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Archive for the ‘Rum Reviews’ Category

#54 Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 1, 2015

In 1749, in the Nassau Valley of Jamaica, the Appleton Estate Sugar Factory was founded.  The Nassau Valley is a fertile, interior valley with a special mild micro-climate which is ideally suited to the growth of sugarcane. A water source which wells from a limestone rock formation provides an exceptionally soft pure water which used for the production of Appleton Rums. The Appleton Estate Rum is crafted from pot stills in small batches. After blending and aging the rums are ready for bottling. Unlike most rums produced in the Caribbean, Jamaican law forbids the use of an age statement unless the entire contents of the bottle are aged at least as long as the stated age.

Appleton Estate Maser SAM_1727The Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy was produced to recognize three generations of Appleton Estate Master Blenders, Joy Spence, the current Master Blender, Owen Tulloch, the  previous Master Blender, and, David Morrison the current protégé of Joy Spence. All three blenders have set their mark on this luxurious rum which is a blend of rums which range in age from 18 years to 30 years.

Here is a link to the review of the #54 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#54 – Appleton Estate Master Blender’s Legacy

“… There appears to be a light smoothness associated with the rum that makes everything on the nose more approachable than the other rums in their line-up. The orange peel which is very prevalent in the other Appleton rums is now combined with a lemon scent with both hiding behind or perhaps I should say melting into a light oak aroma. The brown sugar notes are softer as are other spices. Apricots, pears, pecans, allspice and nutmeg drift delicately in the air as well …”

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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: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

#63 Ron Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 23, 2015

Fabio Rossi began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied winemaking). 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 and a few years later Ron Millonario.

When I contacted Mr. Rossi about the Millonario rums, he was very accommodating about providing me with information about their production including photographs of the old Scottish column stills which are used by the distillery to distill the Millonario rum from sugar cane molasses (utilizing a slow distillation process). The distillery uses its own specially selected yeasts in the fermentation process, and utilizes their own coopers to construct the aging barrels from American and Slavonian oak.

Millonario Sistema Solera 15 Reserva EspecialRon Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial in particular, is produced from a 4 stage Solera process with the final stage bringing the oldest rum in the blend to 15 years. (Based upon the information sent to me by the brand owner, the youngest rum in the blend would 8 years.)

Here is a link to the review of the #63 spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#63 – Ron Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial

“… the immediate nose was full of spiced oak, dark caramel, molasses, licorice, allspice, and cloves. When I tilted and swirled the glass I was greeted by moderately thick droopy legs which moved rather slowly back into the glass. As the glass breathes baking spices build with scents of vanilla, dark brown sugar, orange peel, cinnamon, cola, and dry fruit (prunes, dates and raisin) …”

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

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#67 Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 19, 2015

Cognac Ferrand  has long had a special relationship with a variety of Caribbean rum producers. This relationship is based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Based upon this relationship, Cognac Ferrand is able to acquire certain old and unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources, which they bring back to France and finish in their own warehouses and of course their own Cognac Casks. These special rums form the basis for Cognac Ferrand’s growing line-up of Plantation Rum..

Plantation Gran Anejo GuatemalaThe Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo is a Guatemalan rum blend which is produced from sugar cane syrup (rather than molasses) on a short column still. The rum is aged for a minimum of four years in bourbon casks in Guatemala after which it is transported from Guatemala to France to be placed in used Cognac casks for a finishing time of five months.

Here is a link to the review of the #67 spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#67 – Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo Rum

“…The initial nose is of rich molasses accented by dark tobacco and cocoa. A certain fruitiness rises into the air with scents of raisins and dates accompanied by the more pungent aroma of prunes. The chocolate aroma seems to grow in the glass more quickly than I was expecting, and I am really loving the effect it is having on my senses …”

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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 #67 Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo Rum

# 68 Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 15

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 18, 2015

Ron Zacapa rums are made from sugar cane harvested in southern Guatemala, which is pressed into virgin sugar cane honey. The fermentation process (which takes approximately 5 days) uses a yeast strain (saccharomyces cerevisae) isolated from pineapples to transform sugars within the cane honey into alcohol. After fermentation, the fermented ‘wine’ is distilled in a single continuous column.

