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Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category

Review: Old Monk The Legend

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 7, 2015

Old Monk The legendI was sent a sample bottle of Old Monk Legend by the local Alberta distributor, Madira Spirits Inc. and asked if I could provide a review here on my website. This version of Old Monk is a limited edition bottling which was launched in 2013. The rum arrives in a special bottle in the shape of a bust presumably of H.G. Meakin, the founder of Meakin & Co. Ltd., who was perhaps, the original Old Monk. Old Monk Legend does not have an age statement, although the small box the rum arrives in makes the claim that the rum inside is a blended masterpiece meant for rum connoisseurs.

Old Monk is a dark rum brand produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. According to the information I received, it is a molasses distilled rum, blended and aged for a minimum of 7 years. The Old Monk 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 relies upon word of mouth and customer loyalty for its sales. Word of mouth must be good as this rum is (again according to information I received) the second largest selling  dark rum in the world.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Old Monk The Legend

“… In the breezes above the glass the Old Monk Legend does not seem to have the same forceful push of cinnamon and clove that its brethren did. Those elements are there, but I sense more fine oak spice and less overt pungent spice (and less molasses) in the Legend. There also seems to be a tad more orange peel, banana, and butterscotch …”

Please enjoy my final look at the Old Monk line-up (for now anyways).

Chimo!

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Review: Old Monk Supreme Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 19, 2015

old monk spremeToday I am continuing my series of reviews of the Old Monk rums from India. Old Monk is a dark rum brand produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. According to the information I received from the importer (and which I gleaned from Wikipedia), their Old Monk Supreme is a molasses distilled rum, which although it carries no age statement, will have been aged for approximately 12 years in oak casks (in the tropical climate of India). It is sold as a special limited edition bottling sitting perhaps slightly up the rungs of the Old Monk ladder from the (previously reviewed) Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum (12 Years Blended) and certainly as a more premium version of the (previously reviewed) Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum (7 Years Old Blended).

You may read my full review of the Old Monk Supreme by clicking the following link:

Review: Old Monk Supreme Rum

“… Molasses flavours dominate the Old Monk Supreme with dry peppery wood spices adding additional character. These wood spices carry elements of cinnamon, clove, dry tobacco, and hot black pepper. As the glass sits and the rum is allowed to evolve, I begin to taste dark brown sugar mixed with baking spices and vanilla, as well as strong cocoa flavours, cola, and black tea …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a suggested chocolate pairing, Valrhona Lait Jivari, which is a creamy, smooth milk chocolate from Ecuador. (Read the review to learn more.)

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Review: Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 5, 2015

SAM_0958 Old Monk Gold Reserve RumLast week I embarked on a series of reviews of one of the most popular rum brands in the world, Old Monk. This brand is produced by produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India, and according to the information I have received, all versions of this dark rum are distilled from molasses. Last week I revisited the flagship rum of the brand, Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum which is blended and aged in India for a minimum of 7 years. This week’s review is for the more premium Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum which has been aged for 12 years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum

“… Above the glass of the 12-year-old Gold Reserve Rum the breezes also bring me indications of black pepper, cinnamon and cloves with a light, but firm vanilla accent. As the glass sits, the aroma deepens bringing forward dark brown sugary smells and rich baking spices with impressions of cigar tobacco and crushed walnuts …”

Please enjoy my review of the Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum and stay tuned for my upcoming reviews of the Old Monk Supreme and the Old Monk Legend Rums.

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Review: Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum (7 Years Old blended)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 25, 2015

SAM_0815 Old Monk

Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum

Old Monk is a dark rum brand produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. According to the information I have received, all versions of this dark rum are distilled from molasses. The flagship rum of the brand, Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum is blended and aged in India for a minimum of 7 years. The Old Monk portfolio also includes a more premium Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum which has been aged for 12 years, and two more premium bottlings, the Old Monk Supreme, and the Old Monk Legend.

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 relies upon word of mouth and customer loyalty for its sales. Word of mouth must be good as this rum is (again according to information I received) the second largest selling well-aged dark rum in the world.

(Note: India is a huge market for rum, and there is only a small presence of foreign brands on the sub-continent. Based solely upon sales in the home market, this would certainly be a believable statement. In fact the largest selling dark rum brand is also a rum produced in India, McDowell’s No.1 Celebration Rum.)

Monk's Uncle

Monk’s Uncle

I have received samples of all four expressions and over the next few weeks I will be comparing each of them. Two of these rums have been reviewed by me previously, Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum and the Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum. However, as the blends may have changed slightly in the two years since I visited them last, I will be re-tasting each rum and updating my previous reviews with the tasting notes from most current sample I have received and the most current information I have regarding the brand.

