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rum reviews

Kraken Black Spiced Rum

On August 23, 2012, in Rum Reviews, by admin


Rum Guy has been at it again. Not sure how he does it, but this boy consumes a lot of rum!  Here is a review of his latest foray:

Kraken Black Spiced Rum. Apparently Not So Good

Today’s review of the latest Rum adventure is The Kraken (Black Spiced Rum).  This rum, brought to us via import from  Proximo Spirits, Jersey City, New Jersey.   The website is somewhat contradictory, which is becoming more and more common with some rums. At one spot it states the rum is distilled from Sugar Cane Molasses from The Virgin Islands. At another place is states the base rum is from Trinidad and Tobago, aged 12-24 months in oak barrels and the various spices are added.  The website states the rum is all-natural, gluten-free and vegan.  But is it any good?


The bottle itself is a contradiction.  The glass itself is quite attractive , solid, with handles on either side of the neck for carrying.  The label is black and white , much too busy with the hand-drawn logo of a huge sea creature like a cross between an octopus and a squid enveloping a large three-masted sailing ship.  The art style is as if taken from the old sailing maps from several hundred years ago.  The label is not impressive, but may catch the eye from a marketing standpoint.  I have bought rums previously based on the attractiveness of the bottle/label/contents.  But I won’t buy that rum again, unless it’s a good rum for the value.


Opening the screw-top of the bottle to let the rum breathe a little, I find my first concern.  No cork in the top—just the screw-top.  Upon pouring straight into a glass, the rum is dark, but not what I would call “black”, more of a dark brown, hmmm another concern.     The first taste offers a basic rum, with a touch of cinnamon, earthy chocolate, and perhaps clove, but all are very feint, and are more a vague echo then actually notes.  This is a 94 proof rum, much higher kick then most rums which are around 80 proof, but you can’t tell that by the taste, or the kick.  The rum mixes relatively well with regular and diet cola, not as well with fruit drinks.  For a spiced rum, this is very bland stuff, like a Disney Afternoon Special for kids.


Overall, I give this rum only a disappointed three corks out of ten.  Not a terrible rum, but for approximately $18 a bottle, I expect black spiced rum to taste like a dark, spiced rum, not a basic rum with some spices dipped in briefly like a tea bag.   This  wild sea creature of a rum is more krill then Kraken.

Tortuga Original Caribbean Rum Cake, 16-Ounce Cake

Bacardi Rum 151@ Carta Blanca 200ML

The Quest goes ever on….


–The Rum Guy

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Cayman’s Reef Barbados Rum Review

On May 12, 2012, in Rum Reviews, by admin

Today’s candidate for election into the Rum Guy’s Top Ten rums is  “Cayman’s Reef Barbados Rum”.  This is a mysterious rum, as the bottle indicates it is imported and bottled by the Cayman Reef Rum Company in that famous rum hotbed of Princeton, Minnesota just a few miles north of Minneapolis.  This town of less than 4,000 sits on the appropriately named Rum River.  However, web searches for the name of the company, and/or the name of the rum are fruitless.  It is evidently connected to World Spirits, LTD in Princeton, but there the search dies as World Spirits is privately owned and evidently doesn’t release much information about itself.


The clear-glass bottle is attractive with the name and two palm trees etched in gold offsetting the darker amber liquid within.  It states it is aged five years in oak casks.  Pulling out the cork, the rum aroma is quiet but flavorful.  Sipping straight, you can taste a hint of chocolate, and a brief kiss of blackberries.  This 80 proof rum mixes very well with both regular and diet colas with very little back-bite.   The finish is very smooth.  While it is not a perfect match for fruit juices it does not clash either.  It is good for frozen Boat Drinks.  This rum is soft and easy, like old comfortable house shoes, but like house shoes, you wouldn’t take them to a party.


At under $20 a bottle, this is a good rum for the price.  As a candidate for the Top Ten, however, it does not win the election.  It is not a great rum,  but I could see buying it again.


The Quest Continues……


The Rum Guy

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Rum Review: Rhum Barbancourt

On December 6, 2011, in Rum Reviews, by admin

In my continuing search for the world’s best rums and rum bargains, this entry reviews Rhum Barbancourt, a sugar cane dark rum from Haiti.  The rum is produced by one of Haiti’s oldest companies, Société du Rhum Barbancourt, T. Gardère & Cie in Port Au Prince.  The company began in 1862 by a Frenchman Dupre Barbancourt.  Currently the fourth generation of the family still runs the company.  The bottle states it is pot-stilled from 100% cane juice, aged in imported white oak casks for eight years.  Rum, like most wines, generally age well and improve with age and Eight years is longer than most rums are aged and should produce a fine product.  We are trying the Five Star Reserve Speciale.


Given Haiti’s long tragic history, I was hoping for a rum of good quality and a good bargain.  Spreading the word of a great product that could help the economy an impoverished country would be a positive outcome.


The bottle itself is dark, with a wheat colored label with a female figure (goddess?) in front of a blue star.  The company’s website did not explain the history of the label.  Upon opening the bottle, I was concerned with the fact that it was a screw-top.  In the few years I have been reviewing rums, there have been some good rums with a screw-top, but no great rums with one.  The great ones have a cork stopper.  Letting the rum breathe before tasting straight up, I found the aroma to be very chemically strong, almost like dry cleaning fluid.  The rum was dark as it should be, with a good dark rum texture.  However, the first taste did nothing to dispel that mechanical flavor.  Over several weeks of mixing it with Coke, Coke Zero, and various fruit juices, the rum was a great disappointment.   It reminded me of old school Ben Gay sports ointment: not a good experience.  Some rums may present better than others with soft drinks or perhaps fruit juices or boat drinks, but this rum didn’t blend well with anything.  Unfortunately, the only recommended uses for this rum would be for cleaning carburetors or perhaps pouring on fire ant mounds and lighting them on fire.


At approximately $25 a bottle, I was extremely disappointed in this product.  It may be the worst rum I have ever had.


The Rum Quest continues….


The Rum Guy


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Now that title is a mouthful.  The Rum Guy jumps into obscurity with his latest entry.

Today’s featured rum is from the lower price range of the spectrum.  The ultimate goal is to try every commercial rum and to find the best rum values on the market.  While some of my top rums are indeed in the upper cost tiers, not all have been a good value for your hard-earned cash.  So today’s entry, “Tropic Isle Palms—Spiced Cask Rum” addresses the other end.   While research found very little information about the company, the bottle states it is imported from Barbados, where “modern” rum is thought to have been originated.  The origin of the word “Rum” is lost to the mists of time, and several different linguistic experts disagree on that origin.   One item we can agree on, good rum means good times.  The island of Barbados makes a number of rums, some better than others but all are worth trying.  Historically, I have never been a huge fan of the “spiced” rums.  I have to be in a certain mood, and generally that happens only a couple times a year.  Purchases therefore have been few and far between, as I hate to spend the money on a rum and have it sit, lonely and ignored for months at a time.  That would not be a good rum bargain.  Having said that, I tried this Tropic Isle Palms.  The bottle has an appealing picture of two coconut palm trees and underneath that two barrels, to induce that impression of having been aged in barrels.  The rum itself is yellow-gold in color, similar to a beer when poured.  Upon opening the top, the aroma of fruit and spice rises gently to the nose.  Pouring a straight shot, this 70 proof rum is lighter than most I have tried.  The first taste on the tongue takes me to the tropics, with banana and vanilla overtones with a hint of cherry.  The spices seem to include a touch of cinnamon, cardamom, and light black pepper, but are subtle not overpowering.  It has a very smooth finish, perhaps due to the lower alcohol content but also to the right mix of spices.  While this is not a rum for drinking straight up, it mixes very well with both regular cola and Cherry Coke Zero.  With fruit juice it is a refreshing mix for a hot summer day.   Tropic Isle also sells a number of flavored rums if you are so inclined.   I am not a fan of flavored rum, but obviously people like it, as all the major rum distillers sell their own versions.   The texture and flavor of this Palms rum hold together, even if the drink sits unattended for a few minutes, which some rums do not do.  At about $12 a bottle, I was very pleased with this rum.  If you like spiced rums, or are looking to try one, I can recommend this rum, especially for summer outdoor social occasions.


Does it make my Top Ten Rums?  No, but a very good rum for the price.

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Balcones Rumble Review

On June 13, 2011, in Rum Reviews, by admin

I am not one to steal thunder from one of my valued contributors, but Rum Guy has fallen on the job, and I must go pick up the pieces. We review Balcones Rumble Rum.  This comes from the Balcones Distillery, in my very own Waco, Texas.  Now in order to assure Rum Guy I am not retiring him, I must reveal the misconception that led to this review. I went into my fav liquor store in Dallas this weekend seeking some whiskey.  On the Whiskey shelf was this unique smaller bottle labeled Balcones Rumble.  Now, since we review liquors regularly on this and our sister sight VODKAFACTS.COM, I pay attention to things like packaging, pricing, and word of  mouth.  But this little mis shelved gem had nothing but unique packaging.  So upon picking up the bottle, we realized that this was a Texas Distillary for making and marketing Whiskey. In fact, the only one in Texas.  In fact, right from my second home town of Waco, Texas.  Curiosity peaked. We had to purchase.  Of course, we thought this was a whiskey.  But one taste, and it we found this would be the most unique tasting whiskey ever.  So further research to their website Balcones Distilling revealed this is actually a rum……now I should have known that from the taste.  Well, I am not the rum expert, Rum Guy is.

Balcones Rumble, Waco, Texas

Balcones Rumble, Waco, Texas. Not Your Mother's Rum

This rum has a truly unique taste. In their marketing pitch, they embrace everything that is Texas Hill Country.  They make it with Texas honey. They make it with figs.  They use turbinado sugar.  Anyone in their right mind out there know what turbinado sugar is?  Then they tease you further by saying “this is what happens when whiskey distillers play with sugar”.  OK.  I know understand my favorite liquor store’s confusion.  I am confused.  Is this whiskey or rum?  Well, it tastes like one of the best rums I have ever consumed, so lets call it rum. In fact, tonights dinner is this mixed with my favorite soda.   But do not get me wrong, mixing this is somewhat of a sin. This is a strikingly smooth drink that is better suited for sipping. I would put it over rocks, especially now since it is been over 100 degrees in this distillers home town of Waco, Texas for over two weeks.  The honey taste leaps forward.  There is a smoothness to this drink that smacks of sipping over rocks. It starts fresh on the palate.  It never has a chemical burn or after taste despite its advanced alcohol content of 47%, ah thats 94 proof for you newbies.  A party waiting to happen, but please drink responsibly.  As stated earlier, the taste of honey is recognizable. In fact, this is the driving taste of the rum. There is a hint of fig in the taste as well.  OF course, if you mix it, which I am doing for my dinner tonight, these tastes fade somewhat.  You need to put this over ice, and slowly sip it.  Never mind, you northern states.  You likely cannot buy this rum, or global warming has not completely caught up to you yet.  But for us Texans struggling with one of what I believe will be the hottest summers in many years…….this is a mind altering godsend.

This rum is available in Central Texas, which includes some of the Dallas liquor stores.  Not sure about the planet Houston.  The other interesting thing is the name.  “Balcones” is a fault line that runs prominently from Dallas (most people in Dallas have no idea there is a fault line in Dallas, but a trip to southwest Dallas around Duncanville will prove it) to south of Austin, Texas.  In fact it is the Balcones Fault that creates the gorgeous Texas Hill Country.  If you check the website, one of the owners lives in Austin (the site for other liquors like Tito’s Vodka, subject to an upcoming review) with a ‘512’ area code number.  In fact, there is little on the website that would indicate this is a Waco Distillery.  Waco is just not cool enough.  I am surprised in this city of 125,000, home of the largest Baptist University in the world, and a ultra conservative attitude to boot, that we have this distillery smack dab in the middle of town. I love Waco in a sick way.  I find it interesting that these blokes marketing this product try to give the impression it is from Austin, which stands for ‘everything cool in Texas’, at least in an Austinite’s mind.  But check the bottle folks.  It is Waco.  17th and Franklin to be exact.  Sorry owner’s, you have been outed.

Go buy this if you are in Texas, but do expect to pay $30-40 for a 750 ml. bottle. And if you are not in Texas, well, you are screwed, because this one is well worth the money.


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Venezuelan Rum

Today’s entry into the sweepstakes of the World’s Best Rums is “Pampero Aniversario”. This dark rums sails in from the tropical clime of Venezuela where it is blended from 100% Venezuelan rums. The bottle advises that this rum-style was first made by the Pampero Family of Rums in 1963 to celebrate the 25th year of Pampero Rum. This was an “exclusive” reserve bottle with a wax seal on it and individually numbered. The distillery was established in 1938, which is quite encouraging, in the central plains area of the country. I will not comment on the current political issues of the country. Pampero was the first rum from Venezuela to be declared “Anejo” (aged). The distillery has been awarded several prizes from the international community most recently 2007. The company is not Venezuelan-owned anymore (political comment here? Tempting, but no) but is part of Diageo, the world’s largest liquor holding company. Well, if you have to hold something, I think liquor is a good choice—especially rum. Now, let’s talk rum….the bottle is pleasantly squat, the wax stamp gives it gravitas, while the label itself is not overly impressive. From a marketing side, the bottle comes in a beautiful, soft brown, handmade leather bag, quite distinctive and unique. When the cork top is removed, the rum aroma is reserved, soft, low-key like a 3 piece jazz group playing old standards on a deck overlooking a harbor. The texture is smooth, with a nice finish. However, the flavor is smoothed almost to the point of blandness. Like filing off rough edges until you are left with just a sliver and a pile of shavings. There is no “there” there, to quote Dorothy Parker. Drinking it straight brings the thought, “Is that it?” It almost disappears mixed with Coke or Coke Zero. It fares a little better with fruit juices. For approximately $28 a bottle, I was not greatly impressed by this rum. It is not a bad rum, just not a good value for the price. The Rum Road goes ever onward….. The Rum Guy

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Like a dog that reaches back to sniff himself, like a pigeon who delivers its message yet inexplicably returns to where it began, like a Phoenix rising from some sort of ashes, one must return to the homeland once in a while. This weekend , I flew like the Canadian geese to the north country. A goal of a quarterly trip in which I fail once again rather miserably, but when we return, the good times are always waiting in the shadows. Only this time, I did not want to just return to the same ole haunts, the same eateries, drinkeries,  the same routine.  Hell, I am old as hell, time to break out a bit and drag everyone with me.

Twisted Cuisine, Kenosha, Wisconsin

So, with a full family in hand, we headed to a differen eatery in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Lets be clear.  In this town of 10,000 bars, one on every corner…..the great, great Italian and Greek food, we branched out to something totally different. I had thought this was a new eatery, but,  enter Twisted Cuisine (And for you morons, click the name for the website.) This eatery has a vibe that is just not Kenosha. It is small and quaint, with a menu that tops over 25 items…..most really interesting. I was floored to find out from my local family that this had been open since late nineties.  Where the hell have I been beside under my Greek and Italian rock? The dinner started out with a round of drinks from the lively bar area where it was a mixture of those waiting for a table and those just doing the drinking thing. Good God.  No Belvedere.  First mistake.  OK.  I ordered Grey Goose, and will just have to put the review up on Vodkafacts.com, (again morons, you get the picture…good on ya!) The extensive menu of over 25 items ranges from Bloody Mary Salmon, Apple Reisling Port, to Roasted Duck Gnocchi. Truly interesting menu.

