Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 10, 2012
I was first introduced to the Dictador Rums when I convinced the local distributor to drop in on one of the monthly gatherings of my Rum Club. Two bottles of the new Dictador Rum (The 12-year-old and the 20-year-old) were brought to the club for us to taste and provide feedback. Later I also sampled the Dictador rums in Miami, at the Rum Festival. Both times I remember being taken in by the Dictador style and the rich vibrant rum inside the bottles. So far I have tasted and reviewed only three of the Dictador bottlings, the Perpetual XO, the 20 Year Old, and of course the Dictador 12 Year Old. It speaks to the quality of manufacture that all three have landed in my Top 30 Rum Countdown:
“… A yummy marzipan which reminds me of toasted almonds smothered in roasted marshmallows is nestled nicely under the oak and spice. A touch of coffee, a hint of ripe cherry, and more charred flavours (perhaps some toasted coconut) seem to arrive at the end with a sherry-like smokiness which also brings nuances of dry fruit and cocoa to the fore…”
The Dictador 12 Year Old Rum is a solera aged rum with the oldest rum in the bottle being at least 12 years of age. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume in a stylish black 700 ml bottle.
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Colombian Rum, Dark Rum, Dictador, Rum, Rum Awards, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2012
It was in April of 2009, that I wrote my first rambling reviews on the Ministry of Rum. If you search their old threads you will come across my original write-up on the Appleton 12 year Old Rum. It was in truth the first ‘review’ I ever wrote. It really wasn’t meant to be a review; but more of a fun write-up to let the members of that forum know what I liked and didn’t and why. That rambling thread is responsible for all that followed. About 6 months later I started this website and that write-up on the Ministry of Rum became the first review I placed on my website, just a little more fleshed out but in essence that same ‘review’ I wrote originally.
In November 2012 I revisited the Appleton 12 year Old Rum and found that my appreciation of the rum had increased substantially. The Rum has improved over the last three years (or perhaps my taste has). Regardless of whether it is the rum or my taste preference (and that of my Judging Panel) the Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old Rum checks in as the 16th best rum in my 2012 Countdown of the Best Rums in the World.
“… The rum is nice and soft in my mouth. I taste a dominant trio of dark brown sugar, charred caramel, and a spicy oak which asserts itself firmly into the flavour profile. I found if I was patient, and let the rum sit in my glass and then sipped very slowly, I could catch the nuances of other more subtle flavours underneath… “
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Appleton Rum, Dark Rum, Jamaican Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 8, 2012
The El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum is a blend of aged rums created to mark the turn of the millennium. Produced by Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL), it is blended from 25-year-old rum stocks which have been aged in used bourbon oak casks. Demerara Distillers is of course popular throughout the world for their rich, Demerara Rum. Using a combination of venerable old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, DDL, have built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. I have been fortunate enough to have been allowed to taste this particular vintage rum on several different occasions over the past several years. As part of my quest to find the best 30 rums in the world, I brought out my bottle of the El Dorado 25 year Old for my Panel of Judges to taste. As a result of our deliberations, the 25 Year Old Vintage Rum finds itself on my countdown list at number 18.
“… The immediate nose brings forward rich notes of dark caramel and molasses; baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, brown sugar, and cinnamon); nuts (walnuts and pecans); dry fruit (dates, figs and raisins); smokey tobacco; and lots of rich oak spice. Allowing the glass to sit brings wisps of dark Christmas fruitcake and bittersweet chocolate into the breezes above the glass as well…”
The exit is filled with flavours of dates and raisins which are followed by impressions of lush dark brown sugar. Baking spices and heated oak spices settle onto the palate and into the back of the throat. This finale is well worth an encore.
