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Archive for the ‘Rum Reviews’ Category

Review: Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 21, 2017

It was in 1910 that the appearance of Haley’s Comet coincided with a total solar eclipse, and this event is said to have inspired Mount Gay to create their Eclipse branded rums. Mount Gay 1703 Eclipse Silver Rum is composed of rum distillate produced from both pot and column still distillation. Although this rum is clear, it has nevertheless been matured in charred white oak barrels, barrels which previously held American whiskey. The lightly aged rum is filtered clear and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Today (across ten US states and through parts of the Caribbean) another total eclipse of the sun may be witnessed by those lucky enough to be in its path. It seems an ideal day to revisit and update my previous review for the Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum.

Review: Mount Gay Eclipse Silver Rum

“… I found that the white rum displayed an inviting aroma to my nostrils above the glass. The scents and smells of light butterscotch were evident as was a firm presence of banana, a mild citrus zest, and a light minty aroma. As the glass decanted a vague grassy vegetal scent began to waft upwards as well. Allowing the glass to breathe resulted in a strengthening of this ‘grassiness’ which seemed to imply a more complex character than I may have originally anticipated …”

Please enjoy the Eclipse today whether it be the astronomical phenomena or the great rum from Mount Gay!

Chimo!

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Last Straw Distillery – Black Strap Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 4, 2017

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. Several months ago I was contacted by Mike Hook (one of the Distillery owners) and was told about the impending release of their new Blackstrap Rum. Mike asked me if I would be interested in receiving a bottle, and when I answered in the positive it was not too long before I was sent Bottle Number 90 from Cask One.

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. They have just landed their Dark Side of the Moonshine in a few LCBO stores in Ontario, and expect to have a new-make Blackstrap spirit (the unaged version of the rum) on store shelves this month as well.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Last Straw Blackstrap Rum (Cask One)

The rum has an enticing nose. I notice scents and smells which I have found to be typical in micro-distilled rums: scents of mushy banana and ripe plantain and some resin-like esters which remind me of camphor. Alongside those aromas are the telltale smells of blackstrap molasses with hint of dark licorice and treacle. Rounded out the nose are hints of orange zest, bits of cinnamon, and nutmeg. This is a very good beginning!

Please enjoy my review of this exciting new rum made in Canada, Chimo!

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Review: Captain Morgan Loconut (Flavoured Rum)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 30, 2017

Earlier this Spring I was sent a bottle of Captain Morgan’s newest flavoured rum, Captain Morgan Loconut. The product was described to me as a gluten-free blend of Caribbean Rum, Coconut Liqueur, Spice and Natural Flavours, and it arrived in a nifty scratch and sniff coconut shaped (and apparently scented) round rum bottle similar to the bottle used for the previously released Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast Pumpkin Spiced and Captain Morgan Cannon Blast  Rums.A

According to the Captain Morgan Press Release:

After blasting into the shots category with CAPTAIN MORGAN Cannon Blast, CAPTAIN MORGAN LocoNut is shaking things up with its new coconut-flavored shot which comes in a coconut-shaped bottle, smells like a coconut and yeah, you guessed it, tastes like a coconut. It’s the perfect shot to enjoy responsibly with friends, co-workers, bro-conuts, fun in-laws, very friendly strangers and of course, coconut lovers …

The spirit is bottled at 20 % alcohol by volume and I was told to serve the spirit chilled in the form of a ‘Coconut Shot’.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Captain Morgan Loconut

“… I found the breezes above the glass pleasant and inviting, firm on the coconut with a pleasant sweetness.  This sweetness does not seem intense or overbearing, instead it seems to compliment the firm sense of coconut. I spent some time inspecting the breezes to see if I could discern any hints of spice. I noticed very light hints of baking spice (vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg) … “

Please enjoy my review, and the suggested cocktail, the Chocolate Covered Banana.

Chimo!

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Review: Murray McDavid Nicaraguan Rum (2006) C.L.D.N.

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 19, 2017

murray-mc-david-nicaragua-sam_3026The 2006 bottling of Murray McDavid’s C.L.D.N.  Nicaraguan Rum was distilled in Nicaragua at the at the Flor de Cana (Compañia Licorera de Nicaragua) Distillery in 1995 and set down to age in bourbon casks. At some point in the history of this rum, several casks (perhaps seven or eight) were purchased by the private bottler Murray McDavid. These casks were chosen for their character, and at some further point (approximately 2005) they were re-casked in re-used white wine (Quarts de Chaume Chenin Blanc) barrels to undergo a short period of flavour enhancement. The final rum was blended and bottled in a Limited Release Bottling numbering only 1500 bottles in 2006.  Two of these bottles found a way into my possession, and I am pleased to review the contents of one of them and share the results with you.

Here is a link to my recent review:

Review: Murray McDavid Nicaraguan Rum

“… we are able to enjoy sweet scents of butterscotch, oak spice, vanilla, and a very persistent grape-like aroma drifting upwards into the air above the glass. As the glass breathes I begin to notice additional smells of Turkish Delight, and light but firm indications of dark brown sugar and baking spices (cinnamon and hints of clove) …”

Please enjoy my review of this interesting historical rum, Chimo!

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Review: Mount Gay Black Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 2, 2017

Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum was introduced in 2014. It is comprised of a blend of rums produced from both pot and column still distillation and aged in heavily charred bourbon barrels. According to the Mount Gay Distillery Master Blender, Allen Smith the Black Barrel Rum was specifically blended to give rum enthusiasts the best of two worlds:

“We actually launched Mount Gay Black Barrel in 2013 to give drinkers a complex premium rum that they could enjoy as a sipping rum or by mixing in cocktails, and it has become one of our most popular rums. It’s a small batch, handcrafted blend that has a balanced, but bold spicy flavor.”

Here is a link to my full review of Allen Smith’s Black Barrel Rum:

Review: Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum

“… I noticed sweet dark caramel and toffee aromas leading out in front of fruity scents of orange peel and banana. All of this is accented by impressions of light baking spices (vanilla and hints of cinnamon). Lurking within this sweetness are impressions of oak spice and ginger, faint hints of copper pennies and some mild indications of pipe tobacco …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with two very nice recipe suggestions, The Black Storm, and Crimson Cane.

Chimo

 

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Review: Appleton Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 25, 2017

Today I am concluding my trip through the Appleton Estate Rum line-up which was triggered by special tasting event in Edmonton hosted by Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum. At the event, the guests were not only walked though the main range of Appleton Rums (the Signature VX Blend, the Appleton Reserve, and the Rare 12 Year Old)  we were also allowed to sample Joy’s stunning new Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend which commemorates her 20th Anniversary as Master Blender of Appleton Estate Rum (see review here).

Appleton Estate Reserve Rum is the only rum in Appleton’s main range which has not undergone a re-branding. I am not sure why not, although perhaps it has something to do with Joy’s revelation to me that the Appleton Reserve Rum is her preferred rum for personal enjoyment. She loves all the Appleton Rums; but if she were to be stranded on a desert island with just one, the Reserve would be her rum of choice. Based upon this it is a reasonable conjecture that Appleton Estate sees no reason to tweak this particular rum blend, not even for the sake of a re-branding.

Although the Appleton Reserve Rum has apparently not changed in any material fashion since my first review seven years ago, I nevertheless took this opportunity to revisit the brand. Here is a link to my newly written review:

Review: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum

“… oak carries some obvious sweetness with vanilla and light baking spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) accenting the honeyed wood spices. Spicy orange peel and light aromas of the Jamaican pot still (camphor and resin, bits of menthol, and vague hints of tar) begin to arrive as well as a light grassy quality which has wound its way into the air …”

Please enjoy the review which concludes with Joy Spence’s favourite cocktail which she revealed to me in an interview in 2012. Although Joy’s Bio now calls the serving, “The Joy” (I suspect the Campari Marketing Team at work), I prefer the original name I gave the mixed drink when I first published it five years ago, The Spence Cocktail.

 

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

Review: Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 19, 2017

On March 23rd, 2017 I attended to a very special tasting event hosted by Joy Spence, Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum. Although the focus of the event was to introduce everyone to the new Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend (see review here),  I was also giving the opportunity to sample the entire family of Appleton Rums as part of the event. I acquired samples of each of the rums and today I am going to share my thoughts on one of my favourites.

The Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend is crafted in small batches. This is a true 12 Year Old spirit as the Appleton Estate website informs us that it all of the rums which make up this blend are each aged at least 12 years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Appleton Estate 12 Year Old Rare Blend

“… Dark brown sugar and toffee meld with oak spice, orange peel and marmalade. Baking spices in the form of vanilla, cinnamon, a touch of allspice and hints of nutmeg weave in and out of the oak spice with some nutty almond and crushed walnuts lurking just underneath …”

Please enjoy my review of what has become one of my favourite rums.