The place was crowded.  In fact, it was over run by patrons, leaving the management scrambling to get it all right. I had to use my sales thinking out of the box to get them to seat us and honor our reservations for 8p (truly late for Kenosha eating, by then, normally,  you have settled into your first bar stop). Afterall, we had a 88 year old family member celebrating a birthday with us, standing around was not in the cards.  The beginning drink was served in a unique, branded glass.  Not my martini shaker, but I liked it. Would have to go for two…..

For dinner I tried the Roasted Duck Pinocchio.  So I lied, every trip here I do order Gnocchi, since the rest of the world (sans Italy and Italian sectors of cities), and especially Texas with the exception of the trendy eateries that serve Gnocchi as a fru fru dish, from where I am from, no one seems to know Gnocchi. (By the way, the spell checker on this most popular blog program, knows not what Gnocchi is either, It tells me I am spelling it wrong, but offers no suggestions.  Silly, silly narrow software developers). The meal started with a choice of salad or Portobello Mushroom Soup with Italian sausage.  The small serving of the soup was excellent.  They served it with Oyster Crackers, the kind you find in the old supper club when you are trying to wake up your soup’s taste.  Save it T.C. The soup was excellent and it seemed a crime to put the crackers in the tasty concoction.  The Gnocchi was very good.  The main criticism is that the combination of foods tasted a bit too salty.  Instead of the obligatory cream sauce as most Gnocchi dishes dish, they put it in a broth…based on chicken broth.  This is what made it a bit too salty.  The Gnocchi texture was perfect. Chewy, tasty (these are basically potato dumplings).  Large tasty mushrooms accompanied the plate, topped with mozzarella cheese.  Overall, very, very good. Even with the over extended salt content.

Others at the table had: Fried Snapper Turtle in a Amaretto Sauce. Say good bye to Timmy the Turtle, and your four year old cries for three days missing his beloved pet that he never took care of in the first place.  A taste resulted in a really good  entrée…. despite skepticism that this was a novelty plate.  Others had Halibut stuffed with shrimp, Fettucini Alfredo with Udon Noodles, among others.  One plate, the Ribeye with Paremesian crust was just OK. The bone in Ribeye came cooked medium when the order was for medium rare. Eateries such as this often offer steak choices, but really, leave the truly great steaks to places like Capital Grille (morons…what does this mean?) and the like.  The other plate that was great was the Asian Sea Bass served on Cedar Plank. My god, a bevy of taste as the beautifully prepared fish was topped with an Asian Orange Sauce, but not overwhelmed with it. It truly was great, even though the plank looked more like a piece of hickory wood than cedar.

Desert was a sharing on their version of Bananas Foster. I cannot remember their ‘sound bite’ name, but OMG, this was to die for…..I think I rolled some Texan in an alley today screaming for my Twisted Cuisine Bananas Foster.  And I am not normally a desert guy.  By 9:30, the place was half full and it was time to close the tab and move on to the 10K bar scene. But I have no doubt that their night take exceeded $7K in revenue, and for a place this size with their expected decent rents, this makes for a very profitable business assuming your normal 30-35% food costs, which I expect was the case.  For those of you who never have been to this area, you may be confused on my light hearted comments on the bar scene.  Those who have been here, well, you know what I speak of…chances are you have stumbled out of one of these gems.

The menu pricing ranges from a low of around $12 to a high of $27. The $27 is for the rib eye and fillet.  Stay away from those, as mentioned before. Leave this for the great steak places or my patio grill.  Do embrace the interesting, wicked menu offerings that are offered for mainly around $17-19.  This seems to be a sweet spot for the K-town people.  Personally, since I am from larger city Texas area, I am used to paying for the same type of entrées a rate of $25-40. So for me, these prices were spot on and representing a great value to what I am used to.

Over all, I give Twisted Cuisine (Root, Lean, whatever) an 8 out of 10. If you are in the K-town area, you cannot go wrong, but I do recommend reservations. 7546 Sheridan Rd, Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Check the website above for the tele…..

Peace bro’s

An oh, we will be featuring some excellent travel logs on this site from Jason Hockney, a traveling salesman who uses his work to capture the unusual.  Look for a travel log on Kenosha shortly that features this restaurant and other fine qualities of this area….all with a twist and a fine eye guiding the camera.  Send me the links Jason……..


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Editors Note:  We continue with our Low Budget Review Guy who not only travels Texas, but apparently stays smashed on rum.  Check his great review, and he keeps it everything Texas

My newest entry in the ever-continuing search for the best rums brings to the bar a Texas-made product, Railean Rum.  I always like trying “Made In Texas” products, supports local economies, and business people.  Foods have been by and large a very positive experience, BBQ and BBQ  sauces, salsa’s, etc.  However, historically Texas made alcohol products have been an uneven result at best.  Some Texas wines are very good.  Texas booze, however, has had largely poor results for my taste-buds.  Probably because it is a new industry here, and learning to make good products takes time and patience.  That brings me to Railean Rum.  Owned by one of the few women in the business, Kelli Railean has a passion for good rums.  She founded Railean Distillers in San Leon, Tx on Galveston Bay.  She describes San Leon as, “A small drinking community with a large fishing problem.”  Sounds like my kinda place….their website advises they use Gulf Coast Sugar Cane Molasses.

Railean Rum. Very Cool

They offer three rums, Texas White, Reserve XO, and Small Cask Reserve.  My review is on the Reserve XO.  The Small Cask Reserve is produced from single barrels, which is rare.  The XO is blended as most rums are.  First, the bottle.  It  features the Railean mascot, a brightly-feathered Monk Parrot.  Evidently there is a large colony of these birds in San Leon and they have been adopted as the company logo.  (Do they get a cut?) The label is easy to read, well designed, and allows the  golden amber color of the rum to entice potential buyers.  Indeed, it was the rum’s color that caught my eye, and then the parrot on the label.  I picked up the bottle, read the label, and they had a customer.  Well done.  The label does state this is an ultra premium rum.  I am unsure what that really means, but in most establishments , that means a higher price.

Upon opening the cork top ( a good sign), I could smell the warm molasses based alcohol softly calling.  The amber color pours gently into the glass like a slow hill country rain.  The first sip was quite smooth, no harsh bite, with some chocolate and light pecan aftertaste.  It “finishes” very well, the oak barrels giving it a very smooth ride.  This rum makes you think of just sitting and watching the sun go down or hearing the tide come in.  It is an OK rum for sipping, I prefer the darker rums for that, but it mixes very well with coke or cherry coke zero.  Mixed with fruit drinks it blends well.

Overall grade:  I give this rum an “A”.  For about $18 a bottle, this is a good value and a good product.  I will buy this rum again and recommend it to friends looking to get something different than the large commercial distillers.   At this time, I am placing this rum in my ever-changing top-5.   I look forward to trying the Small Cask Preserve in the future.

My top 5:

So many Choices, So Little Time for Over Indulgence


Plantation Grande Preserve (Barbados)

Old Monk

Mount Gay Extra Old

Railean Reserve XO

Just dropped: Flor De Cano 12 yr

The Quest Continues….

The Rum Guy

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My latest attempt at finding the world’s best rums for the best value is called , “Old Monk” rum.  This is a 7 year old, vatted, blended rum.  Almost all rums are blended as part of the final step in making rum. It helps provide consistent flavor and color.   “Old Monk” comes in an attractive, squat bottle, with a short neck and pebbled, or almost etched glass, reminiscent of clear alligator hide.  The busy, unimpressive label is black and red with Olde-English script.  The surprising part was it country of origin: India.  This rum is a product of Ghaziabad, an industrial city  in Upper Pradesh, India.  It is in the northeast corner of the country towards Nepal but not far from Delhi.  Being unfamiliar with India, I was at first quite surprised and then pleased to try this rum.

