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Posts Tagged ‘Rye Whisky’

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #9 Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Lot No. 40 has received a bit of a makeover recently as the spirit which was previously branded, Lot No. 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Whisky has received a new label, and the whisky is now known simply as Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky.

Lot No. 40 is of course the Corby branded whisky which was first released in the 1990’s as an upscale connoisseur’s whisky for the North American market. According to the Corby Website:

lot-no-40-rye-sam_2885Lot No. 40 is expertly distilled in small batches using only the finest locally sourced ingredients. By distilling in a single copper pot still, the result is a whisky that starts off earthy and woody tasting and then becomes full bodied and complex with a velvety vanilla oak finish.

Those locally sourced ingredients must include rye grain as the new label tells us:

Lot. No. 40 is crafted in small batches using rye grain in a single copper pot still aged in virgin oak barrels.

Here is a link to the 9th best Canadian Whisky of 2016:

#9 Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

“… The initial nose is filled with the scents and smells of milk chocolate and bread crust alongside fresh rye grain and strong oak and cedar scents. Caramel toffee, baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon) and more fresh rye pour out of the glass into the breezes. As the glass breathes, the smells of oak and cedar strengthen with firm undertones of leather and burlap revealing themselves. After about 10 minutes, some dusty grain notes begin to climb out of the glass as well …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 8 Canadian Whisky.



* You may follow my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016



Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #9 Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

Dennis’ Cocktail: Whoa Dennis!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 7, 2016

I mentioned two days ago that my good friends Ally and Dennis just got married, and that I was honoured to have been asked to design/recommend the signature cocktails for the reception and banquet. Earlier this week I shared Ally’s Cocktail, the Bluebird of Happiness, and today I am going to share with you Dennis’s Cocktail, Whoa Dennis!

Dennis is a huge fan of both Rye Whisky and Dark Caribbean Rum. He is also very fond of both Lemon and Grapefruit Juice, and earlier this year I happened upon a recipe put together by Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin ( In the Land of Cocktails) (with the assistance of Ted Haigh (Dr. Cocktail)) which seemed ideal for my purpose. Their recipe Whoa Nellie! seemed ideal as it combined all of the ingredients Dennis loved with a small hit of sweetener and a few dashes of Fees Cocktail Bitters.

Whoa Nellie SAM_2398

Whoa Dennis!

I needed to make only one very small change. All of the suggested constructions for the Brennan and Martin Cocktail I found online called for American Rye Whiskey, whereas I knew that Dennis (and  I too) preferred Canadian Rye Whisky. So I invited Ally and Dennis over, and I made him the cocktail with a particular rye whisky that Dennis is extremely fond of, Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky.

Whether this one change (which perhaps isn’t really a change at all) warranted a renaming of the cocktail is open to debate. But when Ally insisted, I agreed that the cocktail could be renamed for one day.

Whoa Dennis!

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Alberta Premium 100% Rye)
1/2 oz Dark Rum (Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum)
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Cointreau)
1/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/3 oz Lemon Juice
a few dashes of Bitters (Fees Cocktail Bitters)
1/3 oz Sugar Syrup
Grapefruit Twist

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with plenty of ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of Grapefruit

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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


Please note: I took this oppertunity to revisit Alberta Premium Rye Whisky and my new review will publish tomorrow.


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Review: George Dickel Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 8, 2016

George Dickel Rye

George Dickel Rye (introduced in 2012) is a straight rye whisky produced from a 95 % rye mashbill. It is the only whisky produced by the company (George A Dickel & Co.) not distilled and aged at their Cascade Distillery in Cascade Hollow, Tennessee.Instead the rye whisky is mashed using a 95% rye and 5% malted barley mashbill, then distilled and aged by Midwest Grain Products (MGP) in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

The whisky is then sent to Diageo’s Plainfield, Illinois facility where it is first chilled to a specific specifications before being charcoal mellowed, and then bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume. (The brand is currently owned by Diageo).

