May 212015
 
Velier Albion 1989 Full Proof 19 Year Old Rum - Review

When you drink full proof and overproof rums for a long time, many forty percenters can seem, well…a shade pusillanimous.  No such issue afflicts the 62.7% full proof of Albion 1989, ‘cause that thing looks and  feels and samples like it’s about to father a nation. (#215 / 91/100) ***   The Albion 1994 was power and passion and style all wedded together in a remarkable fusion, and my only regret has always been that I couldn’t get more. It was preceded by a version from 1983, 1986, and this one from 1989. These days, the only place you’ll find [Click here for the full review…]


May 202015
 
Trois Rivières 1977 Rhum Vieux Agricole Millèsime

*** Rumaniacs Review 001 Not entirely sure how old this is…I think it was bottled in 2000 or so, making it at least a twenty three year old. AOC controlled from Martinique, pot-still-made from cane juice (of course). Nose: Bright, flowery, quite spicy, but also very clean.  Cinnamon, breakfast spices, cloves, some dried fruits (banana, fleshy pears just starting to go).  All this is shouldered aside by a rather startling brininess and musty vegetal pungency after a while…y’know, like cardboard in an old, unaired cellar.  Not unpleasant, but not your standard fare either Taste: Oh, nice, very well put together. [Click here for the full review…]


May 132015
 
Three Cachaças from Delicana

  (#214) *** Although a huge market for cachaça exists in Brazil where it is the national tipple they sometimes call pinga, very little of it makes it to other countries in comparison to agricoles (let alone more popular molasses based rums). For rummies, it’s something like an undiscovered country. A cane-juice-based spirit, it has certain basic similarities to agricoles and has been referred to as a type of brandy, of the aguardente family.  Cachaças are often unaged and like clairins in Haiti, run the gamut from underproof to overproof drinks, and are often bottled unaged. I should mention, however, [Click here for the full review…]


May 072015
 
J. Bally Rhum Vieux "Pyramide" 7 Year Old - Review

Cool bottle, great product.  Almost the perfect mid-range rhum, not too young to be raw, not too old to be over-pricey, or unavailable. (#213. 86/100) *** The zippy, funky young J. Bally Ambrè agricole was an interesting rhum from Martinique, and I enjoyed it, simply feeling it had some growing up to do – which is perhaps natural for a rhum aged less than five years. The Vieux 7 year old certainly addressed many of these concerns, and was a better rhum in almost every way.  Ageing may not always confer quality  (neither does price) I’ve heard it said, but [Click here for the full review…]


Apr 302015
 
Clairin Sajous Rhum - Review

Drinking this rum is knowing what harpooning Moby Dick felt like. A wild-haired full-proof bodybuilder of a rhum, so absolutely unique in taste that it it defied easy description. I sampled it and knew I wanted to write about it immediately.   (#212. 82/100) *** So there I was in Paris at La Maison du Whiskey in April 2015, with some fellow rummies. Hundreds of bottles of rhum and rum beckoned from groaning shelves. Samples from years past – decades past! – winked in their little bottles, inviting us to get started. Straight-out rumporn, honestly. Our hands were itching to start [Click here for the full review…]


Apr 172015
 
Velier Caroni 1994 Heavy Trinidad Rum - Review

  This Caroni isn’t the strongest one in the rumosphere but it conforms to most of the expectations taste-wise – a shade more dark and it could probably be used to surface a road somewhere. A good to great exemplar from the closed distillery. (#211. 87/100) *** This is one of five or six rums I bought in an effort to raise the profile of the now-defunct Caroni Distillery from Trinidad. That it was made by Velier didn’t hurt either, of course, because almost alone among the rums makers out there, Luca Gargano has the distinction of making just about all [Click here for the full review…]


Apr 082015
 
Bristol Spirits Caroni 1989 19 Year Old Rum - Review

Another, slightly lesser brother from the same mother. It stands in the shadow of the company’s magnificent 34 Year Old. (#210 / 85/100) *** It’s possible that Bristol Spirits decided to play it safe (again) with the 43% expression from the closed Caroni Distillery of Trinidad…y’know, give it a wider audience than the drop-down-dead-of-old-age 34 year old 1974 variation which would dig a deep hole in both your wallet and your marriage. Or maybe that’s how the barrel played out when it came time to bottle the liquor (notice that 2008 was the same year they produced the 1974, so [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 312015
 
Bristol Spirits Reserve Rum of Peru 8 Years Old - Review

A clean, warm and smooth rum from Peru, which is extremely accessible to anyone who doesn’t like cask strength rums. (#209. 86/100) *** Into the shadowed world of dronish and often-boring label design, the screaming green of the Peruano stands out like a neon tarantula on a wedding cake.  It’s an assault on the visual cortex that can’t help but make you catch your breath, mutter an amused “wtf?” and move in for a closer look. Not that this has anything to do with the quality of the rum inside, of course.  I merely bring up the point to remark [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 242015
 
J. Bally Rhum Ambrè Agricole - Review

Young, rambunctious, uncoordinated, somewhat raw, and a riot in a mix of any kind.  Even neat it has a funky, raw charm all its own. In that, it’s an agricole all the way through. (#208. 83/100) *** The J Bally Ambrè Agricole is a young rhum that is still finding its legs, and places its origins in an estate on Martinique that stretches back to 1670, when the Lajus sugar plantation was founded.  It was one of those rhums from a company that has long had its place in the roll call of honour of the French West Indies – [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 182015
 
Ron Maja 12 Year Old Rum - Review

  This is definitely a rum to chillax with. A solid, relaxed and very pleasant Salvadorean rum which should be given some attention…even if it’s actually from Panama. (#207. 83/100) *** Assume you were a new outfit in a country A and were making a new rum whose brand was once owned and which was once made, by your family; you sourced distillate from another country, B; used that country B’s facilities to make and age the finished product; and hired a Master Blender, also from that B country.  Now, the question is, whose rum is it? A or B? [Click here for the full review…]


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