Antoniazzi Jamaican Rum (1970s)

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Mar 202022
 
Antoniazzi Jamaican Rum (1970s)

Rumanicas Review R-133 | 0892 There was a lot of rum floating around Italy in the post-WW2 years, but not all of it was “real” rum; much was doctored miscellaneous plonk based on neutral alcohol. I tried some a few times, but a brief foursome with a trio of Italian Rum Fantasias from the 1950s, carelessly indulged in back when I was young and irresponsible, left me, as all such things do, with little beyond guilt, a headache and a desperate need for water. Even way back then — when I knew less but thought I knew more — I [Click here for the full review…]


Nine Leaves Encrypted IV Blended Japanese Rum – Review

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Mar 172022
 
Nine Leaves Encrypted IV Blended Japanese Rum - Review

The world shut down for the better part of two years and it’s been almost three since I’ve seen a Nine Leaves rum, but the little one-man Japanese distillery I have written about with such affection since 2014 has continued chugging along, releasing its young rums every six months to a year and somehow managing to make rent.  Several festivals ago I remember Yoshiharu Takeuchi (the owner) telling me that because tax laws in Japan were so obscure, it was not worth his time to age for more than two years – and indeed, many of his initial releases were [Click here for the full review…]


2022 Rum Festival Schedule

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Mar 132022
 
2022 Rum Festival Schedule

ON SIDEBAR After the drought of festivals over the last two years, it’s good to see that dates are being announced and get-togethers organized once again. Festivals are those great meeting places where people from all walks of life can get together to sample, learn, educate, understand and meet many of the movers and shakers of the rum world. New rums are launched and old ones given new life. Friends are made, favoured enemies are offered spiced rums. Distillers new and old, producers, owners, ambassadors, agents, brokers, bloggers, vloggers, writers, instagrammers, journalists, hobbyists, aficionados, podcasters, personages and the simply curious [Click here for the full review…]


Habitation Velier Worthy Park “Forsyths WP” 2005 10 YO Rum – Review

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Mar 102022
 
Habitation Velier Worthy Park "Forsyths WP" 2005 10 YO Rum - Review

For what seems our entire lifetime, Appleton was the first name in Jamaican rum. They gained their accolades by not being too extreme, and producing a tasty series of blended pot-column-still rums that didn’t push boundaries too much, too far, or too often.  But by the second decade of the 21st century this was all changing and stronger, forceful, pot-still only rums were being issued at cask strength by various independent bottlers; turbo-charging that process which I term the Rise of the New Jamaicans.  One of the early adherents of WP was the Genoese company of Velier, which had been [Click here for the full review…]


Opinion – The 2022 Spirits Business Rum & Cachaca Masters

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Mar 062022
 
Opinion - The 2022 Spirits Business Rum & Cachaca Masters

Introduction In February 2022 the Sprits Business magazine published a list of the 2022 Rum and Cachaca Masters competition awards (also referred to as the Global Spirits Masters’ Awards), which I would strongly recommend you read (it’s not a long article and the list of awardees is at the bottom). Normally I pass by spirits competitions without comment (and occasionally with indifference), since I think they have more value as marketing tools; they may possibly alert me to something I might want to check out and review one day, though.  So when first scanning the list of the medal winners [Click here for the full review…]


Killik Handcrafted Silver Overproof – Review

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Mar 022022
 
Killik Handcrafted Silver Overproof - Review

When reviewing the Gold (rum) produced by the Melbourne-based distillery of Killik Handcrafted, I was less than enthusiastic, grumbling and mumbling that the mildly aged rum would impress in five years but right now was mostly potential with not enough follow-through. I made those remarks because I knew there was a rum in their portfolio that proved the skills did exist and which really did impress me, and it wasn’t aged or set in a barrel or anything: it was their full proof 59% unaged white.  For the curious: Killik handcrafted is a small rum distillery started by the brothers [Click here for the full review…]


Killik Handcrafted Rum (Australia)

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Mar 012022
 
Killik Handcrafted Rum (Australia)

Killik Handcrafted is a rum company now, but it didn’t originate that way. In fact, the original basis of operations way back in 2009 was a brewery (of sour beer) which was begun by the brothers Ben and Callum Pratt when they hadn’t even hit their twenties. For most of the next decade they slowly did research, visited other breweries, and learned about distillation. Their first love was indeed rum (and corn spirits) and beer was a stepping stone to that goal, allowing the development of expertise, and gaining of equity sufficient to start the distillery.  By 2019 things were [Click here for the full review…]


Mía White Rhum Agricole (Vietnam)(2019) – Review

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Mar 012022
 
Mía White Rhum Agricole (Vietnam)(2019) – Review

Rhum Mia is the product of a small distillery in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, run by two expatriate Frenchmen and which opened for business around 2017. I’m interested in eastern hemisphere rhums as part of my overarching  fascination with all the branches of the rum tree, and while aged rums and rhums and rons not unnaturally get all the attention, the white rhums from that region are gradually beginning to gain more traction, and they exert a powerful fascination. A few years ago I was gifted a sample by Reuben Virasami (the showrunner of Roob Dog Drinks which is [Click here for the full review…]


Feb 242022
 
Killik Handcrafted Gold (Australia) - Review

Note: Although the bottle label does not refer to the product as “rum” – which suggests that under Australian law it cannot be so called because it is aged less than two years – I am referring to it as such given the fact that under rules elsewhere in the world (and my own common sense) all of its production criteria make it one. Killik Handcrafted Rum is a small distillery in southern Australia that shares several similarities with its neighbour in Melbourne, JimmyRum, and, in fact, with several others that will form part of this small series of Australian [Click here for the full review…]


Rum Club Private Selection No. 23 2000 BMMG 21 YO Barbados Rum – Review

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Feb 212022
 
Rum Club Private Selection No. 23 2000 BMMG 21 YO Barbados Rum - Review

The Rum Depot is a shop in Berlin that specialises in, you guessed it, rum, and Dirk Becker, the owner, is the man behind the Berlin Rum Festival. I try to go there any time I’m in the city and have the time, because I have fond memories of my times wandering around the joint: it was the first such dedicated rum emporium I had ever visited, way back in 2012 when I had been so proud of my 50+ rum reviews (hush, ye snickerers). And aside from being introduced to Velier, Courcelles and a raft of other exclusive rums [Click here for the full review…]


Feb 172022
 
Winding Road Agricole Blanc "Virgin Cane Spirit" - Review

To call Winding Road Distillery’s unaged cane spirit both an “agricole blanc” and a “virgin cane spirit” seems like something of a tautology, doesn’t it? But no worries: it’ll will be renamed at some point to make it simpler and to gain access to the EU and other places where the term “agricole” is clearly defined and protected (they are well aware of the naming conventions). This is fairly important for their future plans, since all their current rums, including what they’ve laid down to age, derive from cane juice. There are no plans to move away from that core [Click here for the full review…]


Feb 172022
 
Winding Road Distilling Co. - Australia

As with most new distilleries in Australia, Winding Road is a family affair located about 175km south of Brisbane, whose antecedents go back as far as 2014 when the husband-and-wife team of Mark and Camille Awad were casting around for something to do which would keep them in the more tourist-centric area of Northern Rivers in New South Wales (rather than moving to a bigger city where professional work was more plentiful). At the time the craft distilling movement had begun but was in its infancy, and being in a sugar cane growing district, having something of an entrepreneurial bent [Click here for the full review…]


Tomoet Moi Kokuto Shochu (Japan) – Review

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Feb 142022
 
Tomoet Moi Kokuto Shochu (Japan) - Review

It was to examine this almost-rum (and others like it that will inevitably come) that the detailed treatise on Japanese kokuto shochu had to be written, because without it the review would have lost much of its context and the shochu’s offbeat profile would not have been properly understood. In brief, shochu is a type of Japanese distilled spirit made from various ingredients, where a two-phase fermentation process using a mold is de rigueur: one to convert starches to sugars and another to convert those sugars to low-proof alcohol, which is then distilled using pot stills. Kokuto shochu is one [Click here for the full review…]


Kalki Moon “Plant Cane” Australian Cane Spirit (Batch 1) – Review

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Feb 092022
 
Kalki Moon "Plant Cane" Australian Cane Spirit (Batch 1) - Review

There are five bottlings planned for the Australian Distillery Kalki Moon’s “Cane Farmer” Series, named as an homage to the farmers in Queensland who were instrumental in developing the state. The Plant Cane — an unaged white spirit which is a rum in all but name — was the second, introduced in December 2020, with spiced and darker aged expressions that can be called “rum” locally being developed for future release. We’ll go into the background of the company later, but for now, let’s just talk about this white unaged spirit, made from molasses (yes, molasses, not juice), fermented with [Click here for the full review…]


