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Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category

Review: Ron Marques del Valle (8 Years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 6, 2013

SAM_0956 Ron Marques del Valle 8Ron Marques del Valle (8 Years) is produced in Colombia by Industria de Licores del Valle. I was unable to learn much about this distiller of rum, however, the back of my sample bottle makes the following statement about this particular rum:

“Ron Marques is the result of the most refined sugar cane extract, distilled with the purest water from the Andes and aged in oak barrels for 8 years, this conjunction of events gives this unique Rum an intense amber colour, a fine viscosity, an excellent depth of mature aromas and a smooth taste”

I was given my sample bottle by A&B Canada who are based in Quebec. They have recently began to list and sell the rum in my home market of Alberta.

You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Ron Marques del Valle (8 Years)

“… The initial nose is quite sweet with a strong butterscotch aroma which is tainted with a sweet and sour fruitiness (dry apricots, peaches and pineapple). The aroma reminds me of old-fashioned candied tutti-frutti. There are also some nice wood spices which begin to turn the butterscotch into toffee, and an obvious citrus accent reminds me of one of those citrus juice blends full of oranges, grapefruit, lemons and lime …”

Please enjoy my review of this Authentic Colombian Rum.

Cheers Everyone!

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Review: Berrys’ Finest Barbados Rum (Aged 13 Years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 29, 2013

SAM_0965 Berrys' Barbados 13Berry Bros. & Rudd is one of London’s oldest Wine and Spirits Merchant with over 300 years of experience and tradition from which to draw upon. The company began its operation at 3 – St. James’s Street (in London, UK) in 1698, and still operates from that same location today. Although they are primarily merchants of wine, the company has a strong presence in the sale of distilled spirits as well. And in fact, this presence within the spirits industry had its beginnings approximately 100 years ago. (The Cutty Sark brand was developed by Berry Bros & Rudd in 1923.)

Today Berry Bros & Rudd acts as an independent bottler of Whisky, Cognac, Armagnac, and of course Rum. A few of their rum offerings are available in my locale, and I was able to obtain a samples of the 13 Year Old – Berrys’ Finest Barbados Rum, from the Western Canadian distributor Charton Hobbs. Unfortunately I was not able to track down the complete history of this rum. All I know is that the spirit was distilled in Barbados, and aged for 13 years before being bottled by Berry Bros. and Rudd.

You may read my full review here:

Review: Berrys’ Finest Barbados Rum (Aged 13 Years)

“… The initial aroma from the glass is filled with a complex combination of dark toffee, caramelized brown sugars, rich tobacco and woody oak spices. Allowing the glass to breathe enriches the aroma bringing dark fruit and raisins, baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon cloves and nutmeg), some orange peel, and thick sticky marmalade impressions into the breezes as well …”

Please enjoy my review of this Bajan rum which I find quite pleasing as the nights grow longer and colder this autumn!

Cheers Everyone!

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Review: Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum (12 Years Blended)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 22, 2013

SAM_0958 Old Monk Gold Reserve RumOld Monk is an aged dark rum produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. According to the information I received from the importer, the Gold Reserve 12 Year Blended Rum is a molasses distilled rum, aged for a minimum of 12 years in oak casks (in the tropical climate of India) and then blended to be a smoother, more refined version of (the previously reviewed) Old Monk Very Old Vatted XXX Rum (7 Years Old Blended).

The brand receives very little attention from the press, and does not appear to be represented in any advertising campaigns which I have seen. Rather Old Monk appears to rely upon word of mouth and customer loyalty for its sales. Word of mouth must be good as the 7-year-old version of this rum is (again according to information I received) the largest selling well-aged dark rum in the world.

I was sent a sample bottle of Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum by Bharat Bhushan Pahuja, who is the President of Venus2011 Importers (the distributor of Old Monk Rum in British Colombia, Canada) and I was asked to provide an unbiased review. I was more than happy to oblige.

You may click on the following review excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum (12 Years Blended)

“… It is when I snoot the glasses side by side that the differences between the two rums begin to reveal themselves. Although each are full of impressions of dark brown sugar and maple, the 12 year Old rum seems drier and spicier with a stronger presence of oak in the breezes …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding rum from India!

Cheers!

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Review: Flor De Cana Centenario 21

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 15, 2013

SAM_0959 fdc 21The Flor De Cana Centenario 21 Commemorative Edition was produced as a special edition bottling near the turn of the century. The number 21 refers not to the age of the blend (which is 15 years), rather it is a nod to the 21st Century and the prestige which the Flor de Cana Rum Company had began to earn as a world-class producer of rum. When the rum was introduced at the turn of the century it created quite a splash winning accolades not only for the rum inside the bottle, but also for the stunning porcelain decanter which it was sold in. The rum is no longer widely available, and full sealed bottles have become collectors items in the rum world with pricing that ranges from $90.00 to $150.00 per bottle depending upon your locale. (My bottles cost $72.00 each when I purchased them in 2009.)

