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Posts Tagged ‘12 Year Old’

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!

 

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

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 »

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#35 – #31)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 26, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016One of my favourite Canadian Whisky brands seems to have taken a tumble recently as my scores this year as both Gibson’s Finest Sterling and Gibson’s Finest 12 Year Old have seen their rankings fall dramatically. Without their own distillery and aging facilities, the Gibson’s brand is perhaps suffering as the other major Canadian distilleries may be much more interested in maintaining their own brands than in maintaining the quality of a whisky brand they do not own. I am guessing of course; but this guess is based upon my recent tasting notes for both whiskies.

Canadian Club on the other hand has maintained its quality, and across the board, I have seen little change in their products over the past two years. Sazerac, despite not owning a Canadian Whisky distillery has also seen its quality maintained, and for one of its brands in particular (which we will encounter later in the countdown) a huge improvement has been discovered. With this in mind I am revealing the next five spirits in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown.

Here are the links to my next five whiskies in my countdown, #s 35 thru 31:

gibsons-12-sam_2683#35  Gibson’s Finest 12 Year Old

“… The initial nose from the glass is of honey and fruit filled rye spices and some light butterscotch alongside firm dusty wood spices. As the glass breathes, ripened fields of prairie grain and corn rise up out of the glass. I sense both musty cornstalks and rows of freshly swathed grain. Sawdust, chaff, and then bits of orange peel add to the dry spiciness …”

Legacy Small Batch SAM_1656#34)  Legacy Small Batch Canadian Whisky (Sazerac)

“… The breezes above the glass were scented with aromas of peppery rye spice and butterscotch. As the glass was allowed to breathe, I noticed some corn-like accents, and some developing baking spices and which turned the butterscotch to toffee. Impressions are fleeting, but perhaps a little milk chocolate has made its way into my consciousness along with a stronger impression of wood spices …”

CC Sherry Cask#33)  Canadian Club Small Batch Sherry Cask

“… The whisky is soft in the mouth carrying impressions of fine wood spice and bits of red licorice, dark fruit (raisins and dates) and red cherry wood. Oak and cedar flavours grow from the wood spice. A flavour of Port wine and impressions of sweet cigar tobacco are hinted at. Caramel toffee, baking spices, and sticky red jelly all seem to find a place in the complex flavour profile of the Sherry Cask whisky …”

sam_2652#32)  Tangle Ridge (Bourbon Casked) Canadian Whisky

“… The whisky carries a strong bourbon flair with corn and honeycomb combining with flavours of brown sugar and butterscotch steeped in peppery wood-spice and cinnamon. Just as it was on the nose, the whisky flavour evolves in the glass if we allow it time to settle. Vanilla melds into the flavours of butterscotch and cinnamon, and a rich fruit-filled rye begins to assert itself …”

 

ccr-9yr#31)  Canadian Club Reserve (9 Year Old)

“… The initial nose is rich with butterscotch, oak, cedar, and a growing impression of maple. As the glass breathes some dank corn notes rise into the breezes along with some spicy tobacco, oak vanillans, sticky orange marmalade, and a dusting of rye spice. If you wait long enough, some nice chocolate notes and dabs of bourbon-like honeycomb begin to reveal themselves as well …”

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Please enjoy my Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016. Stay Tuned for numbers 30 through 26, Chimo!

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* You may follow my Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#35 – #31)

Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 18, 2016

Knappague12 YrKnappogue Castle Irish Whiskey is produced by Castle Brands who are an international owner of premium spirits brands which are sold primarily in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Irish whiskey brand pays homage to the historic Knappogue Castle in County Clare, Ireland which was originally built by Clan MacNamara in 1467.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey is a triple distilled Irish Whiskey (most probably produced at the Middleton Distillery) made from unpeated barley one batch at a time in copper pot stills. The spirit is aged in ex-bourbon barrels for at least 12 years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

