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Posts Tagged ‘Rum’

#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

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# 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

 

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#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

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#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

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#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

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#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

#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 …”

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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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#90 Ron Bermudez Anniversario

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 26, 2015

The Ron Bermúdez Company has a long history that stretches back to 1852. This is almost as old as the Dominican Republic itself, and I think it is easy to suggest that the Ron Bermudez Company is an important part of the history of the Dominican Republic. Don Erasmo Bermudez apparently created the company’s first rum, sold as Bitter Panacea which quickly became extremely popular and provided the foundation for the company’s  success. The Company is currently in its fourth generation of management, still represented by the Bermudez family.

bermudez-aniv-botellaThe Ron Bermudez Anniversario carries no age statement, however it sits atop the ladder of the Bermudez Rum line-up. Carrying heavy oak accents, it was suggested to me by the local distributor that the rum would be comparable to a fine oaky cognac, full of character and flavour.

Here is a link to my review of the #90 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#90 – Ron Bermudez Anniversario

“… The rum is spicy with hints of cinnamon and orange peel. Toffee and caramel sit in the background supporting the spicier flavour of the oak. There is also a firm leathery smoke in the rum which is full of the flavours of dried fruits (raisins, dates, and prunes) …”

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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 #90 Ron Bermudez Anniversario

#93 Dictador 20 Year Old Solera Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 23, 2015

Dictador is produced in Colombia on the Caribbean coast at Cartagena de Indias City. Rather than being produced from molasses, the rum is produced from the virgin honey of sugar cane which has been distilled upon a stainless steel alembic, and aged using Dicatador’s unique take on the solera-style aging system. Although the rum is produced upon a stainless steel alembic, the inner workings of this still contain more than enough copper such that it functions in basically the same manner as a copper pot still.

Dictador 20 SAM_1387Interestingly, the choice of the distillery to use sugar cane honey rather than molasses is based upon a peculiarity of Colombian government policy. It seems that the country has mandated that automobiles in Colombia must use a certain percentage of biofuels in conjunction with gasoline as their fuel source. As molasses is the most readily available source of biofuel, almost all molasses produced in Columbia is earmarked for biofuel production. This means that the folks at Dictador Rum have little choice but to produce and use their own sugar cane honey for rum production.

The Dictador 20 Year Old Rum, is a solera aged rum which is taken from the solera at the point where the average age of the rum within that solera row is at least 20 years of age.  (Some older rum is certainly within those barrels as well.)

Here is a link to my review of the #93 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#93 – Dictador 20 Year Old Solera Rum

“… The aroma from the glass is heavily tainted with oak and baking spice. I smell dark brown sugars and toffee which grow stronger and deeper as the glass decants. A hint of maple sits in the breezes, and accents of cinnamon, nutmeg as well as a firm dash of vanilla rise up to complement the strong oak aroma. There is a light smokey element as well which seems to imply sherry like scents of dried currants and raisins …”

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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 #93 Dictador 20 Year Old Solera Rum

 
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