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Posts Tagged ‘12 Year Old’

Review: Highland Park 12 Years Old (Viking Honour)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 19, 2021

Highland Park Distillery is located in the Highlands of Scotland on the Island of Orkney which is famous for its heather rich meadows, and its unique organic Orcadian peat. The 12 Year Old Highland Park Whisky (Viking Honour) is the part of the new core range of the distillery, which includes as well the 10 Year Old (Viking Scars) and the 18 Year Old (Viking Pride).

According to the sell sheets provided to me, the 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky’s flavour is predominantly driven by 1st fill European casks (Oloroso sherry seasoned oak casks), providing a darker natural colour than the 10 Year old and a more mature fruity character. The flavour is of course also driven by the hand cut aromatic peat from the Hobbister Moor which is used (by burning) to dry a portion of the malted barley.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Highland Park 12 Years Old (Viking Honour)

“… Spicy with oak and grain spice as well as citrus zest. Slightly ashy peat smoke with herbal flavours of heather, menthol and lowland hay. Mild butterscotch and lightly sweet malt flavours underpinned by hints of almond/marzipan and canned fruit …”

Please enjoy my review which is concluded with a serving suggestion, the Highland Park Aztec Old Fashioned.



Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Highland Park 12 Years Old (Viking Honour)

Appleton 12 Vs Flor De Cana 12 vs El Dorado 12

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 1, 2020

Last night I hosted a New Years Eve Celebration for my friends and family. Nothing too outrageous, just a nice get together with about 20 attendees, some new friends, and some old friends. Most of the night was just sitting around the table swapping stories and reminiscing and the only scheduled activities were the two separate tastings I hosted in my brand new Tasting room that I had built last year in my basement.

Participating in the tastings was completely optional, some of my guest were acting as designated drivers, and some just wanted to hang out and relax enjoying each others company rather than sitting down for a formal tasting. This meant that when we sat down for the Rum Tasting at 9:00, there were 9 of my friends who wanted to participate. (This actually worked out pretty well as I only had room around my tasting table for 10 people.)

New Year’s Eve Rum Tasting in the Rum Howler Tasting Room

I chose three of my favourite rums for the event, Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old, Flor de Caña 12 Centenario, and El Dorado 12 Year Old. All three rums are pretty much the same age, and all three are in the same price range in my market (about 45 dollars per bottle). However, they are three very different rums.

Appleton Estate 12 Year Old is crafted in small batches. The rum produced from two different styles of rum, flavourful Jamaican Pot Still Rum, and a light column distilled rum. The rum is dry and full of flavour. This is also 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.

Sunset in the Nassau Valley home of Appleton Estate Rum

Flor de Caña 12 Centenario is a column distilled rum. This means it has a lighter body and flavour than a rum featuring pot distilled spirit in its blend. The number 12 on the label is representative of the average age of the rums in the blend with some variation in the actual age based upon blending to a consistent flavour profile. It is also somewhat sweeter than the Appleton Rum. It is not a sweet rum mind you, but there is some sweetness apparent in the flavour profile.

Flor de Caña 12 is part of the company’s Ultra Premium aged rum collection

El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum is similar to the Appleton rum in that it has both Pot distilled rum and column distilled rum in its blend.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 are each used in the blending recipe.  However, the El Dorado Rum is quite a bit sweeter than either the Flor de Cana or the Appleton Rum.

That’s me in Guyana where I visited the El Dorado Rum facilities and learned about their wonderful rums.

Thus the line-up I chose gave each of my guests a different flavour profile and a different level of sweetness with each selection. My goal was to show everyone that rum in not a uniform spirit, and by tasting all three, and comparing the profiles each of them might find a style that suits them.

The results were (as I expected) quite varied, 5 of my guests selected the Flor de Caña 12 Centenario as their favourite, 3 chose the El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve and 2 chose the Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old.

Interestingly enough, the 2 who chose the Appleton Rum were the 2 seasoned rum enthusiasts, or perhaps I should say, the two in the room who had the most experience with rum. Of the 3 who chose the El Dorado Rum, 2 of them were completely new to the spirit. The 5 who chose the Flor de Cana Rum represented a blend of both rum enthusiasts and persons who were not unfamiliar with the spirit but who might normally choose whisky instead.

With only 10 persons in the room it is hard to draw conclusions, but the trend I saw was that persons new to rum preferred the sweeter South American style, persons who might be whisky enthusiasts or part time rum enthusiasts preferred the lighter Central American style, and self avowed rum enthusiasts seemed to prefer the full flavoured dry Jamaican style.

These results are interesting although with such a small sample size they are hardly conclusive. Still I thought that sharing them was worthwhile.




Posted in Rum | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Yvan Cournoyer Alumni Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 13, 2019

I was recently sent three of the 2019 – 20 Edition Alumni Whiskies to review on my website, J.P. Wiser’s Mark Messier, Dave Keon, and Yvan Cournoyer. This is part of the new Captain’s Line featuring these historic ice legends who each served as Captain of their respective NHL Hockey teams.

The subject of this review, J.P. Wiser’s Yvan Cournoyer Alumni Whisky is blended from 3 grains, and aged for 12 years. The twelve years of aging is of course an homage to Cournoyer’s Jersey Number. Additionally (according to the information sent to me) the spirit was inspired by Cournoyer’s game-winning pass to Paul Henderson in the Canada 1972 Summit Series. Cournoyer’s smooth pass and Henderson’s gritty goal is said to be reflected in the smooth 3-grain whisky which is complimented by gritty rye flavours.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Yvan Cournoyer Alumni Whisky

“… The first sip of whisky is smooth and just as promised in the advertising this smooth quality is quickly followed by a swat of spicy rye. I taste maple, rye and oak spice, butterscotch, vanilla, almond all jumbled together with yummy baking spices joining in for good measure …”

Please enjoy the review and stay tuned for the upcoming review of the Dave Keon and Mark Messier Alumni whiskies.


Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: J.P. Wiser’s Yvan Cournoyer Alumni Whisky

Review: The Glenlivet 12 Year Old (Single Malt)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 4, 2018

The Glenlivet Distillery is located near Ballindalloch in Moray, Scotland. The Distillery was founded in 1824. It remained open during the first World War as well as and through the Great Depression with its only during World War II. The Glenlivet brand is owned by the French conglomerate Pernod Ricard, and has grown to be largest selling single malt whisky in North America and the second largest selling single malt whisky globally.

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old is the flagship whisky in the Glenlivet core line-up. According to the Glenlivet website:

Representing The Glenlivet’s signature style, this classic malt is first matured in traditional oak, before spending time in American oak casks which impart notes of vanilla and gives the whisky it’s distinctive smoothness. The mineral-rich water that comes from Josie’s Well helps form the flavours during mashing and fermentation, whilst the specific height and width of the copper stills add a delicate yet complex character.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: The Glenlivet 12 Year Old (Single Malt)

“… Building oak spice, marmalade, raisin and red licorice. Almond persists, but now I notice an additional fruitiness of canned peaches and apricots. Polar wood, willow and grassy heather start to form as well. The interesting thing here is that the way the scents and smells meld into each other. The whisky appears to be very well-balanced … “

Please enjoy my review which includes my suggested serving, an Old Fashioned with Chocolate Bitters.



Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Review: The Glenlivet 12 Year Old (Single Malt)

#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 …”


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

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #Top100Rums of 2017: #9 – Appleton Estate Rare Blend

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