reserve Rum to be the star of the libation. The only tweaking I had to do was to snap a new picture.

The Reserved Gentleman
a cocktail by Chip Dykstra (Aka The Rum Howler)

1 1/2 oz  Appleton Reserve Rum
1/2 oz   Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 oz  Triple Sec
dash  Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Citrus Peel for garnish

Combine ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with lime slice, or a flamed grapefruit peel

Enjoy Responsibly!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Cocktail Hour: The Reserved Gentleman

Review: Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 19, 2017

On March 23rd, 2017 I attended to a very special tasting event hosted by Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum. Although the focus of the event was to introduce everyone to the new Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend (see review here),  I was also giving the opportunity to sample the entire family of Appleton Rums as part of the event. I acquired samples of each of the rums and today I am going to share my thoughts on one of my favourites.

The Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend is crafted in small batches. This is a true 12 Year Old spirit as the Appleton Estate website informs us that it all of the rums which make up this blend are each aged at least 12 years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend

“… Dark brown sugar and toffee meld with oak spice, orange peel and marmalade. Baking spices in the form of vanilla, cinnamon, a touch of allspice and hints of nutmeg weave in and out of the oak spice with some nutty almond and crushed walnuts lurking just underneath …”

Please enjoy my review of what has become one of my favourite rums.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Wisniak na Rumie (Cherry Flavoured Liqueur)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 16, 2017

Wisniak na Rumie is a Cherry flavoured liqueur produced by Polmos Bielsko-Biala SA. This is the same Polish company responsible for the production of Extra Zytnia Vodka. Wisniak (cherry-flavoured) spirits are popular in Poland (as well as in Russia and The Ukraine).

Interestingly this particular cherry flavoured liqueur is, in addition to being flavoured with the natural juice of ripe cherries, also flavoured with Jamaican Rum. I must admit my interest was piqued at the mention of Jamaican Rum (I am the Rum Howler after all), and when I was offered a sample bottle to review, I jumped at the chance.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Wisniak na Rumie (Cherry Flavoured Liqueur)

“… The breezes above the glass are filled with lightly sweet scents of freshly sliced cherries with a touch of wine-like fermentation accenting the aroma. The underlying rum is hinted at with a light blush of herbal Jamaican funk (camphor, resin and menthol) seemingly entwined into the fresh cheery scent …”

Please enjoy the review which includes the recipe suggestion, Blood and Sand.

Chimo!

Note: Wisniak na Rumie is available in Ontario, and I am hoping that it will be received well enough such that it makes its way across Canada to the Alberta market as well.

Posted in Flavouerd Rums, Liqueur | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: