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Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Review: Mister Sam Tribute Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 10, 2019

Yesterday, Sazerac unveiled Mister Sam which pays homage to Sam Bronfman, who is considered to be the pioneer who founded of the modern-day distilled spirits industry. Bronfman immigrated to Canada from Imperial Russia in the late 1800s, and went on to propel Seagram’s into the largest and most successful distilled spirits company in the world at that time. Sam was apparently focused on making and blending the finest whiskies possible, and maintaining the highest quality standards in the industry. “Mister Sam” as he was affectionately known created some of the world’s most iconic spirit brands while at the helm of the Seagram’s empire until his death in 1971. As a tribute to Sam Bronfman and the vast contribution he made to the spirits industry, the Sazerac Company has developed a highly limited blended whiskey expression made with some of Sazerac’s finest American and Canadian Whiskeys.

The “Mister Sam” blend was created by Sazerac’s Master Blender Drew Mayville whose career included a 22 year stint at Seagram’s where he was the fourth and last Master Blender under the Seagram dynasty. Mayville had the vast array of Sazerac’s American and Canadian Whiskey stocks at his disposal while developing the final blend.

According to Drew Mayville:

“I was thrilled to be able to work on the blend for this exciting tribute whiskey.  Mister Sam was known to say ‘Distilling is a science; Blending is an art,’ and he’s right.  Creating the elusive perfect blend is every bit about experimentation and precision.  We’re very proud of the whiskey we’ve created.”

Yesterday I gave everyone a teaser and promised that today I would publish my full review of the Tribute Whiskey. Here is a link to that full-page review:

Review: Mister Sam Tribute Whiskey

“… Upon the palate, Mister Sam arrives with the brute force of a sledge-hammer threatening to knock your tonsils down your throat with unabashed whiskey fury. The resulting belt to the mouth leaves you wondering what just happened, but at the same time hoping it will happen again. The whiskey might have rattled my taste buds, but the rich robust flavour is undeniable …”

I hope everyone enjoys the review as much I enjoyed the whiskey!



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

Review: Writer’s Tears Cask Strength

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 13, 2019

Recently (February 7, 2019), the LCBO Whisky Shop launched a 7 brand Walsh Whiskey feature which included the 2018 bottling of Writer’s Tears Cask Strength (Irish Whisky).

The 2018 vintage is the 8th annual release of Writers’ Tears Cask Strength from Walsh Whiskey. It is a vatting of aged Single Pot Still and Single Malt Whiskey, triple distilled, aged in Bourbon barrels, non-chill filtered and bottled at 53% alcohol by volume.

According to Bernard Walsh:

“This whiskey displays a complex nose of toasted cereal, almond oils, creamy chocolate and sweet floral notes. On the palate it reveals wild honey, summer fruits, fresh ginger, all underpinned by a spicy single pot still base. It has a delicate, warmth and lingering finish. I hope the lucky few who acquire this year’s release enjoy every moment.”

The 2018 release is limited to just 5,175 individually numbered bottles each signed by Walsh Whiskey Founder and Chief Executive – Bernard Walsh. The super-premium whiskey is for sale across selected markets worldwide (including of course at the LCBO in Ontario).

Here is a link to my final review in my Walsh Whiskey review series:

Review: Writer’s Tears Cask Strength (Irish Whiskey)

“… Interestingly enough, I have felt no desire to add ice or water to the whiskey. The balance of heat and flavour has seemed to be just about perfect, and I do not want to do anything to upset what is seemingly an almost perfect whiskey …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful new Irish Whiskey!


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

Review: Writer’s Tears Deau XO Cognac Cask Finish (Irish Whisky) 

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 6, 2019

Recently (February 7, 2019), the LCBO Whisky Shop launched a 7 brand Walsh Whiskey feature which included the 2018 bottling of Writer’s Tears Deau XO Cognac Cask Finish (Irish Whisky).

According to the information sent to me Writer’s Tears Deau XO Cognac Cask Finish is a unique blend of Single Malt and Single Pot Still Whiskey. It is distilled 3 times and aged in American Oak bourbon casks. After this first maturation the whiskey is then finished for nine addition months Cognac Casks from the family cooperage of Allary. These casks have been seasoned for up to 15 years with Deau XO from the Legaret family.

Here is a link to my latest Irish Whiskey Review:

Review: Writer’s Tears Deau XO Cognac Cask Finish (Irish Whisky)

“… Oak and toffee scents deepen with obvious scents of fresh grain and malted barley. The fruity notes have intensified as well representing green grapes, pears and canned apricot. There are hints of cherry and underlying smells of cedar and poplar …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful new Irish Whiskey!


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

Bitter(s) Review: Old Forester Smoked Cinnamon Bitters

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 4, 2019

Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is the longest continuously produced Bourbon in the retail market today having begun production in 1870. Additionally it was the first bourbon sold exclusively in sealed bottles. As well as making whiskey, Old Forester produces a line-up of what they call ‘cocktail provisions’ which includes a two syrups, a tincture and three brands of Cocktail Bitters.

Their Smoked Cinnamon Bitters were apparently inspired by Old Forester Master Taster, Jackie Zykan’s paternal matriarchs. As related on the company website,

My grandmother’s den always had a faint smell of sooty, wood burning fireplace. She used to make “whiskey cookies” every Christmas (which were just baking spice packed fruit cake cookies she added a generous helping of whiskey to), which as a child made you feel like you were getting away with something by being allowed to have one.

According to the ingredients list on the bottle, the bitters contain Old Forester Bourbon, Black Tea Cherries, Cedar Smoked Cinnamon, Wild Cherry Bark, Gentian Root and Clove.

Here is a link to my latest Bitter(s) Review:

Bitter(s) Review: Angostura Aromatic Bitters

” … When I put a couple drops on my tongue it was easy to taste the smoky cinnamon flavour which was accented by clove, There was quite a bitter backbone to the flavour which I suspect was a combination of the gentian root and the wild cherry bark as this bitterness carries a similar flavour to wood tannin …”

Please enjoy my review which includes three cocktail suggestions.


Posted in Bitters | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Writers Tears Red Head Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 27, 2019

On February 7, 2019 the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) launched 7 Walsh Whiskey brands in LCBO Whisky Shop. I was sent a media kit from Woodman Wines & Spirits who represent Walsh Whiskey interests in Ontario. This kit contained 6 of the Walsh Whiskey Brands for me to taste, and I have decided to publish a timely series of reviews introducing several of Walsh Whiskey Spirits during the LCBO launch and running through to St. Patrick’s Day.

Bernard and Rosemary Walsh began producing their own independent Irish Whiskey brands in 2007 with the introduction of The Irishman 70 (aka The Irishman Original Clan in the USA) and The Irishman – Single Malt. In 2009 they expanded the portfolio with the introduction Writers Tears, a boutique brand which was created to bring additional nuance to the Irish Whiskey Category.

The subject of this review, Writers Tears Red Head Single Malt Irish Whisky, is a triple-distilled single malt spirit matured in Spanish butts which were previously seasoned with Olorosso sherry. The Sherry butts impart both flavour and a coppery orange hue which has given rise to the name of the Whiskey, ‘Red Head’.

Here is a link to my revised review:

Review: Writers Tears Red Head Single Malt Irish Whiskey

“… The Olorosso influence brings flavours of raisins and other dried fruit (peaches and dates). The oak influence is full of fine heated wood spices, ginger and orange peel. The different components work together bringing a yummy heated menagerie of whiskey flavour across the palate …”

Please enjoy the review series and do try my suggested serving, An Old Fashioned Redhead.


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

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