Monthly Archive: May 2005

Review: Cruzan Single Barrel

Rating: ★★★★☆
Cruzan Single Barrel Rum
www.cruzanrum.com

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

Third time’s a charm with Cruzan. I’d previously tried Cruzan’s Estate Diamond and Blackstrap rums, and was rather unimpressed in both cases. But with Cruzan Single Barrel I finally see why Cruzan is a household name amongst rum enthusiasts.

Cruzan Single Barrel is sort of the “girl next door” of rums – more wholesome than exotic, yet spunky and intriguing nontheless. The flavor is smooth, sharp, and a little bit peppery. It goes down easy, and is probably one of the more approachable premium rums I’ve yet to experience. I’d definitely recommend it to newcomers – it’s unintimidating, but still packs enough flavor to be the real deal. (more…)

Review: Cruzan Black Diamond

Rating: ★½☆☆☆
Cruzan Black Diamond
www.cruzanrum.com

There’s really not much I can say about this rum. It gives a mildly rummy aroma that I can only call light and airy. The flavor matches – it has a reasonably potent tingly sensation, but the taste is somewhat wanting. Cold and hollow, like a dead man’s gaze.

It’s not bad, but why bother?

Review: Peter Pan

Rating: ★★★★½
A very loyal take on Peter Pan, and drop-dead gorgeous!

It’s a shame this film did so poorly in theaters. I’m sure this was due in no small part to the hype of adolescent sexual undercurrents, which is both unfortunate and unfounded. The only sexual currents in this film are those you bring yourself – this is a film about a struggle to cling to childhood, a resistance to growing up. And in this struggle we have two opponents – on the one side is Peter Pan, the boy that revels in childhood and wants nothing more than to hear stories and play games. And on the other side is Captain Hook, an adult stagnated, surrounded by a crew of intellectual infants and discontent in the lack of any meaning or satisfaction in his own life. And between them both is Wendy – a young girl on the brink of becoming a woman, not yet ready to leave childhood behind, but at the same time anticipating the new adventures that come with growing up. It’s sad that a few vocal lopers chose to see Wendy’s relationships with Pan and Hook as metephorically sexual. It’s not about sex, it’s about choosing between toys and bills, between being the cared-for or the care-giver. It’s about finding that time in your life when you realize it’s time to realize you’re no longer a child, and to start behaving accordingly (but not too soon.) (more…)

Review: Saint James Hors D’Age

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Saint James Hors D’Age

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

Let me be perfectly blunt – on first tasting this rum, I found it slightly revolting. The second taste was no better. Take a sniff, and you’ll find Saint James Hors D’Age is swimming with aromas that just don’t normally go with rum. It’s overflowing with a sweet fruitiness that actually reminds me of a French Bordeaux. Now, I like Bordeaux just fine, but not generally in my rum. However, it doesn’t end there – it also carries a smell that, God help me, brings memories of a bizarre breakfast sausage I had in Sweden a few years back. I can’t tell you how this is possible, but I’m sure you can imagine why it might be a turnoff when tasting rum.

Wine drinkers will sometimes speak of the complexities of a good wine – how a single sip can taste of grape and earth, leather and musk. I’ve had wines like this, and it’s really quite the experience. Rum, however, is generally simpler. Even complex rum is generally pretty straightforward. Hors D’Age, however, is not. I spread a single bottle out over the span of a month, and in that time each glass was a very unique experience. Different subtleties emerged, some good, some challenging, and some downright frightening (as in the breakfast sausage.) Each sip was a split personality – half rum, and half surprise. (more…)

Review: Sailor Jerry Rum

Rating: ★★½☆☆
Sailor Jerry Rum
www.sailorjerry.com

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

I’ve not stumbled across too many “premium” spiced rums (i.e. those that can be enjoyed alone.) In fact, Captain Morgan’s Private Stock is the only one that comes to mind. Still, Sailor Jerry caught my eye, and I remember reading somewhere that it worthy of being consumed straight, so I gave it a shot.

Like Morgan’s Private Stock, the smell is very spicy, but Sailor Jerry doesn’t smell as “rummy” as Morgans – less alcoholly too. I found the taste followed suit, being very spicy, but very “middle ground” – no rum, but no alcohol in the flavor either. (more…)

Review: Plantation Rum – Barbados

Rating: ★★★★☆
Plantation Rum – Barbados
www.gafrance.net/plantation

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

The first rum I tried from this line,Plantation Trinidad, was rather unremarkable. But after having such a fantastic experience with Mount Gay Extra Old I decided to try for another Barbados home run, and Plantation delivered in spades. It tingles across the tongue to the point of burning, and then settles into the back of your throat with a soothing warmth. This isn’t a rum to drink casually, as every sip demands to be noticed. (more…)

Review: Pirates of Tortuga

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Just because a movie is old doesn’t make it a classic. I don’t know what deranged minds decided this snooze-fest was worth digging out of the vaults for re-release, but their time could have been better spent elsewhere. The story is tired, the action lame, the acting uninspired – I genuinely can’t think of a single level on which I could recommend this. It’s bad – not funny bad, not salvageable bad, not ironically bad – just bad. From the lead actor (Ken Scott) that actually pauses during lines as though remembering what to say next to the atrocious story and choreography (choreography shouldn’t be noticed – if you can tell an actor is posing for the camera, something’s wrong) this movie is just one mis-step after another.

Most likely this lame effort at a pirate movie was originally created to cash in on the more worthy films of the time, and this re-release is probably a similar effort to cash in on today’s success of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Don’t bother.

Review: Plunder

Rating: ★★★½☆
www.laughingpan.com

Plunder is a fantastic game the whole family can enjoy (so long as there’s only four of you.) It captures all the best things piracy has to offer – pillaging, sailing, buried treasure, tavern brawls – while at the same time remaining portable enough to take nearly everywhere.

The game-set itself is made of very durable materials – the coin and booty tokens are heavy-duty cardboard, and the cards are rigid and glossy. It’s all compactly packaged in a surprisingly solid cardboard box shaped like a small treasure chest that I’m sure will hold up for many years. Everything is decorated with properly nautical/piratey artwork that gives that perfect feeling for an evening of merry cut-throatery. (more…)

Review: Pirate Ring and Pendant

Rating: ★★★½☆
Celtic Jackalope
www.celticjackalope.com

Knights get to sport fancy jewelry featuring coats of arms, so why not pirates? Celtic Jackalope has just released its “Dead Men Tell No Tales” series – a sterling pendant and ring, both featuring a skull and crossed cutlasses against a shield-like background with scrolled edges. Wear one or wear both, either way everyone you meet will have no doubt that you’ve thrown your lot in with cut-throats, scalliwags, and scoundrels (which might make this the wrong jewelry to wear at the next Coast Guard Ball.)

Both pieces are very well made, and the image to the left surely tells you as much as any review ever could. However, some comments bear mention: (more…)