Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 1, 2014
The Brugal Distillery was founded in 1888, by Andrés Brugal Montaner. Over the next one hundred and twenty years the company grew steadily, and it is now one of three large rum distillers in the Dominican Republic. Although the Edrington Group now controls the company, George Arzeno Brugal, is the current chairman, and most of the current board members are direct descendants of the original company founder.
According to the Edrington Website, Brugal makes their rum in a traditional manner (from molasses) and ages it on site in Puerto Plata in American white oak barrels. My sample bottle of Brugal XV Ron Reserva Exclusiva arrived to me direct from the Dominican Republic via my young newlywed daughter who recently returned from her honeymoon with her husband in the Caribbean. This rum was bottled for the domestic market, and thus it is a 37.5 % alcohol by volume offering and is sold in a 700 ml configuration. Although the label implies the rum is may be aged for as long as 15 years, the reality is that this rum does not carry an age statement. The large XV on the label is simple that, a large XV. My research indicates that this particular rum is in fact a blend of rums which vary in age from 3 years to 8 years.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt link:
“… I sense a mild oak presence with woodspice and notes of honey and butterscotch lying within the oak. An impression of almond comes forward as do bits of banana and orange peel zest. Giving the rum time in the glass allows me to notice some cinnamon accents and an underlying mustiness in the breezes …
As you can see from the photo to the left, I could not resist making a nice ‘punch’ style cocktail which I call, Puerto Plata Punch.
I hope you enjoy the review, and of course my recipe suggestion!
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Brugal, Brugal XV, Cocktails, Dark Rum, Exclusiva Reserva, Puerto Plata Punch, Rum, Rum Review | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 23, 2014
According to the El Dorado Website, the El Dorado 8 Year old Cask Aged Rum is blended from selected stocks of rum which included rum from no less than four of DDL’s traditional Heritage Stills including both the original Wooden Coffey Still which was rescued from the Enmore Estate and the Double Wooden Pot Still which was rescued from the Port Mourant Estate. Each of these stills is well over 200 years old and they represent the last of their kind operating in the world today. The use of these ancient stills ensures that the Demerara Rum produced at DDL’s Diamond Distillery is unlike anything produced anywhere else in the world. (For more information on the unique Heritage Stills in operation at the Diamond distillery you may read my first hand account here (Diamond Distillery Tour).
The new 8 Year Old Rum from El Dorado Rum was recently released in Ontario, Canada and I was provided a sample bottle by the distributor Woodman Wines and Spirits.
Rum Manhattan with El Dorado 8 Year Old Rum
You may read my full review of the El Dorado 8 Year Old Cask Aged Rum by clicking on the following excerpt link:
“… The rum carries sweet flavours of butterscotch, toffee, and dark brown sugar as well the bitterness of dark caramel treacle. Within the sweet and the bitter, I taste luscious baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg) and firm impressions of roasted walnuts and pecans. Marmalade, a ribbon of corn whisky, impressions of cocoa, a touch of leather and brine, and a firm imprint of tobacco …”
As I was tasting this El Dorado Rum, it occurred to me that the spirit would work very well in a Rob Roy cocktail. Of course, once I substituted the Scotch in the cocktail for the 8 Year Old Rum, what I had really created was a Rum Manhattan which I decided would serve very well as the suggested cocktail featured at the end of the review.
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Dark Rum, Demerara Distillers Limited, El Dorado Rum, Rum, Rum Manhattan, Rum Review | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 14, 2014
Last year, Tanduay Holdings began its American Invasion by placing two new rums into the North American market. For those who do not know, Tanduay is one of the largest Rum producers in the world. (The reason they have been relatively unknown in North America is because their Asian rum is produced in the Philipines, and it sells almost exclusively into Asia.) The Tanduay invasion was launched with two premium rums (a Silver, and a Gold). The Silver Rum (reviewed here) is a blending of rums which have been aged up to 5 years and filtered to be a pale straw coloured spirit meant for mixing high-end cocktails. The Gold Rum is a blending of rums aged up to 7 years and is meant to be a spirit to be enjoyed neat or over ice, although the makers of the rum do not shy away from recommending their Gold Rum for quality cocktails as well.
