Sep 272021
 
SMWS R10.1 Trinidad Distillers 1991 25 YO Rum ("Carnival Concerto") - Review

Just in case rums that have mated with a two-by-four are not your thing, kiss your significant other tenderly and take a deep heaving breath before sipping SMWS’s first Trini offering, because at 63.4% and with this profile, you’ll need a fall-back plan. I mean, there’s an enormous expanding blast radius of sharp aromas and tastes billowing around this thing that makes such prudence not just an option, but a requirement. Reading the stats on the bottle gives rise to some serious anticipation, which makes it all the more peculiar that it ends up being soordinary. Take a careful sniff. [Click here for the full review…]


Sep 222021
 
Velier Uitvlugt 1988 17 Year Old Demerara Rum - Review

€57. Think about that for a minute. That’s how much this rum cost when it was first released in 2005. Good luck finding it anywhere near that, now. By 2019 the bottle price had already climbed past £1800 and as of this writing it is closing in on three grand on the auction listings. And it’s not even the most famed or the best of the Demeraras, because the unicorns most avidly sought after and collected tend to be the PM and Skeldons, and maybe the Albions and UF30E. For some reason, Diamond, LBI, Blairmont and Uitvlugt rums from the [Click here for the full review…]


Sep 162021
 
Novo Fogo Barrel Aged Cachaça - Review

Last time around we discussed a Brazilian cachaça from the environmentally astute company Novo Fogo which they called “Chameleon”it was aged about a year and meant to quietly blend in to the various mixes for which it was destined (hence the name). I felt it succeeded reasonably well on its own grounds, and the next step up the food chain, the “Barrel Aged” version that is the subject of today’s review, also follows in that traditionthough in my opinion, less successfully. The details are pretty much the same with respect to the company (I’ve added it [Click here for the full review…]


Sep 122021
 
Moon Import 1982 22 Year Old Blended Jamaica Rum - Review

It’s unclear to me what Moon Import thought it was doing back in 2004 when they blended this rum. They had done blends before, something of a departure from other Italian independents who since the 1970s had thought to bootstrap their expertise with single cask whisky selections into commensurate skill with single cask rums … but few except maybe Rum Nation (which was formed nearly two decades after Moon Import) took blends seriously. Even when released as such, for the most part rums made that way tended to be multiple barrels of a single distillery, usually a particular year and [Click here for the full review…]


Sep 092021
 
Novo Fogo Cachaça "Chameleon" - Review

In 2017 I wrote about a cachaça I had tried in Toronto from a Brazilian company named Novo Fogo, which means “New Fire” in Portuguese. That was an unaged, one-year-rested “Silver” cachaça that I liked quite a bit, and in doing my research after the fact, I discovered the company also had a number of other such spirits in the portfolio, resolved to try what I could, and subsequently scouted them out in the years that followed. This cachaça, then, is the next one up the ladder for Novo Fogo. It is a blend of both aged and unaged spirits, [Click here for the full review…]


Sep 062021
 
Velier Caroni 1996 21 YO Extra Strong 100º "Imperial Proof"  Rum - Review

By now, the story has entered into the folklore of rum: in October 2004 Luca Gargano and the (late) photographer Fredi Marcarini, sniffing out rums from around the Caribbean to round out Velier’s rum portfolio and being dissatisfied with Angostura’s offerings, decided to visit the Caroni distillery, even though it had already been closed for a year. Arriving at the premises and being let in, they were shown a warehouse where several thousand barrels dating back more than twenty years had been stored (and implied to be overlooked, if not actually forgotten). Most of the barrels were bought by Velier [Click here for the full review…]


