Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 1, 2014
I was given a bottle of Myer’s Planter’s Punch a few months ago by a good friend who had purchased it as a curiosity and then subsequently decided the style was not to his liking. (Molasses-rich dark rums are not for everyone so we won’t hold this against him.) This particular dark rum is being distributed in Alberta by Diageo. It has been produced since 1879, and is apparently a blend of continuous and pot still Jamaican rums which have been matured in previously used bourbon barrels for a minimum of four years.
Apparently that is not the whole story, as my bottle clearly states (at the bottom of the label) that the particular bottle which I was given has been blended with Canadian rum as well. For those who do not know, it used to be fairly common for rums imported into Canada to be blended with a small amount (about 1.5 %) of Canadian Rum (usually produced at the Hiram Walker Distillery) in order to obtain a more favourable tax rate from the Canadian Government.
You may read my full review of Myer’s Planters’ Punch by clicking on the following excerpt (link).
“… The aroma from the glass hits you pretty quickly after you pour it, and I immediately detect the tell-tale signature aroma of musty pot-still Jamaican funk rising into the breezes from the glass. Alongside that funk is plenty more. Oak spices, licorice stained molasses, dark brown sugars, a spicy triumvirate of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon (baking spices), as well as lots of vanilla, and dark dry fruit …”
Note: You may find my 2013 list of the 30 Best Rums here: The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 30 Rums
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Dark Rum, Jamaican Rum, Myer's, Planters' Punch, Rum, Rum Review | Comments Off on Review: Myer’s Planters’ Punch (Canadian Bottling)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 16, 2014
Pumpkin Face Rum is a new brand of rum being distributed in Canada by Pure Global Imports. The rum inside the cool looking pumpkin shaped bottles is apparently a blend of selected rums from the Dominican Republic.
I was able (through the good folks at Pure Global Imports) to secure samples of all three Pumpkin Face Rums. According to the brand owner (Itsko Imports Inc. of Beverly Hills, California), the subject of this review, Pumpkin Face 23, is an ‘ultra premium’ Dominican rum which was produced in 1980. The rum was aged in oak for 23 years, however it was also at some point during the maturation process ‘rested’ in stainless steel vats for 10 years before being bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
You may read my full review of this 23-year-old spirit by clicking the following link:
“… The colour resembles a darkened penny, and the initial aroma is rich with smells of chocolate caramel and oak spices. I decided to allow the glass to breathe and was delighted at how the oak spices seemed to meld into the chocolate caramel as the rum decanted. Rich toffee and tobacco aromas evolved from the glass with hints of treacle, brown sugar, and baking spices straining to push through as well …”
Note: The Pumpkin Face 23 is a rich wonderful rum! Had my schedule had allowed me to publish this review earlier, then I surely would have placed the this rum into my list of the World’s Top 30 Rums of 2013. Since I was not able to publish sooner, I guess I will have to content myself with knowing it will be a strong candidate for my list in 2014.
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 23, Aged Rum, Dark Rum, Pumpkin Face Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Ultra premium Rum | Comments Off on Review: Pumpkin Face 23
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 9, 2014
FDC Anejo Clasico (New)
Flor de Caña has a history of rum production which is dated to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The company was founded by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and today, over 120 years later, the company is led headed by the fifth generation of the Pellas family. It has grown to be not only one of Central America’s leading brands of rum, it is also one of the most recognized rum brands in the world. According to the company website, all of the Flor de Caña rum is produced from molasses which is made from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery in Chichigalpa. This molasses is fermented and then distilled five times in a continuous column still. The resulting distillate is laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses built without air conditioning in an undisturbed environment.
The subject of this review, Flor de Caña (Añejo Clasico) 5 Year Old Rum, is meant for sipping over ice, or for enjoying in fine cocktails and mixed drinks. You may read my full review by clicking on the following link:
“… the caramel scents deepen and combine with that oak spice which brings a more defined toffee-like aroma into the breezes above the glass. There are also light baking spices present (primarily nutmeg and vanilla), some orange peel accents as well as a light nuttiness which resembles freshly crushed walnuts and pecans …”
Note: As explained in the review the 5 Year Old Añejo Clasico is the same rum as the former 5 Year Old Black Label, Flor de Caña has made changes to the image and presentation, but have not made any changes to their rum’s flavour profiles. I was given the bottle for this review by the local distributor, The Kirkwood Group who distribute the Flor de Caña rums in Alberta.
