The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

    Advertisements
  • Top Rums of 2017

  • Top Canadian Whiskies of 2017

  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Industry Interviews

    Interviews

    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • Advertisements
  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Copyright

    Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. Thus, all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.
  • Rum Reviews

  • Whisky Reviews

  • Gin Reviews

  • Tequila Reviews

  • Vodka Reviews

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,054 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Visitors

    • 11,477,966 pageviews since inception
  • Archives

  • Follow The Rum Howler Blog on WordPress.com

Posts Tagged ‘Vodka’

2018 Ends on a Bitter(s) Note

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 3, 2019

The calendar has turned and more than a few people have been wondering what happened to the Rum Howler at the end of the year that was 2018. He was nearing the end of his Fall and Christmas Cocktail Bazaar and was about to publish his annual lists of top Rums and Canadian Whiskies, when suddenly The Rum Howler Blog went silent on December 12, 2018.

What happened?

The best explanation I can give you is that a perfect storm of circumstance caused the year to end on a Bitter note. (And strangely enough, that is not all bad.)

The beginnings of the 2018 disaster had its roots in a decision made 18 months previous when my Wife and I, decided it was time to build a new house which featured wheelchair accessibility for my youngest son as we were finding it increasingly difficult to meet his needs in what was then our current home (a two-story with no bath or bedrooms on the main level).  So we hired a builder, I helped to design the house, and we built it over the 18 months with a move in date scheduled for December 1 (ish) 2018.

Six weeks prior to the scheduled move, we contacted our telephone/television/internet provider (Telus) asking them to have the services moved over by December 11th.  At the end of November, I was nervous as Telus hadn’t contacted us or given any indication as to when the services were to be moved. So I called them, several times, and each time was given a promise that an Escalation Manager would contact me promptly to let me know the status of the install.

Making a long story somewhat shorter, I was finally contacted in mid December and told that services could not be moved until Springtime when the ground was thawed. It had something to do with the new area I had moved to being a fibre optic only neighbourhood. You would have thought Telus could have told me that in October, not after our move-in date.

The Rum Howler during happier times in Guyana

I think you figured it out. On December 11th, which was when my wife and I moved to our new house we were without that vital link to the blogosphere, the internet. I was able to post one more recipe in my Cocktail Bazaar which had been previous uploaded, but all of my remaining work was on my home computer, and with the Christmas Season in full swing at my retail store, I was not able to post from work either. The Rum Howler Blog unfortunately was silenced.

Enjoying Rum at my previous digs

However, all was not lost. I contacted Shaw Cable on December 12th, and they were able to schedule a hook-up for December 24th. Issues with the cable line caused the install to be delayed until December 31st and even today (January 3rd), our phones are still not working right. But I do finally have internet. So the reviews and cocktail recipes can finally be reignited.

There was a silver lining to all of this. My wonderful wife, Maureen, made a troubling Christmas Season better by presenting me with a Bitter Advent Calendar on December 1st. Each day from the 1st to the 24th I was given a small gift to unwrap and inside was a small bottle of bitters.

So during the coming year, I plan to review each of those small bottles giving you my thoughts and recommendations for each of the bitter flavours. With bitters becoming increasingly popular, the bitter reviews should be a welcome addition to my website.

So Happy New Year Everyone!

Sorry for the rather bitter ending to 2018, hopefully those bitter feelings will converted into something more positive this year.

 

 

Advertisements

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

Fall Cocktail Bazaar: Autumn Harvest Punch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 18, 2018

With American Thanksgiving just around the corner (up here in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October rather than late November), I thought I would share a nice ‘punch style’ recipe suitable for large gatherings of friends and family. The serving is courtesy of Megan Marlowe (Strawberry Blondie Kitchen), and it was sent to me by the USA media team responsible for Smirnoff Vodka.

Autumn Harvest Punch combines the seasonal flavours of Autumn fruit (apples and pears) and Autumnal spices (cinnamon, rosemary, and star anise) with a little bite of tropical citrus (lemon juice). A combination of Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka, Apple Cider and Ginger Ale provide the liquid refreshment.

When I mixed a small batch for myself, I found the serving quite tasty, although perhaps it goes down just a little too easily. Make sure when you share this recipe with your friends that advise them to enjoy responsibly and choose a designated driver ahead of time for the ride home.

Autumn Harvest Punch
(Makes 16 servings)

3 cups Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
2 Apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 Pears, cored and thinly sliced
1 Lemon thinly sliced
6 cups Apple Cider
1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice
4 Cinnamon Sticks
4 pods Star Anise
Rosemary Sprigs
4 cups Ginger Ale

Add sliced Apples, Pears and Lemon into a large punch bowl
Pour in Apple Cider, Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka and Lemon Juice
Garnish with Cinnamon Sticks, Clove and fresh Rosemary Sprigs
Stir to combine and chill until ready to serve
Before serving, add Ginger Ale and stir gently

Of Course, Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Note: Smirnoff No. 21 is a triple distilled spirit, produced on a large multi-column still from North American prairie grain and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. And just in time for the holiday season, Smirnoff No. 21 is now non-GMO (non genetically modified).

