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Posts Tagged ‘Aged Rum’

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)


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

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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: Pumpkin Face Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 15, 2013

Pumpkin ReservePumpkin Face Rum is a new rum brand distributed in Canada by Pure Global Imports. The rum inside the cool looking pumpkin shaped bottles is apparently a blend of selected rums from the Dominican Republic. According to the brand producer (Itsko Imports Inc. of Beverly Hills California), Pumpkin Face Reserve Rum  is an ‘ultra premium’ Dominican rum produced from selected stocks of rum which were produced in the decades of 1980′s, the 1990′s and 2000′s. Some of these stocks were aged up to 20 years before they were blended into this rum.

You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt link:

Review: Pumpkin Face Reserve Rum

“… I found the Pumpkin Face Reserve seemed to have a split personality when I sipped from my glass. Initially I tasted a push of alcohol and spice as the rum heated my mouth and throat. Orange peel, wood spice, and butterscotch dominated the flavour with spicy tobacco and alcohol heat not far behind. However, when I allowed the rum to breathe for several minutes, the character of the rum changed completely …”

Included at the conclusion of my review is a nice recipe which works well with the Pumpkin Face Reserve, the Rum Old Fashioned

Please enjoy the review and my cocktail suggestion. Cheers Everyone!



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Review: Berrys’ Finest St. Lucia Rum (Aged 12 Years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 11, 2013

SAM_0963 Brrey Bros. St. Lucia 12Saint Lucia is a Caribbean Island Country located south of Martinique and northwest of Barbados near the boundary between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the Lesser Antilles chain of islands and supports a culture which includes both French and English influences. The rum produced on the island is produced solely by St Lucia Distillers who represent an amalgamation of the last two distillers upon the island, Barnard and Geest. The rum is produced in the English style from fermented molasses upon a variety of stills, both copper pot and column, and aged in oak barrels.

Berry 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 sample of the 12 Year Old – Berrys’ Finest St. Lucia Rum, from the Western Canadian distributor Charton Hobbs.

You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt link:

Review: Berrys’ Finest St. Lucia Rum (Aged 12 Years)

“… The initial scents from the glass were quite nice. Things were both lightly sweet and lightly herbal carrying impressions of a butterscotch, sweetgrass and heather, bits of licorice, mint, and menthol. I also noticed a subtle underlying mustiness …”

The unique flavour of this St. Lucia Rum lended itself well to a nice Mai Tai recipe. For your enjoyment I have included such a recipe at the conclusion of the review, the St. Lucia Mai Tai.

Cheers Everyone!

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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!

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

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!


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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!


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

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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