“… The immediate nose is appealing with scents of budding willow trees alongside sandalwood and grain spice. There is also a beguiling malty sweetness. The spirit seems very mellow and approachable, and this suits my current mood as the winter snow is melting in the backyard and the warm sunshine of springtime is heading my way.”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful Irish Whiskey.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: Blood and Sand

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2016

Mixing a cocktail with a Single Malt Whisky always brings out a few cat calls from persons who believe such a thing is sacrilege. However, having discussed the topic with more than a few of the master blenders and whiskey makers from Canada, Scotland (and elsewhere), I have found almost unanimous support for my point of view which is that a spirit of any quality may be the focus of a cocktail. In fact, ‘the better the spirit, the better the cocktail’ is a sentiment I hear often. With that in mind I have chosen to follow my chosen path and bring together a classic Scotch whisky cocktail, Blood and Sand, with the highly regarded Single Malt, the Highland Park 12 Year Old.

Blood and Sand (the cocktail) was apparently named for the Rudolph Valentino 1922 bullfighter movie of the same name. The connection is by no means certain, as the first printed recipe for the bar drink did not appear until 8 years later in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930).  The Savoy Cocktail Book’s recipe calls for equal parts orange juice, scotch whisky, cherry brandy and Italian vermouth which makes the bar drink easy for both the home and the profession bartender to master.

Today, it is common to see recipes which replace the orange juice with the juice of the Blood Orange. Not only does this play nicely with the name of the cocktail, but the tart, almost raspberry-like flavour of the blood orange is complimentary to the bar drink making it slightly drier (and to me more appealing). When a high quality peated single malt whisky is used as well, the Blood and Sand becomes a wonderful wintertime cocktail.

For my suggested construction, I tweaked the ratios slightly to increase the light punch of smoke and to further limit the sweetness of the serving. This of course allows the Highland Park 12 Year Old Whisky to be the star of the libation.

Blood and SandBlood and Sand

3/4 oz Highland Park 12 Year Old
5/8 oz Sweet Vermouth (Martini Rosso)
5/8 oz Cherry Brandy (Bols)
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice
ice
Orange Zest or Peel (optional)

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 orange peel (optional)

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

Note: a new review based upon a recently acquired bottle of Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky will publish tomorrow.

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 10 thru 6

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2015

Appleton 12 YO CanisterWe have entered into the top 10 of my rankings of the Best Rums of 2015, and an intimidating 23-year-old masterpiece from Rum Nation (their Demerara 23 Year Old) leads us into the top 10. My favourite expression from Appleton Estate (the 12 Year Old) grabs the number 9 spot with a wonderfully complex 9 Year Old Agricole rum from Reimonenq (the only agricole Rhum to make my list) making it to number 8. Diplomatico’s sweet and succulent Reserva Exclusiva is always one of my favourites and one of the World’s most sought after rum’s the Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) just misses the top 5.

Any of these rums would make a wonderful Christmas Gift for any rum aficionado.

Here are the next five wonderful cane spirits in my listing of the Best 25 Rums of 2015:

10)  Rum Nation Demerara 23 Year Old
09)  Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year
08)  Reimonenq Vieux 9 Year Old Rhum (Distilled 1999)
07)  Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
06)  Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum 

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 10 thru 6

#23 Highland Park 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 2, 2015

The 12 Year Old Highland Park Whisky is the core expression of Highland Park Distillery, that is to say, it is their flagship brand. Highland Park prides itself in not making any compromises when making whisky. The twelve-year expression is the youngest in their impressive lineup. All of Highland Park whiskies are matured in Spanish and American Oak in warehouses with earthen floors and stone walls. The combination of different oak provides some of the whisky with an American whiskey enhancement and some of the whisky with a Spanish sherry enhancement. The whisky is matured in a cool consistent climate, and blended to create the unique Highland Park taste and character that the distillery is famous for.

Highland Park 12Of particular note is the heather rich meadows which provide a rich floral backdrop around the aging warehouses which seems to impart its character to the whisky as well. I note the floral character in the review.

