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Posts Tagged ‘Rum’

2017 Rum Howler Awards for Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 13, 2017

rh-winner2017

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

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:

The 2017 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Rum

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Rum Howler 2016 #1 Mixing Rum: Rum Nation Jamaica White Pot Still Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 24, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeRum 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.

Rum Nation Pot Still Cocktail SAM_1458Last 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:

#1: Rum Nation Jamaica White Pot Still Rum

“… 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 …”

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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: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rum Countdown #2: Panama Red 108

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 23, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgePanama Red 108 is a Panamanian rum brought to you by PANAMONTE BRANDS. The rum is handcrafted by the creator of Zafra Master Reserve, Master Blender, Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez. It is produced from the sugar cane that grew in Las Cabras de Pese, the same region where the Distillery is located.

Panama Red 108Although the rum is stated as overproof, Don Pancho has assured me that the rum will feel much smoother in the mouth than a typical overproof rum. It has as its base, a 3 year molasses based rum which is aged in used Bourbon casks at the distillery warehouse in Pese.

Don Pancho was certainly accurate in his assessment, and his wonderful rum is the Number 2 spirit in my 2016 Rum Howler Top 50 Mixing Rum Countdown. Here is my original review:

#2: Panama Red 108

“…  After just a few sips, the rum has heated the mouth with orange peel spiciness, and then I began to notice the baking spices building. The longer I allowed the glass to decant, the richer and more complex the flavour became as the baking spices continued to build in the glass to the benefit of my palate …”

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Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I will be revealing my choice for the Number 1 Cocktail Rum in the entire world, stay tuned!

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

Posted in Awards, Extras, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2016 Top 50 Mixing Rum Countdown #3: Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 22, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgePineapple Rum was quite a popular delicacy in the 19th century. In fact, in Charles Dickens first serial novel The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (published in 19 monthly magazine instalments, from March 1836 to October 1837), Pineapple Rum is the preferred tipple of the fictitious Reverend Stiggins, who while publicly preaching temperance, secretly enjoys his pineapple rum, usually mixed with hot tea.

Fancy Autumn Pineapple SAM_2737Alexander Gabriel (President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand) in collaboration with Dave Wondrich (cocktail guru and author of Imbibe) researched the original recipes of Pineapple Rum, and then set about to re-create this lost libation.

The collaboration was an unmitigated success and their Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum has roared up my list to grab the honour of being the 3rd best Mixing Rum in my 2016 Countdown.

Here is a link to my recent review:

#3: Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum

“… Alexandre Gabriel and Dave Wondrich created this spirit with and eye towards cocktails, and so I thought I would try my hand at mixing one. With the pineapple accent so obvious within the rum, I decided that pairing that flavour with lime make the most sense. I added a bit of Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, a dash of bitters and a touch of sugar syrup and shook it over ice. The result was wonderful …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

 

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #4: Noxx & Dunn Florida Rum 2-4-5

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeTwo 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.

Noxx And Dunn 245 SAM_2590The 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 the Number 4 Mixing Rum in my 2016 Mixing Rum Countdown:

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

“… The rum is a natural for a rum and cola bar drink. I would go heavy on the rum and light on the cola to give the libation a delicious kick of oaky rum flavour. But I sense more versatility than that and a Rum Old Fashioned is certainly not out of the question. This Noxx and Dunn Rum even has the strength and character to stand up to a sweetened liqueur …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

 

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #5: Brugal Titanium

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeThe Brugal Distillery was founded in 1888, by Andrés Brugal Montaner. Over the next one hundred and twenty years the company grew steadily, and it is now one of three large Rum Distillers in the Dominican Republic. The original family which founded Brugal is still in the control. George Arzeno Brugal, is the current chairman, and most of the board members are direct descendants of the original company founder. In fact, the Brugal Distillery has become an institution in the Dominican Republic.

SAM_0972 Brugal TitaniumJust about every friend of mine who has visited this the Dominican Republic has a vivid tale to tell of their amazing bus ride to the distillery, and another tale to tell of how much fun it was to sample the Brugal Rum. Brugal Titanium Rum is a triple distilled premium white rum produced primarily for the domestic market (and in parts of Europe) as a high-end cocktail spirit meant to compete with ultra premium Vodka.

Here is a link to the Number 5 Mixing Rum in my 2016 Countdown of the World’s Best:

#5: Brugal Titanium Rum

“… I begin by mixing a daiquiri. Delicious is an understatement as this is one of the best daiquiris I have had in quite a while. Next I moved to a mojito and my sentiments remain the same. Each of the cocktails seem to carry a ‘refined’ quality which I usually encounter only in the best white spirits. Again I find the Titanium spirit implies the refinement of a great vodka; yet it also carries the charm (and flavour) of quality white rum …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

 

 

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #6: Lemon Hart Demerara 151 Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeLemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the rum was no longer being produced in England, rather the blend was being produced at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada.

Hart BreakerIt was during this time that Lemon Hart 151 Demerara Rum became a relatively famous cocktail rum. In fact, the rum is called for by name in many of Trader Vic’s and Don the Beachcomber’s tiki recipes. The rum is a 100 % Guyanese rum blend with rum distilled and aged in Guyana. It is currently bottled in Canada by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) for the brand owner Mosaiq.

