Short reviews and backgrounders of old, out of production or just plain forgotten rums.  For some notes on the series, its origins and philosophy, see the narrative below the list.

The rums, in alphabetical order



The Rumaniacs Project was conceptualized in late 2014 and then formally brought together in Paris in April 2015. It comprised a number of European rum reviewers (and one nomadic West Indian): and its stated purpose was to preserve in writing, the memory of rums long out of production….rums rare and sometimes vanished from the collective consciousness, except in the private stocks of long-time collectors or lucky inheritors, or the memories of old navy men from years gone by who remember with a sigh a particularly grand Caribbean tipple they had in their wild seafaring youth in a shack out on a beach somewhere tropical.

Initially one of the founding members volunteered to send us samples from his very extensive private stocks on an ongoing basis, we set up a website to which we all contributed our tasting notes, and many of us also agreed to exchange samples of our own long-hoarded, jealously guarded bottles.  Most if not all of the first 75 or so reviews here came from such sources.  However, as time went on, the effort and time seemed to be too much for most, and the effort faltered.  By 2018 the “official” group was no longer writing, nor were samples being exchanged as before and by 2022 (when I checked on a whim) the website the founder had set up had died; so I began acquiring rums that fit the criteria on my own account through online sales, exchanges, friends and private arrangements. Whatever the feelings of others are, the idea behind what we formed the Rumaniacs for, is, I believe, of worth, and so it will continue on this site.

All rums written about will be tasted anew as if for the first time, with no reference to any previously written essays or reviews, in the occasional situation where a Rumaniacs rum is also one of the “regular” review series.

This page links to all the rum reviews which are based on those samples, complete with scoring. My score is built up from an aggregate of subscores that rate nose, palate finish and intangibles. On this basis, rankings are:

  • 96+ Unicorns, best of the best.
  • 90-95: exceptional in just about every sense
  • 85-89: excellent, special rums
  • 80-84: quite good
  • 76-79: better than average, could be better
  • 75: average, not too good, not too bad
  • 70-74: below average, don’t really like it myself
  • 60-69: varying degrees of dislike
  • 50-59: varying degrees of literal undrinkability

Another way to look at the scores are to relate them to more visually appealing 5-star ratings with ½ star increments.  On that basis, this is roughly how they line up (there will be occasions when a score does not precisely line up with the stars by a point on either side):

  • 96-100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 91-95 ⭐⭐⭐⭐½ 
  • 86-90 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 81-85 ⭐⭐⭐½
  • 76-80 ⭐⭐⭐
  • 71-75 ⭐⭐½
  • 66-70 ⭐⭐
  • 61-65 ⭐½
  • 56-60
  • 51-55 ½
  • 50 Zero / Unscored

These reviews are very different from the others that I write – here, for the most part, I will be shorter, more precise, less verbose (fine, you can stop cheering now). As many historical notes and opinions will make their appearance as are appropriate, especially the former.

Note 1: Since these rums are not produced or sold or marketed by any member of the Collective or commercial producers, are no longer being made, are rarely for sale and often next to impossible to find, conflict of interest regarding free samples – and most which I cannot buy or afford are free – does not arise.  For this series, the Free Samples Rule is relaxed. In any case, the purpose is not to make a case for or against the rums in the commercial sphere, or to recommend them (or not) for purchase, but to describe them and relate something of their heritage before all memory of their names and stories vanishes completely.

Note 2: “Out of production” is a term that creates unique issues with respect to independent bottlings, single cask rums or special years’ limited editions (e.g., millesimes).  Technically, once a single cask is bottled (and this is usually by indies), it’ll never be made again, so they could justifiably be included here.  However, since they mostly come from “living” distilleries – with exceptions, of course – for the most part they will be reviewed as regular rums. There will always be exceptions, however, and sometimes it’ll just be my own opinion that they deserve to be listed in this section – where this happens, there’ll be a note to that effect.


  4 Responses to “Rumaniacs”

  1. If you are writing as a resource, to “describe them and their heritage” why bother with an opinion or scoring at all?

  2. Exciting stuff, Lance. Looking very much forward to experiencing this new, less verbose side of you. Although I for one do prefer the old, elaborate style 🙂


 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>