Encuentros Partagas November 2015…

Already booked and confirmed for the Encuentros Partagas at the tail-end of this November.  But, for those interested in the main details, I just found some of these particulars sitting in a promotional e-mail recently:

La Casa del Habano Partagás, managed by Caracol S.A Business Corporation, is inviting all Habano lovers to its 28th Meeting of Friends of Partagás, that will take place November 16th to 20th, 2015. This year La Casa del Habano celebrates the 170th anniversary of the Partagás Factory with the following program:

Monday 16:  Accreditation

Tuesday 17:  Welcome dinner at Havana Cafe, including competition and show.

Wednesday 18:  Day in the countryside: La Arboleda; overnight at Hotel Tuxpan, Varadero

Thursday 19:  Day at the beach &  safari to Cayo Blanco, including swim with dolphins

Friday 20:  Gala dinner at El Laguito, including auction and show.

For Information contact Casa del Habano Partagás, Industria # 520, Havana, Cuba Tel.: +53 7 8623772 or 53 7 8668060

Email: partagas@thabana.caracol.cu

Cheers all.

Rum Vertical-Slash-Horizontal Tasting (Part 2 of 4)…

So, continuing on from my previous on this ascending rum tasting, here’s the next five rums or so.  Supper was had prior to these rums – pork chops, green beans, and rice, enjoyed with the Mrs and the Rugrats.  Again, these are sampled straight up, about an ounce of each, with no mixers, ice cubes, or chilling, and enjoyed at room temperature.

And so…


4.  Nutz ‘N Rum Peanut Punch.  (14% alc/vol, St. Lucia)  This stuff is actually in a nine-year-old bottle from when my wife and I had our honeymoon in St. Lucia and we did a rum factory tour there, and I just recently found again during a liquor cabinet clean-out.  Essentially, this stuff is one-third creamy peanut butter, and two-thirds amber/gold rum (three-year-old approximately).  Sounds horrendous, but it’s wunder-bar!!!  As the label says, it’s best when chilled.  As for tasting notes – it tastes like nuts.  With rum.  LOL.


5.  Captain Morgan Tattoo.  (35% alc/vol, Puerto Rico)  As I mentioned before, most Captain Morgan rum I find to be sacrilegious to the good name of rum.  However, along with the overproof spiced rum of their I like for eggnog drinks, I also like this stuff.  I first found this in fall 2007, when my wife and I were on a golf and shopping vacation to Myrtle Beach.  Found this at a liquor store there, and was told at the time it was a special offering for around the eastern seaboard / Gulf-shores states, but in the past few years it’s been right up to Michigan and Ohio now too (haven’t seen it in Canada yet).  Apparently, it’s made with a two- to three-year-old rum, depending on who you ask.

This stuff is very heavily infused with flavourings and such, and is a distinctly darker colour.  In the glass, though it’s a darker rum, it’s very watery in appearance, and with no legs on the glass at all.  On the nose, black cherry notes and faint allspice, some sweet nutmeg and cloves – almost even an aroma of flat Pepsi.  Tasting it, it’s heavy with molasses, cloves, and black cherry, and the heat ramps up on the aftertaste.  Also, with all the myriad of spices they add into this rum, it almost reminds me a bit of that Jagermeister feeling in the back of your throat afterwards, almost like a tinge of NyQuil is mixed in there too.  LOL.  Even though that flavour is around the edges, this is one that can be sipped, but I’ve enjoyed it most on a 50/50 splitting with some classic Coke.


6.  Ron  Santiago de Cuba Anejo.  (38% alc/vol, Cuba)  Now we’re starting to get into what I like for going either as sippers or mixers.  This one is a bit harsh for the former, but mixed 50/50 with Coke, it’s pretty nice.  Cuban rum I find is a bit harsher compared to others (ie – a Cuban 7-year-old is sometimes not as good as a 5-year from somewhere else), but Cuban rums just seem to pair so well with Habanos cigars (whether it’s a mindset thing or not, I dunno).  This stuff (Anejo) is the five-year variant.