SAM_0295 Zacapa 15Zacapa rums are matured using a complicated process they call ‘Sistema Solero’. The subject of my review, Ron Zacapa Centenario 15, is produced from rums which range in age from 5 years to 15 years. The barrels used for aging are a mixture of American Whisky casks, and Sherry and Pedro Ximenez wine barrels. The combination of high altitude aging and the variety of reused oak barrels creates a complex rum with a rich aroma and flavour. This rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume, and available through the duty-free trade (at major airports).

Ron Zacapa is owned by Rum Creation and Products Inc. (RCP), who have signed a global distribution and joint marketing agreement with Diageo.

Here is a link to the review of the #68 spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#68 – Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 15

“… The aroma which rises from the glass is full of rich brown sugar, dark tobacco, molasses, baking spices and wiffs of chocolate. As I let the glass sit, I seem to be able to distinguish spicy hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla as well as the Christmas-like scents of dark fruitcake and fresh broken nut shells …”

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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, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on # 68 Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 15

#70 El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 16, 2015

The Diamond Distillery sits on the East Bank of the Demerara River near Georgetown, Guyana. The Distillery was originally part of the Diamond Estate which was the last of the Sugar Plantation Estates in Guyana to produce rum. Now, of course, it is home to Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL) who are popular across the world for their rich, Demerara Rum. Using a combination of venerable old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, DDL, has built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. In fact, Demerara Distillers is currently the largest supplier of bulk Caribbean Rum to Europe and North America.

El Dorado 25yo PackThe El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum is a blend of aged rums created to mark the turn of the millennium. It is blended from 25-year-old rum stocks which have been aged in used bourbon oak casks. This is quite different from those rums which feature a solera style age statement which highlights the oldest rum in the blend but also usually includes a high percentage of rum which is much younger.

Here is a link to the review of the #70 spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#70 – El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum

“… As I let the glass breathe, the tobacco and the oak scents deepened. They were joined by wonderful sweet baking spices filled with rich brown sugar, spicy cinnamon, light vanillans and hints of nutmeg.  This one of those rums that grows in the glass as it breathes. The aroma is rich and deep and wonderfully in balance …”

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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 #70 El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum

#73 Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 13, 2015

Plantation 20th Anniversary Rum is a blending of the company’s oldest Bajan Rum reserves. These selected rums were first aged in the Caribbean (in ex-bourbon casks). Then they are transported to France to be blended by Plantation Rum’s Cellar Master at Château de Bonbonnet. The blended rum is matured a second time in small French oak casks for another 12 to 18 months. This “double aging” gives rise to a startling increase in both the body of the rum and its complexity, and is the signature of Cognac Ferrand’s Plantation Rum portfolio.

Plantation AnniversayHere is a link to my review of the #73 entry in my 2015 Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#73 – Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

“… The initial nose surprised me a little with its strong oaky presence and luscious smells of caramel and toasted coconut. Some nice orange marmalade chimes in as well as hints of marzipan and tobacco. As the glass sits, rich baking spices full of dark brown sugar, vanilla, and dabbles of cinnamon and nutmeg rise into the breezes. Then the oak wells up again and pours out of the glass. I love the aroma, and I could sit for hours just nosing the glass without taking a sip …”

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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 #73 Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

#75 Pumpkin Face 23

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 11, 2015

Pumpkin Face Rum is a new brand of rum being distributed in Canada by Pure Global Imports. It 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.

Pumpkin Face 23Just so we are clear, there may be additional benefits gained by resting a spirit in airtight vats; however, it is widely accepted that no further maturation of the spirit occurs in an airtight container. Pumpkin Face 23 is (according to the information provided) a 23 Year Old Rum based upon how long it was resting in oak barrels; the 10 years the rum spent in the stainless steel vats are not included in the age statement.

Here is a link to my review of the #75 entry in my 2015 Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#75 – Pumpkin Face 23

“… 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. I sense whispers of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg within the toffee-like aroma as well as an underlying nuttiness which resembles fresh roasted walnuts …”

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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 #75 Pumpkin Face 23

#77 Rum Nation Panama (Aged 21 years)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 9, 2015

Rum Nation has invaded my home Province of Alberta with a very interesting assortment of aged rums from the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The man behind this invasion is Fabio Rossi, who turned to rum in 1999 and 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 rare limited edition rum bottlings. One such Bottling is the Rum Nation Panama 21 Years.

Panama 21

According to the front of the bottle (translation provided by Fabio Rossi):

” Rum Nation Panama 21 years is a blend created from the expert hands of Don Francisco (Pancho) Fernández, Master Blender born in Cuba, with 40 years of experience in production of aged rums in central and south America. Rum Nation Panama 21 years is made from sugar cane molasses, distilled in continuous column and aged in American oak barrels (Quercus alba) for 21 years in Panama.”

Here is a link to my review of the #77 entry in my 2015 Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#77 – Rum Nation Panama (Aged 21 years) 

“… Dark caramel, baking spices, walnuts and rich oak notes all build up as the glass sits. I also notice a flamboyance in the air as tropical fruit, canned apricots, orange marmalade and the rich aroma of pipe tobacco have also reached up into the breezes above the glass. There may even be a hint of decadent dark chocolate in the air …”

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

 

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#79 Angostura 1824 Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 7, 2015

The House of Angostura traces its beginnings to 1824 when German doctor, Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, who was then a Surgeon-General in the Venezuelan Army, created a blend of aromatic herbs which he called “Amargo Aromatico” and which would become the world-famous Angostura Bitters. Although the company he created to manufacture these bitters was originally founded in the town known as Angostura (later to be renamed Bolivar City), the company was relocated by his successors (his younger brother and son), who  moved it to Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1876.

Of course the House of Angostura remains famous for its world-class bitters; however, it has also become well know for the rum which is produced by their five column still, under the direction of Master Distiller, John P. Georges.

Angostura 1824 SAM_1380Angostura 1824 pays homage to the company’s humble beginnings in Angostura, Venezuela. It is a premium rum produced from molasses. All of the spirit within the blend has been aged a minimum of 12 years in charred American oak bourbon barrels, after which it is hand drawn from the barrel, filtered and then bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my review of the #79 entry in my 2015 Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#79 – Angostura 1824 Rum

“… When I take my first sip, I am pleased by the smooth flavour which seems to present me with a combination of zesty orange peel and oak spice which are melded into butterscotch with hints of maple, all of which are underlain by a oozing chocolate flavours (both bittersweet cocoa and creamy milk chocolate) …”

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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 #79 Angostura 1824 Rum

#81 Travellers’ 5 Barrel Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 5, 2015

Travellers’ 5 Barrel Rum is produced in Belize, made from locally grown Belize sugar cane. According to the Travellers website, this cane is cut and crushed in a manner which retains its natural flavors, and the all of the rum is aged in Kentucky oak barrels for a full 5 years. It is blended to be a full-bodied rum with the well-rounded taste which results from oak barrel aging.

5 Barrel RumA few years ago (in 2013) Travellers changed the name of their 5 Barrel Rum, to Travellers’ One Barrel 5 Year Rum. (Apparently the name was changed due to trademark issues which arose as the brand began to penetrate new markets.) I would suggest that if you manage to get your hands on the older bottles of the rum (Travellers’ 5 Barrel Rum), you should. This is because, the older version which I sampled and reviewed in 2012 seemed to have more depth and complexity than the newer version (Travellers’ One Barrel 5 Year Rum) which I sampled and reviewed only one year later after the name change.

This is a listing of the best spirits I have ever tasted, and for that reason it is  older version of the Traveller’s Rum, the 5 Barrel that I recognize as the #81 spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#81 – Travellers’ 5 Barrel Rum

“… As I let the glass breathe, the tobacco and the oak scents deepened. They were joined by wonderful sweet baking spices filled with rich brown sugar, spicy cinnamon, light vanillans and hints of nutmeg.  This one of those rums that grows in the glass as it breathes. The aroma is rich and deep and wonderfully in balance …”

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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: , , , , , | Comments Off on #81 Travellers’ 5 Barrel Rum

 
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