I recently decided it was time to open one of my bottles to see how a rum that knocked everyone’s socks off ten years ago rated today in the midst of the current explosion of premium rum brands.

You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Flor De Cana Centenario 21

“… The initial nose brings forward a dominant triumvirate of oak sap, semisweet butterscotch, and spicy tobacco aromas. It is really quite nice especially how neither the sweetness of the butterscotch, nor the sharpness of the oak sap, nor the spiciness of the tobacco takes control of the breezes above the glass …”

Please enjoy my review of this spectacular rum!

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Review: A.D. Rattray 9 Year Old (2003) Barbados Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 8, 2013

SAM_0846 AD Rattray Four SquareA.D. Rattray is more commonly known for its Single Malt Whisky bottlings which are often from a single cask of Scottish Whisky. However the company has also released select rum bottlings from various distillers across the Caribbean. A bottle from one of those bottlings, distilled at the Four Square Distillery in Barbados came into my possession as a gift from my good friend Lance (the Lone Caner) who had visited my fair city a few months ago and joined me for some rum and vodka sampling. His intention was to prod me into reviewing the spirit, as we often compare notes on our reviews. (See Lance’s review here)

I am lucky to have friends such as you who are more than willing to share. Slainte Lance!

You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review:  A.D. Rattray 9 Year Old (2003) Barbados Rum (Four Square Distillery (Cask 15))

“… I sense light spicy woody notes of poplar and oak with stains of fresh sap the overall effect of which has more than a hint of astringency. As the glass breathes, light butterscotch, banana and orange peel, and some light almond aromas come forward with a light sprinkling of baking spices (cinnamon and vanilla) and some rather penetrating scents of fresh cigarette tobacco …”

I added a nice cocktail at the end of the review. the Sloe Rum Sour.

Please enjoy the review and the Beginning of the NFL Football season!

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Review: Mocambo 20 Anos Anejo Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 26, 2013

mocambo9bThe Ron Mocambo 20 Anos Anejo is distilled by Licores Veracruz, S.A. de C.V.  According to their website the 20-year-old edition which I sampled is called The Art Edition. The Art Edition is a throwback style of rum which uses  old techniques of rum production, and then combines those techniques with modern aging techniques to produce an aged rum of unique taste and character.

Three years ago, a friend of mine brought a bottle of the Art Edition back from Mexico for me to taste and review. The result was my very first ‘stylized’ review where in my preamble to the review, I let my imagination take flight as I described the impressions the rum brought to me as I sipped it for the first time. The review was very popular, and I have wanted for the past three years to return to this rum for a second time. To that end, another friend of mine recently came back from Mexico, and my wish for a second chance at this bottle was granted when he came to my house for a visit and left me a small sample.

Of course, I had to close my eyes and let my imagination take flight for a second time. The rum still carries that same dry oaky flavour I remembered from before, and wouldn’t you know, my imagination took me to that same place I visited before.

You may read the full review here:

Review: Mocambo 20 Anos Anejo Rum

“…The Macombo 20 Art Edition is a style of rum that genuflects at the altar of old wood without apology. The rum embraces its age,  and its time spent in wooden casks.  In fact I would say the Macombo Art Edition is a celebration of old wood and cask aging….”

For your enjoyment, I have added a two sipping cocktails I designed to the end of the review, The Last Vaquero, and Vaquero Magnifico

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding Mexican Rum!

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Review: Doorly’s Fine Old Barbados Rum (XO)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 22, 2013

SAM_0850 Doorly's XODoorly’s Fine Old Barbados Rum (Doorly’s XO) is a product of R. L. Seale & Co. Ltd., distilled at the Four Square Distillery in Barbados. The Doorly’s XO is blended from aged rum stocks which are said to vary from six years to ten years of age. The bottle does not contain an age statement, therefore it may be true that to maintain a consistent taste profile, the actual age of the youngest stocks may vary from batch to batch. The rum is aged initially in American oak barrels, but after blending the final rum is finished in Spanish oak (Sherry casks). The final rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

My original review for Doorly’s XO published in April of 2010 shortly after the rum arrived in my home province of Alberta. Recently I decided to open a new bottle just to see if my perspective (or perhaps the rum) has changed.

