Jul 292013
Berry Bros. & Rudd Barbados 13 Year Old Rum - Review

Good all round Bajan rum from Berry Brothers & Rudd, that’s worth its price and is a good note on which to close your day. (#175. 70/100) *** What a relief it was to try this well-aged rum, and to find that its Fijian 8 year old cousin which I had tried some weeks back was indeed something of an iconoclastic aberration. There’s not much I could say about a line of rums of which I have only ever sampled three, and it would have been wrong to extrapolate based on such a small sample size. So it’s a happy [Click here for the full review...]

 Posted by on July 29, 2013 at 3:37 am
Jul 142013
SMWS R3.4 Barbados 75.3% 10 Year Old Rum - Review

  This feels and tastes mean, largely because it is. Remember how the St Nick’s 12 purred love and red roses down your gullet? Not this baby. This one wants your tonsils for lunch. And yet, that doesn’t quite invalidate it as a decent product. I mean, just because it treats you like life on Keith Richards’s face isn’t an automatic disqualification…I just call it inspired insanity, and have (much to my own surprise) given it the highest rating I’ve ever awarded to a 75% overproof. (#174. 76/100) *** “Makes you strong like a lion”, the label remarks, in one [Click here for the full review...]

 Posted by on July 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm
Jul 092013
Murray McDavid Nicaragua 10 Year Old Rum - Review

  Butch mixed in with a bit of Ziggy Stardust. (#173. 63/100) *** Whisky fans will know all about Murray McDavid, which is part of Bruichladdich, those fine folks who make the many inconsistent (if always interesting) Renegade Rums. It’s actually possible that this rum was a precursor to the whole Renegade line, being made somewhat earlier (mid-2000s) and adhering as it does to many of the principles of those rums: casks sourced from the Caribbean,aged in Scotland and finished in a wine of some kind. Nicaragua is of course the home of a very decent range of rums, the [Click here for the full review...]

 Posted by on July 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm
Jul 052013
Rum Nation Demerara Solera  No.14 (2010 Release) - Review

A Demerara rum that may not be a true solera in spite of its name. Lovely, affordable, interesting rum. (#172. 71/100)  *** With this review, I have finally, after nearly two years of getting around to it, come to the end of the Rum Nation line of rums I bought all in one fell swoop, after being introduced to the series at Kensington Wine Market’s Raucous Rums tasting back in 2011. Since that time I have become an unabashed fanboy of Fabio Rossi’s products, and wish I could get more of his yearly releases: largely because I have not tasted [Click here for the full review...]

 Posted by on July 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm
Jul 012013
Ron Centenario 5 Year Old "Selecto" - Review

Passive,easy, light, indifferent, with a finish as short as this review (#171. 56/100) ***  Put aside my issues with underproof rums in general, and the five year old rum made by Centenario Internacional SA out of Costa Rica comes off as a reasonable rum, quite soft, and in line with many of their other jelly-kneed products: which is to say, pleasant and perfectly drinkable, but ultimately uninspiring (to me). As before, I simply note that I’m unclear who the rum is made for, since it’s too weak to appeal to an aficionado or to make a mix where strength is [Click here for the full review...]

 Posted by on July 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm
Jun 252013
Brugal 1888 Ron Gran Reserva Familiar - Review

A subtle, complex, tasty sipping rum (#170. 70/100) *** You don’t see many of the Brugal rums here — I’ve only ever reviewed one of them, years ago when I was starting to populate the site: that one got a review, a shrug and a meh (which in retrospect may have been a touch condescending, as was my initial scoring), and I remember it principally because of its really lovely finish. The 1888 Ron Gran Reserva Familiar is something else again, and perhaps it’s sad that we don’t get to see more shops carrying it, ‘cause it’s a pretty nifty [Click here for the full review...]

 Posted by on June 25, 2013 at 8:31 pm
Jun 212013
Berry Bros & Rudd 8 Year Old Fijian Rum - Review

  Quasimodo in a shrink-wrapped muscle-car with overlarge tyres (#169. 61/100) ***  Rums have gotten, over the decades and centuries, rather civilized. Sweaty muscular beefcakes like the SMWS Longpond 9 81.3% and the Bacardi 151 always exist, of course, accompanied by more uncouth and less cultured rums even than that, made less for export than for local consumption…but for the most part, what we get is soft, soothing, decent, well padded. This 46% rum, however, made by those genteel fellows in England, Berry Brothers and Rudd, was none of these things…which, when you recall the near-brilliant 1975 Port Morant they [Click here for the full review...]

 Posted by on June 21, 2013 at 2:57 pm
Jun 182013
Traveller's 5 Barrel Premium Gold Aged Rum - Review

  Ambivalence personified (#168. 64/100) *** Ever since I sampled Traveller’s Liquors 1-barrel expression, I’ve wanted to move up the chain – that rum, for its youth and antecedents, was a pleasure to drink, and I really appreciated its ten year old cousin, the excellent Don Omarios Vintage Rum. As with the latter, it was a bottle which “Rum Balls” Tony brought back when he was on holiday over in that part of the world: he obliged his parched amigo by schlepping a bottle of this Belize-made rum back for me to try (with him in attendance, of course). So [Click here for the full review...]

 Posted by on June 18, 2013 at 4:54 pm
Jun 152013
Don Omario's Vintage 15 Year Old Rum - Review

Sedate, but not quite docile. Urbane with just a hint of bad boy. An excellent fifteen year old out of Belize. (#167. 70/100) *** The humourist in me likes to think that Travellers – that excellent rum house out of Belize which also makes the 1-barrel, 3-barrel and 5-barrel rums – has a resident Irishman on the payroll, and he changed his name, and was instrumental in making a left field product with his name on it (I had a similar feeling when I ran into an Irish pub in Kazakhstan many years ago). The reality is different, of course, [Click here for the full review...]

 Posted by on June 15, 2013 at 6:19 pm
Jun 042013
Plantation Grand Reserve Barbados 5 Year Old – Review

Among the best of the five year olds, and may actually be the best 5 I’ve had to date. (#166. 69/100) *** One of the surprising things about the Plantation Barbados 5 year old is the fact that it is bottled at what, for Plantation, is a relatively mild 40%. Still, for all my whining about wanting rums to be stronger, I can’t deny the overall quality of what many would dismiss as a mixer’s rum, because it’s a quietly impressive product that is the equal of the El Dorado 5 year old in every way, and exceeds it in [Click here for the full review...]

 Posted by on June 4, 2013 at 7:41 pm