The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • Copyright

    Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. Thus, all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.
  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Industry Interviews


    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Rum Reviews

  • Whisky Reviews

  • Gin Reviews

  • Tequila Reviews

  • Vodka Reviews

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,141 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Visitors

    • 13,360,529 pageviews since inception
  • Archives

  • Follow The Rum Howler Blog on

Posts Tagged ‘Confederation Oak’

Review: Forty Creek Confederation Oak (Lot 1867F)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 2, 2016

SAM_2635In 2010 Forty Creek Whisky introduced Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Whisky. What made this whisky unique was that it had been finished in Canadian Oak Barrels. These oak barrels were made from oak trees (growing only 40 miles from the distillery) which began their growth in Canadian soil approximately 150 years ago at the time of Confederation (The birth of Canada as a nation), hence the name Confederation Oak.

It has been 6 years since Confederation Oak Reserve Whisky was first released over that time the spirit has become one of the staple whiskies in the Forty Creek Whisky family. Each year a new batch is produced, and when I recently received a bottle from the newest batch (Batch Number 1867F), I decided to revisit the spirit to see how it has changed over time.

Here is a link to my latest Canadian Whisky review:

Review: Forty Creek Confederation Oak (Lot 1867F)

“… Lot 1867F however seems more subdued with less oak spice and woody vanillans at the forefront of the whisky. This time the breezes bring me more obvious scents butterscotch and maple syrup. Rye notes (and the tempered wood spices) are melded within this light sweetness. As the glass breathes, I notice a bit of a bourbon flair with indications of corn whisky, vanilla, almond, honeycomb and damp tobacco all apparent as well in the air above the glass …”

Please enjoy the review, Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Forty Creek Confederation Oak (Lot 1867F)

Cocktail Hour: The Asylum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 1, 2016

Today’s cocktail is a variation of the Ward 8 Cocktail which I introduced to my website three weeks ago (see here). The Ward 8 is basically a Whiskey Sour made with lemon and orange juice and sweetened with grenadine. My new cocktail, The Asylum, is quite similar. However rather than using grenadine to sweeten the cocktail (and a maraschino Cherry as the garnish), I instead added a small amount of Brandied Cherry Syrup and one of my home-made Brandied Cherries as the garnish (see recipe here).

If you examine my recipe for Brandied Cherries you will see that I not only soak the cherries in a mixture of sugar, water and brandy, I also add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. These pungent spices within the Brandied Cherry Syrup add a wonderful layer of flavour to both the brandied cherry and to my final cocktail.

Asylum SAM_2727I chose to call my new libation The Asylum, which is not only a reference to a place which might contain a section called Ward 8 (the original cocktail of inspiration), it also pays homage to another of my favourite writers (and a Canadian to boot), A.E. Van Vogt. His short story Asylum (Astounding Science Fiction, May 1942) was written during the Golden Aged of Science Fiction (which A.E. Van Vogt is often credited with ushering into existence with his short story Black Destroyer).

While the work of Van Vogt is unfortunately slowly being forgotten, it should be understood that his early stories had a huge impact on science fiction and pop culture. His novel The Voyage of the Space Beagle was almost certainly the inspiration for Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. His early story Discord in Scarlet, likewise inspired the novel and the movie, Alien. And the villains in the story for which my cocktail is named, Asylum bear such an uncanny likeness to villainous Wraith from the well-known television series Stargate Atlantis that it is undeniable that the hand of Van Vogt was leaving its impression once again.

The Asylum

2 oz Canadian Whisky (Forty Creek Confederation Oak)
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
1 tsp Brandied Cherry Juice
1 tsp Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Brandied Cherry (see recipe here)

Add the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a Brandied Cherry

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Cocktail Hour: The Asylum

# 13 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Confederation Oak

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 13, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYForty Creek Confederation Oak was built upon the foundation of John Hall’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and is basically a version of this whisky which has been finished in Canadian Oak Barrels. These oak barrels were made from oak trees (growing only 40 miles from the distillery) which began their growth in Canadian soil approximately 150 years ago at the time of Confederation (the birth of Canada as a nation), hence the name chosen for the whisky, Confederation Oak.

Confederation oakWhen I spoke to John Hall (Forty Creek founder and Whisky Maker) about this whisky, he mentioned that Canadian oak trees are heavier and more dense than American oak due to the harsher Canadian climate. As a result, the oak barrels made from these trees impart a different flavour characteristic to the whisky. The vanillans are more pronounced, and the wood tannins seem to be slightly stronger. In fact, John told me he almost scrapped this whisky altogether when after the first and the second years of ‘finishing’ in the Canadian oak barrels, the whisky was, to him, harsh and unappealing. But rather than scrapping the whisky, he allowed time to take its course. To his delight the whisky mellowed considerably after the third year of finishing, and the desired flavour profile for his whisky was achieved.

And what a flavour that was, John Hall’s Forty Creek Confederation Oak ranks Number 13 in my Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown. Here is a link to my review:

# 13 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Confederation Oak

“… The aroma from the glass begins with typical Canadian Whisky notes of light rye and oak.  Soon, however, I begin to notice caramel corn and light baking spices building, then a strong indication of the new oak barrels imparting their fresh tannin into the liquid as fresh scents of honeycomb, vanilla, cedar and toffee rise into the breezes above the glass. As the glass breathes, the oak becomes firmer and a certain smokiness from dried fruit develops. Fresh sap, raisins, dried apricots and spicy toffee are all apparent in the fully decanted glass …”

I am very happy that Forty Creek is a distillery that believes in patience. The extra time this whisky spent in the new oak barrels has paid handsome dividends. The result was not just a good whisky. Rather it is a whisky that is so good I shall be hoarding it, and I will dole out a dram here and a dram there just for special occasions and just special friends.


Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies


Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 13 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Confederation Oak

%d bloggers like this: