The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Visit My Online Memorabilia Store

  • The Rum Howler Top Canadian Whiskies of 2013

    Click the image to find the Best 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2013

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • The Rum Howler Top Rums of 2013

    Click the image to find the Best 30 Rums of 2013

  • Industry Interviews

    Interviews

    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Follow Me on Twitter!

Posts Tagged ‘Dark Rum’

Review: Rum Nation Demerara 23 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2013

Demerara 23 1989Rum Nation is an Italian company created by Fabio Rossi, who began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied winemaking). After his studies, Mr. Rossi left the wine business and started up a whisky company in Edinburgh (Wilson and Morgan) acting as an independent bottler of Single Malt Scotch Whisky. His interest turned to rum and in 1999 Fabio Rossi founded Rum Nation. 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 rare limited edition rum bottlings.

One such bottling is Rum Nation Demerara 23 Year Old.

This is quite an interesting rum. According to my correspondence with Mr. Rossi he purchased 3 casks of this rum from a vendor in the United Kingdom in 2002. The barrels bore the marque from the famous Double Wooden Pot still of the Port Maurant Estate (PM). These ex bourbon casks were transferred into a Sherry Butt (Oloroso N. 61)  in 2004 and were left to age in an underground cellar in Bristol, England where “early landed cognac” (Hine and Delamain) was also aged. The cellar in Bristol was closed in 2007, and the rum was brought to the Piedmont area of Italy (famous for the nebbiolo grape varietal) where it continued to age until 2012 when it was bottled in Italy.

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

Review: Rum Nation Demerara 23 Year Old

“… The initial aroma is perhaps a little daunting as rising from the glass are rich caramel scents laced with the smells of wood sap and resin. Felled poplar trees, spruce wood chips, and fresh unstained oak all seem to be part of that wood-filled onslaught in the breezes above the glass. Wisps of dry fruit and licorice mingle within the breezes as does a faintly sappy, mildly acrid, vaguely rubbery tar-like scent …”

Please enjoy the review of this very interesting Demerara rum.

Cheers!

 

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

Review: Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 15

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 3, 2013

SAM_0295 Zacapa 15Ron Zacapa rums are made from sugar cane harvested in southern Guatemala, which is pressed into virgin sugar cane honey. The fermentation process (which takes approximately 5 days) uses a yeast strain (saccharomyces cerevisae) isolated from pineapples to transform sugars within the cane honey into alcohol. After fermentation, the fermented ‘wine’ is distilled in a single continuous column. (A distillation by-product called vinasse which contains the fermented must, yeast and other non-fermentable products which are rich in sugars and minerals is recycled and used to nourish and irrigate the Guatemalan sugar cane fields.)

The Ron Zacapa Centenario 15, is produced from rums which range in age from 5 years to 15 years. The barrels used for aging are a mixture of American Whisky casks, and Sherry and Pedro Ximenez wine barrels. The combination of high altitude aging and the variety of reused oak barrels creates a complex rum with a rich aroma and flavour. This rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume, and available through the duty-free trade (at major airports).

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The aroma which rises from the glass is full of rich brown sugar, dark tobacco, molasses, baking spices and wiffs of chocolate. As I let the glass sit, I seem to be able to distinguish spicy hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla as well as the Christmas-like scents of dark fruitcake and fresh broken nut shells …”

Here is the link to my full review:

Review: Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 15

Please enjoy my review!

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

Review: Fortuna (Ron Reserva Exclusiva)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 15, 2013

SAM_0594 Ron Fortuna ExclusivaRon Fortuna Exclusiva is a new rum produced in Nicaragua which is being imported into North America by Berniko, LLC, a family owned and operated import company based in Florida. According to the Ron Fortuna website, the rum is produced upon a five column still from locally grown sugar cane. This is a true 8 Year Old Rum with the youngest spirit in the blend matured for at least 8 years in American Oak (in warehouses which share the same environment as the cane fields from which the rum was distilled).

The name for the rum apparently has its roots in Roman Mythology and the goddess Fortuna who is the Goddess of Luck and Fate. The fortune brought by this Goddess is apparently closely tied to a person’s strength of character, and as a result may be either good or bad. Hopefully my strength of character is sufficient that my sampling sessions are blessed with good fortune.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The initial aroma rising from the glass is a pleasing mixture of butterscotch, tobacco, light oak and baking spices. I was expecting more of an oak presence based upon eight years of aging in the tropics, but whomever crafted the rum has done a good job meshing the oak into the rum harmoniously… “

Here is a link to the Full Review:

Review: Fortuna (Ron Reserva Exclusiva)

Please enjoy the review and the Lemon Muddled Cuba Libre’ Cocktail which follows!

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

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 1 – Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 24, 2012

Top 30Ron Millonario XOPeople always ask me, (when they find out about my website), what my favourite rum is. I usually hedge my bets and say something about how it depends upon my mood or what time of year it is. And for the most part, that is a truthful answer. Some spirits seem to taste better in the winter when it is cold, and some seem to find their sweet spot in the summer it is warm and the barbeque is grilling some hot dogs. But if I am really honest, I must admit that there are a few rums which seem to always find my sweet spot regardless of mood or time of the year. The Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial is one of those great rums which never disappoints me. It never disappointed any of my Judging Panel either!

So without any further hoopla, allow me to introduce the 2012 Rum Howler Rum of the Year, judged by my Panel of Judges to be the Best in the World!

# 1 – Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum

“…  When I took my first sip of this rum, my immediate reaction what to exclaim, “Oh, that is lovely!” and subsequent sips and samplings have done nothing to dissuade me from this initial reaction. The main flavours of caramel/molasses, oak spice and baking spices seem to be perfectly melded together. Hints of raisin, figs, tobacco and chocolate seem to provide just the right accent to make this a suave mouth watering rum …”

The rum has it all, great depth of flavour, wonderful consistency from nose to mouth to finish, and wonderful balance between all of its elements. I simply love it, and my Judges did too!

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 2 – Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 23, 2012

Top 30Diplo ExclThe Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva has been on of my most favourite rums ever since I first tasted it four years ago. According to the Distilleries Unitas S.A. (DUSA) website, the rum they produce is distilled from “honeys derived from sugar cane” and fermented molasses. All of the stills and distillation kettles are made from copper. The website also makes it clear that flavouring and aromatic agents are used in the production of their rum, as this statement on the website attests:

“Only high purity distilled alcohols and rich aromas and flavours are used to manufacture rums…”

My feeling when completing a review is that the spirit should be judged on its own merits, rather than prejudged by my own misconceptions about how it should be produced. My Judging Panel agreed, as we declared Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva the number 2 rum in the entire world:

# 2 – Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

“… The smells and aromas coming from the glass are so rich and luxurious that I can hardly keep it from my mouth. I detect a good dose of caramel with nice hints of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and walnuts. The rum displays a nice soft oil on the sides of the glass when I tilt and twirl it indicating that the rum should have long finish as well …”

This is definitely a favourite of mine for sipping and for mixing, and still three years after my original review, still one of the best rums I have tasted.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 3 – El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 22, 2012

Top 3021yo-rThe Demerara Distillers Ltd. Master Blender is credited with the creation of El Dorado 21-Year-Old Rum which uses a blend of rums selected from their world-famous stills: their ancient Enmore (wooden Coffey still) and Versailles (single wooden pot still); and the metal Albion (Savalle still). All of the rums in the blend have been aged in oak for a minimum of 21 years, making this one of the oldest production rums in the world. This 21 Year old Rum is part of a family of luxury cask aged rums which also includes a 12-Year-Old Rum,  a 15-Year-Old rum and a 25-Year-Old Rum, all of which have previously set their mark upon my countdown of the 30 best rums in the world.  In my opinion (and in the opinion of all but one of my judges) this 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum is the absolute best rum that Demerara Distillers produces. It is also number 3 in my list, of the best rums in the world:

#3 – El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

“… The immediate nose is full of baking spices, orange peel, vanilla, and dry fruits. There are absolutely no medicinal notes or harsh scents associated with the aroma. As the rum decants, I begin to sense glimmers of almonds and hazelnuts weaving through the tapestry of smells, and I sense a building oakiness which is bringing more spice to the fore. The fully decanted glass is steeped with brown sugars and toffee and even features a vague impressions of anisette and apricot brandy …”

Nosing the glass is delightful!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 4 – Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2012

Top 30Ron Zacapa XO 25Earlier in my countdown when I introduced Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solero), I spoke of Ron Zacapa’s  ‘House above the Clouds’ and the aging process known as Sistema Solera. It turns out that Ron Zacapa produces not just one outstanding luxury sipping rum, but two. The Ron Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) is blended from solera aged stocks which range in age from 6 years to 25 years. This rum, like its slightly younger sibling, is aged in a mixture of solera aging barrels which include American Whisky casks, and Sherry and Pedro Ximenez wine barrels. However, the difference is in the finish, which is where, for the Ron Zacapa Xo (25 Year Solera), cognac casks are introduced into the aging regimen.

