Jul 292015
 
Velier Caroni 1996 Heavy Full Proof Rum - Review

A brooding, dark exemplary Caroni with a slightly jagged ending.. (#224. 86/100) *** We who chronicle our rum journeys make all the expected genuflections and obeisances to the great standards and stations of the cross…Appleton, Mount Gay, DDL, Four Square, Caroni, Trois Rivieres, Havana Club (the real one), J. Bally, Neisson, Flor, Diplomatico, and so on and so forth. Then we move to the independent bottlers as we broaden our ranges…and somewhere along the way, it’s almost a given that we stop at La Casa di Luca for a bite.  I’ve done twelve so far, and believe me, there’s no [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 222015
 
Three Rums from Severin Simon

(#223) Germany has a number of home-grown rum makers out there.  Oh, they’re not world beaters by any means, but in a country that never really had any tropical colonies, no real culture of rum, no background in sugar cane production, it’s surprising to find any at all. And I’m always curious about these relatively small companies – after all, some small ones become big ones through sheer blending skill and mastery of craft bottlings and great word of mouth, right? Maybe this will be one of them, who knows, let’s take a look, I always tell myself. And let’s [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 152015
 
Compagnie des Indes Cuba 1998 15 Year Old - Review

Seems appropriate that I tried and fell in lust with this rum in Paris; it reminded me what the word concupiscent meant. (#222. 88/100) *** For every small craft maker that opens its doors and tries to make its mark on the rum world, yet fails to rise to the levels of its own self-proclaimed quality, there’s another that does. I’m going to go out on a limb, and remark that if this one sterling 15 year old Cuban rum (with a 280-bottle-outturn) is anything to go by, Compagnie des Indes is going to take its place among the craft makers [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 142015
 
Nicholson Finest Trinidad Rum (1970s)

Rumaniacs Review 007 Bottled by J&W Nicholson of Clerkenwell, London, back in the 1970s. Base stock is unknown – it might be from Caroni, yet somehow I doubt that – it lacks something of the tarry background.  No information is available on age or blend of ages. Bottled at 42.8%. J&W Nicholson was a gin maker which opened its doors in the 1730s. They ceased UK gin production in 1941 (wartime rationing made it impractical) and sold their facility there in 1966, eventually selling the remaining business to the Distillers Company Ltd in the 1970s…at first I thought this rum seems to be [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 082015
 
Prichards Private Stock Rum - Review

I’ve given Prichards somewhat of a bruising with my indifferent reviews of the Fine and the Crystal, but let me assure you that the Private Stock is quite a leap forward: because while the others were essays in the craft, this one got it absolutely right. (#221. 86/100) *** Prichard’s company website entry for their own supposed top-of-the-line rum is massively unforthcoming, if not outright unhelpful.  I mean, here’s a rum I want to write about with enthusiasm and knowledge so as to inform the readers, share my wonder, and yet a key data point is missing – how old [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 072015
 
La Martiniquaise Rhum Pur (1940s/1950s)

Rumaniacs Review 006 This brand no longer exists, but the company (La Martiniquaise) formed in 1934, still does. My research turned up not only this photo from the 1940s/1950s edition, but an even older bottle from the 1850s (which sells for four thousand quid on oldliquors.com…ouch!).  Produced by L.M. Charenton le Pont from rhum imported from Martinique, then aged and bottled in France. The Sage said it was a 1950s rhum while others suggest 1940s, I trend to the latter here. 40% Colour – Dark amber. Nose – Rich, clean, warm.  Like a clear, clean cognac…nice. Earthy. Cinnamon, cloves, caramel and [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 022015
 
Ocean's Distillery

Ocean’s is a relatively new rum making outfit based in Zaragoza, Spain, beginning its life in 2012. Essentially they are an independent bottler, but with ambition: they have ageing warehouses the Ayala Valley (Basque Country, Spain) and La Palma Island  in the Canaries. They have various seven year old rums, the limited editions, and some craft stocks from Jamaica, Trinidad and other places.  So you can tell these boys mean business and want to be around for the long haul. Small rum companies – from independent bottlers who take favoured casks and put them out the door to actual producers [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 012015
 
Prichard's Crystal (White) Rum - Review

Neither attempt — to make an ersatz agricole (from molasses) or a white mixing agent to take on the more established brands — really works. (#220. 78/100) *** Prichard’s is that outfit from Tennessee which has been quietly and busily putting out rums for nearly twenty years, ever since Phil Prichard decided to make rum in whiskey country.  And while it is now common for new entrants to the market to sell white unaged rum from their stills to cover startup costs and provide cash flow while they wait for more favoured stocks to mature, Mr. Prichard didn’t do anything [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 292015
 
Barbancourt Reserve du Domaine 15 Year Old Rhum (1970s)

Rumaniacs Review 005 The forerunner of the still excellent fifteen year old rhum made in Haiti to this day, this one was generated in the 1970s, and it’s a pretty good rhum even after a remove of so many years.  Pot still 43%, about 15,000 bottles were issued according to The Sage, while The Whisky Exchange says 20,000…doesn’t matter, they’re rare as hen’s teeth these days anyway.  I think the recipe they used then is a little different than the current iteration of the 15, but not by much.  Note also the similarity of the box to today’s edition. Nose: Oddly [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 282015
 
Prichard's Fine Rum - Review

A paradox of the mid range: a pot still rum that fails at very little…except perhaps excitement. (#219. 81/100) *** I’ve been writing and rewriting this review for almost three months: each time I came to grips with it, I thought of something else to add (or delete), or some new and interesting product eclipsed the Prichard’s and made me want to publish that first. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, maybe. Prichard’s has been in business since 1996 when they became the first new distillery in Tennessee since the 1940s and have quite a stable of output, including some [Click here for the full review…]


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