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Fall Cocktail Bazaar: Autumn Harvest Punch

Review: Banff Ice Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 1, 2018

Banff Ice Vodka is a Vodka brand owned and produced by Alberta Distillers Limited (Owned by Beam Suntory) based in Calgary, Alberta. This is a triple distilled grain spirit  bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. It is sold throughout Western Canada and even makes its way into Ontario via the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario).

Earlier this summer, I organized a small Vodka tasting for a few friends. We tasted Russian Standard Vodka, and Strait Vodka 40 alongside Banff Ice comparing each for sipping, for shooting, as a palette cleanser, and in cocktails. This review has been written based upon the tasting notes I constructed during the Vodka Tasting as well as from the comments of my friends, and from my impression during a subsequent tasting I did by myself with the spirit in isolation.

Here is a link to the results for Banff Ice Vodka.

Review: Banff Ice Vodka

“… The spirit was only slightly thickened, and when I raised the glass to my nose I could detect very little aroma. There was a light spiciness and a hint of menthol, but that was all. The first sip brought forward bits of grain spice and a touch of citrus zest, but again, that was all. When chilled, Banff Ice is an extremely clean, crisp spirit …”

Please enjoy my review of this surprising spirit!

 

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Review: Banff Ice Vodka

Review: Russian Standard Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 27, 2018

Russian Standard Vodka was introduced in 1998 by Russian businessman and entrepreneur, Roustam Tariko (the owner of Russian Standard Bank). This is a traditional Russian Vodka made from hardy winter wheat cultivated on the Russian steppes. The spirit is quadruple distilled at the company’s distillation and rectification facilities in Saint Petersburg and then blended with the glacial waters from Lake Ladoga (whose waters were chosen for their renowned softness and purity). The Russian Standard Vodka is raised to a final level of purification using a quadruple charcoal filtering process, and then it is finished in steel ‘resting’ tanks before bottling.

I recently revisited the Russian Standard brand when I organized a small Vodka tasting for a few friends. We tasted Russian Standard Vodka, Banff Ice, and Strait Vodka 40. As my previous review for this spirit was published seven years ago I decided that an updated review was in order.

Here is a link to that review:

Review: Russian Standard Vodka 

“… Comparing my notes to my review of 7 years ago, I noticed that my impressions were pretty much the same. I did feel though, that the spirit deserved a higher score this time around. I think perhaps as this was one of my early vodka reviews, I was overly cautious in my initial scoring …”

Please enjoy my review which includes two cocktail suggestions, the Sweet Moscow Mule and Soft Margaret.

Chimo!

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Review: Russian Standard Vodka

Review: Stone Heart Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 15, 2018

There was a time in the County of Red Deer that the county would use rye grain for erosion control on the Range Road near the farm where Ian Scott grew up (Range Road 13). Ian’s Dad who was born in the dirty thirties grew up learning not let anything go to waste so he harvested the grain that fall. Ian, being a bit of a curious young man was inspired to learn how to put that rye grain to good use and he began to  research distilling with the aim to build his own still. Although the still was never built, an idea had been planted.

Some time later, Ian and his wife, Marnie visited a distillery in B.C. and the idea was rekindled. At about the same time Alberta changed the law which paved the way to allow small micro-distillery start-ups. Ian had already had researched the process, and his work in the Alberta Oil Field gave him the confidence that he could operate the similar distilling equipment and so he and his wife Marnie created the Stone Heart Distillery (located in the town of Innisfail, Alberta). The distillery is a true grains to glass operation, Ian and Marnie mill, mash, ferment and distill their own grain, and they turned to their natural surroundings, adding pure Rocky Mountain valley water to their distillate to bring it to bottling proof. This is truly a true family run operation, from grain to glass.

Ian Scott sent me two bottle of his vodka, one from batch 17, and one from batch 18 made with a different variety of wheat. He asked me to sample each of them and send him back some feedback.

When I tasted the Stone Heart Vodkas for the first time, I conducted a side by side tasting with several other locally produced craft vodkas. From that line-up, I chose the two which I felt were the best spirits and decided to write full reviews for them.

Here is link to the full review for Stone Heart Vodka (from Batch 17)

Review: Stone Heart Vodka

“… I took a nice large swallow. The Stone Heart Vodka went down smoothly. In addition to a light grain spice, I noticed flavours of lemon balsam, and hints of banana. After the swallow the banana flavour seemed to linger although perhaps it would be more correct to label the impression as a residual flavour of slightly vegetal plantain …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe to gear us up for summertime, the Vodka Darby.

Chimo!

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Review: Stone Heart Vodka

 
%d bloggers like this: