Dec 132014
Rivière-du-Mât Traditionel Vieux Grande Réserve Rum

A tasty, svelte, supple rum like this brings home the point of how widespread the world of rum is, how we are too often satisfied with too little, and why should demand more. Even at 40%, this rum is quite a drinking experience. (#193. 70/100) Réunion? Quick, place that on a map. Casting around for something to look at to close out 2014, I settled on this sprightly and supple forty percenter.  This was not just because I wanted to cast a geographically wider net (though this is also true) – but because when you see a good rum, you [Click here for the full review…]

 Posted by on December 13, 2014 at 1:28 am
Dec 092014
Barangài Rum (Caroni) Sherrywood Cask 1997 16 Year Old - Review

This is the second in a series of about six Caroni rums which I bought in mid-2014. It’s a solidly impressive rum, and quite a sophisticated, tasty bruiser. (#192. 73/100) Barangài?  What the hell is this? I asked myself, when scouring the online shoppes to come up with another Caroni perhaps worthy of purchase.  I found out that the word is not a title or the maker’s name (as I had initially surmised) but refers to an old descriptor used by the islanders for ships of medium capacity: I suppose a caravel, or a carrack, or a ballinger would be [Click here for the full review…]

 Posted by on December 9, 2014 at 10:01 am
Dec 052014
Nine Leaves Angel's Half (French Oak Cask) Rum - Review

A Japanese pot still rum of clout and flavour, perhaps needing some more ageing to score better and reach a wider audience. (#191. 65/100) *** In five years of writing about rum, I’ve seen quite a few new rum-making enterprises come across my radar: Elements, Koloa, Downslope, Ocean’s readily spring to mind.  Now they are joined by a new outfit called Nine Leaves, which may be unique in that it’s a distillery, a bottler, and a distributor, all run by one person: Mr. Yoshiharu Takeuchi, who operates in the Shiga Prefecture of Japan (the company was formed in 2013). At [Click here for the full review…]

 Posted by on December 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm
Dec 012014
Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still 57% Rum - Review

  If strength and atavism are your things, the Jamaica Pot Still 57% won’t disappoint; a shot or two of this, and you’ll feel your nostrils dilate as you search around for a stone to bash a rhino with, before eating a freshly-caught, still-twitching deer. It’s that intense. (#190. 72/100) The 57% post still Jamaican rum from Rum Nation represents a departure for the company in a number of ways (not including the bottle shape, introduced for the 2014 season).  It is the first rum the company has produced that is over 100 proof, and it is the first white [Click here for the full review…]

 Posted by on December 1, 2014 at 3:19 am
Nov 262014
Dzama Rhum Vieux Millésimé 1998 10 Year Old - Review

A remarkably well balanced and tasty rum from the Indian Ocean (#189. 75/100) *** In spite of the prevailing belief that rums are Caribbean almost by definition, it’s axiomatic that many other nations and regions produce them.  Over the years I’ve found that the most readily identifiable and distinctive (I don’t say “best”) products, products that have a flavour profile all their own, usually hail from some distant part of the world where climatic and soil conditions are far removed from the norm: consider, for example the Bundaberg, the Old Monk, or even the Tanduay.  Now sure, flavourings are sometimes [Click here for the full review…]

 Posted by on November 26, 2014 at 1:05 am
Nov 202014
Oceans Rum Atlantic Limited Edition 1997 - Review

  A rum potentially seventeen years old, undone by trying to be all things to all drinkers. (#188 / 63/100) *** Ocean’s Rum Atlantic Limited Edition 1997 is made (or at least aged) in the Canary Islands, not the first place you’d think about when considering a rum of any kind.  Probably thinking that less was not more, and more might be good enough, the makers came up with this rather startling combo of components hailing from seven (yes, seven) different rum-making locations, and trotted out the 43% result as the “Atlantic” Limited Edition (the meaning of the 1997 is [Click here for the full review…]

 Posted by on November 20, 2014 at 7:34 am
Nov 122014
Rum Nation

Anybody who has read my work will know something of my admiration for Rum Nation, a company that came to my attention back in 2011 and which I’ve followed ever since. As Yesu Persaud springs to mind when thinking of DDL, or Luca Gargano is indelibly associated with Velier, Fabio Rossi, the CEO of Rossi & Rossi, is the man whose name is synonymous with Rum Nation. The Venetian family of Rossi has been in the business of spirits and general trading for a long time, even though Rum Nation has only been in existence since 1999. Its sister company [Click here for the full review…]

 Posted by on November 12, 2014 at 1:52 am
Nov 062014
Bacardi Reserva Limitada (Founder's Blend) Rum - Review

Don’t bash the bat until you’ve given this rum a fair shot.  Because it’s damned good. (#187 / 74/100) *** Many – myself among them – believe that one of Bacardi’s more unappreciated rums is the 8-year-old, and I’d argue the Reserva Limitada joins the club…and even dials it up a few notches. The company may sell more rum than anyone else, has enormous (and heavily criticized) tax breaks and subsidies to keep its costs down, is a global juggernaut of the entry-level rums, but at the upper end of the scale has a real bad rep with rum lovers [Click here for the full review…]

 Posted by on November 6, 2014 at 1:16 am
Oct 292014
Bristol Spirits Caroni 1974 34 Year Old Rum - Review

This is the first review in a set of about six which deals with Caroni rums.  I’m unabashedly starting with the oldest, which is a top-notch rum with few disappointments and flashes of greatness underpinning a rock solid performance.  (#186 / 78/100) *** Even before heading to Europe in October 2014, I resolved to sample what I could from the now-defunct Caroni distillery in Trinidad which regrettably closed in 2002.  Part of this is simply curiosity, mixed with a collector’s avarice…but also the high opinion I formed years ago when I tried the A.D. Rattray 1997 edition, and was an [Click here for the full review…]

 Posted by on October 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm
Oct 242014
Spirits of Old Man Special Cask Rum No.3 - Guyana 16 Year Old Rum - Review

    You’ll want to coat your tongue with fire suppressant material before drinking, because once you start, the Uitvlugt 16 year old grows fangs and attacks your face like a junked-out xenomorph. (#185. 64/100) *** Curiosity.  That’s what got me here: simple curiosity.  I’ve never tried anything by Old Man Spirits, but man, I thought, how can you even begin to argue with that cool distillery, and the strapping libido of 62.9%, which is powerful enough to make Cadenhead and A.D.Rattray take a respectful step backwards and cross their knees. And I loved the Spartan, zen-like simplicity of the [Click here for the full review…]

 Posted by on October 24, 2014 at 9:33 pm