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Posts Tagged ‘Spiced Rum’

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.

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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)

Arctic Wolf’s Christmas Eggnog

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2011

I like eggnog at Christmas, and so for the third year in a row I am going to post my favourite recipe for Christmas Eggnog.

This is a simple recipe in terms of ingredients, but it requires a bit of a baker’s touch get it just right. I switched up the Rum and the Whisky in the recipe from last year and found it to be as good as ever.

Arctic Wolf’s Christmas Eggnog
(This makes about four servings. )

3 eggs at room temperature, (yolk and whites separated)
3/8 cup sugar (for the yolks)
3 tablespoons sugar (for the whites)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
a touch fresh ground cloves (About 1/16 of a teaspoon)
a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg (About 1/8 of a teaspoon)
a dash of fresh ground cinnamon (About 3 /16 of a teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, chilled
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup Spiced Rum (George Street Spiced)
2/3 cup Bourbon Whiskey (Knob Creek)

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Here is how to make it:

First the yolks

Separate your egg yolks and your egg whites in two bowls. Whisk the first amount of sugar and the vanilla into the egg yolks. Add a touch of  ground cloves, a pinch of nutmeg and a dash of cinnamon into the yolk bowl. Add the cream, the milk and the rum and whisky (for adult consumption only). Make sure everything is mixed thoroughly.

Now the whites

This is where a baker’s touch is necessary.
Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks (3-4 minutes). Add the second amount of sugar slowly during this beating process.

Now we combine

Gently and with large circular motions blend the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture, trying to keep things as ‘poofy’ as possible.

Sprinkle a little left over spice on the top of each glass, and enjoy with your favourite chocolates!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Howls, Rum, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The 2011 Rum Howler Awards – Part 1 (Best Mixers)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 8, 2011

Last year I began my Rum Howler Awards which sought to recognize the most favoured spirits I had sipped and sampled over the past year. Today I am continuing what I hope will be an annual tradition with my Second Annual Rum Howler Awards! Of course, everyone should understand that I must introduce some provisos when I hand out these awards. I cannot judge any spirit which I have not tasted. I also cannot attempt a comparative final tasting when the previous sample I received for my review, was so small that I now have none left to compare. Fortunately for the most part, like last year, I was able to save enough of each product sample just for the purpose of these awards.

The Rum Howler Awards are meant to be a fun excuse for me to revisit my most favoured distilled spirits and share that re-visitation with you my readers. I am trying to choose the best of the best, but like all competitions of this nature, the awards are subjective and will reflect my personal preferences. The awards for today will concentrate on those spirits which I have found make particularly tasty cocktails. (I have added Gin, Tequila and Vodka categories to round out the awards to include all distilled spirits I review.)

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Best White Rum in a Daiquiri

And the Winner is:

Newfoundlander’s White Rum

Honorable mention to Mount Gay Eclipse Silver.

I consider the daiquiri to be the benchmark cocktail for white rums. In my side by side tastings it was basically a contest which pitted the clean crisp flavour of  Newfoundlander’s White Rum against the funky character of the Mount Gay Silver Eclipse. I found that the new White Rum from the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation was simply outstanding in the cocktail. (The Silver Eclipse from Mount Gay is very ‘funky’ and delicious as well.)

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Most Outstanding Gin in a Lime Fizz

And the winner is:

Tangueray No. 10

Honourable mention to No. 3 London Dry Gin, and Bombay Sapphire Gin.

A Gin Fizz (similar to a Tom Collins) is a simple cocktail which mixes gin with lemon or lime juice, simple sugar and soda. It is a very popular bar-drink/cocktail, and because I like ‘fizz’ style bar-drinks more than Martinis or the standard Gin and Tonic, I decided to use the Gin Fizz as my cocktail of choice for judging this spirit in a cocktail. It was the smoothness of the Tangueray No. 10, which won the day in my side by side comparisons.

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Most Outstanding Whisky in a Horses Neck

And the winner is:

Chinook Canadian Whisky

Honourable mention to Gibson’s Finest Sterling Canadian Whisky, and Pendleton (Let ‘er Buck) Canadian Whisky.

Anyone who has read my reviews realizes that I love to mix cocktails and bar drinks. I believe that the vast majority of whisky drinkers do the same even when they buy a premium bottle. The Horse’s Neck (Whisky and ginger-ale) is the standard cocktail that I like to drink with my whisky, and as such it is a very suitable bar drink to use for judging the mixability of each whisky. All three of the Nominees above are great whiskies for serving with ginger-ale; but my friends and I have been ‘hooked on the Chinook‘ ever since we first tried it several months ago.

It was no surprise to me that it won the day in my head to head taste-off.

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Most Outstanding Blanco Tequila in a Margarita

And the winner is:

PaQuí Tequila (Silvera)

Honourable mention to Cabo Wabo Blanco

Like the Daiquiri, the Margarita is another benchmark cocktail. Whenever I review Blanco Tequila, I mix a Margarita to begin to test the spirit’s cocktail range. I tasted four different spirits side by side in a Margarita taste-off this summer, and it came down to a choice between the Cabo Wabo and the PaQui. Both were excellent; but, by a small margin I preferred the Margarita made with PaQui Tequila. 

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The Best Vodka in a Cosmopolitan

Pristina Vodka

Honourable mention to Patriot Excellence Vodka, Nemiroff Lex Vodka, and Last Mountain Hand Crafted Vodka.

Of all the awards presented today, I think perhaps that his was the toughest to judge. I (and some of my friends) sampled the Cosmos several times attempting to rank the spirits; but we seemed to come up with a different winner each time. It was the Pristina Vodka however, which always seemed to rank first or second each time I did a taste comparison. You cannot go wrong with any of these Vodkas for mixing premium cocktails, but by the slimmest of margins, I prefer the Pristina.

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And there you have it, the first five Rum Howler Awards for 2011:

The Best White Rum in a Daiquiri, Newfoundlander’s White Rum.

The Best Gin in a Lime Fizz,Tangueray No. 10.

The Best Whisky in a Horses Neck, Chinook Canadian Whisky.

The Best Blanco Tequila in a Margarita, PaQuí Tequila (Silvera).

The Best Vodka in a Cosmopolitan, Pristina Vodka

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Each week until Christmas I shall reveal some more of the Awards… Stay Tuned!


Posted in Awards, Extras | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Review: Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 3, 2011

The Captain Morgan Rum Company traces its history back to 1945 when Seagram’s CEO, Samuel Bronfman, negotiated the purchase of the Long Pond Distillery from the Jamaican Government and formed the Captain Morgan Rum Company. The company’s iconic rum brand, Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum was based upon a recipe purchased from two local Jamaican pharmacists, the Levy Brothers, who had developed the recipe using rum from the Long Pond Distillery.

The subject of this review,  Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum is an overproof variation of the Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum. It is bottled at 50 % alcohol by volume rather than at the 35 % alcohol by volume strength of the Original Spiced Rum. The Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum is a blend of Caribbean rums which have been aged in white oak barrels.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The Captain Morgan 100 Proof Spiced Rum however, surprised me in the side by side tasting by carrying less roughness onto the palate. This rum is smoother than its lower proof sibling even though it carries more of an alcoholic punch. The flavours which I associate with good rum like oak spices which meld into a nice rummy caramel are more apparent in the stronger version of the rum…”

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Captain Morgan 100 Spiced Rum

Please enjoy the review!

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Review: Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 23, 2011

Robert and Zachary Brinley founded the St. Kitts Rum Company in the early 1990s to blend and market their Brinley Gold Rums on St. Kitts and in the United States. It is the stated goal of the company to make and market the “best tasting flavoured rums in the world“. To that end, the Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum is produced using a rum blend which has been aged for four years in used American whisky and bourbon barrels. The rum is flavoured (or perhaps I should say spiced) with Madagascar vanilla, orange, nutmeg, clove, and other tropical spice flavors. It is blended as a mixing rum, but Brinley maintains that the rum is smooth enough to be enjoyed over ice.

