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Today we review a rum from the British West Indies (Barbados)—Pusser’s Rum.  For more than 300 years Royal Navy of Great Britain had their Pursers issued their sailors a daily ration (or “tot”) of rum. This was believed to prevent scurvy as diet restrictions on board were prone to cause the disease.  Sailors’s  turned Purser into “Pusser” and the daily tot continued until July 31, 1970 (now sometimes recalled as “Black Day”) when the tradition ended.  Per the Pusser’s website, entrepreneur Charles Tobias obtained the recipe and rights of the five-rum blend and formed the company on the BVI and started selling to the public in 1980.  The company donates a portion of the sale  of each bottle sold to the Royal Navy Sailors Fund.  Per the website, Pusser’s is now a single malt rum, uses no flavoring agents, and is mostly pot-stilled.  The bottle is Royal Navy Blue and Red with a blue-capped cork and British Naval Flag on the front.

Opening the bottle, the aroma  is strong but not overpowering.  The first neat sip is rich, with molasses coating your throat like a warm blanket on a cold night.  The 84 proof rum has a smooth middle with a  residual metallic finish from distillation. The extra 4% from most rums, brings a powerful substance to the drink and can be stout without being overpoweringly heavy.  This is a very good sipping rum, for those that like more “oomph” and mixes well with regular cola.  It may be a little too strong for most diet colas.  If mixed with fruit juices, it works better with a little less rum and more juice.  Which has an upside in that the bottle lasts a little longer that way.

I had little expectations of this rum, and was very pleasantly pleased. At approximately $25 per bottle, this is not a cheap rum, but a good rum for the price. The buyer needs to be aware that this rum will not be a rum for everybody as responses from friends and family varied greatly.  I give this rum  7and a half corks and slide it into my Top 10 Rums.

The Rum Quest continues.

The Rum Guy




Today’s rum tasting is a product from Spain called Dos Maderos.  This rich gold libation comes in a pleasantly solid etched glass bottle with the light yellow label marked “5+3”.  This is a very unusual rum, in that it is originally from Guyana and Barbados, aged five years in oak casks, then an additional three years in casks that held 20 year Sherry.  Hmm, quite interesting premise.  Opening the cork top to let the rum breather, you get a hint of oak and molasses.  The first straight sip was somewhat unimpressive, some fruit flavor, with a touch of vanilla, and spice.  The finish is very clean with a pecan overnote.  This rum mixes very well with both diet and regular cola, and surprisingly well with fruit juices.  With juice the pecan and oak were more pronounced.  At almost $40 per bottle, this is a high-end product.  Is it worth the price?  This rum reminds me of the hot girl you had a crush on in high school and tried to hang around with her and her friends.  After a few months of failure you begin to notice her little sister who is always annoyingly around.  She is not as pretty, or as well-built, but funny, and cute, and fun.  This rum is like that little sister, it grows on you after a while.  The first part of the bottle was going to get a disappointing review, but by the time it was empty, I had grown to appreciate the subtleness of the flavors.  Would I buy it again?  Probably not, bit I could see giving it as a gift.

We have not tasted a lot of product out of Spain. In the end, this was a good beginning for rum from this market.  I look forward to sampling more from Spain and reporting accordingly

This rum gets a solid 6 corks out of ten.

The Rum Quest continues!

–The Rum Guy

Appleton Estates XV Rum

Appleton Estates XV Rum

For some people growing up as the second or third (etc) child in the family, there was sometimes a tough go of it when following the footsteps of a high or overachieving sibling.  The neighbors, your relatives, school teachers, coaches, ad nauseum were all quick to point out how the older sibling was so smart, well-behaved, fast, quick-witted and “practically perfect in every way”.  It was hard to find your own path and pursue your own goals while having the looming shadow of the past around every corner.

Such is today’s review of the Appleton Estates VX Jamaica Rum.  Previous readers may note that Appleton Estate Plantation  Grand Reserve is currently listed as #5 in my Top Ten Rums.  So how does “little brother” VX Jamaica Rum fare?

 

Well, let’s talk about the bottle.  Pleasantly hefty, with a beautiful red and gold label with an embossed V/X the picture features a mule-drawn cart in front of a distillery surrounded by mountainous jungle. The label states the 80 proof rum is hand blended and also, distilled, blended and bottled in Jamaica.  The outstanding website states that all Appleton Estates Rum come from the 11,000 acre estate in the Nassau Valley of Jamaica.  The estate dates back to 1655, when the British captured Jamaica from the Spanish, and is mentioned as a rum producer as far back as 1749.  This is no new debutante at the party.

Opening the screw top and letting the rum breathe for a moment, then pouring it into a glass brings little aroma.  The first neat sip is unimpressive, a little cocoa and earthiness, a touch of oak with a dry mechanical finish.  Not a good sipping rum.  Mixed with cola and diet cola  it is merely average.  It does not blend well with fruit juices.  This rum is like going to the school dance and seeing all the good dancers out on the floor and you end up with a partner who is earnest, but not very good looking and has no rhythm.  At $25 bucks a bottle, this rum should hear that dreaded refrain, “Why can’t you be more like your big brothers?”

This rum gets 3.5 corks out of ten.

The Rum Quest continues!

—-The Rum Guy

Our Rum Guy has been drowning his sorrows once again based upon all of the sports book bets he has lost in the last few months.  Well at least when he hits the bottle to bury his sorrows, he opens an new bottle of rum and passes on his observations.  And here is yet another. He is up to over thirty such reviews, so if he is not an expert in the normal sense, he at  least has to be revered for his motto of taste, taste and taste again.  And now from the bottom of the gutter, his review of Mt. Gay Rum.

Mount Gay Rum Review of Mt Gay Black Barrel Rum

Pictured Above:   Mount Gay Rum Black Barrel

“We Are Family” sang Sister Sledge back in the 1970’s.  “ah,ah,ah, my sisters and me”. OK. I know this dates me, but who cares, it is what it is, so just go with it. Today we review The Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, part of the Mount Gay “family” of rums which include the Extra Old which was previously reviewed.  Mount Gay Distilleries began back in 1703 on the Caribbean island of Barbados.  Rum’s origins, while murky, are forever linked with sailors.  With voyagers trading around the world, Barbadian rums and  the island’s sugar cane became known for their superior flavor and textures.  The Mount Gay rums continue that tradition.  The Distillery uses deep underground water that was naturally filtered through coral limestone, then distilled further.  Their famous sugar cane is then turned into molasses and then, according to their website, they still use the traditional double copper pot stills for distillation.  Usually, the rum is then aged, which they prefer to use the term, “maturing” in charred white oak barrels that were first used for American Whiskey as well as blended.   The Black Barrel is said to be a small batch, handcrafted blended in heavily charred oak , hence the “black barrel’ name.

The bottle itself is clear glass, with a black and yellow label with the name quite prominently displayed and a hand-drawn map of the island of Barbados.  While the label is busy, it also advises of the source of the spring water used and the name of the Master blender as well as the type of barrels and how blended.  I felt knew what I was buying.

Removing the cork releases the aromas of the Caribbean, soft sand, palm trees swaying in the breeze, warm sun and easy nights.  This is a nice gold coloring as it slides into the glass.  First taste on the tongue is bold, and can be overpowering if not prepared.  There is a hint of spice, and vanilla, with a touch of fruit and caramel.   The finish burns a little due to the high alcohol content.  This could be a good sipping rum if you like strong rums and add a slice of lime on the side.   The  86 proof is stronger than most rums, and for some that takes some getting used to.  This rum slips smoothly into both regular and diet cola.  It works well with frozen Boat Drinks.

At approximately $30 a bottle, this is not a cheap rum, but it is a good rum for the upper-middle edge of the price range.   It is not as pricey as the Mount Gay Extra Old” but worth the cost. This rum gets a firm 7  corks out of 10 and is a welcome addition to the Mount Gay family, .”,,,come on everybody and dance…”

 Widely distributed, pick up a bottle on your own and compare…..I believe you will think the 7 corks is at least the minimum that this fine rum should fetch. Just do not let the higher proof creep up on you, especially if you are not on the couch firmly embedded in your home. Mixing can sneak up up on you.  But I highly encourage to try sipping first.  Take a long look at the depth of color and aroma….this is a good value for a rum

The Rum Quest continues…..

Lately, as the vodka fad starting show signs of fading into oblivion, the younger generation became involved and re-energized the marketplace.  This was synonymous with the advent of energy drinks. Suddenly we have a whole bunch of concoctions that are designed to buzz you up in a hurry and crank you up at the same time.  Kinda of a pre-introduction to X if you will.  With this, millions of the younger generation throughout the world could take on dance clubs for hours on end……thus the advent of things like Red Bull and Vodka.