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, El Dorado Rum, Guyanese Rum, Rum, Rum Awards, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2012
According to the Dictador website, the Dictador 20 Year Old Solera Rum is the result of the fermentation of a mixture of virgin sugar cane honey which has been distilled in part from alembic copper pot stills and in part from continuous column stills. This is a solera aged rum with the oldest rum in the bottle being at least 20 years of age. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume in a stylish black 700 ml bottle. The Dictador website explains that the rum is produced in Colombia, more exactly, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia at Cartagena de Indias City, and is named for Arango Y Ferro who was nicknamed ‘Dictador’ by the local population of Cartagena de Indias as he rose to prominence in the trade and commerce between the Spanish Colonies and Spain (sometime after 1751).
This is the second rum from Dictador which has ended up on my Countdown list placing itself at number 18:
“… The aroma from the glass is heavily tainted with oak and baking spice. I smell dark brown sugars and toffee which grows stronger and deeper as the glass decants. A hint of maple sits in the breezes. And accents of cinnamon, nutmeg as well as a firm dash of vanilla rise up to complement the strong oak aroma…”
The Dictador 20 year Old Solera Blend is a suave, yet rich rum experience!
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Colombian Rum, Dark Rum, Dictador, Rum, Rum Awards, Rum Review, Solera Rum, Top 30 Rum | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2012
5 Barrel Rum is a premium aged rum produced in Belize, (the northernmost mainland country of Central America). According to the producer, Travellers Liquors Limited, the rum is made from locally grown Belize sugar cane which is cut and crushed in a manner which retains its natural flavors. As well, all of the rum is aged in Kentucky oak barrels for a full 5 years. It is blended to be a full-bodied rum with the well-rounded taste which results from oak barrel aging.
When I reviewed the 5 Barrel Rum last January, I called it a “Rum Lover’s Rum”. My Judging Panel agreed and after the scores were counted, this wonder from Belize wound up at spot number 19 on the Countdown List of the Best Rums in the World:
“… The initial flavour of the rum is full of caramel and butterscotch melded into the oak spices. Some light orange peel weaves in and out and deeper down lurks a wonderfully rich tobacco flavour. Just as I noticed upon the nose, the rum grows in the glass as you slowly sip it. Brown sugar and baking spices (nutmeg, vanilla and spicy cinnamon) begin to appear alongside the oak spices and the tobacco…”
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 5 Barrel Rum, Belize Rum, Dark Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum, Travellers Liquor | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 5, 2012
Zaya Gran Reserva Rum is a brand currently owned by Infinium Spirits. This rum brand was originally distilled and aged in Guatemala, but in 2008, the production of Zaya was moved to Trinidad and Tobago where it is now produced by Trinidad Distillers Ltd.. Zaya is apparently constructed from a secret recipe (in other words a blend) of several well aged rums to meet a specific taste profile which is very similar to (but not the same as) the original Guatemalan rum. All of the rums in the Zaya blend are aged for a minimum of 12 years in small oak casks.
When you read the following review you will notice that there was wide disagreement between myself and the other judges with respect to the Zaya Gran Reserva. Despite the disagreement, the Zaya checks in as the number 20 rum on my 2012 Top Rum Countdown…
“… The initial aroma from the glass is very complex with rich vanilla, oak and pipe tobacco leading out into the air above the glass. Sweet caramel winds through the breezes, and I seem to catch accents of marmalade, marzipan and banana peel as well…”
The Zaya is a flavour bomb of a rum filled with vanilla and sweet caramel!
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, Infinium Spirits, Rum, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum, Zaya | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 4, 2012
Havana Club’s new Selección de Maestros Rum is an authentic Cuban rum that has recently replaced the Havana Club Barrel Proof in the portfolio of Havana Club Rums. The rum undergoes a rather unique maturation process where it is first aged in old white oak barrels, and when the final rum is blended, it is then finished in specially ‘selected’ younger finishing casks.
The unique approach to aging and finishing has resulted in a delicious, spicy rum which just happens to have made the cut in the Top Thirty Rums Countdown:
“… The immediate nose is of sweet toffee, with a nice complement of cinnamon. Nutmeg and cloves work their way into the breezes along with a little oak, some hot orange peel and a touch of green tobacco. As the glass sits, the aroma of toffee intensifies making the rum seem very attractive, which of course leads me to steal a sip…”
The rum has been bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume which makes the flavour just a bit intense which, for my particular palate, is a very good thing!
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cuban Rum, Dark Rum, Havana Club, Rum, Rum Review, Selección de Maestros, Top 30 Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2012
According to the Dictador website, Dictador Rum is produced in Colombia South America, more exactly, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia at Cartagena de Indias City. The rum is named for Arango Y Ferro who was nicknamed ‘Dictador’ by the local population of Cartagena de Indias, in early Colombia (sometime after 1751) as he rose to prominence in the trade and commerce between the Spanish Colonies and Spain. Arango apparently fell in love with the local cane spirit and became an important producer of rum at that time.
The Dictador Perpetual is an elegant sipping rum and a very worthy addition to my Top 30 Rums in the World listing:
“… I would describe this as a light to medium bodied rum with a soft dryness. The smoky sherry-like accents are very noticeable initially; but as the rum decants, sweeter flavours of butterscotch and toffee begin to take center stage. There is a moderate amount of oak spice and citrus zest which gives the rum a nice spicy heat. Rich brown sugary baking spices, (in particular vanilla and cinnamon) build alongside the butterscotch and toffee… “
This is one of those rare rums which seems to taste better every time I have another glass.
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Colombian Rum, Dark Rum, Dictador, Rum, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 1, 2012
Flor de Caña has a history of rum production which is dated to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The company was founded by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and today, over 120 years later, the company is still headed by the fifth generation of the Pellas family. It has grown to be not only one of Central America’s leading brands of rum, it is also one of the most recognized rum brands in the world.
“… In those breezes are lovely scents of walnut shells and pecans, sticky sweet caramel and honey, rich baking spices (especially cinnamon, cloves, allspice and vanilla), and a nice firm but mellow oakiness which is quite lovely. I receive a distinct impression of richness with nice accents of chocolate caramel, light dabs of cola and a moderately spicy tobacco which drifts upwards to add character to the overall aroma…”
I love this rum, and when my friends and I were doing are tasting sessions, I was quite happy to learn that the loved it too. Our affection translated to position number 23 on my Best Rums of the World Countdown!
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, Flor de Cana Rum, Nicaraguan Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 30, 2012
This year, when I was deliberating over my 2012 Rum Howler Awards, it occurred to me that the line-up of rum which I had tasted over the past year was impressive. When I further considered all the rums I had tasted since I opened this website, I realized this was indeed an impressive amount of rum that I have tasted and scored. Adding it all up, I have tasting and scoring notes for over 300 rums which I have had the privilege of sampling over the past four years. (Note: In addition to the nearly 175 rum reviews I have published on this site, I also have tasting notes and scores compiled for over 125 more rums which I encountered at various festivals and judging events which I have attended.) This gives me a broad perspective on the world of rum. And perhaps, all this rum tasting and scoring gives me at least some of the qualifications to embark on a very particular quest to uncover and list the Best Rums in the World.
If you are interested in such things, a detailed explanation of how I came up with this list is available here:
This web page also contains the complete list in reverse order. One catch, is that I will be filling that list out over the next several weeks, one rum at a time, countdown style. As I fill out the list, I will be providing my most up to date review for that particular Rum. Some of these rums have been reviewed previously, and those reviews will be updated if required to reflect my feelings on the most recent bottling. Some of the Rums on the list will be reviewed for the first time. Although the effort put into this project was very significant, I hope that those who read the reviews and follow the countdown have some fun. Disagreement with my Panel of Judges is welcome, and so are questions about the list.
Posted in Awards, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: DrinkWire, Rum, Rum Howler Awards, Rum Reviews, Top 30 Rum | Comments Off