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Posts Tagged ‘2017’

#Top100CanadianWhisky #1: Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 23, 2017

Five years ago, I encountered Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old Whisky as a random sample in the group of 45 such samples which I was assessing as part of my duties when I served on the jury for the 2012 Canadian Whisky Awards. Whenever I participate as a spirits judge I always make note of any of the samples which strike me as being particularly good, and the small sample bottle which contained the Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old Whisky was one which I had earmarked as a superior whisky. So, when the Awards Competition was complete, it was to my dismay that I learned this particular whisky (Random Sample number 7 by the way) was a brand destined not for Canada; but instead for Taiwan.

Fortunately Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old is now a standard bottling available in Canadian markets as well. According to the information provided me, the spirit is (as it was before) distilled and aged by Highwood Distillers. It is a 100% corn whisky bottled at 46% alcohol by volume.

In a year which saw the best field of Canadian Whiskies ever produced, Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old stood out as the best. Here is a link to the Rum Howler #1 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: J.P. Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old

“… This is a full-bodied whisky (rare for a Canadian) with a long satisfying finish. Sweet butterscotch and corn flavours are chased down by oak and cedar spices which leave a lightly bitter echo in the throat. The palate is left glowing with little bursts of cinnamon and orange peel, and then a soothing almost menthol-like sweetness appears leaving me little choice but to pour another dram …”

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We have reached the best whisky in my 2017 countdown of Canada’s top 100. Just to make sure I got it right, I re-tasted each of the top 5 spirits side by side to determine my final scores and rankings.

You can view the entire list by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

I hope everyone enjoyed the Countdown!

Merry Christmas!

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Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #2: J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 22, 2017

While Dr. Don Livermore was earning his PhD., one of the topics he was researching was the relationships between barrel aging, time and flavour. He did this by analyzing various types of oak barrels which were maturing whisky in the warehouses at Pike Creek, Ontario. The work he was doing eventually became the basis for his Thesis Dissertation which earned him his PhD. in Brewing and Distilling.

Fortunately for us, the Hiram Walker Distillery Master Blender has taken those same whisky barrels which he studied while earning his PhD. and artfully blended his J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation. The whisky is a rye forward blend bottled at 46.1 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #2 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: J.P. Dissertation

“… There are some notes of burlap and maple syrup dipped graham wafers, rich marmalade, canned apricots and oodles of beautiful rye and oak spices. After my tasting sessions the empty glass was full of rich brown sugars, maple and baking spices reminding me of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls coming out of the oven …”

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We have reached the top 5 whiskies in my 2017 countdown of Canada’s best. Just to make sure I got it right, I re-tasted each of the top 5 spirits side by side to determine my final scores and rankings.

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

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #Top100CanadianWhisky #2: J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation

#Top100CanadianWhisky #3: J.P. Wiser’s Last Barrels

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2017

JP Wiser’s Last Barrels is an interesting new Canadian whisky which was produced from the last batches of whisky barreled under the direction of former J.P. Wiser’s Distiller Jim Stanski.

According to the media reports, in early 2001, Stanski decided to go rogue by making some whisky in more of a bourbon style. He began by blending the grains (80% corn grist, 11% rye and 9% barley malt) prior to mashing them. Then he let milk go sour in the J.P. Wiser’s lab and harvested the resulting bacteria (Lactobacillus) to use a starter culture for his bourbon-style mash so as to have a fermentation process similar to the sour mash process south of the border.

The whisky was set down in barrels later that year and are said to be the last barrels of Jim Stanski Whisky produced, hence the name Last Barrels. (Don’t worry, Jim didn’t get fired as a result of this experiment, he just moved up the ranks into management.) Incidentally, the mashbill of grains used was chosen by Stanski to replicate one used by the original J.P. Wiser in 1869.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #3 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Last Barrels

“… The breezes above the glass indicate to me that the Last Barrels is indeed very much like bourbon with aromas of rough oak and cedar, honeycomb, roasted corn, and baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon). Rich brown sugars are evident as is maple toffee, bittersweet chocolate, pipe tobacco and walnuts …”

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We have reached the top 5 whiskies in my 2017 countdown of Canada’s best. Just to make sure I got it right, I re-tasted each of the top 5 spirits side by side to determine my final scores and rankings.

