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The Rum Howler Awards – Part 2

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 20, 2010

Yesterday I began to bestow my first ever Rom Howler Awards for Rum and Whisky. These awards are based upon my peculiar palate, and my peculiar way of enjoying these rums and whiskies. (Although to be honest I do not think that I am that far off of the norm when it comes to rum and whisky.) I had an award for the best rum in a Daiquiri, and the best whisky in a Horses Neck.  And an award for the best overall White Rum, and the best overall Blended Whisky.  I wrapped up Part 1 of my awards with an award for the best spiced/flavoured rum and the best Single Grain Whisky. I think I deviated a bit from how others hand out their awards by choosing in each case to mix some cocktails as part of the judging system. That’s because it is my belief that is exactly how most person’s actually enjoy those particular spirits.  I also sipped most of the spirits neat, again as part of the judging. I think for the most part, everything worked out rather well.

So it is today that I am going to continue my awards.  I plan to concentrate on regional distinctions between various rums, and therefore my awards today will be bestowed in a regional manner.  I must apologize at the outset, as I cannot represent every region equitably, nor even fairly. My experience is just too limited. But I can do my best, and that is what I shall do.

Unlike yesterday judging for the regional categories did not include any cocktail construction.  All nominated rums were sipped at room temperature with no ice in side by side comparisons.

The Rum Howler Award for the Best Central American Rum goes to:

Flor de Caña 12 Year old Rum

Honourable mention to Zafra Master Reserve.

In all I sampled five rums which I thought were worthy contenders for the best rum of Central America, but in the end it was a two-horse race between the Zafra Master Reserve and the Flor de Cana 12.  And it was the consistent excellence of the Flor de Cana from start to finish which left me no choice but to declare it the winner. (I must apologize for being unable to place the Ron Zacapa XO 25 into the mix, as alas I had no left over rum from that particular bottle.)

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The Rum Howler Award for Best South American Rum:

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

Honourable mention to Juan Santos 21 Yr Old.

It was difficult to know where to start when choosing the best rum of  South America. The El Dorado Rums were obvious contenders, as were the rums from Diplomatico . In the end I sampled four rums from Venezuela, two rums from Guyana,  and one rum from Colombia. The Colombian Rum (Juan Santos 21) was the big surprise taking Diplomatico Exclusiva to the limit and almost winning.  For those interested the Colombian Rum is sold as Ron Santero 21 in other markets and is well worth looking into.

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The Rum Howler Award for Best Caribbean Island Rum:

Cubaney 25 Solera

Honourable mention to Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy, Havana Club Barrel Proof, and Bermudez Anniversario.

There was so much to choose from! The Appletons from Jamaica, Havana Club and Legendario from Cuba,   Doorly’s from Barbados, and so many more. In the end it was a little known rum from the Dominican Republic that stole the show. I thought perhaps it was because I had so recently reviewed the rum that I was still in love with it. So I had a few friends help me out…. I should not have worried, the palates of my friends confirmed my impressions and the result was unanimous, Cubaney Ron Tesero Grand Reserve was the best.

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The Rum Howler Award for Best Non Caribbean/South American Rum:

Renegade Panama 1997

Honourable mention to Old Port Deluxe (Amrut).

Those Renegade Rums made my life difficult. Do I classify them based upon the country of origin, or based upon the country where they are aged and bottled? In the end I decide they were a product of the United Kingdom and that decision pretty much ensured the victory for the Don Jose Panama Rum in this category.  The Old Port from Amrut gave it a small challenge and a Mexican Rum called Macombo was in the mix briefly as well. But the Port enhanced wonder from the Renegade Rum Company could not be denied.

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And there you have it, the next four Rum Howler Awards!

The Rum Howler Award for the Best Central American Rum, Flor de Caña 12 Year old Rum.

The Rum Howler Award for Best South American Rum, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva.

The Rum Howler Award for Best Caribbean Island Rum, Cubaney 25 Solera.

The Rum Howler Award for Best Non Caribbean/South American Rum, Renegade Panama 1997.

Tomorrow I tackle Regional Whiskies.

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