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Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 27, 2013

RH-winner2013Rum 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.

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Rum

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Flavouerd Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Review: The Wild Geese – Golden Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 24, 2013

grumThrough the period from the 1580′s to the end of the 18th century Irish soldiers (mercenary or otherwise) were often used as regimental combat troops for the continental European armies. These Irishmen joined the foreign armies for many reasons; some may have merely been adventure seekers; some were obviously looking to strike a blow against their historic enemy England; and some may have seen the military as a means to advance their standing both financially and socially via a military career. What ever the reasons these young men joined the continental forces, it is a sad fact than many hundreds of thousands of these Irishmen died fighting in foreign Armies far from their homeland.

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 I shall begin my review series with the Wild Geese Golden Rum which (in the UK) is bottled at 37.5 % alcohol by volume. You may click the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: The Wild Geese – Golden Rum

“… Rising from the glass to greet my nose is an impression of sweet butterscotch, canned apricots, orange peel, almond and vanilla. I allowed the glass to breathe a few minutes, and noticed some additional fine oak spices entering the breezes above the glass …”

This is an outstanding cocktail rum and my review includes a few nice recipes at the end, The Spence Cocktail, and my version of the Hemingway Daiquiri.

Please enjoy the review and the bar drinks!

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

Review: Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 19, 2013

SAM_0991Lemon 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 and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Rum (available in the Travel Duty-Free market) have recently been launched. The spiced rum (which is the subject of this review) is an 86 proof offering (43 % alcohol by volume), developed for Mosaiq under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master, Mike Booth.

Here is an excerpt which you may click to link to my full review:

Review: Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum

“… Things begin with a candied sweetness reminiscent of Butterscotch and/or Rum & Butter Lifesaver candies. Within that candied aroma I sense the spiciness of cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom as well as perhaps a touch of orange zest. There are obvious vanilla notes, a very light indication of treacle and hints of tobacco and oak which appear …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe I choose to call, the Spiced Metro Swizzle!

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

Review: Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 14, 2013

SAM_0340 Zombie PlantationCognac Ferrand has long a history of providing Cognac Casks to various Caribbean rum producers based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Because of this long history Cognac Ferrand has over time developed solid relationships with many of these producers. Based upon these relationships they have been able to acquire certain unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources. Typically these rums are brought back to France to be finished in their own warehouses and of course in their own Cognac Casks.

The Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum  is Cognac Ferrand’s ‘tiki style’ overproof rum. The base rum is a column distilled rum from Trinidad which was aged in oak barrels in Trinidad before being transported to France.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

Review: Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum

“… Within this rich aroma I can smell a strong butterscotch/caramel toffee which seems to rise up in waves out of the glass. Banana peel, marmalade and marzipan appear as well in a bouquet that despite the astringency is very inviting. Rounding out the nose are some very nice baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar) which build up and remind me of my Mom’s cinnamon buns baking in the oven …”

Please enjoy this review which includes a nice Tiki style recipe, Zombie Plantation!

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

Review: Cross Keys Island Tradition Barbados Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 22, 2013

SAM_0978 Cross KeysCross Keys 5 Yr Old Barbados Rum is a spirits brand developed by Distiller Sales Company of Princeton, Minnesota. Distiller Sales is a division of a company called USDP (United States Distilled Spirits Co.). They describe themselves as a “leading developer of corporate brand distilled spirits programs”. The company boast sales in 32 countries worldwide, and some of those brands which are available in my home market include Ethan Koll 8 Year Old Canadian Whisky, Broken Bell Bourbon, Monkey Paw Rum, Luxus Vodka, Capatina French Vodka and Veil Premium Vodka.

The Cross Keys Island Tradition Rum is produced from Bajan rum stocks which have been aged at least 5 years. I was provided a sample bottle of the rum by Jfj Agency Inc. who is the distributor of Distiller Sales Co. brands in Alberta.