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

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #Top100CanadianWhisky #3: J.P. Wiser’s Last Barrels

#Top100Rums of 2017: #1 – Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2017

Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum is celebrating her 20th anniversary as Master Blender of Appleton Estate Rum. She joined Appleton Estate Rum in 1982 as Chief Chemist and was appointed as the brand’s Master Distiller/Blender in 1997. At that time, Joy Spence became not only first woman to be the Master Blender of a premium rum brand, but also the first woman in the world to be the Master Blender of a global spirits brand. Since then, she has earned numerous awards, including the honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Louborough.

To acknowledge her extraordinary career, Appleton Estate is paying homage to the revolutionary Joy Spence by releasing Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend, a rare 25-year-old minimum aged limited edition rum.

 

Joy Spence personally selected all of the rums within the blend and created all of the prototypes. She chose two very particular marques of rums to form the heart of her Anniversary blend, a 35-year-old rum (which I like to believe pays homage to her 35 years of service at Appleton Estate) and a very special 25-year-old Pot Still rum which was representative of the characteristic Pot Still style of Appleton Estate Rum. Particular attention was paid in this selection process as Joy’s aim was to choose rums which displayed harmony between the well aged oak character and the underlying Appleton Rum spirit.

Here is a link to my review for the Rum Howler 2017 Rum of the Year:

Review: Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum

“… Jamaican pot still character (camphor and resin, bits of menthol, and vague hints of tar and iodine) very much in evidence within the oak and spice. Also within the merry little breezes was the Appleton Estate Rum signature of orange peel combined with dark brown sugar and rich baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and hints of allspice) …”

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We have reached the top 5 rum spirits of 2017. In mid November, I tasted each of the top 5 rums side by side to determine the final rankings. These final rankings may not absolutely agree with my previous scores when reviewing each spirit, but they do reflect my feelings regarding the relative merit of each rum in mid-November 2017.

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: #1 – Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum

#Top100CanadianWhisky #4: Gooderham and Worts Little Trinity

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2017

Corby Spirit and Wine Limited has added yet another premium brand to its Gooderham and Worts whisky line-up, Gooderham and Worts Little Trinity (Three Grain) Canadian Whisky. The whisky pays homage to the former whisky giant, Gooderham and Worts which in the latter half of the 19th century was the largest spirits producer in Canada. (The company was founded in the early to mid-nineteenth century by James Worts and his brother-in-law William Gooderham.)

Gooderham and Worts Little Trinity is named for the oldest surviving Toronto area church (Little Trinity Church) established by William Gooderham in 1842. The church was established for his mill and distillery workers who could not afford the high pew fees in the nearby  local churches. In keeping with the theme of the Holy Trinity, the whisky is produced from three grains, corn, wheat and rye (I’ll leave it to you to decide which is the Father, which is the Son, and which is the Holy Spirit).

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #4 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Gooderham and Worts Little Trinity

“… The breezes above the glass bring merry notes of rye spice and oak sap complimented by maple and toffee. Vanilla wafts into the air along with some lightly sweet corn syrup. Then I notice damp straw, some fresh leather and tobacco. There is also some almond-like nuttiness which soon melds with the vanilla and the corn-like sweetness to bring me an impression of marzipan …”

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We have reached the top 5 whiskies in my 2017 countdown of Canada’s best. Just to make sure I got it right, I re-tasted each of the top 5 spirits side by side to determine my final scores and rankings.

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

 

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #Top100CanadianWhisky #4: Gooderham and Worts Little Trinity

#Top100Rums of 2017: #2 – Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2017

Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 was produced from a blend of rums which were all distilled in the year 2000. This limited edition rum was created by DUSA Master Blender, Tito Cordero and follows on from his first limited edition rum, the VTG 1997, which (unfortunately for the rest of us) was only released in Venezuela. The distillate from the year 2000 was chosen to be featured in a Single Vintage bottling because of the tremendous sugar cane harvest which was produced that year. Apparently a series of climactic factors in Venezuela combined to produce exceptional growing conditions which led to the bountiful cane harvest. The Limited Edition Single VTG 2000 Rum is a celebration of that exceptional year.

The bulk of the distillate for this particular rum was apparently produced upon copper pot stills, with a smaller portion of the distillate produced upon copper kettle stills. The spirit spent the first 10 years of its aging life in American ex-bourbon barrels, after which it was finished for another 2 years in Sherry casks (Pedro Ximénez). The final rum was bottled in 2012.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #2 Rum of 2017:

Review: Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum

“… The rum enters the mouth with deliciously melded flavours of lush toffee, rich baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon. allspice and nutmeg) and sherry-like dry fruit (raisins, dates and dry apricots). Orange peel and oak spice build with each sip heating the palate and giving the spirit a vibrant spicy mouth-feel which works very well with the sweetness provided by the toffee and dry fruit …”

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We have reached the top 5 rum spirits of 2017. In mid November, I tasted each of the top 5 rums side by side to determine the final rankings. These final rankings may not absolutely agree with my previous scores when reviewing each spirit, but they do reflect my feelings regarding the relative merit of each rum in mid-November 2017.

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 | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #Top100Rums of 2017: #2 – Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum

#Top100CanadianWhisky #5: Canadian Club 40 Year Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2017

This holiday season, a new Canadian whisky is on the wish lists of Canadian Club fans. After 40 years of resting in American oak barrels in Windsor, Ontario, Canadian Club released Canadian Club 40 Year Old, its oldest age expression released to date, and possibly the oldest in Canadian whisky history.

According to Rob Tucker, Senior Brand Manager, Canadian & American Whiskies at Beam Suntory:

“With 160 years of great whisky making, Canadian Club’s numerous gold medal awards won in recent spirit competitions, and with our storied past as the preeminent club whisky in speakeasies which were known for stylish, stirring times, and a little mischief in mixed company, it only makes sense that a historic brand like Canadian Club gets to treat Canadians with such a delicious one-of-a-kind whisky like Canadian Club 40 Year Old,”

 

According to my sources, Canadian Club 40 Year Old was produced from a selection of American Oak barrels which contained 100% corn whisky. These barrels had been consolidated many times over the course of 40 years to minimize the oxidation of the spirit during its lengthy maturation period. The whisky has been released in part to commemorate Canada’s 150 Anniversary, and was available with full distribution across Canada as of mid November in limited quantities.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #5 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Canadian Club 40 Year Canadian Whisky

“… The aroma in the breezes above the glass offers no disappointment. My immediate reaction was Yumm! The breezes brought forth a combination of butterscotch, oak and vanilla which was melded into a luscious toffee. After a few minutes I began to notice a welling up of fresh corn underlain with firm impressions of tobacco and hints of burlap …”

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We have reached the top 5 whiskies in my 2017 countdown of Canada’s best. Just to make sure I got it right, I re-tasted each of the top 5 spirits side by side to determine my final scores and rankings.

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

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #Top100CanadianWhisky #5: Canadian Club 40 Year Canadian Whisky

#Top100Rums of 2017: #3 – El Dorado Special Reserve 21 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2017

The 2015 Best Rum in the World

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 Rum to Europe and North America.

The DDL Master Blender is credited with the creation of El Dorado 21-Year-Old Rum which uses a blend of rums selected from their world-famous stills, the Enmore (wooden Coffey still), the Versailles (single wooden pot still), and the Albion (Savalle still). All of the rums in the blend have been aged in oak for a minimum of 21 years, making this one of the oldest production rums in the world.

