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Posts Tagged ‘Sazerac’

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!

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

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)

Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 6, 2014

Brass Bonanza SAM_1189

A Brass Bonanza served with Blanton’s Gold Edition

Blanton’s is a bourbon whiskey brand created by Sazerac and launched in 1984. The brand is named for Albert B. Blanton who worked at the Buffalo Trace Distillery for more than 50 years, and who apparently spent much of his time at the distillery promoting the traditions of handcrafted bourbon. Blanton’s claims to be the first modern whiskey designed and sold as a single barrel bourbon, and indeed the original brand name for the brand was “Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon”.

Blanton’s Gold Edition is produced from a mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley which is distilled to 140 proof and barreled at 125 proof. Each bottle of Blanton’s Gold Edition is bottled from a single barrel (brought to 103 proof) after the whiskey has been chill filtered. Because even barrels which lie side by side in an aging warehouse (even though they may have exactly the same batch of distillate) will almost certainly age differently, there will be much potential for flavour variation between particular bottles of this Blanton’s bourbon.  However, the general character of the whiskey should remain the same between bottlings as the master blender is selecting only those barrels which meet the particular flavour profile he is aiming for.

You may read my full review by clicking the following link excerpt:

Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon

“… The nose is very nice with honey, sap and wood spice rising into the breezes alongside subtle notes of Christmas cake (chocolate, raisins, dates and walnuts). There is a bit of an alcohol push along with a few grassy notes and some youthful astringency. As I let the glass sit I notice baking spices building (vanilla, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg) in the air along with some baked apples and canned pears. There are also some nice sweet and spicy notes of pipe tobacco …”

Included in the review is a nice bar drink which mixed the Blanton’s Gold Edition with a few drops of bitters and a splash of ginger-ale. I called the resulting cocktail, the Brass Bonanza.

Please enjoy the review and the provided mixed drink recipe!

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon

 
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