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Posts Tagged ‘Top 30 Rum’

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 21 – Havana Club Selección de Maestros Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 4, 2012

Top 30Selección de MaestrosHavana Club’s new Selección de Maestros Rum is an authentic Cuban rum that has recently replaced the Havana Club Barrel Proof in the portfolio of Havana Club Rums. The rum undergoes a rather unique maturation process where it is first aged in old white oak barrels, and when the final rum is blended, it is then finished in specially ‘selected’ younger finishing casks.

The unique approach to aging and finishing has resulted in a delicious, spicy rum which just happens to have made the cut in the Top Thirty Rums Countdown:

# 21 – Havana Club Selección de Maestros Rum

“… The immediate nose is of sweet toffee, with a nice complement of cinnamon. Nutmeg and cloves work their way into the breezes along with a little oak, some hot orange peel and a touch of green tobacco. As the glass sits, the aroma of toffee intensifies making the rum seem very attractive, which of course leads me to steal a sip…”

The rum has been bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume which makes the flavour just a bit intense which, for my particular palate, is a very good thing!

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 22 – Dictador XO Perpetual

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2012

Top 30SAM_0473 Dictador XO PerpetualAccording to the Dictador website, Dictador Rum is produced in Colombia South America, more exactly, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia at Cartagena de Indias City. The rum is named for Arango Y Ferro who was nicknamed ‘Dictador’ by the local population of Cartagena de Indias, in early Colombia (sometime after 1751) as he rose to prominence in the trade and commerce between the Spanish Colonies and Spain. Arango apparently fell in love with the local cane spirit and became an important producer of rum at that time.

The Dictador Perpetual is an elegant sipping rum and a very worthy addition to my Top 30 Rums in the World listing:

#22  Dictador XO Perpetual

“… I would describe this as a light to medium bodied rum with a soft dryness. The smoky sherry-like accents are very noticeable initially; but as the rum decants, sweeter flavours of butterscotch and toffee begin to take center stage. There is a moderate amount of oak spice and citrus zest which gives the rum a nice spicy heat. Rich brown sugary baking spices, (in particular vanilla and cinnamon) build alongside the butterscotch and toffee… “

This is one of those rare rums which seems to taste better every time I have another glass.

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 23 – Flor de Caña Centenario 12 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 1, 2012

Top 30Flor de Caña has a history of rum production which is dated to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The company was founded by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and today, over 120 years later, the company is still headed by the fifth generation of the Pellas family. It has grown to be not only one of Central America’s leading brands of rum, it is also one of the most recognized rum brands in the world.

# 23 – Flor de Caña Centenario 12 Year Old

“… In those breezes are lovely scents of walnut shells and pecans, sticky sweet caramel and honey, rich baking spices (especially cinnamon, cloves, allspice and vanilla), and a nice firm but mellow oakiness which is quite lovely. I receive a distinct impression of richness with nice accents of chocolate caramel, light dabs of cola and a moderately spicy tobacco which drifts upwards to add character to the overall aroma…”

I love this rum, and when my friends and I were doing are tasting sessions, I was quite happy to learn that the loved it too. Our affection translated to position number 23 on my Best Rums of the World Countdown!

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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.

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 24 – Bermudez Anniversario

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 30, 2012

Top 30The year 1852 is proudly displayed on the label of each bottle of Bermudez Rum indicating the year in which the Bermudez family began to produce rum commercially. In fact, the Bermudez Rum has been produced in the Dominican Republic practically from the beginning of its nationhood making the Bermudez Distillery the oldest commercial rum distillery in the Dominican Republic. The Bermudez Anniversario is the premium rum in their range and my personal favourite from the Bermudez family. It enters the countdown as the 25th Best Rum in the World.

#24 Ron Bermudez Anniversario

“… Initially, I receive a soft caramel and vanilla from the glass. This is followed by stronger aromas of oak tannin and spice. As I allow the glass to decant, an aroma of fragrant baking spices became more assertive over time expressing a rich molasses and a spicy toffee. There also appears to be a gentle smoke in the air with vague scents of dried fruit…”

The Ron Bermudez Anniversario has an elegant style reminiscent of cognac but it fully retains its character as rum.  I have found this to be a completely unexpected treat.