When mixing like this, vodka purists discount the need for any kind of premium vodka like Grey Goose or however, think that the mixing is enhanced by premium vodkas, however, I know I am older than the average user of this mixture and certainly have ions of more disposable income. Do what is a reasonably priced mixer with Red Bull and other energy drinks?  Well, even though I somewhat panned the product in an earlier post, DEEP EDDY  (live link here folks) vodka serves as a wonderful mixer that is somewhat easy on the billfold. When trying to figure what mixes well, I believe the focus most be on complementary tastes of the mixing fluids. And while you can mix nearly any energy drink with vodka, Deep Eddy Vodka is just smooth enough, and not overbearing to let you get your buzz on while dancing the night away. I prefer it with one of the energy drinks with a hint of carbonation.  Red Bull has this, but I prefer Monster Energy Low Carb. Very subtle in gas, great on taste, and low in carbs and calories. Together they make a great combination.  Of course, as large as the energy drink market has become, you can experiment with all kinds of options.

And I agree with the college kids, while premium vodkas taste great in mixing with energy drinks, at the end of the day, the cost is a bit of a waste as lower cost vodkas like Deep Eddy do the trick rather nicely. Try some combinations with shots at your local bar, or in your back seat after visiting the local convenience store, I care not.  But give Deep Eddy a whirl on this agenda.  I think you will be satisfied in both taste, buzz and pocketbook

OK. I must say that the Rum Guy got creative in his reviews tying music lyrics to rum reviews.  I am clapping…..a, oh, not quite.  They are to Beatles lyrics….which I hate. Seems Rum Guy and his immediate friends are stuck in yesteryear.  Come on dude, get in the now.  But a stunningly creative review as well is a must read. And, I have to admit, since this is a vodka site, I have been slacking since I have grown a bit dry on trying vodkas….so enjoy the Rum Guy……..now!

Begrudgely yours, Admin.

 The Rum Guy has been quite a slacker lately.  No, not in trying to find the best rums for the best value, but rather putting those reviews in some kind of coherent, semi-readable ramble.  So, inspiration struck me the other night while listening to some “oldies” with son John.  Why not do a (pardon the expression) “mash-up” of the last few rums I have  tried in a similar fashion to the back side (that’s the second side for you young ones who don’t remember vinyl records) of the Beatles Abbey Road?  With apologies to the Fab Four….Hmmm, let’s try this:  Disclaimer:  The lyric quotes are Lennon/McCartney”

“Mean Mr. Mustard-sleeps in the park, shaves in the dark…..such a dirty old man….”  That would be Cockspur 12… a rum from Barbados. Crafted from a Danish seaman back in 1884.  The distillery is on Brighton Beach, just a touch north of the capital, Bridgetown.  The beachside distillery still produces what they call the most popular rum in Barbados.  The glass bottled with the black label and red, strutting rooster is simple, not overly attractive.      Tasting it….Hmmm, was not impressed.  This aged award-winning dark rum has a complicated initial flavor with fruits, cherry, oak but a very “muddy” finish. It is not a good sipping rum.  Mixes OK with regular cola, not so well with diet cola, and not at all with fruit juice…..at over $32 a bottle, this was a big disappointment, like

 “Polythene Pam”, but Cypress Creek Reserve is a local rum from DEW Distillery in Wimberley, Texas.  .  “You could say she was attractively built….” This tall, thin bottle has a black label with a faux Hill-Country painting of oak trees and a creek.  Well done, kinda like a wine label.   This was their vanilla flavored rum and I could tell this is a newer product.  This was a very bland, very vague, rum.  So light, “She Came in Through The Bathroom Window” and left the same way. This rum disappeared in cola, hung around like a little sister with diet cola and the vanilla vanished with fruit juice.  At roughly $25 per bottle, it was vaguely disappointing.   Y’all Keep trying DEW.  Keep plugging away. I am convinced that Texas Rums can be successful.  I love Railean Rums, for example from the coast.

