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Posts Tagged ‘Sazerac’

Review: Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 23, 2018

According to the Sazerac website, their company is a direct result of the famous cocktail which bears the same name. It began in 1938 when Antoine Peychaud created a special drink for his guests to enjoy in the evenings at his apothecary in the French Quarter’s Royal Street. He would mix brandy, absinthe and a dash of his secret bitters for his guests. This special drink became quite popular and began to appear in the various coffee-house’ establishments in New Orleans. One such establishment, the Sazerac Coffee House became so popular serving their version of the drink (made with Sazerac de Forge et Fils Brandy) that it became known as the Sazerac Cocktail.

In 1869, Thomas H. Handy purchased the Sazerac Coffeehouse, and by the 1890′s the coffee-house and its growing business interests had become chartered as the Sazerac Company. Although, the company is based in New Orleans, its holdings include many of  North America’s most popular distilling companies, the Buffalo Trace Distillery, A. Smith Bowman, the Glenmore Distillery, and more.

Canadian whisky by volume is the best-selling whisky in North America. Despite the spirit’s obvious popularity, the perception of this class of whisky (among many spirits writers and whisky critics) is that the Canadian spirit was in the past thin and uninteresting. The landscape however, appears to be changing rapidly, especially at the premium end of the whisky market, where the Canadian spirit has seen strong growth in market share. Recognizing this trend, the Sazerac Company has recently made a push towards the premium end of the Canadian Whisky market with many new brands put forward over the past several years. Caribou Crossing is one such premium brand.

Caribou Crossing is what is known as a Single Barrel Whisky. From the company’s inventory of over 200,000 barrels of Canadian whisky, Sazerac’s whisky making team selects what they deem to be some of the very finest barrels. Each of these chosen barrels is bottled individually capturing its unique flavour. This means that each individual barrel offers a unique taste experience for the Canadian whisky connoisseur.

Here is a link to my recently revised review of this wonderful Single Barrel Whisky:

Review: Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky

“… The lightly buttered mouth-feel gives the Caribou Crossing a little length in the exit featuring flavours of oak, corn and butterscotch which trail down the throat. After the whisky is swallowed, sweet honeycomb lingers on the palate and the glowing embers of disappearing rye spices leave their imprint …”

Please enjoy the review, Chimo!

 

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

Review: Black Magic Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 7, 2018

Black Magic Rum is a brand of dark spiced rum owned by Sazerac.

This dark spiced rum has an interesting back story which links the spirit to the magic of an ancient sorceress who lived on an island off the coast of Africa. This island apparently existed ‘before time itself’ and was inhabited by a people ‘full of gaiety and life’. Unfortunately this wonderful island sank; but before it did the sorceress imbued the ‘essence and spirit of her people’ into their native drink. Making a rather long story short, several bottles of the magical liquid have turned up over time giving rise to (among other things), the great Pharaohs of Egypt, the Emperors and Dynasties of China, and even the brilliance of William Shakespeare.

One last bottle of this wonderful elixir was found by a Sea Czar whose ship’s steward promptly stole it. This steward ended up in the Caribbean and is said to have began to add a single drop of his magical liquid into each bottle of a dark and mysterious spiced Caribbean Rum (which of course he began to sell). The Steward is long gone, but the implication is that his magical liquid can be found ‘should you ever find a rum marked with the hidden sign of the ancient sorceress’s protection.

That’s not much to go on; but fortunately I was given a sample bottle so that I could taste the spirit and provide this review.  Here is a link to that review:

Review: Black Magic Spiced Rum

“… Caramel, indications of molasses and licorice, and hints of cinnamon all greeted my palate with a light sweep of vanilla. I mixed a rum and cola next and that rum and cola serving became the basis of a few pleasant evenings on my back deck this past summer (until the wood smoke from the British Columbia forest fires chased me indoors) …”

Please enjoy the full review!

Chimo!

Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Review: Black Magic Spiced Rum

Review: High River Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 27, 2018

The explosion of new Canadian Whisky brands continues as every time I venture into a local liquor store I see new brands that I have never tried before. And each year when I serve as a Spirits Judge for the Annual Canadian Whisky Awards, I am introduced to new brands which I was otherwise unaware of. One of these new brands, High River Canadian is owned by Sazerac, the producers of Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

Master Blender Drew Mayville (Buffalo Trace), oversees the blending of the High River Canadian Whisky. According to the Sazerac website:

The best Canadian whiskies are made from rye grown in the prairies, and the most fertile soils are near local rivers which occasionally overflow during the spring thaw. High River takes its name from this phenomenon, and delivers a smooth finish which leaves a lasting impression.

Here is a link to my complete review:

Review: High River Canadian Whisky

“… There is a light impression of maple and cedar which combine with grain to give me an impression of graham wafers dipped in syrup. Oak builds with vanilla and almond making me think of marzipan. Marmalade and chocolate complete the nose which seems to be rich and full of whisky goodness …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe suggestion, the Bitter Chocolate Old Fashioned.

Chimo!

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

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#35 – #31)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 26, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016One of my favourite Canadian Whisky brands seems to have taken a tumble recently as my scores this year as both Gibson’s Finest Sterling and Gibson’s Finest 12 Year Old have seen their rankings fall dramatically. Without their own distillery and aging facilities, the Gibson’s brand is perhaps suffering as the other major Canadian distilleries may be much more interested in maintaining their own brands than in maintaining the quality of a whisky brand they do not own. I am guessing of course; but this guess is based upon my recent tasting notes for both whiskies.

