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Archive for the ‘Rum Reviews’ Category

Review: Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 3, 2014

LemonHart_BottleRendering750_NEWLemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the production of the blend had shifted to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada. Under the direction of new brand owner, Mosaiq, the Lemon Hart brand has been re-energized, and two new additions to the Lemon Hart family, Lemon Hart Navy Spicy Rum (see review here) and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Rum have recently been launched.

The Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum (which is the subject of this review) is a full British 100 proof offering (57.1 % alcohol by volume), developed for Mosaiq under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master Blender, Mike Booth. At this time, this brand is aimed exclusively at the travel (duty-free) market.

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

Review: Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum

“… This Lemon Hart Rum does indeed carry a full bevy of rich spiciness forward across and through the palate which toasts the tongue as you sip and batters the tonsils as you swallow. Despite this spiciness (which resembles cinnamon, cloves and fine oak spice) the rum is rich and complex with flavours of both canned fruit (apricots and peaches) and candied dark fruit which shove their way through the spice …”

I have included a nice Zombie recipe, Hart of the Zombie, at the conclusion of the review.

Happy New Year everyone, and please keep enjoying my reviews!

Posted in Dark Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Rum Howler 2013 Regional Rum Awards

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 31, 2013

RH-winner2013Things have been pretty much been nonstop for me the last three months, and I covered so much territory that I almost ran out of time before I could publish my 2013 Rum Howler Regional Rum Awards and name my 2013 Rum Howler Rum of the Year!

For those who are unfamiliar, 2013 Regional Rum Awards recognize the best rum produced in the various rum producing regions of the world. These awards are not based upon where a particular rum is distilled; but rather they are based upon where these spirits are bottled. This is because many rums are actually blended from a variety stocks which are distilled in more than one country. As well, many aged rums are purchased in bulk and then are transported to be matured a further length of time in other locations, and they may even be treated specially (or perhaps I should say in a unique manner) before they are blended and bottled. This of course makes the final spirit very different from when it was originally distilled or transported in bulk. Because of the special treatment a rum may receive either through blending or aging outside of the country where the rum was originally produced, it makes sense for me to consider these spirits as a product of the country where they were bottled, rather than where they were distilled.

And so on the final day of the year I finally wrap up my Rum Howler Awards for 2013. You may click the following link to read about the awards::

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards for Rum (The Regional Awards)

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Note: As an added bonus you can find my recently updated 2013 list of the World’s Best Rums here: The 2013 Rum Howler – Top 30 Rums

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 27, 2013

RH-winner2013Rum continues to be a spirit on the rise. There was a time not long ago that when I stopped by a local store to buy a bottle of rum, I had really only two or three choices, and they were all named Bacardi. Now it is not uncommon for me to see up to twenty different rum brands even in the small liquor stores, and some of the large stores will have as many as 50 different brands to choose from. When I talk to the local merchants, they all tell a similar story, more and more people are asking for rum and some of them even come into the stores brandishing my reviews as ammunition.

My Rum Howler Awards are published each year. They represent my yearly proclamations regarding the best rums which I have tasted within that particular year. As is the case each year, all of my Awards are based upon side by side tastings within each category of spirit. I taste the spirit neat, and I also mix a few cocktails. Sometimes I have my friends help me. All rum samples which I receive to review on my website each year are automatically considered for the awards. I do my review, and then I set aside the remainder of the spirit for the end of the year judging. I also receive additional industry samples specifically for these awards.

My side by side tastings are completed, and it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2013 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Rum.

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Rum

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Flavouerd Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Review: The Wild Geese – Golden Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 24, 2013

grumThrough the period from the 1580′s to the end of the 18th century Irish soldiers (mercenary or otherwise) were often used as regimental combat troops for the continental European armies. These Irishmen joined the foreign armies for many reasons; some may have merely been adventure seekers; some were obviously looking to strike a blow against their historic enemy England; and some may have seen the military as a means to advance their standing both financially and socially via a military career. What ever the reasons these young men joined the continental forces, it is a sad fact than many hundreds of thousands of these Irishmen died fighting in foreign Armies far from their homeland.

The Wild Geese Rum Collection is the companion to the Wild Geese Irish Whisky Collection. While the Wild Geese Irish Whisky collection sought to bring the Story of the Wild Geese and their struggles in European Armies to light, the Wild Geese Rum Collection continues the saga bringing to light the story of some of these Wild Geese who after service in the continental armies of Europe found themselves transported to America and the Caribbean where many worked upon the Rum Plantations in the new world.

