Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 16, 2015
I 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:
“… 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!
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Batch #002, Berry Bros. and Rudd, Cocktails, Indian Ocean Rum Company, Mauritius, Penny Blue, Review, Rum, Rum Club Cocktail | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 1, 2015
Rum 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.
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:
“… 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!
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 8 Year Old, Cocktails, Jamaica, Pot Still Punch, Pot Still Rum, Rum, Rum Nation, Rum Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 24, 2015
Rum 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:
“… 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.
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 8 Year Old, Aged Rum, Cocktails, Fabio Rossi, Fancy, Peruano, Peruvian Rum, Review, Rum, Rum Nation | Comments Off on Review: Rum Nation Peruano (8 Year Old)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 7, 2015
I 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:
“… 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).
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, Indian Rum, Legend, Old Monk, Review, Rum, Rum Review | Comments Off on Review: Old Monk The Legend
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 19, 2015
Today 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:
“… 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.)
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Aged Rum, Chocolate, Dark Rum, Mohan Meakin, Old Monk, Pairing, Rum, Rum Review, Supreme | 3 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 5, 2015
Last 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:
“… 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.
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Aged Rum, Dark Rum, Gold Reserve, Indian Rum, Old Monk, Rum, Rum Review | Comments Off on Review: Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 25, 2015
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.)
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:
“… 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.
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Dark Rum, Dark Rum and Cola, Indian Rum, Mohan Meakin Limited, Monk's Uncle, Old Monk, Rum, Very Old Vatted | Comments Off on Review: Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum (7 Years Old blended)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 12, 2015
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.
Varlhona Noir Alpaco
Here is a link to my full review:
” … 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.)
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 1919, Aged Rum, Alpaco, Angostura, Chocolate, Cocktails, Orange Daiquiri, Pairing, Rum, Rum Review, Trinidad Rum, Varlhona | 4 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 29, 2015
The El Dorado Dark Rum is part of Demerara Distillers‘ superior range of El Dorado rums which also includes the Superior White Rum, and the Superior Gold Rum. These are the youngest rums in the El Dorado Range and each would be aged up to two years in American Oak barrels before being blended and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. The Eldorado Dark rum is a traditional Dark Rum. This style of rum achieves a portion of its flavour, aroma, and colour from whatever special ingredients (caramel, molasses, et cetera) are added to the blend prior to bottling. Dark rums remain very popular throughout the world because of the full rich flavour profile which is their trademark characteristic.
El Dorado Dark Rum is distributed in Alberta & British Columbia by Wine Matters and More Distribution.
You may read my full review here:
“… The initial breezes above the glass are full of molasses and candied caramel. As well, some dark liquorice, bits of cinnamon and a hint of cloves all taint the air above the glass with their presence. There is a healthy dose of vanilla and perhaps some indications of dark fruit such as raisins and dates. Allowing the rum time to breathe reveals some nice accents of dark cocoa and espresso coffee scents …”
Please enjoy my review which includes my suggested recipe, El Dorado Dark Rum Punch!
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Dark Rum, Demerara Distillers Limited, El Dorado, Guyanese Rum, Rum, Rum Punch, Superior Rum | Comments Off on Review: El Dorado Superior Dark Rum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2014
The Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva is a premium rum which is produced from both column still rums and pot still rum. Within the blend are rums which are aged up to 12 years. The combination of tropical aging, batch still production, and those rich aromas and flavours which I mentioned above yields an exquisite rum which has long been one of my favourites.
This rum is regularly selected as a favourite when I hold tastings, both in public and in private. However, I note that for this series of reviews, when I tasted the rum side by side with the other top 5 competitors, I was forced to slide its scoring down a couple of notches from its previous high of 97 points. Despite this minor adjustment, the Exclusiva still scores extremely well, as shown by its number 4 ranking in the top 25 rums of 2014.
Here is my recently revised review:
“… There is a nice underlying nuttiness (walnuts and hazelnuts), some sweet caramel and some very delicious baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar). As the glass breathes, The richness of the rum builds and I taste even more brown sugar and cinnamon with butter …”
Although it has moved down in my rankings a couple of spots from last year, the Exclusiva Reserva remains a favourite of mine for sipping and for mixing, and still five years after my original review, still one of the best rums I have tasted.
Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Rums of 2014 here: The Rum Howler – Top 25 Rums of 2014
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Diplomatico, Exclusiva Reserva, Rum, Rum Review, Top 25 Rum, Venezuelan Rum | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2014 # 4 Rum – Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva