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Posts Tagged ‘Top 30 Rum’

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 11 – Ron Millonario Solero 15 Reserva Especial Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 14, 2012

Top 30Millonario Sistema Solera 15 Reserva EspecialIt was just a few short days ago that I spoke of Fabio Rossi, and his wonderful Rum Nation line-up. What I failed to mention is that Mr. Rossi is not just responsible for Rum Nation, but also for another brand of rum called Ron Millonario. The rums of Ron Millonario are produced ina distillery in Northern Peru on three old Scottish column stills from sugar cane molasses (utilizing a slow distillation process). The distillery uses its own specially selected yeasts in the fermentation process, and also utilize their own coopers to construct the aging barrels from American and Slavonian oak. The Ron Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial, is produced from a 4 stage Solera process with the final stage bringing the oldest rum in the blend to 15 years.

In my opinion the rums of Ron Millonario are very special, and I was not surprised in the least when after tallying up the scores of my Judging Panel, the Ron Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial scored this high on my countdown list:

# 11 – Ron Millonario Solero 15 Reserva Especial Rum

“…  This is a full flavoured rum which features impressions of burnt caramel (treacle), licorice laced molasses, dry fruit, wood spice, marmalade, pungent baking spices (cinnamon, cloves and allspice), dribbles of coffee and chocolate and rich tobacco. A bed of freshly cracked walnuts lies underneath providing a ribbon of bitterness which seems work well with the sweet molasses and the spicy oak flavours … “

The oak spice and that licorice laced molasses seem to give the rum a full flavoured ‘rough around the edges’ quality which I found very appealing.


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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 12 – Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 13, 2012

Top 30Plantation 20th AnniversaryCognac Ferrand has a special relationship with a variety of Caribbean rum producers. This relationship is based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Based upon this relationship, Cognac Ferrand is able to acquire certain old and unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources, which they bring back to France and finish in their own warehouses and of course their own Cognac Casks. The Plantation 20th Anniversary Rum is a blending of the company’s oldest Bajan Rum reserves. These selected rums were first aged in the Caribbean (in ex-bourbon casks). Then they are transported to France to be blended by Plantation Rum’s Cellar Master at Château de Bonbonnet.

This is one rum which I really like a lot. It turns out that my judges loved it even more than I do, all that love resulted in the Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum placing number 12 in rum countdown.


# 12 – Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

“… The initial nose surprised me a little with its strong oaky presence and luscious smells of caramel and toasted coconut. Some nice orange marmalade chimes in as well as hints of marzipan and tobacco. As the glass sits, rich baking spices full of dark brown sugar, vanilla, and dabbles of cinnamon and nutmeg rise into the breezes…”



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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 13 – Rum Nation Panama 21 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 12, 2012

Panama 21 Top 30Rum Nation has recently invaded my home Province of Alberta with a very interesting assortment of aged rums from the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The man behind this invasion is Fabio Rossi, who began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied winemaking). After his studies, Mr. Rossi left the wine business and started up a whisky company in Edinburgh (Wilson and Morgan) acting as an independent bottler of Single Malt Scotch Whisky. His interest turned to rum and in 1999 Fabio Rossi founded Rum Nation. His company is headquartered in Italy; but Fabio purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas. As a result Rum Nation provides a rather unique assortment of rare limited edition rum bottlings.

One such Bottling is the number 12 Rum in my countdown, the Rum Nation Panama 21 Years:

# 13 – Rum Nation Panama 21 Year Old Rum

“… Dry fruit in the form of raisins, dates, and prunes are rising which seems to hint at a sherry influence although I have learned that these sherry-like accent are very typical for Panamanian Rums. Dark caramel, baking spices, walnuts and rich oak notes all build up as the glass sits. I also notice a flamboyance in the air as tropical fruit, canned apricots, orange marmalade and the rich aroma of pipe tobacco have also reached up into the breezes above the glass…”

If this is an example of the care which Rum Nation is taking in selecting the rum for their limited edition bottlings, then I think they are on to something very good!


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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 14 – Cubaney Ron Tesero Grand Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 11, 2012

Top 30CubaneyOliver and Oliver, are an independent bottler of rum operating in the Dominican Republic.  They buy barreled rum from major rum producers in the Caribbean, and then age it using a solera aging system in what they call the “Cuban” style. The Cubaney Ron Tesero Grand Reserve is such a solera style rum which features rums as old as 25 years in the blend.

When I published my first Rum Howler Awards, this particular rum from Oliver & Oliver was declared the 2010 Rum of the Year. In 2012, I am naming it the 14th Best Rum in the World in my Top 30 Countdown!


# 14 – Cubaney Ron Tesero Grand Reserve

“… The rum in the glass is a deep, rich, bronze color which carries the rich aroma of dark brown sugar and wonderful baking spices. A faint smoke is present which carries scents of dried fruits, raisins, and a soft and subtle cherry-like aroma in the background.  A little wave of soft tobacco is mixed in, as is an ever-present woody backdrop which seems to tie everything together…”


This is a rich, decadent rum, full of character, and it is amongst the best rums I have ever tasted.


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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 15 – Dictador 12 Year Solera

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 10, 2012

Top 30Dictador_12yearsI was first introduced to the Dictador Rums when I convinced the local distributor to drop in on one of the monthly gatherings of my Rum Club. Two bottles of the new Dictador Rum (The 12-year-old and the 20-year-old) were brought to the club for us to taste and provide feedback. Later I also sampled the Dictador rums in Miami, at the Rum Festival. Both times I remember being taken in by the Dictador style and the rich vibrant rum inside the bottles. So far I have tasted and reviewed only three of the Dictador bottlings, the Perpetual XO, the 20 Year Old, and of course the Dictador 12 Year Old. It speaks to the quality of manufacture that all three have landed in my Top 30 Rum Countdown:


# 15 – Dictador 12 Year Solera

“… A yummy marzipan which reminds me of toasted almonds smothered in roasted marshmallows is nestled nicely under the oak and spice.  A touch of coffee, a hint of ripe cherry, and more charred flavours  (perhaps some toasted coconut) seem to arrive at the end with a sherry-like smokiness which also brings nuances of dry fruit and cocoa to the fore…”

The Dictador 12 Year Old Rum is a solera aged rum with the oldest rum in the bottle being at least 12 years of age. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume in a stylish black 700 ml bottle.



Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 16 – Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2012

Top 30 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was in April of 2009, that I wrote my first rambling reviews on the Ministry of Rum. If you search their old threads you will come across my original write-up on the Appleton 12 year Old Rum. It was in truth the first ‘review’ I ever wrote. It really wasn’t meant to be a review; but more of a fun write-up to let the members of that forum know what I liked and didn’t and why. That rambling thread is responsible for all that followed. About 6 months later I started this website and that write-up on the Ministry of Rum became the first review I placed on my website, just a little more fleshed out but in essence that same ‘review’ I wrote originally.

In November 2012 I revisited the Appleton 12 year Old Rum and found that my appreciation of the rum had increased substantially. The Rum has improved over the last three years (or perhaps my taste has). Regardless of whether it is the rum or my taste preference (and that of my Judging Panel) the Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old Rum checks in as the 16th best rum in my 2012 Countdown of the Best Rums in the World.

# 16 – Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year

“… The rum is nice and soft in my mouth. I taste a dominant trio of dark brown sugar, charred caramel, and a spicy oak which asserts itself firmly into the flavour profile. I found if I was patient, and let the rum sit in my glass and then sipped very slowly, I could catch the nuances of other more subtle flavours underneath… “


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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 17 – El Dorado 25 Year Vintage Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 8, 2012

Top 30El Dorado 25yo PackThe El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum is a blend of aged rums created to mark the turn of the millennium. Produced by Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL), it is blended from 25-year-old rum stocks which have been aged in used bourbon oak casks. Demerara Distillers is of course popular throughout the world for their rich, Demerara Rum. Using a combination of venerable old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, DDL, have built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. I have been fortunate enough to have been allowed to taste this particular vintage rum on several different occasions over the past several years. As part of my quest to find the best 30 rums in the world, I brought out my bottle of the El Dorado 25 year Old for my Panel of Judges to taste. As a result of our deliberations, the 25 Year Old Vintage Rum finds itself on my countdown list at number 18.

# 17 – El Dorado 25 Year Vintage Reserve Rum

“… The immediate nose brings forward rich notes of dark caramel and molasses; baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, brown sugar, and cinnamon); nuts (walnuts and pecans); dry fruit (dates, figs and raisins); smokey tobacco; and lots of rich oak spice. Allowing the glass to sit brings wisps of dark Christmas fruitcake and bittersweet chocolate into the breezes above the glass as well…”

The exit is filled with flavours of dates and raisins which are followed by impressions of lush dark brown sugar. Baking spices and heated oak spices settle onto the palate and into the back of the throat. This finale is well worth an encore.

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 18 – Dictador 20 Year Solera

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2012

Top 30

Dictador_20yearsAccording to the Dictador website, the Dictador 20 Year Old Solera Rum is the result of the fermentation of a mixture of virgin sugar cane honey which has been distilled in part from alembic copper pot stills and in part from continuous column stills. This is a solera aged rum with the oldest rum in the bottle being at least 20 years of age. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume in a stylish black 700 ml bottle. The Dictador website explains that the rum is produced in Colombia, more exactly, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia at Cartagena de Indias City, and  is named for Arango Y Ferro who was nicknamed ‘Dictador’ by the local population of Cartagena de Indias as he rose to prominence in the trade and commerce between the Spanish Colonies and Spain (sometime after 1751).

This is the second rum from Dictador which has ended up on my Countdown list placing itself at number 18:

# 18 – Dictador 20 Year Solera

“… The aroma from the glass is heavily tainted with oak and baking spice.  I smell dark brown sugars and toffee which grows stronger and deeper as the glass decants.  A hint of maple sits in the breezes. And accents of cinnamon, nutmeg as well as a firm dash of vanilla rise up to complement the strong oak aroma…”

The Dictador 20 year Old Solera Blend is a suave, yet rich rum experience!

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 19 – 5 Barrel Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2012

Top 305 Barrel Rum5 Barrel Rum is a premium aged rum produced in Belize, (the northernmost mainland country of Central America).  According to the producer, Travellers Liquors Limited, the rum is made from locally grown Belize sugar cane which is cut and crushed in a manner which retains its natural flavors. As well, all of the rum is aged in Kentucky oak barrels for a full 5 years. It is blended to be a full-bodied rum with the well-rounded taste which results from oak barrel aging.

When I reviewed the 5 Barrel Rum last January, I called it a “Rum Lover’s Rum”. My Judging Panel agreed and after the scores were counted, this wonder from Belize wound up at spot number 19 on the Countdown List of the Best Rums in the World:

# 19 – 5 Barrel Rum

“… The initial flavour of the rum is full of caramel and butterscotch melded into the oak spices. Some light orange peel weaves in and out and deeper down lurks a wonderfully rich tobacco flavour. Just as I noticed upon the nose, the rum grows in the glass as you slowly sip it. Brown sugar and baking spices (nutmeg, vanilla and spicy cinnamon) begin to appear alongside the oak spices and the tobacco…”

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 20 – Zaya Gran Reserva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 5, 2012

Top 30OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAZaya Gran Reserva Rum is a brand currently owned by Infinium Spirits. This rum brand was originally distilled and aged in Guatemala, but in 2008, the production of Zaya was moved to Trinidad and Tobago where it is now produced by Trinidad Distillers Ltd.. Zaya is apparently constructed from a secret recipe (in other words a blend) of several well aged rums to meet a specific taste profile which is very similar to (but not the same as) the original Guatemalan rum. All of the rums in the Zaya blend are aged for a minimum of 12 years in small oak casks.

When you read the following review you will notice that there was wide disagreement between myself and the other judges with respect to the Zaya Gran Reserva. Despite the disagreement, the Zaya checks in as the number 20 rum on my 2012 Top Rum Countdown…

# 20 – Zaya Gran Reserva

“… The initial aroma from the glass is very complex with rich vanilla, oak and pipe tobacco leading out into the air above the glass. Sweet caramel winds through the breezes, and I seem to catch accents of marmalade, marzipan and banana peel as well…”

The Zaya is a flavour bomb of a rum filled with vanilla and sweet caramel!

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