Jun 262019
 
Palmera White Aruba Rum - Review

The fourth and last of the four Dutch West Indies rums that I obtained solely to shed some light on the islands is a pale 35% shrug of indifference called the Palmera White Aruba rum. You know me, I have a thing for unapologetically barking-mad high-proofed white rums – but dis ain’ dat, as my bushmen squaddies would say back in the old days. Were you to google it, you’d find that the Palmera Quality Products company produces several rums – notably the White and the Dark “authentic Arubian rums with a rich heritage flavour” at standard strength, and is [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 242019
 
Ron Superior Carta Reserva Aruba Rum - Review

This is one of those strange rums that clearly exists, but about which nobody seems to know anything, even though I was informed it remains on sale in Aruba to this day. Jazz Singh out of the UK couldn’t help – he rather witheringly remarked that the only local stuff he found on the island was “a lot of imported column rubbish” and that the one distillery Aruba used to have is definitely closed. And good luck with finding any info on the company whose name is on the label, Playa Liquor and Bottling Co, ‘cause that’s equally opaque and [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 232019
 
12 Rum Bottles, Sitting on a Wall...

It makes no difference one way or the other what kind of bottle encloses a rum…at least not to those who just want to taste it. But let’s be honest: presentation sells, cool design is cool design and sometimes we come across rums which stand out on the shelf just because they look so different from the standard barroom bottle, akin to a wooden chess set of unrecognizable but oh-so-beautiful pieces bought in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.  And sometimes that has less to do with a fancy label than it does with the very shape of the bottle itself. I am [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 202019
 
M&G Rhum du Cap-Vert Grogue Natural (White) - Review

The “M&G” in the rhum’s title is not, as you might expect, the initials of the two founders of this small operation in Cabo Verde. In a lyrical twist, the letters actually stand for Musica e Grogue: Music and Grog.  Which is original, if nothing else, because artistic touches are not all that common in our world, and such touches are often dismissed as mere frippery meant to distract from a substandard product. In this case, however Jean-Pierre Engelbach, who founded the company with local Cabo Verde grogue producer and music-lover Simão Évora, has an interesting background in the dramatic [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 172019
 
1423 S.B.S. Jamaica 2018 (DOK) Rum - Review

It’s remarkable how fast the SBS line of rums have exploded onto the rumconsciousness of the world. This is a series released by 1423, the same Danish outfit which made the really quite elegant 2008 Mauritius rum I wrote about with such love a while back, and has received enormously positive word of mouth on social media for the last year or so.  The only similar company I can call to mind that rose so quickly in the public’s esteem would be the Compagnie des Indes, which shared a similarly exacting (and excellent) sense of which barrels to choose and [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 132019
 
Romdeluxe "Wild Tiger" Jamaican Rum - Review

Romdeluxe in Denmark is more a commercial rum club that makes private label bottlings and runs promotions around the country, than a true independent bottler — but since they do several releases, I’ll call them an indie and move right on from there.  Earlier, in May 2019, they lit up FB by releasing this limited-edition high-ester funk-bomb, the first in their “Wild Series” of rums, with a suitably feral tiger on the label. I can’t tell whether it’s yawning or snarling, but it sure looks like it can do you some damage without busting a sweat either way. This is [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 092019
 
Vulcão Cabo Verde Grogue - Review

“Could grogue be the next clairin?” asked Dwayne Stewart in a facebook post the other day, when he and Richard Blesgraaf were discussing the Vulcão, and his respondent (you could almost see him smile) replied with a sort of yoda-like zen calm, “Clairin is clairin.”  Which is true. Because beyond the superficial similarities of the two island nations – the relative isolation of the islands, the artisanal nature of their juice, the mom-and-pop rural distillation of the spirit far away from modern developments or technological interference – the truth is that you could not mistake one for the other. At [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 032019
 
Helios Distillery "Kiyomi" White Japanese Rum - Review

The Kiyomi white rum is made by the Helios Distillery, the same outfit in Japan that makes the very tasty five year old Teeda rum we looked at before. Formed by Tadashi Matsuda in the postwar years (1961) at a time of economic hardship and food privation for Okinawa , the decision was made to distill rum because (a) it could easily be sold to American soldiers stationed there (b) Okinawan sugar was readily available and (c) rice, which normally would have been used to make the more popular local sake, was needed as a food source and could not [Click here for the full review…]


May 302019
 
Helios Distillery "Teeda" 5 Year Old Japanese Rum - Review

In any rum festival, if you are moving around with a posse or simply keep your ears open, there’s always one or two new or unknown rums that create an underground buzz. You drift from booth to booth, tasting, talking, writing, thinking, listening, and gradually you separate voices from the din, that quietly remark “Check out that one over there” or “Did you hear about….?” or “You really gotta try…” or a simple, disbelieving “Holy crap!” The Whisper Antigua rum was one of those, Lazy Dodo another; in various years there was the Toucan white, the Compagnie’s Indonesian rum,  the [Click here for the full review…]


May 272019
 
Key Rums of the World - Pusser's 15 Year Old Original Navy Rum

When you really get down to it, Pusser’s claim to fame rests on two main planks. The first is that it is they are the true inheritors of the actual British Navy rum recipe after Black Tot Day in 1970.  The second is that they follow it. Unfortunately, neither is completely true, depending on how you look at the background. With respect to the first point, any research done on Navy rums shows that Lyman Hart, Lamb’s and ED&F Man, among others, sold rums to the Royal Navy back in the 1800s (Man became the major supplier in the 1900s, [Click here for the full review…]


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