The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Visit My Online Memorabilia Store

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

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

  • Industry Interviews

    Interviews

    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Follow Me on Twitter!

Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Review: Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve) 5 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 29, 2016

Plantation Barbados SAM_2678Cognac Ferrand is a Cognac producer situated in the Grand Champagne Cognac Region of France. For years this company has had a special relationship with a variety of Caribbean rum producers. This relationship is based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Based upon this relationship, Cognac Ferrand is able to acquire certain old and unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources, which they bring back to France and finish in their own warehouses and of course their own Cognac Casks. To bring these special rums to market, Cognac Ferrand created the line of rums knows as Plantation Rum.

The cornerstone of the Plantation Rum line-up is most certainly Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve 5 Year Old Rum. This is a Bajan rum blend (distilled in Barbadoes of course) which was aged for five years in bourbon casks. After this initial aging the rum is transported from Barbados to France by Cognac Ferrand to be placed in used Cognac casks to enhance the rum before it is bottled.

I originally reviewed this rum in 2011, five years removed from that review, I am revisiting the review with a current bottling.

Here is a link to my recent review:

Review: Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve)

“… The Plantation 5 Year Old Barbados Rum brings a pleasant complexity and depth of flavour to the glass which allows the spirit to be enjoyed as a sipping rum as well as a high quality cocktail rum. I also appreciate that the rum does clobber me over the head with its Cognac enhancement. I can taste whispers of fermented fruit and perhaps a ghost of the cognac barrel, but these flavours stay in the background allowing the fine Barbados rum to shine through …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

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

2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: George Street Spiced Rum (#1)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 25, 2016

George Street Spiced SAM_2721The capital of Newfoundland and Labrador is a city called  St. John’s, and there they have a place where the rum consumption reaches its apex. That place is George Street! A street full of music and revelry, lined from top to bottom with Pubs and Restaurants, where almost everyone’s drink of choice seems to be rum! And it is for that place that the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission (NLC) have named their spiced rum, George Street Spiced Rum.

This isn’t an ordinary spiced rum. For starters, the rum itself is from Guyana, the home of the world-famous Demerara Rum. Some of the rum in the blend is two years old, some of the rum in the blend is 5 years old, and some of the rum in the blend is 7 years old. And this aged Guyanese Rum has been painstakingly crafted into a spiced rum using extractions and distillations of real spices.

Here is a link to the review of the best spiced rum I have on my personal rum shelf:

#1: George Street Spiced Rum

“…Caramelized brown sugar and vanilla each jumped into the breezes as I poured the rum into my glass. After I poured a dram, I allowed it to breathe for just a little while. After a few minutes, rich baking spices joined in, and I received an impression of fresh cinnamon rolls rising into the air complete with treacle and rich dark brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon as well as roasted walnuts and pecans. There is also a light indication of oak spice and orange peel as well as hints of bittersweet chocolate…”

_________________________________________

I hope you all found my countdown enjoyable, and you can find the complete rankings list here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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

Review: Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 21, 2016

Knob Rye SAM_2730It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. In 2013, I named it my Whisky of the Year in my annual Rum Howler Awards, and since then it has become a staple of my whisky shelf. In fact when I am asked by people to recommend a good bourbon to try, Knob Creek is invariably the spirit I am likely to name.

I contacted BeamSuntory, Whiskey Ambassador, Matt Jones (Aka The Whiskey Chef) to provide me some information about the new spirit. He told me that the mash bill for Knob Creek Rye is 55% rye, 35% corn & 10% malt. The whiskey is blended from spirit which has been matured in new charred oak barrels for 5-9 years. The whiskey is bottled (for Canada) at a full 100 proof which is 50 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

“… The breezes above the glass are rich with cedar and oak spices, maple, and butterscotch toffee. Fruit-filled rye notes separate from the wood spice adding character to the breezes. Vanilla and baking spices (cinnamon, bits of clove, and dashes of nutmeg and allspice) wander into the breezes adding even more depth to the aroma …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding rye whiskey.

Chimo!

 

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

2016 Rum Howler Spiced Rum Taste-off: Bacardi Oakheart

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 18, 2016

Oakheart and ColaMy 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off has reached the final stages, and if you are looking for trends in my countdown, the one that shines through most clearly for me is that barrel aging matters. It’s not a perfect correlation; but if you have been following my Countdown List of spiced rums as it has grown over the summer you will have seen that the spiced rums which exhibit a little of the depth and character which come from oak aging are outperforming those that do not.

Bacardi’s Oakheart Smooth Spiced Rum is one of those spirits which shows firm signs of age in the glass. It is produced from a blend of column distilled rums which have been aged in charred oak barrels. This aged rum is then spiced to reach a flavour profile which walks the path of a vanilla accented by fragrant spices the combination of which is meant to compliment the aged rum but not to dominate it.

