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.
“… 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.
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Appleton Estate, Jamaican Rum, Joy Anniversary Rum, Joy Spence, Review, Rum | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 8, 2017
The world of Rum was saddened by the loss of Thierry Gardère. After stating that he wasn’t feeling well and was having trouble breathing, Gardère passed away on Wednesday February 27 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on the way to the hospital. Thierry Gardère was the fourth generation of his family to direct the Society du Rhum Barbancourt, which is the company responsible for the distillation and production of Rhum Barbancourt. Thierry was described to me as a real gentleman and benefactor to his country. When I learned of the sad news, I decided to pay a very small tribute to both the man and the rhum he produced by re-visitng my 7 year old review of the Barbancourt Reserve Speciale 8 Year Old Rhum.
Rhum Barbancourt is produced in Port Au Prince on the Isle of Haiti. The Haitian company (founded by Dupré Barbancourt ) began producing rhum on March 18, 1862, distilling their spirit directly from sugar cane juice rather than using molasses.
Here is a link to my newly revised review:
“… I notice smells of banana, orange peel, almond, vanilla and mild oak spices. The light butterscotch and brown sugar notes move into those light oak spices bringing yummy toffee forward and a few scattered baking spices. The almond notes I noticed initially are moving towards marzipan, and the orange peel is moving towards marmalade …”
I hope everyone enjoys my revised review and the cocktail suggestion, Haitian Gentleman which follows.
(My sincere condolences to all friends and family of Thierry Gardère, as well as to the staff and workers at Thierry Gardère who are mourning his loss.)
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 8 Year Old, Five Star, Reserve Speciale, Review, Rhum, Rhum Barbancourt | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 3, 2017
In my part of Canada, Lamb’s is one of the most popular rum brands. The brand is owned by Corby, and they trace the rum’s history all the way to 1849 when Alfred Lamb opened his wine and spirits business in London, England. Apparently Alfred stored his rum barrels (which had been imported from the Caribbean) in his underground cellars which were directly beneath the Thames River. The cool underground air which did not experience large seasonal fluctuations in temperature nor large fluctuations from day to night is reckoned to be one of the secrets behind the unexpectedly smooth taste of his rum.
Of course the rum no longer is aged under the Thames River in Britain; but it does maintain its Caribbean heritage as the Lamb’s blend is sourced from a variety of Caribbean rums which have been aged for a minimum of one year in oak casks. The final rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume and sold as Lamb’s Palm Breeze.
I recently received a new sample bottle of the Lamb’s Rum and decided to revisit my review of several ago to see if I noticed any changes. Here is a link to my revised review:
“… I notice light smells of butterscotch, sandalwood and spice. It is the sandalwood and spice (rather than the butterscotch) which grows in the breezes as I let the glass breathe. I soon notice traces of white pepper and cinnamon as well as building citrus zest and banana peel …”
Please enjoy my review and the cocktail suggestion included, the Spence Cocktail.
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Amber Rum, Lamb's, Palm Breeze, Review, Rum | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 24, 2017
Chic Choc Spiced Rum was developed by Quebec based, Domaine Pinnacle to be the first-ever spiced rum produced with indigenous spices from the Chic-Choc Mountain region in northern Quebec. The spirit is made from blend of rums aged for 3 to 8 years and infused a unique mix of Quebec Nordic spices. These six indigenous plants grow naturally in Quebec’s Chic-Choc mountains on the Gaspé peninsula and include Peppery Green Alder, Pine Forest Spikenard, Witherod Berries, Lovage Root, Wild Angelica and Sweet Gale (aka Bog Myrtle). There may be other spices in the mix which compliment the nordic spices, however theme of the rum is natural flavours in a rum blended and spiced to be lightly sweet and lightly spicy.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… There is a peppery spiciness which runs though the spirit which fortunately is tempered by a light sweetness of caramel toffee and dark brown sugar. I taste vanilla and baking spices (cloves, cinnamon,and nutmeg) but I also taste a firm piny element which is reminiscent of those spruce boughs and pine needles I recognized in the breezes above the glass …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a new cocktail for your enjoyment, the Mountain Climber.
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum | Tagged: Chic Choc, Corby, Domaine Pinnacle, Review, Rum, Spiced Rum, Ungave Spirits Group | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 17, 2017
Merchant Shipping Co. White Rum is a ‘destination’ brand exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond stores in Western Canada, bottled by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 Kilometers south of Calgary).
The back label of the bottle states that the rum is imported from the Caribbean; however when I did a bit of digging on the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Control (AGLC) website I found they listed the rum as Guyanese in origin. This makes sense as Highwood Distillers have mentioned to me in the past that their rum was sourced from Guyana; however I could find no confirmation of this fact so perhaps we should take this information with a grain of salt.
Here is my link to my full review of this surprising white rum:
“… I taste a light butterscotch, mushy banana and very mild mint-like menthol. Subtle vanilla notes are present, as is that light pot still influence which give the rum some unexpected character. Hints of orange peel add a touch of spiciness to the spirit …”
Please enjoy my review which includes my recipe suggestion, the Merchant Daiquiri!
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: Highwood Distillers, Merchant Daiquiri, Merchant Shipping Co., Review, Rum, White Rum | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2017
Penny Blue Old Fashioned
Penny Blue XO Single Estate Mauritius Rum, is distributed in Western Canadian by Charton Hobbs. This spirit is produced by the Indian Ocean Rum Company which is a partnership between the local Medine Distillery on the Island of Mauritius and Berry Bros. & Rudd.
Penny Blue is a true Mauritian Rum, distilled from the locally produced molasses from the Medine Distillery’s home-grown sugar cane. According to the information provided to me, only 10,000 bottles of Batch #004 were produced. Thirty-four percent of the blended rum was matured in ex-bourbon casks, and sixty-six percent in ex-Whisky casks. The ages of those rums varied with the oldest being 11 years old. After blending, the rum is bottled at the Medine Estate.
Here is a link to my latest rum Review:
“… The initial breezes bring a yummy combination of butterscotch, vanilla, orange peel, oak spice, almond and leather. It is really quite nice especially as neither the sweetness of the butterscotch and vanilla, nor the sharpness of the oak and orange peel spice, nor the almond or leather dominate the breezes above the glass …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a nice cocktail suggestion, the Penny Blue Old Fashioned (pictured to the left).
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Berry Bros. and Rudd, Mauritius, Medine Estate, Penny Blue, Review, Rum, Single Estate, XO | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 3, 2017
El Pasador de oro XO is a new rum brand brought into Western Canada by Charton Hobbs. The rum is produced by Les Bienheureux S.A.S. (in Paris France) and (according to the information sheets given to me) is a blend ‘grand XO’ Guatemala rums aged from 6 to 15 years in oak barrels at selected Guatemalan distilleries. The rum undergoes a final aging process in France where the spirit is rested in used cognac barrels in the cellars of Les Bienheureux.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The breezes above the glass bring yummy scents of oak spice, dark tobacco, and rich baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla). There are hints of licorice and raisins in the air as well as luscious chocolate notes …”
Please enjoy my review of this outstanding new Guatemalan Rum!
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: de oro, El Pasador, Guatamalan Rum, Les Bienheureux, Review, Rum, XO | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 27, 2017
Embargo Ron Extra Del Caribe is a new rum brand brought into Western Canada by Charton Hobbs. The rum is produced by Les Bienheureux S.A.S. (in Paris France) and is a blend of two aged ’round and smooth’ Spanish-style molasses rums, one from Guatemala and one from Cuba, combined with a small amount of a younger French agricole rhum from Martinique (which is said to provide a ‘powerful aromatic kick’).
The spirit carries no age statement, however the information sheets provided to me by the distributor indicate that the rum is classified as an ‘Anejo Extra’ which implies approximately a 3 year aging period. It is my suspicion though, that this designation would apply only to the Guatemalan and Cuban portion of the blend with the small amount of agricole rum from Martinique being younger.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… I can identify both styles of rum within the blend quite readily. The Spanish rums within the blend bring a light butterscotch scent into the air which mingles with banana peel and citrus (lemon and orange) zest. There are hints of sandalwood and ginger, as well as light impressions of warm toast, vanilla and almond. The agricole rum from Martinique brings an herbal quality into the breezes with a light menthol scent, wisps of licorice and cinnamon, bits of heather and hints of resin-like camphor …”
Please enjoy my review of this new (and very interesting) rum from Les Bienheureux.
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Charton Hobbs, Del Caribe, Embargo, Extra, Les Bienheureux, Review, Rhum, Ron, Rum | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 13, 2017
This past year was a busy time for the Rum Howler as I not only wrote and published many new reviews, I also spent a great deal of time re-examining many of the rum spirits which I had previously reviewed. This work was done with the aim of providing my readers with specific lists they could use to help them choose the appropriate rum for their particular needs.
During the past year I examined and ranked all of the Spiced Rums I owned. I also built cocktails all year round to determine a ranking of the 50 Best Mixing Rums (a few internet trolls are unhappy with that term; so if you like, you can call them the ‘Best Young Cocktail Rums‘) I have tasted as well. Finally, I also combed through my reviews and determined what I believe are the 50 Best Rums of 2016.(Admittedly there is overlap in these three lists.)
Rum Old Fashioned
All this work done throughout the year meant that for this year’s Rum Howler Awards, I had the luxury of having already compiled the necessary lists which recognized the best rums in various categories:
To determine my Rum Howler Award Winners, I merely had to examine these lists, determine which of the rums on each list had been tasted at some point in the past two years, and then select the best spirit for each of my categories.
It is time for me to bring forward my 2017 Rum Howler Awards Winners. These are the spirits which have risen to the top and provided me with my greatest enjoyment.
Here is a link to my 2017 Award winners for the excellence in the production of Rum:
Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 2017, Review, Rum, Rum Howler Awards | 3 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 24, 2016
Rum Nation has been delighting me over the past few years with their fresh approach to the spirit we enjoy as rum. Fabio Rossi, who owns and manages the company, purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas, and provides a rather unique assortment of rare limited edition rum bottlings to both the European, and the North American market. Up until recently, all of Fabio’s rums have been well aged wonders.
Last year, Fabio went in a different direction entirely with his Rum Nation Jamaica White Pot Still Rum. In the case of this spirit, the dimensions of time and location with respect to maturity are rendered irrelevant. Instead, the dimension Fabio chose to explore within this rum monster, was flavour! While other rum companies are experimenting with 3, 4, 5 and 6-year-old barrel aged rums which are then refined and filtered with charcoal to achieve their smooth color free state as ultra premium white rums, Rum Nation’s new Jamaican White Rum is instead produced entirely without age. And rather than giving us a smooth refined ultra premium white rum, Fabio’s new rum revels in its brutish, concentrated (bottled at 57 % alcohol) Jamaican pot still flavour, and is anything but smooth and refined.
This is a new direction for white rum, and it is frankly a direction which flies in the face of current regulation in my home country which decrees that even clear white rum must see the inside of an oak barrel for one year. With Rum Nation’s new Jamaican White rum, it is the Jamaican Pot Still which is placed under the microscope for better or for worse. The result is a bold new style of white rum which has traveled in a direction that I appreciated so much that I have named it the Best Cocktail Rum in the World!
Here is my review:
“… what do we do with a rum which has so much flavour to offer; but one which also promises to do so much damage if you try to take more than a mere sip? The rum is simply too intense to sip neat, yet too marvelously complex to refrain from indulging. What I settled upon was a compromise, I decided would mix the rum into a cocktail; but I would follow the path of the daiquiri, rather than of the Cuba Libre. I was well pleased with the results, although as you will see, I had to make sure I adjusted my cocktail ratios to account for the sheer volume of flavour the rum possesses …”
Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you enjoyed the countdown! You may see the entire list here:
The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown
Posted in Awards, Extras, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: Mixing Rum Countdown, Rum, Rum Nation, Top 50 Countdown, Top 50 Mixing Rum, White Overproof Rum, White Pot Still | 2 Comments »