Santa Teresa 1796
Santa Teresa 1796 is a truly glorious rum out of Venezuela. Some rums require time to get to know them, but Santa Teresa was love at first site. When first I saw it, the dignified wine-like bottle hidden beneath a rugged cardboard tube, complete with ribbon and wax seal, I expected I was in for a treat. And upon uncorking the bottle and taking a sniff of the amber rum inside, my expectations were instantly confirmed. To the nose, Santa Teresa is cool and spicy – and ultra, ultra smooth. It carries an extraordinarily soft aroma of oak, with underlying subtleties of banana and vanilla.
On the tongue, Santa Teresa is surprisingly unimposing, tasting richly of what I can only call “almost-fruit.” As it warms in the mouth it seems to thicken and cool. And yet when swallowed, it leaves behind a wonderfully penetrating heat along the roof of the mouth.
Incredibly gentle yet maddeningly seductive, this is a rum well worth experiencing.
Ron Zacapa Centenario
Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits
Ron Zacapa Centenario is a legend amongst rums. According to many sources, it’s won so many tasting competitions that it’s actually been retired as a contender, and is instead used by the judges to calibrate their palettes as to what a truly fine aged rum can achieve. With such a lofty reputation, I was quite excited to finally try a bottle.
Centenario stands out on the shelves. The bottle is entirely wrapped in palm leaves – intriguing, but it does conceal the rum within. Upon opening the bottle, I was disappointed to note it was a plastic screwcap. And even worse, it had a non-removable plastic diffuser that one may expect from mixers, but certainly not from a 23 year aged rum with such a sterling reputation. (new bottles of Centenario seem to have a new, more sophisticated packaging.) Continue reading →
Cockspur 12 year
In the glass, Cockspur 12 year is remarkably cool across the nose, and smells of ripe bananas and caramel. These factors, combined with its light amber color, make for an inviting, un intimidating first sip. On the tongue you’re instantly met with a surprisingly light yet peppery kick. Almost a pulled punch, it’s just enough to get your attention, but not enough to hurt anyone. The flavor is light and alcoholly, but not mediciny. It holds just enough musk to be interesting, yet remains crisp and smooth. Subsequent sips continue in this vein, and go down all too easily. Even when consumed at a measured pace, this rum goes quickly to your head. Combine this with its extreme sipability and it’s a clear recipe for trouble.
A decent rum, and a relatively gentle one. Somewhat on the shallow end, but – like many shallow things – good for an occasional fling when you’re feeling frisky yet noncommittal.
In the Time of Worms
by Kenelm Winslow Harris
This will be a difficult book to review. This is because most book reviews have roughly two primary elements – the first where you talk about what the book is about, and the second where you say whether it’s any good or not. It’s the first element – effectively summarizing what the book is about – that proves problematic.
If I summarize In the Time of Worms, it will sound like a simplistic fairy tale. You’ll probably roll your eyes as I talk about this story of a psychiatrist who learns there’s a band of pirates living in his closet. See? It sounds silly. But that’s only because within this review I lack the space or the talent to recreate this tale with the same compelling artistry of Ken Harris, the book’s author. But I’ll give it a shot, just the same. Continue reading →