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Posts Tagged ‘Rum Reviews’

The Rum Howler is Number 1 on Google

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 16, 2014

Wiser's Red LetterIt all began in the Spring of 2007 when my Brother-in-law (Merv) reached into his liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle of Wiser’s 18 Year Old Whisky which he had bought 25 years earlier with the intention of sharing it with a friend on a special occasion. The occasion wasn’t really that special, I was just traveling through Calgary with my family and decided to stop by to say hello. But Merv decided that this visit was the special occasion he had been waiting for. And his generosity set everything in motion for what was to follow. You see, as touched as I was by my brother-in-law’s generosity, I realized that at some point I would need to reciprocate. Therefore, when I arrived back home in Edmonton, I set out to find a special bottle which I could share with him (should he ever manage to tear himself away from Calgary and come up to Edmonton to visit me).

So a week later, I found myself in one of those boutique Wine and Spirits stores asking the manager for some help to find a special whisky. I settled on Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky and happily went home to show my wife (Maureen) the $150.00 bottle of whisky I found. Her reaction set me further along the path I had started, as rather than scolding me for spending a ridiculous amount of money upon a bottle of whisky; she said, “I thought Merv liked Gin.”

SAM_0968 TanquerayShe was right of course; although Merv had shared a very special whisky with me, if I was to truly reciprocate, I would have to find a special bottle of gin to share with him. So I went back to the boutique store, asked about gin, and came home with a bottle of Tangueray No. 10. This time my wife (who is ever helpful) said, “What about the rest of your family?”

My head fell; because again, she was right. I wasn’t worried about my friends, they would be cool with just about anything as long as it was cold. But the members of my immediate (and some of the extended) family tend to be a tad jealous of each other. If it became known I had bought a special bottle to share with Merv, then the others would expect the same treatment. So I ambled back to that boutique liquor store a few more times, and by the time I was done, I had bought 2 bottles of rum (Flor de Cana 7 Year Old Rum and Matusalem 12 year Solera Blender), a bottle of vodka (Wyborowa Exquisite), a bottle of Tequila (Herradura Reposado) and a bottle of The Macallan 15 Year Old Fine Oak Single Malt Scotch to go with my bottles of Tangueray No. 10 and Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky.

I was hooked of course. It was so much fun going to that liquor store, tasting samples from a few of their open bottles, and then choosing something special to bring home. I soon had many more bottles and a brand new liquor cabinet to house them in. I explained to my wife that I had learned that there were many different styles of both rum and whisky, and surely when a special guest arrived I should have some sort of selection for them to choose from. And the Vodka, Gin and Tequila were needed in case someone was partial to those spirits instead. It was all part of my effort to be a good host when special guests arrived. Of course, I wasn’t fooling anyone, my wife and I both knew the real reason I was continuing to go back and forth to find new bottles. It was because I had caught the collecting bug, and it had bitten me hard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI continued to taste and collect different spirits over the next few years, and I discovered I was growing particularly fond of rum. So much so, that I began to haunt the online forums trying to locate the best brands for my collection. I enjoyed this research especially reading reviews of various spirits and comparing what I tasted to what was being written. Soon I got the idea into my head that it would be fun to write my own reviews about the spirits I had been collecting.

It turned out that all that research I had done to find the best bottles, and all that tasting I did before adding each new prize to my collection had served me well. I began my writing by placing a few somewhat brief ‘reviews’ on my favourite rum website, “The Ministry of Rum“. Although I was strictly an amateur, my reviews (and my quirky style) seemed to strike a chord with the other collectors and members of that website. One of those members had his own rum website, “Rum Connection” and he invited me to be a guest reviewer on his site. After writing a few reviews for Rum Connection (which were received extremely well), I decided that I should open my own review website which I did in the late fall of 2009.

My writing and my website have attracted a loyal and growing following which opened many doors for myself and led to some wonderful opportunities. This includes invites from rum companies who have offered to fly me down to look over their operations (see here), and similar invitations to all manner of rum and whisky festivals all over North America. As well, I began to receive requests to act as a Spirits Judge at some of the major Spirit’s Competitions in Canada and the USA. In fact I have served three times on the jury for the annual Canadian Whisky Awards, as well as twice in the same capacity for the International RumXP Competition at Rum Renaissance in Miami.

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The Rumhowler at Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

The Rum Howler at Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

This all brings me to the point of this article. Recently, it has come to my attention that my website, The Rum Howler Blog (according to Google), has become the number 1 internet source people turn to for Rum Reviews. The proof of that statement can verified by simply typing the key words “Rum Reviews” into your Google search engine. What you will find is that this website will be listed on the first page of the Google Search, usually ranked Number 1.

I am very pleased that my spirit reviews have been received so well, and my readers continue to find value in them. My recent number 1 ranking on Google is extremely satisfying! However, as pleased and satisfied as I feel about my work and my website, I would like to stress that my opinions expressed on this website are just that, opinions. Please, enjoy what I write; but trust your own instincts as well. Opinions vary and everyone’s preferences are unique. The only person who can truly decide if a spirit gives you enjoyment is yourself. I am flattered that so many people have come to trust my reviews; but I want you to trust your own tastes and preferences as well.

It all started when my Brother-in-law offered to open and share a special whisky with me seven years ago, and I can’t even guess where it will go from here …

Posted in Extras, Howls | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

The Rum Howler Top 10 Most Popular Reviews

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 30, 2014

Bg Black DickSometimes I get asked what the most popular articles on my website are. Today I decided to go through my web stats and find out. So if you have every wondered what the most popular reviews on my website are, then you need wonder no longer.

Here is the list of The Rum Howler Top 10 Most Popular Reviews:

10) Bacardi 8 Year Old Rum
09) Crown Royal XR Canadian Whisky (Waterloo)
08) Ron Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum
07) Bacardi Oakheart Smooth Spiced Rum
06) Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year Old Rum
05) Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum
04) El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve
03) Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva 
02) Big Black Dick Dark Caribbean Rum 
01) Kraken Black Spiced Rum 

Who would have thought that a relatively unknown flavoured rum from the Cayman Islands would inspire the second most page views on my website? (I wonder if all those search engines that find that particular review are really looking for Rum?)

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Howls | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

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

Review: Rum Nation Panama 18 Years (2010 Release)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 5, 2013

SAM_0623 Panama 18Panamanian rum from the Valera Hermanos Distillery has been bottled by Rum Nation since 1999. The 18-year-old rum from Panama is acquired in bulk from Valera Hermanos and shipped overseas to Italy for labeling and bottling. After the successful introduction of this bottling 13 years ago, the company has continued to purchase bulk rum from Panama with an annual production of roughly 6,000 bottles per year.

I was given a bottle of the 2010 release (bottled at 40 % abv.) for the purpose of this review by Crush Imports who distribute the Rum Nation line-up in my home Province of Alberta.

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

Review: Rum Nation Panama 18 Years (2010 Release)

” …The initial scent rising from the glass is full of butterscotch, cinnamon and cloves. A zesty wood spice arises as well giving the aroma a touch of brashness. As the glass breathes, I notice some brown sugar, vanilla, baking spices and roasted pecans all wandering through the breezes giving me a impressions of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls. Some orange peel in the breezes, and a little dark tobacco keep the aroma spicy and interesting… “

Please enjoy this review of this very nice Panamanian Rum!

Note: For more reviews of the Rum Nation line-up you can follow these links:

Cheers!

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Rum Howler 2012 Top 30 Rums – Countdown

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 30, 2012

This year, when I was deliberating over my 2012 Rum Howler Awards, it occurred to me that the line-up of rum which I had tasted over the past year was impressive. When I further considered all the rums I had tasted since I opened this website, I realized this was indeed an impressive amount of rum that I have tasted and scored. Adding it all up, I have tasting and scoring notes for over 300 rums which I have had the privilege of sampling over the past four years. (Note: In addition to the nearly 175 rum reviews I have published on this site, I also have tasting notes and scores compiled for over 125 more rums which I encountered at various festivals and judging events which I have attended.) This gives me a broad perspective on the world of rum. And perhaps, all this rum tasting and scoring gives me at least some of the qualifications to embark on a very particular quest to uncover and list the Best Rums in the World.

If you are interested in such things, a detailed explanation of how I came up with this list is available here:

The Rum Howler 2012 Top 30 Rums

This web page also contains the complete list in reverse order. One catch, is that I will be filling that list out over the next several weeks, one rum at a time, countdown style. As I fill out the list, I will be providing my most up to date review for that particular Rum. Some of these rums have been reviewed previously, and those reviews will be updated if required to reflect my feelings on the most recent bottling. Some of the Rums on the list will be reviewed for the first time. Although the effort put into this project was very significant, I hope that those who read the reviews and follow the countdown have some fun. Disagreement with my Panel of Judges is welcome, and so are questions about the list.

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

 
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