May 162016
Ron Bacardi Superior "Carta de Oro" Añejo - 1970s

Rumaniacs Review 022 On the surface, rums like this one remind one how long Bacardi has been around (as if we could forget);  the Superior has also had a long history – I found a photo dating back to the 1930s.  This one is of more recent vintage, the 1970s, and made in the Bahamas.  Other versions of this rum were made in Trinidad and Cuba, some white, some not.  The labelling of “Carta de Oro” and “Añejo” and the colour, however, makes this a lightly aged product, less than five years old I’d say, based on taste. Colour – [Click here for the full review…]

May 152016
Neisson Rhum Agricole 2005 Vieux - Review

There are few (if any) weaknesses here: conversely, not many stellar individual components either.  It’s just an all-round solidly assembled product that missed being greater by a whisker. (#273 / 86/100) *** So here we are, gradually inching up the scale of the Neissons, with a rum I felt was slightly better than the Tatanka I looked at some weeks ago.  Now, that one had a bright, colourful label to catch the eye (Cyril from DuRhum did a review of the lineup, here), and yet appearance aside, this one was, in my estimation, a smidgen better. It’s a subtle kind [Click here for the full review…]

May 112016
Rhum J.M. Vieux Millesime 2002 10 Year Old

A wonderfully sippable AOC agricole from J.M. in Martinique (#272 / 86.5/100) *** The unquantifiable quality of the J.M. 1995 Très Vieux 15 Year Old has stayed with me ever since I first tried it.  Some aspects of the rhum did not entirely succeed, but I could never entirely rid my memory of its overall worth, and so deliberately sought out others from the stable of the company to see if the experience was a unique one.  And I am happy to report that the Millesime 2002 10 year old is a sterling product in its own way, and perhaps [Click here for the full review…]

May 082016
Compagnie des Indes 2015 Guadeloupe 16 Year Old Rum - Review

A lovely, light rum , as elegant as a Viennese waltz: it’s missing something at the back end, but nothing that would make me consider telling anyone to steer clear.  (#271 / 85/100) *** Compagnie des Indes so intrigued me when I first came across their Cuban rum back in early 2015, that I’ve already looked at two of their more offbeat products (from Fiji and Indonesia), and have detailed notes on five more commercially minded ones, which I’ll try to deal with in the next weeks and months (in between every other rum I want to write about).  This [Click here for the full review…]

May 042016
Mana'o Rhum Agricole Blanc - Review

Cool stoicism and subdued power, all in one rhum. (#270. 84/100) *** Standard “table” white rums have always been around, and perhaps appeal more to those mix them into gentle cocktails and go on to play Doom II  on “Please Don’t Hurt Me” difficulty.  In the main, the best known ones were — and are — filtered, light mixing agents which made to adhere to a philosophy best described as “We aim not to piss you off.” They excite a “ho-hum” rather than a “wtf?” Not so the current crop of clear, unaged rums which have been making  an increasing [Click here for the full review…]

Apr 282016
GDL El Dorado Bonded Reserve Rum - Review

A rum from Ago.  Perhaps only a Guyanese or a retired British Navy man could truly love it. (#269. 77/100) *** For the most part, over the last months I’ve concentrated on fairly well known rums, made by bottlers with whom we’re all reasonably familiar. Today, I’m going to reach into the past a bit, to the Guyana Distillers El Dorado Bonded Reserve. Sorry, what? I can hear you say, You mean DDL don’t you, Mr. Caner? Yeah…and no.  This rum was made in the early 1980s before DDL changed its name, and in it was one of those hooches [Click here for the full review…]

Apr 252016
Banks DIH XM Royal Gold 10 Year Old - Review

For me this is a rum that evokes real nostalgia, even though I’ve mostly moved past it. (#268 / 82/100) *** I enjoy storytelling, but if rambling background notes and local anecdotes are not your thing, skip three paragraphs. It was a fact of life in Guyana in the 1980s and 1990s that as one moved up the income scale from poor to less poor, one upgraded from Lighthouse matches to bic lighters to zippos; from leaky, loosely packed Bristol cigarettes to Benson & Hedges (gold pack, preferably made in the UK, not Barbados), and stopped swilling the pestilential King [Click here for the full review…]

Apr 222016
Velier Enmore 1988 19 Year Old Rum - Review

It is a rum of enormous taste and great breadth of profile…and if it had been a little less serious, a little more forceful, I would have called mine Falstaff. (#267. 89/100) *** In spite of its light blonde colour, there has always been something dark and dour, almost Heathcliff-ish, about the Enmore rums, including this 1988 variation (maybe it’s the bottle design of black-on-dark-red). It’s a brilliantly done piece of work, a drone-quality delivery system for ensuring your taste buds get every bit of nuance that can be squeezed out.  And that, let me tell you, is quite a bit. [Click here for the full review…]

Apr 132016
St. Nicholas Abbey White Rum - Review

A tasty, unaged, pot-still white rum, which St. Nicholas Abbey seems to have made while in a playfully experimental phase. (#266. 83/100) *** So there I was last week, reading through my notes and writing unenthusiastically about the 3 year old “Real McCoy” white rum from Barbados, which found little favour with me.  But consider this unaged counterpart made right up the road from St. Nicholas Abbey, also issued at 40%, also a white and in just about every way a superior product.  What could account for such a difference? Well, part of it is the lack of filtration, another [Click here for the full review…]

Apr 102016
Rhum Barbancourt Réserve Spéciale (1970s)

Rumaniacs Review 021 Here’s a pretty decent, if somewhat anorexic, rhum from Haiti, courtesy of the House of Barbancourt.  The name “Réserve Spéciale” is still in use, and refers these days to an eight year old, but so scarce is any kind of information on the sample I was provided (even getting a photo was problematic hence the lousy quality of the one you see here), that for me to say it was an eight year old back then is an educated guess, not a fact.  Still, info or no info, a sample was sent, and there it is and here we [Click here for the full review…]

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