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Posts Tagged ‘Beam Spirits’

Review: Canadian Club Small Batch Classic (12 Year Old)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 2, 2013

Classic Small batchCanadian Club Whisky is the oldest (and arguably also the most influential) Canadian Whisky brand in the world. It is sold in over 150 countries world-wide, and sales in Canada are unmatched by any other whisky brand. The company has been granted numerous Royal Warrants from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II, and it has been reported that Canadian Club was the whisky of choice when Al Capone smuggled thousands of cases of Canadian Whisky into the USA during prohibition.

Recently there have been some changes in the Canadian Club family. One of the brands which has undergone a revamping is the Canadian Club Classic (12 Years Old) which has been replaced by the Canadian Club Classic Small Batch (also 12 Years Old). The newer version of the whisky has a new bottle (shown right) and the two words, “Small Batch” have been added to the label. My understanding is the whisky is now constructed from a smaller selection of aged whisky (oak barrels) in an effort to bring a fuller flavour and more smoothness to the blend.

Old FashionedThe Alberta Beam Global team recently gave me a sample bottle to examine, and if you click the following excerpt you may read my latest review:

Review: Canadian Club Small Batch Classic (12 Year Old)

“… The initial breezes above the glass bring forward scents of caramel and oak which are melded nicely with dabs of light tobacco and spicy orange peel. As the glass breathes, I notice some rye spices and some sweet corn pushing though. The oak and tobacco scents have deepened bringing me impressions of fresh-cut cedar and honeycomb. The caramel and wood spice come together as toffee, and the orange peel has softened into marmalade …”

Please enjoy my latest review and if you happen to already have a bottle of the new Small Batch Classic, do not hesitate to make yourself a nice Old Fashioned Cocktail . You swill not be disappointed!


Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Canadian Club Small Batch Classic (12 Year Old)

Review: Alberta Premium Dark Horse Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 7, 2012

Big things are afoot at Alberta Distillers, as today Beam will be launching Alberta Premium® Dark Horse Canadian Whisky in my home Province of Alberta. This whisky promises to build upon the success of the Alberta Premium® brand which has won accolades for being one of the best rye whiskies in the entire world. In fact, Jim Murray, one of the world’s most renowned whisky critics, not only thinks the Alberta Premium Canadian Whisky is good, he thinks it is great! For years he has extolled the virtues of the Alberta Premium in his Whisky Bible naming it the best Canadian Whisky in 2006, 2007, and 2009. (The year that is missing, 2008 was the year that the Alberta Premium 25 Year Old won the award.)

According to my contacts at Beam, Alberta Distillers Limited is raising the bar with the new Dark Horse Whisky because they believe that Canadian whisky connoisseurs are ready for a bolder, richer tasting premium whisky. The Alberta Premium Dark Horse Whisky is designed to meet this challenge with a distinct new flavor profile which is to represent a bold new experience for the Canadian rye whisky drinker.

This new deluxe Canadian whisky builds upon its rye base with an added touch of sherry and bourbon flavour. The whisky is aged in heavily charred American white oak barrels, and represents a blend of 12-year-old rye, and 6-year-old small pot rye. It is bottled at a higher than normal 45 % alcohol by volume, and is being launched as a premium Canadian sipping whisky designed to deliver, (quoting from the information sheets here):

“high barrel aging extractives and a richer colour and flavour profile.”

This whisky launches today in Alberta, and will soon be available across Canada.

I received a pre-release bottle of the Alberta Premium® Dark Horse from Beam Global (who are the brand owners), and I have decided to provide a timely review here on my website.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The nose is complex and engaging, presenting the sharp spicy smells of rye alongside aromatic breezes full of black cherries and fieldberries (strawberry, saskatoons, and black currants). The air above the glass is sharp with oak and rye spices leading out (represented by ginger, cinnamon, and hints of cardamom). Caramelized brown sugars, a freshly bitten Turkish Delight candy bar, and bits of black licorice all find their way into those breezes which also has a distinctive bourbon taint…”

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Alberta Premium Dark Horse Canadian Whisky

Although this is intended as a sipping whisky, I could not resist constructing a very nice cocktail which is appropriately called, the Dark Horse Cocktail.

Please enjoy my review and my cocktail libation, Cheers!

(Note: As more information has come to light, I have learned that the “added touch” of bourbon flavour is a whopping 8 to 8.5 % by volume addition of corn whiskey to the blend, and the “added touch” of sherry flavour is about 0.5 % by volume addition of sherry. These percentages stretch the definition of “added touch” and this knowledge which came to me after the review was written serves to illuminate some of my comments in the review especially with respect to balance.)