As part of this review, three friends and I performed a side by side tasting comparing Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum, with the Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum, and the standard bearer for the spiced rum category, Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced.

Each of these rums is produced from stocks which have been aged in American oak barrels. As well, each of these rums seems to walk the path of a vanilla and caramel rum accented by fragrant spices which compliment the rum but not to dominate it. With this similarity in style and production, a side by side tasting seemed only natural.

(I should note that a sample bottle of Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum was provided to me for this review by the River Valley Beverage Group, which is the liquor agency responsible for distributing this rum in Alberta.)

Here is an excerpt from my review:


“… The flavour of the rum carries a bit of an oaky thread with butterscotch, and a strong push of vanilla riding in the currents. I taste some light baking spices as well as a very light indication of canned fruit (apricots and pears). There are some other spicy flavours which remind me of nutmeg and cloves…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum

As well I have included a nice cocktail with this review called the Orange Push-up.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum

Review: Bacardi Oakheart Smooth Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 20, 2011

On September 1, 2011, Bacardi launched their new Oakheart Smooth Spiced Rum. As the name suggests, the Oakheart is an aged rum. The rums in the blend have been aged in charred oak barrels to give the rum added depth of character and perhaps a bit of whisky-like smokiness. I met the Bacardi Area Sales Manager at the Sherbrooke “Drink Like a Pirate” Rum Festival, and he arranged for me to receive a bottle of the Oakheart Spiced Rum to review on my website.

For this review, three friends and I performed a side by side tasting comparing Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum with the Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum and the standard-bearer for the spiced rum category, Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced. Each of these rums is built on the foundation of aging in American oak barrels, and each of these rums seems to walk the path of a vanilla and caramel rum accented by fragrant spices which compliment the rum but do not to dominate it.

Here an excerpt from of my review of Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum:

“…The initial mouth-feel to the rum is quite creamy, and this creaminess serves to coat the palate allowing the flavours to linger. I taste a lot of vanilla, some nice rummy butterscotch and a little dollop of maple syrup. The rum has a bit of spicy heat as well, with some orange peel, cinnamon and cloves heating the palate…”

Here is the full Review:

Review: Bacardi Oakheart Smooth Spiced Rum

I have included a couple of cocktail suggestions for the Oakheart Spiced Rum including, Island Sunset.

Please enjoy the review!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Kōloa Kaua`i Spice Hawaiian Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 8, 2011

Nestled on the Island of Kaua`i, the Kōloa Rum Company is making history. It started ten years ago when the company was first incorporated. A seven-year struggle through red tape and government bureaucracy ensued before the necessary permits and licenses were granted, and finally on April 1, 2009, the Kōloa Rum Company obtained a license to distill their rum. The first legally distilled rum in the Island’s history.

I have previous reviewed the Kōloa Kaua`i White Hawaiian Rum, the Kōloa Kaua`i Gold Hawaiian Rum, and the Kōloa Kaua`i Dark Hawaiian Rum. In each case I have marveled that such a young company was able to produce rums of such quality. Early this summer the Kōloa Rum Company sent me a sample of their new spice rum and that rum is the subject of this review.

Here is an excerpt:

“… the initial nose is very pleasant with that sweet caramelized sugar rising into the air with a variety of spices. Vanilla and nutmeg seem prevalent, and I detect cinnamon and cloves in the air as well. Other spices are indistinct but I seem to sense allspice, and orange peel in the breezes as well…”

And here is a link to the full review:

Review: Kōloa Kaua`i Spice Hawaiian Rum

I have included a nice recipe which combines pineapple and raspberry with the spice rum and I call it, The Raspberry Smooch.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail provided!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Kōloa Kaua`i Spice Hawaiian Rum

Review: Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 11, 2011

The Cruzan Rum Company is located on the Island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. The Island of St. Croix is the largest of the US Virgin islands, being approximately 28 miles long and 7 miles wide. Along with the tourism industry and one of the largest oil refineries in the Caribbean, the St. Croix economy is dependent to a large extent upon the Rum Industry as a major engine of their economic growth.

