Jun 092015
 
Cavalier 151 Proof Antigua Rum - Review

I just imbibed an angry blender set to “pulse”. (#218. 79/100) *** Even now, the words of the Roman poet Horace, resound: “Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.”  Every time I try one of the barking mad overproof 151 rums, these words come to me, because all I can think is that some mischievous guy in a lab somewhere is happily whipping up these rums like Professor Snape in his dungeon.  Surely there is little reason for rums this powerful to exist, but exist they do, and just [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 062015
 
King of Diamonds Rum (1980s)

Rumaniacs Review 004 First rum I drank back in the day.  Was working in the interior of Guyana for gold exploration companies at the time; every Saturday evening, a couple of bottles of this stuff were trotted out for us to get hammered on. We drank it swiftly, continuously, copiously and without a care for quality. This one is supposedly fruit cured…not that I noticed much of that. Nose: Thin, sharp. Coconut shavings, swiftly disappearing.  Faint caramel and vanilla. Nuts. Anise, but not much. Raisins, red guavas and grapes waved at me, but kept way back. Palate: Light bodied, hay [Click here for the full review…]


Jun 032015
 
Rum Nation Barbados 2003 10 Year Old - Review

*** Sweet enough to appeal, smooth enough to enjoy, complex enough to admire. Solid, succulent Bajan rum from 2003, a cut above the ordinary, just like its 2001 brother. (#217. 86/100) *** Why Fabio Rossi, the gentleman behind Rum Nation, keeps referring to his Bajan offerings as “entry level” is beyond me.  ‘Cause like Mr. Gump, I may not be a smart man, but I know what entry level is. This is a few notches higher, and that it can do what it does with what for me is a relative anemic 40% strength, is no mean achievement in a [Click here for the full review…]


May 282015
 
Barbancourt 1977 >25 Year Old Rhum (Veronelli)

Rumaniacs Review 003 A craft bottling from 1977, made by Luigi Veronelli of Milan, who had visited Haiti and was so impressed with the Big B, he was granted permission to take a few barrels.  Outturn 1196 bottles, 43%.  Note the age statement…greater than 25 years.  One can only sigh with envy. Nowadays, fresh pressed cane juice is no longer used to make Barbancourt rums, but reduced syrup; and the old Charentaise still is gone, replaced by more modern apparatus.  This allows greater volume, but perhaps some of the older taste profile has been sacrificed, as this rum implies. Nose: [Click here for the full review…]


May 272015
 
New Grove Old Tradition 8 Year Old Rum - Review

A little too thin and out of balance for my palate, though the tastes are intriguing. (#216. 81/100) *** A few words about Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean to the east of Madagascar, which has been at varying times composed of more islands and fewer, and either Dutch, English or French…though Arabs and Portuguese both made landfall there before initial failed colonization (by the Dutch) in 1638. However, its strategic position in the Indian Ocean made both French and British fight for it during the Age of Empires, and both remain represented on the island to this [Click here for the full review…]


May 242015
 
Velier Skeldon 1973 32 Year Old Rum

*** Rumaniacs Review 002 I looked at the Skeldon 1973 in detail a while back.  Since an extra sample came my way I re-tasted and have added it to the Rumaniacs lineup.  Still a fantastic rum, just about unavailable now except to the fortunate few with very deep pockets. Distilled in the Skeldon estate on the Corentyne coast in Guyana in April 2005 from a Coffey still. 4 barrels, outturn 544 bottles. Nose: Pungent and rich to a fault; coffee, burnt sugar cane fields, brown sugar, tons of licorice, fleshy fruit (peaches, prunes, black grapes), honey. Mocha, walnuts, toasted rye [Click here for the full review…]


May 212015
 
Velier Albion 1989 Full Proof 19 Year Old Rum - Review

When you drink full proof and overproof rums for a long time, many forty percenters can seem, well…a shade pusillanimous.  No such issue afflicts the 62.7% full proof of Albion 1989, ‘cause that thing looks and  feels and samples like it’s about to father a nation. (#215 / 91/100) ***   The Albion 1994 was power and passion and style all wedded together in a remarkable fusion, and my only regret has always been that I couldn’t get more. It was preceded by a version from 1983, 1986, and this one from 1989. These days, the only place you’ll find [Click here for the full review…]


May 202015
 
Trois Rivières 1977 Rhum Vieux Agricole Millèsime

*** Rumaniacs Review 001 Not entirely sure how old this is…I think it was bottled in 2000 or so, making it at least a twenty three year old. AOC controlled from Martinique, pot-still-made from cane juice (of course). Nose: Bright, flowery, quite spicy, but also very clean.  Cinnamon, breakfast spices, cloves, some dried fruits (banana, fleshy pears just starting to go).  All this is shouldered aside by a rather startling brininess and musty vegetal pungency after a while…y’know, like cardboard in an old, unaired cellar.  Not unpleasant, but not your standard fare either Taste: Oh, nice, very well put together. [Click here for the full review…]


May 132015
 
Three Cachaças from Delicana

  (#214) *** Although a huge market for cachaça exists in Brazil where it is the national tipple they sometimes call pinga, very little of it makes it to other countries in comparison to agricoles (let alone more popular molasses based rums). For rummies, it’s something like an undiscovered country. A cane-juice-based spirit, it has certain basic similarities to agricoles and has been referred to as a type of brandy, of the aguardente family.  Cachaças are often unaged and like clairins in Haiti, run the gamut from underproof to overproof drinks, and are often bottled clear. I should mention, however, [Click here for the full review…]


May 072015
 
J. Bally Rhum Vieux "Pyramide" 7 Year Old - Review

Cool bottle, great product.  Almost the perfect mid-range rhum, not too young to be raw, not too old to be over-pricey, or unavailable. (#213. 86/100) *** The zippy, funky young J. Bally Ambrè agricole was an interesting rhum from Martinique, and I enjoyed it, simply feeling it had some growing up to do – which is perhaps natural for a rhum aged less than five years. The Vieux 7 year old certainly addressed many of these concerns, and was a better rhum in almost every way.  Ageing may not always confer quality  (neither does price) I’ve heard it said, but [Click here for the full review…]


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