Jan 252017
 
Blackadder "Raw Cask" Nicaraguan 2002 12 Year Old Rum - Review

Unique in its own way, but not precisely exceptional. #338 It’s been quite some time since I’ve tried a Nicaraguan rum. That’s partly because I was unenthusiastic (even indifferent) to the more recent Flor de Caña range of rums where the age statement, through a miraculous stroke of legerdemain, suddenly disappeared; and having gone through a goodly part of their lineup once, I had other interests (and rums) with which to occupy my reviewing time.  Still, just as the islanders have their variations taken to new extremes by independent bottlers, so does Nicaragua, and when I got the chance to [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 192017
 
Charley's J.B. Overproof Jamaican White Rum - Review

#337 Just about every rum junkie has heard of the J. Wray & Nephew 63% Overproof, Appleton’s flagship white lightning and that’s likely the variation that most people know about and have tried.  But since the 1990s, there’s been a local hooch, the Charley’s J.B. White Overproof (made by the Trelawny Rum Company which Appleton controls), primarily marketed in the backcountry…at that time it was aimed at rural farmers and considered a sort of 2nd tier tipple.  In 2015 the company decided to issue it to the urban market perhaps because people in the cities were getting annoyed at those [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 172017
 
Nine Leaves 2 Year Old Rum "Encrypted" - Review

A new direction for the Japanese rum-maker, which has some flaws but is an interesting rum nevertheless. #336 When researching the background for the Encrypted, I came across the website RumRatings, which is a place where people rate and comment on rums they have tried without going through the effort of, say, creating a website or putting their thoughts on a more formal basis (the way one sees on the /r/rum forum on reddit, for example, a site where fans can be even more rabid than on Facebook). The comments were not inspiring. “Too young and harsh and chemical,” wrote [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 152017
 
English Harbour Small Batch Cask Finished Rum - Review

Excellent young sherry-finished rum #335 There’s a special place in my heart for English Harbour rums from Antigua, and always will be. The company’s masterful 25 year old 1981, while dropping some in my estimation over the years, remains a touchstone of my reviewing experience (it was also Review #001).  Their five-year- and ten year old variations were pleasing and decent drinks that were like a mix of Bajan and Spanish rums, yet distinct from either; and I’ve always felt they were good introductions to the spirit, even if I myself have moved on to purer, stronger rums, which was [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 112017
 
Vientiane Laotian Agricole Rhum - Review

A white rhum from Laos, which comes out punching at 56% #334 The rums we see and drink share a certain geographic commonality. On the shelves are rums from the various Caribbean islands, those old British, Spanish and French (and Dutch, and yes, Danish) colonial possessions. Next to them are South and Central Americans tipples which are the inheritors of the Spanish traditions brought over centuries ago…no shortage of their products either. Then there are those from micro-ops from Canada and the USA, few of which make any sort of big splash but which gain an audience from the communications [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 052017
 
Lazy Dodo Single Estate Rum - Review

Laid-back, but not lazy #333 The dodo, as most of us are well aware, is the subject of such well known epigrams as being dead as one; it remains a fixture of popular culture and language, often seen as a symbol of obsolescence, stupidity and (naturally) extinction. It is therefore something of an odd emblem for a rum company to use as its name and symbol, unless it’s considered so firmly associated with Mauritius that bird and island are seen as synonymous (which I don’t believe for a moment). So aside from the officially stated purpose of the logo raising [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 302016
 
Velier FourSquare 2006 Ten Year Old Barbados Rum - Review

A spectacular rum from FourSquare (and Velier), perhaps the best Bajan they’ve ever made. #332 *** This is a rum that screaming aficionados were waiting for like fans at a Justin Bieber or Beyonce concert (or the Rolling Stones, maybe), and no write-up of the thing could be complete without mentioning the unbelievable sales pattern it displayed…in my entire rum-purchasing experience, I’ve never seen anything like it. The Velier/FourSquare collaboration was making the rounds of various masterclasses in festivals around the world for almost a year before actually going on sale, and then, when it became available in August 2016 [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 282016
 
FourSquare 2005 9 Year Old Rum (Port Cask Finish) - Review

A rum that comes together in unexpected but ultimately satisfying ways #331 Finishing remains a hit or miss proposition for rum makers. Rum Nation’s finished Demeraras are pretty good, El Dorado’s 15 year old expressions in various wine finishes kinda work (in spite of the sugar adulteration), while neither the Legendario’s muscatel reek or the Pyrat’s orange liqueur nonsense ever appealed to me (and never will).  So what’s there to say about the port finished 2005 issued by FourSquare as part of their “Exceptional” series? A few good things, a few not-so-good ones.  FourSquare is far too professional, too competent [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 272016
 
Ron Bacardi Añejo 6 Year Old (Puerto Rico, 1980s)

Rumaniacs Review 027 Bacardi has had so many iterations of their rums over the decades, made in Mexico, Puerto Rico or Bermuda (or wherever else they squirrel away production these days), that it’s impossible to state with precision what the genuine article actually is any longer. This version clearly states on the label it was a Puerto Rican rum, six years old, imported into Italy, and I’ve been informed its was made and acquired in the 1980s.  Perhaps it was a forerunner, an experiment, to see whether aged rum sales held promise, and afterwards morphed into the current 8 year old (which isn’t [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 262016
 
Rum 66 Family Reserve 12 Year Old Barbados Rum - Review

When a rum makes you want to try its stronger brother, you are left asking whether it has failed or succeeded. #330 It must be a preference thing.  My son the Little Caner (rapidly becoming the Big Caner) loves chocolate ice cream but detests the salted caramel Haagen-Dasz I scarf by the bucketload (before being noisily sick in the outhouse). My father (Grampy Caner) can’t get enough of El Dorado 15 year old yet I can’t get him to touch a full proof without shuddering. As for me, while I enjoy rums from around the Caribbean, have never been able [Click here for the full review…]


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