Chimo!

 

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

Review: Appleton Estate Signature Blend VX Jamaican Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 12, 2017

The Appleton Estate is located in Nassau Valley in St. Elizabeth which is part of Jamaica’s Cockpit Country. The Cockpit Country is a karst formation which was formed over millions of years as the underlying limestone was eroded by the chemical action of rain.  Within a cockpit karst formation are valleys known as Poljes. They are formed where a river floods, then recedes and forms a flat valley over millions of years. In 1749, within the polje known as the Nassau Valley, the Appleton Estate Sugar Factory was founded. The Nassau Valley has a special mild micro-climate which is ideally suited to the growth of sugarcane. As well, a water source wells from the limestone formation and provides an exceptionally soft pure water which used for the production of Appleton Estate Rums.

This Appleton Estate Rum is crafted from pot stills in small batches. After blending and aging the rums are ready for bottling. The flagship of the brand, Appleton Estate VX Rum was recently re-branded as Appleton Estate Signature Blend VX rum. This is still a non-age stated rum however, the The Appleton Estate website tells us that the Signature Blend VX Rum is currently a blend of 15 aged rums with an average of 4 years.

Here is a link to my full review of the newly re-branded flagship Appleton Rum:

Review: Appleton Estate Signature Blend VX Jamaican  Rum

“… Orange peel and oak spice dominate the palate giving the rum a lively mouth feel and the tonsils a little whack on the way down. Spicy wood sap is softened just a little by some vanilla and brown sugar allowing us to notice a ripple of apricot brandy, and a light winding almond flavour …”

Please enjoy my latest review which includes my latest cocktail creation, the Time Traveller.

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Review: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 28, 2017

sam_3048Pusser’s Rum is advertised as the original rum of the British Royal Navy. And it is a fact that for over 300 years it was a tradition of the British Navy that each member of the crew was issued a daily ‘tot’ of rum. This tradition began in 1655, and by 1731, the tradition of the daily ‘tot’ was in general use throughout the British Navy. As it was the ship’s purser who was responsible for issuing the rum, the tot of rum became known as Pusser’s Rum in a sort of slang derivation of the term ‘Purser’s Rum’.

Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum is new to the Pusser’s range. According to the producer’s website it is a traditional Royal Navy style rum produced at original Admiralty strength. Prior to the invention of the hydrometer, the ship’s purser shutdown claims of watering down sailors’ daily tot by mixing a few grains of gunpowder to the rum to see if it would burn. If the mixture ignited, the rum was ‘at proof.’ If it didn’t, the purser might find himself tossed to sea.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum

“… The nose is heavy with aromas of brown sugar, caramel and molasses. Within the brown sugary caramel I sense a building up of baking spices (vanilla, with some hints of nutmeg and cinnamon) and dry fruit (heavy on dry raisins and light on dates and prunes). Perhaps I am gleaning some wisps of black licorice and asphalt tar as well …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a nice cocktail suggestion, the Magazine.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Mount Gay 1703 Master Select

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 14, 2017

mt-gay_1703-bottle-no-box1703 is a significant year in the world of rum. That is because this was the year that Mount Gay Rum was first produced on the Isle of Barbados which makes Mount Gay Rum one of the oldest, if not the oldest brand of rum in the world. Because Barbados is situated as a gateway from the Atlantic to the Caribbean, sailors from the Old World often used the island as the  first resting point on the way to the New World.  This meant Barbados was ideally suited for trade between the two worlds in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.  Part of that trade was rum which is why the island is considered the birthplace of the rum trade.

The Mount Gay 1703 Master Select Rum is a premium rum blend which features aged pot and column still rum stocks from well aged barrels within the Mount Gay treasured reserve. These barrels have an age range of 10 to 30 years and feature the some of the oldest rums that Mount Gay has to offer in the areas of Craftsmanship and Quality. Apparently Mount Gay Master Distiller, Allen Smith personally selected the 55 barrels used within the Master Select blend.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Mount Gay 1703 Master Select

“… The initial nose is full of treacle and molasses tainted with tar and nicotine. Oak spice and orange peel begin to make their presence felt and soon dark brown sugar and rich baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon and cloves) begin to well up into the breezes. Wisps of dry fruit (raisins and dates) and bits of licorice stain the molasses while hints of spicy sap appear within the oak spice …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding Mount Gay Rum, Chimo!

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