The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Visit My Online Memorabilia Store

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • Industry Interviews


    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Follow Me on Twitter!

Archive for the ‘White Rums’ Category

Review: Cristal Parrot Lite Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2011

Cristal Parrot Lite Rum is a product of Belize, the northern-most mainland country of Central America. A former British Colony, Belize lies just south of Mexico with the Caribbean Sea to the east and Guatemala to the west and south. Traveller’s Liquors Limited has been involved in the production of rum in Belize since the early 1960s originally working with independent distillers. In 1989 Travellers acquired full control of their own distillery and has remained in full control of their own brands ever since.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The aroma from the glass carries a soft rummy caramel accented by cotton candy and perhaps a hint of mint. It is lightly vegetal indicating to me that very little if any aging has occurred. If you give the glass a little time to decant, the aroma turns slightly grassy and the caramel notes build up slightly.  Things are pleasant …”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Cristal Parrot Lite Rum

Included in the review are a couple of nice cocktails including my own, Red Sky Morning.

Please enjoy the review and the suggested cocktails!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Cristal Parrot Lite Rum

Review: Proof Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 24, 2011

Proof Rum is a relatively new brand of Rum produced by Proof Brands. The company currently produces whisky, rum and vodka all of which are bottled at 42 % ABV in unique stubby 500 ml bottles. The brand and the spirits are the creation of Michael Riley, a ten-year veteran of the alcohol beverage industry. Michael spent 5 years as the Director of Spirits for the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). He has also has worked with such brands as Crown Royal, Absolut, Captain Morgan, Chivas Regal and Molson Canadian. Proof Rum was recently awarded a silver medal at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

As part of the review process, I emailed Michael Riley to learn a little about his rum. What I learned is that the backbone of his spirit is a Guyanese aged rum which has spent 1.5-2 years aging in oak barrels (the time in oak varies with climate conditions), before being shipped to Canada. In order to achieve a consistent taste profile the rum is blended with small quantities of other rums which have been aged in Canada. The country of origin of these “Canadian Rums’  may vary depending upon what the blender requires to keep the taste profile consistent. The final blend is charcoal filtered to produce the clear spirit called, Proof Rum. I was recently given a bottle of this Proof Rum by the local distributor of Proof Brands, Diamond Estate Wines & Spirits for the purpose of a review here on my website.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… That lemony scent I noticed on the nose comes though in spades when I sip the Proof Rum. It accents the rummy caramel flavour, and I am quite liking what I taste as I am sipping. There is just a little floral character as well which reminds me of balsam or perhaps more of lilacs, and there is a little hot peppery madness going on as well which bodes very well for cocktails…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Proof Rum

As well I have provided a nice recipe I call the Iced Rum Cocktail.

Please enjoy the review!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Proof Rum

Review: Bacardi Superior White Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 10, 2011

In 1862, Facundo Bacardi and his brother José bought the Santiago de Cuba Distillery and began to distill what would become the most popular commercial rum in the world. Using a method of charcoal filtering, and oak barrel aging  along with a still of copper and cast iron, Facundo Bacardi created a smoother more refined version of the locally made rum. His smoother version of the spirit became local favourite, and over time, an international sensation.

Bacardi Superior White Rum is a direct descendant of the original rum which Facundo Bacardi produced back in 1862. Although production methods have undoubtedly changed since then, the Bacardi White Rum is still produced using a method of oak barrel aging (for one to two years) and charcoal filtration.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…I began by sipping the Bacardi Superior White Rum neat in my glass without ice. The initial impression was of a dryish rum which was perhaps a little rougher on the palate than I was hoping for. I taste a firm presence of almond and a softer presence of caramel and vanilla…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Bacardi Superior White Rum

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Bacardi Superior White Rum

Rum Review: Newfoundlander’s White Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 6, 2011

It started well over one hundred years ago when fishing fleets from Newfoundland, with their cargo of Northern Cod and North Atlantic Tuna, traveled south and established a tradition of trade for the Caribbean Elixir, known as rum. This trade established Newfoundland as one of the major portals for the legal import (and of course a little illegal smuggling) of rum into Canada.

There have always been a good variety of rum brands on the shelves of my local liquor store which began their journey westward across Canada from the easternmost Province of Newfoundland. These rums are imported from the Caribbean in bulk, then bottled and branded in St. John’s Newfoundland, and as a result can trace their ancestry to those original fishing fleets that bartered Cod for Rum.

One of these brands, Newfoundlander’s Rum, made a splash about a year ago with a new style and presentation that rejected the pirated clichés of the rum marketing gurus and instead embraced the heritage of Newfoundland’s rocky shores and its naval tradition. Stunning artwork from Canadian artist David Blackwood adorned the labels in narrative designs that told a story of the  proud Newfoundland people who live their lives near and on the sea. It is a life bound by tragedy and hope as the residents of Newfoundland are blessed by the ocean’s bounty; yet they are always at its mercy.

I was given a bottle of Newfoundlander’s White Rum this Christmas as a gift from a good friend, and I decided that I should share my impressions of this rum here on my blog.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The light caramel flavour of the rum is firm, and I taste no bitter off-notes. There is a tinge of alcohol bite which tastes slightly sharp, but I also taste the light candy flavours I noticed in the nose and an every so soft progression of mint. Vanilla notes are present,  as is a light almond flavour…”

You may read the full review here:

Rum Review: Newfoundlander’s White Rum

As well I have included a few cocktails which work well with the Newfoundlander’s White Rum including The Pink Rocket and  The Gentle Hammock.

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Review: Newfoundlander’s White Rum

An El Dorado Evening

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 5, 2011

El Dorado Rums are world-famous for their terrific flavour and complexity.  Recently the company has released a Connoisseur’s Range of rums which highlight particular aspects of their distilling and blending practices. These Connoisseur Rums each bring a unique aspect of the El Dorado rum flavour profile to the consumer which is derived from the particular still which has produced them.

Since I enjoy the El Dorado range of rums, I decided to construct a complex cocktail utilizing the different flavours and structures of El Dorado rum. I chose the 3 Yr Cask Aged Silver Rum, the 5 Yr Cask Aged Gold Rum, and one of the new aged Single Barrel Connoisseur Rums.

Depending upon which of these new Connoisseur Rums is chosen, the cocktail will carry different aspects of the El Dorado style into the cocktail.  For example the El Dorado Single Barrel PM carries many woody tones which will provide a strong oak flavour and a high level of complexity into the cocktail; the El Dorado Single Barrel Demerara ICBU Rum carries more sweetness and a fuller nutty flavour which will make a softer, smoother cocktail.  Each version of the cocktail is very good in its own way and choosing which version I prefer to drink really is dependent upon my mood at the time.

I chose the name An El Dorado Evening for the cocktail for obvious reasons. Please enjoy!

An El Dorado Evening

a cocktail by Arctic Wolf

2/3 oz El Doroda 3 Yr Cask Aged Rum
2/3 oz El Doroda 5 Yr Cask Aged Rum
2/3 oz El Dorado Single Barrel (choose one from the connoisseur’s range)
1 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Amaretto
4 Large Ice Cubes
Glass half full of Crushed Ice
maraschino cherry
mint sprig
pineapple slice

Add the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with the large ice cubes
Shake until the metal shaker chills
Strain the mixture from the metal shaker over the crushed ice.

To garnish add the maraschino cherry and sprig of mint into the glass and the slice of pineapple on the rim. (Please use a real maraschino cherry, and bruise the mint before placing it in the glass.)

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, White Rums | Comments Off on An El Dorado Evening

Introducing Mount Gay Eclipse Silver

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2010

I mentioned, here on my blog a week ago, that the rum renaissance is well under way in my home province of Alberta with the arrival of the Mount Gay 1703, Old Cask Selection. What I did not mention was that the distributors for Mount Gay Rum (Select Wines) had arranged for me to receive a few samples of their rum for the purpose of reviewing them on my website. The first of these reviews is for the Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum, a Bajan rum from the Mount Gay Plantation on the Island of Barbados.

Mount Gay Rum has been produced on the Isle of Barbados since the beginning of the eighteenth century, making Mount Gay one of the oldest, (if not the oldest) rum brand in the World.  Evidence exists of stills in use at the Mount Gay Plantation site as early as 1667, and we have confirmation (with the first written records) of rum produced on the site in 1703.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…It is unusual in my experience for a white rum to display such an inviting aroma in the glass. The scents and smells of light butterscotch were evident as was a firm presence of banana, a mild citrus zest, and a light minty aroma….”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum

As well please enjoy my cocktail suggestions which follow the review.

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Introducing Mount Gay Eclipse Silver

Review: Diplomatico Blanco Reserva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 30, 2010

In the late 1950s, the major companies which were involved in the production and distribution of alcoholic spirits in Venezuela were grouped into one organization called Licorerias Unitas S.A. This company was controlled by Seagrams who owned the majority share of the new consolidated company. After a series of mergers and acquisitions involving Seagrams, Diageo, and Pernod Richard, a decision was made finally to divest in the facilities in Venezuaela  and concentrate instead upon brand commercialization.

The good news is that a group of local investors purchased the manufacturing assets of Licorerias Unitas S.A and formed Distilleries Unitas S.A. (DUSA) on August 22, 2002. Although this company is relatively new, the tradition of making quality rum in these Venezuelan facilities is not. It is a matter of fact that systematic rum production in Venezuela can be dated to 1896.  The DUSA facilities are at the foot of the Terepaimai National Park and from these facilities they produce the wonderful Diplomatico Rums which have garnered so much attention of late.

The Diplomatico Blanco is a very recent addition to the Diplomatico line up. Working with Blend Wine and Spirits, The Blanco was added to the Diplomatico brand to serve as an alternative to premium Vodka for bartenders and connoisseurs. It is meant to occupy the high-end niche market formerly reserved only for high-end Vodka.

It was at Rum Renaissance in Miami Florida, where I met Alex Mejido of Blend Wine and Spirits. Alex gave me a bottle of the Diplomatico Blanco to review on my blog, and although it has been several months since Rum Renaissance, I have finally completed my end of the bargain.  I should point out that I have not necessarily been negligent. I have waited before publishing the review to line things up  (sort of) with the release of this product in my home market of Alberta Canada.

I was informed by PB Beverages that they are about to launch the Diplomatico Blanco in Alberta so my review hopefully is timely.

Here is a link to the review:

Review: Diplomatico Blanco Reserva

As well I have included two new cocktails:

Red Sky at Night and Connie’s Sapphire Cocktail


Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Diplomatico Blanco Reserva

The 2010 Golden Rum Barrel Awards

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 26, 2010

About eight weeks ago UK Rum Ambassador Ian Burell sent me my nomination form for the Golden Rum Barrel Awards. These were to be the first World Wide Rum Awards based upon a judging by a panel of Rum Experts from at least three different continents and  many different Countries of the world.  I was invited to not only nominate rums I considered worthy, but also to judge in London at UK Rumfest!  Alas, that other world in which I dwell, (that one where I have a business to run and responsibilities to my family) prevented me from participating in London. But I did present my nominations to Ian, and I was very curious how the awards would turn out.

The Bachanalia Girls performing at the Award"s Ceremony

Judging took place on October 14  and 15th and the final results were announced the next day in a wonderful ceremony with included an appearance by the Bachanalia Girls.  Here are the results!

Best White Rum

  • Banks 5 Island Rum (Caribbean / Indonesia)

Best Super Premium White Rum

  • Oronoco (Venezuela / Brazil)

Best Flavoured or Spiced Rum

  • Elements 8 Spiced (St. Lucia)

Best Gold Rum up to 6 years old

  • El Dorado 5 (Guyana)

Best Premium Gold Rum up to 12

  • Dos Maderos 5 + 5 (Spain)

Best Premium Gold Rum (over 12)

  • El Dorado 12 (Guyana)

Best Super Premium Gold Rum minimum aged 15yrs

  • Mount Gay 1703 (Barbados)

Best Solera Rum

  • Atlantico (Dominican Republic)

Best Dark Rum, Black rum or Navy Styled Rum

  • Pussers 15 years (British Virgin Island)

Best Agricole Aged up to 4 years

  • Clement VSOP (Martinique)

Best Agricole over 4 years

  • Plantation Guadeloupe (France)

Best Cachaça

  • Beija flor Reserva Especial

Best North American Rum (inc Mexico)

  • Los Valientes 15 (Mexico)

Best South American Rum

  • Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva (Venezuela)

Best European Rum

  • Black Tot Black Tot Last Consignment (UK)

Best Australian Rum

  • Holey Dollar Cask Strength (Australia)

Best Asian Rum

  • Old Monk (India)

Best Caribbean Rum

  • Mount Gay 1703 (Barbados)

Best Central American Rum

  • Ron Abuelo 12 (Panama)

Best New Rum Brand

  • Zafra Master Reserve 21 (Panama)

Best Rum Package

  • St Nicholas Abbey (Barbados)

Ian Burell with Bibendum's Paul Macfadyen, Importers of Los Valientes Rum.

Posted in Dark Rums, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, White Rums | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on The 2010 Golden Rum Barrel Awards

The Rum Howler Awards – The Rum Wrap Up

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 22, 2010

Today I am wrapping up the Rum portion of my Rum Howler Awards presenting what might be considered the ‘grand prize’ awards for best rums I have tasted over the past year.  I wanted to be completely fair about things so I decided that perhaps I should bring in some help and have the final tasting session done by panel rather than by myself alone.

All final tastings were done in a blind format. The panel members were not even tasting the same spirits at the same time. The rums were ranked  by each panel member and then the rankings were compared to choose the best spirit for each category. Categories based loosely on age and price were established as you can see below:

The Rum Howler Award for Best Rum (aged 5 years or less):
(A price point below $37.50 in my market (Alberta) was also required.)

Juan Santos 5 Year

Honourable mention, Bermudez Ron Anejo 1852, El Dorado 5, and Diplomático Añejo,

This was a very close race with each of the four finalists receiving at least one first place vote from each of the panel members. In the end, The Juan Santos was a clear winner receiving second place votes on every scorecard where it was not ranked number one.  For those who are not familiar with Juan Santos, it is a Colombian Rum produced by Casa Santana and is sold in some markets as Ron Santero 5 Anos. In all 9 rums were considered here and the four mentioned were the cream of the crop.


The Rum Howler Award for Best Rum: (aged 10 years or less)
(The rums must also be priced below $50.00 per 750ml in my market of Alberta)

Bermudez Don Armando

Honourable mention to, Juan Santos 9 Year, Diplomatico Reserva, and Bacardi 8 Yr Old Rum

The Colombian rums from Casa Santana just keep surprising the panel. However a bigger surprise was the Bermudez Don Amando which scored highly on every panel members scorecards. A soft light bodied rum which seemed to win everyone over. The Diplomatico Reserva and the Bacardi 8 yr had strong advocates as well but, the scoring was not as consistently high.  In all eight rums were considered for this award.


The Rum Howler Award for The Rum of the Year:
(Age and price irrelevant)

Cubaney 25 Solera

Honourable mention Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, and Juan Santos 21 Year.

What a finish for the Rum of the year Selection!  A completely surprising result as the unexpected Sample bottle sent to me just recently by Oliver and Oliver (via Pavol Kazimer of Drums) literally ran away with the title on every panel members scorecards.  On some cards it wasn’t even close.  The Appleton Master Blender’s Legacy showed much better than I anticipated, and South America had two rums in the final four.


And here is a summary of this portion of the Rum Howler 2010 Rum Awards

The Rum Howler Award for The Rum of the Year, Cubaney 25 Solera

The Rum Howler Award for Best Rum (aged 10 years or less), Bermudez Don Armando

The Rum Howler Award for Best Rum (aged 5 years or less), Juan Santos 5 Year

All of my 2010 Rum Awards can be found on this summary page:

The Rum Howler Awards for Rum Excellence!

Posted in Dark Rums, Flavouerd Rums, Howls, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler Awards – The Rum Wrap Up

The Rum Howler Awards – Part 1

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 19, 2010

It is hard to believe that my blog has been online for one year now.  I have sampled over 70 bottles of rum, and over 40 bottles of whisky in that time, (and built 4 new bookcases to hold all the bottles). Of course the question I always get from people who read the blog is, “So what is your favourite Rum or Whisky?”

Today I am going to attempt to answer the question by presenting the first annual Rum Howler Awards! Of course, everyone should understand that I must introduce some provisos when I make the claim to tell you what I like best. I obviously cannot judge any spirit which I have not tasted during the past year. I also cannot make a comparative final tasting when the sample I received for my review, was so small that I now have none left to compare.  Fortunately, in most cases I saved a small sample of my favourite rums and whiskies just for this purpose, as to be honest my Rum howler Awards have been in the works for a while now.  So without more adieu perhaps I will begin.


The first Rum Howler Award is presented for the Best White Rum in a Daiquiri (I consider the daiquiri to be the quintessential cocktail for white rum).

And the Winner is:

Kōloa White Rum

Honorable mention to El Dorado 3 Year, and Bermudez Ron Viejo Blanco.

Judging this category involved me making me a daiquiri using each nominated rum and doing a side by side comparison on a hot summer evening. The Kōloa daiquiri was the runaway favourite.  A surprising result perhaps, but then again this rum is so clean and pure perhaps I should have anticipated its magnificence in a classic cocktail like the daiquiri!


The next award is for the best overall white rum. White rum has recently experienced a substantial category change where we have the new so-called premium white rums which have been aged for up to six years (perhaps more) and then filtered clear to give the rum a superior sipping and mixing profile. This means a second award for White Rum is in order.

The Best White Rum Overall:

El Dorado 3 Year

Honourable mention to Bermudez Ron Viejo Blanco, and Highwood Imported White who were the other nominees.

For this category I considered not only the flavour in a daiquiri but also the overall flavour in The Cuba Libre, and the Mojito, (the triumvirate of classic white rum cocktails). I took that overall score and gave it 50 % of the weighting, then I also compared the taste of each rum neat which accounted for the other 50 percent of the score.


The spiced/flavoured category of rum is all the rage right now. For my awards I decided I would include the so-called Black Rums and the dark Navy Rums in this category as they appear to my palate to be essentially the same as flavoured rums.

The Rum Howler award for the Best Spiced or Flavoured Rum is:

Gosling’s Black Seal

Honourable mention goes to Juan Santos Coffee Rum,and Lambs Blacksheep Rum.

Of course this category was difficult to judge based upon the extreme differences in the rums involved. So I could not follow a rigorous format. I decided to go to the producers websites and see if i could build the recommended cocktail for each spirit. I balanced this off with the flavour drinking the spirit neat. It was a very close battle between the Gosling’s Black Seal which was tremendous in a Dark ‘n Stormy versus the Juan Santos Coffee Rum which is a great sipping dessert rum.


Now I am going to turn my attention to Whisky.  Anyone who has read my blog realizes that I love to mix cocktails and bar drinks. I believe that the vast majority of whisky drinkers do the same. The Horse’s Neck (Whisky and ginger-ale) is the quintessential bar drink that I like to serve, and as such a suitable drink to use for judging the mixability of whisky.

Therefore, I created The Rum Howler Award for the Best Whisky in a Horse’s Neck:

Gibson’s Finest 12 YR

Honourable mention to Hiram Walker Special Old and Centennial 10 Year Old.

I loved judging this one. I made small whisky and ginger ale drinks from just about every one of my Canadian Whiskies and tasted them over several nights to arrive at the last three.  (I also tried several American, Irish and Scotch Whiskies as well but they just didn’t measure up.)  The final three were judged side by side in a final evening of pure enjoyment.


Next I turned my attention to Blended Whisky. I did not discriminate between age, or cost. If the whisky was labeled as a blend it qualified for an award.

The Rum Howler Award for the Best Blended Whisky goes to:

Wiser’s 18 Years Old

Honourable mention goes to Johnny Walker Black Label, and Forty Creek Portwood Reserve.

I decided to judge this award based first upon the whiskies flavour in two classic whisky cocktails, The Old Fashioned, and the Manhattan.  50 percent of the score was derived from the flavour the whisky presented in these cocktails. The other 50 % of the score was derived from the flavour the whisky displayed when drank neat.  I sampled three Scottish whiskies, Johnnie Walker Black Label, Johnnie Walker Gold Label, and Old Parr Superior. As well I sampled three other Canadian Whiskies, Forty Creek Portwood Reserve, Crown Royal Cask No. 16, and of course Wiser’s 18 Years Old.

The Wiser’s 18 Year Old won by the slimmest of margins in a final taste off with a whisky which continues to surprise me, Johnnie Walker Black Label.


Of Course if I select the best Blended Whisky, I should also select the best Single Grain Whisky. Included in this category is any whisky which is made from a single grain with the exclusion of Single Malt Whiskies.

The Rum Howler Award for the Best Single Grain Whisky goes to:

Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey

Honourable mention to Alberta Premium Rye 25Yr Old, and Century Reserve 21 Yr Old.

I decided to judge this award in the same manner as  I judged the best blended Whisky. Based first upon the whisky flavour in the two classic whisky cocktails, The Old Fashioned, and the Manhattan. Then based upon the flavour the whisky displayed when drank neat.  I was very surprised when the side by side comparison revealed a winner which was not Alberta Premium 25 yr Old (one of one of my personal favourites) . Instead the Greenore Single Grain Whisky from Ireland reigned supreme!


And there you have it, the first six Rum Howler Awards:

The Best White Rum in a Daiquiri, Kōloa White Rum.

The Best White Rum Overall, El Dorado 3 Year.

The Best Whisky in a Horses Neck, Gibson’s Finest 12 YR.

The Best Blended Whisky, Wiser’s 18 Years Old.

The Best Spiced or Flavoured Rum, Gosling’s Black Seal.

The Best Single Grain Whisky, Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey.

More Rum Howler Awards will be posted over the next several days as I continue to award the rums and the whiskies which pleased my palate the most since I began my blog a year ago. Stay tuned!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavouerd Rums, Howls, Irish Whskey, Rum, Whisk(e)y, White Rums | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler Awards – Part 1


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,411 other followers

%d bloggers like this: