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Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category

Review: Appleton Estate Signature Blend VX Jamaican Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 12, 2017

The Appleton Estate is located in Nassau Valley in St. Elizabeth which is part of Jamaica’s Cockpit Country. The Cockpit Country is a karst formation which was formed over millions of years as the underlying limestone was eroded by the chemical action of rain.  Within a cockpit karst formation are valleys known as Poljes. They are formed where a river floods, then recedes and forms a flat valley over millions of years. In 1749, within the polje known as the Nassau Valley, the Appleton Estate Sugar Factory was founded. The Nassau Valley has a special mild micro-climate which is ideally suited to the growth of sugarcane. As well, a water source wells from the limestone formation and provides an exceptionally soft pure water which used for the production of Appleton Estate Rums.

This Appleton Estate Rum is crafted from pot stills in small batches. After blending and aging the rums are ready for bottling. The flagship of the brand, Appleton Estate VX Rum was recently re-branded as Appleton Estate Signature Blend VX rum. This is still a non-age stated rum however, the The Appleton Estate website tells us that the Signature Blend VX Rum is currently a blend of 15 aged rums with an average of 4 years.

Here is a link to my full review of the newly re-branded flagship Appleton Rum:

Review: Appleton Estate Signature Blend VX Jamaican  Rum

“… Orange peel and oak spice dominate the palate giving the rum a lively mouth feel and the tonsils a little whack on the way down. Spicy wood sap is softened just a little by some vanilla and brown sugar allowing us to notice a ripple of apricot brandy, and a light winding almond flavour …”

Please enjoy my latest review which includes my latest cocktail creation, the Time Traveller.

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Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 28, 2017

sam_3048Pusser’s Rum is advertised as the original rum of the British Royal Navy. And it is a fact that for over 300 years it was a tradition of the British Navy that each member of the crew was issued a daily ‘tot’ of rum. This tradition began in 1655, and by 1731, the tradition of the daily ‘tot’ was in general use throughout the British Navy. As it was the ship’s purser who was responsible for issuing the rum, the tot of rum became known as Pusser’s Rum in a sort of slang derivation of the term ‘Purser’s Rum’.

Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum is new to the Pusser’s range. According to the producer’s website it is a traditional Royal Navy style rum produced at original Admiralty strength. Prior to the invention of the hydrometer, the ship’s purser shutdown claims of watering down sailors’ daily tot by mixing a few grains of gunpowder to the rum to see if it would burn. If the mixture ignited, the rum was ‘at proof.’ If it didn’t, the purser might find himself tossed to sea.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum

“… The nose is heavy with aromas of brown sugar, caramel and molasses. Within the brown sugary caramel I sense a building up of baking spices (vanilla, with some hints of nutmeg and cinnamon) and dry fruit (heavy on dry raisins and light on dates and prunes). Perhaps I am gleaning some wisps of black licorice and asphalt tar as well …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a nice cocktail suggestion, the Magazine.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 24, 2017

On March 23rd, 2017 I attended to a very special tasting event hosted by Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum. This wasn’t an ordinary tasting event. Joy Spence and Appleton Estate were serving a very special new rum.

Joy is celebrating her 20th anniversary as Master Blender of Appleton Estate Rum. She joined Appleton Estate Rum in 1982 as Chief Chemist and was appointed as the brand’s Master Distiller/Blender in 1997. At that time, Joy Spence became not only first woman to be the Master Blender of a premium rum brand, but also the first woman in the world to be the Master Blender of a global spirits brand. Since then, she has earned numerous awards, including the honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Louborough and, in 2016, the Golden Rum Barrel Award for the Most Influential Rum Blender of the Last 10 Years.

To acknowledge her extraordinary career, Appleton Estate is paying homage to the revolutionary Joy Spence by releasing Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend, a rare 25-year-old minimum aged limited edition rum.

Here is a link to my full review of the Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum which I cobbled together from the tasting notes I wrote at yesterday’s tasting event.

Review: Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum

“… I was extremely pleased to find Jamaican pot still character (camphor and resin, bits of menthol, and vague hints of tar and iodine) very much in evidence within the oak and spice. Also within the merry little breezes was the Appleton Estate Rum signature of orange peel combined with dark brown sugar and rich baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and hints of allspice) …”

I hope you enjoy the review which concludes with a few serving suggestions from none other than Joy Spence herself as Joy shared with me how she would recommend enjoying her special Anniversary Rum with a small group of friends.

 

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Cocktail Hour: Arctic Wolf’s Christmas Eggnog

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2016

Back by popular demand, I am re-posting my recipe for my special Christmas Eggnog. My recipe mixes Dark Rum and Canadian Whisky with Eggs, Whipped Cream, Whole Milk and Christmas Spices. This year my chosen spirits are the very flavourful tiki rum Lemonhart Original Demerara, and the classic Canadian whisky, Canadian Club Premium. This recipe of mine does require a baker’s touch get everything just right; but the results are so good that if you serve this eggnog on Christmas Eve, you will have all of your family begging for seconds.

lemonorig-e1388785628641Arctic Wolf’s Christmas Eggnog
(Four serving recipe)

Ingredients

3 Eggs (room temperature with the yolk and whites separated)
3/8 cup White Sugar (for the yolks)
3 tablespoons White Sugar (for the whites)
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
a touch Ground Cloves (1/16 tsp)
a pinch of Grated Nutmeg (1/8 tsp)
a dash of Ground Cinnamon (3/16 tsp)
1 1/2 cups Whipping Cream (chilled)
1 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Dark Rum (Lemonhart Original Dark Rum)
2/3 cup Canadian Whisky (Canadian Club Premium)

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canadian-club-premium-sam_2653Start with the Egg Yolks

Separate your egg yolks and your egg whites in two separate 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 the whisky
Make sure everything is mixed thoroughly

Next the Egg 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.

Then 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
Gently spoon the mixture into your serving cups
Sprinkle a little left over spice on the top of each glass, and enjoy with your favourite Christmas chocolates!

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eggnog

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Cocktail Hour: Arctic Wolf’s Christmas Eggnog

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #12: Monymusk Classic Gold Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 13, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeMonymusk Classic Gold Rum is produced in Jamaica by a partnership called the National Rums of Jamaica. The spirit is produced at the Claredon Distillery (also called the Monymusk Distillery), near Lionel Town in the heart of Jamaica’s sugar cane producing region. The Claredon Distillery contains a modern column still plant and a second older plant with two  double-retort pot stills.

brooklynitesam_2847While the vast majority of the rum distillate produced at the distillery is destined for bulk sales (much of it to Diageo), about 10 % of the rum distilled is set down to rest in American Oak barrels and aged at the NJR facility at Innswood, an older distillery which now serves as an aging and blending facility for Claredon.

Monymusk Classic Gold Rum was produced from aged rum from both the modern column plant and the double-retort pot stills.

Here is a link to the Number 12 Mixing Rum in my Top 50 Countdown:

#12: Monymusk Classic Gold Rum

“… The Jamaican pot still is in evidence as I notice camphor, some black licorice, a light menthol coolness, and a touch of brine-like saltiness. The flavours across the palate are true to what the nose had promised. Perhaps there is a touch more sweetness and perhaps a little stronger oak presence than I expected; however the Jamaican pot still remains the centerpiece of the rum’s flavour. With an ice-cube the rum is very easy to sip and enjoy. With a light dollop of cola, it becomes a great bar-drink especially as the pot still flavours push through …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

 

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Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #13: Myer’s Planters’ Punch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 12, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeI was given a bottle of Myer’s Planter’s Punch by a good friend who had purchased it as a curiosity, and then subsequently decided the style was not to his liking. (Molasses-rich dark rums are not for everyone so we won’t hold this against him.) This particular dark rum is being distributed in Alberta by Diageo. It has been produced since 1879, and is apparently a blend of continuous and pot still Jamaican rums which have been matured in previously used bourbon barrels for a minimum of four years.

