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Posts Tagged ‘Dark Rum’

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: 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

Review: Cross Keys Island Tradition Barbados Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 22, 2013

SAM_0978 Cross KeysCross Keys 5 Yr Old Barbados Rum is a spirits brand developed by Distiller Sales Company of Princeton, Minnesota. Distiller Sales is a division of a company called USDP (United States Distilled Spirits Co.). They describe themselves as a “leading developer of corporate brand distilled spirits programs”. The company boast sales in 32 countries worldwide, and some of those brands which are available in my home market include Ethan Koll 8 Year Old Canadian Whisky, Broken Bell Bourbon, Monkey Paw Rum, Luxus Vodka, Capatina French Vodka and Veil Premium Vodka.

The Cross Keys Island Tradition Rum is produced from Bajan rum stocks which have been aged at least 5 years. I was provided a sample bottle of the rum by Jfj Agency Inc. who is the distributor of Distiller Sales Co. brands in Alberta.

You may read the full review by clicking the following Link:

Review: Cross Keys Island Tradition Barbados Rum

“… The initial nose featured scents of treacle, charred marshmallows, and baked molasses. As the glass sat, additional aromas of toasted coconut and baking spices (vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon) rose into the air as well along with some oven roasted walnuts …”

I included a very satisfying highball recipe with the review mixing the Cross Keys Rum with ginger-ale and bitters, the Bajan Highball.

Please enjoy the recipe and of course my review!

 

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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!

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

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: 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!

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!

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: 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!

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

 
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