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Posts Tagged ‘Whiskey’

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!

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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 »

#7 Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2015

Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon is part of Jim Beam’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection. This collection is composed of Booker’s, and the previously reviewed Baker’s, Knob Creek,and Basil Hayden’s. The whiskey collection is considered by Jim Beam Distillers to be a selection of ‘ultra-premium’ bourbon whiskeys created to establish a high-end category for bourbon, and thus to appeal to the serious whiskey aficionado. The Booker’s Bourbon was named for Booker Noe, who in 1992 began to produce the Booker’s whiskey bottled “straight-from-the-barrel, uncut and unfiltered”.

Booker's SAM_1112Interestingly, Booker’s Bourbon does not carry a consistent age statement from batch to batch as barrels are chosen for character and flavour rather than for being a specific age. For that reason the age of a particular bottle can vary between 6 to 8 years old. Because the whiskey is bottled straight from the barrel the bottling strength can also vary (according to the website) between 59.5 % to 64.55 % per batch.

Here is the review for the #7a Spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#7a – Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon

“… I was treated to even more richness as indications of dry fruit revealed themselves above the glass along with hints of treacle and pan roasted walnuts. There were also delightful aromas of leather chairs and rich pipe tobacco meandering into the breezes with undertones of smoky charcoal and dabbles of licorice mixed in. What I sense only a little of, is any undo astringency from the whopping 64.55 % alcohol within the glass. Maybe I have a bottle from a particularly outstanding batch; but air above my glass represents a masterpiece of whiskey goodness …”

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

Note: I admitted earlier in the countdown that I had to place two spirits in the #25 spot because I had inadvertently failed to re-taste one extremely good spirit, and this necessitated a correction and addition of one extra spirit upon my list. 

I have to confess that another minor error  occurred which requires an addition. When I constructed my list, I made a counting error and halfway through the countdown I realized that I had one too many spirits upon the list. Because I felt the number 7 ranking in my Countdown caused me the most anguish, I decided to fix my error and score two spirits (a tie) at number 7.

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#19 Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2015

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is part of Jim Beam’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection. This collection is composed of Knob Creek, Booker’s, Baker’s and, Basil Hayden’s. The whiskey collection is considered by Jim Beam Distillers to be a selection of ‘ultra-premium’ bourbon whiskeys created to establish a high-end category for bourbon, and thus to appeal to the serious whiskey aficionado.

Knob Creek 9Knob Creek is the oldest of these small batch whiskeys, and is aged a full nine years in newly charred oak barrels, then bottled at 100 proof or 50 % alcohol by volume. The whiskey brand is owned by Beam Global and is produced at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.

Here is a link to the review of the #19 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#19 – Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

“… The initial aroma is deep and rich with smells of freshly hewn oak timbers dripping with sap. I also sense loads of honeycomb, barbequed corn on the cob, baking spices (vanilla and cinnamon), brown sugar, and fresh maple toffee. As I take my time with the glass, indications of chocolate caramel and cola rise in the breezes along with rich pipe tobacco and crushed walnut shells …”

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

Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #19 Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

#30 Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 25, 2015

The town of Midleton, near Cork City, is home to the largest distillery in Ireland, aptly named the Midleton Distillery. This distillery is part of the Pernod-Ricard group of companies, and it is home to a variety of Irish Whiskey Brands. Powers, Paddy, Tullamore Dew, and Red Breast all are distilled at the Midleton Distillery, as is of course, the largest selling Irish Whiskey Brand in the world, Jameson.  (Incidentally, the Jameson Brand is also part of the Pernod-Ricard conglomerate of companies.)

Jameson 18 Limited ReserveThe Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey is a blended Irish Whiskey, the components of which are matured for a minimum of 18 years in a combination of American Bourbon Oak and Spanish Olorosso Sherry Oak Casks. The whiskey includes both grain and pure pot still whiskey varieties and is finished in fresh fill Bourbon barrels. This is the upper end of the Jameson range, and although it has been in regular production since 2002, it is considered to be a connoisseur’s whiskey and is produced in rather limited quantities each year.

Here is a link to the review of the #30 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#30 – Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve

“… The initial aroma from the glass is of a punky sweet butterscotch and mildly spicy toffee with obvious notes of marzipan. As the glass decants I notice a light woodiness developing, and a light scent of rum in the air with some brown sugar aromas. The overall effect is quite nice …”

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

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#47 Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey (15YR)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 8, 2015

In 1988 John Teeling bought the Cooley Distillery from the Irish Government essentially as a purchase of a facility meant for the scrap heap. The distillery however, was never scrapped. Instead John Teeling and his Master Distiller, Noel Sweeny, turned their perceptions of the facility around, rolled up their sleeves, and ten years later were making some of the most unique Irish whiskey in the Country. Not that it was easy, Dr. Teeling tried unsuccessfully to sell the distillery five years into the process to rid himself of the bad investment. But… innovation and desire played their part, and the remarkable turn around of the Cooley Distillery is the stuff of legend.

