Category Archives: Rum

Whiskey Nut’s Most Read Blogs of 2022

2022 has been a bit of a momentus year for world events.

At Whiskey Nut blogging it’s been business as usual.

7 of the Top Ten Blogs have featured before – 3 make their third appearance – with 3 newcomers to the list. I draw conclusions from that & see patterns emerging.

These are my Top 10 Read Blogs for 2022 based on WordPress stats – Dec 30th 2022.

Feel free to press on the highlighted words to access the original posts.

1 – Kyasuku Whisky, Oct 21

This Aldi exclusive Mizunara finished World Whisky from Japan sure was a tasty drop!

2 – Ron Pelicano Jamaican Rum, Nov 22

An astonishing achievement in only 2 months -the rum is pretty decent too!

3 – Proper Twelve vs Jameson, Dec 18

After topping the list for 2 years in a row the ‘Champ’ is beginning to falter.

4 – Ron Rumbero, Dec 19

Featuring for a 3rd year does this rum selection mark a growing interest in another brown spirit?

5 – Irish Whiskey Distilleries, Dec 21

A page of development, growth & renewed interest in Irish Whiskey.

6 – Dundalgan IPA Cask, Nov 20

A West Cork exclusive for Lidl that has consistently pleased.

7 – Royal Envy, Apr 22

I don’t envy the Royals – but I’d like to have a taster of this smoky Indian Whisky!

8 – Black & Blue, Jan 19

Making it’s 3rd appearance this Indian Whisky is one I did manage to obtain.

9 – V For Vietnam, May 18

Let’s just say there’s a lot of love for Wall Street out there.

10 – Azteca Tequila, Apr 22

Is this the beginning of affection for agave based spirits in Ireland?

Thank You

I’d like to thank all my readers for continuing to follow my blog.

Join me in raising a glass to celebrate the beginning of 2023.

Sláinte

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The Demise of Ion Distillery

It’s rather disconcerting reaching into the back of my spirit stash,

pulling out an Irish made rum,

pouring a drink &

pondering on how the company has progressed,

to discover it has folded!

Ion Spiced Rum is an eminently festive spirit.

Bottled at 43% it’s redolent with cinnamon, ginger & mixed spices that capture a warmth on the palate engendering a cosy feeling on drinking.

But spirit companies success aren’t solely based on the quality of the liquid,

the character of the person behind the brand,

the appeal of the advertising,

the ability of the story to capture an audience &

the distribution network to enable that audience to easily purchase the spirit,

all play a part.

Sadly Ion Rum didn’t achieve the magic mix of all those factors & I’m left raising a glass to their demise.

Better to have tried & failed than to have never tried at all.

Sláinte

My original Ion Spiced Rum review here.

Active proposal to strike off Pokertree Brewing – parent company of Ion Distillery here.

Ron Pelicano, Jamaican Rum, 40%

I was Lidl shopping for the Sunday lunch & as usual checked out the spirit shelves.

A couple of colourful new rums greeted me!

Both labelled up as Ron Pelicano the blue one hailed from Barbados while the yellow is Jamaican.

I couldn’t resist!

The Jamaican bottle sports the coordinates for Jamaica – along with some information about the island itself plus an outline on the logo – but nothing about the rum inside.

An internet search for Ron Pelicano revealed they have a collection of 6 rums from varying countries & islands all bearing a similar style – just different primary colours.

I must admit to finding them visually attractive & would like to try all 6 – if only to discern the taste difference between each region’s rums.

As it is I’ll start with Jamaica – I’m expecting some fruity funkiness – so what did I find?

Well I don’t know if the vivid yellow bottle is influencing me but I’m getting over-ripe sweet banana of this one – along with a serious dollop of funk too!

The funk follows through with a pleasing mouthfeel replete with juicy fruitiness, a touch of lingering spice & a satisfyingly long finish.

Nice introduction to this latest line of rums from Lidl!

While digging out some background information on this brand I discovered it’s sold in Germany as Ron Bengalo!

& weirder still a thief in Devon made off with a few bottles.

Article from Devon Live Court Reports

I just hope the Venezuelan tasted as good as this Jamaican!

Sláinte

Ron Pelicano webpage here.

Ron Bengalo Lidl page here.

All photos authors own.

A Trio Of Aged Rums From Tiny Tipple, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, 40%, Venezuela, Appleton Reserve, 40%, Jamaica & Flor De Cana 18 Year Old, 40%, Nicaragua.

I thought I’d take advantage of the last hurrah at Tiny Tipple & try out a trio of aged rums.

With the news global rum brand Bacardi are proposing to takeover Dublin whiskey distillery Teelings as well as rum now outselling whiskey in the UK – it seems a topical time to sample this trio.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, 40%, Venezuela

Diplomatico are quite big hitters in the rum world – despite a reputation for added sugar – & are generally easily available.

Out of the 3 rums Diplomatico does come out the darkest shade of golden brown giving the nose a suitable dark, rich & sweet aroma of muscovado sugar.

Very smooth, sweet & easy on the palate.

Develops a rich & complex depth on the rear finishing with a touch of tannic spice.

A very peasant easy sipper.

Appleton Estate Reserve Blend, 40%, Jamaica

This is a non-age statement – NAS – release that previously proudly displayed an 8. Whether this is due to an increase in sales depleting stocks or simply a way for the distillery to utilise a broader array of rums for the blend I don’t know. Not having tried the 8yo I can only go on what is before me.

The palest light brown of the trio.

Soft hints of funk on the nose – I’d be disappointed if I hadn’t found funk in a Jamaican rum!

The palate didn’t give much away – smooth, easy & fresh.

A flourishing finalé of engaging spiciness interspersed with juicy fruitiness lifted the drinking experience.

Nice!

Flor De Cana 18 Year Old, 40%. Nicaragua.

I’ve not tried any Flor De Cana before – so this big 18yo age statement carrier is a bit of a leap into their Ultra Premium Collection.

Light brown colour.

Quite a shy nose only giving away a gentle fruity sweetness.

Found the palate a trifle non-descript & unforthcoming of flavour.

The long ageing in wood dominated the finish providing a drying tannic spiciness which tingled merrily away.

Left me a little underwhelmed.

Thoughts

These 3 rums can easily be appreciated by whiskey drinkers. All have been aged in wooden barrels – ex-bourbon are predominately used – although I must admit to finding the wood influence begins to dominate from the core rum flavours which can counterpose as an alternative to drinking whiskey.

All 3 demonstrate a rich sweetness not typically found in whiskey – with only the Appleton exhibiting a fruity funk – even if it was quite mild in this Reserve – giving it a lead above the other 2.

Perhaps my palate would have preferred the younger rums from these distilleries? They tend to showcase the flavours from the raw ingredients used to a higher degree.

Sláinte

Diplomatico webpage here.

Appleton Estate webpage here.

Flor De Cana webpage here.

Bottle images courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop.

Renegade Rum, Dunfermline Column Still & Pot Still Pre Cask Rums, 50%

Mark Reynier has made a big play of terroir in the whiskey trade with his Waterford Distillery.

Renegade Distillery in Grenada shaping up to do the same with rum.

I did purchase one of his whiskies.

Waterford Bannow 1.2 c/othewhiskeynut

Can’t say all the transparency, honesty & information won me over.

All I tasted was quite a young, feisty & very fresh whiskey that needed more time in the barrel.

Haven’t bought another.

I am curious enough however to try out a couple of his rums – the Dunfermline Column & Pot Still varieties.

Renegade use the term ‘pre cask’ – but essentially it’s unaged or white rum in normal parlance.

Unaged rum is a category I really enjoy.

The combination of raw ingredients, fermentation times & distilling techniques can produce exceedingly aromatic & richly tasting spirits that can captivate the senses.

My expectation is the Pot Still variety will be the more flavourful version – but it all depends on the skill of the distiller – so complying with custom I start with the Column Still.

Image courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

Renegade Rum Dunfermline Column Still, Pre-Cask, 50%

A lovely sweet pungency of sugar cane with a touch of sourness peeking through.

Smooth mouthfeel slowly grows in heat with more fruitiness coming through – but not much else.

Fades rather quickly with a serving of prickliness rounding off the show.

Image courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

Renegade Rum Dunfermline Pot Still, Pre-Cask, 50%

There’s an ever so slightly warmer embrace of pungent fruitiness from the pot still.

Definitely an oiliness on the palate of this one!

It’s just an overall fuller & fatter tasting experience for me & leaves with a warmer – even rounder – embrace.

Thoughts

I think Mr Reynier is onto a roll with his distilleries.

Attracting a loyal gathering of fans to snap up his offerings & extoll the virtues of terroir to all & sundry.

No doubt he’ll convince some whiskey drinkers into rum imbibing – which is no bad thing.

Both of these rums are enjoyable & engaging to sip, sample & explore the differences between column & pot still distillation & what they bring to the palate.

I’m just not convinced a single estate, pre-cask single variety trumps a well blended offering from multiple countries, columns & pots, sugar cane & molasses that can be produced time & again at an affordable price.

The art of blending is something Mr Reynier has written out of his agenda.

Sláinte

Waterford Distillery website here.

Renegade Rum website here.

My blog on Waterford Whiskey here.

The samples were purchased via Tiny Tipple here.

Langs Banana Jamaican Rum, 37.5%

The rum world appears to be far more willing to embrace new flavours, styles & experimentation than that of whiskey.

Langs Banana Jamaican Rum is one of many flavoured rums to have hit the market lately – and it’s a growing market too!

Langs Rum is part of the diverse range of drinks offered by the Ian MacLeod Distillers empire.

The nose was very sweet & well – banana-y!

The sweetness followed through into a smooth & oily mouthfeel with the banana being complimented by hints of Jamaican funk & a welcome soft tingling spice on the rear.

Makes for a very easy & highly entertaining tipple.

Sláinte

Langs Rum website here.

Spirits Business report on Rum sales outselling Whisky here.

Ian MacLeod Distillers website here.

A Copeland Rum Triple Tasting, 40% to 57.2%, Barbados & Northern Ireland.

Irish Whiskey is often triple distilled, but this triple tasting includes rum distilled at the Copeland Distillery in Donaghadee.

I’d already purchased their Smugglers Reserve Overproof – read about it here – & found it a lively powerfully funky rum.

Their Smugglers Reserve Bordeaux Cru Rum at 42% won out over a couple of other Irish Rums also due to the funk – blog here.

Image c/o Copeland Distillery

So will the standard Smugglers Reserve at 40% hold up to scrutiny?

Well the nose certainly promised it would!

That sweet fruity funk lured me in. An engaging oily mouthfeel enveloped the senses delivering that rich funkiness & prickly enticing spice on the finish.

Lovely stuff.

Image c/o Copeland Distillery

The last remnants of my Grand Cru sample continued to delight. If anything – it delivered a more mellowed & cultured mouthfeel. Perhaps some would find this more appealing – but the straight forward bold flavours of the original still won me over.

Image c/o WhiskeyNut

The Overproof meanwhile managed to excite!

A powerful explosion of funky flavour, high ABV & an intense drinking experience is something to behold.

I must say I was mightily impressed by all 3!

That fruity funk signature note I love presents itself clearly in all variants making it hard to choose a favourite.

For ease of delivery, richness of flavour & overall accessibility & affordability however – I’m giving it to Smugglers Reserve, 40%.

Who got the funk?

Copeland Rum’s got the funk!

Sláinte

For clarity, Overproof was purchased in Donaghadee, Grand Cru was sample swapped & Original was kindly donated by Copeland Distillery.

Copeland Distillery website here.

