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Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category

Review: Brugal Siglo de Oro

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 21, 2015

Siglo De OroThe Brugal Distillery was founded in 1888, by Andrés Brugal Montaner. Over the next one hundred and twenty years the company grew steadily, and it is now one of three large rum distillers in the Dominican Republic. Although the Edrington Group now controls the company, George Arzeno Brugal, is the current chairman, and most of the current board members are direct descendants of the original company founder.

According to the Brugal Website, Brugal makes their rum in a traditional manner (from molasses) and ages it on site in Puerto Plata. The Brugal Siglo De Oro was first produced in 1988 to commemorate Brugal’s 100th anniversary. It sits near the top of the ladder as far as Brugal Rum is concerned and undergoes a unique double aging regimen for extra depth and complexity.

1878 Rum Cocktail

1878 Rum Cocktail

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Brugal Siglo de Oro

“… Throughout the evolution in the glass the oak in glass deepens providing a firm backdrop within which the rest of the scents and smells can dance their merry melody. Butterscotch scents move into the oak spice bringing about a wonderful caramel toffee aroma …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with a wonderful cocktail inspired by Leo Engels from his 1878 bartender’s guide, American and Other Drinks, the 1878 Rum Cocktail.

Chimo!

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Review: Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 12, 2015

Spanish Diplomat SAM_1677The Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 was produced from a blend of rums which were all distilled in the year 2000. This limited edition rum was created by DUSA Master Blender, Tito Cordero and follows on from his first limited edition rum, the VTG 1997, which (unfortunately for the rest of us) was only released in Venezuela. The distillate from the year 2000 was chosen to be featured in a Single Vintage bottling because of the tremendous sugar cane harvest which was produced that year. Apparently a series of climactic factors in Venezuela combined to produce exceptional growing conditions which led to the bountiful cane harvest. The Limited Edition Single VTG 2000 Rum is a celebration of that exceptional year.

The bulk of the distillate for this particular rum was apparently produced upon copper pot stills, with a smaller portion of the distillate produced upon copper kettle stills. The spirit spent the first 10 years of its aging life in American ex-bourbon barrels, after which it was finished for another 2 years in Sherry casks (Pedro Ximénez). The final rum was bottled in 2012.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum

“… The initial scents are aromatic and fruity. There is a beguiling butterscotch sweetness underneath a triumvirate of oak spice, dark sherried fruit (raisins and dates) and luscious baking spices (vanilla, brown sugars, nutmeg, and cinnamon). Orange peel and almond scents entwine themselves into the aromatic breezes melding into the oak and butterscotch giving me impressions both of marmalade and marzipan …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my suggested serving, the Spanish Diplomat.

Chimo!

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Review: Penny Blue XO Single Estate Mauritius Rum (Batch #002)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 16, 2015

bottleI was able to obtain a sample of Penny Blue XO Single Estate Mauritius Rum, from the Western Canadian distributor Charton Hobbs. This spirit is produced by the Indian Ocean Rum Company which is a partnership between the local Medine Distillery on the Island of Mauritius and the English spirits company, Berry Bros. & Rudd. Penny Blue is a true Mauritian Rum, distilled from the locally produced molasses from the Medine Distillery’s home-grown sugar cane.

According to the information provided to me, only 7000 bottles of Batch #002 were produced from 22 oak casks. Thirty percent of the rum was drawn from ex-Whisky casks, thirty percent from ex-Bourbon Casks, and 30 percent from ex-Cognac casks. The ages of these rums varied between 5 to 11 years. An astute person will note that this accounts for only ninety percent of the rum. The final ten percent of the rum was actually a portion drawn from Batch #001 which was added to the blend for additional flavour and complexity.

After blending the rum is bottled at the Medine Estate. This bottling strength may vary slightly from batch to batch, and Batch #002 was bottled at 43.2% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Penny Blue XO Single Estate Mauritius Rum (Batch #002)

“… The butterscotch aroma is accented by hints of tobacco and leather, and the oak spice brings impressions of orange peel and baking spice (in particular cinnamon and bits of nutmeg). There is an underlying impression of almond as well as a few floral notes. The overall impression I have is that the rum promises to be quite pleasant with perhaps just a touch of heat to add to its character …”

Please enjoy my review and the cocktail suggestion which follows, The Rum Club Cocktail!

Chimo!

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Review: Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still 8 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 1, 2015

Jamaica_8yoRum Nation is an Italian company created by Fabio Rossi, who began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied wine-making). After his studies, Mr. Rossi left the wine business and started up a whisky company in Edinburgh (Wilson and Morgan) acting as an independent bottler of Single Malt Scotch Whisky. His interest turned to rum, and in 1999 Fabio Rossi founded Rum Nation. His company is headquartered in Italy; but Fabio purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas. As a result Rum Nation provides a rather unique assortment of limited edition bottlings. One such bottling is Rum Nation Jamaica 8 Year Old Rum (2015 release).

