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Posts Tagged ‘12 Year Old’

#Top100Rums of 2017: #9 – Appleton Estate Rare Blend

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 12, 2017

The Appleton Estate is located in Nassau Valley in St. Elizabeth which is part of Jamaica’s Cockpit Country. The Cockpit Country is a karst formation which was formed over millions of years as the underlying limestone was eroded by the chemical action of rain.  Within a cockpit karst formation are valleys known as Poljes. They are formed where a river floods, then recedes and forms a flat valley over millions of years. The soil in the poljes is very fertile and rich in nutrients because of the sediments left behind after the river had receded.

In 1749, within the polje known as the Nassau Valley, the Appleton Estate Sugar Factory was founded. The Nassau Valley has a special mild micro-climate which is ideally suited to the growth of sugarcane. As well, a water source wells from the limestone formation and provides an exceptionally soft pure water which used for the production of Appleton Estate Rums.

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 the review for the Rum Howler #9 Rum of 2017:

Review: Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old

“… 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. As I let the rum sit I notice a firm impression of pipe tobacco carrying notes of camphor and hints of menthol …”

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We  have reached the top 10 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of the top 10 rums within the past year. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

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#Top100Rums of 2017: #14 – Angostura 1824

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2017

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.

Angostura 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.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #14 Rum of 2017:

Review: Angostura 1824

“… 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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We  have reached the top 20 rum spirits of 2017. I have reviewed and/or re-tasted each of these rums within the past three years. (All Rum reviews were based upon bottle samples either purchased by myself or provided to me by industry.)

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #Top100Rums of 2017: #14 – Angostura 1824

#Top100CanadianWhisky #24: Masterson’s 12-Year-Old Straight Wheat Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 30, 2017

Masterson’s Straight Wheat Whiskey is distilled and aged in Canada, for a California company located in Sonoma, called 35 Maple Street. As a straight whiskey, the spirit must be barreled and aged in new American Oak; however this Masterson’s whiskey also holds the distinction of being perhaps the only Canadian whiskey which is distilled on a copper pot still from a mash of 100 % wheat grain. It is aged for 12 years, bottled at 50% alcohol by volume, and is apparently (like the rest of the Masterson’s line-up) named for the famous frontier lawman, William “Bat” Masterson.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #24 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Masterson’s 12-Year-Old Straight Wheat Whiskey

Although there is an omnipresent flavour of fresh wood and spice which permeates the Masterson’s Straight Wheat Whisky, these oak flavours do not grow to such an extent that they dominate the other flavour nuances within the spirit. The whisky brings forward a subtle sweetness of yummy butterscotch flavours and oodles of dusty rye-like wheat spices which are melded into the oak character.

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

Posted in Awards, Extras | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

#57 of 2017: Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Rum (#Top100Rums)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 26, 2017

Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Rum is crafted in the Dominica for a company from Sonoma California called 35 Maple Street, which is the spirits division of The Other Guys (TOG). TOG is wine company led by August Sebastiani, a member of one of California’s oldest wine families. The Sabastiani family has been involved in the Californian wine industry since August’s great-grandfather, Samuele Sebastiani, opened his family run winery over 100 years ago.

According to the 35 Maple Street website, their rum has been named for a wooden schooner of the same name. This schooner, KIRK AND SWEENEY, was a rum running vessel which brought rum from the Caribbean to the Northeast Coast during Prohibition. The ship was apparently captured and seized off the coast of New York in 1924 where enforcement officials found an enormous cargo of rum aboard. The rum is produced from stocks that have been aged for 12 years in American oak barrels.

Here is a link to my review of the #57 Rum of 2017:

Review: Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Rum

“… The longer I allowed the glass to breathe, the more those oak and tobacco scents seem to build in the air. I suspect the initial sweetness I noticed was holding back the oaky scents, but once they pushed through, the rum seemed to be equally permeated with butterscotch and fine oak spices …”

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To follow the countdown list on a daily basis, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

#Top100Rums of 2017: #67 Old Monk Gold Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 16, 2017

Old Monk is an aged dark rum produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. According to the information I received from the importer, the Gold Reserve 12 Year Blended Rum is a molasses distilled rum, aged for a minimum of 12 years in oak casks (in the tropical climate of India) and then blended to be a smoother, more refined version of the flagship,  Old Monk Very Old Vatted XXX Rum (7 Years Old Blended).

The brand receives very little attention from the press, and does not appear to be represented in any advertising campaigns which I have seen. Rather Old Monk appears to rely upon word of mouth and customer loyalty for its sales. Word of mouth must be good as the Old Monk brand is (again according to information I received) the second largest selling aged dark rum in the world.

Here is a link to the #67 Rum on my list of the Best 100:

Review: Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum

“… the breezes also bring me indications of black pepper, cinnamon and cloves with a light, but firm vanilla accent. As the glass sits, the aroma deepens bringing forward dark brown sugary smells and rich baking spices with impressions of cigar tobacco and crushed walnuts …”

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To follow the countdown list on a daily basis, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

 

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #Top100Rums of 2017: #67 Old Monk Gold Reserve

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: 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!

Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

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 »

 
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