All of the Cruzan Rums are produced using a modern five column distillation method which produces a light bodied rum, the quality of which can be tightly controlled by the five column distillation. The rum is then aged in once used American oak bourbon barrels. The Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum is a relatively new offering, boasting 9 spices blended in an aged rum. The spices listed upon the Cruzan website are allspice, vanilla, pepper, ginger, mace, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and juniper berry. It is bottled at 40 per cent alcohol by volume and is, I believe, aged for up to two years in the aforementioned American Oak.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… When I brought the glass to my nose I was struck by the scents of pungent spices mingling with the sweeter scents of caramel toffee. Vanilla, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and cloves are easily identified in the breezes although vague unfamiliar accents above the glass tell me that much more is going on…”

You may read my full review here:

Review: Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum

I have included a nice recipe,  Spiced Punch, for your enjoyment.

Please enjoy the recipe and the review!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum

Review: George Street Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 10, 2011

There is a place where they believe they know rum better than anywhere else. And it’s hard to ague with those folk because not only have they been smuggling and buying their rum for over three hundred years, they also happen to drink more of the stuff per capita than anyone else in North America. Where is this great rum haven, you might ask? Well, it’s not anywhere in the good old U.S. of A., and it not some tropical haven in Latin America or the Caribbean Islands. Nope, these people who drink more rum than anyone else live on a rock they call Newfoundland, which is part of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Great White North of Canada.

On that rock called Newfoundland is a city called  St. John’s where they have a place where the rum consumption reaches its apex. That place is George Street! A street full of music and revelry, lined from top to bottom with Pubs and Restaurants, where almost everyone’s drink of choice seems to be Rum! And it is for that place that the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission (NLC) have named their new rum, George Street Spiced Rum.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…After a few minutes rich baking spices have built up, and I imagine that I can smell sweet cinnamon rolls in that glass. Rich brown sugars pour out with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and pecans. This is probably the one of the nicest noses I have encountered in a spiced rum. But my feeling is that the spices are only part of the story. It is the aged Guyanese Rum under the spices which is giving the nose depth and character. I have a strong urge  to steal a sip before I am finished nosing the glass…”

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: George Street Spiced Rum

I have included a nice recipe for a Rum and Cola style drink called the Sparkling Cola Cocktail.
Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: George Street Spiced Rum

Rum Review: Spiced Jack No. 94

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 2, 2011

Legend has it (according to the Spiced Jack Website), that in 1956 a certain roguish pilot, Lieutenant Jack Butler, who was stationed in Bermuda in 1956 developed a secret recipe for spiced rum. Of course after developing this “Top Secret” recipe he and his plane disappeared without a trace. Mysteriously, all of his rum disappeared too. Fortune would have it that he had sent his secret recipe to his brother shortly before he disappeared and now White Rock Distillers are able to bring this formulation forward as Spiced Jack No. 94 Spiced Rum.

The ’94’ is a reference to the bottle strength of this rum which is 94 proof. This is a higher than normal bottling strength for a spiced rum which should impart a little ‘kick’ to the tonsils when it is sipped. In spite of this implied kick to the tonsils, the Spiced Jack Website assures us that the rum will be smooth. In fact, not just smooth, it will be “courageously smooth”.

A friend of mine gave me this bottle in trade on New Years Eve. I had taken a few sips (after I had already sipped a lot of other rums and whiskies that night), and decided a new rum to add to my collection would be a good thing. I never had a chance to try the bottle again until a few days ago when I decided to put it through the paces of my review system.

By clicking on the following link you can discover what I learned about my New Year’s Eve Rum Swap:

Rum Review: Spiced Jack No. 94

Please enjoy the review, and remember that the aim of my blog is not to help you drink more spirits, it is to help you drink better spirits!

Posted in Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Rum Review: Spiced Jack No. 94

 
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