The 8 Year Old Jamaican Pot Still Rum was distilled in 2006 in a traditional Pot Still (distillery located St. Catherine, on the Island of Jamaica) and spent the first 7 years of its maturation on the island in ex-bourbon casks. From Jamaica, the rum was transported to Italy where it was transferred to ex-sherry casks (Oloroso), and then it spent an additional year aging in a cool wine cellar in the Piedmont. The final rum was bottled at a full 50 % alcohol by volume in Italy in 2015.

Pot Still Punch SAM_1674

Jamaican Pot Still Punch

According to Fabio Rossi:

We decided to bottle at 50% because we wanted it to stay ballsy, and appeal to whisky drinkers!”

You may read my full review of this ‘ballsy’ rum by clicking on the following link:

Review:  Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still 8 Year Old Rum

“… The breezes seem to be filled with baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, and a touch of cloves), rich brown sugar, and sherry-like aromas of dark fruit (raisins and dates). I also sense a strong presence of orange peel which is typical of Jamaican rums. In the midst of those familiar rummy scents are the punky notes of the Pot Still …”

Please enjoy my review as well as the suggested punch recipe at its conclusion, Jamaican Pot Still Punch.

Happy Canada Day!

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Review: Rum Nation Peruano (8 Year Old)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 24, 2015

Fancy Cocktail SAM_1558Rum Nation is headquartered in Italy; however Fabio Rossi (The Founder and Owner) purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas. As a result Rum Nation provides a rather unique assortment of rare limited edition rum bottlings.

One such bottling is Rum Nation Peruano (8 Year Old).

The spirit is produced in the northern Peruvian region of Lambayeque from molasses produced from sugarcane grown in the region. It is distilled on old Scottish column stills in a Peruvian distillery founded in the first half of the 20th Century. Although the rum bears an 8-year-old age statement, the spirit is actually aged in a solera-like style in various kinds of different barrels blended to a recipe which is almost as old as the distillery which produces it.

Based upon my correspondence with Fabio Rossi of Rum Nation, I can safely say that he considers this an entry level sipping rum with a good price/quality ratio ideal for the connoisseur on a budget. I guess, I will examine that claim and see if I agree.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Rum Nation Peruano (8 Year Old)

“… I noticed firm dark brown sugar scents drifting upwards which were accented by caramel, vanilla and baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of clove). There is a pleasant backdrop of oak spice, although I think it would be fair to say that the oak spice takes a backseat (in terms of aroma) to the rummy caramel and rich brown sugar scents apparent in the breezes …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a suggested cocktail (Fancy Rum Cocktail), as well as a suggested chocolate pairing, Valrhona Noir Guyanaja.

Chimo!

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Review: Old Monk The Legend

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 7, 2015

Old Monk The legendI was sent a sample bottle of Old Monk Legend by the local Alberta distributor, Madira Spirits Inc. and asked if I could provide a review here on my website. This version of Old Monk is a limited edition bottling which was launched in 2013. The rum arrives in a special bottle in the shape of a bust presumably of H.G. Meakin, the founder of Meakin & Co. Ltd., who was perhaps, the original Old Monk. Old Monk Legend does not have an age statement, although the small box the rum arrives in makes the claim that the rum inside is a blended masterpiece meant for rum connoisseurs.

Old Monk is a dark rum brand produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. According to the information I received, it is a molasses distilled rum, blended and aged for a minimum of 7 years. The Old Monk brand receives very little attention from the press, and does not appear to be represented in any advertising campaigns which I have seen. Rather Old Monk relies upon word of mouth and customer loyalty for its sales. Word of mouth must be good as this rum is (again according to information I received) the second largest selling  dark rum in the world.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Old Monk The Legend

“… In the breezes above the glass the Old Monk Legend does not seem to have the same forceful push of cinnamon and clove that its brethren did. Those elements are there, but I sense more fine oak spice and less overt pungent spice (and less molasses) in the Legend. There also seems to be a tad more orange peel, banana, and butterscotch …”

Please enjoy my final look at the Old Monk line-up (for now anyways).

Chimo!

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Review: Old Monk Supreme Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 19, 2015

old monk spremeToday I am continuing my series of reviews of the Old Monk rums from India. Old Monk is a dark rum brand produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. According to the information I received from the importer (and which I gleaned from Wikipedia), their Old Monk Supreme is a molasses distilled rum, which although it carries no age statement, will have been aged for approximately 12 years in oak casks (in the tropical climate of India). It is sold as a special limited edition bottling sitting perhaps slightly up the rungs of the Old Monk ladder from the (previously reviewed) Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum (12 Years Blended) and certainly as a more premium version of the (previously reviewed) Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum (7 Years Old Blended).

