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Posts Tagged ‘Whiskey’

Review: New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 18, 2017

beer-barrel-bourbonI first encountered Beer Barrel Bourbon (from Michigan’s New Holland Brewing company) when one of my buddies brought a bottle to one of my tastings and left it with me to review. The spirit is rather unique, a bourbon which is first aged in new American Oak for several years, then finished for 90 days in second use Dragon’s Milk Beer barrels. Dragon’s Milk is New Holland Brewing’s own stout beer which was in fact aged in a used Bourbon barrels.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon

“… The initial breezes throw up light astringent notes of a young corn whisky (fine oak spices, corn, orange peel, almond and vanilla) as well as a few malty beer-like scents. The combination is strange to me, although at this point, it is hard to say whether this is a ‘good’ strange or ‘not so good’ strange …”

Please enjoy my review of this new bourbon from New Holland Brewing.

Chimo Everyone!

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2017 Rum Howler Awards For Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 11, 2017

rh-winner2017I am a little late with this posting as bad luck (and the bad weather we have been having up north) is playing havoc with my publication schedule. My desktop computer (which I do most of my writing on) crashed after a major software update, and because my truck is in the shop (radiator leak) I can’t get my computer fixed. So I have been working with my old laptop trying to finish my Rum Howler Award Postings.

The 2017 Rum Howler Awards for Whisky should be particularly interesting to everyone as they feature a link to a previously unpublished review for Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Bourbon Whisky, and they also highlight the best scoring (and best tasting) whisky I have encountered (a stunning 30 Year Old Grain Whisky) to this point.

Elijah Craig Old Fashioned

Elijah Craig Old Fashioned

The major whisky trend of 2017 will be the continuation of the micro-distilling revolution. Ten years ago I could count all of the whisky distilleries in Canada on the fingers of my two hands. Now, if I use all of my fingers, and all of my toes, I am not even half way through the list, and the numbers of new Distilleries in the USA is much larger (and those numbers are growing as I write this). Time will tell where this is all leading; but at this point the major beneficiary is the whisky consumer who has more brands to choose from than ever before.

This expansion is of course not confined to North America. Many new distilleries are appearing in the United Kingdom, and throughout Europe. And it is probably true that in India, China, Japan, Australia, and in fact, everywhere that grain is grown, new distilleries are appearing. There is going to be an economic reckoning as at some point, the limit of consumption will be reached, and the world will be awash in excess whisky (and other spirits). I suspect that the economic fallout will catch many by surprise; hopefully those who are entering into this high stakes game (and those who are already there) have a solid game plan going forward.

And this brings me to my 2017 Rum Howler Whisky Awards. All of that great selection has brought us new award winners with whisky better than I have ever tasted before.

Here is a link to my 2017 Rum Howler Award Winners for excellence in the production of Whisky:

The 2017 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Whisky

 

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Review: Buck 8 Year Old Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 29, 2016

BuckBuck 8 Year Old Bourbon is a Kentucky Straight Whiskey produced and bottled by Frank-Lin Distillers, Products Ltd. who have been a bottler and producer of distilled spirits since Frank Maestri founded the company in 1966. (Frank-Lin currently operates out of their new facility in Fairfield California with annual capacity of over 10 million cases of wines and spirits.)

Buck Bourbon is bottled at 90 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Buck 8 Year Old Bourbon

“… the initial nose brought forward light grassy smells with an added light sweetness of caramel and butterscotch and a gentle sweep of vanilla. Somewhere in that mixture was a mild impression of graham wafers as well. I allowed the glass to sit, and aromas of corn syrup began to separate from the butterscotch, with wood spice and hints of rye grain. The grassiness which I noticed initially gave way to a more herbaceous quality which reminded me of heather with a light licorice scent melded into it …”

Please enjoy my review!

Chimo!

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Review: Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 21, 2016

Cyrus Nobel SAM_2742Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon Whiskey is a product of Haas Brothers who were established in 1851 and headquartered in San Francisco. According to their website, the Cyrus Noble brand was originally established in 1871 (in San Francisco), and is currently distilled (in Kentucky) according to the original family recipe.

The whiskey is bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume and carries no age statement; however, according to the little booklet which is attached to the neck of the bottle the spirit in the bottle is five years old.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Cyrus Noble (Small Batch) Bourbon

“… The breezes in the air above the glass give me impressions of oak sap and a woody spiciness which is coupled with mild indications of both vanilla and butterscotch. Tall grassy meadows wave in the breezes beside the oak spice with orange peel and scents of green apple and cinnamon …”

I hope you enjoy this review and stay tuned for a few more bourbon whiskey reviews in the coming weeks.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 21, 2016

Knob Rye SAM_2730It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. In 2013, I named it my Whisky of the Year in my annual Rum Howler Awards, and since then it has become a staple of my whisky shelf. In fact when I am asked by people to recommend a good bourbon to try, Knob Creek is invariably the spirit I am likely to name.

I contacted BeamSuntory, Whiskey Ambassador, Matt Jones (Aka The Whiskey Chef) to provide me some information about the new spirit. He told me that the mash bill for Knob Creek Rye is 55% rye, 35% corn & 10% malt. The whiskey is blended from spirit which has been matured in new charred oak barrels for 5-9 years. The whiskey is bottled (for Canada) at a full 100 proof which is 50 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

“… The breezes above the glass are rich with cedar and oak spices, maple, and butterscotch toffee. Fruit-filled rye notes separate from the wood spice adding character to the breezes. Vanilla and baking spices (cinnamon, bits of clove, and dashes of nutmeg and allspice) wander into the breezes adding even more depth to the aroma …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding rye whiskey.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 22, 2016

Powers SAM_1660Powers Irish Whiskey is a blend of triple distilled pot still & grain whiskeys produced at the Midleton Distillery in Cork County. The pot still portion of the whiskey is produced from malted barley which is dried in enclosed kilns. This prevents the barley from accumulating any smokey flavour during the drying process. This malted barley is then ground together with unmalted barley. The milled grain is mixed with water and cultivated brewing yeast, creating a mash indigenous to Irish Whiskey. During fermentation the starches of the combined barleys are converted to alcohol. The ‘wash’ that is produced is then triple distilled and carefully maturated to ultimately become pot still whiskey. This pot still whiskey is blended with grain whiskeys to produce Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey.

My bottle of Powers Gold Label was a gift from a friend who visited Ireland last summer. Apparently the domestic bottling in the UK has a slightly lower proof (40 % ABV) than the bottling which is exported to the USA (43.2 %).

Here is a link to my review of this popular Irish Whiskey Brand:

Review: Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey

“… The whiskey is surprisingly creamy in the mouth. It is smooth and easy to sip. I taste the grain whiskey much more prominently than the Irish Pot Distilled whiskey which perhaps disappoints me a little. Grain and fine wood spices mingle with bits of butterscotch and vanilla pudding …”

Please enjoy my review!

Chimo!

 

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Review: Sonoma County Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 2, 2016

Sonoma Rye SAM_2393The Sonoma County Distilling Company is located in Sonoma County, California. The company was founded in 2010 with the intention to bring spirits to the market using a ‘Grain to Glass’ philosophy. The production is done in-house including mashing and fermentation of grains, direct-fire copper pot distillation, maturing the spirits in American oak barrels, as well as bottling and labeling.

Several of their whiskey spirits have hit Alberta store shelves including their Sonoma County Rye Whiskey. According to the information provided to me the whiskey is produced from a mash bill of 100 % Rye, the primary grain being Canadian unmalted rye (80%) with a smaller proportion being malted rye from the UK (20%).

The Sonoma County Rye Whiskey is bottled at varying alcohol proofs depending upon the blenders decision for that bottling. My sample bottle is showing me a full 98 proof on the label.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Sonoma County Rye Whiskey

“… The aroma is full of thick rye notes mingled with woody tones of fresh-cut planks. This is followed by both honeycomb and sweet caramel as well as some bittersweet treacle. There are also firm impressions of baking spices (allspice, vanilla nutmeg, and cinnamon) with a few of chocolate-like notes drifting alongside, and a growing push of damp cigar tobacco. I am impressed …”

Please enjoy the review, Chimo!

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Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 18, 2016

Knappague12 YrKnappogue Castle Irish Whiskey is produced by Castle Brands who are an international owner of premium spirits brands which are sold primarily in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Irish whiskey brand pays homage to the historic Knappogue Castle in County Clare, Ireland which was originally built by Clan MacNamara in 1467.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey is a triple distilled Irish Whiskey (most probably produced at the Middleton Distillery) made from unpeated barley one batch at a time in copper pot stills. The spirit is aged in ex-bourbon barrels for at least 12 years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

“… The immediate nose is appealing with scents of budding willow trees alongside sandalwood and grain spice. There is also a beguiling malty sweetness. The spirit seems very mellow and approachable, and this suits my current mood as the winter snow is melting in the backyard and the warm sunshine of springtime is heading my way.”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful Irish Whiskey.

Chimo!

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Review: Sonoma County 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 1, 2016

2nd chance wheat whiskeyThe Sonoma County Distilling Company is located in the in Sonoma County (California. The company was founded in 2010 with the intention to bring spirits to the market using a ‘Grain to Glass’ philosophy. The production is done in-house including the mashing and fermentation of grains, the direct-fired copper pot distillation, maturing the spirits in American oak barrels, as well as bottle labeling.

Several of their new whiskey spirits have hit Alberta store shelves including their new 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey. According to the information sheets given to me the whiskey is produced from a mash bill of 80% Canadian Winter Wheat, and 20% Malted Rye from the United Kingdom.

Head distiller (and Owner), Adam Speigel, uses natural gas fire heated stills (two 250 gallon Copper Alembic Pot Onion Head Stills and one 125 gallon Copper Alembic Pot Onion Head Still) and no synthetic enzymes in his fermentation process to produce the whiskey distillate. The whiskey is aged in both 15 gallon and 30 gallon used American Oak barrels from Minnesota with a third degree char. (Each of these barrels was previously used to age rye whiskey.) Individual barrels in the blend are each aged a minimum of one year, with some of the barrels for the blend aged over two years.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Sonoma County 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey

“… The initial aroma has some mild butterscotch and toffee aromas with a creamy ‘porridge’ like scent reaching up from further in the glass. There are bits of dry fruit and orange peel drifting into the breezes, and as I let the glass sit, I notice very light rye and baking spices with vanilla, cinnamon and hints coarse yellow sugar …”

Please enjoy my latest whiskey review.

 

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Review: Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 2, 2016

Evan Williams SAM_1709Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a whiskey brand produced and bottled in Kentucky by Heaven Hill. This company refers to its entry-level whiskey as a ‘black label brand’, and as such it is meant to be the flag bearer of the Evan Williams line-up. The whiskey has no age statement, however the Evan Williams website tells us that it is aged longer than required by law. (Straight whiskeys must by law be aged for 2 years in new oak barrels; however, if they do not have an age statement they must be aged for 4 years. )

Here is a link to my review of the Evan Williams Black label Bourbon:

Review: Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon

“… The initial aroma is nice with scents of corn-syrup and maple mingling with oak and wood sap. There are also pungent spicy tobacco aromas, a gentle hay-like grassiness, a few indications of raisins, bits of orange peel, and a mild influences of canned apricots in the breezes. A light banana-like aroma is hinted at …”

Please Enjoy my review.

Chimo!

______________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested, here is a link to another of my whiskey reviews of the Evan Williams brand:

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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