Here is a link to the Number 6 Mixing Rum in the Rum Howler Countdown of the 50 Best:

#6: Lemon Hart Demerara 151 Rum

“… I decided to try a few cocktail recipes to see for myself what all the fuss is all about. I started with a recipe, the Guyana Zombie …   I followed this up with my recipe, the Hart Breaker …  It was in these cocktails that I really found a soft spot for the Lemon Hart 151 Demerara Rum. Both cocktails were extremely nice, (although I admit the Guyana Zombie gives your tonsils a nice swift kick on the way down) …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

Posted in Awards, Extras, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #7: Harbour Rum (Yongehurst Distillery)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeThe Yongehurst Distillery is a brand new Micro-Distillery located at 346 Westmoreland Ave near Dupont and Dovercourt in Toronto, Ontario. The facility is owned by long-time friends, Rocco Panacci and John-Paul Sacco who are making what just might be Toronto’s first micro-distilled rum upon their brand new small pot/column combination still.

Yongehurst DaiquiriSAM_2708And this rum is extremely good. In fact when I reviewed it earlier this year, I was blown away by the rich Jamaican-like pot still flavours which permeated both the aroma and the flavour. This rum that Yongehurst is producing is unique  as it is one of the first micro distilled rum produced entirely in Canada, and it is perhaps the first rum produced in Canada which is completely unaged.

Here is a link to the 7th Best Mixing Rum in my Rum Howler Top 50 Countdown:

#7: Harbour Rum (Yongehurst Distillery)

“… The flavours from the nose translate well to the palate with hints of cotton candy and mint playing in the rum alongside flavours of banana and citrus zest. A light herbaceousness is present with lemongrass and hints of heather manifesting themselves from the grassy aromas I noted earlier. Of course I wanted to try a few cocktails and working with that mint-like flavour I could sense both on the nose and in the mouth I started with a very short mojito-like cocktail. The result was well worth the effort and I was emboldened to try another serving in the daiquiri style …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #9: Momento Amber Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgeThe Number 9 spot in my rankings of the Best 50 Mixing Rums in the World may at first seem like an unlikely candidate, a young amber rum which is sold only in Western Canada by Highwood Distillers. Upon further examination however, the high esteem I hold for this rum is more easily understood. Although this rum is sold only in Western Canada, it is in reality a Demerara Rum distilled and crafted at the world-famous Diamond Distillery (think El Dorado Rum folks) in Guyana, South America.

Momento RumHighwood Distillers have purchased aged rum (probably one year old) in bulk from Demerara Distillers and then set the barrels of rum they purchased down to age for a further time at their aging facility at the foot of the Canadian Rockies. This addition aging in the northern latitudes (at high elevation) gives the final blended rum an additional layer of fine oak spice which just begs to be mixed in cocktails.

This is a countdown of the best Mixing Rums I have ever tasted, and Momento Amber Rum deserves its top ten spot. Here is my original review written 6 years ago (re-scored based upon a recent tasting) where I express my delight at finding this diamond in the rough:

#9: Momento Amber Rum

“… The entry of the rum into my mouth is very much like the delivery of a smooth and clean whisky.   Crisp flavours of sandalwood mingle with honey and caramel.  The additional flavours of a mild citrus oils  makes this just a little tangy and mildly sweet at the same time. The balance is very good between these flavours.  This is undoubtedly a Demerara style rum, but it is a laid back style of Demerara with a much cleaner body and texture than other rums I have experienced from Guyana …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

 

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

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown #10: Plantation 3 Stars

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2016

2016rum_howler_badgePlantation 3 Stars Silver Rum is relatively new white cocktail rum from Cognac Ferrand. In producing this rum Alexandre Gabriel (President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand) blends rum from three different Caribbean Islands in order to achieve the correct balance between flavour and character suitable for a cocktail rum bearing the Plantation name. These three Islands (Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad) are considered by the folks at Cognac Ferrand to be the three “star” producers of the Caribbean, hence the name “Plantation 3 Stars” was chosen for the rum.

plantation-3stars-bAccording to the media materials I received, each style of rum serves a unique purpose: unaged rum from Barbados provides aromatics and character; a clear filtered 3-year-old rum from Trinidad provides classical elegance and refinement, and the Jamaican rum provides structure and an unmistakable ‘funk’ to the final recipe. The Jamaican portion of the rum is actually composed of two Jamaican styles, an unaged rum which contributes to that Jamaican ‘funk’, and a small amount of very expensive 12-year-old rum which contributes just the right flavour component to make this a rum ideal for classic cocktails. Indeed the 3 Stars rum is, at its heart, a cocktail rum meant to add elegance and complexity to your favourite cocktails.

Here is a link to the 10th best Mixing Rum of 2016:

Review: Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum

“… I even taste some of that Jamaican funk that the creators of the rum were careful to incorporate (it is much more obvious in the mouth than it was on the nose) which seems to consist of orange peel zest, a light swath of oak and a certain briny/musty flavour that defies my ability to adequately describe. Overall the flavour is very delicious and very interesting. I made a few cocktails with my small sample. I began with a simple Daiquiri which had a noticeable earthy quality which I enjoyed. I followed that with a classic cocktail called the Celebration which adds rum, gin and grapefruit juice with Groseille Syrup to great effect …”

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Stay tuned for more mixing rum revelations as I will be adding to this list each day until Christmas Eve.

And you can follow the rankings by bookmarking this page:

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Mixing Rums Countdown

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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