The Lone Caner is a sad island of rum appreciation in an otherwise obdurate ocean of whisky.

Being referred to as the ‘Caner is a wry commentary on the rabid whisky aficionados inhabiting  the province, if not the country, in which I lived and the utter paucity of selections in the country I now call home; it found its origin in the Liquorature Collective, where I loudly and cheerfully bugled my preference for the extract of the cane right from the get go in 2009. After sampling, reviewing and writing about rums on and for Liquorature for almost four years, I decided to open up The Lone Caner as a website in its own right in March 2013.

I’m not a bartender, cocktail expert, mixologist, oenologist, or -ologist of any kind. I’m not an XP panelist, nor do I take part in judging, or contests (this may be pure laziness on my part). In fact, I just happen to like rums, reading about ’em, and writing . I’m in the fortunate position to have access to more rums than most.

The site is about rum reviews and tastings and essays on producers, as well as whatever news of the rum world I feel like commenting on. Nothing more, though I have brought other areas of my interest into it here and there – the ‘Caner is, after all, a single person’s work. However, this site is primarily geared towards rums and their makers.

In 2009 I began with a 0-100 scoring system that scored among other things, appearance, and had a median of 50-60, but in early 2015 I converted all 200+ reviews written to that point into a more recognizable system of 50-100, just because I got too many complaints about my scores being too low and therefore not understandable or relatable. The recalibration took a few months, required an algorithm to assess relative weightings of individual components, strip out the appearance portion, then convert to new scales: and as of March 2015, is complete.

Note that in an Iphone and twitter age, I write for desktop sized screens. I’m not brief, and write what I feel – only 20-30% of my verbiage is ever about tasting notes, and throw in any observation that seems relevant. This includes as much information about the distillery or producing company as I can find in order to provide as complete a picture of the product as possible.  Not everyone agrees with this idea (or my flowery language), but I’m done apologizing for that.  It is what it is.

Also: people often say critics or reviewers should be neutral.  I say “bulls**t.” Reviewers are human beings with tastes of their own, and I’m no different.  My bias exists, and where rum is concerned, full proof hooch bottled at greater than 40% will earn my favour.  I have a thing for Demeraras, Jamaicans, Caronis from Trinidad, unaged pot-still white-lightning, agricoles and the occasional growly, off-the-reservation tipple only a mother would love.  Not many Bajans enthuse me. I used to like sweeter rums, but over the years since 2009, the pendulum has swung somewhat the other way.  That’s not to say I don’t like a Millonario or Zacapa 23 or a Diplomatico once in a while…I just don’t like them as much as I once did.  My biases change over time.

A few other points:

  • I buy just about everything, and take no freebies except from my friends, who know of my passion, or the occasional formal tasting…I found that I simply didn’t believe in my own impartiality when agents and makers sent me samples, and so I deliberately eschewed the practice years back. I relax the rule if I have already written about and reviewed many products from a given company.  I never solicit industry, but beg my friends a lot.
  • I have a day job, studies, other interests, and a family.  Sometimes that interferes with the frequency of updates. It happens.
  • What you are getting is an educated, informed opinion – mine, to be exact.  That opinion is influenced by the amount of rums I’ve tried, my background and my personal palate.  My favouritism exists, and is earned, not bestowed or bought. You are welcome to disagree, as long as you concede that my opinion may also have validity.
  • Any errors of fact are entirely my own, made in all innocence during the course of my research.  When pointed out, I’ll correct them.
  • If you want to send an email, thelonecaner@gmail.com will find me; or, drop a comment here on this page.  I usually check in once or twice a day unless I’m on holiday somewhere.


All the best


“Ruminsky van Drunkenberg”


 Posted by on March 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm

  8 Responses to “About”

  1. nice to see a website of your own with your rum reviews.

  2. Caner – I love the website and articles. Every time I try a new rum (to me) I attach to your site to absorb your rum reviews whilst I enjoy.
    I find your reviews both tasteful ( you got the buds) and enlightening (” Hair on your chest and weight in your pants”) or weightening.
    I would love to hear you’re comments on a newer rum I recently ran into in Alaska liquor stores. It ‘s called ‘Kirk and Sweeney’. A rum that has a almost planted or infused vanilla flavour (not complex enough for a rum of this age) yet has a lovely finish in the throat that keeps be going back for more. I am a rum lover like yourself and find it a somewhat confusing rum as it seems un-natural or tampered with in terms of flavour ( not that complex), yet the finish seems to linger and call for another sip. I hate to put myself out there as a noob but I find it to be as intoxicating as the Cruzan single barrel or as Zacapa 15 or 23. I almost feel like I have been tricked by a infused flavouring yet I find the finish quite satisfying. Please let me know when you review this animal. P.s. I have a bottle of Brugal Unico I found in St.Thomas on a Cruise. I would love to know if you have any thoughts on it – I probably should just open it and go for it?

  3. Sorry – you must get quite a few of these rambling type comments – gotta say – take it as a compliment to you . Not easy to review rum and maintain such a cohesion of thought.

    Love the site – use comments as desired. Don’t know how you do it .

    • Hi Byron

      Let’s see if I can address all questions.

      I picked up a bottle of the Kirk and Sweeney, but have yet to crack the thing, since every time it comes to the forefront of my queue, something more interesting displaces it. I’ve tried it though (my friends helped) , and reckon it a mid-tier sipping rum of no real complexity, just a very pleasant one. Finish is clean and crisp, not all that long after a somewhat voluptuous taste. Has it been adulterated? Not sure. I was already three sheets to the wind when I tried it, so a more complete answer will have to wait until I do a formal.

      I think you should open and try the Brugal whenever you can. Sharing rums with my squaddies is always worth it since then they come back with their stuff which I may not have, and that keeps my expenses down. Plus, if you don’t, how will you know how good (or bad) it is, and if you like it at all?

      With respect to reviews, I sample, I make my notes, I pick a characteristic or a thought and I structure the essay around that as best I can. It takes time to do right, which is why I only put up one or two a week. It’s still a lot of fun finding the perfect phraseology to be both funny, perceptive and apropos. And after four years of writing, it’s become a weekly ritual I take great pleasure in doing.

      Thanks for all your kind words. Have fun in your sampling.

  4. A most enjoyable and informative site. Many thanks.

  5. The true highlight of visiting your site, for me, is partaking in your commentary with a realization that you are here to share wisdom & experience without hesitation. I appreciate the coalescence of matter-of-fact breakdowns of your exploits with my spirit of choice, and opinions that are staunchly held. Keep up the good work. Happy to have discovered your writings.

    • Thanks Jason.

      While I certainly engage as much as I can with all comments and commentators for the reasons you mention, I find that most discussions occur on Facebook, not here. I respond in both places, but save more detailed replies for the site, since FB doesn’t really allow for in-depth commentary or nuanced exploration of ideas. Glad you like it 🙂

  6. From what origin are you? Coz in my country some people have the same surname as yours!! And Mauritius has other good rums such as Chamarel, St Aubin , Bougainville, Beach House Spiced etc… On the other hand your site is very interesting. And you should visit rhumfest Paris there are so many different references of rum …there it could be interesting in terms of variety

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