Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 3, 2010
It was at the Rum Renaissance in Miami Florida this past May that I was first introduced to Kōloa Kaua`i Hawaiian Rum. The Kōloa Rum Company had been ‘up and rumming’ for approximately one year, and in spite of the competition from much more experienced rum companies, the Kōloa Kaua`i Dark Hawaiian Rum garnered one of prestigious gold medals at the Rumxp Tasting Competition which was in held conjunction with the event. This was a remarkable feat considering that the license to distill alcohol had been issued only one year previous, on April 1, 2009.
So I decided I had better get to know this company a little better, and after I emailed my information request, I was contacted by Jeanne Toulon, Director of Public Relations, for the Kōloa Rum Company. Jeanne was only too happy to help me out and soon deluged me with news clippings, a cool video and as much information as she could stuff into the large brown envelope that she sent my way. I was even given a small sample of the crystallized brown sugar from the Gay and Robinson Plantation which is the basic raw material from which all of the Kōloa Rum is distilled. (I should add that her generosity also extended to the delivery of three bottles of the Company’s, Kōloa Kaua`i Hawaiian Rum, so that I could sample and review them at my leisure here on my blog.)
In case you are wondering, the Kōloa Rums are made using a vintage 1210 gallon vintage copper pot still imported from Kentucky. This copper still was first shipped by train to the west coast and then by boat to the Islands of Hawaii. Constructed just after World War II, the still was previously used to distill Kentucky whiskey.
The actual base material for the distillation is not molasses, but rather the Gay and Robinson Plantation crystallized sugar. I am told that the sugar has a higher than normal molasses content and indeed it carries a wonderful molasses aroma. From this distillate, and using the vintage copper pot still, all of the Kōloa Rum is made in a batch style. The resulting white rum is about as pure as rum can be, bottled fresh with no barrel aging. The gold rum is just as fresh as the white, with the gold colour stemming from the addition of caramelized Gay and Robinson Plantation crystal sugar. And finally, the dark rum, which also uses fresh rum, is enhanced with the same caramelized sugar as well as a secret recipe of spices to give it the dark rich colour and flavour which resulted in the Gold Medal at Rum Renaissance. In a way these are throwback rums made in the manner and style of the past when it was entirely the blender’s mastery that was needed to sooth the spirit rather than the use of oak barrel aging.
The The Kōloa Rum Company has already broken new ground being the first company to legally produce rum on the Island of Kaua`i. They have also recently established a Plantation style tasting room for visitors to the distillery to enjoy their rums, and they have won a Gold medal at Rum Renaissance. All of this after merely one year of operation! I think it is obvious to see why I was excited to learn more.
So over the next several weeks I will be embarking on a Hawaiian odyssey of sorts. I will review each bottle of Kōloa rum, putting them through the rigors of my tasting methodology. What the results of my reviews will be, I cannot say at this point, but what I can say is that based upon the accolades they have already earned, and based how hard they have worked in their first year of operation, I am entering upon my Hawaiian odyssey with a very positive outlook. You can look forward to the reviews over the next several weeks.
Posted in Dark Rums, Flavouerd Rums, Howls, Rum, White Rums | Tagged: Dark Rum, Hawaiian Rum, Rum, White Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 23, 2010
It is time for another review revisitation. I have returned to this very early review which was part of the original set of reviews I opened the blog with, but which upon further reflection required a more thorough study. Lamb’s Blacksheep Rum is a really fun rum for me, but I had better warn you that the rum will not be for all palates. It is supercharged with cinnamon as the main spice so if cinnamon is not your thing you may want to take that into account.
Alfred Lamb is presumed to have opened his wine and spirits business in London in 1849. His method of aging rum in his cellars under the Thames River is reputed to be one of the secrets behind his rum’s unexpectedly smooth taste. Lamb’s Blacksheep Spiced Rum is a relatively new offering from Lamb’s and is part of the Corby stable of North American Brands. This is what the Corby’s website has to say regarding the Blacksheep…
“…Lamb’s® Black Sheep Spiced Rum is produced and blended in small batches to ensure consistency of the complex flavour profile that is unique to the rum category. Our ingredients – the finest cinnamon from Korintje,Madagascar-bourbon vanilla and lime essence from Mexico have been carefully selected from around the world to ensure optimal enjoyment on the palate…”
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“…I would classify this rum as a mixer rather than a sipper. It’s not that I can’t sip Lamb’s Blacksheep, I can and occasionally I do; but, the flavour profile is like a sweet cinnamon candy. I love this overcharge of cinnamon, and the inviting vanilla underneath.…”
You may read the full review here:
As with all of my review revisitations, I have left the original review published under the new review for comparison.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Lamb's Rum, Spiced Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 20, 2010
Photo Courtesy Rum Runner Imports
Hispaniola Mamajuana is a liqueur based upon a herb infused rum and wine drink called mamajuana which is indigenous to the Isle of Hispaniola (modern island of Dominican Republic and Haiti). The original mamajuana was a medicinal drink whose roots reach back to the original inhabitants of Hispaniola, the Taino, (who Columbus mistakenly called Indians). This original drink was more of a tea beverage made by boiling local roots and perhaps bark. As the drink evolved, honey was added as a sweetener, and over time rum and wine were added and the drink became the mamajuana known on the Island today.
In doing my research on this unique product, I came across a few suggestions that the original drink has medicinal properties to help with everything from arthritis to toothaches. But the most intriguing suggestion is that it has the ability to increase potency in men, and desire in women. It is playfully called ‘Viagra Dominica’ by its adherents. This means my review should be most interesting as I, like you, am genuinely skeptical, but genuinely curious about Hispaniola Mamajuana.
Hispaniola Mamajuana is produced by Mardi S.A. made from aged rum and honey as well as a secret recipe of over twenty different herbs and spices. It bottled at 30 % alcohol by volume. My sample for this review was provided by Rum Runner Imports who are bringing the product to market in my home Province.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“….There seems to be a myriad of aromas trying to escape as soon as the glass is poured. Anise, woody herbs, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, honey, and faint airs of brown sugar all rise up in a stew of exotic aroma. The nose is aggressive and almost seems medicinal with hints of menthol. (I guess I should not be surprised as the original mamajuana is considered a medicine in folklore.)…”
You may read the full review here:
As usual I have included a couple of original recipes for your enjoyment!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Domincan Rum, Flavoured Rum, Hispanola Mamjuana, Rum Liqueur, Rum Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 28, 2010
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum is a new spiced rum from Proximo Spirits. It is an imported black rum from the Caribbean, reputedly infused with 11 secret spices. The rum is named after the legendary sea monster which is claimed to have attacked sailing ships in the Caribbean during the 18th and 19th centuries. This is a 94 proof black spiced rum.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“…The rum is very dark with what looks like a kind of dark brown and plum colouration. A moderate amount of legs are apparent when I swirl the glass, and a mildly spicy licorice, cinnamon and molasses rise into the air. I catch faint wiffs of cloves, plum preserves, and black cherries as well…”
Please read the full review here:
As well I have went out on limb and designed a new cocktail for this rum which I playfully call, My Pet Squid. Enjoy!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Kraken Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Spiced Rum | 3 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 9, 2010
John “Calico Jack’ Rackham was a pirate of the early eighteenth century who seems to have two primary claims to fame. The first was that his design of the ship’s flag may actually have been the first use this design for a Jolly Roger flag ever on a pirate ship. The second is that his crew featured two female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read (Rackham actually believed Mary Read was a man when she joined his crew).
Researching Calico Jack , I learned he received his nickname due to his fondness for colourful cotton calico clothing. Also he and Anne Bonny were apparently lovers, although it appears she was actually another man’s wife.
Calico Jack’s pirate days seem to have begun in 1718 when he was elevated to the Captaincy on an English warship during a mutiny, and it ended at the end of a hangman’s noose in November of 1720 after being captured off the shore of Jamaica. His short career of piracy was highlighted by the plundering smaller ships near the coastal shorelines in a stolen sloop and ended shortly after it began.
I could actually find little in the way of redeeming qualities for “Calico Jack” the Pirate, who appears to have captured the imagination popular culture on the basis of the Jolly Roger flag alone. He certainly seems to have been a lousy pirate. Perhaps standards were different back then, but huddling close to shorelines attacking only smaller ships, then allowing yourself to be captured after only a brief stint of pirating hardly seems to be the stuff of legend. (It is even rumoured that he was captured in a fight which saw only his female pirates fighting back. Calico Jack surrendered without a fight.)
I hope that White Rock Distillers, the owners the of Calico Jack Spiced Rum Brand have a rum which fairs better than the its namesake.
You can read the full review here:
Posted in Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Rum, Rum Review, Spiced Rum | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 5, 2010
Its almost Super Sunday, and the Ministry of Rum is having a contest for a Superbowl Punch recipe. I remembered a recipe that I sent forrest a while back, and decided to enter it in the contest. The recipe is my original creation as is one of the few punches I know of with peach juice. So for now I will call it my:
Peachy Superbowl Spiced Rum Punch.
Here is the recipe:
1 cup Lamb’s Blacksheep Spiced Rum
1/2 cup Appleton Estate VX Rum
1/4 cup Triple Sec
2 cups Peach Juice
3 cups Orange Juice
1/4 cup Lime Juice
3 tbsp Simple Syrup
Garnish Punch Bowl with slices of peach fruit
Finish with Large Ice Cubes
I find this to be a very refreshing drink and as you can see I fill my glass to the brim!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Rum, Spiced Rum | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2009
I love Rum balls, and there are about as many different ways to make them as there are different types of rum to use in the mix. The Rum Balls i make are as yummy as they are messy.
My Messy Blacksheep Rum Balls. Enjoy!
1 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (A mixture of walnuts,pecans, and almonds)
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
4 oz grated dark bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup Lamb’s Blacksheep Rum
1 tsp Real Vanilla Extract
1 or 2 Dairy Milk chocolate bars
Here’s how to make them:
Place the Dairy Milk bars in the refrigerator to keep them hard so they are easy to grate later.
Make sure the nuts and the first amount of chocolate is very finely chopped and grated.
Mix the first five ingredients together and form into a small ball.
Refrigerate the mixture for 1/2 hour.
When you take the mix from the refrigerator, Take about a tablespoon at a time and roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls.
Cover the balls with the second amount of finely grated Dairy Milk bars.
Place back on the wax paper in the flat Tupperware and seal. Refridgerate until you are ready to eat them. Yumm!
Here are the finished Messy Blacksheep Rum Balls. on the top of the tiered serving tray. I made them with equal parts of walnuts, pecans and almonds. Sometimes I will increse the almonds to fifty percent of the mix, but this is a matter of taste. You can experiment with the nut mixture and/ or the type of rum, but I chose the Blacksheep this year as I knew the overcharge of cinnamon from the rum would really go well with the rum balls. (Just click on any picture to make them larger.)
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Howls, Rum | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Rum, Spiced Rum | Comments Off