Here is a link to the review of the #23 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#23 – Highland Park 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky

“… I smell that boggy muddy creek bottom in the glass when I fill it with Highland Park whisky. It is not an intense boggy smell, just a whisper of that muddy creek and sawgrass meadow rising from the glass. I smell the willow thicket, and a faint floral scent which I am told is heather. This is the aroma of the Orcadian peat of which Highland Park is famous for …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #23 Highland Park 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky

#28 Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year Jamaican Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 27, 2015

It was in April of 2009, that I wrote my first rambling reviews on the Ministry of Rum. If you search their old threads you will come across my original write-up on the Appleton 12 year Old Rum. It was in truth the first ‘review’ I ever wrote. It really wasn’t meant to be a review; but more of a fun write-up to let the members of that forum know what I liked and didn’t and why. That rambling thread is responsible for all that followed. About 6 months later I started this website and that write-up on the Ministry of Rum became the first review I placed on my website, just a little more fleshed out but in essence that same ‘review’ I wrote originally.

Appleton Estate 12 Year OldIn November 2012 I revisited the Appleton 12 year Old Rum and found that my appreciation of the rum had increased substantially. Another visit to the bottle this year only reinforced that opinion. The Appleton 12 Year Old XO Rum has improved over the years (or perhaps my taste has).

Here is a link to the review of the #28 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#28 – Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year

“… The aroma has a firm spicy backbone with a deep dark brown sugar and strong indications of baking spice alongside. Oak tannin and citrus zests arise in the aroma as well as a darker more burnt smell akin to charred coconut and caramelized sugars. As the glass breathes , marmalade-like smell well up and a rich underlying almond/marzipan nuttiness builds …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

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#43 El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 12, 2015

Demerara County (in Guyana) is popular across the world for its rich, three hundred year history of rum production. Using a combination of old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL) has built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. In fact, Demerara Distillers is the currently the largest supplier of bulk Caribbean rums to Europe and North America.

El Dorado 12 SAM_1389The  Year Old Special Reserve Rum is blended from aged stocks (the youngest being no less than 12 years old) from the original Wooden Enmore Coffey still, the original metal Diamond Coffey still, as well as from the ancient Port Mourant double wooden pot still which was used to produce ‘navy’ rum for the English Admiralty. All of the Demerara Rum produced by El Dorado is aged exclusively in American oak (bourbon barrels).

Here is a link to the review of the #43 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#43 – El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

“… Oak and wood spices provide a nice backdrop for the sweet baking spices (vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and rich molasses that rises into the breezes above the glass. There are hints of spicy orange peel, and fresh citrus fruit which appear and disappear within the aroma, and I have a hard time finding fault …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #43 El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

#79 Angostura 1824 Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 7, 2015

The House of Angostura traces its beginnings to 1824 when German doctor, Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, who was then a Surgeon-General in the Venezuelan Army, created a blend of aromatic herbs which he called “Amargo Aromatico” and which would become the world-famous Angostura Bitters. Although the company he created to manufacture these bitters was originally founded in the town known as Angostura (later to be renamed Bolivar City), the company was relocated by his successors (his younger brother and son), who  moved it to Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1876.

Of course the House of Angostura remains famous for its world-class bitters; however, it has also become well know for the rum which is produced by their five column still, under the direction of Master Distiller, John P. Georges.

Angostura 1824 SAM_1380Angostura 1824 pays homage to the company’s humble beginnings in Angostura, Venezuela. It is a premium rum produced from molasses. All of the spirit within the blend has been aged a minimum of 12 years in charred American oak bourbon barrels, after which it is hand drawn from the barrel, filtered and then bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my review of the #79 entry in my 2015 Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#79 – Angostura 1824 Rum

“… When I take my first sip, I am pleased by the smooth flavour which seems to present me with a combination of zesty orange peel and oak spice which are melded into butterscotch with hints of maple, all of which are underlain by a oozing chocolate flavours (both bittersweet cocoa and creamy milk chocolate) …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #79 Angostura 1824 Rum

 
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