According to the DDL website…

El Dorado rums are blended selections of different ‘vintages’ or batches of rums from different stills – aged in oak barrels. Importantly, the age statement specifically indicates the youngest rum in the blend, even though the oldest may be many years older. This rule is the same as the one for Scotch Whisky and is used for rums produced in English-speaking countries…”

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #3 Rum of 2017:

Review: El Dorado Special Reserve 21 Year Old Rum

“… The immediate nose is full of baking spices, orange peel, vanilla, and dry fruits. There are absolutely no medicinal notes or harsh scents associated with the aroma. As the rum decants, I begin to sense glimmers of almonds and hazelnuts weaving through the tapestry of smells, and I sense a building oakiness which is bringing more spice to the fore …”

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We  have reached the top 5 rum spirits of 2017. In mid November, I tasted each of the top 5 rums side by side to determine the final rankings. These final rankings may not absolutely agree with my previous scores when reviewing each spirit, but they do reflect my feelings regarding the relative merit of each rum in mid-November 2017.

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: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #6: J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2017

Wiser’s Red Letter was introduced to Canadians in 2007 to pay homage to the 150th anniversary of John Philip Wiser’s distillery in Prescott, Ontario 1857 – 2007), as well as to the original Red Letter Whisky which John Phillip produced in the late 1800s.

In 2009, when I reviewed the inaugural 150th Adversary Edition (see review here), I was told by my contacts within Corby, that the spirit contained various blends of whisky which (although they ranged in age) were all ten years old or more. After these mature whiskies were blended they were then finished in virgin white oak barrels for 150 days. Once the final characteristic of flavour had been achieved, the Red Letter was bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume (non chill filtered). In developing the spirit, the folks at Wiser’s apparently researched the original J.P Wiser’s Red Letter 19th century recipe using it as a guideline to construct their celebratory whisky.

In 2013 Corby, once again in a tribute to their founder J.P Wiser released Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release. As with the 150th Anniversary Edition, the whisky was finished in virgin white oak casks and then bottled without chill filtering at 45 % alcohol by volume. In 2015 Corby began a re-branding of the entire Wiser’s lineup adding the initials of John Philip Wiser to the brand name across the portfolio.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #6 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter

“… nose is full of both dusty rye and lush corn with yummy vanilla, maple, toffee and baking spices revealing themselves alongside. Corby’s Canadian Whisky Ambassador shared with me that the spirit is predominantly a corn whisky, and the corn smells continue to grow verifying his claim. As the glass sits the tobacco and oak seem to both well from the glass dusty grain spices, zesty orange peel …”

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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

 

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #Top100CanadianWhisky #6: J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter

#Top100Rums of 2017: #4 – Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 17, 2017

According to the Ron Millonario Website, Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum is produced in Northern Peru upon three old Scottish column stills using a slow distillation process from sugar cane molasses. The Peruvian distillery uses its own specially selected yeasts in the fermentation process, and mention is made of the distillery’s own coopers who construct their own aging barrels from American and Slavonian oak.

Although specific information about the Ron Millonario XO is hard to glean from the website, we can deduce some important information about the Ron Millonario XO from its younger sibling the Ron Millonario Solera 15 Year Reserva. The Solera 15 Reserva is produced from a 4 stage Solera process with the final stage bringing the oldest rum in the blend to 15 years. It may be reasonable to assume that for the XO a fifth Solera stage is introduced bring the oldest rum in the blend to somewhere in the 18 to 21 year range.

Here is a link to the review for the Rum Howler #4 Rum of 2017:

Review: Ron Millonario XO Reserva

“… When I took my first sip of this rum, my immediate reaction what to exclaim, “Oh, that is lovely!” and subsequent sips and samplings have done nothing to dissuade me from this initial reaction. The main flavours of caramel/molasses, oak spice and baking spices seem to be perfectly melded together. Hints of raisin, figs, tobacco and chocolate seem to provide just the right accent to make this a suave mouth watering rum …”

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We  have reached the top 5 rum spirits of 2017. In mid November, I tasted each of the top 5 rums side by side to determine the final rankings. These final rankings may not absolutely agree with my previous scores when reviewing each spirit, but they do reflect my feelings regarding the relative merit of each rum in mid-November 2017.

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: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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