I received samples of the entire rum collection from the brand developer, Protege International, and I shall begin my review series with the Wild Geese Golden Rum which (in the UK) is bottled at 37.5 % alcohol by volume. You may click the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: The Wild Geese – Golden Rum

“… Rising from the glass to greet my nose is an impression of sweet butterscotch, canned apricots, orange peel, almond and vanilla. I allowed the glass to breathe a few minutes, and noticed some additional fine oak spices entering the breezes above the glass …”

This is an outstanding cocktail rum and my review includes a few nice recipes at the end, The Spence Cocktail, and my version of the Hemingway Daiquiri.

Please enjoy the review and the bar drinks!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 19, 2013

SAM_0991Lemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the production of the blend had shifted to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada.

Under the direction of new brand owner, Mosaiq, the Lemon Hart brand has been re-energized, and two new additions to the Lemon Hart family, Lemon Hart Navy Spicy Rum and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Rum (available in the Travel Duty-Free market) have recently been launched. The spiced rum (which is the subject of this review) is an 86 proof offering (43 % alcohol by volume), developed for Mosaiq under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master, Mike Booth.

Here is an excerpt which you may click to link to my full review:

Review: Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum

“… Things begin with a candied sweetness reminiscent of Butterscotch and/or Rum & Butter Lifesaver candies. Within that candied aroma I sense the spiciness of cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom as well as perhaps a touch of orange zest. There are obvious vanilla notes, a very light indication of treacle and hints of tobacco and oak which appear …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe I choose to call, the Spiced Metro Swizzle!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 14, 2013

SAM_0340 Zombie PlantationCognac Ferrand has long a history of providing Cognac Casks to various Caribbean rum producers based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Because of this long history Cognac Ferrand has over time developed solid relationships with many of these producers. Based upon these relationships they have been able to acquire certain unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources. Typically these rums are brought back to France to be finished in their own warehouses and of course in their own Cognac Casks.

The Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum  is Cognac Ferrand’s ‘tiki style’ overproof rum. The base rum is a column distilled rum from Trinidad which was aged in oak barrels in Trinidad before being transported to France.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

Review: Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum

“… Within this rich aroma I can smell a strong butterscotch/caramel toffee which seems to rise up in waves out of the glass. Banana peel, marmalade and marzipan appear as well in a bouquet that despite the astringency is very inviting. Rounding out the nose are some very nice baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar) which build up and remind me of my Mom’s cinnamon buns baking in the oven …”

Please enjoy this review which includes a nice Tiki style recipe, Zombie Plantation!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

And then there was # 1 – Brugal Titanium Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 5, 2013

op10RUM 550The Brugal Distillery was founded in 1888, by Andrés Brugal Montaner. Over the next one hundred and twenty years the company grew steadily, and it is now one of three large Rum Distillers in the Dominican Republic. The original family which founded Brugal is still in the control. George Arzeno Brugal, is the current chairman, and most of the board members are direct descendants of the original company founder. In fact, the Brugal Distillery has become an institution in the Dominican Republic. Just about every friend of mine who has visited this the Dominican Republic has a vivid tale to tell of their amazing bus ride to the distillery, and another tale to tell of how much fun it was to sample the Brugal Rum.

SAM_0972 Brugal TitaniumBrugal Titanium Rum is a triple distilled premium white rum produced primarily for the domestic market (and in parts of Europe) as a high-end cocktail spirit meant to compete with ultra premium Vodka. It is a pity that this rum is not widely available; based upon the tasting sessions my friends and I conducted this past August, it just might be the very best white rum in the world!

Here is a link to my newly published review:

#1 White Rum – Brugal Titanium 

“…The nose is lightly effervescent with a spiciness which reminds me of the lemon-like scent of coriander seeds and the rye-like scents of ginger and cardamom spice. A light sugar cane scent is evident, as well as hints of anise and licorice, light mushy banana smells and perhaps a touch of mint …”

This is a refined spirit filled with spicy character and suave refinement within the flavour nuances. Although this rum is not widely available, it is still a fact that the Brugal Titanium is one of the best white rums I have sampled to this point in my rum explorations!

PS: I included a brand new daiquiri style cocktail with my review, the Emissary Daiquiri!

