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Archive for the ‘Rum Reviews’ Category

El Ron Prohibido 15 Gran Reserva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 23, 2018

El Ron Prohibido is an interesting rum produced in Mexico by the same company which produces Tequila Corralejo. There are three rums in the El Ron Prohibito line-up, a Silver Rum, El Ron Prohibito 12, and El Ron Prohibito 15 Gran Reserva.

Although one might assume that the number 15 represents the age of the El Ron Prohibido Rum, this is not the case. The number 15 represents the number of American Oak barrels in the solera aging system used to mature the rum. Giving this rum a different twist is the fact that these 15 American oak barrels were previously used for maturing Raisin Wine. The Raisin Wine Cask leaves its imprint firmly upon the rum giving us a new flavour profile quite different from a typical Caribbean Rum.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: El Ron Prohibido 15 Gran Reserva

“… As I let the spirit breathe I notice the oak spices evolving with dark tobacco and even more raisins in the air. There is a rich decadence implied. This is not your typical rum, the raisin wine cask has left a firm imprint of it sweet flavour and aroma upon the spirit …”

Please enjoy my review of this unique Mexican Rum.

Chimo!

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Review: Last Straw Distillery Blackstrap

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 21, 2018

The Last Straw Distillery Blackstrap is one the few white spirits in the world actually made from blackstrap molasses rather than sweet molasses. One of the reasons there are so few is because blackstrap is much harder to work with than sweet molasses as the sugar content is lower, and the sugars are harder for the yeast to access. The trade-off is that blackstrap molasses gives a richer, more robust flavour when it is distilled. It took the Distillery about 6 months (of experimentation) to discover a method to obtain reasonable yields out of blackstrap molasses without sacrificing flavour.

You will note that I did not call this spirit rum. This is because Last Straw’s Blackstrap is a new make spirit which has not been aged. Interestingly, if the product were to be produced for the US market, it could legitimately be called a rum; but in Canada where we have stricter rules pertaining to the aging of spirits. To be sold in Canada, rum must be aged for one year in oak barrels. (This means that most white rums are aged in oak and then filtered clear before they are sold in Canada.)

Here is a link to my review of this unique spirit from Canada’s Last Straw Distillery:

Review: Last Straw Distillery Blackstrap

“… The initial aroma is what I call punky with light smells of resin and camphor. Very soon firm aromas of dark licorice, treacle and banana come forward as well as a bonanza of tropical fruit …”

Please enjoy my review as well as my cocktail suggestion, the Brooklynite.

 

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Review: Flor De Caña 25 Single Estate Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 16, 2018

Flor de Caña has a history of rum production which is dated to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The company was founded by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and today, over 120 years later, the company is still headed by the fifth generation of the Pellas family. It has grown to be not only one of Central America’s leading brands of rum, it is also one of the most recognized rum brands in the world. According to the company website all of the Flor de Caña rum is produced with molasses from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery in Chichigalpa. It is distilled in a continuous column still process, and then laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses built without air conditioning in an undisturbed environment.

The Flor De Caña 25 Single Estate Rum was named “2017 Best Rum of the Year” by the International Rum Conference in Madrid, and it sits at the top of the ladder as far as the Flor De Caña family of rums is concerned. This is a super aged rum with the number 25 on the label representative of the average age of the rums in the blend with some variation in the actual age based upon blending to a consistent flavour profile.

Here is a link to my review of this outstanding rum:

Review: Flor De Caña 25 Single Estate Rum

“… the breezes begin to fill with a wonderful menagerie of oak spice, orange peel, and rich caramel. The longer the glass sits the more enticing the scents and smells above the glass become. The oak, and caramel are joined by vanilla and baking spices which all combines to form a mouth-watering toffee. Those baking spices abound with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice …”

Please enjoy my review, Chimo!

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Review: Last Straw Distillery Blackstrap Rum (Cask Two)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 14, 2018

The Last Straw Distillery is Ontario’s smallest production micro-distillery located at 40 Pippin Rd. in Vaughan, Ontario (a wee bit north of Toronto) just off Highway 400 and around the corner from Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre. According to Mike Hook, the team at Last Straw Distillery come to the craft of distilling from a variety of different backgrounds, and surprisingly none have had prior experience in the beverage or alcohol business. They are self-taught, and developed their recipes in house, through research, and trial and error, without the use of outside consultants.

The Last Straw Distillery Blackstrap Rum is one the few rums in the world actually made from blackstrap molasses rather than sweet molasses. One of the reasons there are so few is because blackstrap is much harder to work with than sweet molasses as the sugar content is lower, and the sugars are harder for the yeast to access. The tradeoff is that blackstrap molasses gives a richer, more robust flavour when it is distilled. It took the Distillery about 6 months (of experimentation) to discover a method to obtain reasonable yields out of blackstrap molasses without sacrificing flavour.

Last Straw’s Blackstrap Rum is double distilled and aged for a year in a toasted new European oak cask. The rum contains no additives, flavours or colouring and is, of course, made directly from molasses in-house. Last Year I reviewed the Blackstrap Rum from Cask #1, this time I am having a crack at the Blackstrap Rum from Cask #2.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Last Straw Distillery Blackstrap Rum (Cask Two)

” … I sampled the rum from Cask #2 side by side with my previously reviewed sample from Cask #1. Although the scents and smells are obviously similar, scents of mushy banana and ripe plantain alongside some resin-like esters which remind me of camphor. And of course the telltale aroma of blackstrap molasses with hints of dark licorice and treacle …”

Please enjoy my latest review and my recommended cocktail, the Winter Daiquiri.

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Review: Flor de Caña Centenario 18

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 9, 2018

I am continuing my weekly step through the Flor de Caña line-up. Last week I reviewed Flor de Caña 12 Centenario which is part of their Ultra Premium Collection. This week I continue to move through the Ultra Premium family as I revisit Flor de Caña 18 Centenario.

Flor de Caña 18 is a well aged rum with the number 18 on the label representative of the average age of the rums in the blend with some variation in the actual age based upon blending to a consistent flavour profile. According to the folks at Flor de Caña this aged spirit is a sipping spirit however as you will see in my review, I find it is also excellent for high-end cocktails!

Here is a link to my Review:

Review: Flor de Caña Centenario 18

“… This is a clean dry rum displaying a strong fine oak spice personality. This spicy personality is tempered slightly with mild indications of butterscotch accenting the oak spice. There is a lightly bitter flavour of poplar sap and tobacco keeping the mouth dry and heated. As I let the rum breathe the butterscotch sweetness grows slightly in intensity providing a nice foil for the dry spicy bitterness …”

Please enjoy my review!

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

Review: Flor de Caña 12 Centenario

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 2, 2018

I am continuing my weekly step through the Flor de Caña line-up. Last week I reviewed Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva which is part of their Super Premium Collection. This week I move up to Flor de Caña’s Ultra Premium Collection as I revisit Flor de Caña 12 Centenario.

Flor de Caña 12 is a super aged rum with the number 12 on the label representative of the average age of the rums in the blend with some variation in the actual age based upon blending to a consistent flavour profile. According to the folks at Flor de Caña this aged spirit is suitable for sipping neat or with a splash of water or soda. I find it is also excellent for high-end cocktails!

Here is a link to my newly revised review of the Flor de Caña 12 with new tasting notes as well as with the latest information available to me regarding the brand:

Review: Flor de Caña 12 Centenario

“… I taste a nice mixture of treacle and caramel, flavours of oak and wood spice, an underlying presence of pecans and walnuts, and a very nice mixture of baking spices (vanilla, hints of cinnamon and clove, and bits of allspice). That orange peel I noticed in the air above the glass seems to have moved to a flavour impression of orange marmalade, and if you search for them, there are ample flavours of dark chocolate, espresso coffee and even cola which permeate the rum …”

Please enjoy my review!

Chimo!

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Review: Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 26, 2018

I am continuing my weekly step through the Flor de Caña line-up. Last week I reviewed Flor de Caña 5 (Añejo Clasico) which is part of the Flor de Caña Premium Rum Collection. This week we are stepping it up a notch as I examine Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva which is part of their Super Premium Collection.

Flor de Caña 7 is an aged rum with the number 7 on the label representative of the average age of the rums in the blend with some variation in the actual age based upon blending to a consistent flavour profile. According to the folks at Flor de Caña this aged spirit is suitable for sipping as well as for cocktails. (I concur!)

Here is a link to my newest review:

Review: Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva

“… The flavour profile of the Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva features a ribbon of bittersweet chocolate complimented by vanilla, dark caramel treacle and baking spices (nutmeg and cinnamon) with the nuttiness of walnuts and pecans laying underneath. There is a firm presence of oak, and within the wood spices are traces of oak sap and hints of green tobacco …”

I hope you enjoy my review which contains my recommended recipe, the Rum Old Fashioned.

Chimo!

 

 

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Review: Flor de Caña 5 (Añejo Clasico)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 19, 2018

Today I am continuing to step through the Flor de Caña line-up. Last week I reviewed their premium white rum, Flor de Caña 4 (Extra Seco) and today I will be revisiting Flor de Caña 5 (Añejo Clasico) which is also part of the Flor de Caña Premium Rum Collection.

Flor de Caña 5 is a premium aged rum with the number 5 on the label representative of the average age of the rums in the blend with some variation in the actual age based upon blending to a consistent flavour profile. According to the folks at Flor de Caña this aged spirit is suitable for traditional cocktails or to be mixed with soda. As you will see from the review, I believe it also has sipping potential as well.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Flor de Caña 5 Añejo Clasico

“… As the glass sits, the caramel and oak spice combine bringing me indications of toffee and baking spices (primarily nutmeg and vanilla with hints of cinnamon). I noticed bits or orange peel and marmalade, as well as a ribbon of corn whisky. A light musty grassiness winds through the rum, and I also noticed vague nutty accents which reminded me of almond and walnut …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with two delicious cocktails, the Cuba Libre, and the Autumn Daiquiri.

Chimo!

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Review: Flor de Caña 4 (Extra Seco)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 12, 2018

Over the next few weeks I am going to be stepping through the Flor de Caña line-up all the way to their recently released Flor de Caña 25. I am going to start this step through at the lower rungs of the ladder with the Flor de Caña 4 (Extra Seco) which is part of the Flor de Caña Premium Rum Collection.

Flor de Caña 4 Extra Seco is a premium white rum with the number 4 on the label representative of the average age of the rums in the blend with some variation in the actual age based upon blending to a consistent flavour profile. Although the rums within the blend have been aged, they are filtered clear making the spirit suitable for mixed drinks and short cocktails.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Flor de Caña 4 Extra Seco

“… The aroma rising up from the glass has a very gentle imprint of butterscotch with just a hint of menthol alongside. As I let the glass breathe I also begin to notice a few mushy banana-like scents, hints of grassy tobacco and the light spiciness of orange and banana peel. There is also a light astringency in the breezes which hints at oak spice and more orange peel …”

I hope you enjoy this review which concludes with my cocktail recommendation, the Canary.

Chimo!

 

 

 

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#Top100Rums of 2017: #1 – Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2017

Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum 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.

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.

 

Joy Spence personally selected all of the rums within the blend and created all of the prototypes. She chose two very particular marques of rums to form the heart of her Anniversary blend, a 35-year-old rum (which I like to believe pays homage to her 35 years of service at Appleton Estate) and a very special 25-year-old Pot Still rum which was representative of the characteristic Pot Still style of Appleton Estate Rum. Particular attention was paid in this selection process as Joy’s aim was to choose rums which displayed harmony between the well aged oak character and the underlying Appleton Rum spirit.

Here is a link to my review for the Rum Howler 2017 Rum of the Year:

Review: Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Rum

“… 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) …”

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We have reached the top 5 rum spirits of 2017. In mid November, I tasted each of the top 5 rums side by side to determine the final rankings. These final rankings may not absolutely agree with my previous scores when reviewing each spirit, but they do reflect my feelings regarding the relative merit of each rum in mid-November 2017.

You can continue to follow the countdown on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100Rums.

Alternatively you can view the list as it grows daily by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Rums of 2017

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