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: George Dickel Rye Whisky

“… The breezes above the glass carry strong rye note coupled with woody spice, maple and caramel. The aromas have merged together well and the combination is very enticing. As I allowed the glass to breathe I noticed a nice mixture of vanilla and baking spice  cinnamon and hints of nutmeg and allspice) which gave the air a bit of a rum-like aroma …”

Please enjoy  my review of this pleasing rye whisky.


Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Review: George Dickel Rye Whisky

#22 Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2015

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky is a new blend from the folks who run the Crown Royal Distillery in Gimli, Manitoba. It is a bit of a throwback in style as the whisky features a heavy dose whisky produced from Canadian Winter Rye grain in the blend (almost 90% of the spirit is produced from Canadian Winter Rye grain). Winter rye imparts a robust spiciness throughout the spirit when distilled which (in my opinion) provides a much stronger ‘Canadian Whisky’ feel for this particular Crown Royal Whisky than we find with the flagship blend Crown Royal Deluxe which is produced predominantly from corn rather than rye.

Northern Harvest RyeThis movement towards a more rye forward flavour profile seems to be a common theme within the Crown Royal family as two other recently released blends (Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, and the new Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend) have also followed that common path.

It is a path which I obviously endorse as this is the second time a new Crown Royal Release has entered into my Countdown of the best 100 spirits I have ever tasted. Here is a link to the #22 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#22 – Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

“… As the glass breathes, I sense a stronger underlying oakiness within the spirit as fine wood spices rise into the air and the merry little breezes above the glass are tinged with crisp spicy rye notes as well. Fresh baked bread crust, light caramel smells, hints of vanilla ice cream, and bits of nutmeg and allspice round out the aroma which continues to impress me …”


You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #22 Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

Review: White Owl Ginger Lime Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 29, 2014

SAM_1187 Last, year Highwood Distillers was severely impacted by a massive flash flood which devastated Southern Alberta on June 20th, 2013. The folks working at the distillery had only minutes of warning before the flood hit, and the severity of the event was such that some distillery staff had to be rescued from the tops of their cars by helicopter. If you followed the news regarding the aftermath of the flood (see my story here) you will know that it took more than a few weeks for the company to bring itself back onto its feet. Fortunately for those of us who love Canadian whisky, the distillery picked up the pieces and literally came roaring back to life. In fact, this past Christmas when my tasting panel and I blind-tasted and judged over 45 of the best Canadian Whiskies, Highwood Distillers placed more bottlings in the top 25 than any other Canadian Distillery (see the Top 25 list here).

This should not be considered a recent success, as Highwood has for years now been producing some of the most unique (and under-appreciated) whisky in Canada. In fact, in 2010, they broke new ground, (and a few sales records too), when they introduced their premium clear cocktail whisky, White Owl Whisky (see review here). To say this product was s success is a vast understatement, as the only problem that surfaced with respect to the White Owl Whisky was that Highwood could not make it fast enough to satisfy the demand across Canada. In 2012, the distillery extended the White Owl brand with White Owl Spiced Whisky (see review here), and this year they extended the brand once more with their White Owl Ginger Lime Whisky. Like the previous spirits which have carried the White Owl brand, this is a cocktail whisky carrying at its heart, Highwood’s famous clear White Owl Whisky, but in this case, it is enhanced with zesty lime and ginger flavours.

Cucumber delight SAM_1140

Cucumber Delight

You may read my full review of the White Owl Ginger and Lime Whisky here:

Review: White Owl Ginger Lime Whisky

“… when you bring the glass to your nose you cannot mistake the mild butterscotch, sandalwood and rye notes which rise into the breezes telling you that the base of this flavoured spirit is a gentle rye whisky. As the glass breathes, spicy notes of ginger begin to increase in strength, and building with them is the unmistakable zesty, but retrained note of lime and citrus peel …”

This is a cocktail whisky, and so of course I had to try a few mixed drink recipes during the review process. At the conclusion of the review I decided to feature a recipe of my creation, Cucumber Delight.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail recipe provided.  🙂

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: White Owl Ginger Lime Whisky

Review: Last Mountain Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 23, 2014

Last Mountain 1The Last Mountain Distillery is part of a small wave of Micro-Distillers which have began to appear on the Canadian landscape over the last few years. These are small ‘mom and pop’ operations which make their spirits in small batches usually only a barrel or two at a time. This particular distillery is located in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, and it is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Colin and Meredith Schmidt.

In the early stages of the development of their rye whisky I was sent a sample bottle and asked to publish my thoughts here on my website, (see article here). It is almost 2 years later, and I am happy to report that the Last Mountain Canadian Rye Whisky (bottled at 40 % abv. and made from prairie wheat) is in full production.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Last Mountain Canadian Rye Whisky

“… The dusty dry rye continues to pour out of the glass with smells of freshly baled straw, sanded oak, sandalwood and fresh tobacco running alongside. Joining are sweeter accents of butterscotch and honey. As the glass sits some fruity aromas develop as well with canned apricots and peaches, a few raisins and a hint of gooseberry jam bringing more sweetness to the nose …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a few nice cocktail recipes for your enjoyment, the Icy Breeze, and a nice Rye and Soda!

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Last Mountain Canadian Rye Whisky

#7 Canadian Whisky – Pendleton 1910

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYPendleton Whisky is named to honour The Pendleton Round-up, a rodeo in Pendleton Oregon, and in fact, Pendleton Whisky sponsors numerous other rodeos, including the aforementioned  the Pendleton Round-Up, the Cheyenne Frontier Days, and the Walla Walla Frontier Days.

Their premium whisky, Pendleton 1910 Canadian Whisky, is definitely a spirit with a western flair. It is crafted from a 100 % rye blend, distilled and oak-aged in Canada for 12 years. After the spirit is fully matured, it is transported to Oregon in bulk where it is brought to bottling proof by Hood River Distillers using the glacial fed waters from Mt. Hood.

a1910Note: I was able to confirm that the whisky is distilled by Alberta Distillers Limited (ADL) in Calgary, Alberta. ADL is the largest distiller of rye whisky in the world.

The folks down at Hood River are onto something good as their 12-year-old 100 % rye whisky checks into my Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown in the Number 7 position. Here is a link to my September 2012 Review:

#7 Canadian Whisky – Pendleton 1910

“… The Pendleton 1910 is sweet and spicy. It displays sweet honey and butterscotch complimented beautifully by a spicy oak and rye presence. I taste real cereal grain in the glass, mostly rye grain, but also hints of sweeter corn. Fresh tobacco, sandalwood, cardamom and ginger add to the spicy rye flavour. A delicate dusting of cinnamon heats up the palate further while the honey, maple and butterscotch continue to provide just the right amount of sweetness …”

Pendleton 1910 reminds me of why I love rye whisky!  The combination of spicy rye and sweet butterscotch is just about perfect.


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 #7 Canadian Whisky – Pendleton 1910

#23 Canadian Whisky – Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYI consider the Highwood Distillery to be a rather unique whisky producer making a style of Canadian Whisky unlike anything else on the Canadian Whisky landscape. What is so original about the Highwood Whisky is the grain from which it is distilled. Highwood is the only distillery which uses local Canadian prairie wheat for the distillation base of all of their Highwood branded whisky. They do this because wheat alcohol, rather than barley or corn alcohol, has less heavy, non-digestible components which makes for an extremely easy drinking spirit. As well, rather than distilling their grain upon a large column still (as most Canadian Whisky is produced) they make all of their whisky upon a pot still one batch at a time.

HW_Rye_Whisky_shadowI have been a rather vocal proponent of their style of whisky ever since I first tasted it. Highwood Whisky is suave, mellow and full of delicious, delicate flavour nuances. What a pleasant surprise it was to find that my Rum Chums liked the distillery’s flagship whisky more than I did. The result of all of this love, is that Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky landed at the number 23 spot on my Canadian Whisky Countdown.

Here is a link to my recent September review:

#23 Canadian Whisky – Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky

“… The first thing I noticed about the Highwood Whisky as I sipped it was that it is a smooth, gentle, and mellow whisky which has the soft sensation in the mouth of a much older whisky. Honeycomb, ginger, wood spice, and a light dab of vanilla all support a wonderfully clean, dusty rye flavour. There is polish in evidence here, but a little rough and tumble too, as the wood spices liven the mouth-feel and take me back in time to when rye was the King of Canadian Spirits …”

For those who are value conscious, I should make the point that this whisky is probably the most affordable spirit in the entire countdown, a hidden gem in the foothills of the Rockies!


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 #23 Canadian Whisky – Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky

Review: Lot No. 40 (Single Copper Pot Still) Canadian Whisky (2012 Edition)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 22, 2013

Lot No. 40Lot No. 40 (Single Copper Pot Still) Canadian Whisky was first released in the 1990′s as an upscale connoisseur’s whisky for the North American market. Alas, timing is everything, and the whisky never really caught on, as apparently the market wasn’t quite ready for such a new style of Canadian Whisky back then. However, with the new surge of interest in Canadian Whisky across North America (and in particular at the premium end of the market), Corby (the owner of the Wiser’s Brand), is optimistic that the time for this whisky has finally arrived.

Lot No. 40 is, make no mistake about it, a new style of  Canadian Whisky. It is made with locally grown rye which has been distilled upon a single 12,000-litre copper pot still. The final whisky is aged in new oak barrels to showcase the creamy caramelized flavours which new freshly charred oak barrels bring.

Dr. Livermore, the current Master Blender at the Hiram Walker Distillery, elaborated on the whisky for me:

Without getting into specific recipes, Lot 40 is comprised of 100% of our (Hiram Walker) rye whisky. This whisky was made via pot distillation and subsequently aged in new casks. There is a proprietary proportion of distillers malt(s) used in the brewing process that allows for conversion of the rye grains into fermentable sugars. The brewing process is made in small batches according to the traditional recipes dating back to the early 1900s.”

You may read my review of this new Canadian Whisky by clicking the following excerpt from the review:

Review:  Lot No. 40 Canadian Whisky (2012 Edition)

“… The initial nose is filled with the scents and smells of honeycomb, freshly harvested rye, and freshly cut oak and cedar planks which are still seeping bits of sap from the wood grain. Caramel toffee and green tobacco, and even more fresh rye climbs up out of the glass into the breezes …”

Please enjoy my review of this exceptional Whisky!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Lot No. 40 (Single Copper Pot Still) Canadian Whisky (2012 Edition)

Review: Alberta Premium Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 5, 2012

Alberta Premium is the flagship whisky of Alberta Distillers Limited (ADL). The whisky is one of the few 100 % rye grain whiskies in the world. In fact, according to Davin de Kergommeaux, of  Canadian Whisky, ADL produces more 100% rye whisky than every other distillery in North America combined! This makes the people at ADL, perhaps the world’s most renowned experts on rye whisky.

This also means that Alberta Premium, the flagship whisky  from the distillery renowned for its rye whisky, must be pretty good. And in fact, Jim Murray, one of the world’s most renowned whisky critics, not only thinks this whisky is good, he thinks it is great! For years he has extolled the virtues of the Alberta Premium in his Whisky Bible even naming it the best Canadian Whisky in 2006, 2007, and 2009. (The year that is missing, 2008 was the year that Alberta Premium 25 Year Old won the award.)

Of course this is my website, and although I respect the opinions of others, it is my opinion that is presented. And for my opinion, you must follow the link to my review:

Here is an excerpt:

“…The initial nose from the glass is of a fruit-filled rye with very obvious notes of vanilla. There is a presence of oak and a touch of citrus zest in the background. As the whisky decants the fruit gains momentum as does the oak, and I also begin to sense a light touch of almond in the breezes….”

The full review my be read here:

Review: Alberta Premium Canadian Whisky

Please enjoy the review, and remember that the aim of my website is to help you choose better spirits, not to help you drink more spirits!


Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Alberta Premium Canadian Whisky

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