Spirit Review: Pine Creek Whiskey

While I was out at the store recently I found myself thinking about Canadian Whiskey, and how my regular mixing brand has been Canadian Club for many years. However it’s a fairly basic and easy to come by garden variety bottle, and I was looking to switch it up for my restock. When I saw the uniquely shaped bottle of the Pine Creek and the word “rum” on the label I decided to have a closer look.

Pine Creek Canadian Whiskey is a 42 proof 10 year aged whiskey with a finishing age in rum barrels. I found this very interesting as I’ve had rum aged in whiskey barrels, but not the other way around. Additionally their first aging in traditional oak is specifically not in climate controlled storage offering an extra level of complexity between each batch, and at a reasonable $24.99 I was pleasantly surprised.

On the nose you’re warmed with oak with some caramel notes so nothing out of the ordinary for a general whiskey. However the flavor profile is another story. On the front end it’s very sweet, mid palette hits you with a traditional oak which reminds me a lot of a Bourbon, and on the finish creeps in warm molasses. There’s still a little finishing burn, but that’s to be expected with any spirit, and this product doesn’t pull any punches in that regard. The rum barrel finish that you get in the flavor is very mild at full strength, but I imagine with a little vermouth this could make an excellent Manhattan!

Overall it’s certainly not your garden variety Canadian Whiskey, instead it’s almost a “Canadian Bourbon,” which for me is a welcomed change. I don’t know if it’s good enough for me to switch to it as my regular, but if you’re looking for something a little different than your basic bottle, consider picking up one of these.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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Caribbean influence, eh?

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Spirit Review: Licor 43

So one product that has been on my long term “to try” list is the Spanish made: Licor 43. It is a 31% ABV (62 Proof) liqueur with a rich golden color and a slightly oilier viscosity than I was expecting. It’s on par with a thinned out Gran Gala by comparison when I poured it from the bottle.

On the nose it has very distinct fruit notes (perhaps mandarin oranges?) and is paired with a warm vanilla. In it’s flavor it is predominantly a vanilla liqueur, but you are greeted with a bouquet of sweet citrus, be fore it mellows into a flavor very similar to a melted vanilla ice cream.

Licor 43 is a unique product that you likely won’t find a matching flavor for elsewhere. It goes down super smooth, and leaves you with a warm sensation of a homemade cookie. I’d be interested in mixing this with various whiskeys or a neutral spirit like vodka in order to complement it’s rich flavor. Perhaps the use of a cinnamon or maple syrup would do it justice.

Overall I’d say its a 7/10 for my personal use. I was expecting a little more of a burn, and a little less sweet, but it is overall a decent liqueur for the price.

Licor 43

Better than 42, but not the answer we were looking for.

 

Spirit Review: Captain Morgan Pineapple

After having tried the recently released Captain Morgan White Rum, I was intrigued to find a new item sitting on the shelf of my local liquor store. Especially considering that company already makes a Pineapple Rum under the Parrot Bay sub-brand. This variety despite having the same clarity and aroma of it’s other brother, it packs an impressive 35% ABV over Parrot Bay’s mere 21%. For those of you not familiar with the taste of standard Captain White, imagine a slightly sweeter Bacardi and there you have your taste and price points. Being a higher proof Captain Pineapple has the same great flavor as in Parrot Bay, but with a more expected burn of any other 35% rum. The spirit starts out with a sweet pineapple taste, moves to a familiar Captain Morgan Rum taste on the mid-palette, then finishes with a mix of the two with a slight burn.

I think this could easily replace Parrot Bay Pineapple in my bar as this spirit will pack more of a punch without sacrificing flavor in the process. I can’t wait to see how this mixes into making a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (click the “pineapple rum tag” at the end of this post to find the recipe). To you my fellow mixologists I can easily recommend this as a substitute for Parrot Bay +1 for the higher proof.

captain pineapple review pic

“This be a mighty tasty rum mate!”