Nelson’s blood, nowadays more commonly known as “Rum”, date back to the 17th century when sugar mill operators noticed that molasses mixed with water could ferment into alcohol if left out in the sun. This, at that time very harsh spirit, gained wide popularity in the royal navy where the British changed the daily ration of liquor given to seamen from French brandy to rum – a half-pint of undiluted rum each day and always a double issue before battle and after victory. Packing a cannonball into a muzzle loader did not necessitate a particular clear head and facing blood thirsty pirates appeared a bit less intimidating after a pint of rum or two. Those times are now over and even though this tradition lasted over 300 years, in 1970 the Admiralty Board decreed that there was no place for the daily issue of rum in a modern navy. Since modern weapons require a bit more attention and alertness, the rationale of abolishing this old tradition makes sense, I would say.

They must be out of rum in heaven.
Under the fiery heat of the Caribbean sun, some of the rum evaporates from its aged oak barrels. Disappears altogether. They call the rum that gets away the angels’ share. I call it stealing.
 – Kenneth Warner

1. #78 hit – RUM COMPANY Aficionado
 rum_company_aficionado ON THE PALATE: Coffee, Chocolate, Caramel.

VERDICT: This Rum reminds me of the 12yo Dictador, just a sweeter variant with more complexity. Its ability to combine different flavor profiles, like coffee and caramel, without ruining the experience is truly impressive. GREAT complexity, GREAT balance, GREAT Rum period!

2. #73 hit – RUM COMPANY Cocorange Old Rum
 Cocorange ON THE PALATE: Oranges, Coconuts, Vanila.

VERDICT: Originally my intention was that Cocorange Old Rum would be for the female guests. However Gollum has come over me and I keep it to myself now. It is undoubtedly the best of the sweet rums I’ve tasted and you should definitely try it if you like Pyrat XO (even though it tastes nothing like it) and coconut rums.


  ON THE PALATE: Spice, Vanilla, toffee.

VERDICT: The more I drink Pampero the more I like it. It is neither smooth nor complex but still such a delightful experience that you can’t walk away easily.  Un top of all this you can get it for around 30 dollars which is a real bargain if you ask me.


4. #56 hit – DICTADOR 12yo
  ON THE PALATE: Cocoa, Tobacco, Nuts.

VERDICT: I can sincerely say that I have never tasted rum more roasted and burnt than this one. The flavor is unique and I warmly recommended this rum to people who don’t mind going beyond the beaten path. I should mention though that some friends of mine (who love Zacapa 23yo and El Dorado 12yo) did not fancy this one at all for some reason. Personally I can’t wait to taste its eight year older brother!

5. #15 hit – EL DORADO 12yo
ON THE PALATE: Vanilla, Raisins, Brown Sugar.

VERDICT: The taste of El Dorado 12yrs is unexcelled and I can’t recommend it enough. Period.

6. #23 – RON ZACAPA Centenario 23yo
  ON THE PALATE: Vanilla, Nuts, Toffee.

VERDICT: This is a wonderfully smooth and delicious rum but lack complexity in my opinion.

7. #28 hit – PLANTATION 20th Anniversario  
  ON THE PALATE: Coconuts, Orange Marmalade, Cinnamon.

VERDICT: This is one of the more sweet coconut rums I have tasted but it still manages to keep within an acceptable range. A must buy for coconut enthusiasts!

8. #30 hit – DOORLY’S XO
  ON THE PALATE: Tropical Fruits, Vanilla, Butterscotch.

VERDICT: Doorly’s XO is good, mild, and creamy and will satisfy most rum drinkers’ needs. The only reason to why I am not giving it a higher rating is because of its mild and light character and to a certain extent lacking complexity.

9. #33 hit – PYRAT XO
  ON THE PALATE: Oranges, Vanilla, Nuts.

VERDICT: Even though I have to be in a certain mood to have a Pyrat I take my hat off for what they have accomplished here. The mouthwatering citrus flavors together with heaps of vanilla and butterscotch makes it downright delicious. Highly recommendable if you want to taste something out of the ordinary.

10. #42 hit – MALIBU Back Rum
  ON THE PALATE: Coconuts, Coconuts, Coconuts.

VERDICT: If you like coconut rums you have to give this a try.



11. #75 hit – FLOR THE CÃNA 18yo
 Flor the cana 18yo ON THE PALATE: Cocoa, Vanilla, Spices.

VERDICT: The 18 year old Flor the Caña is a good everyday rum. I could imagine that some people would be put off by the leathery notes and dry taste but in my book this is just extra points. I still can’t grasp its huge success though. Especially considering its brief and watery finish.



 12. #44 hit – MALECON 21yo
  ON THE PALATE: Earthy, Spice, Toffee.

VERDICT: The thing I like about this rum is that it is smooth without being too smooth. Also its notes of toffee and vanilla are perfectly balanced by earthy undertones. Although this is not one of my favorite rums I still enjoy a glass now and then.

13. #46 hit – ANGUSTURA 1919
  ON THE PALATE: Vanilla, Oak, Cocoa.

VERDICT: Having tasted Angostura 1919 I was once again reminded about the subjectivity of taste. I do not share the popular opinion about this rum primarily because I find it extremely one dimensional. That said, the vanilla do dominate the palate in a very delicious way. There is no arguing in that. So if you are searching for a simple and light rum this one may be worth checking out.

14. #48 hit – FLOR DE CANA 12yo
  ON THE PALATE: Brown sugar, Vanilla, Allspice.

VERDICT: I really can’t see why this particular bottling gets so much attention. It is not like it is bad in any sense but at the same time I don’t find it remotely impressive either. Oh well again I am reminded about the subjectivity of taste.

15. #49 hit – MATUSALEM 15yo
ON THE PALATE: Brown Sugar, Oak, Spices.

VERDICT: Despite all the fine medals and reviews this rum has received I have yet to call it a personal favorite.

16. #47 hit – CONTESSA RUM
  ON THE PALATE: Tobacco, Nuts, Raisins.

VERDICT: I have certainly learned one thing from tasting Contessa Rum and that is: NEVER believe a salesperson, especially not in New Delhi airport. Oh well I guess it was worth 7 quids to taste the best rum in India.


2 responses to “Rum

  1. After thirty years of consumption, I have given up Cognac for premium rum. Wow, what a treat. I have had almost all the rums reviewed here and I agree with your reviews completely. The Vizcaya and Diplomatico rums should be on this list. Also agree, while good, Matusalem, Flor de Cana and Angustara don’t quite make it. The 12 year old El Dorado is spectacular. We don’t agree on the Dictador. Why would anyone want to drink something that smells like tar? Keep it up. You should try more of the Plantation rums. They are all good.

    • You are right, Diplomatico should be on this list I just haven’t come around to it yet. Vizcaya is new to me, I need to check that one out! I’ve had some really good Plantation rums, my current favorite is a Jamaican 1992 special bottling for Denmark. Regarding the tar in Dictador I guess why I like it has something to do with my addiction to Islay whisky. None of my friends like it though!

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