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Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Review: Appleton Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 25, 2017

Today I am concluding my trip through the Appleton Estate Rum line-up which was triggered by special tasting event in Edmonton hosted by Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum. At the event, the guests were not only walked though the main range of Appleton Rums (the Signature VX Blend, the Appleton Reserve, and the Rare 12 Year Old)  we were also allowed to sample Joy’s stunning new Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend which commemorates her 20th Anniversary as Master Blender of Appleton Estate Rum (see review here).

Appleton Estate Reserve Rum is the only rum in Appleton’s main range which has not undergone a re-branding. I am not sure why not, although perhaps it has something to do with Joy’s revelation to me that the Appleton Reserve Rum is her preferred rum for personal enjoyment. She loves all the Appleton Rums; but if she were to be stranded on a desert island with just one, the Reserve would be her rum of choice. Based upon this it is a reasonable conjecture that Appleton Estate sees no reason to tweak this particular rum blend, not even for the sake of a re-branding.

Although the Appleton Reserve Rum has apparently not changed in any material fashion since my first review seven years ago, I nevertheless took this opportunity to revisit the brand. Here is a link to my newly written review:

Review: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum

“… oak carries some obvious sweetness with vanilla and light baking spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) accenting the honeyed wood spices. Spicy orange peel and light aromas of the Jamaican pot still (camphor and resin, bits of menthol, and vague hints of tar) begin to arrive as well as a light grassy quality which has wound its way into the air …”

Please enjoy the review which concludes with Joy Spence’s favourite cocktail which she revealed to me in an interview in 2012. Although Joy’s Bio now calls the serving, “The Joy” (I suspect the Campari Marketing Team at work), I prefer the original name I gave the mixed drink when I first published it five years ago, The Spence Cocktail.

 

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Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Red Cup Distillery Wheat Shine

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 23, 2017

This past winter (on January 31, 2017), I took a little tour east of Edmonton along the Yellowhead Highway to the Town of Vegreville. This small town, which lies about 100 km east of Edmonton, is in the heart of what I call Alberta’s rural Ukrainian Country, and it is home to the world’s largest Easter Egg or Pysanka.

I was visiting Rob and Barb de Groot at the new Red Cup Distillery to learn about the Distillery and to sample some of their locally made prairie moonshine.

When I arrived, I found that Rob and Barb had developed a spirit which hearkened back to a time before prohibition. This is a spirit which was first produced when a small rural population (who had immigrated from Europe) carried on a centuries old tradition of small pot distillation. Before prohibition, (with very few police to patrol the vast prairie) the tradition prospered. However first prohibition, and then government taxation, drove the spirit underground where it almost vanished. Fortunately for us today, distillers, Rob and his wife Barb have (through their steadfast research and commitment) brought back a spirit steeped in the agricultural heritage of Alberta.

Rob gave me a tour of the entire facility as I was stepped through the entire process from grain to glass. I was even allowed to take a few pictures (like the one of the small copper pot still) but, because much of what I was shown was proprietary, Rob asked me to be discrete in the manner in which I shared what I learned.

Fortunately I was given a bottle of Red Cup Distillery’s Wheat Shine, and I have decided to share my thoughts on that spirit, here on the website.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Red Cup Distillery Wheat Shine

“… The breezes above the glass are rich and complex. Wheat shines the brightest as a distinct porridge-like scent is immediately noticeable. There is more as mushy banana and plantain combined with a light grassiness rise up alongside the firm wheat aroma. Grilled zucchini and pumpkin, cooked pineapple, and citrus zest is hinted at as well …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my cocktail suggestion, The Mad Trapper.

Chimo!

Posted in Moonshine and New-make | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 19, 2017

On March 23rd, 2017 I attended to a very special tasting event hosted by Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum. Although the focus of the event was to introduce everyone to the new Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend (see review here),  I was also giving the opportunity to sample the entire family of Appleton Rums as part of the event. I acquired samples of each of the rums and today I am going to share my thoughts on one of my favourites.

The Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend is crafted in small batches. This is a true 12 Year Old spirit as the Appleton Estate website informs us that it all of the rums which make up this blend are each aged at least 12 years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend

“… Dark brown sugar and toffee meld with oak spice, orange peel and marmalade. Baking spices in the form of vanilla, cinnamon, a touch of allspice and hints of nutmeg weave in and out of the oak spice with some nutty almond and crushed walnuts lurking just underneath …”

Please enjoy my review of what has become one of my favourite rums.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Wisniak na Rumie (Cherry Flavoured Liqueur)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 16, 2017

Wisniak na Rumie is a Cherry flavoured liqueur produced by Polmos Bielsko-Biala SA. This is the same Polish company responsible for the production of Extra Zytnia Vodka. Wisniak (cherry-flavoured) spirits are popular in Poland (as well as in Russia and The Ukraine).

Interestingly this particular cherry flavoured liqueur is, in addition to being flavoured with the natural juice of ripe cherries, also flavoured with Jamaican Rum. I must admit my interest was piqued at the mention of Jamaican Rum (I am the Rum Howler after all), and when I was offered a sample bottle to review, I jumped at the chance.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Wisniak na Rumie (Cherry Flavoured Liqueur)

“… The breezes above the glass are filled with lightly sweet scents of freshly sliced cherries with a touch of wine-like fermentation accenting the aroma. The underlying rum is hinted at with a light blush of herbal Jamaican funk (camphor, resin and menthol) seemingly entwined into the fresh cheery scent …”

Please enjoy the review which includes the recipe suggestion, Blood and Sand.

Chimo!

Note: Wisniak na Rumie is available in Ontario, and I am hoping that it will be received well enough such that it makes its way across Canada to the Alberta market as well.

Posted in Flavouerd Rums, Liqueur | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Skyy Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 9, 2017

Skyy Vodka was created by Maurice Kanbar who formed Skyy Spirits LLC. in 1992 to market the spirit. The Vodka is quadruple distilled from American grain, and is also apparently filtered three times though California limestone prior to bottling. In 1999, the Compari Group (headquartered in Milan, Italy) purchased the brand, and Skyy is now a product of the Campari America Division.

I sampled Skyy Vodka for the first time two years ago and decided to revisit the brand this year when I chose to compare four Vodkas in a small tasting competition(Smirnoff No. 21 Red, Reyka, Skyy and Last Mountain Distillery Hand Crafted Vodkas). I tasted the spirits in pairs, and when I determined which vodka from each pair was my preferred spirit, then I tasted the winners of each of the previous tasting sessions went head to head in a final taste-off.

Here is a link to my revised review of Skyy Vodka:

Review: Skyy Vodka

“… the spirit was very lightly sweet with a nice clean spiciness and a hint of menthol that seemed refreshing. There was also a hint of a very lightly bitter pithy (that white stuff on the back side of a citrus peel) flavour which carried into the aftertaste. Fortunately as the spirit warmed, that lightly bitter flavour did not increase …”

Please enjoy this revised review which indicates substantial improvement in the brand over the past two years. Chimo!

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Last Mountain Private Reserve Wheat Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 5, 2017

The Last Mountain Distillery is Saskatchewan’s first micro distillery. It is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Colin and Meredith Schmidt. After Colin left his hockey career with the Edmonton Oilers behind, he and his wife, Meredith began to look for business opportunities in Saskatchewan, and the idea of starting up their own micro-distillery still appealed strongly to both of them. To make a long story short, in August of 2010, the ambitions and hard work of Colin and Meredith paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.

According to the distillery website,  Last Mountain’s Private Reserve Whisky is a blend of 4 to 5-year-old wheat whisky which has been aged in a combination of used bourbon barrels and then finished in new 10 gallon oak barrels.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Last Mountain Private Reserve Wheat Whisky

“… The rich nose does not disappoint in terms of flavour across the palate. I taste yummy butterscotch and maple melding with oakspice, leather and tobacco. There is a very appealing rye-like flavour and bitterness as well as a dusty dry spiciness which features both grain and wood spice combining with orange pith and touches of cinnamon …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful Canadian Whisky from Saskatchewan’s First Micro Distillery.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 2, 2017

Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka is produced one batch at a time under the care and supervision of Saskatchewan distillers, Colin and Meredith Schmidt. The spirit is triple distilled and filtered three times through stone carbon before it is brought to 40% alcohol by volume and bottled.

