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Archive for the ‘Rum’ Category

The Rum Howler’s #2 Rum of 2015 – Ron Millonario XO Reserva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 22, 2015

Ron Millonario XO SAM_1404For those who do not know, Fabio Rossi who is the mastermind behind Rum Nation, is also the founder of Ron Millonario. When I asked Fabio why the Ron Millonario Brand was not part of Rum Nation, he explained to me that when he was developing the Ron Millonario Rums (working in conjunction with a small to mid-sized distillery in  Northern Peru) he felt the quality of the rum was such that Ron Millonario should be set apart from the Rum Nation Brand and take its own place as a premier sipping rum brand.

I find it very hard to disagree with Fabio’s assessment, as whenever I taste the Ron Millonario rums, or serve them at tasting functions, they are always crowd favourites. My friends hold these rums in high esteem as well, so high in fact that we have chosen Ron Millonario XO Reserva as the #2 Rum in my Top 25 Rums of 2015 Countdown.

Here is a link to my review of this fabulous rum:

Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum

“… When I took my first sip of this rum, my immediate reaction what to exclaim, “Oh, that is lovely!” and subsequent sips and samplings have done nothing to dissuade me from this initial reaction. The main flavours of caramel/molasses, oak spice and baking spices seem to be perfectly melded together. Hints of raisin, figs, tobacco and chocolate seem to provide just the right accent to make this a suave mouth watering rum …”

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

 

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The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 5, 4 & 3

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2015

Diplomatico 2000We have now entered into the top 5 rankings for my 2015 Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015, and up until now I have ranked each rum in my countdown based upon the score it received during my summer tasting sessions which I conducted as part of the determinations for the Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits. I decided to add another layer to my countdown at this point, and add in two more jurors to help me determine the rankings for the top 5. I gathered two friends, the same two who helped me determine the Rum Howler Top 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2015, and together we tasted the Top 5 Rum spirits of 2015 side by side. Using an amalgam of the three scores I assigned my final top 5 rankings.

Last year’s Rum Howler – Rum of the Year, Dictador Insolent lands at the number 5 spot while Don Pancho’s masterpiece from Panama, the Panamonte Reserva VVX grabs number 4. Entering into my countdown for the very first time is a limited edition rum created by DUSA Master Blender, Tito Cordero. I had thought that Diplomatico’s Exclusiva was the pinnacle of DUSA’s rum mastery, howerver this new Single Vintage Rum from Venezuela showed that the company is capable of even higher heights of rum glory.

Here are the next three fantastic cane spirits in my listing of the Best 25 Rums of 2015:

05)  Dictador XO Insolent Rum
04)  Panamonte Reserva XXV – 25 Year Old Rum 
03)  Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

 

 

 

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#6 – Dictador XO Insolent (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2015

Dictator’s solera aging system is a cascading process where younger rums are aged in oak casks and then blended with older rums. The aged rum are arranged in different flights with the oldest distilled rum on the lowest levels of the Solera. The younger rums are placed on the upper levels with the very youngest rums at the top. As the rum is pulled from the lowest barrels for bottling, the barrels are not fully emptied, and those barrels (about half full) are then topped up with rum from the levels just above. This marrying of old and new softens the fiery younger rum and provides the final blended rum with a refined smoothness and flavor not found in ordinary rums.

Dictador Insolent

Dictador Insolent

For the Dictador XO Insolent in particular, the aging barrels used are pre-used oak barrels which have a significant percentage of oak obtained from Jerez Spain, as well as pre-used Port Wine Barrels. Near the end of the aging process, the barrels earmarked for the XO Insolent Rum are emptied (and the rum stored of course), and these barrels are subjected to an open flame process which caramelizes the rum soaked oak fibres on the interior of the barrel. These barrels are then refilled with the same rum allowing the spirit to draw the sweet caramelized flavours from the interior of the oak barrel.

