Dec 012014
 
Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still 57% Rum - Review

  If strength and atavism are your things, the Jamaica Pot Still 57% won’t disappoint; a shot or two of this, and you’ll feel your nostrils dilate as you search around for a stone to bash a rhino with, before eating a freshly-caught, still-twitching deer. It’s that intense. (#190. 72/100) The 57% pot still Jamaican rum from Rum Nation represents a departure for the company in a number of ways (not including the bottle shape, introduced for the 2014 season).  It is the first rum the company has produced that is over 100 proof, and it is the first white [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 262014
 
Dzama Rhum Vieux Millésimé 1998 10 Year Old - Review

A remarkably well balanced and tasty rum from the Indian Ocean (#189. 75/100) *** In spite of the prevailing belief that rums are Caribbean almost by definition, it’s axiomatic that many other nations and regions produce them.  Over the years I’ve found that the most readily identifiable and distinctive (I don’t say “best”) products, products that have a flavour profile all their own, usually hail from some distant part of the world where climatic and soil conditions are far removed from the norm: consider, for example the Bundaberg, the Old Monk, or even the Tanduay.  Now sure, flavourings are sometimes [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 202014
 
Oceans Rum Atlantic Limited Edition 1997 - Review

  A rum potentially seventeen years old, undone by trying to be all things to all drinkers. (#188 / 63/100) *** Ocean’s Rum Atlantic Limited Edition 1997 is made (or at least aged) in the Canary Islands, not the first place you’d think about when considering a rum of any kind.  Probably thinking that less was not more, and more might be good enough, the makers came up with this rather startling combo of components hailing from seven (yes, seven) different rum-making locations, and trotted out the 43% result as the “Atlantic” Limited Edition (the meaning of the 1997 is [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 122014
 
Rum Nation

Anybody who has read my work will know something of my admiration for Rum Nation, a company that came to my attention back in 2011 and which I’ve followed ever since. As Yesu Persaud springs to mind when thinking of DDL, or Luca Gargano is indelibly associated with Velier, Fabio Rossi, the CEO of Rossi & Rossi, is the man whose name is synonymous with Rum Nation. The Venetian family of Rossi has been in the business of spirits and general trading for a long time, even though Rum Nation has only been in existence since 1999. Its sister company [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 062014
 
Bacardi Reserva Limitada (Founder's Blend) Rum - Review

Don’t bash the bat until you’ve given this rum a fair shot.  Because it’s damned good. (#187 / 74/100) *** Many – myself among them – believe that one of Bacardi’s more unappreciated rums is the 8-year-old, and I’d argue the Reserva Limitada joins the club…and even dials it up a few notches. The company may sell more rum than anyone else, has enormous (and heavily criticized) tax breaks and subsidies to keep its costs down, is a global juggernaut of the entry-level rums, but at the upper end of the scale has a real bad rep with rum lovers [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 292014
 
Bristol Spirits Caroni 1974 34 Year Old Rum - Review

This is the first review in a set of about six which deals with Caroni rums.  I’m unabashedly starting with the oldest, which is a top-notch rum with few disappointments and flashes of greatness underpinning a rock solid performance.  (#186 / 78/100) *** Even before heading to Europe in October 2014, I resolved to sample what I could from the now-defunct Caroni distillery in Trinidad which regrettably closed in 2002.  Part of this is simply curiosity, mixed with a collector’s avarice…but also the high opinion I formed years ago when I tried the A.D. Rattray 1997 edition, and was an [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 242014
 
Spirits of Old Man Special Cask Rum No.3 - Guyana 16 Year Old Rum - Review

    You’ll want to coat your tongue with fire suppressant material before drinking, because once you start, the Uitvlugt 16 year old grows fangs and attacks your face like a junked-out xenomorph. (#185. 64/100) *** Curiosity.  That’s what got me here: simple curiosity.  I’ve never tried anything by Old Man Spirits, but man, I thought, how can you even begin to argue with that cool distillery, and the strapping libido of 62.9%, which is powerful enough to make Cadenhead and A.D.Rattray take a respectful step backwards and cross their knees. And I loved the Spartan, zen-like simplicity of the [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 202014
 
Velier

It’s no surprise that I start the “Makers” section of this website with Velier.  Perhaps no other company since Rum Nation has so captured my attention the way this one has, and with both it’s about their focus. The scotch makers like G&M, Cadenhead, A.D. Rattray and Bruichladdich also produce year-specific, limited editions of rums, but their product lines are somewhat diluted by not concentrating solely on rums but on the whiskies which are their primary products (at least in my opinion).  Velier in contrast has made its name primarily by doing something quite different  – they issue all of [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 162014
 
Velier Uitvlugt 1997 17 Year Old Full Proof Rum - Review

An exceedingly well-made, clean, relatively light rum with remarkable depth of flavour and beautiful mouthfeel. (#184; 78/100) *** Velier, as its barrels mature in Guyana, issues annual releases when they feel they are ready, much as Rum Nation and other craft rum makers do.  This presents a particular and peculiar problem to rummies, because there is no consistency to any of them: in other words, while a DDL El Dorado 21 Year Old will be more or less the same no matter when you buy it, a Velier PM 2013 release will not be the same as a Velier PM [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 122014
 
Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millésimé 1980 18 Year Old - Review

  *** A deeply rich and remarkable rum – 1980 was a damned good year for this company (#183. 83/100) *** When one buys a raft of intriguing aged rums and then samples several dozen more (especially after a protracted absence), the issue is which rum to start reviewing first. Since my intention on this go-around was to run through several Caroni rums from Trinidad, as well as to give more weight to agricoles from the French West Indies, I decided that one of the best of the latter deserved some consideration.  And that’s this sterling Damoiseau. The Bellevue au Moule estate [Click here for the full review…]