I reviewed the Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka first in 2012, and then revisited the brand this year when I chose to compare four Vodkas in a small tasting competition (Smirnoff No. 21 Red, Reyka Small Batch, Skyy and Last Mountain Distillery Hand Crafted Vodkas). I tasted the spirits in pairs, and when I determined which vodka from each pair was my preferred spirit, then I tasted the winners of each of the previous tasting sessions went head to head in a final taste-off.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka

“… When I sipped the spirit, it had a clean mouth-feel. I noticed a mild rye-like spiciness across the palate, a light creamy of wheat flavour (porridge) and a cleansing lemon lime bite. However I could not discern any appreciable burn or discomfort even as the vodka warmed to room temperature …”

Please enjoy this review of Last Mountain Hand crafted Vodka 5 years removed from my original review.

Chimo!

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 28, 2017

sam_3048Pusser’s Rum is advertised as the original rum of the British Royal Navy. And it is a fact that for over 300 years it was a tradition of the British Navy that each member of the crew was issued a daily ‘tot’ of rum. This tradition began in 1655, and by 1731, the tradition of the daily ‘tot’ was in general use throughout the British Navy. As it was the ship’s purser who was responsible for issuing the rum, the tot of rum became known as Pusser’s Rum in a sort of slang derivation of the term ‘Purser’s Rum’.

Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum is new to the Pusser’s range. According to the producer’s website it is a traditional Royal Navy style rum produced at original Admiralty strength. Prior to the invention of the hydrometer, the ship’s purser shutdown claims of watering down sailors’ daily tot by mixing a few grains of gunpowder to the rum to see if it would burn. If the mixture ignited, the rum was ‘at proof.’ If it didn’t, the purser might find himself tossed to sea.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum

“… The nose is heavy with aromas of brown sugar, caramel and molasses. Within the brown sugary caramel I sense a building up of baking spices (vanilla, with some hints of nutmeg and cinnamon) and dry fruit (heavy on dry raisins and light on dates and prunes). Perhaps I am gleaning some wisps of black licorice and asphalt tar as well …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a nice cocktail suggestion, the Magazine.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Last Mountain Spicy Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 25, 2017

Last Mountain Distillery is Saskatchewan’s first micro distillery. It is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Colin and Meredith Schmidt. Colin recently sent me a sampling of three of the distilleries newest products, Apple Pie Moonshine, Sweet Tea Vodka and Spicy Vodka. All of these products are made from a wheat based distillate and (according to the distillery website), Last Mountain’s Spicy Vodka is naturally infused with chili and cayenne peppers. Each bottle has a pepper inside increasing the intensity of the heat over time. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my review of the Last Mountain Spicy Vodka.

Review: Last Mountain Spicy Vodka

“… When I brought my glass to my nose I noticed that it brought clean lightly spicy scents into the breezes which perhaps lulled me into a false sense of security. I say this because the first sip brought an intense peppery spice across the palate and that spicy feeling builds rather than diminishes …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with a recipe for the classic Canadian Cocktail, the Caesar.

Posted in Flavoured Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Johnnie Walker Red Label

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 21, 2017

red-labelJohnnie Walker is one of the most iconic whisky brands in the world. With its unique square bottle, and the labels tilted off-center, the company has created a strong brand image and its spirit is considered by many to be the quintessential Scottish whisky. The company has been operating since 1820, and has grown steadily to become one of the most important Scottish whisky brands in the world today.

Johnnie Walker Red Label, the flagship brand, was created in 1909 and it is now is the best-selling Scotch Whisky in the world. It is a blended Scotch Whisky composed of up to 35 grain and malt whiskies.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Johnnie Walker Red Label

“… I gave the glass some time to breathe and discovered that the smells of malted barley and grain seemed to have grown in strength when I returned after a few minutes. These aromas have began to meld into the oak spice giving the dram a more robust character than I had anticipated …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my mixed drink suggestion, the Red Label Splash.

Chimo!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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