Jul 302018
 
El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum (Ruby Port Finish) - Review

This is the second quick look of the six “finished” variations of the 15 year old El Dorado rums.  Because the basic information is similar in general – the original 15 year old is the core of it all, of course – I’ll use the short form to describe them rather than an essay in each case, and then wrap them all up with a summary on the last day. The rums were all tasted together, blind, in a four-hour session, using the original (retasted) El Dorado 15 with a non-blind score of 82, as a control baseline.  All point [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 282018
 
El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum (Red Wine Finish) - Review

This entire week I’ll look at the six “finished” variations of the 15 year old El Dorado rums, one per day.  Because the basic information is similar in general – the 15 year old is the core of it all, of course – I’ll use the short form to describe them rather than an essay in each case, and then wrap them all up with a summary on the last day. The rums were all tasted together, blind, in a four-hour session, using the original El Dorado 15 with a non-blind score of 82, as a control baseline.  All point [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 122018
 
Velier Courcelles 1972 31 Year Old Rhum Vieux (42%) - Review

These days, anyone finding a rum three decades old had better hold on to it, because they’re getting rarer all the time.  As prices for the 1970s and 1980s rums climb past the fourth digit, locating one can be an equally fortunate and frustrating exercise…depending on how it turns out. As to why Velier chose to issue two rums of the same distillation and aging dates, at two different strengths, well, we know he has done this before, most famously with the entire Caroni line and some of the pre-Age Demerara rums. Of course, it’s possible that Velier in this [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 102018
 
Kill Devil Cuba (Sancti Spiritus) 1999 17 Year Old Rum - Review

Now that Americans can bring back Cuban booze without sanction, it’s likely that their rums will get a boost in sales, and if the Havana Club trademark war ever gets resolved – though I doubt it will happen any time soon – then we’ll see many more on the market.  However, at this period in time, over and above the big names from the island like Santiago de Cuba or Havana Club, to get seriously aged juice that’s really from Cuba, we still have to look primarily at the independents for now. One of these is Kill Devil, named — [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 072018
 
Compagnie des Indes Jamaica 2000 15YO Rum (Hampden) - Review

These days Jamaican rums which were previously and mostly blending fodder are getting not only a new lease on life but a resurgence of their reputation that is so massive and enthusiast-driven that it’s led to the re-emergence of names like Longpond, Worthy Park, Clarendon, Inswood, Monymusk, New Yarmouth, Hampden Estate (and others),  that might be giving Appleton some sleepless nights. Lovers of the style can’t seem to get enough of them, which goes a long way to demonstrating public boredom with pallid blended meh-rums that have suffused much of the consuming landscape for the last decades. People were and [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 052018
 
Fernandes Distilleries

Sometimes looking at companies that have ceased operations is interesting (Renegade was one), and the historical detail behind the Forres Park Puncheon made by Angostura was engrossing enough that some additional research was warranted, not least because the moniker “Fernandes” remains on the labels of some currently available Trinidad rums, and some might be curious as to the background The Puncheon was originally made by the Fernandes Group in Trinidad & Tobago, which had its roots in the efforts of a Madeiran (Portuguese) immigrant named Manoel Fernandes, who established an import business for wine and spirits in the late 1880s [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 052018
 
Forres Park Puncheon White Overproof - Review

What’s surprising about this white triple-filtered column-still overproof – which keeps company with 151s like the Bacardi or Cavalier and others – is that it is not a complete fail, though it does resemble a massive ethanol delivery system that forces you to consider whether a visit to your place of worship is required before it comes alive and does a chestburster on your mosquito physique. It has a few points of interest about it, in spite of its fiery heat and hard punch…and I say that grudgingly, because overall, I don’t see much to shout about. Part of the problem [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 022018
 
Mezan Jamaica (Worthy Park) 2005 10 Year Old Rum - Review

The question that arises when drinking a rum that is 10 years old is whether the relatively placid 40% strength helps or hurts given our rather more discerning palates these days. The blended Jamaican XO from last week’s review, with its indeterminate age and provenance, succeeded modestly in spite of its wispiness because somehow the tastes still came through and provided a showcase for the style…and for its price it was a strong low-end contender that punched above its weight.  While the 2005 10 YO we’re looking at today is also bottled at that strength – subsequent editions are a [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 282018
 
The Age of Velier's Demeraras - Part 3

In Part I of this short series I described the trends within and position of the rumworld as it existed before Velier began issuing its Demerara rums, and in Part II provided a listing and some brief commentary of the rums themselves, as they were released.  In this conclusion, I’ll express my thinking regarding their influence, and also give an epilogue of some of the characters mentioned in Part I. So, what made the Age? In a time when independent bottlings were already in their ascendancy, why did this one series of rums capture the common imagination to the point [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 272018
 
The Age of Velier's Demeraras - Part 2

Part II – The Rums 2005 – The Age Begins In Part 1 I gave a rather lengthy rundown of the events and trends leading up to the unofficially named Age.  There was a reason for that – because I wanted to make it clear how the rum landscape was altered after those rums were issued.  And to do that we needed to get a sense of what it was like before. To briefly recap, the pieces were in place, at the intersection of culture and history and personality: the world was becoming more interconnected and knowledgeable as a result [Click here for the full review…]