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Posts Tagged ‘Rum Review’

Review: Dictador Amber 100 Month Aged Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 15, 2016

rum_amber_100Dictador is produced in Colombia on the Caribbean coast at Cartagena de Indias City. Rather than being produced from molasses, the rum is produced from the virgin honey of sugar cane. Interestingly, the choice of the distillery to use sugar cane honey rather than molasses is based upon a peculiarity of Colombian government policy. It seems that the country has mandated that automobiles in Colombia must use a certain percentage of biofuels in conjunction with gasoline as their fuel source. As molasses is the most readily available source of biofuel, almost all molasses produced in Columbia is earmarked for biofuel production. This means that the folks at Dictador Rum have little choice but to produce and use their own sugar cane honey for rum production.

Recently Dictador released what they call their 100 Month Series which includes four new rums all aged for 100 months. Unlike the more premium Dictador Solero Aged Rums, the 100 month series is meant to be a gateway series consisting of spirits which are meant to be embraced both as entry-level sipping rums as well as cocktail spirits.

The Dictador Amber 100 Month Aged rum is the flagship of the series. It is a continuous column still rum which was aged in ex-bourbon oak barrels. The final rum is said to be decanted by gravity to preserve its rich colour, and then bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Dictador Amber 100 Month Aged Rum

“… The breezes above the glass reveal a nice mixture of oak and butterscotch with spicy accents of cinnamon, orange peel, and tobacco. Fine oak spices build up just a little, and soon vanilla and other baking spices (allspice, cloves and nutmeg) have joined in. The rum is pleasant to nose …”

Please enjoy my latest rum review.

Chimo!

 

 

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

Review: Bacardi Gold Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 27, 2016

Bacardi GoldIn 1862, Facundo Bacardi and his brother José bought the Santiago de Cuba Distillery and began to distill what would become the most popular commercial rum in the world. Using a method of charcoal filtering, and oak barrel aging  along with a still of copper and cast iron, Facundo Bacardi created a smoother more refined version of the locally made rum. His smoother version of the spirit became local favourite, and over time, an international sensation.

The Bacardi Gold Rum is  produced using column still distillation and oak barrel aging (for one to two years). 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. Along with Bacardi Superior White Rum, this spirit forms the backbone of Bacardi’s portfolio of brands which includes more than 200 different labels.

Here is a link to my latest review:

Review: Bacardi Gold Rum

“… The rum translates well from nose to palate. Leading out is a soft butterscotch flavour melded with banana and orange peel with a smattering of oak, cardamom and ginger spices following. Almond and vanilla ride along with hints of brown sugar spice and cinnamon …”

Please enjoy the review!

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Review: Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 Anos

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 16, 2016

Abuelo Anos 7Ron Abuelo Rum is produced by Varela Hermanos SA in Panama, Central America. This company has a history which dates back to 1908 when Don José Varela Blanco launched the first sugar mill in the then recently formed Republic of Panama. In 1935, the site began to distill sugar cane juice for the production of various kinds of spirits. Now today, the company produces an impressive array of products which includes over one million boxes of spirits and of course a strong variety of rums. The Ron Abuelo brand is just one brand from this wide assortment.

According to the website, the Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 Anos is produced from molasses and aged for 7 years in white oak bourbon casks.

Here is a link to my latest rum review:

Review: Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 Anos

“… Dark brown sugary baking spices have evolved with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and hints of clove. There is also an impression of pecans. The menagerie reminds me of the smells of cinnamon buns baking in the oven. Hints of orange marmalade rise up as well …”

Please enjoy may review of this Panamanian Rum!

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Review: Flor de Caña Centenario 18

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 7, 2016

fdc-18Flor 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 led 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.

