in Finnish

Rum Reviews

On this page, I introduce my rum tasting notes of the quality dark rums that I have tasted. I prefer rums that have been aged at least for a few years and have as few additives as possible. The limited variety of rums available in Finland is also a factor that keeps this page so short.

An attempt has been made to introduce the rums in the order of quality from the best rums to the less good. It should be remembered, however, that everyone has a different taste and even individual taste varies according to the mood, time and place of rum enjoyment.


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Cockspur V.S.O.R.

Cockspur V.S.O.R. (Very Special Old Rum) is a refined rum from Barbados, the legendary birthplace of rum. It is up to 10 years old blend and produced by the West India Rum Distillery in Brighton, Barbados. The cockspur brand was established in 1886 and V.S.O.R is the most refined of the rums in the line.

This review is a place-holder until I get another chance to sample this rum.

Cockspur V.S.O.R. is lightly amber in colour and both its nose and palate are soft and mellow, but not too much so. The rum holds charasteristics of refinement that make it worthy of its place on the high shelf. Personally, I hold this rum in great value also because it was the rum that me and my wife enjoyed on our honeymoon in Barbados in 2003. I also appreciate Barbadian rums in general more than many others, perhaps partly because of the water (filtered naturally through coral rock, which can only be found at Barbados).

Home page: Not found as of yet

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Barbancourt 15 year old

Barbancourt Estate Reserve is a 15 year-old rum and the premium rum of Barbancourt at Haiti. Its source ingredient is fresh cane juice and it has been aged in oak casks.

Barbancourt Estate Reserve is amber in colour and its nose is smooth and full-bodied with a hint of burnt sugar. The rum's taste is smoky, rich and dark and it has a relatively long aftertaste. A definite must-be in one's rum collection and it is hard to decide which I like better, this one or the 5 Star.

Home page: Barbancourt

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Mount Gay Extra Old

Mount Gay Extra Old is another great Barbadian rum and is a blend of rums aged 7,8 and 10 years. The source ingredient is molasses and the aging has been done in oak casks.

Mount Gay Extra Old is deep amber in colour and its nose is complex; smoky and warm while also warm and sweet. The taste is warm and smooth, as well as spicy because of the heavy smoky oak flavours. The aftertaste is pleasantly lingering. Again, a rum that one should have in one's collection.

Home page: Mount Gay

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Barbancourt 5 Star

Barbancourt 5 Star, or Special Reserve, has been aged for 8 years. Its source ingredient is fresh cane juice and it has been aged in oak casks. The rum is produced in Haiti.

The colour of Barbancourt 5 Star is close to pale honey and its nose reveals distinct caramel flavours as the rum warms up in a glass. The taste is lively and smooth with an undercurrent of smoky oak, with a short aftertaste. A very good rum that one should always have in one's collections and many consider this superior to the more aged Estate Reserve (It is very hard to decide for me, actually).

Home page: Barbancourt

Ron Matusalem

Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva, 15 Solera

Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva, 15 Solera is a 15-year-old rum made out of molasses. Although the brand originates from Cuba, the present product is manufactured by a company that escaped Cuba from under the socialism. Still, the manufacturers follow their original distillation and ageing methods and manufacture one of the best rums in the world.

Gran Reserva 15 Solera is light, coppery brown in its colour. The taste is refinedly soft and full, slightly fruity. The nose offers a piquant fragnance of sweet toffee. It's a very well balanced, enjoyable rum that deserves its place in any rum lover's collection!

Home page: Matusalem

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El Dorado Special Reserve

El Dorado Special Reserve is a fine, 15 year old rum from Guyana, produced by Demerara Distillers Ltd. This premium rum is molasses-based and has been aged in oak casks until the blending and the bottling.

El Dorado Special Reserve is dark amber in colour and produces a strong oaky smell with a definite touch of smoke. Like other demerara rums, this one can be characterised as a heavy-flavoured rum. The taste is very much that of burned oak, but with sweet softness telling of the 15 years in maturation. The aftertaste is warm and soft.

Home page: Demerara Distillers Ltd.

Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum

Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum

Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum is a blend of rums that have been aged 4 to 12 years. The source ingredient is molasses and the last stage of the aging has been done in American charred oak casks. The rum is a product of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum is golden brown in colour and its nose is soft and slightly alcoholic. The taste is soft and sweet, reminiscent of some cognacs. Its worth a try and certainly, due to its uniqueness, has a place in any rum collector's shelf. Despite the fact that the source ingredient is molasses, the rum shares more of its characteristics with the French tradition rums (made of sugar cane juice).

Home page: Cruzan Rum

Havana Club Anejo Reserva

Havana Club Anejo Reserva

Havana Club Anejo Reserva is a blend of rums produced at the distillery, apparently with an average age of about 5 years. The label on the bottle states that this rum blend was originally designed for the owners of the distillery. The raw material is molasses.

Anejo Reserva is a dark rum with a slightly syrupy and vanilla nose, that is dominated by the aroma of burned sugar. The taste is strong and slightly raw and spicy, with a hint of what I imagine to be Havanna cigars (haven't tried them myself). This is a good rum that I like to drink almost as enthusiastically as Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva.

Home page: Havana Club Rum

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Angostura 1919

Angustura 1919 is an 8 year old rum from Trinidad, produced by Angostura Ltd. This premium rum is is molasses-based and has been aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels. Angostura Ltd. has a long history, dating back to 1824, although it is often better known for the Angostura bitters, used in many mixed drinks.

Angostura 1919 is light amber in colour and its nose is very sweet and complex, with hints of vanilla and caramel. The rum's taste is as complex as its nose, pleasantly flavourful, although with a slightly spirited edge. It has a long, soft aftertaste.

Home page: Angostura Ltd.

Appleton Extra

Appleton Extra

Appleton Extra is a Jamaican copper pot still rum. According to the producer, it is a blend of rums aged up to 18 years. Appleton rums have been around since 1749.

Appleton Extra is dark amber in colour and its nose is mellow and tells of the general age of the blend. The taste is full bodied and strong with a long, if not pleasant aftertaste. Appleton rums are generally well thought of, but personally I do not hold this one in too much regard. The rather unpleasant aftertaste destroys an otherwise potential rum.

Home page: Appleton Jamaica site

Doorly's

Doorly's XO Fine Old Barbados Rum

Doorly's XO is one of the best rums from Barbados. According to the producer, it is a blend of best rums of Barbados that have gone through a second maturation period in Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks. The raw material is molasses.

Doorly's colour is reddish brown. Its nose is sweet and gives a hint of its Sherry-like quality. The taste is very soft and round and sweet. The Sherry-like quality of the rum makes it a very untypical rum and it suits situations when such variation in the theme is needed. A great rum that would reach higher in my charts if it was not too Cherry-like for my taste. I'm sure, however, that I will enjoy it occasionally.

Home page: Doorly's

Kaniche

Kaniche Guadeloupe

Kaniche Guadeloupe is a rum made after the french tradition out of the juice of the sugarcane and not the melasses. It has been aged for 10 years in old cognac casks, which has brought some likeness of cognac to this rum. This rum is easy to sip straight up from an aroma glass.

The colour of Kaniche Guadeloupe is shimmering light brown and the taste is that of a well-aged French rhum, warm and mellow. It also offers sweet and fresh aromas to the nose. While the rum warms up in the aroma glass, its aromas soften and the taste becomes even richer. Truly, a rum worth experiencing.

The only bad aspect about this rum is printed on the label. The badly mistaken history about the origins of rum may turn away some who could find this rum enjoyable.

Home page: Gabriel & Andreu

Clement

Clement Rhum Vieux

Clement Rhum Vieux is one of the products of an old and respected producer of French rhums in the Caribbean. Of Martiniguean origin, this rhum has been aged for three years in old cognac casks and is youngest of the aged rhums in Clement's selection.

The rhum is golden in colour and its taste is young and fresh with a slighthly sharp edge. Its aroma is smoky and dusky. While the rhum warms up, its aromas become finer while the taste becomes even warmer. Some people might prefer to add a little ice or water into this rhum to keep its warmth at bay.

Home page: Clement Rhum Agricole

Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos

Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos

Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos is, like hinted in its name, a 7-year-old rum and thus the oldest that Havana Club offers. It has been aged in white oak casks and the raw ingredient is sugar molasses.

Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos is yellowish brown or amber in colour and its nose and taste is stronger and more spicy than Anejo Reserva's, which is a softer, though younger blend. However, the taste is not burning, but nicely rounded with several distinguishable flavours. An ice cube is often recommended to soften the taste of this rum and to bring out its flavours and I concur with this recommendation.

Home page: Havana Club

Appleton V/X

Appleton V/X

Appleton V/X is a Jamaican copper pot still rum. According to the producer, it is a blend of rums aged between 5 and 10 years. Appleton rums have been around since 1749.

Appleton V/X is very light amber in colour and its nose is young and sharp. The taste is rather hot, young and underdeveloped. The producer recommends it for exotic drinks and I cannot but agree, although I have heard opposite opinions. Not for sipping neat.

Home page: Appleton Jamaica site

B Plantation

Barbados Plantation Rum, Vintage 1991

Barbados Plantation Rum, Vintage 1991, originates from an island which is reputedly the first place in the Caribbean where rum was made. The rum belongs to Gabriel & Andreu's Plantation Rums selection and is aged (judging from the age of its older sibling) for about nine to ten years.

Following the traditions of Barbados, this rum is golden brown in colour and offers an exteremely mellow and sweet, although warm, taste. Its aroma is also mellow and richly sweet. When this rum warms up, its aromas get stronger and more caramel-like and its taste becomes even mellower and loses some of its heat. The extreme mellowness makes this rum a slightly disappointing experience, since it has not much character to make it memorable.

Home page: Gabriel & Andreu

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New Orleans Rum

New Orleans Rum, or N.O. Rum, is a rather new product in the market and, according to the information provided by the distiller, it is the only quality rum produced on the U.S. mainland. The ingredient used is Louisianan molasses and the ageing (three years) has been done in small oak barrels. The rum is a so-called single-barrel rum and contains no colouring agents.

N.O. Rum is medium dark in colour and it has some copper-like quality in it. The rum smells rather clearly of maple syrup and it is very sweet and spicy. The taste is medium-bodied and syrupy with a definite spicy edge that leaves rather a long and ever-lasting aftertaste. It was a hard decision to put this rum on this list, but, in the end, this rum can be enjoyed alone more easily than Myers's. The overt sweetness is a small gripe, however.

Home page: Celebration Distillation Company

Soon to be added: A newcomer from the Plantation Rums lineup.