Feb 132016
 
Nine Leaves Angel's Half (American Oak) Spring 2015 Release

Little Lord Fauntleroy in a bottle. (#256 / 84/100) *** Back in 2014 I first encountered rums from the Japanese company Nine Leaves, and was impressed enough to not only write about the company in one of my Makers profiles, but resolved to not let Mr. Takeuchi’s work escape me a second year in a row.  So said, so done…I’ve tried four more of the company’s rums, and begin working through the resultant reviews with the American Oak version, bottled in Spring 2015. As an aside, Mr. Takeuchi has certainly managed to elevate his company’s profile in 2014-2015.  Presenting in [Click here for the full review…]


Feb 102016
 
Neisson Rhum Agricole Extra Vieux - Review

A fascinating introduction into the twists and turns an agricole rhum profile can take (#255. 84/100) *** To the extent that agricoles have their own flavour profile, they haven’t surprised me much yet.  My tastes were formed by products from Clemente, Rum Nation, Damoiseau, Depaz, J. Bally, Trois Rivieres and others, and there were always those herbal and grassy notes to them and displayed similar general characteristics. That was until I ran through four Neissons one after the other…and was forced to conclude that agricoles can be just as fascinating and unusual as any other sugar cane drink.  Seriously – [Click here for the full review…]


Feb 072016
 
Rum Cask Fiji 2003 10 Year Old Rum - Review

Rum Cask makes a slightly better Fijian rum, of the four I’ve tried. (#254. 82/100) *** Rum Cask is another one of the smaller independent bottlers – out of western Germany in this instance, very close to the French border –  who do the usual craft bottling thing. They act as both distributors of whisky and rum, and at some point they fell to dabbling in their own marques, issuing cask strength rums from Belize, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Cuba Grenada, and more, including Fiji, which may be something of an afterthought. In what is probably a coincidence, they issued a ten [Click here for the full review…]


Feb 042016
 
Duncan Taylor Fiji 2003 10 Year Old Rum - Review

Nope, all apologies to the islanders, but Fiji still doesn’t ascend to the heights of a country whose rums we must have. Yet. (#253. 81/100) *** Let’s just dispense with two more Fijian products that crossed my path, provided by my friend Cornelius of Barrelproof, who, it should be noted upfront, liked them both a lot more than I did. We don’t see many products from that country anywhere – “Eastern” rums don’t make it west of the iron curtain very often, so it’s mostly in online emporia that we find find rums from Fiji, Australia, Indonesia or even Japan; [Click here for the full review…]


Feb 012016
 
Velier Caroni 1982 Heavy 24 YO Rum

Rumaniacs Review 017 We’re down to the last sample of the old Velier rums I’ve got, this one from Caroni, and like the 1985, also bottled in 2006, though two years older. My background notes say 4600 bottles issued from 15 barrels and handsomely issued at 58.3%.  What else can I tell you about Caroni you don’t already know? Probably nothing, so let’s move on. Colour – Dark amber Strength – 58.3% Nose – The 1985 was great, and this one raises the bar a smidgen. With these old, bold rums, sometimes the oak takes charge too aggressively…not here. Toasted [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 272016
 
A Conversation with Luca: Velier, DDL and the Rare Collection

Luca sounds tired.  The boss of Velier has just returned from Cape Verde off the coast of Senegal, where he was investigating small rum producers like in Haiti, has been caught up in the online discussions of the “Rare” issues, gave an interview to DuRhum (in French), and is now on his way to Morocco to attend some business and help shoot a documentary, before heading off to Cape Verde again.  I catch him in the back of a taxi, but he’s willing to talk a little.  Truthfully, when it comes to rums, the man is always ready to talk, [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 262016
 
Compagnie des Indes

*** For a company in existence for such a short time, it’s quite impressive what a wide range of rums Compagnie des Indes (which translates as the East India Company, hereinafter referred to as CDI) has managed to put out the door.  As of the 2015 release season, fourteen separate countries are represented (2 from east of Greenwich).  Unlike the trend in the USA and Canada, where creating one’s own new distillery and brand  is more common, in Europe it’s always been more about being an independent bottler (or re-bottler, I suppose).  Such enterprises don’t want to reinvent the wheel [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 252016
 
Compagnie des Indes Fiji 10 Year Old - Review

A well assembled rum made by someone who knows his business, yet, as with the BBR I tried some years ago, not entirely to my taste. (#252 / 84/100) *** Florent Beuchet, the man behind the independent bottler Compagnie des Indes, really likes to go off the beaten track in his search for proper casks of rum to release: either that or he has access to some broker or other with some cool geographically dispersed stocks.  Think about the rums he has in his young portfolio so far – from Guyana, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Panama, Jamaica, Trinidad, Belize and Barbados, [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 212016
 
Velier Rhum Vieux Guadeloupe 1995 "Basseterre" - Review

Slow, not entirely promising beginning, with a strong development and finish. (#251 / 87/100) *** In between its major releases from Trinidad, Guyana and Damoiseau where it made its bones, Velier occasionally took time off to travel the more traditional route of the indie bottler, and issue one-offs like this one (and the 1997).  I consider it a curious addition to the oevre, and not entirely a rum so good that it rates admittance to the pantheon, though nevertheless deserving of praise. I call it “curious”: it was distilled in October 1995 and bottled in January 2008…but in between those [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 202016
 
Opinion - The Flawed Intro of DDL's "Rare Collection"

“I hope for them that the rums are good,” muttered Cyril darkly, as a bunch of us exchanged comments on the newest DDL offerings.  We should have been happy, but we weren’t, not really.  Few of us rum watchers were. Back in December 2015, I read the tea leaves spectacularly wrong and suggested that DDL would not be issuing single-still Velier-style full proofs any time soon.  A month later they did: an Enmore 1993, Versailles 2002 and PM 1999.  I’m actually kinda surprised nobody ragged my tail about my utter inability to forecast what might even have been a foregone [Click here for the full review…]


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