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Archive for the ‘Rum’ Category

Review: Blue Chair Bay White Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 19, 2015

Blue Chair White SAM_1349Fishbowl Spirits Llc. is a company wholly owned by Kenny Chesney, the well-known Country Music Singer from Knoxville, Tennessee. In May, 2013 Fishbowl Spirits launched Blue Chair Bay Rum, which features an assortment of rums which were apparently inspired by the relaxed island lifestyle of the country music star. The line-up includes an assortment of flavoured rums (a Coconut Rum, a Coconut Spiced Rum, a Banana Rum and a limited time only Coconut Spiced Rum Cream, as well as a standard White Rum. Although Blue Bay Chair Rum is based in Nashville, the assortment of rums they produce are distilled in Barbados and then bottled in Rochester NY by LiDestri Food & Beverage.

Three of these spirits, the Coconut and Coconut Spiced rums, as well as the White Rum have been brought into Alberta by Glazer’s Of Canada Llc, and they arranged for me to receive all three rums to review here on my website.

Lime and Maraschino Daiquiri

Lime and Maraschino Daiquiri

Blue Chair Bay White Rum, according to the Company Website is aged less than 100 feet from the high water line where there’s something about the sunlight and the wind on the water that gets into the oak casks and into every drop of Blue Chair Bay®.

Here is my full review:

Review: Blue Chair Bay White Rum

“… There were  light bits of spice wandering into the air with a smattering of buttery caramel. Perhaps I also sense some freshly mashed banana, vague notes of tropical fruit, some whispers of marshmallow, and hints of mint and licorice. When I add ice to the glass, the light scents seem to blow away in the breezes, leaving only phantoms of butterscotch above the glass …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a Lime and Maraschino Daiquiri as the suggested recipe for laid back enjoyment!


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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.


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 »

Review: Rum Nation Jamaica White Pot Still Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 5, 2015

Pot Still Cocktail SAM_1447

Jamaican Pot Still Cocktail

Rum Nation has been delighting me over the past few years with their fresh approach to the spirit we enjoy as rum. Fabio Rossi, who owns and manages the company, purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas, and provides a rather unique assortment of rare limited edition rum bottlings to both the European, and the North American market. Up until recently, all of Fabio’s rums have been well aged wonders. Some are aged solely in their country of origin where tropical aging increases the rate of interaction between the oak and the wood, and some have also seen a second period of aging in Europe where the more moderate climate allows for a more delicate interaction and additionally refines the spirit in a more subtle way. Sampling these well aged marvels has given me a greater appreciation of how both the dimensions of time and location affect the outcomes of maturity and taste with respect to aged spirits.

Last year, Fabio went in a different direction entirely with his Rum Nation Jamaica White Pot Still Rum. In the case of this spirit, the dimensions of time and location with respect to maturity are rendered irrelevant. Instead, the dimension Fabio chose to explore within this rum monster was flavour, as this new rum revels in its brutish, unaged, concentrated (bottled at 57 % alcohol) Jamaican pot still flavour (and it is anything but smooth and refined).


Valrhona Tainori Chocolate

This is a new direction for white rum, and you may read my full review by clicking on the following link:

Review: Rum Nation Jamaica White Pot Still Rum

“… When I took my first cautious sniff from the glass, I was struck by the depth and the intensity of the bouquet. This rum will not be for those who fear adventure in their glass. There is an omnipresent resin-like aroma similar to model airplane glue which dominates the breezes above the glass along with a grassy (chlorophyll like) scent which rides at the edges of that resin …”

Please enjoy my review which includes not only a cocktail suggestion, the Jamaican Pot Still Cocktail, but also contains my suggested chocolate pairing an intense bittersweet Dominican Cacao chocolate, Varlhona Tainori.

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

Review: El Dorado Superior Dark Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 29, 2015

El Dorado Dark Rum Punch SAM_1443The 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:

Review: El Dorado Superior Dark Rum

“… 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: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: El Dorado Superior Dark Rum

Review: Angostura 7 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2015

Angostura 7 SAM_1377The Angostura 7 Year Old Rum is (like all of the Angostura Rums) produced from molasses on their five column still. Part of the rum is produced from a heavy distillate which is drawn from the multi-column still after passing through only one of the five columns. This heavily flavoured rum is aged and then blended with a more purely refined spirit which is distilled upon all five columns. Both portions of the blend are aged a minimum of 7 years in charred American oak bourbon barrels, after which each portion is hand drawn from the barrel, then blended, filtered and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

You may read my full review of the Angostura 7 Year Old Rum here:

Review: Angostura 7 Year Old Rum

“… As the glass sits, the butterscotch begins to meld into the wood spices creating impressions of toffee and light tobacco. There are scents of orange peel which begin to move towards marmalade, and hints of chocolate and coffee riding the edges of the breezes …”

This 7 Year Old Rum is a versatile spirit which can be appreciated by all rum enthusiasts. I found myself enjoying a few Lemon Muddled Cuba Libre’s mixed with the Angostura Rum, and I suspect that if you try few, you will like them too.

Please enjoy my suggested cocktail and my review!


