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Posts Tagged ‘Rum Awards’

The Year In Rum – (The 2015 Rum Howler Awards)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 31, 2015

RH-winner2015I have come at last too what is regularly the most popular posting on my website, my annual Year in Rum – Rum Howler Awards which recognize those brands  which have achieved excellence in the production of rum. For the second year in a row, sadly, I have eliminated the Regional Rum Awards as once again time simply has gotten the best of me, and tomorrow I must forge on into the year 2016 and leave 2015 behind.

This year, to determine my Rum Howler Award Winners I first checked my review scores in all of the categories of each rum I had sampled in the last two years and chose for each category the 5 top spirits based upon those review scores. Then I asked two friends of mine to rank each of the rums I had chosen within each of the categories. The only category in which cocktails were constructed to help assist in the rankings was for the white rums, and the cocktail constructed was a simple daiquiri. All other rum categories were judged neat.

I compared the rankings assigned by my two jurors for each spirit within each category with my review rankings and determined the Winner as well as the Runners-up and the Honourable Mentions for each category. The results turned out to be very consistent with my review scores although there are a few exceptions. No system is perfect, but I believe my friends and I did a thorough job with good results.

It is time for me to bring forward my 2015 Rum Howler Awards Winners. These are the spirits which have risen to the top and provided us with our greatest enjoyment.

Here is a link to my Year in Rum Awards Page:

The 2015 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Rum

Please remember, that the aim of my website is not to help you drink more spirits, it is to help you drink better spirits! (Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable New Years.)

 

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 1 – Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 24, 2012

Top 30Ron Millonario XOPeople always ask me, (when they find out about my website), what my favourite rum is. I usually hedge my bets and say something about how it depends upon my mood or what time of year it is. And for the most part, that is a truthful answer. Some spirits seem to taste better in the winter when it is cold, and some seem to find their sweet spot in the summer it is warm and the barbeque is grilling some hot dogs. But if I am really honest, I must admit that there are a few rums which seem to always find my sweet spot regardless of mood or time of the year. The Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial is one of those great rums which never disappoints me. It never disappointed any of my Judging Panel either!

So without any further hoopla, allow me to introduce the 2012 Rum Howler Rum of the Year, judged by my Panel of Judges to be the Best in the World!

# 1 – Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum

“…  When I took my first sip of this rum, my immediate reaction what to exclaim, “Oh, that is lovely!” and subsequent sips and samplings have done nothing to dissuade me from this initial reaction. The main flavours of caramel/molasses, oak spice and baking spices seem to be perfectly melded together. Hints of raisin, figs, tobacco and chocolate seem to provide just the right accent to make this a suave mouth watering rum …”

The rum has it all, great depth of flavour, wonderful consistency from nose to mouth to finish, and wonderful balance between all of its elements. I simply love it, and my Judges did too!

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Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Top 30 Rums Countdown # 2 – Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 23, 2012

Top 30Diplo ExclThe Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva has been on of my most favourite rums ever since I first tasted it four years ago. According to the Distilleries Unitas S.A. (DUSA) website, the rum they produce is distilled from “honeys derived from sugar cane” and fermented molasses. All of the stills and distillation kettles are made from copper. The website also makes it clear that flavouring and aromatic agents are used in the production of their rum, as this statement on the website attests:

“Only high purity distilled alcohols and rich aromas and flavours are used to manufacture rums…”

My feeling when completing a review is that the spirit should be judged on its own merits, rather than prejudged by my own misconceptions about how it should be produced. My Judging Panel agreed, as we declared Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva the number 2 rum in the entire world:

# 2 – Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva

“… The smells and aromas coming from the glass are so rich and luxurious that I can hardly keep it from my mouth. I detect a good dose of caramel with nice hints of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and walnuts. The rum displays a nice soft oil on the sides of the glass when I tilt and twirl it indicating that the rum should have long finish as well …”

This is definitely a favourite of mine for sipping and for mixing, and still three years after my original review, still one of the best rums I have tasted.

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 3 – El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 22, 2012

Top 3021yo-rThe Demerara Distillers Ltd. Master Blender is credited with the creation of El Dorado 21-Year-Old Rum which uses a blend of rums selected from their world-famous stills: their ancient Enmore (wooden Coffey still) and Versailles (single wooden pot still); and the metal Albion (Savalle still). All of the rums in the blend have been aged in oak for a minimum of 21 years, making this one of the oldest production rums in the world. This 21 Year old Rum is part of a family of luxury cask aged rums which also includes a 12-Year-Old Rum,  a 15-Year-Old rum and a 25-Year-Old Rum, all of which have previously set their mark upon my countdown of the 30 best rums in the world.  In my opinion (and in the opinion of all but one of my judges) this 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum is the absolute best rum that Demerara Distillers produces. It is also number 3 in my list, of the best rums in the world:

#3 – El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum

“… The immediate nose is full of baking spices, orange peel, vanilla, and dry fruits. There are absolutely no medicinal notes or harsh scents associated with the aroma. As the rum decants, I begin to sense glimmers of almonds and hazelnuts weaving through the tapestry of smells, and I sense a building oakiness which is bringing more spice to the fore. The fully decanted glass is steeped with brown sugars and toffee and even features a vague impressions of anisette and apricot brandy …”

Nosing the glass is delightful!

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Top 30 Rums Countdown # 4 – Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2012

Top 30Ron Zacapa XO 25Earlier in my countdown when I introduced Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solero), I spoke of Ron Zacapa’s  ‘House above the Clouds’ and the aging process known as Sistema Solera. It turns out that Ron Zacapa produces not just one outstanding luxury sipping rum, but two. The Ron Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) is blended from solera aged stocks which range in age from 6 years to 25 years. This rum, like its slightly younger sibling, is aged in a mixture of solera aging barrels which include American Whisky casks, and Sherry and Pedro Ximenez wine barrels. However, the difference is in the finish, which is where, for the Ron Zacapa Xo (25 Year Solera), cognac casks are introduced into the aging regimen.

It is probably just a matter of preference, but for the record, every Judge (including myself), on my Judging Panel, showed a slight preference for the Cognac finished Ron Zacapa XO which arrives in  the number 4 spot in the Rum Howler Top 30 Countdown of the Best Rums in the World.

# 4 – Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum

“… Scents of mild toffee and spice combined with a rich oak and vanilla aroma rise from the glass to the delight of my nostrils. There seems to be a light orange citrus weaving through the aroma. The spices I can identify by smell are vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg with just a hint of cloves. The toffee smells of deep dark brown sugar with the firm imprint of real dairy butter. The aroma has nice nutty accents tempering the oak and holding its harsher tannins at bay …”

A rum full of complexity with almost perfect balance and smoothness. A delicious, sweet rum that had my taste buds absolutely reeling with delight.

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Top 30 Rums Countdown # 4 – Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum

 
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