Here is a link to my full review of the Tanduay Gold Asian Rum:
” … I sense a light honeyed brown sugar and toffee aroma rising from the glass with spicy accents that are enticing. The spiciness carries impressions of ginger, cardamom, vanilla, clean oak and orange peel. There is also a bit of an exotic flair within this spice hinting that the rum may have a few surprises for me when I taste it …”
My review includes a classic nineteenth century cocktail recipe which tastes very nice indeed with the Tanduay Gold Rum. That recipe, the Rum Crusta is based upon a 1878 variation of the Brandy Crusta developed by Leo Engels who almost certainly used Joseph Santini’s 1840 Brandy Crusta recipe as his inspiration (see the Leo Engels Brandy Crusta recipe and explanation here).
Cheers everybody, and let us hope that the recent warmer weather is a harbinger of springtime!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Brandy Crusta, Cocktails, Dark Rum, Rum, Rum Crusta, Rum Review, Tanduay Gold, Tanduay Holdings | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 4, 2014
The Wild Geese Rum Collection is the companion to the Wild Geese Irish Whisky Collection. While the Wild Geese Irish Whisky collection sought to bring the Story of the Wild Geese and their struggles in European Armies to light, the Wild Geese Rum Collection continues the saga bringing to light the story of some of these Wild Geese who after service in the continental armies of Europe found themselves transported to America and the Caribbean where many worked upon the Rum Plantations in the new world.
I received samples of the entire rum collection from the brand developer, Protege International, and began my review series of the Collection with reviews of the Wild Geese Golden Rum, and the Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum. This review of the Wild Geese Premium Rum concludes my examination.
Rum Club Cocktail
The Wild Geese Premium Rum is a blend of Bajan, Guyanese, and Jamaican rums which have been aged for up to eight years, and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… When I bring the glass to my nose, I sense a light sweetness of canned peaches and apricots a rather firm impression of vanilla. There are some light oak spices in the breezes as well as the light spiciness of orange and banana peel. Hints of tobacco and a light grassiness rounds out the nose …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a new signature cocktail I designed for my rum club, the Rum Club Cocktail.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Amber Rum, Cocktails, Premium Rum, Rum, Rum Club Cocktail, Rum Review, Wild Geese Collection | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2014
Lemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the rum was being produced at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada. True to its roots as a Navy Rum, the brand remained a Demerara blend with the base rum bulk shipped from Guyana to the Hiram Walker Facility where it was aged and blended with a small amount ( 1.5 %) of Canadian Rum for tax purposes.
The Original Lemon Hart rum is now blended with 100 % Guyanese distilled and aged rum. It is bottled in Canada by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) for Mosaiq, and I have confirmed that all of the previous Guyanese marques for this the rum have remained the same as before. Thus the difference between the old blend and the new blend comes down to the scrapping of the Canadian rum content as well as the differences which aging in Guyana rather than in Ontario, Canada will impart to the final rum.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… the spirit brings forward aromas typical of a dark rum. Licorice stained molasses with hints of cinnamon and cloves are obvious with additional indications of fine oak spices underneath. Bits of vanilla well up as do impressions of cocoa, oolong tea, dry fruit, and nicotine stained tobacco …”
Please enjoy the review which includes my suggested serving, the Cuban Special.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Cuban Special, Dark Rum, Lemon Hart, Original, Rum, Rum Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 1, 2014
I was given a bottle of Myer’s Planter’s Punch a few months ago by a good friend who had purchased it as a curiosity and then subsequently decided the style was not to his liking. (Molasses-rich dark rums are not for everyone so we won’t hold this against him.) This particular dark rum is being distributed in Alberta by Diageo. It has been produced since 1879, and is apparently a blend of continuous and pot still Jamaican rums which have been matured in previously used bourbon barrels for a minimum of four years.
Apparently that is not the whole story, as my bottle clearly states (at the bottom of the label) that the particular bottle which I was given has been blended with Canadian rum as well. For those who do not know, it used to be fairly common for rums imported into Canada to be blended with a small amount (about 1.5 %) of Canadian Rum (usually produced at the Hiram Walker Distillery) in order to obtain a more favourable tax rate from the Canadian Government.
You may read my full review of Myer’s Planters’ Punch by clicking on the following excerpt (link).
