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Posts Tagged ‘Rum Howler Awards’

Top 10 White Rums Countdown # 9 – Newfoundlander’s White Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 24, 2013

op10RUM 550

We travel across Canada to find the Number 9 White Rum on the Rum Howler Countdown List.

Newfoundlander’s Rum, made a splash about four years ago with a new style and presentation that rejected the pirated clichés of the rum marketing gurus, and instead embraced the heritage of Newfoundland’s rocky shores and its naval tradition. Stunning artwork from Canadian artist David Blackwood adorned the labels in narrative designs that told a story of the  proud Newfoundland people who live their lives near and on the sea. It is a life bound by tragedy and hope.

Newfoundlander’s Rum is a blend of 3 aged Guyanese white rums, a 2-year-old, a 5-year-old, and a 7-year-old rum.  The blended rum is shipped to Newfoundland in stainless steel tankers where it is bottled and distributed by NLC.

Newfoundlander's Rum 4 - whiteHere is a link to my recently revised review of Newfoundlander’s Rum:

#9 White Rum – Newfoundlander’s White Rum

“… The rum exhibits a pleasant soft texture with light oily feeling in the mouth. The light caramel flavour of the rum is firm, and I taste no bitter off-notes. There is a tinge of alcohol bite which tastes slightly sharp, but I also taste the light candy flavours I noticed in the nose and an every so soft progression of mint. Vanilla notes are present,  as is a light almond flavour …”

This white rum really mixes well and boosts my cocktails to a higher form!

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Note; You may follow my Countdown list of the 10 best white rums here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 10 White Rums

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Top 10 White Rums Countdown # 9 – Newfoundlander’s White Rum

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 20, 2013

RH-winner2013It is that time of year again when I present my annual Rum Howler Awards where I recognize the best spirits which I have had the pleasure of sampling over the past two years. You see, I save my sample bottles after writing my reviews, and have a fun little tasting competition (usually with a few friends to help me). The aim is to determine which spirits are truly the best. My gin tastings were completed a few weeks ago, and I have complied the results for The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin.

This has been a good year for Gin. The Spirit has become more than just a base for Gin and Tonics and Martinis; it has become part of the cocktail revolution which is underway on both sides of the Atlantic (and threatening to cross the Pacific as well.) In fact, it could be said that walking side by side with the Cocktail Revolution is a new Gin Revolution. While London Dry Gin still dominates the landscape of juniper, we are at the forefront of the development of new variations upon the pinene theme. I see varieties of gin aged in oak (see review here); I see specialized flavoured gins (see review here); and I see distillers experimenting with local botanicals and spices in an effort to bring new taste profiles forward (see review here). We are even witnessing the resurrection of an heretofore almost forgotten styles of gin (see review here).

This year, I invited one of my gin loving friends to help me in the judging process which occurred during two lazy Sundays in September. Each spirit was served in three cocktails (Grange Cocktail, Gin and Tonic, and a Dry Gin Martini) as well as served neat with no ice.

And without further ado, it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2013 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Gin. These Awards are for the best Gin Spirits, I encountered in the year 2013:

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin

(Use the above link to find the Awards Page.)

Posted in Awards, Extras, Gin | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on The 2013 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin

The Rum Howler 2012 Top 30 Rums – Countdown

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 30, 2012

This year, when I was deliberating over my 2012 Rum Howler Awards, it occurred to me that the line-up of rum which I had tasted over the past year was impressive. When I further considered all the rums I had tasted since I opened this website, I realized this was indeed an impressive amount of rum that I have tasted and scored. Adding it all up, I have tasting and scoring notes for over 300 rums which I have had the privilege of sampling over the past four years. (Note: In addition to the nearly 175 rum reviews I have published on this site, I also have tasting notes and scores compiled for over 125 more rums which I encountered at various festivals and judging events which I have attended.) This gives me a broad perspective on the world of rum. And perhaps, all this rum tasting and scoring gives me at least some of the qualifications to embark on a very particular quest to uncover and list the Best Rums in the World.

If you are interested in such things, a detailed explanation of how I came up with this list is available here:

The Rum Howler 2012 Top 30 Rums

This web page also contains the complete list in reverse order. One catch, is that I will be filling that list out over the next several weeks, one rum at a time, countdown style. As I fill out the list, I will be providing my most up to date review for that particular Rum. Some of these rums have been reviewed previously, and those reviews will be updated if required to reflect my feelings on the most recent bottling. Some of the Rums on the list will be reviewed for the first time. Although the effort put into this project was very significant, I hope that those who read the reviews and follow the countdown have some fun. Disagreement with my Panel of Judges is welcome, and so are questions about the list.

Posted in Awards, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler 2012 Top 30 Rums – Countdown

The Year In Rum (Part 2 – The Best of Rum)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 18, 2012

We have come to my final posting with regards to the 2012 Rum Howler Awards. This is The second half of my Rum awards where I determine the Best of the Best in the world of Rum.

White Rum, Spiced Rum, Flavoured Rums and Mixing Rums have all been examined to determine the best that 2012 has given us for our cocktail enjoyment. As well I have examined the best sipping rums aged from four years in oak all the way to fifty.  When it comes to sipping rums, age matters, but not necessarily as much as you might think. It has been a great year in rum for The Rum Howler, and it is time for me to reveal Part 2 of the 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Rum. These Awards are for the Best and Greatest Rum Spirits which I encountered in the year 2012.

Here is the link:

The 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Rum (Part 2 – The Best of Rum)

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Flavouerd Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Year In Rum (Part 2 – The Best of Rum)

The Year in Rum – Part 1

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 14, 2012

Today, I am continuing my 2012 Rum Howler Awards by selecting the best rum from the various rum producing regions of the world. After all, it is not just the Caribbean Islands which make great rum. Rum is produced in almost every part of the world where sugar cane is grown. And in some cold weather climes (like Canada), where they cannot grow the cane, there is a long tradition of buying rum in bulk from various rum producers and then blending their own unique styles. As with my other awards to date, all of the awards I am presenting today are based upon side by side tasting sessions held over a period of several weeks. I began over two months ago slowly tasting different Rums side by side bringing only the very best forward for the final tastings which took place over the past month.

Here is a link to my 2012 Rum Howler Regional Rum Awards:

The 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Rum (Part 1 – The Regional Awards)

Enjoy my award selections!

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on The Year in Rum – Part 1

The Year in Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 8, 2012

This was a great year for the Rum Howler with respect to Whisky. I was able to help in a small way with the success of the 3nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival; I was selected to be on the North American Panel of Spirit Writers who judged the Canadian Whisky Awards; and I was able to almost double the number of Whisky reviews on my website this year. The result of all of this activity is that the year 2012 saw me taste and score more whisky than ever before. This means that my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Whisky are better than ever.

All of my whisky awards are based upon side by side tastings of the various spirits which are in competition for each particular award. Just as it is with my other Rum Howler Awards, all of the samples which I receive for review in a given 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.

And so without further ado, it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Whisky. These Awards are for the best Whisky Spirits I encountered in the year 2012, here is the link:

The 2012 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Whisky

Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Irish Whskey, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Year in Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 2, 2012

There are subtle aromas and flavours which can be appreciated when Vodka is sipped or when it is consumed as a shot. As well, when served with good food, vodka has the ability to enhance the gastronomic experience by cleansing the palate between bites allowing you to taste each morsel more completely. When I review Vodka on my website, I try very hard to convey my appreciation of these subtle nuances of pleasure which Vodka can provoke. I think I am doing something right, because my Vodka reviews are amongst the most popular on my website.

This Year I have separated the Vodka Awards from the Tequila and Gin Awards to give them more prominence. All spirit samples which I receive to review on my website are automatically considered for my awards. I do my review, and then I set aside the remainder of the spirit for the end of the year judging. This year, for the first time ever, I also received additional industry samples specifically for these awards.

Here are the recipients of my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Vodka. These Awards are for the best Vodka Spirits I encountered in the year 2012:

The 2012 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Vodka

Budmo!