You may read the results of my first re-visitation by clicking the following link:

Review: Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum (7 Years Old blended)

“… The entry into the mouth is perhaps a touch ‘rough and tumble’ as the rum contains a bit more rough spice and alcohol astringency than the nose indicated. I check the bottling proof and see that we have 42.8 % alcohol by volume spirit; however, the Old Monk has the impact (and the mouth feel) of a higher proof bottling …”

Please enjoy this review series, and in the case of the Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum, please also enjoy my two recommended cocktails, the Dark Rum and Cola, and the Monk’s Uncle.

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Review: Angostura 1919 Aged Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 12, 2015

Angostura 1919 Orange Daiquiri SAM_1469

Angostura 1919 Orange Daiquiri

In 1973, the House of Angostura bought Fernandes Distillers Ltd, adding the accumulated expertise of that Trinidadian distilling company to their own. According to the Angostura website, their Angostura 1919 Aged Rum pays homage to a particular rum produced in the 1930s by the master blender of Fernandes Distillers, J.B. Fernandes. (In fact, that rum produced by Fernandes Distillers is now considered to be of historical significance to those who study the development of rum in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the rest of the Caribbean.)

This historic rum was the result of a fire which consumed the Government Rum Bond in 1932. Mr. Fernandes purchased the remaining charred casks (which still contained rum) and discovered that they had been filled in the year 1919. The purchased rum was blended and became known as “1919 Aged Rum”. This 1919 aged rum became so highly regarded, that the House of Angostura chose to keep its memory alive with their own Angostura 1919 Aged Rum.

My sample bottle for this review was provided to my by the Bacchus Group who distribute the Angostura spirit throughout Western Canada.

Alpaco

Varlhona Noir Alpaco

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Angostura 1919 Aged Rum

” … Oak spice underlain by dry grassy tobacco leads out upon the palate with impressions of butterscotch and orange peel zest quickly following in their wake. If you allow the rum to breathe in your glass for about ten minutes a dry grassy mustiness is revealed with indications of herbal menthol and dried flowers  …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my suggested cocktail, the Angostura 1919 Orange Daiquiri, which I found uses the spicy orange peel spiciness found within the Angostura 1919 Rum to great effect. I also included an indulgent chocolate pairing, Varlhona Noir Alpaco, which is a pure Dark Chocolate from Ecuador. (Read the review to learn more.)

Cheers Everyone!

 

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Review: El Dorado Superior Dark Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 29, 2015

El Dorado Dark Rum Punch SAM_1443The El Dorado Dark Rum is part of Demerara Distillers‘ superior range of El Dorado rums which also includes the Superior White Rum, and the Superior Gold Rum. These are the youngest rums in the El Dorado Range and each would be aged up to two years in American Oak barrels before being blended and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. The Eldorado Dark rum is a traditional Dark Rum. This style of rum achieves a portion of its flavour, aroma, and colour from whatever special ingredients (caramel, molasses, et cetera) are added to the blend prior to bottling. Dark rums remain very popular throughout the world because of the full rich flavour profile which is their trademark characteristic.

El Dorado Dark Rum is distributed in Alberta & British Columbia by Wine Matters and More Distribution.

You may read my full review here:

Review: El Dorado Superior Dark Rum

“… The initial breezes above the glass are full of molasses and candied caramel. As well, some dark liquorice, bits of cinnamon and a hint of cloves all taint the air above the glass with their presence. There is a healthy dose of vanilla and perhaps some indications of dark fruit such as raisins and dates. Allowing the rum time to breathe reveals some nice accents of dark cocoa and espresso coffee scents …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my suggested recipe, El Dorado Dark Rum Punch!

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Rum Howler 2014 # 4 Rum – Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014The Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva is a premium rum which is produced from both column still rums and pot still rum. Within the blend are rums which are aged up to 12 years. The combination of tropical aging, batch still production, and those rich aromas and flavours which I mentioned above yields an exquisite rum which has long been one of my favourites.

diplomaticoThis rum is regularly selected as a favourite when I hold tastings, both in public and in private. However, I note that for this series of reviews, when I tasted the rum side by side with the other top 5 competitors, I was forced to slide its scoring down a couple of notches from its previous high of 97 points. Despite this minor adjustment, the Exclusiva still scores extremely well, as shown by its number 4 ranking in the top 25 rums of 2014.

Here is my recently revised review:

# 4 Rum – Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

“… There is a nice underlying nuttiness (walnuts and hazelnuts), some sweet caramel and some very delicious baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar). As the glass breathes, The richness of the rum builds and I taste even more brown sugar and cinnamon with butter …”

Although it has moved down in my rankings a couple of spots from last year, the Exclusiva Reserva remains a favourite of mine for sipping and for mixing, and still five years after my original review, still one of the best rums I have tasted.