It is probably just a matter of preference, but for the record, every Judge (including myself), on my Judging Panel, showed a slight preference for the Cognac finished Ron Zacapa XO which arrives in  the number 4 spot in the Rum Howler Top 30 Countdown of the Best Rums in the World.

# 4 – Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum

“… Scents of mild toffee and spice combined with a rich oak and vanilla aroma rise from the glass to the delight of my nostrils. There seems to be a light orange citrus weaving through the aroma. The spices I can identify by smell are vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg with just a hint of cloves. The toffee smells of deep dark brown sugar with the firm imprint of real dairy butter. The aroma has nice nutty accents tempering the oak and holding its harsher tannins at bay …”

A rum full of complexity with almost perfect balance and smoothness. A delicious, sweet rum that had my taste buds absolutely reeling with delight.

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

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 5 – El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2012

Top 30El Dorado 12 Year OldThe El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum is blended from aged stocks (the youngest being no less than 12 years old) from the original Wooden Enmore Coffey still, the original metal Diamond Coffey still, as well as from the ancient Port Mourant double wooden pot still which was used to produce ‘navy’ rum for the English Admiralty. All of the Demerara Rum produced by El Dorado is aged exclusively in American oak (bourbon barrels). Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL) has built a reputation for outstanding quality. Their use of old traditional stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques have helped them earn world-wide acclaim for their Luxury Cask Rums.

I guess I am adding to that acclaim, by declaring the El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve one of the top 5 rums in Rum Howler Top 30 Rums of the World countdown:

# 5 – El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

“… Oak and wood spices provide a nice backdrop for the sweet baking spices (vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and rich molasses that rises into the breezes above the glass. There are hints of spicy orange peel, and fresh citrus fruit which appear and disappear within the aroma …”

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 6 – Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solero)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2012

Top 30Ron Zacapa 23 SoleraThe rums of Ron Zacapa are made from virgin sugar cane honey which is harvested and processed in southern Guatemala. The cane honey is fermented, distilled and then brought to maturation at the ‘House above the Clouds’ through the aging process known as Sistema Solera. The Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solero) is blended from these solera aged stocks which range in age from 6 years to 23 years. The aging barrels used are a mixture of American Whisky casks, and Sherry and Pedro Ximenez wine barrels.

The combination of solera aging and the variety of reused barrels creates a highly complex rum with a rich aroma and flavour which my Judging Panel and I have ranked as the number 6 rum in my Rum Howler 2012 list of the Best Rums in the World:

# 6 – Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solero)

“… The initial aroma which rises from the glass is full of brown sugar, molasses and baking spices. Some lighter notes of orange peel and marmalade work their way upwards with a mixture of toasted walnut, and dried fruit (raisins, dates and a touch of prunes). The rum grows in the glass with the baking spices (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and deep dark rich brown sugar) in particular gaining strength and vigor in the breezes above the glass …”

About the only flaw this rum has is that it is so hard to find in my locale!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 7 – Panamonte Reserva XXV (25 Year Old Rum)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2012

Top 30Panamonte RESERVA  XXVThe Panamonte Reserva XXV is a new well aged Panamanian rum from PANAMONTE BRANDS. This is a molasses based rum produced from sugar cane grown and distilled in Las Cabras de Pese. Handcrafted by Master Blender, Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez Perez, this rum is very special, as every drop of the Panamonte Reserva XXV rum has been aged for a minimum of 25 years in used bourbon casks.

In case you are not familiar with Don Pancho, I should mention that he has built up quite an impressive track record of late, helping to bring to the market two of my more favoured rums, Panama Red 108 and Zafra Master Reserve.

This well aged rum has a robust, complex flavour which is full of character. The oak is strong and present at all times, yet the wood does not devour the rum; instead, it is an integral part the flavour having merged with the other flavour impressions rather than dominating them. My Judging Panel agrees and the Panamonte Reserva was declared the 7th best rum on my countdown list:

# 7 – Panamonte Reserva XXV (25 Year Old Rum)

“… Thick droopy legs run down the sides of that glass after I give it a quick tilt and twirl, and the initial aroma from the glass is steeped in sweet molasses and tainted with oak spice. Dark brown sugars, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves all drift upwards from the glass reminding me of the sticky cinnamon buns that my mother used to bake on special occasions … “

The rum tempts me with sweetness, beguiles me with softness, and then warms me with oak spice!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,112 other followers

%d bloggers like this: