Coming Soon – Ron de Jeremy Rum

Some years ago I was in Vegas. We’re walking around the Venetian when my wife turns to me and says, “Hey, isn’t that Ron Jeremy over there?” And it was. True story. Some day maybe I’ll tell you about my Paris Hilton and Gene Simmons run-ins. They’re almost as good.

Ron Jeremy now has his own rum. Which I would be pretty stoked about if I wasn’t seething with jealousy. I mean, what’s he accomplished that Bilgemunky hasn’t?

Oh yeah, that.

Anyways, it looks classy as all hell, which only makes it all the awesomer that it’s Ron Jeremy’s rum – quite literally Ron de Jeremy (is that a pun? Play on words? I get them confused.)

They’ve promised to send me a bottle once they release them to the US market, so fingers crossed I can share the news with you soon!

Review: Special Report: Zaya vs. Zaya

So a while back I began receiving emails about Zaya 12 Year aged rum. It seems that the distillery has relocated from Guatamala to Trinidad. While this isn’t in itself a good or bad thing, there were also reports of a distinct drop in the rum’s quality as well. In fact, old Guatamalan bottles of Zaya were quickly becoming difficult to find as they became presumptive collectors items. I count myself fortunate to have scrounged up one of the last remaining bottles from a local store, thus making it possible for me to do a proper side-by-side comparison.

In the bottle, the new vs. old Zayas are nearly identical. The dark amber color is a near perfect match, and it’s only by holding up to the light and looking carefully that you can tell the old Zaya is slightly redder, while the new is a bit more orange. The bottle structure and labels are also nearly identical, although the script beneath the rum’s name now reads “Imported Rum from Trinidad” rather than the former “Imported Rum from Guatamala”, and the small disc above the tag now bears a tropical coat of arms instead of the previous sun-god looking thing. Continue reading

Review: Old Monk XXX

Rating: ★★½☆☆
Old Monk XXX

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

What is it with eastern Indians and pornographic rum? Really, I have only two rums in my collection from India, and both are labeled as being XXX. Old Monk rum, I notice, is aged seven years, which is admirable. But seven years is hardly “old”, and certainly not old enough to participate in XXX endeavours. But I digress…

Old Monk Rum comes in a squat, rotund, uniquely textured bottle that makes it stand out from many of its contemporaries on the liquor shelves. The label features a smiling, rather european looking monk, and in big red letters features the aforementioned XXX. In the glass, Old Monk is a rich amber. To the nose it smells of the distant, candy sweetness common amongst sugarcane-juice frenchy rums, rather than the embracing, robust sweetness of molasses real rums. It lightly burns the back of the nasal cavity, and also carries hints of charred leather and cherry cordial (seriously.) Continue reading

Review: Appleton Extra

Rating: ★★★½☆
Appleton Extra

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from Internet Wines and Spirits

During my earlier years as a partaker of rum, Appleton V/X remained an ongoing staple. Where some rums were nuanced or brought unique character to the game, V/X remained rum – plain and perfect. In time I grew out of V/X, my more refined (or perhaps robust) palette thirsting for greater challenges. Enter Appleton Extra.

Appleton Extra is everything that was V/X, only older and more sophisticated. It’s darker, heavier, oakier. It’s a bit more brutal, and a bit more rewarding. In short, it’s a definitive trade up from V/X, which I still maintain to be a fine entry-level sipper. Continue reading

Review: Bacardi Select

Rating: ½☆☆☆☆
Bacardi Select

Bacardi has long been at the forfront of rum, at least so far as nightclubs and bars are concerned. A staple of mixed drinks, I’ve long avoided drinking the stuff straight. But having explored rums far and wide, it seems high time I finally take a swig or two of what’s been readily available from day one.

I’m unclear which is meant to be Bacardi’s premiere sipping rum – either Bacardi Select or Bacardi Solera. For this review, I tried the Select. I bought a bottle, poured a glass, and gave a long overdue fair shake to this rum I’ve so long avoided. And the result?

C’mon, Bacardi. Is this really the best you can do? The largest existing distillery with the greatest resources at your disposal, loads of heritage beneath your wings, and you call this retch “Select”? Gosling’s Black Seal probably dumps better rum than this down the drain – and sells a better product for half the price. So do others, for that matter. Continue reading

Review: Maui Dark

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Maui Dark Rum

Many words can be applied to Maui Dark Rum, but “timid” it is not. From the moment the bottle is opened, a broadside of sensations is unleashed. Oak and burnt leather, and a heavy sweet musk with hints of nutmeg and pepper. This rum can be brutal and merciless, and that’s before you’ve even taken a first sip.

Maui Dark tastes much as it smells, with the same musky earthiness, toffee, and a bit of char. It isn’t subtle, and it certainly isn’t gentle. Strangely, as this rum journeys through your mouth, it leaves the majority of the tongue untouched, instead focusing its attentions on the back of the mouth – the rear roof, the base of the tongue, and the back of the throat. It’s in these areas that Maui works its mojo, for good and for il. Continue reading

Review: Gosling’s Family Reserve

Rating: ★★★★★
Gosling’s Family Reserve

I’ve long been a fan of Gosling’s Black Seal rum. Dollar for dollar, it’s one of the finest rums around. True, it isn’t for the faint of heart – but it soundly encompasses what rum is meant to be, and is one of the most affordable rums around that can be enjoyed straight up. So when Gosling finally started making their Family Reserve Rum more readily available, I was duly excited to finally try it.

First, it’s always a delight when a rum distiller takes the time to package their product in a manner befitting a spirit of such rich history. Gosling’s Family Reserve (also called Gosling’s Old Rum) is bottled in frosted glass of an extremely dark green. Its cork is sealed in black wax, embossed with a company seal and identified with rustic labels which include individual bottle/batch numbers. The whole affair is encased in an open-faced wooden box, and is truly a sight to behold. Continue reading

Review: Zaya Gran Reserva

Rating: ★★★★☆
Zaya Gran Reserva Rum

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

Never has a rum looked more dignified. The bottle is tall and elegently marked with its black and gold label. The neck is tightly wrapped in palm, which contrasts beautifully with the rich mahogany, 12 year aged, pure sugarcane rum within. The bottle itself is extra thick, and the additional heft this creates only further lends the impression that this is a rum worthy of note.

Upon removing the cork, the rum itself smells heavy and sweet, and tastes the same. It’s full of contradiction, weighty and aloof, yet surprisingly forward. It’s kind of like meeting a dusky tribal queen dressed from head to toe in rich silks and golden feathers, and when you reach out to politely kiss her hand she instead sits on your lap and liplocks you in front of your bewildered crew. Yeah – something like that. Continue reading

Review: Jack Tar Superior

Rating: ★★★★☆
Jack Tar Superior

Rum is made with molasses. As such, molasses is a common factor in the very nature of the rum flavor. Sure, there are often other subtle facets – fruits, spices, leather, etc. But molasses is so much a part of rum that many folks don’t seem to differentiate one from the other. But sometimes a dark rum comes along that transcends – and escapes – the molasses and becomes wholly and truly rum.

Jack Tar smells cool and heavy – and shamelessly of rum, plain and true. It’s not brown sugar, it’s not molasses – it’s rum. And just a bit peppery. It has a hint of undefined sweetness – not fruit or sugar, just sweetly rum (there’s that word again.) To the taste, Jack Tar is a whole-mouth experience. Where some rums seem to settle on one part of the tongue or another, Jack Tar envelopes and conquers it all, spreading instant warmth and spice throughout. It’s surpisingly smooth, but is followed with a wonderfully satisfying bite after you swallow, leaving the roof of your mouth all happy and tingly. Subsequent sips build on the first, leading to an increasingly warm and deep experience. Continue reading