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Posts Tagged ‘2015 Top 100 Spirits’

The Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 29, 2016

Alberta Premium 25 Year Old SAM_1728I began working on my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits list at the beginning of July last year, and put the final touches on it in early September. Fortunately, most of the spirits I would be including were in my possession as part of my growing collection of fine spirits, and I had an opportunity to re-taste some of them side by side with others of similar quality to ascertain their rankings. However, it was also true that a number of the spirits I was considering for inclusion were no longer in my possession. I (and my friends) had consumed them over time, and I had not (as yet) re-added them to my collection. In those cases I had to make a judgement call, and my rankings for those spirits were based purely upon the memory of my past indulgences (and my review scores).

Persons unfamiliar with my website should be aware that the primary spirits of interest to me are rum and whisky. Therefore my list is perhaps weighted in favour of those spirits which I particularly enjoy. However, I have manged to taste and review many excellent examples of all of the major classes of distilled spirits, and my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits List does indeed include outstanding examples of each class (yes, even a few Vodkas).

Here is a link to my final list, The Best 100 Spirits I have ever tasted:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits

 

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Posted in Awards, Extras | Tagged: | Comments Off on The Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits

#12 Camus Extra Elegance (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 13, 2015

CAMUS is the last of the major Cognac Houses that is entirely family run, and the House has been that way for five generations. Cyril Camus who represents the fifth generation of the Camus family currently remains in sole control of the company which currently has employees on three continents, and they are responsible for sales of cognac in almost every country of the world.

CAMUS Elegance Extra

CAMUS Elegance Extra

CAMUS Extra Elegance is a blend of eaux-de-vie produced primarily from the Borderies, Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne regions. The eaux-de-vie which make up the blend are all subject to a long aging process in cool, damp cellars which is said to allow the final blended Extra Elegance to reach its full quality.

Here is a link to my review of the #12 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#12 – Camus Extra Elegance

“… The  initial nose brings forward a rich melding of butterscotch, oak and fresh fruit which smells truly delicious. Fine oak spices, green grapes and hints of butterscotch, maple and apricot brandy tease the breezes above the glass along with bits of vanilla, orange peel spice and nutty almond. As the glass breathes, the oak pushes forward bringing smells of freshly sanded oak and hints of white pepper and spicy sap upward into the air above the glass …”

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

Posted in Awards, Brandy and Cognac Reviews, Cognac Review, Extras | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on #12 Camus Extra Elegance (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

#22 Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2015

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky is a new blend from the folks who run the Crown Royal Distillery in Gimli, Manitoba. It is a bit of a throwback in style as the whisky features a heavy dose whisky produced from Canadian Winter Rye grain in the blend (almost 90% of the spirit is produced from Canadian Winter Rye grain). Winter rye imparts a robust spiciness throughout the spirit when distilled which (in my opinion) provides a much stronger ‘Canadian Whisky’ feel for this particular Crown Royal Whisky than we find with the flagship blend Crown Royal Deluxe which is produced predominantly from corn rather than rye.

Northern Harvest RyeThis movement towards a more rye forward flavour profile seems to be a common theme within the Crown Royal family as two other recently released blends (Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, and the new Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend) have also followed that common path.

It is a path which I obviously endorse as this is the second time a new Crown Royal Release has entered into my Countdown of the best 100 spirits I have ever tasted. Here is a link to the #22 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#22 – Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

“… As the glass breathes, I sense a stronger underlying oakiness within the spirit as fine wood spices rise into the air and the merry little breezes above the glass are tinged with crisp spicy rye notes as well. Fresh baked bread crust, light caramel smells, hints of vanilla ice cream, and bits of nutmeg and allspice round out the aroma which continues to impress me …”

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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, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #22 Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

#24 Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 1, 2015

In the late 1950s, the main companies involved in the production and distribution of alcoholic spirits in Venezuela were grouped into one organization called Licorerias Unitas S.A. by the initiative of Seagrams who owned 51 % of the new entity until 1992. After a series of mergers and acquisitions involving Seagrams, Diageo, and Pernod Richard, a decision was made to divest in facilities and to instead concentrate on brand commercialization. The result was a group of local investors who purchased the manufacturing assets of Licorerias Unitas S.A. and formed Distilleries Unitas S.A. (DUSA) on August 22, 2002. Although this company is relatively new, the tradition of making quality rum in Venezuela using the these facilities which is not. In fact sugar cane has been cultivated in Venezuela perhaps as early as the 16th century.  Systematic rum production in Venezuela can be dated to 1896.

Diplomatico Exclusiva SAM_1418Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva is a premium rum which is produced from both column still rums and pot still rum. Within the blend are rums which are aged up to 12 years. The combination of tropical aging, batch still production yields an exquisite rum which has long been one of my favourites.

Here is a link to the review of the #24 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#24 – Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

“… There is a nice underlying nuttiness (walnuts and hazelnuts), some sweet caramel and some very delicious baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar). As the glass breathes, The richness of the rum builds and I taste even more brown sugar and cinnamon with butter.  Mmmmm! …”

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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, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

#51 Pierre Ferrand Selection Des Anges

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 4, 2015

Pierre Ferrand uses only small (25-hectoliter) copper pot stills to produce their Cognac; and after distillation, the resulting distillate (eaux de vie) is matured in 270-liter French Limousin oak barrels. During this aging process, the cognac may rest in any of seven different aging cellars (each with traditional earthen floors). Within each of these cellars, the spirit is monitored, and may be transferred several times during its aging life to different cellars and/or to different oak casks (with differing char levels) to maintain the integrity and character of the spirit.

Pierre Ferrand Selection des Anges (599x800)Pierre Ferrand Selection Des Anges is blended solely from aged eaux de vie produced within the 1st Cru de Cognac, specifically the Grande Champagne Cognac appellation of France. Although the final spirit has no age statement, according to the information provided to me, the Cognac is blended to achieve an average age of 30 years.

Here is a link to the review of the #51 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#51 – Pierre Ferrand Selection Des Anges

“… The immediate nose surprised me with an alluring smell of fresh green grapes accented with butterscotch and honey. I was expecting oak and leather to dominate the breezes, and it was a little exciting to be greeted with this much fresh fruit. As the glass breathes, the oak and leather smells do come forward, melding into the grape and honey while pouring out fine wood spices …”

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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, Brandy and Cognac Reviews, Cognac Review, Extras | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on #51 Pierre Ferrand Selection Des Anges

 
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