Canadian Club on the other hand has maintained its quality, and across the board, I have seen little change in their products over the past two years. Sazerac, despite not owning a Canadian Whisky distillery has also seen its quality maintained, and for one of its brands in particular (which we will encounter later in the countdown) a huge improvement has been discovered. With this in mind I am revealing the next five spirits in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown.

Here are the links to my next five whiskies in my countdown, #s 35 thru 31:

gibsons-12-sam_2683#35  Gibson’s Finest 12 Year Old

“… The initial nose from the glass is of honey and fruit filled rye spices and some light butterscotch alongside firm dusty wood spices. As the glass breathes, ripened fields of prairie grain and corn rise up out of the glass. I sense both musty cornstalks and rows of freshly swathed grain. Sawdust, chaff, and then bits of orange peel add to the dry spiciness …”

Legacy Small Batch SAM_1656#34)  Legacy Small Batch Canadian Whisky (Sazerac)

“… The breezes above the glass were scented with aromas of peppery rye spice and butterscotch. As the glass was allowed to breathe, I noticed some corn-like accents, and some developing baking spices and which turned the butterscotch to toffee. Impressions are fleeting, but perhaps a little milk chocolate has made its way into my consciousness along with a stronger impression of wood spices …”

CC Sherry Cask#33)  Canadian Club Small Batch Sherry Cask

“… The whisky is soft in the mouth carrying impressions of fine wood spice and bits of red licorice, dark fruit (raisins and dates) and red cherry wood. Oak and cedar flavours grow from the wood spice. A flavour of Port wine and impressions of sweet cigar tobacco are hinted at. Caramel toffee, baking spices, and sticky red jelly all seem to find a place in the complex flavour profile of the Sherry Cask whisky …”

sam_2652#32)  Tangle Ridge (Bourbon Casked) Canadian Whisky

“… The whisky carries a strong bourbon flair with corn and honeycomb combining with flavours of brown sugar and butterscotch steeped in peppery wood-spice and cinnamon. Just as it was on the nose, the whisky flavour evolves in the glass if we allow it time to settle. Vanilla melds into the flavours of butterscotch and cinnamon, and a rich fruit-filled rye begins to assert itself …”

 

ccr-9yr#31)  Canadian Club Reserve (9 Year Old)

“… The initial nose is rich with butterscotch, oak, cedar, and a growing impression of maple. As the glass breathes some dank corn notes rise into the breezes along with some spicy tobacco, oak vanillans, sticky orange marmalade, and a dusting of rye spice. If you wait long enough, some nice chocolate notes and dabs of bourbon-like honeycomb begin to reveal themselves as well …”

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Please enjoy my Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016. Stay Tuned for numbers 30 through 26, Chimo!

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* You may follow my 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 The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#35 – #31)

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#40 – #36)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 24, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016When it comes to Canadian Whisky, price is not a good determinant of quality. The next five entrants in the Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown, features two of the lowest priced whiskies in Canada, Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky, and Potter’s Special Old. Both of these whiskies score in the mid eighties, despite their economy price.

Another interesting entrant on my top 50 list is Century Distillers (Highwood) White Owl Whisky, an aged whisky which has been filtered clear to provide a smooth crisp mixing spirit for the cocktail revolution. White Owl’s high standing on the list is a testament to how successful this spirit has been at fulfilling its destiny. Sazerac’s Rich and Rare Reserve, and Collingwood Handcrafted Whisky are not as well-known to Canadian consumers, but each are well deserving of their respective standing on the list.

sam_2654#40  Rich & Rare Reserve Canadian Whisky 

“… I smell corn, butterscotch and a sweet sticky marmalade when I bring my nose to the glass. As that glass breathes, scents of oak and cedar rise as well and some spicy rye and citrus zest. There is a little vanilla and almond in the breezes too, and a nice touch of maple seems to weave in and out. The whisky has a gentle complexity that is pleasant and engaging …”

sam_2640#39  Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky   

“… Butterscotch and honey, rye and wood spices, and a light dab of vanilla all meld together and with a simple ice-cube added the whisky is delicious. 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. Touches of almond and orange marmalade complete the flavour profile …”

white-owl-sam_2639#38  White Owl Whisky

“… As I take the first sip, the first impression I have is of a softly sweet vanilla and honey flavour accented by grain spice and light butterscotch. The astringency I noted on the nose has not manifested itself across the palate. I taste similar whispers of oak flavour and rye flavours which beguiled me six years ago. Although the whisky is very vodka-like, it does have a light whisky character.

calling-wood-sam_2809#37  Collingwood Handcrafted Canadian Whisky

“… The spirit begins its traverse through the mouth with initial flavours of butterscotch toffee and sour fermented fruit. There is a nice spicy rye flavour rolling through which is chased across the palate by flavours of corn and dark spicy tobacco. Some fresh oak and cedar (more oak than cedar) appears carried forward with a dabble of sweetish honeycomb ..”

potters-sam_2812#36 Potters Special Old Rye Whisky 

“… A clean spicy rye is out in front carried by light oak and the combination delivers a wonderful mouth-feel full of what I can only term as old-time traditional Canadian Whisky flavour. In fact this might just be the closest that I have come to recapturing the Canadian Whisky flavour that I remember from my younger days. The rye livens the mouth with a light spice, and a nice soft punch of vanilla with a light accent of corn completes this nicely …”

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Please enjoy my Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016. Stay Tuned for numbers 35 through 31, Chimo!

_______________________________________________________

* You may follow my 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 The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#40 – #36)

 
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