A Rum Blind Tasting – 2 Killowens & a Copeland on reveal.

Well – I assumed they were rums!

Having previously arranged sample swaps from a number of sources – by the time of arrival I’ve often forgotten what’s been chosen from whom – rather than look up past correspondence I simply pour, taste & enjoy.

This frees me from any undue bias towards particular brands or styles.

Nor do I sit with them for long.

The samples are poured – 3 in this instance – viewed to compare colour – no noticeable difference here – sniffed, swallowed & immediate tasting notes scribbled.

A few minutes later Sample C was the clear winner.

Notes in italics were written before the reveal.

Copeland Bordeaux Grand Cru Rum, 42% – Sample C

Image courtesy Master Of Malt

Super bad, super funky! Rich & smooth tasting treacly palate. Gorgeous funky finish. Bit of prickly spice.

Nice one!

Image courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

Killowen Peated Dark Rum, 58.1% – Sample B

More depth & more funk – than Sample A. I tasted A to C – Smooth delivery, nice mouthfeel. Opens up on rear, prickly finish. Good depth of flavours.

Enjoyable!

Image courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

Killowen Dark Rum, 55% – Sample A

Nice nose, soft, sweet, rum like, slight funk. Bit sharp. Bite on finish, prickly spice. High strength?

Bit of an experience!

Thoughts

Well that was an enjoyable tasting – 3 lovely rums with a clear winner!

The smooth delivery, rich flavours & gorgeous funkiness of Copeland’s Grand Cru instantly won me over.

The 2 Killowen’s funk just didn’t shine in comparison & sadly – I have to admit – the high strength of Dark Rum was a bigger defining feature than the subtle flavours within.

Their Peated Dark Rum however – despite being stronger at 58.1% – did excite & while I didn’t detect the peat presence it clearly influenced my choice. Nor did the high ABV deter.

Where would your palate have taken you?

Donaghadee is where I’m going to replenish my rums!

Pusser’s Rum, Blue Bottle, 40%, Guyana, Trinidad & Barbados

There’s a number of British based rums claiming heritage to the historical ‘sailors tot’ that was given daily to members of Britain’s Royal Navy.

Image courtesy CelticWhiskeyShop

Pusser’s Rum is one of them.

Using Jamaican Rum – a former British colony – is generally a given in these offerings which are usually a blend of Caribbean rums interpreting the original ‘tot’.

Pusser’s however stresses the use of pot still rum from Guyana blended with marks from Trinidad & Barbados to create their ‘Admiralty Rum’.

A very dark nose of rich molasses & treacly funk greeted me.

Smooth & sweet on the palate with dark muscovado sugars dominating.

A prickliness on the finish exhibiting a slight funk & departing with a drying experience.

Ship Inn, Elie c/oTheWhiskeyNut

Pusser’s made a suitable tipple to celebrate completing another section of the Fife Coastal Path in the nautically themed Ship Inn by the Firth Of Forth in Elie.

Sláinte

Stroh ’60’ & ’80’, Original Austria Inlander Rum

A favourite pastime of mine is having a peek at other folks drinks cabinets to see what’s lurking there.

My friends in Bournemouth pulled out Stroh 60.

Never having tried Austrian rum before – I gave it a go.

A rather strange reddish hue greeted me on pouring – along with that burnt rubber, dark molasses heavy treacle kind of nose.

Oily mouthfeel.

Very sweet towards the finish – almost liqueur like – which just about hid the 60% strength alcoholic punch.

Indeed punch might be a more apt descriptor of this ravel novelty style drink.

There’s also an 80% version.

I happened to pick up a miniature when last in Scotland!

The reddish hue & burnt rubber were still there – but no amount of sweetener could calm the rather harsh & biting 80% kick coming through.

Until the finish that is – rather sweet & sticky.

If anything – the 60 version was more palatable.

Just wondering at which point a rum becomes a liqueur with Stroh?

Sláinte

All photos authors own.