Berry Bros. & Rudd 2004 9 YO Haitian Rum – Review

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Feb 072022
 
Berry Bros. & Rudd 2004 9 YO Haitian Rum - Review

This is one of those times where I’ll circle back and fill in the detailed background later, since even a summary of more than three centuries of company life will still probably put the disinterested to sleep.  In brief, Berry Bros & Rudd (or BBR) is a London-based wine and spirits enterprise (they have branches in several other countries) who dabble in their own bottlings of rum from time to time.  They were among the first indies to capture my attention back in 2012 or so with an extraordinary 1975 Port Mourant, but nowadays their star shines somewhat less brightly [Click here for the full review…]


Brix Distillers Urban Cane Spirit (2020 Harvest) – Review

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Feb 032022
 
Brix Distillers Urban Cane Spirit (2020 Harvest) - Review

Brix Distillers is an interesting contrast to the JimmyRum distillery we looked at last week.  With Jimmy’s, you got the impression of a down-to-earth, easygoing, somewhat blue-collar enterprise with a cheeky sense of humour that also provided good info on who and what it was. Brix, on the other hand, gives more of a yuppie vibe and emanates a youthful vigour that is paradoxically, also somewhat anonymous (none of the owners are identified on their website, for example). While Jimmy’s is definitely a distillery with a bar and restaurant (of sorts) attached later, one can easily get the impression that [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 312022
 
Leilani Hawaiian Rum (1960s-1970s)

Rumaniacs Review #132 | 880 The exact date of make of this Hawaiian rum is a little tricky: the NZ Canterbury Museum notes it as “circa” 1960s and there are old magazine advertisements for sale online which mention it, dating from 1967 and after, so that dovetails neatly with internal Seagram’s records dating the creation date of the rum to 1965. It was made in time for the Montreal World’s Fair, also known as Expo 1967, and designed to speak to Canada’s desire to move away from its staid British past and embrace a more multicultural mindset. This was done [Click here for the full review…]


Jan 262022
 
JimmyRum "Silver" Premium Australian Spirit, Batch No. 4 - Review

There’s a sly sort of insouciant Aussie humour at work in the JimmyRum distillery, not the least the name itself.  More serious-minded folks would name the company “McPherson’s” or “Victoria Distillery” or some other such portentous title meant to demonstrate respectful gravitas and a profound commitment to the momentous task of distilling top drawer Australian rum. The names of the staff would be reverently listed with their titles, background, experience and commitment to rum, and the whole business would just reek of Ultra Serious.   In place of that we get that playful name, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the founder, a [Click here for the full review…]


Opinion – Plantation’s 3-Star Rum: Not Yet In Decline

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Jan 242022
 
Opinion - Plantation's 3-Star Rum: Not Yet In Decline

This essay is a companion price to the review of the Plantation 3 Stars White Rum. You have to go back to around 2011 to understand something of the regard in which Plantation 3-Stars white continues to be held. Then, just as the renaissance of rum was gathering a head of steam, just as cask strength pure single rums were getting noticed, at a time when unaged white rums were hardly taken seriously outside the French islands, bartenders were faced with a dearth of workhorse mixing rums that weren’t just some boring column-still vodka wannabes. They were working with and [Click here for the full review…]


Plantation 3 Stars White Rum – Review

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Jan 242022
 
Plantation 3 Stars White Rum - Review

The Plantation 3-Star rum is part of the “bar classics” range of Plantation’s stable, which includes well-regarded rums like the OFTD, Original Dark and Stiggin’s Fancy.  Of course the whole “3 star” business is just marketing – it’s meant to symbolize three stars of the Caribbean rumworld whose rums from a part of the blend: Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados.  This conveniently elides the stars of Guyana, Martinique, St. Lucia and many others, but ok, whatever.  Ditto for the “World Best Cellar Master” – uh huh. Still, Plantation’s webpage for the rum provides a nice level of detail for those who [Click here for the full review…]