Here is a link to the #6 Spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#6 – Dictador XO Insolent

“… simply luscious with sweet toffee smells rising from the glass tainted with impressions of butterscotch, vanilla, corn syrup, creme de brulee, maple syrup and peanut brittle. There is a backbone of firm oak sap and spice melded wonderfully into these sweeter butterscotch like aromas with delectable baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and hints of milk chocolate lying underneath …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#7b Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2015

The 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.

Spanish Diplomat SAM_1677The 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 the review of the #7b spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#7b – 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 …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Note: I admitted earlier in the countdown that I had to place two spirits in the #25 spot because I had inadvertently failed to re-taste one extremely good spirit, and this necessitated a correction and addition of one extra spirit upon my list. 

I have to confess that another minor error occurred which requires an addition. When I constructed my list, I made a counting error and halfway through the countdown I realized that I had one too many spirits upon the list. Because I felt the number 7 ranking in my Countdown caused me the most anguish, I decided to fix my error and score two spirits (a tie) at number 7.

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#8 Panamonte Reserva XXV – 25 Year Old Rum (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 17, 2015

The Panamonte Reserva XXV is a well aged Panamanian rum from PANAMONTE BRANDS. This is a molasses based rum produced from sugar cane grown and distilled in Las Cabras de Pese. This rum is very special, as every drop of the Panamonte Reserva XXV rum has been aged for a minimum of 25 years in used bourbon casks. It was handcrafted by Master Blender, Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez Perez.

Panamonte RESERVA XXVI had a small hand in bringing this particular rum to Alberta, as I introduced the 25 Year Old to a local liquor importer, the Libor Group. It only took one taste to convince them that this rum despite its high price was a something very special.

Here is the review for the #8 Spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#8 – Panamonte Reserva XXV – 25 Year Old Rum

“… the impact of the oak gains momentum and stains all of the scents with its presence. The orange peel moves to marmalade; the brown sugars move to dark rich toffee; and the pungent spices move to smells of deep dark tobacco. I also begin to smell baked apples and dry fruit (raisins and dates) as if the rum has a sherry influence (I am told it does not), and although I wonder why I did not notice it before, the scent of roasted walnuts has grown in the glass giving the overall aroma even more depth and character …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 10 thru 6

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2015

Appleton 12 YO CanisterWe have entered into the top 10 of my rankings of the Best Rums of 2015, and an intimidating 23-year-old masterpiece from Rum Nation (their Demerara 23 Year Old) leads us into the top 10. My favourite expression from Appleton Estate (the 12 Year Old) grabs the number 9 spot with a wonderfully complex 9 Year Old Agricole rum from Reimonenq (the only agricole Rhum to make my list) making it to number 8. Diplomatico’s sweet and succulent Reserva Exclusiva is always one of my favourites and one of the World’s most sought after rum’s the Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) just misses the top 5.

Any of these rums would make a wonderful Christmas Gift for any rum aficionado.

Here are the next five wonderful cane spirits in my listing of the Best 25 Rums of 2015:

10)  Rum Nation Demerara 23 Year Old
09)  Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year
08)  Reimonenq Vieux 9 Year Old Rhum (Distilled 1999)
07)  Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
06)  Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum 

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#10 Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2015

Although Ron Millonario, is headquartered in Italy (owned by Rossi and Rossi S.R.I.), the rums of Ron Millonario are distilled and aged in Northern Peru. The company website does not give us the exact location of the distillery which produces the Millonario rums although it does speak of a mid-sized Northern Peruvian distillery with three old Scottish column stills and a slow distillation process which is used to produce their rum from sugar cane molasses.

Ron Millonario XO SAM_1404Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum is the premier rum produced by this Italian Company, and it has been one of my most favoured rums ever since I first tasted it.

Here is a link to my review of the #10 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#10 – Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum

“… The main flavours of caramel/molasses, oak spice and baking spices seem to be perfectly melded together. Hints of raisin, figs, tobacco and chocolate seem to provide just the right accent to make this a suave mouth watering rum. There is plenty of sweetness, but this sweetness is tempered by the more pungent flavours such that the rum never seems to be too sweet, it just seems delicious …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirit

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 15 thru 11

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 14, 2015

Millonario Sistema Solera 15 Reserva EspecialThe next 5 great rums in my countdown of the Best Rums of 2015 demonstrate a growing trend upon my website. Rums from South America are beginning to dominate the landscape of premium rum. Three of the next five rums are South American, one from Peru (Ron Millonario), one from Colombia (Juan Santos), and one from Guyana (El Dorado). It could be argued that there is a fourth South American Rum on the list as Pusser’s Navy Rum, although blended from rums of various Caribbean countries, receives the lion’s share of its taste characteristic from the giant wooden double pot stills of Demerara Distillers in Guyana, South America as well.

