Sep 282016
La Confrérie du Rhum Millésime 2014 Cuvée Speciale Rhum Blanc - Review

#307 Inhaling the powerful scents of this rhum is to be reminded of all the reasons why white unaged agricoles should be taken seriously as drinks in their own right.  Not for Longueteau and La Confrérie the fierce, untamed — almost savage — attack of the clairins; and also not for them the snore-fests of the North American whites which is all that far too many have tried. When analyzing the aromas billowing out from my tasting glass, what I realized was that this thing steered a left-of-middle course between either of those extremes, while tilting more towards the backwoods [Click here for the full review…]

Sep 272016
Berlin RumFest 2016 Update #5

September 19th, 2016 Damn but I’m busy.  People keep quitting at my office and their work comes to me.  And I have to plan my Berlin visit in somewhat more detail. Where do I find the time? Bottle pictures are often an overlooked aspect of the review, and I take all my own. My cameras are strewn over the floor as I decide which lenses to take with which camera body.  Finally settle on my small and trusty D7000, ‘cause it has its own flash and the D3S is too heavy. 50mm 1.4 lens. I’m looking with longing at the [Click here for the full review…]

Sep 262016
Seven Fathoms Premium Rum - Review

* The rum that Pyrat’s could have been #306 A trend I see gathering more and more steam these days is that of snazzy marketing campaigns for (mostly) new rums, bugling their lovingly preserved family recipes, boasting slick webpages oddly short on facts but long on eye candy, trumpeting old traditions made new (but respectfully adhered to), or new and innovative production methods which enhance the final product.  Words like “artisan”, “premium”, “handcrafted”, “traditional”, “every single drop” are tossed around with the insouciant carelessness of hormonal teenagers with their chastity. This kind of  folderol just irritates me, not least because [Click here for the full review…]

Sep 252016
Berlin RumFest 2016 Update #4

* September 1st, 2016 Hey lookie here, Rum Depot sent me an email telling me I’m one of the cool kids and get a press ticket. I guess that passes for credentials. Can pick them up at the press booth on the day. I feel very important all of a sudden.  Yes, I’m Somebody (in my own mind). A ping comes in from Henrik…he just got his too.  We strut around importantly on FB messages like we’re Big Ones, giving each other high fives and chest bumps (figuratively speaking). He pours two glasses of an older Velier to celebrate over [Click here for the full review…]

Sep 232016
Berlin RumFest 2016 Update #3

July 15th 2016 Still waiting.  No response from Rum Depot on credentials, which is my driven office existence demanding results in five minutes.  What the hell, it’s summer holidays, would you respond?  Not likely.  Hope the guy is having a good vacation, cause y’know, one of us should. My list of rums in storage in Berlin keeps mounting.  Seventeen rum from France (including some very interesting agricoles I wanted). Two sets of Rumaniacs samples.  Stuff from Africa, the Far East, Japan…India is coming too. White lightning from a half dozen islands…I’m getting a real liking for those. Some local non-export [Click here for the full review…]

Sep 222016
Botran 75th Anniversary Gran Reserva Especial Solera 25 Years - Review

The best of the Botrans, deservedly so. But it could have been better. #305 *** Botran’s top-of-the-line Special Edition is so soft it makes a feather pillow feel like it’s stuffed with discarded syringes. In comparison, the skin on a baby’s bum is rough as the glass shards on the wall around the house of a banana republic’s paranoid dictator. Yet it’s issued at a mere 40%, and that it has more qualities than defects is to its everlasting credit and our relief, for soleras do not often get much huzzah from hardcore rum fans, who prefer to have rums [Click here for the full review…]

Sep 222016
Botran 1893 Ron Añejo Solera 18 Years - Review

For the bucks, you get a soft bang. #304 *** There are two more Guatemalan Botrans I have notes for, and perhaps see if we can find points of commonality or differences among the set, so let’s get them out of the way, rather than go somewhere else this week.  I wrote that the blanca was an interesting if ultimately uninspiring white, while the solera 15 wasn’t bad for what it was, and had a few tastes that were worthy of note.  The 1893 Solera 18 is a step up the ladder of the brand – also 40% ABV, column [Click here for the full review…]

Sep 202016
Berlin RumFest 2016 Update #2

June 17th 2016 Henrik of the RumCorner did something I wish I had thought of first: he applied for Press Credentials with the ‘Fest…how cool is that?  He wrote a really readable online diary of his Berlin experience last year and I guess either they approached him or he saw the menu option on the webpage and went with it.  We talked it over.  Unclear whether it gets him anything concrete, like free entry to the Fest, immediate entry to the Master Classes or such like. But who cares? It’s a step up from being a mere participant, right?  You [Click here for the full review…]

Sep 192016
Botran Ron Añejo Reserva Solera 15 Years  - Review

As soleras go, this one is pretty good, and is less sweet than many, which is to its advantage #303 *** Sooner or later, everyone who drinks the good stuff passes through the solera style of rums.  Some brands have become behemoths, like the Zacapa 23 or Dictadors, and are adored and reviled in equal measure.  The key points for both sides are the taste and the age statement. Given the increasing polarization of the rum world between those who “like what they like” versus those who feel only “real rums” should be marketed as such (and drunk), and who [Click here for the full review…]

Sep 192016

May 15th 2016 This was when I started more seriously planning for the 2016 rumfest.  Why not?  Tickets are cheaper from a long time out and my planning horizon is a year or more into the future.  Always had fun at the ‘Fest.  People are helpful and the natives are friendly.  Nobody really has a clue who I am, me with my big ass notebook and dorky hat. My wife loves the snacks, and my mother raves over the cocktails.  Mom primly talks about having a “discreet buzz” after “a few” (which means all she can lay hands on), but let’s [Click here for the full review…]

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