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Archive for the ‘Dark Rums’ Category

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!

 

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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!

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Vizcaya VXOP Cask No. 21

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.

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#15 Glenmorangie Tùsail (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 10, 2015

Glenmorangie Tùsail is a member of the company’s Private Edition Range (the sixth in the series). The Private Edition Range features limited edition whiskies which are meant to bring a new or unique characteristic to the Glenmorangie line-up. In the case of Tùsail, its unique character is derived from the barley from which it is distilled, Maris Otter Barley. Maris Otter was derived in 1965 as a cross between two other barley varieties, Proctor and Pioneer. It is a two-row varietal designed as a low nitrogen barley with superior malting characteristics. Whisky distillers experimented with the Maris Otter variety briefly in the 60s and 70s as the grain was noted for its ability to impart strong robust flavour and character to the malt; however its usage as a malt barley for production whisky was widely discontinued due to its low yield characteristic.

TusailAlthough this variety of barley fell out of favour for production whisky, its strong flavour characteristic caused it to remain in high demand for premium products especially in the home brewing sector and as a key ingredient for traditional ales in micro breweries. Because of this strong flavour characteristic, Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation and Distilling, Dr. Bill Lumsden, decided the time was right to produce a premium Single Malt using the premium Maris Otter grain. The resulting whisky, Tùsail was created exclusively from this barley grain which during production was floor malted (by hand), distilled upon Glenmorangie’s unique high, long-necked copper pot stills, and then matured in a small amount of specially selected casks.

Here is the review for a wonderful whisky which arrives as the #15 Spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#15 – Glenmorangie Tùsail

“… The initial breezes bring scents of fresh-baked bread crust into the air pushed ahead of peppery oak spices. I soon begin to notice impressions of granola perhaps with a bit of Cap’n Crunch cereal along for the ride. there are hints of milk chocolate and a discernible nutty element which reminds me of fresh slivered filberts (hazelnuts) …”

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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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The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 20 thru 16

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2015

This posting will help catch up my Top Rums of 2015 Countdown with the other two countdowns currently underway, The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits Countdown and the Rum Howler 2015 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies.

I thought at this time that I should make one thing clear to everyone. Whereas my 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown is a compilation of the best spirits I have ever tasted, the 2015 Top 25 Rum and Canadian Whisky Countdowns are compilations of the best spirits (in those categories) which I have both tasted and which are currently available in the year 2015.

Pumpkin 23This means that the astute reader, when utilizing the various list to do their Christmas shopping, should take into account that my Top 100 Spirits list contains great spirits which are no longer available to the public. However, every rum and whisky listed on the Top 25 Rum And the Top 25 Canadian Whisky lists are currently available for retail purchase somewhere in the world. Some may not be available in your locale, but they are available.

Which brings us on to the next batch of great rums. Here are the links to the reviews for the # 20 through to the #16 ranked rums in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums:

20)  Rum Nation Panama (Aged 21 years)
19)  Pumpkin Face 23
18)  Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum
17)  El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum
16)  Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 15

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

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# 18 Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof Rum (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2015

Havana Club is a Cuban Rum produced by Havana Club International (a joint venture between the Cuban Government and Pernod Ricard) currently produced in two Cuban locations, San José de Las Lajas and Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba. According to tradition the production of the rum which was to become Havana Club began in 1878 when Spanish immigrant José Arechabala established Destileria La Vizcaya in the port city of Cárdenas, Cuba. The distillery remained in the hands of the Arechabala family and in 1934  José’s grandson (also named José Arechabala) apparently created the recipe for Havana Club Rum and began to market it throughout the world. However, the family lost control of the distillery and the brand when after the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the Cuban Government nationalized the distillery and company.

Havana Club BP SAM_1733The Havana Club Barrel Proof Rum underwent a rather unique maturation process where it is first aged in old white oak barrels, and when the final rum is blended, it is then finished in specially ‘selected’ younger finishing casks. I have heard of this ‘Double Barrel’ approach with whisky, but the Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof Rum, was the first rums that I know of which used older white oak maturation casks and then younger fresh oak finishing casks.

Here is a link to the review of the #18 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#18 – Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof Rum

“… As I poured the rum into my glencairn glass my nose was immediately swatted with a sweet toffee updraft.  Hints of cinnamon spice compliment the aroma, and I am very pleased with the complete lack of any charred or burnt notes.  This is intense, sweet and clean.  I let the drink sit for just a moment, and a pleasant liquorice aroma reminiscent of Sambuca enters the fray.  I even catch just a smidgen of raw oak sitting at the very back of the nose.  This is marvellous …”

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

Note: The Havana Club Barrel Proof brand was replaced a few years ago by Havana Club Selección de Maestros Rum. Although the Selección de Maestros is reported to be made from the same stocks and in the same manner as the original Barrel Proof Rum, whenever I have had occasion to taste the two brands side by side, I always have a firm preference for the older brand.

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 18 Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof Rum (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 25 thru 21

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2015

Ron Zacapa 23 SoleraI was not sure I would be able to complete my listing of the top 25 Rums of 2015 this year. This fall has been so hectic. My retail store where I sell sports and movie memorabilia has been extremely busy and the ramp up to Christmas was crazier than ever. As well, on my website, I embarked on the ambitious plan to countdown the best 100 spirits I have ever tasted. The Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown fortunately afforded me the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. As part of the process of compiling my list of the best 100 spirits ever, I was able to taste everything I needed to compile my list of the best rums of 2015.

I will begin my The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 25 Rums Countdown by revealing numbers 25 though 21.

25) Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera 
24) Dictador 20 Year Solera Rum
23) Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solera) Rum (Re- scored in 2015)
22) Dictador 12 Year Solera
21) Angostura 1824 (12 Years Old) Rum

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 25 thru 21

 
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