Jun 302016
 
Compagnie des Indies Jamaica 2000 14 Year Old Rum - Review

  A rum that’s frisk to a fault. (#282 / 86.5/100) *** Ever notice how many new Jamaicans are on the market these days?  At one point you’d be lucky to see a few Appleton V/Xs chatting boredly on the shelf with an occasional dusty Coruba, and if your shop was a good one, maybe an indie or two.  For over a decade, few knew better.  Now, it’s not just J. Wray stuff that one can find with some diligent trawling: one can’t go online without banging into rums from Hampden, Monymusk, Worthy Park, Clarendon, Longpond…which is all great. The [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 232016
 
Saint James Rhum Vieux Agricole Millésime 1986

Rumaniacs Review 023 Supposedly the 1970s and 1980s are the rarest vintages of many Martinique rhums – nearly thirty years later, that’s as little as makes no difference, since any and all rhums from that era are now collector’s items, irrespective of the country.  Many have been lost forever and aren’t even remembered.  This one from 1986 deserves to be rescued from the pit, however, because it’s pretty good. Saint James on the north east coast of Martinique has been around since 1765 when Father LeFebure of the Brothers of Charity first devised a cane spirit, which he began shipping [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 222016
 
SMWS R3.5 Barbados 74.8% 11 Year Old Rum - Review

A big ‘n’ badass Bajan rum, brutal enough to be banished to Netflix, where Jessica Jones and Daredevil occasionally stop by Luke Cage’s bar to have some. (#281 / 86/100) *** “They may be more throwaway efforts than serious exemplars of the blenders’ arcane arts,” I remarked once of one of the 151s with which I amused myself.  The SMWS on the other hand, does this stuff with the dead seriousness of a committed jailbird in his break for freedom.  They have no time to muck around, and produce mean, torqued-up rum beefcakes, every time. So be warned, the “Marmite” isn’t [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 192016
 
Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Old Rum - Review

Not a bah-humbug rum…more like something of a “meh”. (#280 / 81/100) *** I have an opinion on larger issues raised by this rum and others like it, but for the moment let’s just concentrate on the review before further bloviating occurs. Kirk and Sweeney is a Dominican Republic originating rum distilled and aged in the DR by Bermudez (one of the three Big Bs of Barcelo, Bermudez and Brugal) before being shipped off to California for bottling by 35 Maple Street, the spirits division of a The Other Guy (a wine company).  And what a bottle it is – [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 152016
 
Bristol Spirits Enmore 1988 20 Year Old Rum - Review

A slightly discombobulated Enmore from the year Feynman died and Rihanna was born.  I wonder if that says anything about it? (#279 / 86/100) *** Bristol Spirits is a UK independent bottler formed in 1995, and so can no longer be considered a new kid on the block. Its label design has gone through several  iterations before settling on the current wildly coloured labels that so kidnap your eyes when you spot them on the shelf, and unlike some other indie bottlers, they pretty much issue all their rums at what they consider the appropriate strength, usually between 43%-55% with [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 122016
 
Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millésimé 1989 20 Year Old - Review

The 1980 Damoiseau was no fluke, as this 1989 forcefully demonstrates. (#278 / 88/100) *** Last week I wrote about the Longueteau Grande Reserve which I tasted in tandem with this excellent Damoiseau (and five or six others), and wow, did this one ever stand out. At the risk of offending that actually rather pleasant and inoffensive Grande Reserve, I think the Damoiseau shows what it could have been with some egging on.  (Actually, this is what the Pyrat’s XO could have been had they ever found their cojones, lost the oranges and dialled the whole thing up to “12”, [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 072016
 
Longueteau Très Vieux Grande Réserve 2004 Rhum - Review

Strong beginning, fine development, chokes on the backstretch (#277 / 85/100) *** There are many things about agricoles that I slowly learned to appreciate: the clear profiles, the subtleties of their ageing, the differences and similarities with the molasses based rums that some almost indifferently dismiss as ‘industrials.’ So far I seem to be leaning more towards Guadeloupe rhums than those from Martinique, and while the Grande Reserve I sampled in Paris in April 2016 wasn’t one of the shining stars of the firmament, it wasn’t all that bad either and I had several hours to come to grips with [Click here for the full review…]


May 312016
 
Professor Cornelius Ampleforth Rumbullion - Review

Too much spice, too much sugar, too little interest. (#276 / 78/100) *** The name is almost Dickensian in its imagery.  Professor Cornelius Ampleforth could be straight out of the Pickwick Papers…you know, some chubby, benevolent older fellow in half-specs and a faded waistcoat, with rather limited mental capacity, down on his heels, but possessing a good heart. Whatever – the name evokes a certain good humour and indulgence from us, and at the very least is evocative.  That, unfortunately, doesn’t make the Professor’s Rumbullion a rum worth drinking, unless you are into spiced rums and like to have that [Click here for the full review…]


May 252016
 
Navy Neaters 95.5º Proof Rum - Review

A blue-water rum for the Navy men of yore. (#275 / 86/100) *** This may be one of the best out-of-production independent bottlings from Ago that I’ve had.  It’s heavy but no too much, tasty without excess, and flavourful without too many offbeat notes.  That’s quite an achievement for a rum made in the 1970s, even more so when you understand that it’s actually a blend of Guyanese and Bajan rums, a marriage not always made in heaven. I’ve trawled around the various blogs and fora and articles looking for references to it, but about all I can find is [Click here for the full review…]


May 182016
 
Nine Leaves Angel's Half Rum (French Oak Cask)(2015) - Review

A love note to the concept of kaizen (#274 / 84.5/100) *** It’s an old joke of mine that Nine Leaves’ staff consists of  a master blender, office assistant, purchasing agent, bottler, General Manager, brand ambassador and sales office, and still only has one employee.  This was and remains Mr. Yoshiharu Takeuchi, who single-handedly runs his company in the Shiga Prefecture of Japan, and basically issues some very young rums (none are older than six months) on to the world market. The unaged whites in particular are getting all sorts of acclaim, and I have one to write about in [Click here for the full review…]


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