The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

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Contact Me

How to Contact The Rum Howler to have your Spirit Reviewed!

If you are a member of the spirits industry, and wish to see your spirit reviewed on the Rum Howler Blog, then here is where you should make your initial contact. My email address for such inquiries is:


Please leave a short message regarding your inquiry. If you wish your contact request to be kept confidential, please indicate this in your email. Although I am located in Canada, I have made appropriate arrangements to receive samples from the US and abroad.

All spirits samples must be bottled and sealed in original packaging.

I will not review a sample of less than 200 ml, although the preferred sample size is 500 ml to 750ml bottle. Once contacted, I will respond via email to make arrangements to receive your sample. (I expect all costs associated with transporting the samples to my address, including taxes and duties, to be paid for by the company providing the spirit for review).

I also provide specialized consulting services to spirit producers and distributors to help assess the quality of their products. My fees for this sort of service are very reasonable (at least I think so), and you may use the above email address to contact me in confidence about such matters.

(Please Note: The email address indicated above is for industry contacts only. I will not respond to other inquiries. If you have questions or comments regarding my reviews, my recipes, or other matters relating to the blog then please use the comments section provided at the end of each article I publish.)


Republishing My Work

Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. This means that , all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.

If you are a producer, advertiser or publisher and wish to use, or republish any of the materials or pictures on this website (in full or in part) or have myself submit new material to you for publication, please be advised that all of my articles/reviews/photographs are my intellectual property. Please contact me using the email address above. And yes, I expect to be compensated for such use.


About Me

I have been writing reviews of distilled spirits for about 5 years now. It began when I posted a few mad ramblings on the Ministry of Rum which gave my views on a few of the more popular Rum Brands. Soon after those ramblings were published, I was contacted by the owner of a website called Rum Connection. He was wondering if I would be interested in writing a few reviews for his website. I decided to give it a try, and the result was my first published review:

Pusser’s 15 Review

The folks at Rum Connection apparently liked what I wrote, and during the next year I published about 15 reviews for them.

Reviewing rum was so much fun that I decided to create my website, but not just for Rum. I made the decision that I would discuss all distilled spirits, and when I opened this website in October of 2009, I made sure I added a few Whisky Reviews, some Gin Reviews and a couple Tequila Reviews such that most of the major distilled spirit categories were represented. (Since opening the website, I have expanded the range to also include Vodka Reviews as well as Brandy and Cognac.) Although my focus is primarily upon Rum and Whisky, it is my belief that acquiring knowledge and skill with respect to all spirits serves to broaden my perspective and is beneficial to my over-all understanding of distilled spirits.

For what it is worth, people (and industry) seem to like what I write. Since opening the website, I have for the last three years in a row been asked to act as a Spirits Judge for the yearly Canadian Whisky Awards; as well I have twice been asked to join the international panel of judges for the International RumXP Competition at Rum Renaissance in Miami.

Having said that, I think it would be true to state that the reviews on this website represents more of a knowledgeable layman’s perspective than that of a professional taster. I hope you enjoy the reviews and find value in them; but always remember that an opinion is just that, an opinion. Do not take my writing too seriously, for opinions vary and in the end, only you can really decide if a spirit gives you enjoyment. Use my reviews as a guide, but trust your own tastes and preferences as well.

(Note: I sometimes receive comments and messages from persons who wish me to comment on the value of bottles of whisky and rum that they have in their possession. And from persons who wish to use my blog as a means to sell such bottles. Although I thank you for reading my blog, I cannot help you in these matters. My suggestion for you is to visit or the Ministry of Rum where it appears help in these matters may be  provided.)

260 Responses to “Contact Me”

  1. Diane said

    Have you ever done a review of Rittenhouse 100 proof? I can’t see it on your list, but maybe I’ve missed it somewhere. Thanks!

  2. Beluga Lover said

    Hi Chip

    Love your website and the reviews. I’d love to sip some Beluga with you one day, the Gold Line is my favourite vodka in the world too! The standard Noble stuff is great too.

    I noticed you haven’t reviewed any Martell Cognacs yet! I have to say, it’s probably my favourite from the “Big 4″. Any chance of a review in the future?

    • Beluga is fantastic!

      As for the Martell Cognacs, I imagine at some point I will get to them, but they are not high on my radar just yet. I am planning a Tequila Series wrapped around a Margarita Theme as my next big project, and then I might grapple with a little Grappa after that. And of course the Rum and Whisky reviews continue unabated! :)

  3. Peter said

    Hey Chip

    Would a review of Brugal 1888 be on your agenda?

    Keep up the good work

  4. F Scott Bucky said

    A friend just recommended this site after introducing me to the wonderful world of CDN whiskies. Have to confess that from highschool memories 35 yrs back, i had no interest. Most of the intervening yrs spent enjoying a travelogue through Scotland’s finest, copy of Michael Jackson’s single malt guide in hand. This past month i was gifted a bottle of Wiser’s 18 yr old, Lot 40 and Alberta Springs, along with a ref to your site. WOW! What a treasure. Thank you for the dedication of effort and the celebration of spirit.

  5. Bernie said

    Have you ever reviewed Johnnie Walker Double Black? What do you think?

  6. Diane said

    Just wondering if you have yet reviewed Canadian Club Maple – I cannot find it on your blog, and it’s just gone on sale here in B.C. I’m finishing my bottle of Sortilege, and know the CC isn’t a liqueur, but I cannot locate any more information about it, or reviews of it. Thanks!

    • There are many flavoured whiskies popping up all over the landscape, and I have only sampled a few. The maple flavoured whiskies seem on average to be better than most, although to be honest, I prefer my whisky unflavoured.

  7. Jono Matchett said

    Hi Chip,

    Your whisky reviews have got me interested in cdn whisky. I have learned and ton from your website – thanks!
    I was wondering how you can which batch or year and whisky is from? I went to the lcbo here in Ontario to buy Wiser’s 18 and it did not have any batch numbers, which I thought was strange. Any advice for a new buyer?

    • Hi Jono

      Thanks for the kind words with respect to my reviews. I receive almost all of my samples for review from industry and they provide me with the information which I require for my reviews.

  8. carlilem said

    Found a bottle of Diplomatico single vintage 2000 in of all places Langdon AB. Was wondering if you have tasted this rum? At more than twice the price of Reserva Exclusiva some advice would be nice.

  9. Mike said

    Hi Chip!

    I just want to say that for the past year or so, your reviews have helped me grow into an intermediate aficionado of fine spirits. As I always am on the lookout for the next beer/spirit to try, every wednesday/thursday I scour my local liquor flyers to see if anything good is on sale and before I make a purchase, I’m always keen to check your website first to see if you’ve reviewed it. Although I’m only 20, I can say with pride that my liquor cabinet is brimming with fine whiskeys, rums, vodkas, and gins as recommended by you. Once again, thank you so much for your guidance and sage words in helping this guy have a better appreciation for well-crafted spirits! Tonight, I’ll be trying the Knob Creek 9 YO!

    – Mike

  10. Michael Wilson said

    Happy New Year Chip!

    Thought I’d say hi, I’m a local boy who has been using your reviews to compare and deduce what spirits I should try next (like you, I have a taste for great rums) and have had a wonderful time doing it, so thank you for this wonderful service! It’s Robbie Burns day and I’m sipping on my 14 year Oban Scotch Whiskey and was thinking to myself, “I wonder what does Chip think about this?”. Low and behold, there’s no review for this whiskey on your website. I picked it up at Costco for $80 and would like to hear your thoughts on it if you’ve ever had the pleasure. It’s certainly worth a taste.

    Looking forward to your thoughts!

    PS. Where do you normally go for your none-review based rums (the ones you already reviewed and are just buying some for the love of it)? I live in St. Albert so Campbell Liquor or Sherbrooke are my go to’s. Great & informed staff at both locations.

    • Hi Michael. I am glad you follow my website, and thank you for the kind words. I have sippied the Oban in the past and found it a nice moderately complex scotch which is quite nice. Unfortunately a review is not in the works (at least in the short term) as I have no sample bottles to work from. My work is done almost entirely from samples provided by industry and I now rarely purchase whisky or rum as my sample shelf is almost always full and many of my prized rums and whiskies have only a few swallows taken from the bottles.

  11. Dr Alan F Pye said

    Oi, Chip,
    Loved your gin winners for 2014. Heroic work and a nice range of criteria — thank you! Umm, there are a few confusing editorial 2013s in your report though. Must have been the early hours of the morning… :)
    Please keep up the sterling work and thanks again. Alan

    • Thanks Alan, I appreciate it when my typos are pointed out as it just plain looks bad when they are left in. I think I got them all fixed, and you are right it was early in the morning when I finished writing the awards page. Early in the morning and perhaps one too many Gin Martinis. :)

  12. Daniel said

    Hi Chip. Happy New Year to you and your family! Been following you for about a year now and I just had to say your website is great! I have turned so many of my rum-drinking friends on to it and they all love it. I had a quick question. My favourite rum, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva used to have a rating of 97 and now has a rating of 94.5. I was wondering what the reason is for this or did I read the rating wrong when I first came to the site? Thanks in advance and cheers!

  13. Peter said

    Hey Chip,

    I know you have a lot on your table, but would you consider an updated Bourbon/American Whisky list. Your long ago review of Bookers inspired me to purchase a bottle and some time later get the last available bottle (for now) in Ontario. My wife now blames you for my 4 month spending spree of every whisky/Rum I can stuff into my bar :)

    If you can get some of the E H Taylor whiskies (especially the Rye) you will not be disappointed.


  14. Adam Malay said

    I have a bottle of rum called Saba Island Rum, from Maple Leaf Distillers. Its a white rum. I know absolutely nothing about it, I haven’t cracked it open yet. Have you ever tasted or scored it?

  15. Brenda Helm said

    reading your reviews of Canadian whiskies…and all your reviews. If you want something truly different, I would encourage yiu to come to Saskatchewan and visit Lucky Bastard Distillery. It is a small operation out of Saskatoon, but they are as different as they come. Their Gin is like no other. Their Chai Vodka is truly unique. Their spiced Rum is like none I have ever had before. And they have just released their firstbatch of whiskey. I havent tried it yet but I cant wait. Come and try some. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

  16. Nick Apivor said

    Excited to see that the Legendario line is FINALLY available in B.C. Bought a bottle of Elixer de Cuba and loving it!

  17. evgeny said

    Hi Chip! What should I buy Flor de Cana 12 or Doorly’s Fine Old Barbados Rum (XO)?

  18. Peter said

    Hey Chip

    Always enjoy your reviews. Much of my purchases are based on them and you have not let me down yet.

    I purchased a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 yr 94 proof recently and was very impressed, especially at the $40 cdn price tag.

    Would like to hear your thoughts on it and is it on your radar to review.

    Thanks again

  19. prms said

    Hey Chip, I really dig your vodka reviews and the overview list. Helped me spot the gems after I realized I’m a real vodka lover!
    However, I noticed your recent articles are not including any vodkas :'( Last one I saw was the Belvedere….
    Any updates coming up?

    • Hi prms

      I have to admit that I am a little behind in my reviews right now. In my review queue I have 6 rums to get at, about four whiskies, six Cognacs, and a couple of Tequilas as well as five Vodkas (Absolut, Potter’s, Skye, Alberta Pure and Polar Ice). My mood will determine what gets reviewed in what order, but I will get to the Vodka, hopefully sooner rather than later.

  20. Pierre-Alex said

    Hi Chip, I really like your website and it is really useful to me, I have a question for you and I did’nt know where to go so I decided to wrote it here, I will go to Cuba in December and I’d like to know which Rhum I should buy, I really like the El Dorado 12 years from Guyana so I’d like something similar to that. I’d also like to know which Rum I should try there.

  21. Bryant Pierpont said

    Love your reviews and, like you, my preference is rum. However, I do enjoy a good gin. A Brit pointed me toward Plymouth gin. In a gin and tonic (made with lemon, not lime), I found it to be spectacular…far better than others I’ve tried over the years. Might be worth a review on a cold wet “tweedy” evening.

  22. Motozappa said

    Hi Chip (aka, Artic Wolf),

    I hope you enjoyed the summer, are all stocked and ready for the winter!

    I’m curious, I hadn’t seen a review from you for R. L. Seale’s rum from Barbados, had I missed something? I found it locally here in Connecticut for under $20 USD for an impressive 750ml bottle! In my humble opinion it was pretty decent, but not quite up to snuff with Doorley’s.

    Thanks in advance,

  23. Peter said

    Wanted to say I enjoy this site and I visit regularly. I picked up my first bottle of Ron Diplimatico Reserva Excusiva and I it is now my favorite and the cost is so reasonable. Picking up another immediately in case of emergency. Also picked up a Flor de Cana 12 and really liked it as well, so inexpensive. I was given an El Dorado 15 last Christmas and still struggle with it (too sweet and heavy). I like the ED 12 more. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your reviews and your site. Enjoy the Whiskey reviews as well.

  24. Scott S. said

    Hi! Really enjoy your blog. Curious if price affects your reviews at all as it doesn’t seem to be mentioned much. For example, I know it wasn’t your favorite rum, but a store near me has a TON of Mt. Gay Extra Old Rum on clearance for $26 so just wondering if it’s worth the cost. (I did order a bottle, seemed too good to pass up :) )

  25. Adam Malay said

    I love reading your reviews and find them helpful. My buddies and I get together at least once a week and sip some tasty rums (mix a lot too).
    I have a question, or maybe it is an observation…. when visiting my Dad the other month, he presented me with a full bottle of Appleton 12 yr old rum that he has had since the early 1980’s, proclaiming “I hate Jamaican rum, do you want this?’. Now, to be truthful, I cannot fault him too much on this statement -I’m not a huge fan of Appleton. Nonetheless, I was happy to take the bottle off his hands. The other day, myself and my regular group of rummies did the “taste challenge”…. we went head to head with the vintage 12 yr old Appleton vs. an off the shelf 12 yr old Appleton. Hands down, the old bottle was by far superior. Now here is the question….. I have been told that alcohol does not age once it has been bottled. So why does the older, vintage bottle taste so much superior? They are both 12 yr old rums. My next thought is it because the recipe has changed?
    I would like to know your opinion.

    • Hi Adam

      Sorry for the delay in response. All spirit blends change over time, and sometimes the blends are even produced with slight differences for different markets. In Canada for example, Appleton used to incorporate a little bit of Canadian Rum within some of their blends to take advantage of our Canadian Tax Laws. They no longer do this but it does mean the older blends made for the Canadian market may taste a little differently because of this Canadian content. More likely though it is just the slow evolution over time of the rum as its flavour profile is refined.

      I myself have note changes in the 12 year old during the past 5 years, although unlike you my scores for the rum have gradually increased rather than decreased.

  26. danny antoniazzi said

    Hello there.
    I was wondering if you will ever review RUm from Costa Rica? I have had the Ron CENTENNARIO 20 and 25year and find it simply one of the best I have had. Unfortunately, it is not available in Canada.

  27. Keith Telling said

    RegardingPlantation Guatemala Gran Anejo Rum.
    Think the production for the UK in now under the Marks & Spencer “Plantation Rum” brand from Guatamala.
    I am happy to be corrected.

    • It seems apparent that Marks and Spencer has indeed contracted with Plantation Rum to finish and bottle various Marks and Spencer branded rums for the UK Market; but it is a stretch to say these will automatically be the same as the Plantation branded Rums. In the case of the Guatemalan rum. although the “Marks and Spencer” branded rum appears to be finished and bottled by Plantation Rum from what may or may not be similar Guatemalan rum stocks, it is not really the same rum. The obvious difference is that the Mark and Spencer brand is bottled at a lower proof. As well, I see no evidence from the labeling of these rums which supports that the marks and Spencer rum is made from the same blended stocks as the Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo. Although Ron Botran is the likely source of both rums, their blending facilities which utilize many different types of oak barrels barrels allows them to construct many different solera style rum blends.

  28. Johanna said

    Just introduced to your site and finding it very enlightening. I really enjoy G&T and wonder if you will be reviewing Tanquery w/Rangpur.

  29. B Gull said

    I have grown to love your blog and visit it often when looking to add to my small but growing rum and whiskey collection at home. Sounds like I have a long way to go, but I’m also running out of space to display everything in my small bar! Some individual reviews have left me wishing I could comment or ask a follow up question, however this is the only page on your site that lets me leave a reply – have comments been disabled for most reviews?

    • Because i have written over 500 reviews and published over 900 individual pages, it became impossible to respond or even to vette all of the individual comments I was receiving. Therefore I turned the comments off on almost all of my pages (soon it will be all). You can still comment on the front page postings but only for the first 30 days after publication.

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