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 25 – Rhum Barbancourt 15 Year Old Estate Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 29, 2012

Rhum Barbancourt is distilled and produced by Societe du Rhum Barbancourt,  in Port Au Prince on the Isle of Haiti. The word “rhum” is the French spelling for our English word “rum”. However, the differences between Rhum and Rum are often much deeper than just a twist in spelling. This is because the traditions of making rhum in the French West Indies differs from the traditions of rum production in the rest of the Caribbean. The major difference in the production of Agricole Rum is that it is distilled from fermented sugar cane juice rather than fermented molasses.

As far as Rhum goes, Rhum Barbancourt kind of breaks the mold and goes its own direction, but it is a direction which pleased the Judges and I so much that it landed at number 25 on the countdown list of the 30 Best Rums in the World:

#25 – Rhum Barbancourt 15 Year Old Estate Reserve

“… The initial scents in the breezes are of butterscotch and sandalwood oak. As the glass breathes the aroma becomes more complex with some light baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon and cloves) and both citrus (orange peel) and dry fruit (dates, apricot and raisin) evolving… “

This Rhum displays a very nice balance of flavour with a more mellow style of oak which allows the flavour nuances within to shine.

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 27 – El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 27, 2012

According to the  Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL) website, The El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve Rum is a blend of selected aged rums (some as old as 25 years), from the Enmore and Diamond Coffey stills, the Port Mourant double wooden pot still, and the Versailles single wooden pot still. It is blended and aged  in old bourbon oak casks. (You may read about these ancient stills here.)

The website also makes it clear that the 15 year age statement represents the youngest rum in the blend. This is quite different from those rums which feature a solero style age statement which highlights the oldest rum in the blend and usually includes a high percentage of rum which is much younger in the blend.

#27 – El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

“… The immediate nose brings forward rich oak filled notes of spicy toffee, dark dried fruit, marmalade, and vanilla into the air. As I let the glass sit, I begin to notice sherried aromas of raisins and dates, some dark bittersweet chocolate and a welcome but delicate scent of pipe tobacco.”

The longer the glass sits, the richer the flavour and aroma become!
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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 28 – Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 26, 2012

The Ron Santa Theresa 1796 Antiguo de Solero is a Venezuelan rum which can trace its ancestry back to the year of 1796 when the Santa Theresa Hacienda was created. This is a true Solero rum with 4 rows of aging barrels set one atop each other. As the rum ages, a portion of the rum moves through each row until it reaches the final solero row at the bottom years later. The barrels are never fully emptied as only a portion of the rum from the previous or higher row is moved to the lower row each time.

The Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera was well liked by my Panel of Judges making into the Top 30 Rum Countdown as the #28 rum.

#28 – Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera

“… the initial aroma seems to be hinting that the spirit at some point in its journey passed through an exotic wine cask which has left an imprint of fruity dark cherries and plums upon the scent of the rum. Rich aromas of butterscotch and light smells of molasses join with these fruity scents and the result is most appealing. Wood spices abound, and they are tart like cinnamon and cloves…”

The appeal of this rum is to visit it when something special is in the winds.

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 29 – Panama Red 108

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 24, 2012

Panama Red 108 is a Panamanian rum brought to you by PANAMONTE BRANDS. The rum is handcrafted by Master Blender, Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez. It is produced from the sugar cane that grew in Las Cabras de Pese, the same region where the Distillery is located. Although the rum is stated as overproof, when I received my first sample bottle two years ago in Miami, Don Pancho  assured me that the rum will feel much smoother in the mouth than a typical overproof rum. (He was right!)

It has as its base, a 3 year molasses based rum which is aged in used Bourbon casks at the distillery warehouse in Pese. That a three-year old rum makes the countdown list is impressive, that the rum is as well, an overproof bottling (bottled at 54 % alcohol by volume), is a testament to the blending expertise Master Blender, Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez.

# 29 – Panama Red 108

“… The caramel aroma is accented by hints of tobacco and leather, and the oak spices have separated into orange peel and light baking spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and walnuts have all found their way into the breezes. There is also an underlying floral character to the nose which is very inviting…”

Note: For the record, I like overproof spirits. Not only is the alcohol content stronger, but flavours and aroma are also more concentrated. This gives me more versatility when I consume the spirit to find my own sweet spot of flavour. The Panama Red 108 gives me the versatility I desire. But, more importantly, the Panama Red 108 is an excellent sipping rum!

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

Top 30 Rums Countdown begins with Cruzan Single Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 23, 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.

I shall begin the list with the 30th Best Rum in the World as chosen by myself and my esteemed Panel of Judges:

#30 –   Cruzan Single Barrel Rum

I hope everyone enjoys my 2012 Top 30 Rums Countdown!

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