Dec 082021
 
Velier 70th Anniv. St. Lucia Distillers "Warren Khong" 2010 7 YO Rum - Review

It’s the Red Queen’s race, I sometimes think: top dogs in the indie scene have to keep on inventing and innovating to maintain their lead, release ever-older or fancier bottlings, enthuse the fans, show how cool they are, all to remain in the same place — and none, perhaps, know this as well as Velier, whose various “series” go back a decade or more and keep the bar set really high. The legendary Demeraras, Caronis and Habitations, the Indian Ocean series, Endemic Birds, Foursquare Collaborations, 70th Anniversary, Appleton Hearts, True Explorer, Rhum Rhum, NRJ…the list just keeps growing. But the [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 052021
 
SMWS R1.4 Monymusk 1991 21 YO Jamaican Rum ("Gets The Juices Flowing") - Review

Nobody ever accused the Scotch Malt whisky Society of being in a hurry: although they began releasing rums as far back as 2001 (three unnamed releases, from Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados), they seemed none too happy or enthusiastic with the results, for they waited another ten years before issuing another Jamaican (the R1.2 “Rhubarb and Goose-gogs”), then two more in 2012 during Glenmorangie’s tenure at the helm…and then we hung around watching another seven years go by (and new owners take over) before the R1.5 “A Little Extravagant” came out the door in 2019.  As you can imagine, the first [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 022021
 
Bielle Rhum Vieux Agricole Brut de Fût 2003 - Review

2003 was clearly a good year for the small Marie Galante distillery of Bielle, since there are several different editions of that year’s rhums on the market: a Hors d’Age 52.9%, a Vieux 9 YO at 49%, a Millésime 2003 Brut de Fût 8YO at 52.8% and yet another special release at 53.1%.  Varying ages and strengths, but one doesn’t release that many iterations of a single year without some sort of belief in the underlying quality of the distillate made in that year. Taking this version out for a spin demonstrates that that belief is not mere wishful thinking [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 292021
 
Rum Nation Panama 2008 10 YO Limited Edition Rum - Review

It’s easy to sneer at standard strength rums in a time of sullen cask-strength hoods issued north of 60%, 70% or even 80%.  Those have tastes that attack and maul your extremities, aromas that lunge into your nose with intent to maim, and profiles that burst at the seams with all sorts of…well, something.  Badassery, maybe. In contrast, forty-percenters are considered meek and mild, barely sniffable, weak, easy and not altogether “serious”. Best leave them to the Spanish style roneros. They can have ‘em – here we deal in proof, pard. Rather than simply issuing such soft multi-country blends, Rum [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 252021
 
Velier Caroni Extra Strong 1998 17 YO Blended Trinidad Rum - Review

What is there to say about either Velier or Caroni, that hasn’t been said so many times before?  It seems almost superfluous to repeat the story but for the sake of those new to the saga, here’s the basics: Caroni was a Trinidadian sugar factory and distillery which, after many ups and downs related to the vicissitudes of the sugar industry, finally closed in 2003. In late 2004 Luca Gargano, the boss of Velier, came upon and subsequently bought, many hundreds (if not thousands) of barrels that had been destined for auctioning or fire sale disposal (for the sake of [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 222021
 
Scarlet Ibis Blended Trinidad Rum - Review

The Scarlet Ibis rum is not as well known as it was a decade ago, but that it continues to be in production at all is a testament to its overall utility and perceived worth in the bar scene. That said, it remains something of an unknown quantity to the mass of rum drinkers, sharing negative mindspace with, oh, say, Sea Wynde or Edwin Charley, which had their moment in the Age of Blends but have now fallen from common knowledge.  In a few more years they’ll join all those other rums that recede into vague memory if a greater [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 172021
 
Opinion - Canny or Crazy? Dark Matter's Auction Prices

What the hell just happened? Did somebody really just pay five figures for a bottle of rum from a new distillery? No more than a year ago when he took an astonished look at where rum prices were going on Rum Auctioneer, Ian Burrel humorously if rather crudely remarked that you could bottle RS’s piss and still get a buyer and even more of it was Luca’s (and I was told of one rum commentator who would probably thank them both for with tears in his eyes and buy all he could get irrespective). Now, we may have hit a [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 152021
 
Rom Deluxe RDL #5 - Worthy Park (2017)(Jamaica, WP 7 YO)

Rumaniacs Review #130 | 0864 Today we’ll look at the propenultimate rum which the Danish company Rom Deluxe released in their initial forays into their local rum scene.  Six of the seven rums (the seventh being a special release for a client in 2020) were bottled in 2016-2017 after which the “line” ceased. They were all unlabelled and not sold to commercial establishments on a consistent basis, but taken around to tastings, friends, retailers and served as something of an introduction to the tiny company back before they got “serious”. I wonder if they made any money off them. This [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 112021
 
Rom Deluxe RDL #4 (2016) (Barbados, Foursquare 11YO)

Rumaniacs Review #129 | 0863 Rom Deluxe, the Danish company whose very first release and company biography was profiled last week, ended up making a total of seven initial bottlings, all of which were more or less non-commercial, and served primarily to establish the small company’s bona fides around the country. They are long since only to be found either in some collector’s back shelf, unlabelled and perhaps even unremembered, or in Rom Deluxe’s own shelves. As a comment on the many years that Rom Deluxe was only a small hobby outfit, observe that six of these seven bottlings were [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 092021
 
Notes on the WIRD "Rockley" Still

This is a re-post of an addendum to the review of the Cadenhead Green Label Barbados 1986 18 YO Rum, which went up in August 2021.  At that time, although much had been written or quoted about the “Rockley still rums”, some of it was out of date and some was plain wrong.   So I gave a brief rundown of the matter in that review — but now, after a few months, I feel it should best be in a small post of its own that can be updated as new information becomes available (as it has), hence this revised [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 082021
 
Opinion - One Year Into /r/RumSerious

In October of 2020, after some months of thought, I created the new subreddit of /r/rumserious with a few words that explained my reasoning that something smaller and more focused was needed (if only by me). I felt, then and now, that Reddit permitted a long form narrative flow and user discourse that was and is far superior to brief one liners that permeate too many social media platforms. Their brevity does not encourage subtleties of expression and well-argued thinking – rather the opposite: it promotes one-liners, zingers, binary arguments, black and white commentaries that can be expressed without thought [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 072021
 
Rom Deluxe (Denmark)

  For such a newly established company (in rum years, anyway), Rom Deluxe as created a rather enviable visibility quotient for itself. Their near iconic “Wild Series” of rums in particular are not only strikingly eye-catching but boast several entries on the list of strongest rums ever issued, and this goes right back to the issuance of the first one in the series, the Wild Tiger (a Jamaican DOK from Hampden), which I reviewed with equal parts fear and exhileration. They have branched out and expanded into other aspects of the rum business and while they are not quite on [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 042021
 
Rom Deluxe RDL #1 - Dominican Republic (2016)

Rumaniacs Review #128 | 0862 Few outside Denmark will know or even remember what Rom Deluxe issued back at the beginning of their existence. The Danish company made its international (or at least European) debut in 2019 with the stunningly designed and smartly chosen “Wild Series” (now into R.19 which I call “Po”), and for most people, its history begins there.  However, it has been in existence since 2016 when three friends — Claus Andersen, Thomas Nielsen and Lasse Bjørklund — came together to establish the small hobby-company and their very first release was the anonymously titled rum of RDL [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 312021
 
Savanna Lontan 57° Grand Arome Unaged White Rum (Batch #2 2018) - Review

In the previous review I wrote about the Reunion-made Savanna HERR Blanc 57º White Rum (second batch, from 2018), and was surprised and pleased at the reaction it elicited: quite a few comments were made on various platforms, showing a really positive feeling about the rum. Today we will, as promised, go deeper into its brother rum, released in tandem with it each time one was issued, also 57% ABV, and also stuffed to the gills with an ester count that leaves the rum geek crowd with slightly trembling knees, quivering hands and clenching…well, you get my drift. The “57” [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 262021
 
Savanna HERR Blanc 57º White Rum (Batch #2 2018) - Review

The distillery of Savanna (on Reunion island in the Indian Ocean) is putting out so many collections and individual bottlings, so fast, that even something as relatively recent as this rum from 2018 has very much fallen by the wayside, recalled by few but high ester rum geeks and Savanna lovers.  It suggests something of the difference between them and an independent bottler, in that there is no single strongly-visible voice that stands in for them and their wares. I make this point because when you come down to it, this rum is very similar to the Habitation Velier HERR [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 192021
 
L'Esprit Port Mourant 12 YO 2005-2018 Guyana Rum - Review

DDL has, since 2016, capitalized on the worldwide fame of the heritage stills which the independents had forged during and before the current rum renaissance (though it is a peculiarity of the culture that many Guyanese remain completely unaware of the reverence they’re held in around the globe). They have released several editions of the Rare Collection, and also begun to dabble in some interesting experimentals, as well as standard proof editions of the individual wooden still marques (rather than blends). Beginners and Guyanese rum lovers are spoiled for choice these days in a way I can only envy….where was [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 142021
 
Cavalier White Antigua Rum - Review

“Cavalier” was once the brand name of rums released by the Antigua Distillery on the island of the same name. Even the predecessor to the famed-but-faded English Harbour 1981 25 Year Old was originally a Cavalier branded rum, and a very good one, too…for its time, anyway. But somewhere in the ‘aughts the English Harbour brand was created to be the basket for more upscale, upmarket rums – starting with the five year old and moving up in age – and the Cavalier moniker was left for the company’s “entry level” gold and white and 151 rums….which of course meant [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 112021
 
Westerhall Plantation 5 Year Old Grenada Rum - Review

Unlike the White Jack rum which is definitely a Rumaniacs entry due to its reformulation, the Westerhall Plantation Rum remains recognizably the same as when it was first released in 1989, and there seems to be no movement afoot to change the title either (even after the brouhaha over Maison Ferrand’s rum brand name in 2019 and 2020). The Plantation Rum is a five year old product, the first to be exported, beginning the year of its introduction: previously, all rums were either for local consumption or for bulk export. Oddly, though, it’s referred to on their site as their [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 072021
 
Foursquare Triptych Single Blended Rum - Review

In my more whimsical moments, I like to think Richard Seale was sweating a bit as he prepared the Triptych. Bottled in November 2016 and released in the 2017 season, it came right on the heels of the hugely successful and awe-inducing unicorn of the 2006 10 Year Old which had almost immediately ascended to near cult status and stayed there ever since. How could any follow-up match that? It was like coming up on stage after Mighty Liar just finished belting out “She Want Pan” hoping at least not too suck too bad in comparison. He need not have [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 042021
 
Westerhall White Jack Rum (Grenada)(2010s)

Rumaniacs Review #127 | 0855 To be clear, there remains a Westerhall White Jack rum in current production.  It’s not this one. It has been suggested that it’s the same as the Jack Iron rum, just made into a white. That’s a harder call, but I doubt that too, because there’s a bit more complexity to this one than the Jack Iron where the reverse might have been expected.  In any case, this version has been discontinued. Even by 2015 when The Fat Rum Pirate penned one of the only reviews of this 70% white Grenadian overproof, it had already [Click here for the full review…]