Myer's Planter's PunchThat is not the whole story, as my bottle clearly states (at the bottom of the label) that the particular bottle which I was given has been blended with Canadian rum as well. For those who do not know, it used to be fairly common for rums imported into Canada to be blended with a small amount (about 1.5 %) of Canadian Rum (usually produced at the Hiram Walker Distillery) in order to obtain a more favourable tax rate from the Canadian Government. I have been told that this small amount of Canadian Rum does not change the flavour profile, although the skeptic inside me forces me to mention the Canadian content just in case the Myer’s Planters’ Punch does taste slightly different in other markets.

Here is a link to the Number 13 Mixing Rum in my countdown of the 50 best:

#13: Myer’s Planters’ Punch

“… the pervading presence of oak and wood spices which give the rum a depth of character I was not expecting. As noted earlier, the spirit is full of licorice stained molasses and rich baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon); however, the real character of the rum stems from combined effects of the musty, oily, tar-filled flavours created by the Jamaican Pot Still and the four years of oak aging. The rum mixes with cola easily and if you want a funky rum and cola bar drink, I suggest mixing at a ratio of 1:1, and adding a few drops of Angostura Bitters serving over ice …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #13: Myer’s Planters’ Punch

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #20 – Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 5, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeCoruba Rum is produced by J. Wray and Nephew who trace their history back to 1825 when company founder John Wray set up ‘The Shakespeare Tavern‘ in Kingston, Jamaica. By the middle of the century John Wray was distilling and blending his own rums (primarily for his patrons at the Tavern), and by the early 1860s Charles J. Ward joined his uncle, and they began to sell their Jamaican rums internationally.

Coruba Dark Rum SAM_2449In 1916, J. Wray and Nephew was purchased by the Lindo Brothers & Co. who also acquired the prestigious sugar cane estate, the Appleton Estate. Lindo Brothers merged the two Jamaican entities into one company, J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. In 2012, J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. was purchased by the Campari group.

In Canada, the Original Dark Rum is labeled Coruba Imported Jamaican Rum. The dark spirit is produced from is a blend of pot and column still rums that has been aged for at least two years in American oak barrels.

Here is a link to the number 20 spirit in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown:

#20 – Coruba Imported Dark Jamaican Rum

” … This Jamaican influence provides a bevy of character with the musty, oily flavours of the pot still. Combined with this is a mixture of molasses, treacle, orange peel, brown sugar and cinnamon spice, menthol, and vanilla all sliding across the taste buds filling the mouth with their rich flavours. Complimenting everything a light dusting of oak spice which seems to help bind everything together. When I mix the aforementioned bar drink I find the Coruba be particularly well suited as a dark Cuba Libre’ mixer as the flavour of the rum pushes through and enhances the cocktail …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

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Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #22 – Lemon Hart One Hundred British Proof

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeLemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the production of the blend had shifted to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada.

LemonHart_BottleRendering750_NEWTrue to its roots as a Navy Rum, the brand remained a Demerara blended rum with the bulk of the blend shipped from Guyana to the Hiram Walker Distillery where it was aged and blended with a small amount of Canadian Rum (1.5 %) for tax purposes.

The Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum is a full British 100 proof offering (57.1 % alcohol by volume), developed for the brand owner, Mosaiq under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master Blender, Mike Booth.

Here is a link to the number 22 spirit in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown:

#22 – Lemon Hart One Hundred British Proof

“… I am quite enthusiastic about the Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum. This rum has a concentrated, complex flavour profile which combines a bevy of heated spice with rich vanillans, brown sugars and fruit. I found the rum was quite nice over ice, and that strong assertive spicy flavour also works great in tiki style cocktails as well …”

Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

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Rum Howler Annual Rum Countdown (Best Mixing Rums)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 16, 2016

In addition to my Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown, I have been working on another special project during the year that is 2016 as I have been building, tasting and rating cocktails in secret throughout the year. As a result of these efforts, my annual 2016 Christmas Season Rum Countdown is going to be a little different from years past.

rum-fun-sam_2865

royaloakRather than building a list of the best premium rums this year, my Rum Howler year-end list will feature the very best rums (which I have tasted) which all of us love to serve in cocktails. (Those mixed drinks included the Rum Old Fashioned, the Cuba Libre, the Mojito, and the Daiquiri as well as libations specific to the class of rum I was rating.) Not only does my year-end rum list feature a completely different selection od spirits this year, it is also larger than ever with 50 spirits included for your cocktail enjoyment.

It is my intention that this list represents only those rums we love to mix. Therefore, all of the rums on this list would carry an age statement of less than 5 years. Additionally, if the rum was blended from spirit of different ages, then I used my best judgement to exclude any rum which would carry an average age of 5 or more years. Finally I also excluded any spirit which was marketed as a premium sipping rum. (Just to be clear, although these are all ‘Mixing Rums’, the truth is that many are just fine on their own as sippers giving the rum connoisseur the best of both worlds.)

As with any such list, there is always that one spirit which just missed being included. In this case it is Angostura Royal Oak Select Rum which landed in the #51 spot. And so today, as a sort of prequel to my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown, I thought I would re-introduce you all to this fine rum from Angostura:

#51 Mixing Rum of 2016: Angostura Royal Oak Select Rum

“… I mixed a few bar drinks in my examinations beginning with the quintessential cocktail for a young amber rum, the Cuba Libre’. I followed that up with a Rum and Ginger cocktail and then a simple Daiquiri. Although all of the cocktails tasted nice, strangely enough I preferred the daiquiri. Of course, when I referred to my original review of this rum which I wrote almost five years ago, I saw that I had come to the same conclusion …”

Please enjoy my review of the Angostura Royal Oak Select Rum, and stay tuned for my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rum Countdown!

The reveal begins on November 21st, Chimo!

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Review: Monymusk Classic Gold Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 27, 2016

classic-gold-bottle-750mlMonymusk Classic Gold Rum is produced in Jamaica by a new partnership called the National Rums of Jamaica. The spirit is produced at the Claredon Distillery (also called the Monymusk Distillery), near Lionel Town in the heart of Jamaica’s sugar cane producing region.

For those who are interested, National Rums of Jamaica (NRJ) is a partnership between three separate entities, the National Sugar Company of Jamaica (which is owned by the Jamaican Government), Goddard Enterprises (which is the parent company of the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados), and Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) (the makers of El Dorado Rum in Guyana, South America). National Rums of Jamaica owns 73 % of the Claredon Distillery; the other 27 % is apparently owned by Diageo who have historic ties to Jamaica which is the original home of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum.

Monymusk Classic Gold Rum was produced from aged rum from both the modern column plant and the double-retort pot stills. This is a non age stated rum, but my best guess based upon my tasting notes, would be that it is a blend of 2 to 5-year-old rums. This new dark rum has recently been released in Ontario (distrinbuted by Woodman Wines and Spirits), and is available though regular LCBO outlets.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Monymusk Classic Gold Rum

“… The breezes bring me scents of molasses/licorice stained caramel combined with the rich aromas of Jamaican pot still rum. Orange peel, rich baking spice (vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of cloves), hints of resin-like camphor, hints of menthol, and a light but firm impression of wood spice all leap into the air giving the rum a rich and inviting nose …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a classic cocktail suggestion from the Stork Club Bar Book. Chimo!

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(For those interested, I found this great article online written by Cocktail Wonk, which describes his tour of the Monymusk facility.)

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