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Posts Tagged ‘Scotch Whisky’

Cocktail Hour: Scotch Whisky Old Fashioned

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 17, 2016

In the beginning (actually sometime immediately after distilled spirits began to be produced and consumed for enjoyment) someone, somewhere decided that their Brandy just didn’t taste all that good. (Maybe it was actually Whiskey or Rum, but most of my research indicates that Brandy was the original cocktail spirit so we will go with that for now.) Anyways, someone, somewhere decided that drinking these distilled spirits ought to be just a little easier and a little more enjoyable than it was so that person added a bit water and sugar to the spirit in an attempt to make it just little more affable. In fact, this type of experimentation with distilled spirits probably went on for many years (and in many different places) as there was certainly many more persons who wanted to better enjoy their spirits (and to stop grimacing after every swallow).

At some point, (soon after the turn of the nineteenth century) this idea had coalesced into a recipe of sorts and the first ‘cocktail’ was born. And that is exactly what the serving was called, a cocktail. This early form of the recipe was quite generic; it was basically a mixture of distilled spirit, sugar, water and bitters.

As time went forward, the idea evolved, and if you research the recipes from the mid-nineteenth century you will find that new constructions had come forward which built upon this original. If a bit of fruit and a sweet liqueur was added the cocktail became a ‘Fancy Cocktail’. If a sugar rimmed glass was introduced the serving became a ‘Crusta’, and if mint was muddled into the rest of the ingredients the results were a ‘Smash’.

These new forms of mixed drinks were popular; but at some point, patrons began to yearn for that ‘Old Fashioned’ Cocktail which started it all. All that fancy stuff, the sugar rimmed glass, the slice of fruit, and the muddled mint seemed to some to be too complicated and pretentious. I can imagine frustrated patrons gazing at the complicated mixed drink menu proclaiming, “All I want is an old fashioned Cocktail!”

That original ‘old fashioned’ cocktail never did fully reappear in its original form. By this time ice had replaced water, and the fruit garnish never went completely away. What evolved as the Old Fashioned Cocktail was mixed drink which sat somewhere in between a Fancy Cocktail and the original Cocktail. A strip of citrus zest replaced the fancy slice of fruit, and as indicated, ice was added instead of water (and in some cases a touch of Orange liqueur was added in place or in conjunction with the sugar).

Today the Old Fashioned Cocktail has become the standard-bearer of mixolgy, and it is widely regarded as the first truly Classic Cocktail.

W&M Old Fashioned SAM_2491Today I am mixing an Old Fashioned Cocktail with a special 30 Year Old Single Grain Whisky from independent bottlers, Wilson and Morgan. The point I am making by using such a special whisky is that the Old Fashioned Cocktail in its present form is a libation that is easily elevated by great ingredients. The better the spirit, the better the cocktail; or in this case, the better the Scotch Whisky, the better the Old Fashioned Cocktail.

This is a stunning serving which reaches an entire new level of greatness because of the wonderful whisky which is used in its construction, the 30 Year Old Cameronbridge Single Grain Whisky from Morgan and Wilson.

Scotch Whisky Old Fashioned

1 1/2 oz 30 Year Old Cameronbridge Single Grain Whisky
1/2 tsp Sugar syrup
1 dash Dry Orange Curacao
1 dash bitters (Angostura Orange Bitters)
3 large Ice Cubes
Twist of Orange Peel

Add the first four ingredients to a rocks glass over the ice cubes
Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink. (This will release the oil from the orange zest into the drink)
Drop the peel into the cocktail if desired.

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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!

Note my review of the fantastic Morgan and Wilson 30 Year Old Cameronbridge Single Grain Whisky publishes tomorrow, Chimo!

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

#80 The Macallan Fine Oak 17 Year Old Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 6, 2015

The Macallan Fine Oak Series was a range of single malt Scotch whiskies, produced at The Macallan Distillery at Craigellachie in the Speyside region of Scotland. These whiskies were matured in seasoned American oak casks, (sherry as well as bourbon), as well as seasoned sherry casks from Spain. Recently The Macallan Fine Oak Series was discontinued in Canada and replaced by a new line of Single Malt Whisky which they call, The Macallan 1824 Series.

The Macallum 17However, according to Canadian Brand Ambassador, Dan Volway, the 1824 Series does not (at this time anyway) signal the end of age statements on The Macallan Single Malt Whiskies. The Fine Oak Cask and Sherry Oak Cask Single Malt series will each continue to carry age statements in the selected markets where they remain available (the USA and certain overseas markets).

Here is a link to my review of the #80 entry in my 2015 Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#80 – The Macallan Fine Oak 17 Year Old Whisky

“… I taste light butterscotch leading out in front; but, it is quickly smothered by sharper oak spices. As the mouth becomes heated with oak tannin, that penetrating sweetness which was present on the nose begins to assert itself beside the sharper oak acting to temper the heat and give the whisky a pleasant marshmallow and citrus appeal. (I cannot help but think of marshmallows as I sip on the whisky, as the flavour I encounter seems to have that similar intensity of sweetness.) …”


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

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #80 The Macallan Fine Oak 17 Year Old Whisky

# 85 anCnoc 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 1, 2015

Inver House Distillers own five Scottish distilleries, Pulteney, Balblair, Knockdhu, Speyburn, and Balmenach. The company produces a diverse portfolio of brands which includes not only Scotch Whisky (Single Malt, Blended Malt, and Blended), but also Vodka, Gin, liqueurs, and premixes. The subject of this review, the anCnoc 12 Year is a Single Malt Whisky produced at the Knockdhu Distillery (which is located under the dark ‘Knock Hill’, known to the local villagers by its Gaelic name of ‘Cnoc Dubh’). Production of anCnoc began at the Distillery in 1894 following the discovery of several springs of clear water on the southern slopes of the aforementioned Knock Hill.

anCnoc 12 YearanCnoc whisky is produced on the distillery’s original style copper pot stills, and it has been produced that way for over 100 years. The resulting whisky is aged in American oak and Spanish oak barrels (which were previously used to age either bourbon or sherry). These casks are stored in dunnage warehouses where the thick granite walls ensure a stable ambient temperature which results in a consistent (or predictable) aging regimen.

Here is a link to my review of the #85 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#85 – anCnoc 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

“… Smells of sweet lowland grasses, willow thicket, and almost ripe barley are I guess, as good of a place to begin as any other. Wondering in and out of the breezes above the glass are scents of fresh honey, tart green apples, and lemongrass as well. Finally, the glass has a bit of an herbal flair with heather, wetland ferns and a touches of lowland peat residing in those breezes too. Rounding things off are dabbles of butterscotch and vanilla, and the overall effect is very nice …”


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

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 31, 2015

Glenglassaugh 26 SAM_1599Glenglassaugh Distillery is located just outside of the Speyside Whisky Region in Northeast Scotland. It is near the town of Portsoy, Banffshire about 50 miles from Aberdeen. The distillery was established in 1875 by Col. James Moir who managed the business  (with his two nephews) until 1892, when Highland Distillers stepped in and acquired the facility. The distillery remained in production until 1986 when, due to industry consolidation, it was mothballed.

In 2008, the distillery and the Glenglassaugh brand was purchased by the Scaent Group with the intention of rebooting the facility to take advantage of the surge in interest in whisky word-wide. Part of the marketing strategy was to release some existing warehouse stocks as vintage whisky bottlings, as within the facility were barrels of whisky which had sat in limbo quietly aging since 1986.

Five years later, in 2013, due in no small part to the success of the vintage bottlings, (as well as the new whisky being produced) the BenRiach Distillery Company took over the Distillery bringing in new investment capital and corporate management to ensure the growth of the rebooted Glenglassaugh brand.

Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is one of the iconic vintage bottlings which was produced from spirit which had been distilled in 1984, and then had sat silently in a mixture of various oak barrels including both American Oak and ex sherry barrels. This whisky was bottled at 46% alcohol by volume (abv) sometime in 2010 and limited to a small production of 1002 bottles.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old

“… The initial aroma is full of oaky smells along with candied toffee and fruity sherry-like aromas. As I let the glass sit there continued to be a lot of oak and cedar in the breezes; however these wood spice and woody sap-like smells seemed to be well melded into the sweet toffee and the dark fruit which gave the nose good balance …”

Please enjoy my review!


Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old

Review: Sheep Dip Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 29, 2014

Sheep DipMy friend Dennis, and I had a small whisky tasting at my house this past Sunday where we sampled three interesting malt whiskies from Scotland. As we sampled each dram, I wrote up some tasting notes based upon our impressions and then we had some fun arguing about what we liked and disliked. The first whisky we sampled was Sheep Dip Malt Whisky, produced by the Spencerfield Spirit Company.

The Spencerfield Spirit Company was created by Alex Nicol, the former Marketing Director of Glenmorangie, and whisky aficionado who has held directorships with major spirits companies such as Whyte and Mackay, Beefeater Gin, and Laphroaig as well as with Scottish and Newcastle and Cadbury Schweppes. The company he formed is a family run business dedicated to an eclectic handful of whisky brands.

SAM_1024 The Presbyterian

Presbyterian Cocktail

Their Flagship brand, Sheep Dip Malt Whisky is a vatting of malt whiskies crafted by Scotland’s only third generation Master Blender, Richard Paterson. It is comprised of sixteen separate Single Malt Whiskies chosen from all four of the traditional malt whisky regions of Scotland. These chosen whiskies range in age from between 8 and 21 years and they have all been married together in fresh (first-fill) American oak barrels to produce the Sheep Dip Malt.

Here is a link to my new review of this interesting Malt Whisky:

Review: Sheep Dip Malt Whisky

“… The initial nose brings to mind impressions of ready to cut grassy hay fields waving in the wind with a few spruce and poplar trees standing in the background. There is a gentle sweetness which grows as you sniff the glass, which as it builds, gave me indications of raisins and sugared dates …”

Included with this review is a nice cocktail suggestion which combines two high-end mixers from Q-brands with the Sheep Dip Malt Whisky, the Presbyterian Cocktail.

Note: You only get out of a mixed drink what you put into it. Better ingredients in the form of not only better mixers, but also better spirits definitely results in tastier cocktails!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Sheep Dip Malt Whisky

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