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Posts Tagged ‘Rum Review’

#40 Ron Zacapa Centrenario 23 Anos

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 15, 2015

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

Ron Zacapa 23 AnosAfter distillation, the Zacapa rum is transported to the ‘House above the Clouds’ in the Guatemalan mountains for maturation. Special cellars age the rum at an altitude of more than 7000 feet above sea level where the ambient temperature is much more stable and the oxygen levels are lower than at lower elevations. The more stable ambient temperature ensures that the aging barrels are subject to less differential air pressure between the outside and the inside of the barrel.

I should note that this version of Ron Zacapa Centrenario is an older vintage from the one currently available for sale. This version is labeled 23 anos rather than 23 solero.  The older vintage received a higher score when I reviewed it, and when I tasted it side by side with the newer version, I found that I indeed preferred slightly drier and less sweet flavour.

Here is a link to the review of the #4o spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#40 Ron Zacapa Centrenario 23 Anos

“… This is very rich and very complex.  Nutmeg and allspice swirl around vanilla and dark molasses.  There is also an earthy, oak filled taint to the nose which is most pleasing.  I think I catch hazelnut and pecans in the air as well, but then again I might be imagining that I can actually tell the difference …”


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 »

#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 …”


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: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#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 …”


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: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#83 Dictador 12 Year Aged Solera Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 3, 2015

Dictador’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 12 SAM_1388A unique feature of the Dictador Solera System is that in addition to the younger rums being married with older rums, the barrels of similarly aged rums along one level of the solera are periodically consolidated to keep the barrels as full as possible to maintain fuller contact with the wood, and to inhibit the acceleration of the evaporation within the barrels. The Dictador 12 Year Old Rum, is a solera aged rum which is taken from the solera at the point where the average of the rum within that solera row is at least 12 years of age.

Here is a link to my review of the #83 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#83 – Dictador 12 Year Aged Solera Rum

“… There is a good amount of oak tannin and citrus zest which leads out and makes everything mildly spicy. This sensation is quickly followed by flavours of dark toffee which have turned slightly to treacle, and a moderate amount of vanilla oak. A yummy marzipan which reminds me of toasted almonds smothered in roasted marshmallows is nestled nicely under the oak and spice …”


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: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#97 Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 19, 2015

The Ron Santa Theresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera is a Venezuelan rum which can trace its ancestry back to the year of 1796 when the Santa Theresa Hacienda was created. It was of course, 200 years later that the Ron Santa Theresa 1796 was created to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the Hacienda.

Santa Theresa 1796 SAM_1710This is a true Solera rum with 4 rows of aging barrels set one atop each other. As the rum ages, a portion of the rum moves through each row until it reaches the final solera row at the bottom years later. The barrels are not emptied fully and only a portion of the rum from the previous or higher row is moved to the lower row each time. According to the Santa Theresa website, a very small portion of the rum reaches an age approximating 25 years before bottling.

Here is a link to my review of the #97 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#97 – Ron Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera

“… The rum has a different reddish tone and the initial aroma seems to be hinting that the spirit has at some point in its journey passed through an exotic wine cask which left an imprint of fruity dark cherries and plums upon the scent of the rum. Rich aromas of butterscotch and light smells of molasses join with these fruity scents and the result is most appealing …”


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

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#99 El Dorado 8 Year Old Cask Aged Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 17, 2015

The Diamond Distillery sits on the East Bank of the Demerara River near Georgetown, Guyana. The Distillery, originally attached to the now closed Diamond Sugar Estate, is home to Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL). Two years ago, I was invited by DDL and Woodman Wines and Spirits to travel to Guyana for a very exclusive tour of DDL’s facilities with a small group of Canadian Spirits Writers and Restauranteurs. It was in Guyana that I encountered their new 8 Year Old Rum.

SAM_1070According to the El Dorado Website, the El Dorado 8 Year old Cask Aged Rum is blended from selected stocks of rum which were produced from no less than four of DDL’s traditional Heritage Stills including both the original Wooden Coffey Still which was rescued from the Enmore Estate and the Double Wooden Pot Still which was rescued from the Port Mourant Estate. Each of these stills is well over 200 years old and they represent the last of their kind operating in the world today. The use of these ancient stills ensures that the Demerara Rum produced at DDL’s Diamond Distillery is unlike anything produced anywhere else in the world.

(For more information on the unique Heritage Stills in operation at the Diamond distillery you may read my first hand account here (Diamond Distillery Tour).

Here is a link to my review of the #99 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#99 – El Dorado 8 Year Old Cask Aged Rum

“… As I let the glass sit and I enjoy the breezes above the glass, I notice that the oak spices are building and they have begun to meld into the brown sugar and toffee. As I let the breezes drift about, it is almost as though I can smell fresh cinnamon buns baking. I notice a few new nuances in the breezes as well; some mild indications of dry fruit (raisins and dates), the aroma of milk chocolate, and a delicate scent of tar and tobacco. …”


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

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Review: Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 12, 2015

Spanish Diplomat SAM_1677The 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.

The 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 my full review:

Review: 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 …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my suggested serving, the Spanish Diplomat.


Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum

Review: Bayou Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 7, 2015

Bayou Spiced and Cola SAM_1668

Bayou Spiced Rum and Cola

Louisiana Spirits was formed in 2011 with the stated aim to produce a world-class rum in Lacassine, Louisiana from Louisiana sugarcane.  By 2013 their distillery located a few miles east of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was producing a craft rum in what they call the largest privately owned rum distillery in the USA. They produce three rums, (a spiced, a flavoured, and a white rum) all of which have made their way into the Alberta market via Lifford Wines who distribute and market the spirit here in my home Province of Alberta.

Bayou Rums are distilled upon a traditional copper pot still using 100% locally (Louisiana) produced cane sugar and molasses. According to the company website:

Spiced Bayou Rum is infused with classic traditional spices with a Louisiana twist. Featuring Louisiana grown ingredients, this special gumbo of spices creates a unique and satisfying blend that makes it the perfect rum for mixing. Spiced Bayou Rum livens up everything from a rum and cola to unsweet tea or an ice cube.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Bayou Spiced Rum 

“… I noticed a butterscotch and vanilla sweetness rode in the breezes alongside a pleasant, somewhat pungent, spiciness. The spiciness reminded me of nutmeg and allspice, with perhaps a touch of cardamom and ginger as well. I also seemed to sense some sharper aromatic spices akin to cinnamon and cloves …”

As you can see from my photograph to the left, Bayou Spiced Rum mixes very easily with cola, and for that reason alone, the Bayou Spiced Rum with Cola promises to be on my menu for many a barbeque this summer.



Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still 8 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 1, 2015

Jamaica_8yoRum Nation is an Italian company created by Fabio Rossi, who began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied wine-making). 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. 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 limited edition bottlings. One such bottling is Rum Nation Jamaica 8 Year Old Rum (2015 release).

The 8 Year Old Jamaican Pot Still Rum was distilled in 2006 in a traditional Pot Still (distillery located St. Catherine, on the Island of Jamaica) and spent the first 7 years of its maturation on the island in ex-bourbon casks. From Jamaica, the rum was transported to Italy where it was transferred to ex-sherry casks (Oloroso), and then it spent an additional year aging in a cool wine cellar in the Piedmont. The final rum was bottled at a full 50 % alcohol by volume in Italy in 2015.

Pot Still Punch SAM_1674

Jamaican Pot Still Punch

According to Fabio Rossi:

We decided to bottle at 50% because we wanted it to stay ballsy, and appeal to whisky drinkers!”

You may read my full review of this ‘ballsy’ rum by clicking on the following link:

Review:  Rum Nation Jamaica Pot Still 8 Year Old Rum

“… The breezes seem to be filled with baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, and a touch of cloves), rich brown sugar, and sherry-like aromas of dark fruit (raisins and dates). I also sense a strong presence of orange peel which is typical of Jamaican rums. In the midst of those familiar rummy scents are the punky notes of the Pot Still …”

Please enjoy my review as well as the suggested punch recipe at its conclusion, Jamaican Pot Still Punch.

Happy Canada Day!

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Review: Captain Morgan Pineapple Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 25, 2015

CM Pineapple SAM_1621On February 11, 2015, Captain Morgan introduced three flavors to its fleet of rums, CAPTAIN MORGAN® Pineapple Rum, CAPTAIN MORGAN® Coconut Rum, and CAPTAIN MORGAN® Grapefruit RumThese new Caribbean flavors are each five times distilled and of course made from cane molasses. Each of the expression blends natural flavors with CAPTAIN MORGAN® White Rum, resulting in a spirit which can be enjoyed as a summer cocktail mixer.

According to my Dan Kleinman, Vice President of Marketing, Rums for Diageo North America:

“This summer, we’re looking for consumers to flip over their hammocks and have a little fun with their mojitos and daiquiris by enjoying our new pineapple, coconut and grapefruit extensions. After last year’s successful launch of CAPTAIN MORGAN® White Rum, we wanted to expand our offerings in the category. These flavors allow adult fans to diversify their cocktails, providing them with a taste of the Caribbean no matter where they may be responsibly enjoying our products.”

Jump the Shark

Jump the Shark

The marketing team for Diageo sent me samples of all three of the new flavoured rums for review on my website, and I have decided to end this short review series with a look at Captain Morgan Pineapple Rum.

You may click the following link to read the full review:

Review: Captain Morgan Pineapple Rum

“… the pineapple aroma was quite luscious. Although there is an obvious and firm sugar cane-like sweetness which accompanies the pineapple scent, the intensity of the pineapple is very inviting and seems very natural …”

Please enjoy the review which includes the lighthearted cocktail, Jump the Shark.



Posted in Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Captain Morgan Pineapple Rum


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