Sep 022021
 
Our Rum & Spirits Enmore MEV 1990 24 YO Guyana Rum - Review

One of the German independent Our Rum & Spirits’ earlier bottlings is the Guyanese Enmore from 1990 which was bottled in 2015, a year after they released their first one (an 11 YO Diamond). It’s a respectable 24 (European) years old, a solid anvil-dropping 61.2% ABV, 178 bottles, and of course, it’s not from the Enmore coffey but from the Versailles single wooden pot still, which was the still-in-residence at Enmore Estate back then, before everything got shipped off to Diamond around 2000 in The Great Consolidation. By now I’ve been trying various single-still offerings from Guyana for years, usually [Click here for the full review…]


Aug 302021
 
Silver Seal Special Reserve "Dennery" St. Lucia Rum (Sestante Collection)- Review

This rum has a very long title: it’s full name is the Silver Seal St. Lucia Distillers “Dennery” Special Reserve Rum, of the “Sestante Collection.” It’s something of a collector’s item these days, though issued relatively recently around 2017, and all the various terms on the label require some background explanation that might derail your interest in the review itself (unless you’re a trivia and history nut like I am and actually, y’know, enjoy this stuff). Let me just provide some bare bones detail on the rum, get right into the tasting and then you can nod off to the [Click here for the full review…]


Aug 262021
 
Cadenhead Green Label Barbados 1986 18 YO Rum (WIRD) - Review

Cadenhead, in their various rum releases stretching back a hundred years or more, has three major rivers running into the great indie rum ocean, each of which has progressively less information than the one before it: The cask strength, single-barrel “Dated Distillation” series with a three- or four-letter identifier and lots of detail on source and age; I submit these are probably the best and rightly the most sought-after rums they release. The only question usually remaining when you get one, is what the letters stand for. The Green Label series; these are usually single-country blends, sometimes mashed together from [Click here for the full review…]


Aug 232021
 
Premium Tortuga Gold Rum (1990s)

Rumaniacs Review #126 | 0844 Like so many lightweight blends predating the 21st century rum renaissance, which were sold under inviting names just to move cases which the rum’s inherent quality itself could not, this “premium” rum has a sailing ship prominently displayed on the label. Though it could as easily have been a pirate, a coconut tree, a beach, or all of the above at once, plus a chest, a peg leg and a parrot added for good measure. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s not from the island of Tortuga (north of Haiti): nor is it from [Click here for the full review…]


Aug 192021
 
Opinion - Beware of Lists

Introduction Lists are great. I love good lists. I’m a complete list junkie. I collect lists. As a blogger and a writer, I find myself not only perusing them, but making them (lists of lists, so to speak) and have several of my own in my personal faves collection, and somewhere in there I have a list of the ten best lists as wellas well as, no surprise, the ten worst. Even when I despise the nonsense in a list, I can’t help but read it right to the bottom. Lists, however, have to be approached with some caution. From [Click here for the full review…]


Aug 152021
 
El Destilado Aguardiente de Panela (Mexico) - Review

It was probably a good thing that I first tried this innocent looking white rum released by the UK independent bottler El Destilado (not to be confused with the restaurant of the same name in Oaxaca) without knowing much about it. It came in a smallish bottle, sporting a starkly simple label I didn’t initially peruse too closely, and since I was at a rumfest, and it had been handed to me by a rum chum, well, what else could it be, right? It might have been a rum, but even at the supposedly standard strength of 43.15% ABV, the [Click here for the full review…]


Aug 082021
 
Worthy Park 2012 Special Cask Double Matured "Marsala" Jamaican Rum - Review

Worthy Park out of Jamaica had been distilling and selling youngish estate rums under the Rumbar label since about 2015, and laying down aged stocks from their spanking new distillation apparatus for a decade before that, all while selling bulk rum for cash flow. The bartender’s rums they released had always gotten good press; and the indies were able to cherry pick some really good ‘uns from the aged sales over the years (like the terrific CDI 2007 7 YO)… but it did leave Worthy Park without some middle-aged offerings of its own, and relegated to something of a second [Click here for the full review…]


Aug 052021
 
Rum Nation Réunion 2009 7 YO Rhum Agricole (2016 Release) - Review

Most independents who release rhums from Savanna, that distillery on Réunion which until five years ago was practically in rum’s ultima Thule, stick with their agricolesthe cane juice rhums, for which the distillery (and indeed the island) is best known. Once in a while a more adventurous indie will go and check out what they can do with their molasses based rums (like Rum Nation did with that badass 2011 7YO Traditionelle in 2018). Those occasional oddballs do succeed, but it’s the cane juice rhums that turn heads, because Savanna boosts and amplifies and juices them up to [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 292021
 
Worthy Park 2012 Special Cask Double Matured "Oloroso" Jamaican Rum - Review

Depending on who you talk to, it’s a toss up whether Hampden or Worthy Park is the best of the New Jamaican distilleries. Appleton / J. Wray is the market leader (in both sales and recognition); Longpond, Monymusk, New Yarmouth and Clarendon have some brand awareness from Jamaican rum cultists and indie bottlersthough of course your average Joe could care less, let alone distinguish among thembut when it comes to artisanal pot still rums, it’s all down to those two. Hampden has a distribution arrangement with Velier (you can see Velier’s design ethos in all their [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 262021
 
Key Rums of The World - Rhum de Père Labat Rhum Doré

Having gone through their aged expressions, millesimes, and young blends from the Poisson-Pere Labat distillery on Marie Galante over the last few years, it is my considered opinion that when it comes to the best intersection of value for money, the surprise standout is not either the 3 year old or the 8 year old (which, since they sit smack in the middle tend to be shoo-ins for the honours of this series), or any of the more upscale millesimes (though those are quite good) but the rather unremarked and seemingly unremarkable two year old called the Doré, which I [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 222021
 
Velier Père Labat Rhum Vieux Agricole Marie Galante 2010 7 YO - Review

  Poisson-Père Labat, who worked for the most part with blancs, blends and mid range rhums, came late to the party of millesime expressionsat least, so far as I have been able to establishand you’d be hard pressed to find any identifiable years’ rhums before 1985. Even now I don’t see the distillery releasing them very often, though of late they seem to be upping their game and have two or three top end single casks on sale right now. But that has not stopped others from working with the concept, and in 2017 Velier got [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 192021
 
Rhum de Père Labat 8 YO Tres Vieux - Review

  There is a certain whimsy about a piscatorially titled distillery. “Poisson”, the small distillery also referred to as Père Labat is located on the west side of Marie Galante (the small island to the south of Guadeloupe) and means “fish” in Frenchwhich is, I’m sure you’ll grant, a rather odd name. Initially, I had thought that the estate was called that to commemorate the fishermen who might once have plied their trade on the nearby coastland, but no, nothing like that. It was given the name of the woman, Catherine Poisson, who bought the land from the [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 152021
 
Poisson / Pere Labat - Marie Galante

Distillerie Poisson-Père Labat on Guadeloupe’s southern island of Marie Galante is named after the 17th century Dominican friar who modernized sugar making technology in the French islands (he was the proprietor of the Domaine de Fonds-Saint-Jacques on Martinique and owned slaves there, which leads to a complex and problematic legacy). Poisson is a small distillery on the extreme west of Marie Galante, balancing off Bellevue in the east and Bielle and Capovilla in the centre , and it has a history dating back at least two centuries. Sugar cane cultivation on Guadeloupe and Marie Galante has in fact been around [Click here for the full review…]


Jul 122021
 
Rhum de Père Labat 3 YO Rhum Vieux Agricole - Review

With all the publicity and attendant pictures, conversations, comments, posts and other media razzamatazz attendant on the big agricole makers of the French Caribbean islands, we sometimes overlook the smaller rhum makers there. Like their more famous siblings, they have also been around for decades and centuries and although they remain not so well known, not so warmly endorsed and not so widely trumpeted, they quietly chug along year in and year out, and make their own juicemaybe unheralded and unsung, but a boss drink by any standard. One of these places is Distillerie Poisson-Père Labat on Guadeloupe’s southern island [Click here for the full review…]