You may read my full review of the Old Monk Supreme by clicking the following link:

Review: Old Monk Supreme Rum

“… Molasses flavours dominate the Old Monk Supreme with dry peppery wood spices adding additional character. These wood spices carry elements of cinnamon, clove, dry tobacco, and hot black pepper. As the glass sits and the rum is allowed to evolve, I begin to taste dark brown sugar mixed with baking spices and vanilla, as well as strong cocoa flavours, cola, and black tea …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a suggested chocolate pairing, Valrhona Lait Jivari, which is a creamy, smooth milk chocolate from Ecuador. (Read the review to learn more.)

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Review: Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 5, 2015

SAM_0958 Old Monk Gold Reserve RumLast week I embarked on a series of reviews of one of the most popular rum brands in the world, Old Monk. This brand is produced by produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India, and according to the information I have received, all versions of this dark rum are distilled from molasses. Last week I revisited the flagship rum of the brand, Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum which is blended and aged in India for a minimum of 7 years. This week’s review is for the more premium Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum which has been aged for 12 years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum

“… Above the glass of the 12-year-old Gold Reserve Rum the breezes also bring me indications of black pepper, cinnamon and cloves with a light, but firm vanilla accent. As the glass sits, the aroma deepens bringing forward dark brown sugary smells and rich baking spices with impressions of cigar tobacco and crushed walnuts …”

Please enjoy my review of the Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum and stay tuned for my upcoming reviews of the Old Monk Supreme and the Old Monk Legend Rums.

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Review: Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum (7 Years Old blended)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 25, 2015

SAM_0815 Old Monk

Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum

Old Monk is a dark rum brand produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. According to the information I have received, all versions of this dark rum are distilled from molasses. The flagship rum of the brand, Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum is blended and aged in India for a minimum of 7 years. The Old Monk portfolio also includes a more premium Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum which has been aged for 12 years, and two more premium bottlings, the Old Monk Supreme, and the Old Monk Legend.

The brand receives very little attention from the press, and does not appear to be represented in any advertising campaigns which I have seen. Rather Old Monk relies upon word of mouth and customer loyalty for its sales. Word of mouth must be good as this rum is (again according to information I received) the second largest selling well-aged dark rum in the world.

(Note: India is a huge market for rum, and there is only a small presence of foreign brands on the sub-continent. Based solely upon sales in the home market, this would certainly be a believable statement. In fact the largest selling dark rum brand is also a rum produced in India, McDowell’s No.1 Celebration Rum.)

Monk's Uncle

Monk’s Uncle

I have received samples of all four expressions and over the next few weeks I will be comparing each of them. Two of these rums have been reviewed by me previously, Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum and the Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum. However, as the blends may have changed slightly in the two years since I visited them last, I will be re-tasting each rum and updating my previous reviews with the tasting notes from most current sample I have received and the most current information I have regarding the brand.

You may read the results of my first re-visitation by clicking the following link:

Review: Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum (7 Years Old blended)

“… The entry into the mouth is perhaps a touch ‘rough and tumble’ as the rum contains a bit more rough spice and alcohol astringency than the nose indicated. I check the bottling proof and see that we have 42.8 % alcohol by volume spirit; however, the Old Monk has the impact (and the mouth feel) of a higher proof bottling …”

Please enjoy this review series, and in the case of the Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum, please also enjoy my two recommended cocktails, the Dark Rum and Cola, and the Monk’s Uncle.

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Review: Angostura 1919 Aged Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 12, 2015

Angostura 1919 Orange Daiquiri SAM_1469

Angostura 1919 Orange Daiquiri

In 1973, the House of Angostura bought Fernandes Distillers Ltd, adding the accumulated expertise of that Trinidadian distilling company to their own. According to the Angostura website, their Angostura 1919 Aged Rum pays homage to a particular rum produced in the 1930s by the master blender of Fernandes Distillers, J.B. Fernandes. (In fact, that rum produced by Fernandes Distillers is now considered to be of historical significance to those who study the development of rum in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the rest of the Caribbean.)

This historic rum was the result of a fire which consumed the Government Rum Bond in 1932. Mr. Fernandes purchased the remaining charred casks (which still contained rum) and discovered that they had been filled in the year 1919. The purchased rum was blended and became known as “1919 Aged Rum”. This 1919 aged rum became so highly regarded, that the House of Angostura chose to keep its memory alive with their own Angostura 1919 Aged Rum.

My sample bottle for this review was provided to my by the Bacchus Group who distribute the Angostura spirit throughout Western Canada.

Alpaco

Varlhona Noir Alpaco

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Angostura 1919 Aged Rum

” … Oak spice underlain by dry grassy tobacco leads out upon the palate with impressions of butterscotch and orange peel zest quickly following in their wake. If you allow the rum to breathe in your glass for about ten minutes a dry grassy mustiness is revealed with indications of herbal menthol and dried flowers  …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my suggested cocktail, the Angostura 1919 Orange Daiquiri, which I found uses the spicy orange peel spiciness found within the Angostura 1919 Rum to great effect. I also included an indulgent chocolate pairing, Varlhona Noir Alpaco, which is a pure Dark Chocolate from Ecuador. (Read the review to learn more.)

Cheers Everyone!

 

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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