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The Year In Rum (2014 Rum Howler Awards)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 19, 2015

RH-winner2014I have come to the last of my Rum Howler Awards as I determine my 2014 Rum Howler Awards for the excellence in the production of rum. This year, sadly, I have eliminated the Regional Rum Awards as time simply has gotten the best of me, and I must forge on into the year 2015 and leave 2014 behind.

In my discussions with different spirits companies I have noticed a welcome change in attitude regarding the oak barrel. Whereas, in the past these companies would only discuss how long their spirit had rested in that barrel, today those same companies are beginning to talk about the barrel itself. I hear terms like New Oak, First Fill, Second Fill, and re-charred oak barrels not just when companies are discussing whisky; but also now when they are discussing Rum. We are also seeing an influx of exotic finishing barrels like cognac casks, Sherry Casks and many more. It seems that as we are in this time of diminishing aged stocks, the spirits companies have embraced innovation to bring more flavours and more character forward in new and exciting ways. If this trend continues, then as the companies replenish their aged stocks over the next five and ten years, we will then enter into a new paradigm where the consumer may have the best of both worlds, a return to blends which contain only well aged rum as well as these same blends benefiting from all those years of innovation. We may indeed look back on this time as the shot in the arm that industry needed to bring something even more wonderful forward. Of course, only time will tell.

Here is a link to the Awards Page for the 2014 Rum Howler Award winners for excellence in the production of Rum. These are the spirits which have risen to the top and provided us with our greatest enjoyment in the World of Rum.

The 2014 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Rum

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on The Year In Rum (2014 Rum Howler Awards)

The 2014 Rum Howler Rum of the Year: Dictador XO Insolent Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 24, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014This past May, I was invited by Thirsty Cellar Imports, to attend a Rum Master Class hosted by Hernan Parra Arango, Rum Master for Dictador Colombian Rum. At the event, the attendees were given the opportunity to taste the entire Dictador line-up which of course included not only the Dictador 12 Year and the Dictador 20 Year Solera Rums, but we also tasted and learned about the Dictador XO Perpetual and XO Insolent Rums.

At that Rum Master Class, I learned that 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. The final rum is blended and barreled at 40 % Alcohol by volume.

Of course the proof is in the tasting, and this year, the Dictador XO Insolent Rum was the very best that I personally tasted in 2014.

Here is a link to my review for the Rum Howler 2014 Rum of the Year:

2014 Rum of the Year – Dictador XO Insolent Rum

“… The aroma is 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 …”

The Dictador Insolent Rum is full of sweet and spicy character, and just might be as close to rum perfection as I have tasted. It is one of those rare spirits which I am loath to mix into a cocktail, and from me, that is high praise indeed!


Note: You may find my full Countdown list of the 25 Best Rums of 2014 here:   The Rum Howler – Top 25 Rums of 2014


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Rum Howler 2014 # 2 Rum – El Dorado 21 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 23, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014The DDL Master Blender is credited with the creation of El Dorado 21-Year-Old Rum which uses a blend of rums selected from their world-famous stills, the Enmore (wooden Coffey still), the Versailles (single wooden pot still), and the Albion (Savalle still). All of the rums in the blend have been aged in oak for a minimum of 21 years, making this one of the oldest production rums in the world.

This is also one of the very best, and for the third straight year it ranks as one of the top 5 rums in the world. This year the El Dorado Special Reserve 21-Year Old Rum moved up two spaces and grabs the number 2 spot.

SAM_1390Here is a link to my review:

# 2 Rum – El Dorado 21 Year Old

“… The immediate nose is full of baking spices, orange peel, vanilla, and dry fruits. There are absolutely no medicinal notes or harsh scents associated with the aroma. As the rum decants, I begin to sense glimmers of almonds and hazelnuts weaving through the tapestry of smells, and I sense a building oakiness which is bringing more spice to the fore …”

The oak has melted into the spirit (or perhaps the spirit has melted into the oak) and the result is a special aged rum which perhaps has no equivalent in its category. This rum is a marvel of aging and blending and belongs on every serious rum aficionado’s shelf.


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, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2014 # 2 Rum – El Dorado 21 Year Old

Rum Howler 2014 # 4 Rum – Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014The 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.

diplomaticoThis 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:

# 4 Rum – Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

“… 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: , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2014 # 4 Rum – Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva

Rum Howler 2014 # 5 Rum – Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rum is a molasses based rum produced on the Island of Jamaica. Over the past few years It seems that every time I re-sample this particular brand, I am forced to re-score my review and place it further up the ladder until this year it has reached the rungs occupied by what I feel are the best rums in the world.

Appleton 12 YO CanisterMy new score this year places the Appleton 12 Year Old Jamaican rum all the way up to the number 5 spot in my countdown of the best rums of 2014.

Here is a link to my latest review:

# 5 Rum – Appleton Estate Extra 12

“… I taste a dominant trio of dark brown sugar, charred caramel, and a spicy oak which asserts itself firmly into the flavour profile. I found if I was patient, and let the rum sit in my glass and then sipped very slowly, I could catch the nuances of other more subtle flavours underneath …”


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, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2014 # 5 Rum – Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old


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