In fact, when I look over my list of top 25 Rums for 2015, over 50% of the rums I have selected are from South America. That’s quite a high percentage considering that 10 years ago I had never even tasted a single rum produced from the southern continent.

Here are the next five wonderful cane spirits in my listing of the Best 25 Rums of 2015:

15) Ron Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial 
14)  Pusser’s 15 Year Old Navy Rum (Nelson’s Blood)
13) Rum Nation Caroni 1998 (Bottled in 2014 @ 55%) 
12)  Juan Santos 21 Yr Antigua Reserva Rum
11)  El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum 

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#15 Glenmorangie Tùsail (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 10, 2015

Glenmorangie Tùsail is a member of the company’s Private Edition Range (the sixth in the series). The Private Edition Range features limited edition whiskies which are meant to bring a new or unique characteristic to the Glenmorangie line-up. In the case of Tùsail, its unique character is derived from the barley from which it is distilled, Maris Otter Barley. Maris Otter was derived in 1965 as a cross between two other barley varieties, Proctor and Pioneer. It is a two-row varietal designed as a low nitrogen barley with superior malting characteristics. Whisky distillers experimented with the Maris Otter variety briefly in the 60s and 70s as the grain was noted for its ability to impart strong robust flavour and character to the malt; however its usage as a malt barley for production whisky was widely discontinued due to its low yield characteristic.

TusailAlthough this variety of barley fell out of favour for production whisky, its strong flavour characteristic caused it to remain in high demand for premium products especially in the home brewing sector and as a key ingredient for traditional ales in micro breweries. Because of this strong flavour characteristic, Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation and Distilling, Dr. Bill Lumsden, decided the time was right to produce a premium Single Malt using the premium Maris Otter grain. The resulting whisky, Tùsail was created exclusively from this barley grain which during production was floor malted (by hand), distilled upon Glenmorangie’s unique high, long-necked copper pot stills, and then matured in a small amount of specially selected casks.

Here is the review for a wonderful whisky which arrives as the #15 Spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#15 – Glenmorangie Tùsail

“… The initial breezes bring scents of fresh-baked bread crust into the air pushed ahead of peppery oak spices. I soon begin to notice impressions of granola perhaps with a bit of Cap’n Crunch cereal along for the ride. there are hints of milk chocolate and a discernible nutty element which reminds me of fresh slivered filberts (hazelnuts) …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

 

 

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #15 Glenmorangie Tùsail (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 20 thru 16

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2015

This posting will help catch up my Top Rums of 2015 Countdown with the other two countdowns currently underway, The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits Countdown and the Rum Howler 2015 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies.

I thought at this time that I should make one thing clear to everyone. Whereas my 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown is a compilation of the best spirits I have ever tasted, the 2015 Top 25 Rum and Canadian Whisky Countdowns are compilations of the best spirits (in those categories) which I have both tasted and which are currently available in the year 2015.

Pumpkin 23This means that the astute reader, when utilizing the various list to do their Christmas shopping, should take into account that my Top 100 Spirits list contains great spirits which are no longer available to the public. However, every rum and whisky listed on the Top 25 Rum And the Top 25 Canadian Whisky lists are currently available for retail purchase somewhere in the world. Some may not be available in your locale, but they are available.

Which brings us on to the next batch of great rums. Here are the links to the reviews for the # 20 through to the #16 ranked rums in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums:

20)  Rum Nation Panama (Aged 21 years)
19)  Pumpkin Face 23
18)  Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum
17)  El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum
16)  Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 15

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 20 thru 16

 
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