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Aged Rum, Anejo Clasico, Dark Rum, Flor de Cana Rum, Rum | Comments Off on Review: Flor de Caña (Añejo Clasico) 5 Year Old Rum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 3, 2014
Lemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the production of the blend had shifted to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada. Under the direction of new brand owner, Mosaiq, the Lemon Hart brand has been re-energized, and two new additions to the Lemon Hart family, Lemon Hart Navy Spicy Rum (see review here) and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Rum have recently been launched.
The Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum (which is the subject of this review) is a full British 100 proof offering (57.1 % alcohol by volume), developed for Mosaiq under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master Blender, Mike Booth. At this time, this brand is aimed exclusively at the travel (duty-free) market.
You may click on the following excerpt link to read the full review:
“… This Lemon Hart Rum does indeed carry a full bevy of rich spiciness forward across and through the palate which toasts the tongue as you sip and batters the tonsils as you swallow. Despite this spiciness (which resembles cinnamon, cloves and fine oak spice) the rum is rich and complex with flavours of both canned fruit (apricots and peaches) and candied dark fruit which shove their way through the spice …”
I have included a nice Zombie recipe, Hart of the Zombie, at the conclusion of the review.
Happy New Year everyone, and please keep enjoying my reviews!
Posted in Dark Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: British Proof, Dark Rum, Lemon Hart, Mosaiq, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Review | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 27, 2013
Rum continues to be a spirit on the rise. There was a time not long ago that when I stopped by a local store to buy a bottle of rum, I had really only two or three choices, and they were all named Bacardi. Now it is not uncommon for me to see up to twenty different rum brands even in the small liquor stores, and some of the large stores will have as many as 50 different brands to choose from. When I talk to the local merchants, they all tell a similar story, more and more people are asking for rum and some of them even come into the stores brandishing my reviews as ammunition.
My Rum Howler Awards are published each year. They represent my yearly proclamations regarding the best rums which I have tasted within that particular year. As is the case each year, all of my Awards are based upon side by side tastings within each category of spirit. I taste the spirit neat, and I also mix a few cocktails. Sometimes I have my friends help me. All rum samples which I receive to review on my website each year are automatically considered for the awards. I do my review, and then I set aside the remainder of the spirit for the end of the year judging. I also receive additional industry samples specifically for these awards.
My side by side tastings are completed, and it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2013 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Rum.
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Flavouerd Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum, White Rums | Tagged: Aged Rum, Dark Rum, Flavoured Rum, Mixing Rum, Premium Rum, Rum, Rum Howler Awards, Spiced Rum, Super-Premium Rum, White Rum | 3 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 24, 2013
Through the period from the 1580′s to the end of the 18th century Irish soldiers (mercenary or otherwise) were often used as regimental combat troops for the continental European armies. These Irishmen joined the foreign armies for many reasons; some may have merely been adventure seekers; some were obviously looking to strike a blow against their historic enemy England; and some may have seen the military as a means to advance their standing both financially and socially via a military career. What ever the reasons these young men joined the continental forces, it is a sad fact than many hundreds of thousands of these Irishmen died fighting in foreign Armies far from their homeland.
The Wild Geese Rum Collection is the companion to the Wild Geese Irish Whisky Collection. While the Wild Geese Irish Whisky collection sought to bring the Story of the Wild Geese and their struggles in European Armies to light, the Wild Geese Rum Collection continues the saga bringing to light the story of some of these Wild Geese who after service in the continental armies of Europe found themselves transported to America and the Caribbean where many worked upon the Rum Plantations in the new world.
I received samples of the entire rum collection from the brand developer, Protege International, and I shall begin my review series with the Wild Geese Golden Rum which (in the UK) is bottled at 37.5 % alcohol by volume. You may click the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… Rising from the glass to greet my nose is an impression of sweet butterscotch, canned apricots, orange peel, almond and vanilla. I allowed the glass to breathe a few minutes, and noticed some additional fine oak spices entering the breezes above the glass …”
This is an outstanding cocktail rum and my review includes a few nice recipes at the end, The Spence Cocktail, and my version of the Hemingway Daiquiri.
Please enjoy the review and the bar drinks!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktail, Cocktail Rum, Golden Rum, Hemingway Daiquiri, Rum, Rum Review, Spence Cocktail, Wild Geese Collection, Wild Geese Soldiers | Comments Off on Review: The Wild Geese – Golden Rum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 19, 2013
Lemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the production of the blend had shifted to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada.
Under the direction of new brand owner, Mosaiq, the Lemon Hart brand has been re-energized, and two new additions to the Lemon Hart family, Lemon Hart Navy Spicy Rum and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Rum (available in the Travel Duty-Free market) have recently been launched. The spiced rum (which is the subject of this review) is an 86 proof offering (43 % alcohol by volume), developed for Mosaiq under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master, Mike Booth.