Posted in Awards, Flavoured Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on The Year in Vodka

The Year in Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 30, 2012

All things considered, I had a pretty good year with respect to the spirit called Tequila in 2012. I was able to help in a small way with Edmonton’s first Tequila festival earlier this month, and I was able to double the number of reviews here on my website. Although Tequila has a small following in my local market (relative to rum and whisky), that small group of tequila aficionados is very passionate about their favourite spirit; and, I believe that group of Tequila lovers is steadily growing!

In an effort to recognize the growing importance of this spirit in not only my locale, but also as a global spirit; I have decided this year to give Tequila its own awards page on my website this year (last year I grouped the Gin, Tequila and Vodka Awards together all on the same page).

It is time to reveal my Tequila awards by looking at the Rum Howler’s Year in Tequila.

Here is a Link to the Awards Page:

The 2012 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Tequila

Congratulations to all the Award Winners!

Posted in Anejo Tequila, Awards, Blanco Tequila, Extras, Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Year in Tequila

The Year in Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 26, 2012

When I began to publish my Rum Howler Awards two years ago, I had no idea how quickly they would grow, nor how popular they would become. Although, these awards were originally meant to be a fun excuse for me to revisit my most favoured distilled spirits and share that re-visitation with you, my readers, from the beginning I tried my best to treat the process with respect. Apparently Industry respects my awards too. Last year I saw my Rum Howler Award Badge proudly displayed on company websites (see here), on bottle neck ringers (see here), and in the advertising campaigns (see here) of some of the winners. It is my belief that my Rum Howler Awards have become more than just a fun excuse to revisit my most favoured spirits, they have become important markers for both connoisseurs and for industry.

This Year I am going to begin presenting my awards by looking at the Rum Howler’s Year in Gin.

Here is a Link to the Awards Page:

The 2012 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Gin

Congratulations to all the Award Winners!

Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on The Year in Gin

The 2011Rum Howler Awards – (The Rum Wrap-up)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 13, 2011

The last of my Rum Howler Awards are presented today. These are the my final rum awards presented to the Best of the Best in 2011, the Best Overall White Rum, the Best Overproof  Rum, the Best Flavoured Rum, the Best Spiced Rum, the Best Dark Rum (aged up to 5 Years), the Best Premium Rum (aged up to 12 years) and the Most Outstanding Rum of the Year, all for the year 2011.

All of these awards are based upon side by side tasting sessions held over a period of several weeks. I  began by slowly tasting different rums from my private collection of bottles and bringing only the very best forward for the final side by side tastings which took place over the last four weeks. Only spirits which I had tasted in the past year (between October 1, 2019 and September 30 2011) were considered.

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The Rum Howler Award for the Best Overall White Rum:

Newfoundlander’s White Rum

Honourable mention to Diplomatico Blanco Reserva, and Mount Gay Silver Eclipse who were the other nominees.

For this category I considered the flavour of the rum in a Daiquiri, a Cuba Libre, and a Mojito, (the triumvirate of classic white rum cocktails). I awarded an overall score to each white rum and gave that score 50 % of the weighting, then I also compared the taste of each white rum neat at room temperature which accounted for the other 50 percent of the score. It was very difficult to choose between the Diplomatico Blanco Reserva and the Newfoundlander’s White Rum; but in the end, I felt that the Newfoundlander’s Rum carried more character into the cocktails and was a more interesting spirit when sipped neat.

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The Rum Howler Award for the Best Over-Proof Rum

and the winner is:

Panama Red 108 Overproof Rum

Honourable mention to Lemon Hart Demerara 151 Rum.

This award was very difficult to judge as the two nominees were each very good, and very different in their style. The Lemon Hart 151 Rum is a tiki style rum used primarily as that special ingredient which puts the final touches on an outstanding cocktail. The Panama Red 108 is more of a ‘cask strength’ style of rum meant to be consumed neat or on ice.  In the end, I felt that the Panama Red brought more versatility to the table, as I was able to enjoy this rum in many styles of cocktails as well as occasionally sipping it on its own, whereas the Lemon Hart has been strictly a cocktail rum for me. 


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The Rum Howler Award for the Best Flavoured Rum

This Category includes flavoured rums, rum liqueurs and the so-called black rums. (Basically every style  of rum which I considered to be obviously flavoured or altered (but not spiced).

and the winner is:

Diplomatico Hacienda Saruro

Honourable mention goes to Cruzan Black Strap Rum.

In this category, I must be honest and say that it was really no contest. The Diplomatico Hacienda Saruro has been a favourite of mine ever since I took my very first swallow. This is simply put, an outstanding spirit! If you want to have a real treat, try my signature cocktail for this spirit, the Kentucky Crocodile.

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The Rum Howler Award for the Best Spiced Rum

and the winner is:

George Street Spiced Rum

Honourable mention to Bacardi Oakheart Smooth Spiced Rum, and Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum.

This category was difficult to judge based upon the differences in the styles of the rums involved. I decided to go to the producers websites and see if I could find some recommended cocktails for each spirit which I sampled. I balanced this off with my impressions of drinking each spirit when drank neat. The clear favourite was George Street Spiced. I did notice that all three of the nominees carried much more oak character and spicy ‘oomph’ into the cocktails than I have previously seen in the spiced category. This category has seen significant improvement over the last year.

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The Rum Howler Award for Best Dark Rum:
(aged up to 5 years)

and the winner is:

Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve) 5 Year Old Rum

Honourable mention to Plantation Barbados (2000) Old Reserve Rum, and Plantation Grenada 1998  (Old Reserve Rum)

It was a clean sweep of the nominations for the Plantation line-up in the 5 year and under category, and tasting these spirits side by side was a real treat. In the end, the Plantation Barbados Grand Reserve demonstrated a greater depth of flavour and smoothness which prompted me to award it the Best Rum in the 5 year Old category this year. I am happy to report that this rum is about to debut on the store shelves here in Alberta.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Rum Howler Award for Best Premium Rum:
(aged up to 12 years)

and the winner is:

Dictador 12 year Solera

Honourable mention to Plantation Panama 2000 (Olde Reserve) Rum

When I tasted the Dictador 12 year Solera head to head against the Panama 2000 (a 9-year-old rum in case you are wondering) , the contest was actually very close between the two. In the end I decided that the Dictador rum carried just a little more depth of character in the glass and it was this character that tipped the balance and caused me to declare it the winner.

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Ed 21 Served Neat

The Rum Howler Award for The Most Outstanding Rum of the Year:

El Dorado 21 Year Old Rum

Honourable mention to Dictador 20 Year Solera.

The two finalists for Most Outstanding Rum of 2011 were both from South America. In fact, I tasted some great rums from South America this year. The El Dorado 21 Year Old Rum was chosen as the winner in the head to head tasting because of its superior complexity, and the beguiling way the oak flavours have melded into the rum.  As I have said before, this is almost rum perfection.

In fact, this summer when my wife offered to buy me any rum bottle I wanted as a birthday gift at a local boutique store, she was shocked that I passed on the much more expensive 25 year Old El Dorado Rum and instead chose the 21 Year Old. When my wife pointed out to me that she was willing to buy me the $300.00 bottle instead of the $90.00 bottle, I just simply said, ” Trust me, the $90.00 bottle will please me just a little more. ”  (Just so you know, I had an opportunity to taste the El Dorado 25 Year Old Rum earlier that year at a tasting in Calgary organized by my friend Lance. Thanks Lance!)

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And there you have it, my Rum Howler Awards for Rum all wrapped up. Here is a recap of today’s awards:

The Rum Howler Award for the Best Overall White Rum:   Newfoundlander’s White Rum

The Rum Howler Award for the Best Over-Proof Rum:   Panama Red 108 Overproof Rum

The Rum Howler Award for the Best Flavoured RumDiplomatico Hacienda Saruro

The Rum Howler Award for the Best Spiced Rum:    George Street Spiced Rum

The Rum Howler Award for Best Dark Rum (aged up to 5 years):    Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve) 5 Year Old Rum

The Rum Howler Award for Best Premium Rum (aged 12 years or less):   Dictador 12 year Solera

The Rum Howler Award for The Most Outstanding Rum of the Year:   El Dorado 21 Year Old Rum

Posted in Awards, Extras | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on The 2011Rum Howler Awards – (The Rum Wrap-up)

 
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