Category Archives: Other Spirits

Stolen Smoked Rum

Stolen Smoked Rum
42% ABV
What the Bottler Says:
STOLEN is proud to introduce the World’s First Smoked Rum… the result of an artisanal approach fueled by the desire to reinvent the rum category.

We start with a column-distilled rum from Trinidad, made from locally sourced sugar cane and molasses. The rum is then aged for up to 2 years in used American oak whiskey barrels. Capturing the essence of a fresh brewed cup of joe, we infuse the rum using re-fractionated Colombian Arabica coffee, wholly distilled from same-day roasted beans. The warm, roasted flavor is complemented by the creamy sweetness and velvety texture of premium Madagascan vanilla beans and Moroccan fenugreek. The rum is rounded off with notes of American hardwood, acquired through a smoking process called pyrolysis—the burning of hardwood in the absence of oxygen.

The finished product is a smooth, medium body rum with a generous bouquet. On the palate, the deep profile of coffee, vanilla, warm caramel and dark chocolate mix with lingering notes of charred oak for a long, smooth, smoky finish.

What Gary Says
Nose: Burnt molasses, barbecue sauce and smoke.
Palate: Barbecue liquor, liquid smoke with some sweetness.
Finish: Mercifully short.
Comments: On the nose, this is what I imagine a barbecue infused liquor would smell like. In full disclosure, I’m not a rum connoisseur by any stretch. I really didn’t care for this. If you’re into different kinds of rum, maybe this is an interesting outlier (I remind myself that folks who like bourbon and first try Laphroaig might have a similar “What the @#$% did you put in this glass?” reaction). But this definitely wasn’t in my wheelhouse. The liquid smoke overpowers everything, and while I appreciate a smokey whisky – this didn’t have anything else going for it.
Rating: Pass

What Richard Says:
Nose: Rich sweet notes of coffee, vanilla extract, milk chocolate, and a hint of campfire smoke.
Palate: Rum or coffee liqueur? This is pretty damn similar to Kahlua mixed with Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Finish: The finish is a little hot and presents lots of espresso powder, cocoa powder, and charcoal grill smoke.
Comments: This is one of the more interesting things to come across the Whisk(e)y Apostle desk in recent months. However, there has been so much done to this spirit through the “pyrolysis” and “re-fractionated” infusion process that this seems like rum in name only. This would be better served as a Kahlua substitute given the highly pronounced coffee notes.
Rating: Probably Pass

We would like to thank Stolen Spirits for sending us samples to review.

Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia

Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Tequila
40% ABV
What the Distillery Says:
Reserva de la Familia® is the world’s first extra-añejo tequila. It is hand selected from the Cuervo® family’s private collection. Each bottle is made using only blue agave harvested at its peak maturity after seven to twelve years of growing in the field, and aged in French and American oak barrels for a minimum of three years. Reserva de la Familia® is best served in a snifter, allowing for full appreciation of its flavors, aroma, and velvety finish.

What Richard Says:
Nose: There is a backbone of subtle agave that you can smell but it is layered under ripe citrus and stone fruit notes.
Palate: A rich delicate sweetness rolls over the tongue reminding me of (duh) agave nectar, orange zest, and pumpkin pie spice.
Finish: The finish is very clean and refreshing with an almost minty woody undertone.
Comments: I don’t like tequila. I’m a master of all I survey when it comes to drinking whiskey but tequila has whipped my ass on too many occasions. I don’t know that I’ve ever really “sipped” tequila. The remaining occasional imbibing I still do is usually a margarita in summer. So when Cuervo offered to send over samples of this I didn’t exactly say no but I wasn’t particularly encouraging them either. After spending some time with the Reserva De La Familia I’m left wowed. This is fantastic. There is the slightest note of agave to hint at this being tequila but it is a lovely drink and nothing like tequilas I’ve had before. Again, I’m not a tequila expert so there may be better out there but this is best I’ve had. Whiskey and brandy drinkers should give this a try. Tequila drinkers should run out and buy a bottle right now.
Rating: Must Buy

We would like to that Jose Cuervo for sending us samples to review.

Stiggins’ Fancy

Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Original Dark Rum
40% ABV
What the Blender Says:
Plantation Pineapple Rum – Stiggins’s Fancy, created by company founder Alexandre Gabriel and cocktail historian David Wondrich, is inspired by several traditional recipes used in the 1800s. Gabriel infused ripe Queen Victoria pineapples in Plantation Original Dark Rum for three months, before adding the distillate of rum macerated sith the bare rind of the fruit. The resulting 40% abv rum is described as having notes of tropical fruit, smoke, citrus peel and clove.

“David and I did this project in part out of sheer curiosity,” Gabriel said. “Mostly, however, we did it because the pineapple is the symbol of hospitality and also the symbol of the Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice program.”

The new expression is also named after the Reverend Stiggins, a character in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick
Papers whose favoured tipple was pineapple rum. “Stiggins’s Fancy is our liquid “thank you” to the Tales Apprentices who do so much for all of us. We hope you all
enjoy drinking it as much as we did making it.

“The 1824 Journal of Patent Inventions notes that it was customary in the West Indies to offer pineapple rum to
visiting European friends. Following the West Indian tradition, Plantation Pineapple Rum is our gift to you.”

What Richard Says:
Nose: With a wisp of coconut this would smell like the finest pina colada in the world. Rich, bright, sugary rum interlaced with fresh cut pineapple…as you would expect, right?
Palate: Surprisingly, this is not cloyingly sweet at all. It is the most impressive pineapple infusion that I’ve ever tasted elegantly laid into the rum.
Finish: Dry and fleeting.
Comments: This rum is amazing. It is the most impressive flavor infused spirit (not just rum) that I’ve ever tried. By itself this is crazy good and enjoyable and in a cocktail it is damn near unmatched. Kudos!
Rating: Must Buy

We would like to thank Maison Ferrand for sending us a sample to review.

Cruzan Single Barrel

Cruzan Single Barrel Premium Extra Aged Rum
40% ABV
What the Distillery Says:
Using a unique blend of vintage rums that have been aged for up to 12 years, Cruzan® Single Barrel Rum is one of Cruzan’s most awarded rums. The term “single barrel” refers to the fact that after its initial aging, the rum is handpicked and blended before it is barreled for a second time in new American oak barrels and slowly aged again. The rum is then bottled and individually numbered one cask at a time. The resulting spirit is a well-rounded, mellow and full-bodied rum with a smooth finish whose distinctive taste is best enjoyed when sipped neat or on the rocks.

Color: Deep amber
Aroma: Rich aroma with hints of dried fruit, wood and light, sweet bakery notes
Taste: Balanced blend of caramel sweetness and oak, with a warm buttery finish

What Richard Says:
Nose: A rich dark whiff of paradise. Caramels, baked fruit tarts, fresh whittled branches (like you use for marshmallows or hot dogs while camping), and a lovely floral perfume.
Palate: Not nearly as overwhelmingly sweet as the nose would lead you to believe. There is a nice vanilla and toffee sweetness at the core but it isn’t cloying at all. It’s really very light. There is more dancing around the edges (smokey, woody, fruity) than really much vying for the core.
Finish: Dry with a bit of light wood and a minty back note.
Comments: Granted, my nose is so often in a glass of whiskey that many rums I feel like I could smell for hours but this one is especially nice. The palate is surprisingly light in comparison but I feel this makes the rum more versatile as a sipper, cocktail mixer, or whatever.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to thank Ryan and the team at DBC PR for sending over a bottle for us to review.