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Posts Tagged ‘Whisky’

And the Best 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2019 Were:

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 28, 2019

Much like my Rum Howler Top 50 Rums of 2018 countdown was delayed due to the tribulations surrounding my move to a new residence at the end of last year, my Rum Howler Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown was also put on hold until the New Year. Because of the aforementioned trials with my move, I have shortened this years list to the best 50 Canadian Whiskies down from my huge list last year that included a whopping 100.

This year my list contains a few whiskies which, although I have tasted them and written out brief tasting notes and scores, I have not yet published reviews for. Reviews for these spirits will be published in the coming year (as well as many others). That is (I hope) something for all of you to look forward to.

Here is a link to my Countdown list of the best Canadian Whiskies of 2018:

The Rum Howler Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2018

Please everyone, enjoy the list Responsibly!

Chimo!

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Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forty Creek Rye (aged 22 Years) Named CWA 2019 Whisky of the Year

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 21, 2019

This year I was once again honoured to be part of the judging panel for The Annual Canadian Whisky Awards and the results are in. The Canadian Whisky Awards – Whisky of the Year is an all-rye whisky, distilled 22 years ago at Forty Creek Distillery in Grimsby, Ontario.

After blind tastings of well over 100 whiskies, 10 independent whisky experts have declared Forty Creek 22 Year Old Rye as Canadian Whisky of the Year in the ninth annual Canadian Whisky Awards.

Held each January at the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria, BC, as part of the Victoria Whisky Festival, the Canadian Whisky Awards recognize the very best whiskies produced in Canada.

Awards founder, Davin de Kergommeaux described Forty Creek 22 year-old Rye as:

“A huge, yet elegant rye whisky, just bursting with complex flavours.”

Other top accolades went to whiskies from JP Wiser’s, Canadian Club, Crown Royal, and Gooderham and Worts.

Forty Creek founder, John K. Hall was announced as the first member of the Canadian Whisky Hall of Fame, while Dr. Don Livermore was named Blender of the Year.

According to de Kergommeaux:

“Every year the whiskies are just that much better than the year before. Top whiskies from five or six years ago might earn a silver medal today.  The competition is that intense.”

As the Canada’s pre-eminent Canadian whisky competition, the independent judging panel, served up some surprise honours to relative newcomers such as Saskatchewan’s Last Mountain Distillery which took home top spot as Micro-Distillery of the Year.

If this year’s record setting submissions are an indication, Canadian whisky fans have an extremely exciting 2019 to look forward to.

Note: About the Canadian Whisky Awards: The Canadian Whisky Awards, held annually in conjunction with the Victoria Whisky Festival, recognize the very best Canadian whiskies and encourage distillers to maintain the highest quality standards. To qualify, the whisky must be distilled and matured in Canada. An independent panel of whisky experts selects the winners after tasting each whisky blind. Operated on a not-for-profit basis, the Canadian Whisky Awards are fully independent of the Canadian whisky industry.

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

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.

 

 

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

Review: Canadian Club Premium Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 10, 2018

Today Canadian Club Premium is the flagship brand for the company. Although it was previously aged for a minimum of 6 years in white oak barrels, the brand carries no longer carries an age statement. The aforementioned Canadian Club website now reports:

” … Our best-selling, flagship whisky is where most folks begin their whisky journey. This is the one that started the legend. A giant of Canadian whisky since 1858, it’s aged longer than the 3 years required by law in oak barrels before bottling for the smoothest possible flavour. …” 

If you have been paying attention to the new television ads, you will have noticed that Canadian Club has been touting their flagship whisky with a new advertisement featuring the outstanding score (92/100) which Jim Murray (revered whisky critic) recently gave the spirit. This high score is quite a bit north of the last score I published two years ago. However when I learned of Jim Murray’s high score, I couldn’t resist checking my recent private score when I served as a juror for the 2018 Canadian Whisky Awards. Indeed, I found that I also had scored the whisky somewhat higher for those awards than I had in my past review.

So I decided to revisit Canadian Club Premium to see if these observations held up when I tasted the spirit in isolation.

Here is a link to my new review:

Review: Canadian Club Premium Whisky 

“… The initial aroma brings fine wood spice, light vanilla butterscotch and almond scents with a mild grassy/herbal impression. As the glass sits, I notice a slight thickening of the aroma. Spicy fine oak permeates the breezes with caramel toffee beginning to develop from the wood spice, the butterscotch and the vanilla …”

Please enjoy my latest look at Canadian Club Premium.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Canadian Club Premium Whisky

Review: Gordon and MacPhail Tomatin Distillery 2002 (Connoisseurs Choice)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 26, 2018

The Tomatin Distillery is located in the Monadhliath Mountains near Inverness, the capital of the Highlands of Scotland. The Distillery was established in 1897. (For those who do not know, the term “established in 1897″ is a code term which represents an acknowledgement by the distillery that the company began to legally pay taxes on the spirits it produced in that year. When the Distillery actually began to produces spirits is not acknowledged.) Because of its location in the Monadhliath Mountains, Tomatin is one of the highest distilleries (elevation wise) in Scotland at 315 metres above sea level. In 1985 as the Distillery was expanded and was at that time renamed, The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd..

Gordon and MacPhail Tomatin Distillery 2002 (Connoisseurs Choice) is a Single Malt Whisky which was distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2016. It was matured in First fill bourbon barrels with no special finishing.

Here is a link to my latest Review:

Review: Gordon and MacPhail Tomatin Distillery 2002 (Connoisseurs Choice)

” …Moderately complex with oak and heather melding with almond, vanilla and butterscotch. A fruitiness is apparent with flavours of apricot and pears perhaps augmented by a light touch of cherry and raisin. As I found the dram on the nose, the flavours appear to coexist very nicely …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful offering from Gordon and MacPhail, Chimo!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Gordon and MacPhail Tomatin Distillery 2002 (Connoisseurs Choice)

 
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