Jan 072016
Clairin Casimir Rhum - Review

This rum is like Hooters: delightfully tacky, enjoyable as hell, and unrefined to a fault.  And once you’ve given it a shot, it’s like you have a sneaking suspicion you’ll soon be back, grumbling all the while “Poukisa rum nan toujou fini?” (#248 / 86.5/100) *** The Clairin “Casimir” white rum, the third of the Haitian Clairins, is maddening and strange if you are not in tune with it, mesmerizing if you are. I noted in a comment on the Vaval that it’s tough to love, and the same applies here, only more so. If you have not thrown the [Click here for the full review…]

Jan 042016
Velier Blairmont 1982 29 Year Old Rum

Rumaniacs Review 015 Happy New Year, everyone. 2016 is upon us, I assume everyone is all sobered up, and today we continue our examination of older Veliers…the 1982 Blairmont in this case.  I’ve looked at the 1991 edition before and I thought it was exceptional at the time, but that one was half as old as this lovingly aged monster supposedly taken off the French Savalle still in Guyana (the box may be a misprint unless it was referring to a now destroyed pot still).  Both are excellent, though. For those who are interested, Blairmont is a sugar estate on the west [Click here for the full review…]

Dec 272015
Velier Damoiseau 1980 18 Year Old Rhum - Review

  A marriage of the best of agricoles with the best of molasses-based rums.  We close off 2015 with the spectacular 2002 rum that opened the Age of Velier. (#247. 92/100) *** Velier is better known for the pioneering full-proof Caroni and Demerara rums which have garnered it so much acclaim in the past decade; and more recently they have raised their profile even more with the issue of the Clairins, a close association with Richard Seale, and the “Gargano classification.”  Yet rum aficionados who track this company know that the true beginnings of its rise are contained within the first [Click here for the full review…]

Dec 222015
Trois Rivières 1975 Rhum Vieux Agricole - Review

Proof that year of make does not confer exceptionalism. (#246. 85/100) *** Trois Rivieres in Martinique is over 350 years old, formed in 1660 when Nicolas Fouquet, Superintendent of Finances to Louis XIV, won a large concession of about 5,000 acres in the south of the island, where it remains still, after many changes in ownership.  In 1953, the Marraud Grottes family, owners of their own distillery and the Duquesne brand, bought the estate and sold aged Trois Rivières Duquesne rhums under the brand until 1972. In 1994 the Trois Rivières distillery was acquired by the company BBS, which also [Click here for the full review…]

Dec 202015
Rhum Sant' Andrea 1939

Rumaniacs Review 014 The idea was to continue along with Velier’s Caroni 1985 and 1982 this week, but then I figured it was close to Christmas, so let’s go with something a little older. Perhaps a rhum from an age before ours, or even that of our fathers. Issued by the house of Fratelli Branca, which is akin to Rum Nation, Samaroli or even Velier: an old 19th century Milanese spirits maker (they created a liqueur of their own in 1845 which led to the formation of the company) and distributor, that rode the wave of “Fantasy Rhums” which were popular in Italy [Click here for the full review…]

Dec 162015
Berry Bros. & Rudd 1977 Jamaica Rum "Overproof" - Review

BBR have made a rum that has all the fidelity and quality of the rums from times gone by, without compromise….a 60% velociraptor that really does get you and chomp you down. (#245. 90/100) *** It’s Christmas, so let’s get another one of the pricier, rarer bottlings out of the way just in case someone sees it and wants one for his grandfather. In all honestly, with just 220 bottles of the Jamaica 1977 in circulation, and at the price point it retails for, one could be forgiven for wondering why I am reviewing a rum that very few people [Click here for the full review…]

Dec 152015
Opinion - The Wasted Potential of DDL's Single Barrel Rums

Introduction In 2015 it became widely known that DDL was severing its relationship with Velier, and Luca Gargano would no longer have access to their warehouses. With that simple statement, the Age of Velier’s Demerara Rums appeared to have come to an end. In October of that same year, I reviewed the three single barrel expressions DDL issued back in 2007, and the notes in that write up were so voluminous that I split them apart to form the basis of this essay. My thinking went like this: when you think of all the advantages DDL enjoys in the international [Click here for the full review…]

Dec 102015
A.H. Riise Royal Danish Navy Rum  - Review

My mission, should I chose to accept it, is to get hammered on this crap. I drank it so you don’t have to. (#244. 68/100) *** I can’t imagine what was going through AH Riise’s corporate minds when they made this ersatz faux-Navy-Rum wannabe, but I should point out that the few rum guys I know from Denmark think it’s something of an insult to the spirit.  It’s a sweet sugary Nicolas Sparks-level saccharine mess, with a grudging nod given to navy standards by beefing it up some.  Unless you’re masochistically into multiple insulin shots, my advice is to smell [Click here for the full review…]

Dec 062015
Velier Albion 1986 25 Year Old Rum

Rumaniacs Review 013 Another old bad boy from la Casa Luca, as we continue our sojourn down memory lane with old Veliers. The Albion 1994 17 year old was the first Velier I ever tried and there’s still a soft spot in my heart for it.  This one, tried three years later, is perhaps not as good. It’s certainly older, being bottled in 1986 and it’s a weighty, meaty 25 year old…from one barrel.  Good luck finding more of this thing. Perhaps only the Albion 1983 is rarer. Note that its actual provenance from Albion is subject to debate since Albion and [Click here for the full review…]

Dec 022015
Chantal Comte Rhum Vieux Agricole 1980 - Review

This rhum is a quietly dazzling masterpiece. (#243. 92/100) *** The Chantal Comte 1980 purrs away in the glass, containing so many quietly thrumming riches, revealed in so gradual a fashion, that it embarasses ordinary rums.  And yet, its characteristics aren’t gaudily thrown before us to entertain or impress.  There are no marketing tricks here, no fancy “finished in…” or “made this unusual way…”. No dosing, adding or off-the-wall ageing. It is only after I tried it for the fourth time that I truly appreciated the full reach of its accomplishment, and realized how well and how subtly it had [Click here for the full review…]

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