Dec 212020
 
Ron Vacilón Anejo Gran Reserva 15 YO Cuban Rum - Review

The Cuban-made Vacilón brand was launched in 2016 (as a relaunch of an apparently very popular brand from the 1950s) and has been making the rounds of the various rum festivals off and on.  It’s part of the brand’s “luxury range” of 15 / 18 / 25 year old rums, which is fine, except that  as usual, there’s very little to actually go on about the production details – which remains one of the more annoying things about latin rons in general, hardly unique to Cuba.  Suffice to say, it is made by Destilería Heriberto Duquesne attached to the local [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 212020
 
Opinion: Tony Sachs should not be asking...

When non-knowledgeable list-makers who pepper the pages of equally clueless online magazines with their silly compendia ask for advice and help, I can tolerate it, but not from this guy, who I read quite a lot of and respect a whole lot more. He should not be asking, in such vague terms, to get for free what he’s paid to write. On December 8th 2020, spirits writer Tony Sachs posed this question on the Ministry of Rum Forum on FB: “Hey all, picking your collective brain for an article I’m writing about the 21 best rums of the 21st century [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 172020
 
Hoochery Distillery Ord River Overproof Australian Rum - Review

Hoochery Distillery’s name derives from, as you might imagine, the word “hooch”, a slang term for moonshine, or illegal liquor, popular during Prohibition. Some references place the word’s origin as even earlier, with the Hoochinoo Native American tribe of Alaska, who supposedly – and unusually – made their own liquor. Whatever the case, a hoochery is a now apparently trademarked word for a low-end small-scale distillery making (you guessed it) hooch, specifically in Australia, which has a long history of formalizing words from the vernacular in new and charming ways.   The distillery itself was established in 1993 in north-western Australia’s [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 142020
 
Coruba Blanca Extra Light White Rum (1970s)

Rumaniacs Review #122 | 0785 The original Basel-based trading house behind this long-surviving rum was formed in 1889 by Jules Fiechter and Peter Bataglia, who dealt with cognac and rum under the trading enterprise of (what else?) Fiechter & Bataglia.  In 1898 Bataglia moved back to France, and a new partner named Georges Schmidt bought in and the company was renamed with an equal lack of imagination to Fiechter & Schmidt and concerned itself with wines and cognac.  The first world war nearly bankrupted them, but they survived, and in the interwar years with the relaxation of border controls and [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 092020
 
Veritas White Blended Rum (Foursquare/Hampden) - Review

In commenting on the two-country blend of the Veneragua, Dwayne Stewart, a long time correspondent of mine, asked rather tartly whether another such blend by the Compagnie could be named Jamados.  It was a funny, if apropos remark, and then my thought went in another direction, and I commented that “I think [such a] blend’s finer aspects will be lost on [most]. They could dissect the Veritas down to the ground, but not this one.” It’s a measure of the rise of Barbados and the New Jamaicans that nobody reading that will ask what I’m talking about or what “Veritas” [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 072020
 
Compagnie des Indes Veneragua 2018 13 Year Old Blended Rum - Review

In spite of being better known for the exceptional single cask line that made the name of the Compagnie des Indes (at least, with this writer), it was the later blends that sold a lot better and moved off the shelves with more alacrity. Independent bottlers are businessmen, and while sentiment may have them prefer the tuxedo-crowd snoot-rums, it’s the low-end tanker loads that keep the company afloat (a matter not restricted to the Compagnie) and therefore get made. Compagnie des Indes has a whole lot more blends than is immediately apparent: the Darklice, Dominidad, Kaiman, Latino, Caraibes and Boulet [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 032020
 
Rum Nation Small Batch Rare Rums - Caroni 1997 21 Year Old  - Review

Any independent bottler who’s been around for a few years always has rums at various tiers of quality, or premiumness.  Most of this has to do with increasingly elaborate packaging, marketing campaigns, price (of course) or just the hype surrounding the bottle. Though of course once we see a price tag in the hundreds (or thousands), and an age in the third decade or more, we tend to perk up and pay attention anyway without any prodding, right? Rum Nation, a fomerly Italian-based IB has always been on board with this practice. Even back in 2011 when I bought their [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 302020
 
Chamarel Premium Double Distilled White Rum - Review

It says “rum” on the label, but for all intents and purposes we should be calling it rhum. Chamarel made it out of cane juice on the island of Mauritius, and it’s an easy-going, sweet-smelling, good-tempered cane juice rhum that got wrung out of a pot still on the island and somehow didn’t turn into some foul-smelling, cantankerous harridan in the process.  That’s probably deliberate, because had they done so, while it might have enthused the fanboys of unaged white lightning made in the backwoods, it might also cost a sale or two among the less adventurously minded. Suffice to [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 262020
 
Naga Double Cask Aged Indonesia Rum - Review

The Naga double-cask aged rum is part of the company’s standard lineup without any fancy whistles and bells, and when you nose it, you get a sensory impression both hauntingly familiar and obscurely strange. Even dialled-down and wispy as it is, it reminds one of chocolate, very ripe dark cherries, Fanta, sweet caramel, bonbons, and delicate perfumed flowers; and it’s the extras beneath all that which add piquancy and puzzlement: white pepper, a foamy Guinness stout, and a gamey, meaty smell which is fortunately quite faint.  The rum, bottled at 40%, exists outside the comforting confines of the Caribbean and [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 232020
 
Velier Diamond / Versailles (SVSG) 18 Year Old Rum - Review

Sooner or later in these reviews, I always end up circling back to Velier, and for preference, it’s usually the rums from the Age of the Demeraras.  It’s not that I have anything against the Caronis in their near-infinite variations, the Habitation’s pot still range, or the series of the New Hampdens, Villa Paradisetto or 70th anniversary. And I have a soft spot for even the smaller and more exactingly selected outturns of one-offs like the Courcelles or the Basseterre rums. It’s just that the Demeraras speak to me more, and remind me of the impact a then-relatively-unknown indie bottler [Click here for the full review…]


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