Aug 272015
Bristol Spirits Port Mourant 1990  17 Year Old Rum

A love note from Bristol to lovers of Guyanese PM-still rums (#229. 88/100) Bristol Spirits is that independent bottler out of the UK which started life in 1993. Their barrel selection from the various countries around the Caribbean has created an enviable track record of limited bottlings; I’ll always have good memories of the PM 1980, and the subsequent editions of the 1990 and 1999 were rums I’ve been keeping an eye out for on the basis of that positive experience. All of these were made, of course, using the Port Mourant distillate – in this particular instance they didn’t [Click here for the full review…]

Aug 252015
Opinion: In Defense of Rum Bloggers

  “I don’t read a lot of blogs because, well, most of them are written by people who aren’t qualified to piss in the ocean,” remarked Ed Hamilton on his blog The Ministry of Rum on July 7th 2015.  To say I was surprised at such a blanket indictment of the majority of the rum blogging community would be an understatement.  He’s not the only one to make such a statement in the recent past: when I wrote a five part series on how to start reviewing rums earlier this year, in an effort to provide some advice on new [Click here for the full review…]

Aug 242015
Velier Diamond-PM Experimental 1995 19 Year Old - Review

While I loved the single-minded, furious purity of the PM and Diamond rums individually, I could not find fault with what was accomplished by marrying them off. (#228 / 89.5/100) *** In a time where conglomerates rule the roost, where even old distilleries with respected antecedents produce supposedly high-end rums that aren’t always, the wonderment is that rums like Veliers can still be made.  The craft makers are the sharp end of the spear – many are artists who cater only to those who want the pure rum experience…they live in their own corner of the rumworld, have small sales [Click here for the full review…]

Aug 182015
Cacique 500 Ron Extra Añejo - Review

As appealing and soft as a pair of slippers on a cold evening (#227 / 83/100) * Nosing this golden brown forty percenter was like revisiting a place in the mind. The soft sweet scents transported me back to the first time I tried the Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva on a dark, bitterly cold and wintry evening.  This rum, made by the same outfit as the DRE, was quite similar: caramel, toffee, unsweetened chocolate and salted butter on rye bread.  There was a slight salty-sweet note here that hinted at soya, or even tequila, but very much in the background, and [Click here for the full review…]

Aug 162015
Nine Rums from Out Of Left Field

Want a rum that says a big FU to your opinion? Here’s one, and then eight more.  *** I get so sick of seeing the same boring rundown of standard table rums extolled by journalists who don’t bother to do the most elementary research on what a good rum actually is, and make no effort to take the subject seriously.  Earlier in 2015, in response to yet another vanilla listing of same-old-blah-blah-blah-rums-you-should-try written by someone who “discovered” rums on a weekend Caribbean safari (or was that the one put together by a hack who only now realized rum was a drink worth checking [Click here for the full review…]

Aug 132015
Ron Veroes Añejo - Review

Frankly, I get more excitement looking for the keys in my pocket. (#226. 77/100) *** Like most people, the stuff I’ve tried from Venezuela are the Pamperos, the AJ Vollmer rums of Santa Teresa, and the Diplomaticos from Destileridas Unidas, the latter of which have recently been getting some flak on social media for their over-sugary backbones. Let me add to the Veno lineup with the Veroes, which won medals in 2012 from both the Madrid World Congress of Rum (and again in 2013) and from the XPs at the Miami Rum Rennaisance. I think the Cacique 500 is knocking about [Click here for the full review…]

Aug 062015
La Favorite 1990 Rhum Vieux

Rumaniacs Review 008 Founded in 1842 and remaining a small family owned outfit in Martinique, La Favorite makes this AOC designated rhum vieux, aged a minimum of three years (I’ve been told it is five years old).  They make a big deal of the transmission of distillation technique and blending from father to son, as well as their selection of only the best cane, the natural fermentation, and controlled distillation (using steam powered equipment).  I’ve gone into the history of the company a little more here. This gold rhum derives from pot still, issued at 40% in 1990.  One wonders why [Click here for the full review…]

Aug 062015
Rum Nation Caroni 1998 16 Year Old Rum - Review

  The last of the flight of seven Caronis I tried in depth back in 2014, and one of the best. (#225. 88/100) *** There are two extremes to the Caronis: the limited release bottling from independent bottlers which are usually less than a thousand bottles, and Velier with its huge stockpile and multiple issues…so much so that one always has difficulty figuring out where to start with ‘em (the 12 year old 50% may be the best place).  I have a feeling that Rum Nation’s take on the late great plantation’s rum is likely to be one of the [Click here for the full review…]

Jul 292015
Velier Caroni 1996 Heavy Full Proof Rum - Review

A brooding, dark exemplary Caroni with a slightly jagged ending.. (#224. 86/100) *** We who chronicle our rum journeys make all the expected genuflections and obeisances to the great standards and stations of the cross…Appleton, Mount Gay, DDL, Four Square, Caroni, Trois Rivieres, Havana Club (the real one), J. Bally, Neisson, Flor, Diplomatico, and so on and so forth. Then we move to the independent bottlers as we broaden our ranges…and somewhere along the way, it’s almost a given that we stop at La Casa di Luca for a bite.  I’ve done twelve so far, and believe me, there’s no [Click here for the full review…]

Jul 222015
Three Rums from Severin Simon

(#223) Germany has a number of home-grown rum makers out there.  Oh, they’re not world beaters by any means, but in a country that never really had any tropical colonies, no real culture of rum, no background in sugar cane production, it’s surprising to find any at all. And I’m always curious about these relatively small companies – after all, some small ones become big ones through sheer blending skill and mastery of craft bottlings and great word of mouth, right? Maybe this will be one of them, who knows, let’s take a look, I always tell myself. And let’s [Click here for the full review…]

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