You may click on the following excerpt to read my entire revised review:

Review: Doorly’s Fine Old Barbados Rum (XO)

“… The rum appears to have a strong column still influence as it immediately brings fine oak spices forward into the air above the glass. Caramel and maple scents are pushed upwards as are banana and orange peel spice. A nice deep dark tobacco lurks in the glass as well as some indications of orange marmalade and apricot jam …”

The Doorly’s rum is very easy to enjoy in a rocks glass with a little ice. It also serves very well as a high-end mixer as evidenced by my cocktail suggestion (the Spence Cocktail) at the end of the review.

Please enjoy my latest review!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Rum Nation Barbados 10 Year Old Rum (2001)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 18, 2013

SAM_0843 Rum SazeracRum Nation is an Italian company created by Fabio Rossi. His company is headquartered in Italy; but Fabio purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas. As a result Rum Nation provides a rather unique assortment of limited edition bottlings.

According to my correspondence with Mr. Rossi, the Rum Nation Barbados 10 Year Old Rum is a true Bajan rum, distilled from sugar cane molasses. The blend is composed of both pot and column still rums which are then blended and aged for approximately nine years in American oak (ex-bourbon) barrels, and then finished for 12 to 18 months in Spanish (Ex-Brandy) casks. The rum was distilled at the West Indies Refinery at Brighton, Black Rock, St. Michael, Barbados. (This distillery is today more commonly known as also known as the West Indies Distillery, and is the same distillery which produces both the Cockspur and the Malibu rum brands.)

You may click on the excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Rum Nation Barbados 10 Year Old Rum (2001)

“…  I taste spicy tobacco, sappy oak (with hints of bourbon underneath), and light orange peel flavours all melded beautifully into the sweet rum-like flavours of butterscotch, caramel, and toffee. The resulting rum is full of character, but never demanding …”

Please enjoy both my review of this aged Bajan rum and the very nice cocktail at the end of the review, the Rum Sazerac (Arctic Style).

Cheers Everyone!

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Review: Ron Matusalum Gran Reserva 18 Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 12, 2013

Ron Matusalem Rum Old fashioned Ron Matusalem prides itself on being a Cuban style of rum with a history in Cuba they trace back to 1872 when two brothers, Benjamin and Eduardo Camp, together with a partner, Evaristo Álvarez opened a distillery in Santiago de Cuba. According to the information I found last April on the Matusalem website, the rum they were producing began to win acclaim by the first quarter of the 20th century. The distillery apparently operated until the 1960′s when due to the Cuban Revolution the Álvarez family was exiled, and the rum they made disappeared from the landscape.

The brand was resurrected by Claudio Álvarez Salazar, who is the great-grandson of Evaristo Álvarez. Of course, it was not possible, given the political situation in Cuba, for Claudio to produce or bottle the rum in Cuba. Apparently, it is produced (presumably by a third-party as Ron Matusalem does not own a distillery) in the Dominican Republic, and then bottled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana by Proximo Spirits.

The subject of this review, Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva 18 is not an 18-year-old rum as many people believe, rather it is aged according to what the Matusalem company calls a solera aging process. According to the website descriptions, the average age (not the youngest age) of the rum in the blend is 18 years.

You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:

Review: Ron Matusalum Gran Reserva 18 Rum

“… The initial aroma carries a nice mixed aroma of caramel, oakspice and vanilla. The rich scent is complimented by dabs of marmalade and banana. As the glass sits, the oak spices build in the air, and the rum scents in the air are enriched by added impression of maple toffee, hints of cinnamon and cloves, some pipe tobacco and perhaps a bit of roasted walnut as well …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe for well aged rums, The Rum Old Fashioned!

Cheers!

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Review: St. Nicholas Abbey 10 Year Old Barbados Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 4, 2013

St. Nic 10A visit to the St. Nicholas Abbey Website tells us that aged the rum known as St. Nicholas Abbey 10-year-old Barbados Rum, was distilled and aged not far away at the R.L. Seale and Four Square Distillery. In fact, the folks at St. Nicholas Abbey have a maintained a close relationship with Four Square’s Master Distiller, Richard Seale who not only has provided the Bajan Rum for their current bottling, but also has assisted St. Nicholas Abbey in formulating the recipe for their futures rums, and aided them in distillation and aging techniques. The current 10 year Old St. Nicholas Rum is a blend of aged rums distilled on both column and pot stills. The rum is transported at some point during the aging process to the higher altitude of St. Nicholas Abbey where the barrels complete their aging in the more humid climate of the surrounding area.

The rum is produced in small batches to be a connoisseurs rum and are priced accordingly.

You may click on the excerpt (link) to read my full review:

Review: St. Nicholas Abbey 10 Year Old Barbados Rum

“… The initial nose is quite complex bringing forward aromas of molasses lightly stained by brine and tar. I also sense the aroma of sweet butterscotch, canned apricots, some sherry-like scents of raisin and figs, and coarse dark brown sugar …”

Please enjoy the review, cheers!

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