First, a few kitchen chores:  Here is the link to the website Old Monk Rum

Old Monk Rum

Uninteresting Label Rum Guy, Really?

The dark, sugar cane rum is supposedly one of the world’s top sellers.   Upon opening the screw top and inhaling the aroma, the rich, tad-more-than-semi-sweet flavor wafted gently up.  The sugar-cane was very present and quite promising.  As I poured a shot for straight-up tasting  into my glass, the rum presented  even more, a dark maple-syrup color, and rich texture.  This 80 proof rum had a very impressive first taste.  Rolling it over the tongue, the flavor was strong, earthy, smoky, with just a little bite at the finish.   This is a rum you can drink straight, or even better, over ice. Mixed with Coke, Cherry Coke Zero, it blends very well.   Mixing it with various fruit juices it mixed surprisingly smooth, unusual for a dark rum.   Some dark rums overpower the fruit juice, some simply cover it like a heavy smog bank layered on top of the juice.  This rum blends  with a smooth teamwork where both juice and rum are present and pleasantly enhanced.   I have not yet tried it in Boat Drinks, for my “Frozen Concoctions”, but almost always it will be a similar result to mixing with fruit juices.  If it works for one, it will work for the other.  I look forward to it.

Net result:  For $18-$22 a bottle, this rum is a keeper.  Great value, very good flavor and texture.  A good choice.

Correction:  My previous Low Budget Rum Review gave a mixed grade for “Mount Gay Extra Old”.  It was a very expensive rum, very smooth, but I felt not a very good value given the taste vs. price.  I have to humbly adjust my grade.  After finishing the entire bottle, I realized my opinion had risen considerably about this rum.  If you are looking for high quality and the higher price doesn’t scare you away, I would highly recommend this rum.  It has caused a change to my rum rankings below:

1)      Pyrite

2)      Plantation Grande Reserve (Barbados)

3)      Old Monk

4)      Mount Gay Extra old

5)      Flor De Cano—12 yr

The Quest continues….

The Rum Guy….and primary Low Budget Review Guy

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My latest purchase was a rum listed by several sources as one of the top rums made today:  Mount Gay Rum—Extra Old.  This premium run is from Barbados and has been made since 1703.  While I am always fascinated by the various bottle shapes by Rum makers(marketing geeks take note) it is ALWAYS about the inside that counts.  This bottle is  mostly plain with manufacturers’ crest of some sort etched into the bottle. What caught my eye was the cork screw top.  Don’t have any scientific documentation, but the rums I have tried stopped with cork, just seem better than those with a regular top.

This was the most expensive bottle of rum I have ever tried.  It was a birthday present to myself, and it was in the $40-$50 range.  The rich amber color of the rum as it poured into the glass was very promising.  It is 86 proof, a little stronger than most rums I have tried, and you can tell the difference.

Mount Gay Rum

Opening the bottle, the aroma is rich, stout, promising warm nights, cool breezes, and swaying palm trees.  A very good start.  Sipping it straight, the first intake is unbelievably smooth, no bitter aftertaste, no bite.  This was the first rum I can honestly say I could sip straight, like a whiskey.  It melts in your mouth like warm brown sugar.  Mixed with Coke , or Cherry Coke Zero, it mixes well, with a rum flavor that blends, if used in the right proportion with the mix.  However, it is not a rum to drink if you decide to “double down” the rum content of your drink.  It will overpower the cola.  Also, it does not mix that well with fruit drinks or the frozen mixes.  A lot of darker rums don’t make good Boat Drinks and this one is no exception.

Bottom Line:  Very good rum within its particular parameters.  Expensive, and not necessarily a good value for the money.  Sometimes paying the cost for higher end goods and services brings a higher return in quality and sometimes you just pay more.  Mount Gay Extra Old did not meet the high expectations given the cost.

My Top Three Rums:


Plantation Grand Reserve

Goslings Black Seal

The Quest Continues.

The Rum Guy

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