Old Fashioned with GreenoreOne of the more innovative products produced under the Cooley banner is the Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey. At the time of my review (in 2010) it was the only single grain Irish Whiskey which was produced from a double distillation of a single grain (corn) in a continuous column still. The whiskey was aged in used bourbon barrels for 15 years and bottled at 43% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the review of the #47 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#47 – Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey (15YR) 

“… This is unmistakably a corn whiskey with tasty cereal corn flakes  providing the platform upon which all else has been built. The initial delivery of the whiskey leads out with rich oak spice and honey. A sweet vanilla bourbon flavour swamps the taste-buds, and early into the tasting, I am fully aware that this whisky is unlike any Irish whisky I have tasted previously …”

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

Posted in Awards, Extras, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #47 Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey (15YR)

#64 Evan Williams Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon (1998)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 22, 2015

Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a whiskey brand produced and bottled in Kentucky by the Heaven Hill company. Evan Williams Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon’s are produced in limited quantities for selected markets in North America, and they have been winning awards since 1990 in a variety of Spirit’s journals, magazines and contests including Gold Medals at the Prestigious San Fransisco World Spirits Competition for their 1993 and 1994 bottlings.

Evan Williams Single BarrelIn 2009, Single Barrel bottlings from 1998 began to appear in the Alberta marketplace. The particular 1998 vintage bottle that caught my attention was bottle number 413 which was  set in oak on September 9, 1998, and bottled April 18, 2008.

Here is a link to the review of the #64 spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#64 – Evan Williams Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon (1998)

“… I have just stumbled into a sawmill where they are cutting large rough timber beams.  I can smell the wood tannins exposed on the sides of the timber and the fresh cut wood grain scent is delightful.  Of course there is much more than oak timbers in the glass:  wild honey,  rich vanilla, toffee, caramel and hints of molasses rise from the glass in a rich vibrant aroma which is spicy and tannin filled …”

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

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

Review: Wild Turkey 81 (Kentucky Straight Bourbon)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 3, 2015

Wild_Turkey_81_BourbonWild Turkey produces their bourbon from a mash bill which includes three grains: corn, barley, and rye. This mashbill is said to have a relatively high proportion of rye which gives the whiskey brand its signature spicy kick. The new flagbearer for the brand, Wild Turkey 81 (Kentucky Straight Bourbon) has recently replaced Austin Nichols Wild Turkey Bourbon in the Wild Turkey line-up here in Alberta. This bourbon spirit, rather than being bottled at the regular 40 % alcohol by volume is instead bottled at a slightly higher proof, 40.5% alcohol by volume or 81 proof hence the name Wild Turkey 81.

According to the Wild Turkey website, this flagship whiskey is meant to be a mixing spirit. In fact the website describes Wild Turkey 81 as,

“an everyday whiskey that can stand up to any mixer or in any cocktail with the bold, in-your-face taste that is distinctively Wild Turkey.”

Although the spirit carries no age statement, the producer’s website informs us that this Kentucky Straight Bourbon is aged for approximately six to eight years in what the company refers to as their ‘famous #4 alligator char‘ American Oak barrels.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Wild Turkey 81 (Kentucky Straight Bourbon)

“… The initial breezes above the glass bring forward a sweetened butterscotch note wrapped in oak and cedar spice. Scents of vanilla and honeycomb come forward mingling in the air with the fine wood spices creating an impression of light toffee. The spices grow in intensity and begin to throw off dry rye-like scents of ginger …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a great cocktail suggestion, the Honeylemon Ginger Julep.

Chimo!

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Review: Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon (Very Old)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 29, 2015

Jeffersons Reserve SAM_1688Jefferson’s Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey is considered to be the flagship brand of the Jefferson Bourbon line-up. It is a small batch bourbon reportedly produced by marrying a selection of only 8 to 12 barrels of aged bourbon. The spirit has no age statement although the bottle makes a point of mentioning that the spirit is ‘very old’. (Of course this could mean practically anything, and whether a significant amount of whiskey younger than 8 years enters the blend is unknown to me.)

The spirit (owned by Castle Brands) was created in 1997, by Chet and Trey Zoeller. It is bottled at 45.1 % alcohol by volume and named for the third president of the United States who apparently repealed the Whiskey Tax after his Republican Party came to power in 1801.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon (Very Old)

“… The initial aroma from the glass is steeped in oak and cedar spice. I can smell wood sap and freshly sawn oak planks. Mingled within the oak is a deep rich caramel toffee which smells delicious. As I let the glass sit and breathe, I notice some chocolate and cola aromas entering the breezes with notes of honeycomb and delicious barbecued corn on the cob …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

 

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