You may read the full review by clicking the following Link:

Review: Cross Keys Island Tradition Barbados Rum

“… The initial nose featured scents of treacle, charred marshmallows, and baked molasses. As the glass sat, additional aromas of toasted coconut and baking spices (vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon) rose into the air as well along with some oven roasted walnuts …”

I included a very satisfying highball recipe with the review mixing the Cross Keys Rum with ginger-ale and bitters, the Bajan Highball.

Please enjoy the recipe and of course my review!

 

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Review: Pumpkin Face Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 15, 2013

Pumpkin ReservePumpkin Face Rum is a new rum brand 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. According to the brand producer (Itsko Imports Inc. of Beverly Hills California), Pumpkin Face Reserve Rum  is an ‘ultra premium’ Dominican rum produced from selected stocks of rum which were produced in the decades of 1980′s, the 1990′s and 2000′s. Some of these stocks were aged up to 20 years before they were blended into this rum.

You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt link:

Review: Pumpkin Face Reserve Rum

“… I found the Pumpkin Face Reserve seemed to have a split personality when I sipped from my glass. Initially I tasted a push of alcohol and spice as the rum heated my mouth and throat. Orange peel, wood spice, and butterscotch dominated the flavour with spicy tobacco and alcohol heat not far behind. However, when I allowed the rum to breathe for several minutes, the character of the rum changed completely …”

Included at the conclusion of my review is a nice recipe which works well with the Pumpkin Face Reserve, the Rum Old Fashioned

Please enjoy the review and my cocktail suggestion. Cheers Everyone!

 

 

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

Review: Berrys’ Finest St. Lucia Rum (Aged 12 Years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 11, 2013

SAM_0963 Brrey Bros. St. Lucia 12Saint Lucia is a Caribbean Island Country located south of Martinique and northwest of Barbados near the boundary between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the Lesser Antilles chain of islands and supports a culture which includes both French and English influences. The rum produced on the island is produced solely by St Lucia Distillers who represent an amalgamation of the last two distillers upon the island, Barnard and Geest. The rum is produced in the English style from fermented molasses upon a variety of stills, both copper pot and column, and aged in oak barrels.

Berry Bros. & Rudd is one of London’s oldest Wine and Spirits Merchant with over 300 years of experience and tradition from which to draw upon. The company began its operation at 3 – St. James’s Street (in London, UK) in 1698, and still operates from that same location today. Although they are primarily merchants of wine, the company has a strong presence in the sale of distilled spirits as well. And in fact, this presence within the spirits industry had its beginnings approximately 100 years ago. (The Cutty Sark brand was developed by Berry Bros & Rudd in 1923.)

Today Berry Bros & Rudd acts as an independent bottler of Whisky, Cognac, Armagnac, and of course Rum. A few of their rum offerings are available in my locale, and I was able to obtain a sample of the 12 Year Old – Berrys’ Finest St. Lucia Rum, from the Western Canadian distributor Charton Hobbs.

You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt link:

Review: Berrys’ Finest St. Lucia Rum (Aged 12 Years)

“… The initial scents from the glass were quite nice. Things were both lightly sweet and lightly herbal carrying impressions of a butterscotch, sweetgrass and heather, bits of licorice, mint, and menthol. I also noticed a subtle underlying mustiness …”

The unique flavour of this St. Lucia Rum lended itself well to a nice Mai Tai recipe. For your enjoyment I have included such a recipe at the conclusion of the review, the St. Lucia Mai Tai.

Cheers Everyone!

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

Review: Lemon Hart Demerara 151 Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 9, 2013

LemonHart_BottleRendering750_NEWYesterday, I learned that I was to receive a few new samples from Mosaiq (the brand owners of Lemon Hart Rum). These samples will represent new extensions of the Lemon Hart line-up. Many of you know that Lemon Hart has introduced a spiced rum, Lemon Hart Spiced, (one which I had a small role in helping to develop); however, I suspect that not many persons know of the new Lemon Hart Original One Hundred, British Proof Reserve which is soon to land in the North American travel (duty free) market.

As a warm-up to my reviews of the new Lemon Hart Rums, I thought it would be a nice idea to republish my review for the iconic Lemon Hart 151, which I reviewed two years ago. I have not changed anything except to add a brief history of the brand at the beginning of the review.

You may read the fully revised review by clicking on the following excerpt:

Review: Lemon Hart Demerara 151 Rum

“… The rum is bottled at 75.5 % alcohol by volume, and the evaporating alcohol gives everything a big push into the air causing this astringency. I can smell molasses and rummy burnt caramel which seems to come in waves at me. Dark dried fruits like prunes and raisins rise up as well in a bouquet that despite the astringency is very complex and enticing. Baking spices build quickly, and smells of rich brown sugars enter the fray as well as the sweet aroma of canned fruit (peaches and apricots) …”

At the conclusion of the review are two nice recipes, the Guyana Zombie, (credit to Tiare’s great website, A Mountain Of Crushed Ice) and my recipe, Hart Breaker.

Please enjoy the review!

(Of course my reviews for the new Lemon Hart Spiced and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred, British Proof Reserve will be forthcoming in the next several weeks.)

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

Review: Ron Marques del Valle (8 Years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 6, 2013

SAM_0956 Ron Marques del Valle 8Ron Marques del Valle (8 Years) is produced in Colombia by Industria de Licores del Valle. I was unable to learn much about this distiller of rum, however, the back of my sample bottle makes the following statement about this particular rum:

“Ron Marques is the result of the most refined sugar cane extract, distilled with the purest water from the Andes and aged in oak barrels for 8 years, this conjunction of events gives this unique Rum an intense amber colour, a fine viscosity, an excellent depth of mature aromas and a smooth taste”

I was given my sample bottle by A&B Canada who are based in Quebec. They have recently began to list and sell the rum in my home market of Alberta.

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

Review: Ron Marques del Valle (8 Years)

“… The initial nose is quite sweet with a strong butterscotch aroma which is tainted with a sweet and sour fruitiness (dry apricots, peaches and pineapple). The aroma reminds me of old-fashioned candied tutti-frutti. There are also some nice wood spices which begin to turn the butterscotch into toffee, and an obvious citrus accent reminds me of one of those citrus juice blends full of oranges, grapefruit, lemons and lime …”

Please enjoy my review of this Authentic Colombian Rum.

Cheers Everyone!

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

Review: Berrys’ Finest Barbados Rum (Aged 13 Years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 29, 2013

SAM_0965 Berrys' Barbados 13Berry Bros. & Rudd is one of London’s oldest Wine and Spirits Merchant with over 300 years of experience and tradition from which to draw upon. The company began its operation at 3 – St. James’s Street (in London, UK) in 1698, and still operates from that same location today. Although they are primarily merchants of wine, the company has a strong presence in the sale of distilled spirits as well. And in fact, this presence within the spirits industry had its beginnings approximately 100 years ago. (The Cutty Sark brand was developed by Berry Bros & Rudd in 1923.)

Today Berry Bros & Rudd acts as an independent bottler of Whisky, Cognac, Armagnac, and of course Rum. A few of their rum offerings are available in my locale, and I was able to obtain a samples of the 13 Year Old – Berrys’ Finest Barbados Rum, from the Western Canadian distributor Charton Hobbs. Unfortunately I was not able to track down the complete history of this rum. All I know is that the spirit was distilled in Barbados, and aged for 13 years before being bottled by Berry Bros. and Rudd.

You may read my full review here:

Review: Berrys’ Finest Barbados Rum (Aged 13 Years)

“… The initial aroma from the glass is filled with a complex combination of dark toffee, caramelized brown sugars, rich tobacco and woody oak spices. Allowing the glass to breathe enriches the aroma bringing dark fruit and raisins, baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon cloves and nutmeg), some orange peel, and thick sticky marmalade impressions into the breezes as well …”

Please enjoy my review of this Bajan rum which I find quite pleasing as the nights grow longer and colder this autumn!

Cheers Everyone!

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

 
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