“Once there was a way, to get back homeward….Golden Slumbers filled my eyes”… this would be South Bay rum, a handcrafted product from Hato Nuevo, Santo Domingo, The Dominican Republic. The overly busy pale yellow label features a boat beached on the shore with some indiscernible  vegetation in the background.   This is a small-batch rum, with good open flavors of fruit, sugar cane, oak and a hint of licorice(?).  Not a great sipping rum, it works well with cola and diet cola, but vanishes in fruit drinks.  At around $32 a bottle, “Boy, you’ve got to carry that weight, carry that weight a long time”….and that price is a heavy load for what you get…..

“Are you gonna be in my dreams, tonight….” “ …love you…”  This would be Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, from Venezuela.  Some previously reviewed rums from Venezuela have not been kind, but this rum rapidly became one of my favorites. This becomes very comfortable, like warm house shoes on a cold floor.  The squat, dark green frosted bottle, hints of the magic fermented juice.  The busy label looks like an example from an old stamp collection.  Busy, but intriguing.  This is an antique rum, distilled from exclusive heavy rum reserves.  With some aged rums, the flavor and texture don’t really reflect the longer aging process, probably because of the blending.  Yes, you get a smoother, more consistent flavor by blending, but you also blend a lot of character out.  Not this 80 proof rum. You can taste the 12 years with notes of ginger, fruit, rum cake, and oak.  This is a very balanced rum, blends beautifully with both cola and diet cola.  It accents the fruit juices but blends with a smooth twist of the hips, like long-partnered salsa dancers.  This rum makes my Top Ten.

“And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make…..”

I love rum, and look forward to continuing to try them from all over the world.  For those of you keeping score at home:

Cockspur 12 – 3 corks

Cypress Creek Reserve—3 ½ corks

South Bay – 5 corks

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva  8 corks

…….”Her majesty’s a pretty nice girl, but she doesn’t have a lot to say…..today I’m gonna make her mine, oh yeah,  today I’m gonna make her mine…”

The Rum Quest Continues!

–musically yours,

The Rum Guy

Today’s review is on a white or silver rum product “born and raised” in Texas.  Railean White Rum is from Railean  Distillery in San Leon Texas, on the shores of Galveston Bay.  I have previously reviewed their darker Reserve XO rum with favorable results.  Would the white hold up their side?

First, the bottle.  Railean’s “mascot” the Monk Parakeet is colorful and makes for a very attractive bottle.  Evidently the San Leon area has a large population of these birds.  The large black and green label has the mascot prominently displayed.  This makes the bottle stand out on the shelf at my local retail establishment.

How is the rum?  Opening the bottle, you get the clear, bright presentation.  The first flavor is smooth, with a little metallic back-bite at the finish.  This rum is a dry, crisp rum, with a little citrus.  It mixes exceptionally well with cola’s both diet and regular and also flourishes with fruit juice and “boat” drinks.   This is a very good white rum.  At about $23 a bottle it is not a cheap rum, but the quality is worth the price.

If you are looking for break away from the “big house” distilleries of white rum, I strongly recommend the Railean White.   I am looking forward to trying their single barrel Small Cask rum.

As an lagniappe, note that Railean is also now making “Agave Spirits” , what most people would call Tequila.  Technically, like sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if made in the Champagne region of France, only Agave spirits imported from Mexico and must be either 100% Blue Agave or Mixed can be called Tequila.  Hence, Railean makes three different types of Agave Spirit.  Next time I am in the mood to make Marguerita’s, I will pick up one of theirs to try.

The Rum Quest continues!

The Rum Guy

Long time no talk.  Sorry folks.  Had to dry out. Further, Vodka, despite the name of our site, just has not tasted as good lately….so we draw upon one of our experts in another field, namely, that one of Rum.  s you know, we have posted many Rum reviews in the past….so for you Vodka fans, get used to it.  We will be back with more Vodka reviews as we have sampled some interesting ones of late.  meanwhile, indulge the Rum Guy:

 

Today’s taste-test of the rums from around the world, bring us to “Sailor Jerry” a 92 proof spiced rum from the Sailor Jerry family makers based out of scenic Edison, New Jersey.  Why “Sailor Jerry”? Well, why not?  The easy to spot bottle has a drawing of a ‘Wahini” an attractive Hawaiian dancer on a cream colored label.   Norman Collins was a seaman who travelled the world and ended up in Honolulu, Ha. and became an entrepreneur and a tattoo  artist among other endeavors.  Reading his back story leads me to believe he would have been an amazing guy to hang out with and drink rum.  Good choice.

The screw-top bottle opens easily, and the liquid lightning fills the glass smoothly.  The first sip is always straight with no ice or anything else.  The spices that come to the surface are vanilla, cinnamon, and a little nutmeg.  The finish is dry and stout, but not mechanical.  The well-done website advises that it is blended with several Caribbean Rums and the spices.  This is a rum that works best mixed with cola or diet cola.  Straight up is a little overpowering, while mixed with fruit juices it sometime competes with the fruit rather than accenting the flavor.

I had heard disparaging words about this rum and was prepared to dislike it, but was surprised at the flavors it presented.  At about $18 a bottle, it is a value rum, not the best that can be found but certainly better than many I have tried.  I give it 6 corks out of 10, but it does not make the Top Ten.

The Rum Quest Continues!

–The Rum Guy

Today’s review is on a white or silver rum product “born and raised” in Texas.  Railean White Rum is from Railean  Distillery in San Leon Texas, on the shores of Galveston Bay.  I have previously reviewed their darker Reserve XO rum with favorable results.  Would the white hold up their side?

First, the bottle.  Railean’s “mascot”the Monk Parakeet is colorful and makes for a very attractive bottle.  Evidently the San Leon area has a large population of these birds.  The large black and green label has the mascot prominently displayed.  This makes the bottle stand out on the shelf at my local retail establishment.

How is the rum?  Opening the bottle, you get the clear, bright presentation.  The first flavor is smooth, with a little metallic back-bite at the finish.  This rum is a dry, crisp rum, with a little citrus.  It mixes exceptionally well with cola’s both diet and regular and also flourishes with fruit juice and “boat”drinks.   This is a very good white rum.  At about $23 a bottle it is not a cheap rum, but the quality is worth the price.

If you are looking for break away from the “big house”distilleries of white rum, I strongly recommend the Railean White.   I am looking forward to trying their single barrel Small Cask rum.

As an lagniappe, note that Railean is also now making “Agave Spirits” , what most people would call Tequila.  Technically, like sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if made in the Champagne region of France, only Agave spirits imported from Mexico and must be either 100% Blue Agave or Mixed can be called Tequila.  Hence, Railean makes three different types of Agave Spirit.  Next time I am in the mood to make Marguerita’s, I will pick up one of theirs to try.

The Rum Quest continues!

The Rum Guy

Well, we are back on the Vodka trail after taking a few months off.  Had to let my supply dwindle since I buy bottles to review.  We are now back on Texas Vodka.  No less, and once again, from the Austin area.  Dripping Springs to be specific, which is about 30 minutes (sans Austin traffic) outside and southwest of Austin.

1876 Vodka

Not for the lightweights

This is yet another grain based Vodka that is part of the ever growing micro batch distillers who pride themselves on making more handcrafted, small batch Vodkas with usually a twist of some sort in the production process. In this case, a family owned distillery out of this sleepy little, now becoming a suburb of Austin despite the tree huggers is not the first to prodcue out this area. Now Texas is a very proud state, and as much as I love Austin, all things Austin come with a billing of pretentiousness.  Same goes for our little vodka.  Given a bottle as a gift, I quickly tore into the bottle to seek its advantages.  After all, there are a bevy of awards bestowed upon this vodka which just has to make it good, right? Not so much.

Upon first taste of this vodka, once it got beyond the lips and into the palate, well, it is pretty rough. Behind the decidely turpentine taste was a hint of grain taste that added to a somewhat smoother middle of the sip (or chug if you so desire), follwed by an absolute horrific ending that excelled way past the initial blast.  Had I lost my taste? Gone on too much to other liquors, and upon my return to the motherland, lost my sense of taste for the products?  Perhaps.  I welcome other experiences and comments.  But my experience was less than satisfactory leaving me quite glad the bottle had come to me gratis. With the hardship, I mixed it with pineapple juice to try to lessen the pain.  This was just OK.  I cannot recommend it as a mixer either unless you wish to disposed of a perfectly good mixer…….

The packaging as you can see is quite simple and clean.  Clearly not too much is spent on the packaging. The price point for this product is similar to that of the basic Absolut, Finlandia, or other in this catagory.  Take a test for yourself. Maybe you can see if the awards are justified or it is another Austin area product trying to take advantage of the Austin self-engrandinzing attitudes. Peace and happy drinking.