Dec 062016
 
Ron Aldea Tradición 22 Year Old Rum - Review

A unassuming and ultimately flawed 22 year old rum #324 As one goes through the line of the various Ron Aldeas, which are serviceable mid-tier rums, one notices that the clear agricole profile gets progressively more lost, which I attribute to primarily the strategy of using variously toasted barrels in varying proportions.  Depending on whether you want an agricole-style rum to taste like one, this may not be to your liking.  This rum does not hail from the French islands or subject to the AOC (its influences are more Spanish than anything else), and therefore what we are tasting is [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 052016
 
Ron Aldea Familia 15 Year Old Rum - Review

A decent fifteen year old faux-agricole trying to moving away from its origins. #323 Sorry, but “Chairman’s Select Hidden Treasure,” “Special Top Brass Only Reserve,” “Family Laid Away” casks, you know the kind of special rums to which I refer…stuff like this just makes me smile.  Largely because I see it as nothing more than a name applied so as to move product.  Of course, in the old days of landed estates run by the plantocracy, such special hooch really was made, exclusively for the caudillos and the nobility, for the chairman, business titans, princes, presidents, political hacks, Government apparatchiks, [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 042016
 
Ron Aldea Superior 10 Year Old Rum - Review

#322 With respect to companies which don’t want to make (or be seen to make) spiced or flavoured sugar bombs, it’s always instructive to observe the techniques that they use to avoid the dreaded “A” word. Some play with ageing or blends, some with finishing (the new El Dorado 15 year old series comes to mind), some with unorthodox schemes (like Lost Spirits or 7 Fathoms), some with toasting, but all are trying to do the same thing – impart an extra smidgen of taste to their rum, without actually adding anything to it, which I’m sure makes any rum [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 012016
 
Mauritius Club Rum 2014 (Sherry Finish) - Review

Too young, too dressed up, when it didn’t need to be #321 The Mauritius Club Rum 2014 (Sherry Finish) is an interesting essay in the craft, and for my money, slightly better than the Gold of Mauritius Dark rum I looked before. The sherry finishing makes its own statement and adds that extra fillip of flavour which elevates the whole experience in a way that drowning the Gold in port casks for a year did not.  Note that there’s a strange disconnect between what I was told in 2015 by the brand rep, who informed me it was aged three [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 302016
 
Gold of Mauritius Dark Rum - Review

Good with dessert. #320 You’d think that with the various encomiums the rum has gotten that it’s some kind of diamond in the rough, an undiscovered masterpiece of the blender’s art. “Incredibly rich…mouth watering…a cracker,” enthused Drinks Enthusiast; and the comments of Master of Malt (which one should take with a pinch of salt), are almost all four- and five-star hosannas. Me, I think that although it has a nifty squared off bottle and a cool simple label, beyond that there’s not much to shout about, though admittedly it has its points of originality in simplicity that must be acknowledged. [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 272016
 
Berry Bros. & Rudd 1975 Demerara Rum

  Rumaniacs Review 026 While the 1975 30-year old rum issued by Berry Bros isn’t actually one of their “Exceptional Cask” series, it remains one in all but name and is one of the best of the Demeraras coming out of the 1970s, taking its place in my estimation somewhere in between the Norse Cask 1975 and the Cadenhead 1975, maybe a shade behind the Velier PM 1974 and the Bristol Spirits PM 1980.  It could have been even better, I think, if it had been a tad stronger, but that in no way makes it a lesser rum, because [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 222016
 
Velier Enmore 1987 13 Year Old Rum - Review

Among the first Velier Demerara rums, eclipsed by its better-made brothers in the years that followed #319 It’s become almost a game to ferret out the initial issuings of rums made by companies whose names are made famous by the passing of time. Back in 2000, who had ever heard of Velier outside of Italy?  Yet even then, the company was forging into the future by issuing rums defiantly called full proof, although there could have been few who were entirely sure what the term meant. 40% ruled the roost, “cask strength” was for whiskies, and only the occasional Demerara [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 202016
 
Marienburg White Overproof 90% Rum - Review

To the extent that a shot of this rum is all sound and fury signifying nothing, it achieves its objective. The history is perhaps more interesting than the rum. #318 Regular readers of the meanderings of the ‘Caner in the rumiverse know something of the near obsessive (some say masochistic) search for the most powerful rums in the world that peppers these pages.  Back in the day, the 151s had my awe.  Then I tried the SMWS Longpond 9 year old 81.3% and thought appreciatively, “Dat ting wuz a proppah stink bukta.”  Lo and behold I spotted the Sunset Very [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 172016
 
Rhum Rhum Libération 2015 Vieux Agricole “Integrale” - Review

Not quite as good as the 2012…but damned close #317 One of the genuine pleasures to be had in the field of rum reviews is the unstinting, generous assistance given by members of the subculture.  After I wrote about the Rhum Rhum Liberation 2010, Liberation 2012 and the amazing 2012 Integrale, a reader from Holland contacted me and offered to send along a sample of the 2015 Integrale, for no other reason than because he wanted to see how it stacked up against the others…and to my great good fortune, it arrived while I was still in Germany, and I [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 142016
 
Don Papa 10 Year Old Rum - Review

Impossible to forget, traumatic to recall.  #316 I don’t know why they bothered. This is three years’ additional ageing, pretty much wasted.  It’s Don Papa 7 version 2.0, and just about the whole experience is the same, except the raspberries from the younger variation, which are now dark grapes. Everything else – and I mean everything else, mouthfeel, taste, finish, smell, the works – remains the same, without even some additional oakiness or complexity to make the extra expense worth it. All right, so by now it’s clear that I’m late to the party here and all the discussions and post mortems [Click here for the full review…]


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