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Archive for the ‘Rum Reviews’ Category

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.



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

2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: El Dorado Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 13, 2016

el-dorado-spicedThe Diamond Distillery sits on the East Bank of the Demerara River near Georgetown, Guyana (South America). The Distillery, originally attached to the now closed Diamond Sugar Estate, is home to Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL). A few years ago, I was invited by DDL and Woodman Wines and Spirits to travel to Guyana for a very exclusive tour of DDL’s facilities with a small group of Canadian Spirits Writers and Restauranteurs. Some of the ‘Heritage Stills’ I saw in operation at the distillery were over 250 years old, and they were still producing (as closely as possible) the same historic marques of rum which they had produced over two centuries ago. Superimposed upon the scene of ancient Stills and equipment was the dichotomy of a brand new distillation plant which had just begun to produce its own marques of rum side by side with the ancient historic stills.

El Dorado Spiced Rum is produced at the Diamond Distillery, and according to the El Dorado Website the rum is a 100 % Demerara blend which is  produced using natural spices (cinnamon and vanilla) and hints of citrus flavour. According to recent correspondence I have had with the folks at Demerara Distillers, all rums which are branded as El Dorado Rum are blended from stocks of rum which are produced upon DDL’s traditional Heritage Stills. (For more information on the unique Heritage Stills in operation at the Diamond distillery you may read my first hand account here (Diamond Distillery Tour).

Here is a link to my most recent review of the El Dorado Spiced Rum:

#9 El Dorado Spiced Rum

“… The aroma is richer and spicier than I remember from my review of a few years back, although the general profile of vanilla, brown sugar, cloves, and cinnamon is the same as before. Light notes of apricot and peaches reach the breezes above the glass as well alongside some quiet notes of orange peel and citrus …”


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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2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Blackheart Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 9, 2016

blackheart-spiced-bottle-shotBlackheart is a relatively new spiced rum from the Blackheart Rum Co, a whole owned subsidiary of Heaven Hill Distilleries. The spirit is bottled at 46.5 % alcohol by volume, and produced  from imported rum which has been blended with a hint of spice, caramel and natural flavors.

When I investigated the brand I learned the Blackheart Spiced Rum Company has recently introduced a marketing campaign featuring Playboy Playmate, Kayla Collins as the Miss Blackheart 2016. According to the company website:

“Blackheart Rum has teamed up with Playboy and selected the Playmate who has been named Miss Blackheart 2016! Fans voted and chose Kayla Collins, the Playmate who embodies the bold, bawdy, edgy and seductive traits just like Blackheart. We can promise she’s bold and brazen enough to carry the title!”

The spirits company has also teamed with Bellator MMA and is working with the inaugural Bellator MMA Dynamite 1 Light Heavyweight Tournament Champion, Phil Davis in a corporate partnership to bring more viability to the Blackheart Spiced Rum brand.

All that marketing is fine, what we really want to know is how the spiced rums tastes …  

#10 Blackheart Spiced Rum

“… The nose is tainted with hints of black cherry, cinnamon, licorice and indistinguishable peppery spices which accent the caramel rum scent. The combination is quite interesting and reminds me of Dr. Pepper soda (but not nearly so sweet which I hope bodes well for the spiced rum) …”


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

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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

2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Siesta Key Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 5, 2016

SAM_0469 Siesta Key Spiced RumDrum Circle Distilling is a small artisan distillery located in Sarasota, Florida. Their distillation system was crafted for the distillery by Christian Carl a German company which has been producing distillation systems for over 150 years. Working directly with Christian Carl, Drum Circle Distilling was able to custom design a small-batch copper still (which can be run as a simple pot still or with a side column) which they believe is perfect for making great tasting rum.

Siesta Key Spiced Rum is an interesting spirit. Founder (and Distiller) of Drum Circle Distilling, Troy Roberts, begins with his Silver Rum. Then he adds a bit of his Siesta Gold Rum (reviewed here) to the mix. Finally, he spices the resulting blend using real spices. Troy literally weighs each of the spices and tosses them into a tank of rum to infuse. He uses no corn syrup or other industrial sweetener, instead Mr. Roberts uses honey to add sweetness (and flavor).

Here is a link to my review:

#11 Siesta Key Spiced Rum

“… Here is a spiced rum that refuses to knock me over with vanilla. The sweetness which normally accompanies spiced rum is diminished as well. Instead it is those pumpkin spices which lead out onto my palate. The flavour is just aggressive enough to let you know that you are drinking a spiced rum, but not so aggressive that anything is uncomfortable …”


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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2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 1, 2016

Sailor Jerry SAM_2686Sailor Jerry Ltd. was formed when Ed Hardy and Mike Malone partnered with a small Philadelphia clothing store to make running shoes, t-shirts and other assorted products featuring the tattoo artwork of Norman Collins (Aka Sailor Jerry). Collins, who was also a writer and a poet, as well as a radio show host, is best remembered today as one of the great pioneers of tattoo art and culture.

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum was created in 1991 as a logical extension of the Sailor Jerry brand. At 96 proof it is a relatively strong spiced rum, and like the tattoo artwork of its namesake, word of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum has slowly spread around the world.

In fact, it is now one of the best-selling spiced rum brands in the world.

Here is a link to my new review:

#12 Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy Rum

” … What I taste is reminiscent of black cherry soda with accents of dark caramel, licorice, and vanilla. There is also a smattering of cinnamon and cloves, and some hints of nutmeg and allspice. This makes the flavour profile for Sailor Jerry quite different from most of the other vanilla enhance spiced rums currently in the marketplace …”


I hope everyone finds this spiced rum countdown enjoyable, and I hope you are following the rankings here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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Cocktail Hour: The Jerrycan

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 30, 2016

Jerrycan SAM_2690Spiced rums are not necessarily just mixing spirits for soda filled deck drinks (hey, I love refreshing tall bar drinks; but sometimes I prefer shorter more refined cocktails). One of the best examples of a short spiced rum cocktail is the Cable Car which was created in 1996 at the Starlight Room in San Fransisco by Tony Abou-Ganim. Tony’s recipe is based upon the Classic Sidecar; however the Cable Car uses Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum as the base of the cocktail instead of brandy.

When I recently revisited Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, I decided that this popular spirit deserved to be featured in a refined serving as well. Taking my inspiration from my popular gin based cocktail, the March Lion, (which was in turn inspired by the classic cocktail the Red Lion), I set about to make a such cocktail using Sailor Jerry as the base of the libation.

The result of my machinations was the very tasty, Jerrycan.

The Jerrycan

1 1/2 oz Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
1/2 oz fresh Orange Juice
1/2 oz fresh Lime Juice
dash Sugar Syrup (to taste)
Orange Peel

Add the first five ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass (double strain to remove all pulp)
Garnish with a thin coil of orange peel and a small lump of ice

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: Sailor Jerry enters my summer spiced rum taste off tomorrow as the 12th best spiced rum currently on my bar shelf.


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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 …”


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

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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

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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2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 21, 2016

Shipwreck and ColaRobert and Zachary Brinley founded the St. Kitts Rum Company in the early 1990s to blend and market their Brinley Gold Rums on St. Kitts and in the United States. It is the stated goal of the company to make and market the “best tasting flavoured rums in the world“. To that end, the Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum is produced using a rum blend which has been aged for four years in used American whisky and bourbon barrels. The rum is flavoured (or perhaps I should say spiced) with Madagascar vanilla, orange, nutmeg, clove, and other tropical spice flavors. It is blended as a mixing rum, but Brinley maintains that the rum is smooth enough to be enjoyed over ice.

Here is my Review:

#14 Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum

“… The nose from the glass carries an overt butterscotch sweetness combined with firm vanilla as well as a muted spiciness to the air above the glass. When I allow the glass to breathe I can detect a little of the oak accents as well as the presence of some sharper aromatic spices akin to cinnamon and cloves …”


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: Noxx & Dunn Florida Rum 2-4-5

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 20, 2016

Noxx And Dunn 245 SAM_2590Two years ago when Campari purchased J Wray & Nephew, they terminated the Appleton Estate Rum sales team in here in Canada. Then early last year they also terminated the long-term contract of Michael Delevante, aka the Rum Doctor. This meant that after 50 years of service as Rum Master and Rum Blender for Appleton Estate Rum, the Rum Doctor was able to team up with some of his old collaborators, and together they are bringing to the market an aged Florida Rum.

The Noxx and Dunn 2-4-5 Rum they created is made from a blend of 100%  Florida sugar cane molasses pot and column distilled spirit. These rums were aged for 2, 4 and 5 years in the sub tropics (in Florida of course) in once used bourbon barrels. Importantly, no flavouring and no colour were added. The colour and flavour of the rum in the bottle is completely natural and derived from the ageing process.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Noxx & Dunn Florida Rum 2-4-5

“… The nose is rich with smells of deep dark brown sugar and baking spices. Vanilla, cinnamon and hints of clove and allspice are apparent as is a relatively strong push of oak spice. Hints of wood sap also seem to linger in my nostrils after I have given the glass a good snoot. Bits of marmalade and roasted walnuts round out the aroma which has me very impressed …”

Please enjoy my review of this surprisingly good Florida Rum, Chimo!

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