Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 17, 2016
Colin Schmidt was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1992. After being drafted, he spent four years playing College Hockey and then signed his first pro contract in 1996. Colin’s pro experience was brief, cut off by a few shoulder injuries after a short spell of what Colin referred to as “playing left bench.” Fortunately, as far as we are concerned, Colin’s story did not end there.
A few years later, Colin, who was working in the mortgage industry, and his wife, Meredith, whose background was in banking, began to look for their own business opportunities in Saskatchewan. Colin had a friend who had started up a micro-distillery in Colorado, and the idea to begin a similar operation in Saskatchewan was very appealing to them. In August of 2010, Colin and Meredith’s hard work and perseverance paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.
In 2012 Colin reached out to me and sent me samples of both his Vodka (see review here) and later his first whisky (see review here) for me to taste and review. I was surprised at the quality of each spirit and have kept tabs on the folks at Last Mountain ever since. Recently the distillery released a brand new rum distilled (in Saskatchewan) from molasses and aged for two years in once filled bourbon barrels. Colin sent me a bottle and asked me to provide feedback in the form of a review here on my website.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The use of once used bourbon barrels has paid dividends as the rum immediately throws fine oak spice into the air accompanied by light aromas of vanilla, almond, butterscotch, orange peel and coconut. The fine oak spice is a little firmer than one would normally encounter in such a young rum; but it is appealing bringing very mild whisky-like scents, (rye, ginger and grain) into the air alongside the light rum aroma. The result is a spirit which displays nice complexity despite its young age …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a very nice Rum and Cola recipe, the Saskatchewan Libre’.
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 306, Amber Rum, Book Review, Last Mountain Distillery, Rum, Saskatchewan, The Original | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2016
Captain Morgan Cannon Blast began to appear on store shelves throughout North America in the fall of 2015. The new spirit from Captain Morgan (apparently produced from Captain Morgan Rum as well as natural flavours and spices) is being touted as a rum meant for the shot glass.
With that in mind, I invited my friend Lucas to sample the spirit with my last fall prior to my review. When he and I sampled it for the first time, we each took a cautious sip, and then downed shots to see how the spirit fared. I saw Lucas grimace, and I am sure he saw me grimace, as the tart flavour of sour citrus candies filled our mouths and overwhelmed our ability to control our reactions. The overt spiciness which followed contributed to our discomfort. Let’s just say that neither of us were fans at that point.
Having said that, my review for the Cannon Blast (see down below for a link) has been the most popular article on my website since I published it. Many people seem to be curious about the cannon ball shaped bottle and the rum inside.
Because of the spirit’s apparent popularity, I thought I would share a simple shot-style recipe sent to me recently by the media team for Captain Morgan Rum which mixed the Cannon Blast with Cranberry juice. Although the combination does not work for me, it apparently is quite popular at bars and clubs where the Cannon Blast is sold.
1 oz. Captain Morgan Cannon Blast
1/2 oz. Cranberry juice
Chill the Shot Glass in the freezer
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of your shaker begins to frost
Strain into the chilled shot glass.
And if you are interested in how I scored the Cannon Blast, here is a link to my full review:
“… The aroma carries an obvious rum-like caramel aroma which is tainted by the sweet and sour scent of a lemon drop candy. The lemon drop candy scent grows stronger as you let the rum breathe, and as well I begin to notice a light spiciness, which reminds me of ginger and cardamom …”
Please enjoy this review which includes another recipe, Blasted Brew, which mixes the Cannon Blast with Lager Beer.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 1 barrel Rum, Bayou Spiced Rum, Book Review, Cannon Blast, Captain Morgan, Cocktail, Crannon Blast | Comments Off on Cocktail Hour: Crannon Blast
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2015
Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon is part of Jim Beam’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection. This collection is composed of Booker’s, and the previously reviewed Baker’s, Knob Creek,and Basil Hayden’s. The whiskey collection is considered by Jim Beam Distillers to be a selection of ‘ultra-premium’ bourbon whiskeys created to establish a high-end category for bourbon, and thus to appeal to the serious whiskey aficionado. The Booker’s Bourbon was named for Booker Noe, who in 1992 began to produce the Booker’s whiskey bottled “straight-from-the-barrel, uncut and unfiltered”.
Interestingly, Booker’s Bourbon does not carry a consistent age statement from batch to batch as barrels are chosen for character and flavour rather than for being a specific age. For that reason the age of a particular bottle can vary between 6 to 8 years old. Because the whiskey is bottled straight from the barrel the bottling strength can also vary (according to the website) between 59.5 % to 64.55 % per batch.
Here is the review for the #7a Spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.
“… I was treated to even more richness as indications of dry fruit revealed themselves above the glass along with hints of treacle and pan roasted walnuts. There were also delightful aromas of leather chairs and rich pipe tobacco meandering into the breezes with undertones of smoky charcoal and dabbles of licorice mixed in. What I sense only a little of, is any undo astringency from the whopping 64.55 % alcohol within the glass. Maybe I have a bottle from a particularly outstanding batch; but air above my glass represents a masterpiece of whiskey goodness …”
You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits
Note: I admitted earlier in the countdown that I had to place two spirits in the #25 spot because I had inadvertently failed to re-taste one extremely good spirit, and this necessitated a correction and addition of one extra spirit upon my list.
I have to confess that another minor error occurred which requires an addition. When I constructed my list, I made a counting error and halfway through the countdown I realized that I had one too many spirits upon the list. Because I felt the number 7 ranking in my Countdown caused me the most anguish, I decided to fix my error and score two spirits (a tie) at number 7.
Posted in Awards, Extras | Tagged: Baker's Bourbon, Beam Suntory, Book Review, Booker's, Review, Rum howler, Top 100 Spirits, True Barrel Bourbon, Whiskey | Comments Off on #7 Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 6, 2015
Flor de Caña has a history of rum production which is dated to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The company was founded by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and today, over 120 years later, the company is led headed by the fifth generation of the Pellas family. It has grown to be not only one of Central America’s leading brands of rum, it is also one of the most recognized rum brands in the world. According to the company website, all of the Flor de Caña rum is produced from molasses which is made from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery in Chichigalpa. This molasses is fermented and then distilled five times in a continuous column still. The resulting distillate is laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses built without air conditioning in an undisturbed environment.
Last year, the entire Flor de Caña line-up received a make-over with splashy new bottle designs. Part of this redesign was the elimination of definitive age statements upon the new bottles and labels. Last year, when I corresponded with the company, they indicated that they wanted to modernize the bottle presentation; but it was maintained that no changes to the overall flavour profile of their rums has occurred.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… As the glass sits, the caramel and oak spice combine bringing me indications of toffee and baking spices (primarily nutmeg and vanilla with hints of cinnamon). I noticed bits or orange peel and marmalade, as well as a ribbon of corn whisky. A light musty grassiness winds through the rum, and I also noticed vague nutty accents which reminded me of almond and walnut …”
Please enjoy my review which concludes with two delicious cocktails, the Cuba Libre’, and the Autumn Daiquiri.
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Anejo Clasico, Autumn Daiquiri, Book Review, Cocktails, Cuba Libre, Flor de Cana 5, Flor de Cana Rum, Rum | Comments Off on Review: Flor de Caña 5 Añejo Clasico
Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 16, 2015
Dulce Vida Tequila is produced from 100% organic agave grown in the Los Altos highlands which are situated in the Tequila Region of Mexico. The company produces the only 100° proof, 100% organic tequila (also free from additives of any kind) in the world. As well as being 100% organic, their tequila is also produced in a manner which embraces the concept of sustainability. During production of the spirit a complete waste recapture program is set in place which results in the production of a nutrient-rich soil supplement which is supplied to the local farming community. As well, the methane gas which is produced as a by-product of the waste collection & processing is captured and utilized to help power Dulce Vida’s production facilities in the village of San Ignacio Cerro Gordo at Campanario (in Mexico of course).
Dulce Vida Extra Añejo is a celebratory spirit which has been matured for just over five years in single oak barrels from the Napa Valley. The Limited Edition spirit commemorates Dulce Vida’s five-year anniversary.
Here is a link to my full review of this extraordinary spirit:
“… The initial aromas are soft and are much perhaps more reminiscent of a 10-year-old scotch like Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, than they are of Tequila. This is I suppose not surprising as Glenmorangie pioneered the practice of finishing their spirits in exotic wine casks, and the scotch industry was much quicker to embrace alternative oak barrels than were the other players in the spirits industry. Dulce Vida Extra Añejo is in fact the very first tequila I have encountered which has aged in a wine barrique …”
Please enjoy my review.
Posted in Extra Anejo Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Book Review, Dulce Vida, Extra Anejo, Organic, Tequila | Comments Off on Review: Dulce Vida Organic Tequila (Extra Añejo)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 15, 2012
I love Canadian Whisky! It is smooth and tasty, and (in my locale at least) extremely well priced compared to the other whisky offerings on the store shelf. This means that even the premium brands sell at prices which allows me to mix them in cocktails without guilt, and some of the super premium brands are cheaper than the average price of a single malt scotch (Last month I purchased 3 bottles of a 25-year-old pure rye whisky for less than 90 bucks combined!)
So when I found out that my whisky reviewing friend, Davin de Kergommeaux, had written a book devoted to Canadian Whisky; I was very eager to give it a good read. Davin, like myself is a true devotee of our great Canadian Spirit. He has created his own website (Canadian Whisky) where he publishes various articles about our mutual passion and of course his unrivaled reviews. He has also been instrumental in launching the first ever fully independent Canadian Whisky Awards! These awards have highlighted not only the best tasting whiskies made in Canada, but they also awarded special achievements by Canadian Whisky Distillers in areas of innovation, brand extension, and media/advertising.
I received my copy of Canadian Whisky: the portable expert about three weeks ago, and I thought I would share my thoughts on Davin’s scribblings here on my website.
Here is a link to those thoughts:
Note: The book should already be in your local bookstore as it was released on May 8. I believe it is available through Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, McNallyRobinson, and several other on-line booksellers.
Posted in Books, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Howls, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Book Review, Canadian Whisky, Canadian Whisky: the portable expert, Whisky | Comments Off on Book Review: Canadian Whisky: the portable expert