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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…..

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


To all the Vodka fans on this site, and there are many, I apologize for:

  1. the lack of posts…… seems I have drank tooo much vodka since this is not some auto generated site.  We really do review the vodkas on this site….
  2. well, I am not going to apologize for the rum posts on a vodka site.  Bottom line, my liver can only dissect so much vodka in a extended period pf time.
  3. So here is another excellent rum review from the Rum Guy, who apparently has an iconic liver that will not fail…….

Vizcaya Rum

In the continuing search for the best rums for the best value, today’s candidate is Vizcaya VXOP  Cask 21 Rum from the Dominican Republic.  This 80 proof concoction is labeled VXOP, which usually is attached to Brandy as “Very Extra Special (or superior) Old Pale”  depending on the source.  Their well-done website states the rum is distilled from pure cane juice and aged in oak bourbon barrels using Cuban distilling methods.  While this sounds exotic and is meant to invoke some secret process only the Cubans know and must be therefore known only by a few high-priest distillers  due to the current political situation, this is mostly a marketing handle.   While most Americans cannot travel to Cuba, other nationalities can, and any “secret” Cuban manufacturing process has long been released into the rum world.  However, aging rum in oak barrels that previously held bourbon is a relatively new step.  One assumes this was made for financial reasons at first,  but the result, called “methode agricole “  creates a rum with more complex flavors, smoothing the texture and taste and increasing the sensory experience with up front bouquet.  This product is marketed as a sipping rum.


The bottle clear-glass, hip-flask shaped, although only NFL linemen would have hips big enough to carry this bottle.  The brown and gold label match perfectly with the golden elixir inside.  The “Vizcaya” is in gold script at the lower third of the bottle—unusual, and eye-catching.


Removing the gold handle attached to the cork, the rum emits a gentle fragrance of chocolate, cinnamon, and fresh-cut flowers.  Pouring the syrup-colored liquid into a glass, the odor becomes more pronounced and greatly increases the anticipation of the taste.  You can almost hear a faint Samba beat coming from the bottle, as if from a radio down the block.  The rum is mild and smooth, with some afore-mentioned chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla and fruit—mango? Papaya?   You can taste the sugar cane-which is not that frequent in rums.   There is very little after-taste.  Poured into a brandy snifter and allowed to warm by holding it in your hand, this is a good sipping rum, but perhaps a little too mild for me.  It is a better sipping rum than it is mixed with cola or diet-cola.  The gentleness of the rum unfortunately makes it unsuitable for frozen “boat drinks” as it disappears in the mixture to the degree that you wonder if there is rum in the drink.  For frozen drinks, you want a rum that enhances the fruit flavor with its own individual personality, combining into a  party.


I give this rum a solid  6 corks out of 10, slightly above better than average.  This was an expensive rum at almost $40 a bottle, and while being a smooth rum is important, more substance is expected at that price.  It does not make my Top 10.



The quest goes ever on.


The Rum Guy




Wishing all my vodka drinking friends a great holiday season. Be safe and drink well