A faint bit of legs in the glass, I’m always amazed at how this one shrugs off any residual water to the inside of the glass – kinda like oil and water.  On the nose, there’s a light caramel nuttiness, but very strong hits of banana actually, and a smokey woodiness.  Tastes of ripened fruit, some candy sweetness, and a bit of citrus (orange peel?) and slight bitterness/sourness, are followed up with a bit of heat and a slightly harsh bite on the sides of the tongue.  The flavours overall aren’t abundant or apparent in a good mix to have me enjoying this rum as a sipper only – as mentioned before, it’s best as a mixer, as I personally think it meshes well with caramel-heavy Coke.


7.  Legendario Elixir de Cuba.  (34% alc/vol, Cuba)  This stuff is always a treat.  It’s a liqueur that’s made from seven-year-old Cuban rum.  Yup, that’s right…it’s booze that’s made from other booze.  LOL.  This stuff is an amazingly sweet and delicious concoction, it’s best as a sipping dessert aperitif after a nice long Cuban seafood dinner, and enjoyed with a post-dinner cigar.  Glorious.  And that, coupled with small production batches, are usually why it’s so damn hard to find on trips down to the island usually.

In the glass, this stuff has really nice legs actually, and has a bit of sediment in it usually (usually attributed to the pulverized raisins used to make this concoction).  While noticeably darker in colour for a seven-year-old, it sticks to the sides of the glass and coats it well.  Aromas are of lemon, light leather, and a vanilla-honey sweetness, and even with a decent raisin and even banana air to it.  In the mouth, flavours of dark smoky honeyed caramel hit you front in the face.  This shit is swweeeeeettt.  The heat of the alcohol is around the edges somewhat, but really covered by the smoky honey and sweet raisin layered flavours.  There’s a bit of an herbal background to it too, accenting the honey and lemon.  Reminds me of a white port, but with a heavier smokiness to it, and a more tropical palate accentuating it.


8.  Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos.  (40% alc/vol, Cuba)  This is my everyday rum-and-Coke rum.  While some seven-year-rums may be good enough for everyday sipping, I generally don’t think most Cuban rums fit the bill, and especially not the younger Havana Club stuff.  That said, it pairs too damn well with a Cuban cigar when in a 50/50 mix with Coke.  It’s fair to say I go through a healthy amount of this rum compared to all others in my cupboard.

This particular bottle is a Pernod Ricard produced bottle, purchased in Canada, and not direct in Cuba (though for this hemisphere, it is produced there).  Also notable is that the Havana Club product line used to be the Bacardi’s, before the Cuban Revolution and such, and recently Bacardi has apparently introduced a “Havana Club” product into the U.S.  But this stuff here is the Cuban production stuff sold worldwide by Pernod.

Lighter in colour than what I like to see, legs in the glass are faint.  Light aromas on the nose of caramel, buttered toffee, and a coffee mocha element, but they’re overpowered by the harsh alcohol ethers.  Harsh on the palate, flavours of nectarines and cedar with a butter and caramel edge are washed away by acidic and harsh alcohol layers.  It’s good, but not for sipping really.  Just soooo much better as a general-use dark rum for rum-and-Cokes and even stellar pina coladas.

Hic.  Okay.  Things are rolling along smoothly now.  Hic.

More to come shortly…

Go here for Part 1, here for Part 3, and here for the Part 4 conclusion of this series.

Cheers all.


Rum Vertical-Slash-Horizontal Tasting (Part 1 of 4)…

So, here goes…

As you can see from the featured image, I have 18 rums to go through.  Well, I actually had 19, but then Erin decided to scam her Malibu aside so I wouldn’t delve into whatever was left there…

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No loss there, LOL.  Stuff tastes like watered-down white rum and coconut milk.

With the main tasting stuff, I’ve generally arranged this to start with the youngest / white rums to begin with, and then working towards the more aged rums.  I’ll note the alcohol percentage per volume as well as the country of origin, and will note (where available / applicable) any lot or batch or bottle numbers, or anything particular to that rum.