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Rums of 2014 here:   The Rum Howler – Top 25 Rums of 2014

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Rum Howler 2014 # 7 Rum – El Dorado 12 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014Demerara County (in Guyana) is popular across the world for its rich, three hundred year history of rum production. Using a combination of old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL) has built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. In fact, Demerara Distillers is the currently the largest supplier of bulk Caribbean rums to Europe and North America.

El Dorado 12 SAM_1389The 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).

Checking in as the 2014 – 7th best rum in the world (that I have tasted anyways), here is my review for the El Dorado 12 Year Old Rum:

# 7 Rum – El Dorado 12 Year Old

” … This rum enters my mouth with a spicy sweet baking spice explosion. Deep dark brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and hints of orange peel and citrus fruit lay upon a foundation of oak and wood spices. Rich tobacco accents the flavour and some luscious dark fruit (dates and raisins) finds its way into the flavour profile …

I have tried this rum in different settings and in a few cocktails, and it pleases me almost completely every time. I find that the sweetness of the rum is perfectly balanced with the spicy oakiness, and I also appreciate that the flavour of the El Dorado 12 Year Old remains robust and complex yet very approachable.

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Rums of 2014 here:   The Rum Howler – Top 25 Rums of 2014

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Rum Howler 2014 # 9 Rum – Rum Nation Caroni 1998

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014The Caroni Distillery in Trinidad and Tobago was established in 1918, and was operated at near full capacity until 1993. Unfortunately, due to industry consolidation, rum production at the facility began to decline late in the 20th century and the distillery was closed in 2002. As a matter of interest, the consolidation of the rum industry during the last two centuries is amply illustrated in Trinidad and Tobago where there this small country featured 50 distilleries at the turn of the 19th century. One hundred and fifty years later (in 1950) only 8 had survived, and today there is but one, Angostura. It seems a pity that so much tradition and history has vanished. Although I guess we can count ourselves lucky that some of the rum barrels from the Caroni distillery are still finding their way into the market place.

Rum Nation Caroni 1998-2014The Rum Nation Caroni 1998 is one such offering from the folks at Rum Nation. This is an old-style heavy column still rum which was distilled in 1998 and aged for nine years in American Oak casks on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. From this tropical locale, the rum was transported to Europe for further aging in  refill American Oak (bourbon) casks which had been also previously used to age Rum Peruno (8YO). The resulting Rum Nation Caroni 1998 rum was bottled at cask strength (55 % alcohol by volume).

Here is my review:

# 9 Rum – Rum Nation Caroni 1998

 “… I noticed firm oak firm oak scents drifting upwards alongside equally firm notes of baking spice (vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, and a touch of cinnamon) and molasses/licorice stained caramel toffee. I left the glass to sit and breathe and noticed that the oak I had sensed in the breezes grew stronger demonstrating scents of freshly cut wooden planks which were dripping with wood sap …”

This Rum Nation Caroni 1998 rum is very pleasing indulgence with an original, albeit somewhat dry and bitter flavour profile. Fortunately there is just the right amount of sweetness present to offset the bitter and I found myself quite smitten with the overall result.

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Rums of 2014 here:   The Rum Howler – Top 25 Rums of 2014

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Rum Howler 2014 # 10 Rum – Reimonenq Vieux 9 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014Distillerie Reimonenq (also referred to as Musee Du Rhum) was founded in 1916 by the Reimonenq family. The distillery, like most others on Guadeloupe, produces Rhum Agricole from distilled sugar cane juice. The fresh-cut cane is crushed by electric mills and the resulting ‘honey’ undergoes a 24 to 48 hour fermentation in open air vessels. The fermented ‘wine’ is distilled in a stainless steel column in the traditional french manner.

Reimonenq 1999 SAM_1385Unfortunately for the rest of the world, this particular bottling seems to be only available in Italy (and in other small pockets of Europe), however the following review hopefully will provide some insight into the taste profile of the Guadeloupe Rhum produced at the Reimonenq Distillery.

Here is my write-up of the number 10 rhum in the world:

# 10 Rum – Reimonenq Vieux 9 Year Old

“… The rhum enters the mouth with the same intensity which it displayed in the breezes above the glass. I taste first and foremost the spicy sap of fresh wood chips, however, there is an obvious butterscotch sweetness which permeates the spirit, and this provides a counterbalance to the spicy rush of flavour …”

The Reimonenq Vieux 9 Year Old Rhum is wonderful complex, full flavoured, sipping spirit. What a pity that the spirit is not available in North America!

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Rums of 2014 here:   The Rum Howler – Top 25 Rums of 2014

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