Here is an excerpt which you may click to link to my full review:
“… Things begin with a candied sweetness reminiscent of Butterscotch and/or Rum & Butter Lifesaver candies. Within that candied aroma I sense the spiciness of cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom as well as perhaps a touch of orange zest. There are obvious vanilla notes, a very light indication of treacle and hints of tobacco and oak which appear …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe I choose to call, the Spiced Metro Swizzle!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum | Tagged: Cocktails, Lemon Hart Rum, Mosaiq, Navy Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Spiced Rum | Comments Off on Review: Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 14, 2013
Cognac Ferrand has long a history of providing Cognac Casks to various Caribbean rum producers based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Because of this long history Cognac Ferrand has over time developed solid relationships with many of these producers. Based upon these relationships they have been able to acquire certain unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources. Typically these rums are brought back to France to be finished in their own warehouses and of course in their own Cognac Casks.
The Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum is Cognac Ferrand’s ‘tiki style’ overproof rum. The base rum is a column distilled rum from Trinidad which was aged in oak barrels in Trinidad before being transported to France.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… Within this rich aroma I can smell a strong butterscotch/caramel toffee which seems to rise up in waves out of the glass. Banana peel, marmalade and marzipan appear as well in a bouquet that despite the astringency is very inviting. Rounding out the nose are some very nice baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar) which build up and remind me of my Mom’s cinnamon buns baking in the oven …”
Please enjoy this review which includes a nice Tiki style recipe, Zombie Plantation!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Cognac Ferrand, Dark Rum, Overproof Rum, Plantation Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Zombie | Comments Off on Review: Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 22, 2013
Cross Keys 5 Yr Old Barbados Rum is a spirits brand developed by Distiller Sales Company of Princeton, Minnesota. Distiller Sales is a division of a company called USDP (United States Distilled Spirits Co.). They describe themselves as a “leading developer of corporate brand distilled spirits programs”. The company boast sales in 32 countries worldwide, and some of those brands which are available in my home market include Ethan Koll 8 Year Old Canadian Whisky, Broken Bell Bourbon, Monkey Paw Rum, Luxus Vodka, Capatina French Vodka and Veil Premium Vodka.
The Cross Keys Island Tradition Rum is produced from Bajan rum stocks which have been aged at least 5 years. I was provided a sample bottle of the rum by Jfj Agency Inc. who is the distributor of Distiller Sales Co. brands in Alberta.
You may read the full review by clicking the following Link:
“… The initial nose featured scents of treacle, charred marshmallows, and baked molasses. As the glass sat, additional aromas of toasted coconut and baking spices (vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon) rose into the air as well along with some oven roasted walnuts …”
I included a very satisfying highball recipe with the review mixing the Cross Keys Rum with ginger-ale and bitters, the Bajan Highball.
Please enjoy the recipe and of course my review!
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Bajan Highball, Bajan Rum, Cocktails, Cross Keys Rum, Dark Rum, Distiller Sales Company, Rum, Rum Review, United States Distilled Spirits Co. | Comments Off on Review: Cross Keys Island Tradition Barbados Rum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 15, 2013
Pumpkin Face Rum is a new rum brand distributed in Canada by Pure Global Imports. The rum inside the cool looking pumpkin shaped bottles is apparently a blend of selected rums from the Dominican Republic. According to the brand producer (Itsko Imports Inc. of Beverly Hills California), Pumpkin Face Reserve Rum is an ‘ultra premium’ Dominican rum produced from selected stocks of rum which were produced in the decades of 1980′s, the 1990′s and 2000′s. Some of these stocks were aged up to 20 years before they were blended into this rum.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt link:
“… I found the Pumpkin Face Reserve seemed to have a split personality when I sipped from my glass. Initially I tasted a push of alcohol and spice as the rum heated my mouth and throat. Orange peel, wood spice, and butterscotch dominated the flavour with spicy tobacco and alcohol heat not far behind. However, when I allowed the rum to breathe for several minutes, the character of the rum changed completely …”
Included at the conclusion of my review is a nice recipe which works well with the Pumpkin Face Reserve, the Rum Old Fashioned!
Please enjoy the review and my cocktail suggestion. Cheers Everyone!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Aged Rum, Cocktails, Dark Rum, Itsko Imports, Pumpkin Face, Pure Global Imports, Rum, Rum Old Fashioned, Rum Review | Comments Off on Review: Pumpkin Face Reserve Rum