Dec 282023
 
Cadenhead Dated Distillation Trinidad "TDL" 2001 19 YO Rum - Review

A.D.Rattray. Gordon & MacPhail. Berry Bros. & Rudd. Cadenhead. The names evoke whisky, empire, Scotland and the early days of the Rum Renaissance through which we are still living. For the longest while, the occasional rums issued by these long-established companies, some of which are centuries old, allowed the diligent and solitary rumhound to taste what rums could be, were made to be, and kept the spark alive. Because throughout the second half of the 20th century, they were among the few bottlers of rum who eschewed the movement to light rums (i.e., chase Bacardi, copy vodka) and laid the [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 222023
 
Clément Rhum X.O. Très Vieux Rhum Agricole (2010s)

Rumanicas Review R-161 | #1047 You want to careful ordering a Clement XO rhum because there is another one also named thus which is not this at all; and two others with the same bottle shape but different names. Fortunately the other XO has a different bottle style and a different strength and lacks the word “Très” (very) in the title, and the ones that do take the bottle design are called l’Elixir or Cuvée Spéciale XO. So just a little caution is all I’m suggesting. In another odd circumstance, the subject of today’s retrospective also lacks almost any reviews [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 182023
 
Ron Relicario Peated Finish Aged DR Rum - Review

Perhaps this rum was inevitable.  Maybe spurred on by the rising price of ex bourbon barrels, or the desire to experiment, or the curiosity about whether a peated whisky really is like a Caroni, or simply to attract those who can no longer afford the Octomores and other similar expressions of Islay, some bright spark at a rum distillery has finished his rum for six months in a peated (Speyside) whisky barrel. Is that a real thing, or is it just a stunt? Commentary on Rum Ratings suggests a sharply divided audience on this and when you smell it, you [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 112023
 
Secret Barrel Canadian Small Batch White Rum (Batch 001) - Review

For a country that boasts a huge population of rum-swilling West Indians and a not inconsequential number of Maritimers out east who inhale dark rums with their Jiggs Dinner, it’s odd that rums are not more appreciated and available than they are. To some extent the paucity of decent rums from abroad is alleviated by the emerging local craft distillery movement, with tasty products coming out of Ironworks, Romero, Mandakini and Potters (among several others); too, the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation makes some really interesting blends (Cabot 100 and Young’s Old Sam remain personally appreciated mixing favourites) and there’s even an [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 062023
 
2024 Rum Festival Schedule

MOVED TO THE RIGHT SIDEBAR Each year for the last two years I have tried to post a constantly updated calendar of all rum festivals around the world for those who need such a thing to plan holidays, abscond from soused spouses or otherwise plot malfeasance with similarly minded rum chums. The post remains a peculiarly unread part of this site, but I find it so useful that to stop curating it strikes me as a sort of diss to dedicated rumistas and business types (you know who you are) who need a facility of this nature to tie together [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 052023
 
English Harbour 2014 6YO Antigua Rum (High Congener Series) - Review

In less than fifteen years, the entire rumiverse has changed so completely that not only can a not-that-well-known distillery from a not-that-well-known island make a cask strength rum of force and taste, but it is considered normal for them to do so; and that little distillery has become famous enough to be compared with the likes of major Caribbean outfits both older and younger, of far greater visibility. That is what the English Harbour High Congener rum really means, over and above its interesting stats. The success of the indie bottlers in the last decade and a half in promoting [Click here for the full review…]


Dec 022023
 
Capricorn Distilling "High Ester Cane" Unaged White Rum (Australia) - Review

Almost all of Capricorn Distilling’s current line up of releases are good ones, and they haven’t even started a serious ageing program yet. Whether this is a matter of their desire to tinker and see what happens, or a clearly thought-out distillation philosophy, is unknown to me. What I do know, is that having tried their standard range (not the spiced, infused, gins, liqueurs or anything else) I can honestly state that if you get a white unaged Australian rum this year, you could do worse than buy a case of their juice generally – and the High Ester in [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 272023
 
Capricorn Distilling 2018 Pure Single Rum 4 YO (Release 2)(Australia) - Review

Capricorn really is a distillery off in its own zone, and I mean that in a good way. Aged or unaged I’ve rarely seen a producer so young make rums that display such a deft, sure touch – they’re not all world beaters, but I think they’re certainly a cut above the ordinary, even the entry-level standard-strength “Coastal Cane” which I likened to a cross between an agricole and a Jamaican white overproof. In November 2023 they had a sort of coming-out party at the Brisbane Rum Revolution, where there were a number of complimentary comments about the various releases: [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 252023
 
Don Q "Cristal" Puerto Rican Rum (1980s/1990s)

Rumaniacs Review R-160 | #1041 Few rum aficionados need me to elaborate either on Don Q, the “other” major distillery on the island of Puerto Rico which makes it, Puerto Rico itself and it’s peculiar status vis-a-vis the USA, or indeed, this rum. Any one of them is an essay in itself and can lead to any number of rabbit holes, Let’s just stick to the basics, then. In brief: like Bacardi, Destilería Serrallés was founded by a Catalan emigre in the 1860s (the sugar plantation the Serrallés family first bought goes back three decades before that), though they lacked [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 202023
 
Clement 2002 9 YO Trés Vieux Rhum Agricole - Review

The Martinique distillery Clement has, since 1989, ceased making rhum — the brand’s juice has been distilled up the road at the facilities of Distillerie Simon, and from 2017 also and increasingly from Fonds-Preville (both are owned by the Hayot Group). The original premises, however, are still used for ageing, blending and bottling Clement rhums, and they still maintain the AOC designation. Depending on who you speak to then, it supposedly has at least some terroire harkening back to what old Homere Clement made on his plantation of Domaine de l’Acajou, the progenitor of the brand. Clement was among the [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 152023
 
Capricorn Distilling "Dumpster Diver" Unaged White Rum (Australia) - Review

Brisbane’s Rum Revolution in Down Under has just ended last weekend, and among the many excited questions of “were you there?” and “did you drink this?” posted on social media, were a surprising number of accolades given to Capricorn, the little distillery run by Warren Brewer (also and variously called Walter, Wal, Wally, Warren and Wally Walter, depending on how he’s feeling on the day), south of Brisbane. People were getting all gobsmacked over the High Ester rum (rightfully so methinks) and I’m hoping we’ll see it at a rumfest in Europe next year, so we can see how others [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 102023
 
Key Rums of the World - Plantation OFTD Overproof Rum

In 2015 an up and coming small rum maker called Plantation wanted to make a bar mixer to go beyond its decently regarded and well-selling Original Dark, which back then was primarily Trinidad distillate. The company had already made a name for itself in the bartending circuit with its blends like the Three Star, and its initial attempts at becoming an indie bottler got some decent reviews (mine among them). People liked them. The secondary maturation abroad and dosage, had not yet become issues. Their rums were deemed pretty good.  To the end of filling a gap in the overproof [Click here for the full review…]


Nov 062023
 
Piccadily Distillers Camikara 2009 12YO Rum (India) - Review

A few months ago I posted a picture of what I was tasting that week on Instagram which included the Camikara 12 YO: I was surprised and pleased at the responses which said how much people had liked it — most of these came from those who had sampled it at that year’s UK rum festival. This is an export rum from India which has two younger siblings (a 3YO and an 8YO) and remains a rather unknown quantity to many, perhaps because they have all been issued quietly and without the serious social media fanfare as attends so many [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 292023
 
Costa y Montserrat Ron Marina Blanco (Spain)(1960s)

Rumaniacs Review R-159 | #1036 Few references exist to track down this aged bottle with stained yellow label and a description remarkably thin even for the Days of Ago when nobody cared.  There is no distillery of make, no strength, no country of origin we can evaluate, nothing.  It is a white rum, has pictures of several medals on it (or maybe those are those coins, like pieces of eight?) and the implication of the words “The Spanish Town – Jamaica” is that it hails from there. One does not even get the strength, though my hydrometer tested it out [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 232023
 
Key Rums of the World - Old Monk Vatted 7 YO Blended Rum (India)

  Originally published as a standalone review in October 2023; revised and extended to Key Rums series in January 2024 Few rums from India make a splash in the western world, and that’s a peculiar thing since it’s entirely possible they were among the first people to actually make any kind of spirit from sugar cane (although it’s likely the crown goes to the Iranians whose “good wine of sugar” Marco Polo supposedly enjoyed on his travels) and for sure have some of the best selling rum brands on the planet. We may not hear of them very often but [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 212023
 
Romero Distilling Co. 4YO Sherry Finish Cask Strength Rum (Canada) - Review

In the last review we looked at a product from Romero Distilling, a small and relatively new-ish distillery in Calgary which has the distinction of focusing almost exclusively on making rums (of all kinds). At first blush it seems to conform to the standards of many occasionally unfocused local distillers who are still playing around trying to find the perfect groove: their “Dark” rum left me somewhat dissatisfied and mostly indifferent (spiced rums not being my thing for reasons I went into some detail in that review), and while I didn’t mention it, the “Amber” — which I own, opened [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 172023
 
Romero Distilling Co. Dark Rum (Canada) - Review

So there I was walking around the impressively well organised Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival, which had boatloads of beers, wines and spirits and food (and precious few rums), all superbly arranged in terms of space and one’s ability to navigate. For a guy used to the tight confines and crowded booth frontage of European festivals, it was eye opening to be able to walk five abreast in any direction and join ten people in front of a display and not bump elbows. Every now and then I wandered back over to Karl Mudzamba and his compadre Ernie, who [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 122023
 
Renaissance Distillery 2018 4 YO Taiwan Rum (Noble Rot) - Review

This is the fifth and final review in the short series (of six – I have tried one before) where we look at some rums released by the Taiwan based Renaissance Distillery, which were on display in a 2023 TWE Rumshow masterclass dedicated to the company. It should be noted that the company has issued scores of full proof single cask releases already, so at best this scratches the surface. For all its rather off-putting connotations to those who don’t know the term, noble rot is a controlled fungus infestation of grapes that go on to produce a particularly fine [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 062023
 
Highwood Distillers Aged White Caribbean Rum - Review

This is not the first review to be speaking to a rum made or released by the western Canadian outfit Highwood Distillers: I’ve looked at the forgettable Momento, the guilty pleasure of Potters Dark, and a completely indifferent contract throwaway called Merchant Shipping Co. white rum (made for Wine & Beyond, a large local spirits shop chain), which some readers might recall I disliked intensely when I tried it earlier this year. At that same session I sampled their own simply labelled 40% white, and was a little more impressed than with the others…but I’m afraid that’s nothing to make [Click here for the full review…]


Oct 022023
 
Renaissance Distillery 2018 4 YO Taiwan Rum (Bas-Armagnac) – Review

This is the fourth review in the short series where we look at some rums released by the Taiwan based Renaissance Distillery, which were on display in a 2023 TWE Rumshow masterclass dedicated to the company. It should be noted that the company has issued scores of full proof single cask releases already, so at best this scratches the surface. * The consistency of quality of the Renaissance line of rums creates something of an issue for a reviewer, because while they are all different in subtle ways, so far they are also all really good (at least in the [Click here for the full review…]