Recently, the entire Flor de Caña line-up has received a make-over with splashy new bottle designs. Part of this redesign was the elimination of a definitive age statement upon the new labels. Correspondence with the company indicates that the Company wanted to modernize the bottle presentation; but they maintain that no changes to the flavour profile of their rums has occurred. Further persistence on my part has revealed however that the age profile of their rums has indeed changed. Coinciding with the bottle modernization was a new blending regimen. In the previous iteration of the Flor de Caña Centenario 18 Year Old Rum, the entire contents of the bottle were stated to be a minimum of 18 years old. The new bottling however, the Flor de Caña Centenario 18 is now blended to an average age of 18 years. It is a subtle, but meaningful difference which strongly implies that the brand is across the board is younger than it was before.

I decided that it would not be a bad idea to investigate the newest iteration, and I shall begin the review with a brand new bottle of Flor de Caña Centenario 18.

Here is a link to my first new Rum Review of 2016:

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. I can taste a ribbon of orange peel and vanilla and a growing impression of marzipan …”

Please enjoy my review!

Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 15 thru 11

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 14, 2015

Millonario Sistema Solera 15 Reserva EspecialThe next 5 great rums in my countdown of the Best Rums of 2015 demonstrate a growing trend upon my website. Rums from South America are beginning to dominate the landscape of premium rum. Three of the next five rums are South American, one from Peru (Ron Millonario), one from Colombia (Juan Santos), and one from Guyana (El Dorado). It could be argued that there is a fourth South American Rum on the list as Pusser’s Navy Rum, although blended from rums of various Caribbean countries, receives the lion’s share of its taste characteristic from the giant wooden double pot stills of Demerara Distillers in Guyana, South America as well.

In fact, when I look over my list of top 25 Rums for 2015, over 50% of the rums I have selected are from South America. That’s quite a high percentage considering that 10 years ago I had never even tasted a single rum produced from the southern continent.

Here are the next five wonderful cane spirits in my listing of the Best 25 Rums of 2015:

15) Ron Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial 
14)  Pusser’s 15 Year Old Navy Rum (Nelson’s Blood)
13) Rum Nation Caroni 1998 (Bottled in 2014 @ 55%) 
12)  Juan Santos 21 Yr Antigua Reserva Rum
11)  El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum 

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

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The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 20 thru 16

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2015

This posting will help catch up my Top Rums of 2015 Countdown with the other two countdowns currently underway, The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits Countdown and the Rum Howler 2015 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies.

I thought at this time that I should make one thing clear to everyone. Whereas my 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown is a compilation of the best spirits I have ever tasted, the 2015 Top 25 Rum and Canadian Whisky Countdowns are compilations of the best spirits (in those categories) which I have both tasted and which are currently available in the year 2015.

Pumpkin 23This means that the astute reader, when utilizing the various list to do their Christmas shopping, should take into account that my Top 100 Spirits list contains great spirits which are no longer available to the public. However, every rum and whisky listed on the Top 25 Rum And the Top 25 Canadian Whisky lists are currently available for retail purchase somewhere in the world. Some may not be available in your locale, but they are available.

Which brings us on to the next batch of great rums. Here are the links to the reviews for the # 20 through to the #16 ranked rums in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums:

20)  Rum Nation Panama (Aged 21 years)
19)  Pumpkin Face 23
18)  Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum
17)  El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum
16)  Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 15

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 20 thru 16

#20 Ron Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 5, 2015

Ron Zacapa Rums are made from sugar cane harvested in southern Guatemala, which is pressed into virgin sugar cane honey, a process unique to the Guatemalan style of rum production. This liquid is then fermented, distilled and taken to the mountains for aging, where the flavor of the rums is further refined through the premium aging process known as Sistema Solera.

Ron Zacapa XO 25The Ron Zacapa Centenario XO is blended from these solera aged stocks which range in age from 6 years to 25 years. These stocks were aged in special cellars more than 7000 feet above sea level. The solera barrels are a mixture of reused American Bourbon, Sherry, Pedro Ximenez wines, and Cognac barrels. The combination of solera aging and the wide variety of reused barrels creates a highly complex rum with a rich aroma and flavour.