Here is a link to the second best spiced rum on my rum shelf:

#2 Spiced Rum: Bacardi Oakheart

“… I taste a lot of vanilla, some nice rummy butterscotch and a little dollop of maple syrup. The rum has a bit of spicy heat as well, with some orange peel, cinnamon and cloves heating the palate. The oak seems a little lost in the spice when you sip the rum neat. I suspect it is adding to that orange peel zest flavour I noted, but it is hard to decide where the light spice flavours end and the oak begins …”

_________________________________________

I hope you all find this countdown enjoyable and you can follow the rankings here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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

Review: Harbour Rum (Yongehurst Distillery)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 15, 2016

Harbour Rum SAM_2704The Yongehurst Distillery is a brand new Micro-Distillery located at 346 Westmoreland Ave near Dupont and Dovercourt in Toronto, Ontario. The facility is owned by long-time friends, Rocco Panacci and John-Paul Sacco, and what has me particularly excited is that Rocco and John-Paul are making what just might be Toronto’s first micro-distilled rum upon their brand new small pot/column combination still.

Yongehurst Distillery’s Harbour Rum is produced on their new still from imported (certified organic) South American molasses (from Paraguay according to my secret sources) which has been fermented with wild Ontario yeast.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Harbour Rum (Yongehusrt Distillery)

“… A light sweetness which reminds me of cotton candy drifts upwards into the breezes with feathery indications of mint and menthol alongside. The breezes indicate that the rum has somewhat firm vegetal nature, and this presents itself beside scents of mushy banana and ripe plantain. There are also intriguing aromas in the air (resin-like esters which remind me of camphor) that resemble the notes I would find in Jamaican pot still rum. The nose is rounded out with hints of lemon and orange zest, banana peel as well as  grassy herbal notes akin to the aroma of freshly mowed hay …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

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

2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 12, 2016

Spiced ScreechThe Famous Newfoundland Screech is an amber rum which has become part of Canadian folklore. The tale I found upon the company website a few years ago goes like this:

“… the commanding officer of the (American) first detachment was taking advantage of Newfoundland hospitality for the first time and was offered a drop of rum as an after dinner drink. Seeing his host toss back the liquor with nary a quiver, the unsuspecting American adhered to local custom and downed the drink in one gulp.

The look of shock and the glorious shades of color on the American’s face were overshadowed by the bloodcurdling howl made by the poor fellow as he managed to regain his breath. Sympathetic persons from miles around rushed to the house to assist the poor man in such obvious agony and of course to satisfy their curiosity as to what was going on. Among the first to arrive was a garrulous old American sergeant who pounded on the door and demanded “What the cripes was that ungodly screech?”

The taciturn Newf who had answered the door replied simply, “The screech? Tis the rum, me son.”….”

Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum is crafted from the same 4 separate marques of Jamaican rum which are used to produce the Famous Newfoundland Screech which are aged anywhere from 2 to 5 years. However, because this is a spiced rum which is bottled at 50 % alcohol by volume, the treatment of these marques will necessarily be slightly different.

Here is a link to the review of the third best spiced rum upon my rum shelf:

#3 Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum

“… As the glass sits those baking spices seem to take over giving the rum in the glass a rich scent similar to fresh cinnamon buns taken from the oven. There are also aromas of roasted pecans and walnuts, a touch of treacle as well as a meandering scent of marmalade. I cannot say for certain, but it seems to me that I also notice some evidence of oak in the air floating beside the baking spices …”

_________________________________________

I hope you all find this countdown enjoyable and you can follow the rankings here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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

Review: Invergordon 1984 – 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky (W&M204)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 9, 2016

Invergordon 30 SAM_2697 Invergordon Distillers (currently owned by Whyte & Mackay) was founded in 1959 in the Highlands region of Scotland and the newly built distillery began to operate in 1959.  The distillery has three working Coffey stills which produce grain whisky (primarily from wheat and corn) for various Whyte and Mackay blended whiskies as well as other Scottish producers.

The 1984 Invergordon 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky was distilled in 1984 and bottled in 2015. This whisky is part of Wilson and Morgan’s Special Release Series which comprises of special bottlings of Scotch whiskies, all of which are 25 years of age or older, and many of which have received an unusual or special maturation regime. This particular whisky was matured for its entire life in a 2nd fill Sherry butt and bottled at cask strength (57% alcohol by volume).

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Invergordon 1984 – 30 Year Old Single Grain (W&M204)

“… The initial notes of caramel toffee, oak spice sherry-like dry fruit have gained strength and been joined by a light but firm impression of peat smoke. There is a nice winding of vanilla in the breezes as well as firm hints of old leather saddles and bits of baking spice. Impressions of corn syrup and Graham wafers bring the grain into focus with a touch of grassy meadow in the background …”

Please enjoy my latest Single Grain Whisky review.

Chimo!

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

Cocktail Hour: Gin and Tonic Vesper

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 8, 2016

Orthydox

Gin and Tonic

The weather has been warm recently, and I found myself wanting to make a nice cold Gin and Tonic. On this particular day I was feeling adventurous and wanted to try an experiment that I had been mulling for some time. I wanted a Gin and Tonic; but I wanted to challenge myself by mixing the serving with a gin which I had previously deemed as being unsuitable for that particular libation. That gin was Tanqueray Rangpur.

Tanqueray Ranpur is a relatively new spirit in the Taqueray family. When I reviewed it last year, I stated that I thought the spirit possessed more than just a passing resemblance to the new “American Style” of gin. This was because within the spirit, the juniper is held in check and other botanicals (in this case strong citrus flavours) are allowed greater expression. Frankly this ‘American Style’ is not a direction I prefer; I like my gin to have a firm juniper presence reveling in the flavour of the berry which gives the spirit its name, especially if I am making a Gin and Tonic. In the case of the Rangpur Gin, I felt that a strong flavour of lime zest would spoil my G & T cocktail. (Lime zest is derived from the lime peel not the lime juice.)

I grabbed my bottle of Rangpur Gin from the shelf, and then (feeling a little like James Bond) I grabbed a vodka bottle as well, in this case Iceberg Vodka. My aim was to use the vodka in the serving to dampen the firm flavour of lime zest while at the same time keeping the alcohol strength of the mixed drink the same as it was before. In essence I was ‘vespering‘ my Gin and Tonic (see post on the Vesper Cocktail here).

G & T Vespet SAM_2735

Gin and Tonic Vesper

After a few tries, I developed a recipe I was quite happy with.Although the resulting Gin and Tonic Vesper was not nearly as juniper forward as would be the case in my usual gin and tonic cocktail, the final serving was nevertheless, refreshing, and the lime zest push from the Rangpur Gin was held in check.

Gin and Tonic Vesper

1 1/3  oz Tanqueray Rangpur Gin
2/3  oz Iceberg Vodka
1/4  oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/8  oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
Q Tonic
Cucumber chunk

Add the first four ingredients into a rocks glass
Stir and add ice
Fill with Q-Tonic
Garnish with cucumber

Enjoy Responsibly!

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

If you are interested, you may read my reviews for Tanqueray Ranpur Gin and Iceberg Vodka by clicking the links below:

__________________________________________________

Review: Tanqueray Rangpur Gin

Review: Iceberg Vodka

__________________________________________________

Enjoy my vespered cocktail and my reviews, Chimo!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 6, 2016

SAM_0991Lemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the production of the blend had shifted to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada.

Recently, the Lemon Hart brand has been re-energized with the launch of Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Rum (three years ago). The spiced rum (which is the subject of this review) is an 86 proof offering (43 % alcohol by volume), developed for Mosaiq (the brand owner) under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master Blender, Mike Booth.

Here is a link to the fourth best spiced rum upon my rum shelf:

#4 Lemon Hart Navy Spice Rum

” … The initial aroma from the glass is very pleasant. Things begin with a candied sweetness reminiscent of Butterscotch and/or Rum & Butter Lifesaver candies. Within that candied aroma I sense the spiciness of cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom as well as perhaps a touch of orange zest. There are obvious vanilla notes, a very light indication of treacle and hints of tobacco and oak which appear only after the glass sits for a few minutes …”

_________________________________________

I hope you are finding this countdown enjoyable. You can follow the rankings here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

 

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

Review: Shadow in the Lake Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 3, 2016

Cosmo SAM_2700Legend Distilling is a small craft distillery in the heart of B.C. Okanagan Wine Country. Owner’s Dawn and Doug Lennie moved to Naramata 11 years ago and witnessed the progression of the wine business happening all around them. They were already running their own businesses, but had a dream of working together to build a new company they could share. Whiskey was always been a passion of Doug’s and he had also been watching what was going on with craft distilling in the US. Both Dawn and he decided that spirits would be a great business to bring to the community as a compliment to all the great wines available around them. For Dawn and Doug, offering something new in the area was key. This included their unique location along the Naramata Bench, as other distilleries were being located in more industrial areas.

The Distillery’s flagship Vodka  Shadow In the Lake Vodka which pays homage to the legendary beast Ogopogo. The spirit is produced from 100 % wheat grain grown in the South Peace area of British Columbia which is ground on site at the distillery. It is produced one batch at a time using the distillery’s 3000 litre mash tun and 600 litre hybrid pot still which has one 4 plate column and one 16 plate column attached.

Here is a link to my newest Vodka Review:

Review: Shadow in the Lake Vodka

“… The Shadow in the Lake Vodka was slightly thickened at that cold temperature, and when I brought my shot glass to my nose I noticed the spirit a light vegetal aroma creeping out of the glass. There was also a very light grainy spiciness and a pleasant mint-like scent rising into the breezes …”

Please enjoy my review and the accompanying cocktail suggestion, the Cosmopolitan.

Chimo!

 

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

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,818 other followers

%d bloggers like this: