Jan 212021
 
Opinion - Flipping: Love, Loathe Or Leave It

Flipping at is most basic is simply reselling, and mostly seen as akin to scalping tickets. A seller has a bottle of a rum which is sold out of the stores that a buyer wants , and a bargain is struck usually at a markup. It’s a sale. Its specificity arises because of the practice of buying a (usually newly released) rum alight with a buzz and hype: not to enjoy, but to resell at a profit – in other words, introducing yet another intermediary with sticky finger between the distillery of origin and the consumer. Unsurprisingly, flippers have become [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 182021
 
Ron Malecon Reserva Imperial 25 YO Rum - Review

We’ve been here before. We’ve tried a rum with this name, researched its background, been baffled by its opaqueness, made our displeasure known, then yawned and shook our heads and moved on. And still the issues that that one raised, remain. The Malecon Reserva Imperial 25 year old suffers from many of the same defects of its 1979 cousin, most of which have to do with disclosure and some of which have to do with its nature. It astounds me that in this day and age we still have to put up with this kind of crap. The little we [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 142021
 
Oliver & Oliver Ron Presidente 23 Solera - Review

Ahh, that magical number of 23, so beloved of rum drinking lovers of sweet, so despised by those who only go for the “pure”.  Is there any pair of digits more guaranteed to raise the blood pressure of those who want to make an example of Rum Gone Wrong? Surely, after the decades of crap Zacapa kept and keeps getting, no promoter or brand owner worth their salt would suggest using it on a label for their own product? Alas, such is not the case.  Although existing in the shadow of its much-more-famous Guatemalan cousin, Ron Presidente is supposedly made [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 112021
 
Moon Import Guadeloupe 1998 12 Year Old Rhum - Review

The rum starts slowly.  I don’t get much at the inception. Bananas, ripe; pineapples, oversweet; papayas, dark cherries, nice….and a touch of beetroot, odd. Not my thing, this rather thin series of tastes — it develops too lethargically, is too dim, lacks punch. I wait ten minutes more to make sure I’m not overreacting…perhaps there’s more? Well, yes and no. These aromas fade somewhat, to be replaced by something sprightly and sparkling – fanta, sprite, red grapefruit, lemon zest – but overall the integration is poor, and doesn’t meld well and remains too lazily easygoing, like some kind of clever [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 072021
 
Clarke's Court No. 37 Limited Edition 8YO Grenada Rum - Review

The Masters of Malt blurb for the Grenada-distilled Clarke’s Court No. 37 rum contains two sentences that make one both smile and ask more questions. A “blended Caribbean rum” which is “the thirteenth limited release rum from Clarke’s Court.” And as if trying to top that, they go on to say “The rum was designed to be supplied to exclusive social events” and both just reek of some marketing intern making ad copy in his sleep, evidently unable to come up with anything more interesting about this equally lackadaisical rum. Why not a “Grenadian” rum, one wonders. And, if this [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 042021
 
Dzama 6 Year Old Madagascar Rum - Review

The Dzama 6 year old rum from the island of Madagascar sits between the modest 3 and 5 year old rums, rubs shoulders with an 8 YO, and looks up to the more exclusive 10 YO and 15 YO expressions; the company has been busy expanding the range since I first tried their 3 year old back in 2014. Unsurprisingly, the local market share of the company’s spirits is a massive 60% or so – they make a bit of everything alcoholic and are a very diversified drinks conglomerate – their prime market remains Madagascar itself with exports to Europe, [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 302020
 
Habitation Velier Forsyth's Pot Still Unaged White Rum (WPE) (2017) - Review

Hampden gets so many kudos these days from its relationship with Velier —  the slick marketing, the yellow boxes, the Endemic Bird series, the great tastes, the sheer range of them all — that to some extent it seems like Worthy Park is the poor red haired stepchild of the glint in the milkman’s eye, running behind dem Big Boy picking up footprints. Yet Worthy Park is no stranger to really good rums of its own, also pot still made, and clearly distinguishable to one who loves the New Jamaicans. They are not just any Jamaicans…they’re Worthy Park, dammit. They [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 282020
 
SMWS R9.2 Panama 2004 12 YO Rum ("Paddington Bear's First Sip") - Review

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has always had a peculiar turn when it comes to labels and tasting notes. The original bottlings didn’t always have permission to use the distillery names on the bottlings — at the time, blends were big, and distilleries did not always want their names to be associated with some off-the-wall, left-field bottle from a strange outfit, when this might shed a poor light on what they were more famed for…the consistency of their blends. This led the SMWS to the use of numerical identifiers for their outturns, and a whimsically titled name that had [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 232020
 
Ron 1914 "Interoceánico" 15 Year Old Panama Rum - Review

Here’s my personally imaginative take on how the (fictitious) Board of Blenders from Consorcio Licorero Nacional (CLN) presented their results to the good folks at Rum of Panama Corp (registered in Panama in 2016) about the rum they intended to make for them at Las Cabras in Herrera. “We will make a true Panamanian Rum to represent the year the Canal was opened in 1914!” they say, high fiving and chest bumping themselves in congratulation at this perspicacious stroke of marketing genius. “But CLN is originally from Venezuela, isn’t it?” comes the confused question.”Shouldn’t you perhaps pay homage to something [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 212020
 
Ron Vacilón Anejo Gran Reserva 15 YO Cuban Rum - Review

The Cuban-made Vacilón brand was launched in 2016 (as a relaunch of an apparently very popular brand from the 1950s) and has been making the rounds of the various rum festivals off and on.  It’s part of the brand’s “luxury range” of 15 / 18 / 25 year old rums, which is fine, except that  as usual, there’s very little to actually go on about the production details – which remains one of the more annoying things about latin rons in general, hardly unique to Cuba.  Suffice to say, it is made by Destilería Heriberto Duquesne attached to the local [Click here for the full review…]


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