Apr 102016
 
Rhum Barbancourt Réserve Spéciale (1970s)

Rumaniacs Review 021 Here’s a pretty decent, if somewhat anorexic, rhum from Haiti, courtesy of the House of Barbancourt.  The name “Réserve Spéciale” is still in use, and refers these days to an eight year old, but so scarce is any kind of information on the sample I was provided (even getting a photo was problematic hence the lousy quality of the one you see here), that for me to say it was an eight year old back then is an educated guess, not a fact.  Still, info or no info, a sample was sent, and there it is and here we [Click here for the full review…]


Apr 092016
 
The Real McCoy 3 Year Old White Rum - Review

Bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts will get more out of this than I ever will. It redefines the word “understated.” (#265. 74/100) *** Knowing how I have never been entirely satisfied with rums from Barbados, I decided to buy a few about which many have waxed rhapsodic, followed that up with trying as many as I could at the 2015 Berlin rumfest, and continued on the theme by begging my friends in Europe for samples of their personal stocks of independent bottlers’ Bajans.  Let’s see if I can’t get to the bottom of why — with just a few exceptions — [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 302016
 
Rhum Rhum Libération 2012 Vieux Agricole “Integrale” - Review

One of the best five year old rhums ever made, and a showcase for the wonderful directions the profile of a rhum can take. (#264 / 89/100) *** If I was underwhelmed by the “standard” 45% 2012 Liberation, and shrugged at the 2010 version (both rated around low eighties scores), let me assure you that the 2012 “Integrale”, bottled at a mouth watering 59.8%, is a beast of an entirely different colour. If your sojourn into agricoles ever takes you to Guadeloupe rhums, you could do a lot worse than stop a while at Marie Galante, where Gianni Capovilla makes [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 242016
 
Neisson Rhum Agricole Vieux Tatanka "Le Coupeur" - Review

A youngish agricole with slightly loopy tastes that makes one intrigued enough to take another sip….and another two or three after that. (#263 / 83.5/100) *** Cheap tinfoil cap aside, this may truly be one of the most original and striking bottle labels I’ve ever seen.  Painted right on, colourful, bright, lovely, and if I was still scoring such things, it would be tempting to add an extra point or two just to show how much it appeals.  The bottle shape was the same as the Extra Vieux I wrote about some months back, but man, the design was as [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 222016
 
Rum Nation Demerara 1990 25 Year Old Rum - Review

* The yin to Velier’s yang approaches its own pit stop on the road to the end of the Age of Demeraras, with a worthy entry to the genre. (#262. 89/100) *** Because I have a thing for Demerara rums (and not just because I used to live in the neighborhood), I’m always interested in finding new ones…or old ones issued anew, take your pick.  The RN 1990 is a sad sort of milestone for the company, because it is one of the last of the deeply aged Demeraras the company will issue for some time, nearly depleting its stock [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 162016
 
Rum Nation Peruano 8 Year Old Rum - Review

More tamed Peruvian sunshine. (#261. 84.5/100) *** It’s been quite a few months since I picked up a Rum Nation product to write about.  This is not to say that they have either lapsed in sleep or are resting on the laurels of past achievements, since just the other day they put out some promo materials for two new Guadeloupe rums I’m going to keep an eye out for.  However, today I wanted to look at one of their other countries’ offerings, the Peruano 8 year old. Aficionados are no strangers to rums from that country: both the Millonario XO [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 152016
 
Appleton Estate "Extra" Jamaican Rum (1980s)

*** Rumaniacs Review 020 The tinfoil cap and chubby, callypigian bottle (trust me, that’s a word worth knowing), give this away as a rum made within living memory, even if some of us weren’t drinking back then (or drinking much). The “Extra” evolved into the modern 12 year old…alas I didn’t have any on hand at the time I tried this ‘Maniacs sample so I couldn’t do a comparison, though some of my friends think it’s as good or better. It ain’ no quattie, I could tell you that. Colour – dark amber (darker than the current 12 year old, actually) [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 132016
 
Cadenhead Green Label Demerara Rum 1975 33 Year Old - Review

It’s instructive to drink the Norse Cask and the Cadenhead in tandem.  The two are so similar except in one key respect, that depending on where one’s preferences lie, either one could be a favourite Demerara for life. (#260. 87.5/100) *** The online commentary on last week’s Norse Cask 1975 32 year old rum showed that there was and remains enormous interest for very old Guyanese rums, with some enthusiasts avidly collecting similar vintages and comparing them for super-detailed analyses on the tiniest variations (or so the story-teller in me supposes).  For the benefit of those laser-focused ladies and gentlemen, [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 082016
 
Norse Cask Collection Demerara 1975 32 Year Old Rum - Review

Sometimes amazing rums come into being, made by people you’ve never heard of, blindsiding you with creative genius. Here’s one from Denmark. (#259. 91/100) *** Often, writing about a rum that is good with flashes of great leaves me with the vague feeling of dissatisfaction, because it seems that with a little more effort and imagination and maybe even chutzpah, it could have scored higher, been more, wowed my socks off.  How often have I written “excellent work, but…”?  The Danish made Norsk Cask, which I bought together with Henrik of Rumcorner, was a rum that neatly sidestepped those concerns [Click here for the full review…]


Mar 032016
 
Old Demera Rum (1950s)

Rumaniacs Review 019 So this is a rum from British Guiana in pre-Independence days, distilled for E.H. Keeling & Son in London.  These days such rums are not strictly unicorns, because that would suppose we know something about them – here, their makers have long since been forgotten, the bottles drained, the labels faded, and they were not made for a discerning audience.  Yet the rums still turn up here and there like old-fashioned, tarnished gems in your late Grandmother’s Edwardian jewellry box, whose story and origin have been lost because no-one ever thought to remember.  Sad really. Perhaps here we can recall [Click here for the full review…]


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