Category: Rum Reviews

Now that title is a mouthful.  The Rum Guy jumps into obscurity with his latest entry.

Today’s featured rum is from the lower price range of the spectrum.  The ultimate goal is to try every commercial rum and to find the best rum values on the market.  While some of my top rums are indeed in the upper cost tiers, not all have been a good value for your hard-earned cash.  So today’s entry, “Tropic Isle Palms—Spiced Cask Rum” addresses the other end.   While research found very little information about the company, the bottle states it is imported from Barbados, where “modern” rum is thought to have been originated.  The origin of the word “Rum” is lost to the mists of time, and several different linguistic experts disagree on that origin.   One item we can agree on, good rum means good times.  The island of Barbados makes a number of rums, some better than others but all are worth trying.  Historically, I have never been a huge fan of the “spiced” rums.  I have to be in a certain mood, and generally that happens only a couple times a year.  Purchases therefore have been few and far between, as I hate to spend the money on a rum and have it sit, lonely and ignored for months at a time.  That would not be a good rum bargain.  Having said that, I tried this Tropic Isle Palms.  The bottle has an appealing picture of two coconut palm trees and underneath that two barrels, to induce that impression of having been aged in barrels.  The rum itself is yellow-gold in color, similar to a beer when poured.  Upon opening the top, the aroma of fruit and spice rises gently to the nose.  Pouring a straight shot, this 70 proof rum is lighter than most I have tried.  The first taste on the tongue takes me to the tropics, with banana and vanilla overtones with a hint of cherry.  The spices seem to include a touch of cinnamon, cardamom, and light black pepper, but are subtle not overpowering.  It has a very smooth finish, perhaps due to the lower alcohol content but also to the right mix of spices.  While this is not a rum for drinking straight up, it mixes very well with both regular cola and Cherry Coke Zero.  With fruit juice it is a refreshing mix for a hot summer day.   Tropic Isle also sells a number of flavored rums if you are so inclined.   I am not a fan of flavored rum, but obviously people like it, as all the major rum distillers sell their own versions.   The texture and flavor of this Palms rum hold together, even if the drink sits unattended for a few minutes, which some rums do not do.  At about $12 a bottle, I was very pleased with this rum.  If you like spiced rums, or are looking to try one, I can recommend this rum, especially for summer outdoor social occasions.

redd granite 2 Tropic Isle Palms Spiced Rums Review   The Rum Guy


Does it make my Top Ten Rums?  No, but a very good rum for the price.


OK. We are a Vodka site.  So why the rum reviews?  Honestly, I have been drinking rums for much longer than vodka (see half story under marketplace page).  Our very own Rum Guy tastes and reviews rums so you do not have to.  I just happen to put them up here and on sister site REDDGRANITE. So go with it.

Flor De Cana

The latest in my attempt to find the great rums of the world, brings me to an almost-repeat.  Like dating a pretty girl then going out with her sister. Similar, but not the same.  I am referring to Flor De Cana, a rum from the Central American country of Nicaragua.  The name means Sugarcane Flower in espanol.  Based in Managua,  this 80 proof rum (which means 40% alcohol by volume) was originally introduced in 1890.  They state their product line has won over 100 awards since 2000.


From a marketing standpoint, the bottle is a standard-make bottle, not eye-catching at all.  The label is appealing with black and gold print on a pale yellow background, which accentuate the light amber color of the rum.  This time I am trying the 4-year old gold rum, versus the 7-year old Gran Reserva (Grand Reserve) I had tried earlier.  A younger sister, as it were.  The logos of each of their various products have their own similar but distinctive styles.  The more expensive the rum, the more elaborate the label.  Go figure.


Opening the screw-top, pouring it straight into a glass and watching the almost-gold liquid slide into the glass you can let the rum breathe.   The first flavor that catches your attention is vanilla.  Not as robust (or as overwhelming depending on your taste) as the 7 year Gran Reserva, this rum is subtle, like just a hint of perfume behind a woman’s ear.  The taste gives a moderate initial “burn” then quickly dissolves into a warm, mildly pleasant finish.  The flavor is slightly woody, like the smoke of a fireplace drifting a long way on the wind.  And that is the problem with this rum.  It is not “too” anything.  Not too much vanilla, not too much color, not too much smoke, not too much bite. I like my rums to have personality, and this one just doesn’t have much of one.  Sort of like the high-school science club.  Nice folks, but not exciting—no “oomph” as it were.  This rum doesn’t mix with cola well, either regular or diet cola.  Perhaps the vanilla distracts it.  It does mix with fruit juices quite well, which was a pleasant surprise.  Again, the subtle flavors enhance the fruit juice and do not overpower it, which many darker rums will do.


Would I try Flor De Cana again?  Perhaps, but only the older versions. At approximately $15 a bottle, it is not a bad rum, but there are better rums out there for the price.  It does not make my Top 10.


The Quest Continues…..


The Rum Guy


balcones rumble1 Balcones Rumble Review

Balcones Rumble, Waco, Texas. Not Your Mother’s Rum

Please see for a complete review.  Bottom line, this is a terrific local Texas Rum.  Not Vodka, but you understand.  It is to die for.

pampero aniversario 425 Rum Review of Pampero Aniversario Venezuelan Rum 


Today’s entry into the sweepstakes of the World’s Best Rums is “Pampero Aniversario”. This dark rums sails in from the tropical clime of Venezuela where it is blended from 100% Venezuelan rums. The bottle advises that this rum-style was first made by the Pampero Family of Rums in 1963 to celebrate the 25th year of Pampero Rum. This was an “exclusive” reserve bottle with a wax seal on it and individually numbered. The distillery was established in 1938, which is quite encouraging, in the central plains area of the country. I will not comment on the current political issues of the country. Pampero was the first rum from Venezuela to be declared “Anejo” (aged). The distillery has been awarded several prizes from the international community most recently 2007. The company is not Venezuelan-owned anymore (political comment here? Tempting, but no) but is part of Diageo, the world’s largest liquor holding company. Well, if you have to hold something, I think liquor is a good choice—especially rum. Now, let’s talk rum….the bottle is pleasantly squat, the wax stamp gives it gravitas, while the label itself is not overly impressive. From a marketing side, the bottle comes in a beautiful, soft brown, handmade leather bag, quite distinctive and unique. When the cork top is removed, the rum aroma is reserved, soft, low-key like a 3 piece jazz group playing old standards on a deck overlooking a harbor. The texture is smooth, with a nice finish. However, the flavor is smoothed almost to the point of blandness. Like filing off rough edges until you are left with just a sliver and a pile of shavings. There is no “there” there, to quote Dorothy Parker. Drinking it straight brings the thought, “Is that it?” It almost disappears mixed with Coke or Coke Zero. It fares a little better with fruit juices. For approximately $28 a bottle, I was not greatly impressed by this rum. It is not a bad rum, just not a good value for the price. The Rum Road goes ever onward….. The Rum Guy

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