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(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

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    Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. Thus, all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.
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Contact Me

How to Contact The Rum Howler to have your Spirit Reviewed!

If you are a member of the spirits industry, and wish to see your spirit reviewed on the Rum Howler Blog, then here is where you should make your initial contact. My email address for such inquiries is:


Please leave a short message regarding your inquiry. If you wish your contact request to be kept confidential, please indicate this in your email. Although I am located in Canada, I have made appropriate arrangements to receive samples from the US and abroad.

All spirits samples must be bottled and sealed in original packaging.

I will not review a sample of less than 200 ml, although the preferred sample size is 500 ml to 750ml bottle. Once contacted, I will respond via email to make arrangements to receive your sample. (I expect all costs associated with transporting the samples to my address, including taxes and duties, to be paid for by the company providing the spirit for review).

I also provide specialized consulting services to spirit producers and distributors to help assess the quality of their products. My fees for this sort of service are very reasonable (at least I think so), and you may use the above email address to contact me in confidence about such matters.

(Please Note: The email address indicated above is for industry contacts only. I will not respond to other inquiries. If you have questions or comments regarding my reviews, my recipes, or other matters relating to the blog then please use the comments section provided at the end of each article I publish.)


Republishing My Work

Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. This means that , all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.

If you are a producer, advertiser or publisher and wish to use, or republish any of the materials or pictures on this website (in full or in part) or have myself submit new material to you for publication, please be advised that all of my articles/reviews/photographs are my intellectual property. Please contact me using the email address above. And yes, I expect to be compensated for such use.


About Me

I have been writing reviews of distilled spirits for about 5 years now. It began when I posted a few mad ramblings on the Ministry of Rum which gave my views on a few of the more popular Rum Brands. Soon after those ramblings were published, I was contacted by the owner of a website called Rum Connection. He was wondering if I would be interested in writing a few reviews for his website. I decided to give it a try, and the result was my first published review:

Pusser’s 15 Review

The folks at Rum Connection apparently liked what I wrote, and during the next year I published about 15 reviews for them.

Reviewing rum was so much fun that I decided to create my website, but not just for Rum. I made the decision that I would discuss all distilled spirits, and when I opened this website in October of 2009, I made sure I added a few Whisky Reviews, some Gin Reviews and a couple Tequila Reviews such that most of the major distilled spirit categories were represented. (Since opening the website, I have expanded the range to also include Vodka Reviews as well as Brandy and Cognac.) Although my focus is primarily upon Rum and Whisky, it is my belief that acquiring knowledge and skill with respect to all spirits serves to broaden my perspective and is beneficial to my over-all understanding of distilled spirits.

For what it is worth, people (and industry) seem to like what I write. Since opening the website, I have for the last three years in a row been asked to act as a Spirits Judge for the yearly Canadian Whisky Awards; as well I have twice been asked to join the international panel of judges for the International RumXP Competition at Rum Renaissance in Miami.

Having said that, I think it would be true to state that the reviews on this website represents more of a knowledgeable layman’s perspective than that of a professional taster. I hope you enjoy the reviews and find value in them; but always remember that an opinion is just that, an opinion. Do not take my writing too seriously, for opinions vary and in the end, only you can really decide if a spirit gives you enjoyment. Use my reviews as a guide, but trust your own tastes and preferences as well.

(Note: I sometimes receive comments and messages from persons who wish me to comment on the value of bottles of whisky and rum that they have in their possession. And from persons who wish to use my blog as a means to sell such bottles. Although I thank you for reading my blog, I cannot help you in these matters. My suggestion for you is to visit or the Ministry of Rum where it appears help in these matters may be  provided.)

233 Responses to “Contact Me”

  1. Nick Apivor said

    Excited to see that the Legendario line is FINALLY available in B.C. Bought a bottle of Elixer de Cuba and loving it!

  2. evgeny said

    Hi Chip! What should I buy Flor de Cana 12 or Doorly’s Fine Old Barbados Rum (XO)?

  3. Peter said

    Hey Chip

    Always enjoy your reviews. Much of my purchases are based on them and you have not let me down yet.

    I purchased a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 yr 94 proof recently and was very impressed, especially at the $40 cdn price tag.

    Would like to hear your thoughts on it and is it on your radar to review.

    Thanks again

  4. prms said

    Hey Chip, I really dig your vodka reviews and the overview list. Helped me spot the gems after I realized I’m a real vodka lover!
    However, I noticed your recent articles are not including any vodkas :'( Last one I saw was the Belvedere….
    Any updates coming up?

    • Hi prms

      I have to admit that I am a little behind in my reviews right now. In my review queue I have 6 rums to get at, about four whiskies, six Cognacs, and a couple of Tequilas as well as five Vodkas (Absolut, Potter’s, Skye, Alberta Pure and Polar Ice). My mood will determine what gets reviewed in what order, but I will get to the Vodka, hopefully sooner rather than later.

  5. Pierre-Alex said

    Hi Chip, I really like your website and it is really useful to me, I have a question for you and I did’nt know where to go so I decided to wrote it here, I will go to Cuba in December and I’d like to know which Rhum I should buy, I really like the El Dorado 12 years from Guyana so I’d like something similar to that. I’d also like to know which Rum I should try there.

  6. Bryant Pierpont said

    Love your reviews and, like you, my preference is rum. However, I do enjoy a good gin. A Brit pointed me toward Plymouth gin. In a gin and tonic (made with lemon, not lime), I found it to be spectacular…far better than others I’ve tried over the years. Might be worth a review on a cold wet “tweedy” evening.

  7. Motozappa said

    Hi Chip (aka, Artic Wolf),

    I hope you enjoyed the summer, are all stocked and ready for the winter!

    I’m curious, I hadn’t seen a review from you for R. L. Seale’s rum from Barbados, had I missed something? I found it locally here in Connecticut for under $20 USD for an impressive 750ml bottle! In my humble opinion it was pretty decent, but not quite up to snuff with Doorley’s.

    Thanks in advance,

  8. Peter said

    Wanted to say I enjoy this site and I visit regularly. I picked up my first bottle of Ron Diplimatico Reserva Excusiva and I it is now my favorite and the cost is so reasonable. Picking up another immediately in case of emergency. Also picked up a Flor de Cana 12 and really liked it as well, so inexpensive. I was given an El Dorado 15 last Christmas and still struggle with it (too sweet and heavy). I like the ED 12 more. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your reviews and your site. Enjoy the Whiskey reviews as well.

  9. Scott S. said

    Hi! Really enjoy your blog. Curious if price affects your reviews at all as it doesn’t seem to be mentioned much. For example, I know it wasn’t your favorite rum, but a store near me has a TON of Mt. Gay Extra Old Rum on clearance for $26 so just wondering if it’s worth the cost. (I did order a bottle, seemed too good to pass up :) )

  10. Adam Malay said

    I love reading your reviews and find them helpful. My buddies and I get together at least once a week and sip some tasty rums (mix a lot too).
    I have a question, or maybe it is an observation…. when visiting my Dad the other month, he presented me with a full bottle of Appleton 12 yr old rum that he has had since the early 1980’s, proclaiming “I hate Jamaican rum, do you want this?’. Now, to be truthful, I cannot fault him too much on this statement -I’m not a huge fan of Appleton. Nonetheless, I was happy to take the bottle off his hands. The other day, myself and my regular group of rummies did the “taste challenge”…. we went head to head with the vintage 12 yr old Appleton vs. an off the shelf 12 yr old Appleton. Hands down, the old bottle was by far superior. Now here is the question….. I have been told that alcohol does not age once it has been bottled. So why does the older, vintage bottle taste so much superior? They are both 12 yr old rums. My next thought is it because the recipe has changed?
    I would like to know your opinion.

    • Hi Adam

      Sorry for the delay in response. All spirit blends change over time, and sometimes the blends are even produced with slight differences for different markets. In Canada for example, Appleton used to incorporate a little bit of Canadian Rum within some of their blends to take advantage of our Canadian Tax Laws. They no longer do this but it does mean the older blends made for the Canadian market may taste a little differently because of this Canadian content. More likely though it is just the slow evolution over time of the rum as its flavour profile is refined.

      I myself have note changes in the 12 year old during the past 5 years, although unlike you my scores for the rum have gradually increased rather than decreased.

  11. danny antoniazzi said

    Hello there.
    I was wondering if you will ever review RUm from Costa Rica? I have had the Ron CENTENNARIO 20 and 25year and find it simply one of the best I have had. Unfortunately, it is not available in Canada.

  12. Keith Telling said

    RegardingPlantation Guatemala Gran Anejo Rum.
    Think the production for the UK in now under the Marks & Spencer “Plantation Rum” brand from Guatamala.
    I am happy to be corrected.

    • It seems apparent that Marks and Spencer has indeed contracted with Plantation Rum to finish and bottle various Marks and Spencer branded rums for the UK Market; but it is a stretch to say these will automatically be the same as the Plantation branded Rums. In the case of the Guatemalan rum. although the “Marks and Spencer” branded rum appears to be finished and bottled by Plantation Rum from what may or may not be similar Guatemalan rum stocks, it is not really the same rum. The obvious difference is that the Mark and Spencer brand is bottled at a lower proof. As well, I see no evidence from the labeling of these rums which supports that the marks and Spencer rum is made from the same blended stocks as the Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo. Although Ron Botran is the likely source of both rums, their blending facilities which utilize many different types of oak barrels barrels allows them to construct many different solera style rum blends.

  13. Johanna said

    Just introduced to your site and finding it very enlightening. I really enjoy G&T and wonder if you will be reviewing Tanquery w/Rangpur.

  14. B Gull said

    I have grown to love your blog and visit it often when looking to add to my small but growing rum and whiskey collection at home. Sounds like I have a long way to go, but I’m also running out of space to display everything in my small bar! Some individual reviews have left me wishing I could comment or ask a follow up question, however this is the only page on your site that lets me leave a reply – have comments been disabled for most reviews?

    • Because i have written over 500 reviews and published over 900 individual pages, it became impossible to respond or even to vette all of the individual comments I was receiving. Therefore I turned the comments off on almost all of my pages (soon it will be all). You can still comment on the front page postings but only for the first 30 days after publication.

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