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Note; You may follow my Countdown list of the 10 best white rums here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 10 White Rums

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Top 10 White Rums Countdown # 2 – El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 4, 2013

op10RUM 550I am very near to the end of my white rum countdown and for the third time, (perhaps the fourth depending upon the origin of Potters Superior Rum), a rum from Demerara County in Guyana has found its way onto the list. This is no accident, as Demerara County (in Guyana) is popular across the world for its rich, three hundred year history of rum production. Using a combination of old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL), has built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. In fact, Demerara Distillers is the currently the largest supplier of bulk Caribbean Rum to Europe and North America.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum is blended from aged stocks (the youngest being no less than 3 years old) and then filtered twice through charcoal filters to produce a clear rum. All of the Demerara Rum produced by El Dorado is aged exclusively in American oak (bourbon barrels).

Here is a link to my latest review:’

#2 White Rum – El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Rum 

“… In my mouth the taste is light but sweet. The rum has a pleasant soft texture with light oil-like mouth-feel. There is no bitterness and the soft butterscotch/caramel flavours remain firm through the palate accented with light minty candy-like flavours. There is also a light spiciness which hints at citrus zest and banana peel. As I sip I also begin to sense very light undercurrents of dry fruit, chocolate and a light but firm impression of baked coconut …”

Note: I originally reviewed the El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum four years ago as one of my original reviews to open the website. This however, is a new review, based upon tasting sessions with a more recent bottling.

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Note; You may follow my Countdown list of the 10 best white rums here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 10 White Rums

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Top 10 White Rums Countdown # 3 – Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 3, 2013

op10RUM 550Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum is relatively new white cocktail rum from Cognac Ferrand ( see Plantation Rum Website). In producing this rum Alexandre Gabriel (President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand) blends rum from three different Caribbean Islands in order to achieve the correct balance between flavour and character suitable for a cocktail rum bearing the Plantation name. These three Islands (Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad) are considered by the folks at Cognac Ferrand to be the three “star” producers of the Caribbean, hence the name “Plantation 3 Stars” was chosen for the rum.

A great deal of time was spent by the Cognac Ferrand team tweaking the rum to get it just right. Even the exact bottling proof was examined thoroughly. According to Alexandre Gabriel:

plantation-3stars-b“I was dreaming about this rum and could mentally taste it before it was done so we worked relentlessly until we were there. We wanted character and personality but didn’t want it too heavy taking away from our purpose which was to have a balanced and elegant rum exceptional for cocktails. We found the perfect balance at 41.2% alcohol by volume.”

I guess the opinion of my friends and I is that Cognac Ferrand did indeed get it right, as this spirit was declared the Number 3 Rum in my Rum Howler Countdown of the Best White Rums in the World (that I have tasted)!

Here is a link to the review:

#3 White Rum – Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum 

“… The breezes above the glass display a very obvious scent of hard candy where orange and lemon drops mix with tropical fruits like mango and soft banana. There is even a few lightly minty notes of Christmas candy-cane and a light butterscotch/caramel impression in the air. As you let the glass breathe you begin to notice a vague astringency or roughness in the air as well …”

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Note; You may follow my Countdown list of the 10 best white rums here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 10 White Rums

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Top 10 White Rums Countdown # 4 – Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 2, 2013

op10RUM 550Flor 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 led 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.

FDC Extra DryIf you check the Flor de Caña website, they make it clear that the FDC Extra Dry 4 Year Old Rum is not meant for sipping. It is a mixing rum meant for premium cocktails and bar drinks. My judging panel agrees, and the tastiness of those cocktails and bar drinks has resulted in the white rum being named the fourth best in my 2013 White Rum countdown!

You many read a full review here:

#4 White Rum – Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year Old Rum

“… There is a lot of character in that initial first taste, but silky smooth, and suave are not descriptors I would use to describe the rum. Instead I would call the rum organic, and slightly pungent. It carries a lightly harsh sting or spiciness which swats at the palate. Notice though, that the first term I used to describe the rum was character. In fact my first sip of the rum reveals far more character than I usually find in white rum …”

The character I perceive within the FDC Extra Dry is I believe, what makes this rum such a great cocktail rum. It makes an outstanding Daiquiri, and a fantastic Cuba Libre‘. As well, the standard Mojito made with FDC Extra Dry is a treat to sip on even during my Canadian winter!

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Note; You may follow my Countdown list of the 10 best white rums here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 10 White Rums

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

 
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