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Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category

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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Review: DDL Albion 1994 17 Year Old Full Proof Old Demerara Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 26, 2013

Image courtesy the Lone Caner (All rights reserved)

Image courtesy the Lone Caner (All rights reserved)

The DDL Albion 1994 17 Year Old Full Proof Old Demerara Rum was apparently produced as a well aged ‘full strength’ Demerara bottling for the connoisseur rum market in Europe. My buddy Lance (the Lone Caner) shared some of this rum with my Rum Chums and I when he was at one of my impromptu tastings, and afterwards he allowed me to draw a few extra ounces from the bottle, and from that sample I have cobbled together this review.

According to the labeling, the Albion 1994 Rum is produced from 4 Barrels (7100, 7101, 7102, 7103) of Albion Demerara rum distilled in Guyana upon a wooden continuous column still in 1994, and bottled at full strength in 2011. This information on the label is a little hard to reconcile as the Albion Still is not a wooden continuous column still. I share my theories on this mystery in the main body of my review.

Your may read that review of this unique Demerara Rum by clicking on the following link:

Review: DDL Albion 1994 17 Year Old Full Proof Old Demerara Rum

“… The initial aroma is full of caramel and molasses scents laced with the smells of fresh tar, and resin. Granulated dark brown sugar, maple syrup, rich tobacco and touches of dank punky oak all seem to be part of that menagerie of aroma in the breezes above the glass …”

Please enjoy my review!

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Review: Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 14, 2013

Appleton Estate 21Appleton Estate currently produces five production rums available in my locale, the Appleton Estate VX, the Appleton Estate Reserve, the Appleton Estate 12 Year Old, the Master Blenders Legacy (my personal favourite), and the most exclusive rum available in Alberta, the Appleton 21 Year Old Rum.

When I first reviewed the 21 Year Old rum in 2010, I had a few issues with both the overt oakiness of the rum, and the manner in which it was packaged. Three years later, I see the packaging has improved substantially, and I have decided to revisit the rum to see if the rum inside that package has improved as well.

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

Review: Appleton Estate 21 Year Old Rum

“… The initial nose is retrained, and I catch notes of brown sugar, wood spice and orange peel. As the rum breathes, the restraints are slowly released and all of the scents and smell of the rum begin to fill the breezes with their aroma. The scent of brown sugar seems to meld with the rising wood spices bringing forward an impression of rich baking spices (nutmeg, vanilla, allspice and cinnamon) and spicy toffee. Firm scents of orange peel and oak are apparent as are sweet smells of marmalade and  dark tobacco. I also notice freshly broken walnuts, pecans, and hints of marzipan …”

Please enjoy my latest review!

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Review: One Barrel 5 Year Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 9, 2013

SAM_0825 One Barrel 5 YearsTravellers’ One Barrel 5 year Rum is the new name given to the rum formerly known a 5 Barrel Rum. Apparently the name was changed due to trademark issues which arose as the brand began to penetrate new markets. This a premium aged rum brand produced in Belize, (the northernmost mainland country of Central America). Belize is a former British Colony, and lies just south of Mexico with the Caribbean Sea to the east and Guatemala to the west and south. The producer of the One Barrel Rum brand, Travellers Liquors Limited, has been involved in the production of  rum in Belize since the early 1960′s originally working with independent distillers. In 1989, Travellers acquired full control of their own distillery, and they have remained in full control of their own brands ever since.

The One Barrel 5 Year Rum is made from locally grown Belize sugar cane. According to the Travellers website, this cane is cut and crushed in a manner which retains its natural flavors, and the 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.

SAM_0826 Ruby Rum MartinezRecently, I was given a bottle of the newly labelled rum by a representative of Travellers Liquor Canada for the purpose of spreading the news about the new labeling, and to announce the release of the rum in my home market of Alberta. I decided to give the bottle the full treatment of a new review as one never knows when labels change, if the blend has changed as well.

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

Review: One Barrel 5 Year Rum

“… The immediate nose is filled with rich toffee, butterscotch and tobacco. Oak spices and vanilla waft out of the glass and bits of sandalwood are riding in the breezes. As I let the glass breathe, the tobacco and the oak scents deepened. I notice a firm sense of ginger spice …”

Of course I could not resist suggesting a new cocktail at the end of review, the Ruby Rum Martinez!

Please enjoy my latest review.

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Review: Old Monk Very Old Vatted XXX Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 3, 2013

SAM_0815 Old MonkOld Monk is a dark rum produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. According to the information I received, it is a molasses distilled rum, blended and aged for a minimum of 7 years. 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 relies upon word of mouth and customer loyalty for its sales. Word of mouth must be good as this rum is (again according to information I received) the largest selling well-aged dark rum in the world.

(Note: India is a huge market for rum, and there is only a small presence of foreign brands on the sub-continent. Based solely upon sales in the home market, this would certainly be a believable statement.)

I was sent a sample bottle of Old Monk Very old Vatted XXX Rum by the local Alberta distributor, Madira Spirits Inc. and asked if I could provide a review here on my website. I was more than happy to oblige.

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

Review: Old Monk Very Old Vatted XXX Rum

“… As the glass sits the aroma in the air deepens as the brown sugar and baking spices evolve into a scents of licorice stained molasses. Hints of soy sauce and exotic spice wanders into the air with sugar covered walnuts and pecans sitting underneath. I thoroughly enjoy nosing the glass …”

Of course I could not resist adding a couple of cocktails at the end of the review, the Monk’s Uncle and a Dark Rum and Cola designed for sipping.

Enjoy!

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