Here is a link to the review of the #20 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#20 – Ron Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum

“… Richness and luxury ooze from the nose of this sweet nectar. 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 …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #20 Ron Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum

#40 Ron Zacapa Centrenario 23 Anos

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 15, 2015

Ron Zacapa rums are made from sugar cane harvested in southern Guatemala, which is pressed into virgin sugar cane honey. The fermentation process uses a yeast strain (saccharomyces cerevisae) isolated from pineapples to transform sugars within the ‘honey’ into alcohol. This fermentation process takes approximately 5 days after which the fermented ‘wine’ is distilled in a single continuous column.

Ron Zacapa 23 AnosAfter distillation, the Zacapa rum is transported to the ‘House above the Clouds’ in the Guatemalan mountains for maturation. Special cellars age the rum at an altitude of more than 7000 feet above sea level where the ambient temperature is much more stable and the oxygen levels are lower than at lower elevations. The more stable ambient temperature ensures that the aging barrels are subject to less differential air pressure between the outside and the inside of the barrel.

I should note that this version of Ron Zacapa Centrenario is an older vintage from the one currently available for sale. This version is labeled 23 anos rather than 23 solero.  The older vintage received a higher score when I reviewed it, and when I tasted it side by side with the newer version, I found that I indeed preferred slightly drier and less sweet flavour.

Here is a link to the review of the #4o spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#40 Ron Zacapa Centrenario 23 Anos

“… This is very rich and very complex.  Nutmeg and allspice swirl around vanilla and dark molasses.  There is also an earthy, oak filled taint to the nose which is most pleasing.  I think I catch hazelnut and pecans in the air as well, but then again I might be imagining that I can actually tell the difference …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on #40 Ron Zacapa Centrenario 23 Anos

#73 Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 13, 2015

Plantation 20th Anniversary Rum is a blending of the company’s oldest Bajan Rum reserves. These selected rums were first aged in the Caribbean (in ex-bourbon casks). Then they are transported to France to be blended by Plantation Rum’s Cellar Master at Château de Bonbonnet. The blended rum is matured a second time in small French oak casks for another 12 to 18 months. This “double aging” gives rise to a startling increase in both the body of the rum and its complexity, and is the signature of Cognac Ferrand’s Plantation Rum portfolio.

Plantation AnniversayHere is a link to my review of the #73 entry in my 2015 Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#73 – Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

“… The initial nose surprised me a little with its strong oaky presence and luscious smells of caramel and toasted coconut. Some nice orange marmalade chimes in as well as hints of marzipan and tobacco. As the glass sits, rich baking spices full of dark brown sugar, vanilla, and dabbles of cinnamon and nutmeg rise into the breezes. Then the oak wells up again and pours out of the glass. I love the aroma, and I could sit for hours just nosing the glass without taking a sip …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #73 Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum

#75 Pumpkin Face 23

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 11, 2015

Pumpkin Face Rum is a new brand of rum being distributed in Canada by Pure Global Imports. It is an ‘ultra premium’ Dominican rum which was produced in 1980. The rum was aged in oak for 23 years, however it was also at some point during the maturation process ‘rested’ in stainless steel vats for 10 years before being bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Pumpkin Face 23Just so we are clear, there may be additional benefits gained by resting a spirit in airtight vats; however, it is widely accepted that no further maturation of the spirit occurs in an airtight container. Pumpkin Face 23 is (according to the information provided) a 23 Year Old Rum based upon how long it was resting in oak barrels; the 10 years the rum spent in the stainless steel vats are not included in the age statement.

Here is a link to my review of the #75 entry in my 2015 Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#75 – Pumpkin Face 23

“… the oak spices seemed to meld into the chocolate caramel as the rum decanted. Rich toffee and tobacco aromas evolved from the glass with hints of treacle, brown sugar, and baking spices straining to push through as well. I sense whispers of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg within the toffee-like aroma as well as an underlying nuttiness which resembles fresh roasted walnuts …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on #75 Pumpkin Face 23

 
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