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: (rī)1 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 9, 2011

(rī)1™ (pronounced rye one) Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey is a rye whiskey produced by Beam Global Spirits. It is a blend of several different straight rye whiskeys of differing ages (minimum 4 years). It is bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume bringing a little more zip to the palate than a lower proof spirit.

I was gifted a bottle recently when my oldest son traveled to Boston and decided to pick me up something that I wouldn’t find here in Alberta. I decided that a review of this spirit here on my website would be a fun exercise.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The nose from the glass is full of wood and rye spice. The woody notes are manifesting themselves as banana peel which has a certain astringent spiciness similar to the sharpness of Appleton Reserve Rum. Dry grain notes are evident, in particular rye grain which adds to that spicy flair, although I also sense some honeycomb in the breezes as well. Fresh sap filled pine planks are being cut somewhere in the background and green grassy tobacco smells well up as well…”

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: (rī)1 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Please enjoy the review and the two cocktails which follow, the Buckeroo, and the Horses Neck.


Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: (rī)1 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Review: Hornitos Reposado Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 12, 2011

Hornitos Reposado Tequila is a 100 % Agave Tequila produced by the Sauza Tequila Import Company  located in Tequila, a municipality of the state of Jalisco, Mexico. The Tequila is the creation of Don Francisco Havier Sauza (Don Franco), a third generation member of the Sauza family who founded the La Preseverancia, distillery. Don Franco is credited with helping the Mexican Government to establish the Jalisco region of Mexico as the exclusive origin of genuine tequila in 1974. Hornitos was reported to be Don Franco’s favourite tequila. Unlike other spirits which proudly boast of a maturation period in small oak barrels to ensure heavy contact between the spirit and the oak, Don Franco’s Hornitos spirit is different. The Hornitos Reposado is aged in large 10,000 gallon oak ‘pipones’ to ensure limited contact with the wood during maturation such that the agave flavour remains as pure as is possible in a reposado spirit.

And this concept of minimal wood contact may have some merit. I have spoken with many Tequila aficionados who insist that aging Tequila in oak damages the spirit rather than enhances it. These Tequila connoisseurs are looking for that pure agave expression which Hornitos Reposado promises. Sauza is now part of  Beam Global Spirits, and it was the Beam Global Team here in Alberta who made a sample of Hornitos Reposado available to me such that I could provide this review. Here is an excerpt from that review:

“…The initial nose is full of spicy herbal agave fruit. It is a powerful, earthy smell that pours out of the glass growing deeper and stronger as you allow the tequila to breathe. White pepper scents and tart green apples reach the breezes along with grilled pineapple and lemons to round out the nose which is robust and anything but laid back. The scents and aromas from my glass interest me, but I sense a strong warning in those breezes. This is going to be intense…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Hornitos Reposado Tequila

As well I have constructed a new cocktail for the Hornitos Reposado which I affectionately call, Nightmare in Pink.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Hornitos Reposado Tequila

Review: Canadian Club Classic

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 30, 2011

Canadian Club Whisky or C.C. as it is known amongst its advocates was my father’s favourite whisky. He was quite happy when a family event like a wedding or anniversary would come around, and he could volunteer to supply the spirits for the event. Dad never paid much mind to which beer he chose, or which wine, or even which rum, vodka or gin; but… he always insisted on Canadian Club Whisky. In fact as he grew older he would often share a story where he remembered fondly the 25th Wedding Anniversary Celebration for Mom and himself. As the night was winding down many of the guests commented to him that he certainly didn’t shave off any corners with respect to the liquor. He served his friends the best; he served them Canadian Club. Dad was proud of the reaction his neighbours and friends showed him that evening, and he always cherished that night where he was universally recognized for his generosity and his good taste.

The Canadian Club Classic, which is the subject of my review is a whisky my Dad would certainly have enjoyed. It is a couple of steps up from his whisky of choice, the previously reviewed Canadian Club Premium.  ‘Blended at Birth’, the C.C. Classic Whisky is a mixture of rye, rye malt, corn. and barley malt spirits. These spirits are blended before being placed in white oak barrels where they age together for a minimum of 12 years. The Classic contains a higher amount of malted barley in the blend than its younger sibling the Premium, and the result is a slighter sweeter more rounded whisky with the smoother character that the longer time spent aging in oak provides.

You may click on the following link to read the full review:

“…The entry into the mouth is soft and creamy. That typical ‘dank’ Canadian Club flavour is muted in this expression, and the whisky finds more sweet butterscotch than spicy toffee at first tasting….”

Review: Canadian Club Classic

Please enjoy the review and the great new cocktail I have included called the Classic Canadian Ice Storm.

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Canadian Club Classic

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