Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rum - J D Shore Black and Gold

It`s a good time to be a rum enthusiast with another local distillery opening shop in the province. In fact the beverage industry in general has really taken off of late with an increase in local vineyards and craft breweries.

The Halifax Distilling Company has recently opened up operations and tasting bar in downtown Halifax. In a sense having a rum producer on the historic Halifax waterfront makes perfect sense even if the owners are American ex-pats. Welcome to Nova Scotia!

"With roots in North Carolina, Julie Shore and Arla Johnson fell in love with Canada nine years ago, and have brought an entrepreneurial spirit and their love of fine spirits to downtown Halifax."

Offering a selection of  white, gold, dark and spiced rums they are now available at selected NSLC stores and kiosks or at the distillery itself at 1668 Lower Water Street. I happened to stumble upon a bottle of gold rum in Bridgewater and immediately purchased a 750 ml bottle for $27.98CDN. Very competitive price for a locally produced rum.

The presentation of the spirit is nice using a traditional bar styled bottle with a wrapped metal twist cap. I prefer cork (style) stoppers but considering the price point I cannot be argumentative. The white label is effective and really makes the bottle jump out among the other rums on the shelves of the NSLC.

In the bottle the rum shows a golden yellow hue with a nose of caramel/butterscotch, vanilla and some fruit. In the glass however the rum pales, showing almost clear, like a white rum. Especially over ice. A pleasant mouth feel with a touch of oak in the finish but definitely a sweeter overall selection.

I like this rum. Very nice in the glass over ice but that is my usual preference. Now that the Shore`s are available in the liquor stores I definitely want to sample the dark rum. Might need to visit the tasting bar was well for a little outing one evening....(wink).

New kid on the local block. Nice!


On the heels of the gold rum I picked up a bottle of the black rum. With a nose of burnt caramel and baking spices neat in the glass it possesses a nice mouth feel with a pleasant moderately spicy finish.

I generally prefer my rum over ice but I really enjoyed this selection neat. That said  it was very nice over ice and was tasty mixed with a dash of cola. It was one of those rums I actually could/would actually consume neat, over ice or as a mixed drink. Quite the versatile black rum.

In the glass it presented as a dark amber, not quite as black as a typical dark or blackstrap variety. Not a whole bunch of oak with the melting cubes mellowing out the finish. A real easy drinking black rum.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Ball Hockey

It's that time of year with the start of the 2016/2017 ball hockey season. Changes in this season's schedule include switching goaltending duties to Sunday night from Thursday. Having the goalie pendulum swing to a glut of net minders available for Thursday it only made sense to commit to a regular 7-9pm Sunday full time spot.

As a result I have also flipped my Thursday night status to that of spare, either as goalie or as a runner. As much as my aging body rallied late last season playing as a runner I am under no illusions that my back, shoulder and neck issues won't remain a constant impediment. Despite successfully rehabbing a periformis injury last Fall I acknowledge the demands of stop/start high intensity running on a hard surface and its negative effects over the long term. I still like to play out but I'm not confident how well the body will hold up. Subbing occasionally should satiate the desire to play out without a commitment of time, potential injury and money.

I've also ceased my participation on Monday nights. Playing in Tantallon in a 8-10pm time slot was inconvenient in terms of distance and in terms of recovery (from Sunday night's effort).

What I lose this season in a decrease in ball hockey play will be countered with a schedule of strength training and RPM spin classes at Goodlife. Not only will more variety better serve my overall conditioning, weight management and strength training but hopefully will help prevent/avoid ball hockey related repetitive strain injury.

The joys of being an aging athlete. The mind is willing but the body less agreeable.

For the love of the game.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rum - Ironworks Distillery Amber

Picked up a bottle of Ironwork`s Amber rum at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market. Ironworks Distillery is a local spirits producer based out of Lunenburg who pride themselves by using local ingredients for the distilling of rum, vodka, gin and assorted brandies.

"Ironworks is a micro-distillery located in the old port of Lunenburg on Nova Scotia’s historic South Shore. We take our name from the 1893 heritage building we call home: a marine blacksmith’s shop that once produced ironworks for the shipbuilding trade. We craft our spirits with the same love of traditional methods and attention to detail...."

Their Bluenose dark rum is currently available at the local NSLC stores but both the amber and light rums currently need to be purchased at the distillery, online or at special venues like the farmers market. Having had the Bluenose rum previously(sidebar - very nice dark rum that is not super sweet with hints of caramel and vanilla) I was keen on sampling the amber.

The market was very busy on a Saturday morning but I had the opportunity to sample and eventually purchase a 750 ml of the amber rum for about $38 CDN. Not cheap by mass produced rum standards but decent considering it is a local small batch distillery.

The packaging is very well done. Minimal labeling in an uniquely designed bottle. Complete with a stopper and not a metal screw on cap. Very nice presentation focusing upon the golden hue of the rum.

Neat in the glass the amber rum has a nice silky mouth feel possessing an initial burn followed by a slightly harsher finish. The website says the rum is aged in oak barrels for a "year or more" but (I thought) the server at the market mentioned it could be aged up to two and a half years? Regardless it is a typical young amber rum and I think that shows in the tasting. The aging in bourbon oak is noticeable in color and taste and, in my opinion, gives the rum a whiskey like characteristic.

In the glass over ice is where this rum really shines for my tastes. The slow melt of the ice cubes does not affect the silky mouth feel but does smooth out the finish. The addition of cubes makes this a decent sipper, especially if you prefer a moderately oaky rum.

Sidebar - I did sample the five year old amber at the market. It was really nice but substantially more expensive.

Pretty nice rum. It`s local too......always a good thing.