“… The aroma from the glass hits you pretty quickly after you pour it, and I immediately detect the tell-tale signature aroma of musty pot-still Jamaican funk rising into the breezes from the glass. Alongside that funk is plenty more. Oak spices, licorice stained molasses, dark brown sugars, a spicy triumvirate of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon (baking spices), as well as lots of vanilla, and dark dry fruit …”
Note: You may find my 2013 list of the 30 Best Rums here: The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 30 Rums
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Dark Rum, Jamaican Rum, Myer's, Planters' Punch, Rum, Rum Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 16, 2014
Pumpkin Face Rum is a new brand of rum being 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.
I was able (through the good folks at Pure Global Imports) to secure samples of all three Pumpkin Face Rums. According to the brand owner (Itsko Imports Inc. of Beverly Hills, California), the subject of this review, Pumpkin Face 23, is an ‘ultra premium’ Dominican rum which was produced in 1980. The rum was aged in oak for 23 years, however it was also at some point during the maturation process ‘rested’ in stainless steel vats for 10 years before being bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
You may read my full review of this 23-year-old spirit by clicking the following link:
“… The colour resembles a darkened penny, and the initial aroma is rich with smells of chocolate caramel and oak spices. I decided to allow the glass to breathe and was delighted at how the oak spices seemed to meld into the chocolate caramel as the rum decanted. Rich toffee and tobacco aromas evolved from the glass with hints of treacle, brown sugar, and baking spices straining to push through as well …”
Note: The Pumpkin Face 23 is a rich wonderful rum! Had my schedule had allowed me to publish this review earlier, then I surely would have placed the this rum into my list of the World’s Top 30 Rums of 2013. Since I was not able to publish sooner, I guess I will have to content myself with knowing it will be a strong candidate for my list in 2014.
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 23, Aged Rum, Dark Rum, Pumpkin Face Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Ultra premium Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 9, 2014
FDC Anejo Clasico (New)
Flor 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 led 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. According to the company website, all of the Flor de Caña rum is produced from molasses which is made from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery in Chichigalpa. This molasses is fermented and then distilled five times in a continuous column still. The resulting distillate is laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses built without air conditioning in an undisturbed environment.
The subject of this review, Flor de Caña (Añejo Clasico) 5 Year Old Rum, is meant for sipping over ice, or for enjoying in fine cocktails and mixed drinks. You may read my full review by clicking on the following link:
“… the caramel scents deepen and combine with that oak spice which brings a more defined toffee-like aroma into the breezes above the glass. There are also light baking spices present (primarily nutmeg and vanilla), some orange peel accents as well as a light nuttiness which resembles freshly crushed walnuts and pecans …”
Note: As explained in the review the 5 Year Old Añejo Clasico is the same rum as the former 5 Year Old Black Label, Flor de Caña has made changes to the image and presentation, but have not made any changes to their rum’s flavour profiles. I was given the bottle for this review by the local distributor, The Kirkwood Group who distribute the Flor de Caña rums in Alberta.
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Aged Rum, Anejo Clasico, Dark Rum, Flor de Cana Rum, Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 3, 2014
Lemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the production of the blend had shifted to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada. Under the direction of new brand owner, Mosaiq, the Lemon Hart brand has been re-energized, and two new additions to the Lemon Hart family, Lemon Hart Navy Spicy Rum (see review here) and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Rum have recently been launched.
The Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum (which is the subject of this review) is a full British 100 proof offering (57.1 % alcohol by volume), developed for Mosaiq under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master Blender, Mike Booth. At this time, this brand is aimed exclusively at the travel (duty-free) market.
You may click on the following excerpt link to read the full review:
“… This Lemon Hart Rum does indeed carry a full bevy of rich spiciness forward across and through the palate which toasts the tongue as you sip and batters the tonsils as you swallow. Despite this spiciness (which resembles cinnamon, cloves and fine oak spice) the rum is rich and complex with flavours of both canned fruit (apricots and peaches) and candied dark fruit which shove their way through the spice …”
I have included a nice Zombie recipe, Hart of the Zombie, at the conclusion of the review.
Happy New Year everyone, and please keep enjoying my reviews!
Posted in Dark Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: British Proof, Dark Rum, Lemon Hart, Mosaiq, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Review | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 27, 2013
Rum 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.
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Flavouerd Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum, White Rums | Tagged: Aged Rum, Dark Rum, Flavoured Rum, Mixing Rum, Premium Rum, Rum, Rum Howler Awards, Spiced Rum, Super-Premium Rum, White Rum | 3 Comments »