Also, these rums will be sampled in approximately 1 ounce allotments, drank neat from a simple rocks glass, at room temperature (no chilling, no mixers or water added, no ice cubes).  Straight from the bottle, measured in a shot glass, straight up in a rocks glass.  Glorious nectar!

Here’s the rundown of what I’ll be going through, in order from basically youngest to oldest:

  • Bacardi Superior White Rum
  • Brugal Ron 151
  • Captain Morgan 100-Proof Spiced Rum
  • Nutz ‘N Rum Peanut Punch
  • Captain Morgan Tattoo
  • Ron Santiago de Cuba Anejo
  • Legendario Elixir de Cuba
  • Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos
  • Bacardi Ron 8 Anos
  • Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof
  • Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros
  • Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Dominican Rum
  • El Dorado 12 Year Old Rum
  • Dictador 12
  • Ron Santiago de Cuba Extra Anejo 12 Anos
  • Ron Flor de Cana Centenario 18
  • Ron Zacapa 23
  • Ron Zacapa XO

Let’s see how then rolls then, shall we.  Here’s the first three to start with (no cigars paired with yet, all enjoyed prior to supper):

1.  Bacardi Superior.  (40 % alc/vol, Puerto Rico)  The classic “big brand” of white rum.  This is a mainstay for me, for frozen pina coladas, daiquiris and mojitos.  That said, that’s about all it’s good for.  Very plain Jane tasting.  Only a one-year-old rum (two years max), it has no “legs” in the glass.  Slight vanilla and lemon tinge to the rum, not overpowering.  No real other tasting notes – it’s just a plain, white rum.


2.  Next up – Brugal Ron 151.  (75.5 % alc/vol, Dominican Republic)  Jesus.  This shit is rocket fuel.  On the nose out of the bottle, it reminds me of rose water (any of you having kids know of this stuff).  It’s very deceiving, in that you don’t think it any worse than regular white rum.  This stuff has a sweet bite, almost with an anise (black licorice) tinge, and has decent legs in the glass for a white rum.  Then – KAPOW! – this stuff hits you with the heat and numbness after.  With a bit on the lips, it actually makes your lips start to tingle and go slightly numb.  Slight honey and vanilla sweetness at first with this stuff too.


3.  Captain Morgan 100-Proof Spiced Rum.  (50 % alc/vol, Puerto Rico)  Yup, I’m NOT a huge fan of Captain Morgan.  I find that stuff tastes more like gasoline than many “cheap” brands of rum, and I usually cringe when I ask at a bar as to what their dark rums are, and I usually get an answer back of “Captain Morgan Dark and Captain Morgan Spiced”.  Yikes.  That said, I do enjoy this stuff.  Primarily, it’s a Christmas-time eggnog-and-spiced-rum that I have this with.  But, this 100-proof stuff is just that tinge nicer.  Huge hits of buttered caramel / toffee right off the get go, followed by some nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves, and a bit of sweet vanilla with the heat follow-up.  While this isn’t really a sipping kinda rum, it’s not unbearable either (though definitely not preferred).  My wife likes this one mixed with Malibu for her rum-and-cokes occasionally.

Mmmmm.  Palate’s warming up now.

More to come…

Go here for Part 2, here for Part 3, and here for the Part 4 conclusion of this series.

Cheers all.

Rum Vertical Tasting En Route…

…Or should I call it a Rum Horizontal Tasting, as that’s how I anticipate feeling once this evening is done!

Anywho, after sitting on it for quite a while, I’ll be doing a rum tasting tonight (and perhaps into tomorrow, LOL).  Relatively free night to myself tonight, so I’ll be pouring some modest helpings of what turns out to be the 18 different rums in my possession, LOL.  I’ll try to do it in blocks of five rums at a time, and will try to do some cigars in with it as well.

We’ll see how this pans out…depends on how many Aspirins I may need tomorrow!

Cheers all.  Literally!