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Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category

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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Review: Bacardi Anejo Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 15, 2016

Bacardi Anejo SAM_2626The Bacardi Anejo Rum is produced using column still distillation and oak barrel aging. The rum carries no age statement, however based upon its placement in the Bacardi line-up between the Bacardi Gold and the Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Anos, we can reasonably guess that the rums within the Anejo blend are between 2 and 6 years old. According to the website information, the final rum is further ‘shaped’ by filtering the aged rum through a secret blend of charcoal. This charcoal filtration helps to blunt some of the harsh flavour characteristics of a young rum giving it a smoother taste profile and less astringency.

The anejo rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my new review:

Review: Bacardi Anejo Rum

“… Sharp orange and banana peel follow with light notes of baking spice and vanilla. Although the rum has been filtered to remove some of its youthful astringency, there is nevertheless more than a few telltale notes of alcohol sharpness. In fact, based upon my assumed age of the rum, the rum is sharper and rougher than I expected …”

Please enjoy my latest rum review.

Chimo!

 

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2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 27, 2016

Captain Morgan Black SpicedCaptain Morgan Black Spiced Rum was released in 2012, and it pays homage to the story of Captain Morgan’s burial on the shores of Port Royal Harbour, Jamaica in 1688. Apparently (according to the information sent to my by the Captain Morgan media team) an earthquake struck Jamaica just after the good Captain was buried. His casket was dislodged from its tomb and washed out to sea. It was never recovered, and to this day it has been suggested that perhaps his spirit lives on haunting the seas of the Caribbean searching for his lost remains.

The Captain Morgan website tells us that this rum is crafted with Blackstrap Rum which indicated to me that the rum as well as being spiced has been enhanced with caramel/molasses to enrich the flavour as give the rum its darkened hue. The rum is bottle at 47.3% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my recently published review:

#13 Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum

” … Taking a sip, I notice the rum leads out with a spicy “candied” flavour. I taste cherry licorice, molasses and caramel, lots of vanilla, and spicy cloves and cinnamon. At first I was not overly enthusiastic, but I admit that over time the flavour grew on me. Although it is relatively smooth considering its high alcohol content, the Captain Morgan Black Spiced does still gnaw a little at the tonsils …”

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I hope you all find this countdown enjoyable and you can follow the rankings here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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Review: El Dorado Grand Special Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 23, 2016

El Dorado IndependenceEl Dorado Rum has recently announced the release of a new special edition rum which celebrates the 50th Year Anniversary of Guyana’s Independence from Britain. This Anniversary Rum is produced from a blend of rums aged 33 to 50 years, and finished with a soupcon of aged pot still rums surviving from El Dorado’s heritage Double Wooden Pot and a since-discontinued John Dore Copper Kettle stills.

The completed rum is bottled at 43 % alcohol by volume and presented in a distinctive crystal decanter adorned by an 18 carat gold collectible medallion. Only 600 bottles will be produced, each individually signed and numbered by the El Dorado Master Blender.

Here is a link to my review of this special Independence Rum:

Review: El Dorado Grand Special Reserve Rum

“… The initial aroma is rich and intimidating with dark caramel and treacle aromas rising laced with the smells of oak sap, tar-like asphalt and gluey resin. Wisps of dry fruit (raisins and dates) and hints of licorice and menthol mingle within as do a impressions of vanilla, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon. As the glass sits the complexity builds with damp cigar tobacco, espresso coffee and sweetened canned fruit (peaches and apricots) …”

Please enjoy the review, Chimo!

 

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Review: Captain Morgan’s Black Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 10, 2016

Captain Morgan Black SpicedRecently the media team responsible for Captain Morgan Rum in North American has began sending me recipe suggestions (as well as samples) for most of that expanding range. This is because Captain Morgan has been rapidly expanding their family of rums in the USA to include a new white rum, (Captain Morgan White Rum), three flavoured rums (Captain Morgan Pineapple, Grapefruit and Coconut Rums), and three spiced rums (Captain Morgan Original Spiced, 100 Proof, Black Spiced and Cannon Blast Rums). You can click the links to read the review for each.

This has given me a good excuse to review each of the new rums and to revisit some of those spirits which I had previously reviewed. One of those previously reviewed spirits is Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum. The Black Spiced Rum was released in 2012, and it pays homage to the story of Captain Morgan’s burial on the shores of Port Royal Harbour, Jamaica in 1688.

The Captain Morgan website tells us that this rum is crafted with Blackstrap Rum which indicated to me that the rum as well as being spiced has been enhanced with caramel/molasses to enrich the flavour as give the rum its darkened hue. The rum is bottle at 47.3% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my latest review for the Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum:

Review: Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum

“… The scent of vanilla is quite strong, and this aroma is accompanied by molasses-like notes of treacle, dark caramel, and bits of dark licorice. I also sense an overt spiciness of cinnamon, and cloves. As the glass sits, I also seem to catch a firm indication of cherry cola …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a new cocktail recipe, the Honey Badger.

Chimo!

 

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

Review: Dictador Claro (100 Month Aged)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 6, 2016

DICTADOR CLARODictador 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. Recently Dictador released what they call their 100 Month Series which includes four new rums all aged for 100 months. Unlike the more premium Dictador Solero Aged Rums, the 100 month series is meant to be a gateway series consisting of spirits which are meant to be embraced both as entry-level sipping rums as well as cocktail spirits.

The Dictador Claro 100 Month Aged Rum in particular was created to be a high-end cocktail spirit. It is a continuous column still rum which was aged (for 100 months) in ex-bourbon oak barrels. At maturity the rum was charcoal filtered to remove some of the harsh flavours and to make the rum more approachable in the cocktail format for bartenders and mixed drink enthusiasts.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Dictador Claro (100 Month Aged)

“… As I nosed the glass, a very gentle toffee/molasses rose into the breezes followed by a soft notes of sandalwood, ripe banana and orange peel. I allowed the glass to breathe for a few minutes, and I was rewarded with stronger oak spices coupled with brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla spice …”

Please enjoy my review of this unique cocktail rum.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Coruba Imported Dark Jamaican Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 31, 2016

Coruba Dark Rum SAM_2449Coruba 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.

When I did a little research, I was surprised to learn that the Coruba brand encompasses a range of rums which includes not only the familiar Original Dark Rum (which is the subject of this review) but also Coruba Spiced Rum and Coruba Coconut Rum. As well Coruba Rum’s New Zealand website also refers to a Coruba Gold Rum which may be in production as well. According to all of the different company websites, all of the Coruba branded spirits are 100% Jamaican Rum.

Only one of these brands is available in Canada, the Original Dark Rum (which in Canada is labeled Coruba Imported Jamaican Rum). The dark spirit is produced from is a blend of pot and column still rums that have been aged for at least two years in American oak barrels.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Coruba Imported Dark Jamaican Rum

“… The breezes above the glass are full of molasses, candied caramel and orange peel. Menthol, cinnamon, cloves, wood spice, mocha coffee and cola also taint the air above the glass with their presence. Allowing the rum time to breathe reveals additional accents of orange marmalade and rich vanilla …”

Please enjoy my review, Chimo!

 

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Review: Vizcaya VXOP Cask No. 21

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 9, 2016

Ziscaya Cask 21Vizcaya Rum is produced in the Dominican Republic for a third-party (the neck label says “Imported by Amex Spirits“) by the independent company Oliver and Oliver. Oliver and Oliver produce a variety of rum brands using distillate from various Caribbean producers which they age in their own warehouse facility. Many of these rums are produced using what is called a solero method which blends rums of various ages in single barrels and then continues to age them together to create consistent flavour profiles combining both the complexity of aged rums and the brashness of younger rums together in the aging barrel.

According to the Vizcaya website:

“Vizcaya VXOP is one of the world’s finest sipping rums. It is distilled in small batches according to time-honored rum making methods in which the fragrant juice extracted from pure sugar cane is fermented and aged in select oak barrels.”

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Vizcaya V.X.O.P. Cask No. 21

“… The initial nose is rich with caramel and maple scents accented by raisins and dates. Some orange peel and marmalade scents well up as do some luscious cinnamon bun smells (vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon. and roasted pecans). The only flaw in the aroma is a few underlying grassy notes and some alcohol astringency which each hint at a larger portion of younger rum used in the blend than I was expecting …”

Please enjoy my latest review!

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Review: Havana Club Añejo 7 Años

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 14, 2016

Havana thumbSometimes when I take the first sip of new rum, I close my eyes; and I let the rum show me where it belongs. This rum brought me to an old tavern, close to the docks.  The kind of place you see in old movies where the rum flows and stories get taller in the telling.  The place has an oily, tobacco stained floor. Cigarette smoke drifts up to the ceiling mingling here and there with the occasional smell of a Cuban cigar.

A girl sits on a boardwalk stage, singing slightly out of key, as the patrons in the tavern pay more attention to their stories than to her. A burly bartender, who looks like he can handle whatever trouble comes his way, wipes the sweat from his brow, and then with the same towel wipes the bar-top. He glances at me playing solitaire in the corner of the room and sipping the rum he served me. I had told him I would stay and pay him well if the rum was good.

He served me a soft oily, smoky rum called Havana Club.  I smile… the tip will be generous tonight.

Review: Havana Club 7 Year Old Cuban Rum

“… The nose displays a moderate amount of smoke which seems to subdue the aroma from the glass to a certain extent. Over time, molasses, dark brown sugary baking spices, dried fruit (raisins and prunes) and a lurking tobacco all find their way out of the glass and into my nostrils. I would have scored this a little higher had the nose been more assertive …

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

#7b Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2015

The 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.

Spanish Diplomat SAM_1677The 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 the review of the #7b spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#7b – 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 …”

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

Note: I admitted earlier in the countdown that I had to place two spirits in the #25 spot because I had inadvertently failed to re-taste one extremely good spirit, and this necessitated a correction and addition of one extra spirit upon my list. 

I have to confess that another minor error occurred which requires an addition. When I constructed my list, I made a counting error and halfway through the countdown I realized that I had one too many spirits upon the list. Because I felt the number 7 ranking in my Countdown caused me the most anguish, I decided to fix my error and score two spirits (a tie) at number 7.

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on #7b Diplomatico Single VTG 2000 Rum (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

 
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