The Rum Project Forum

Capsule Rum Reviews

Chapter One:
How I got here...

Chapter Two:
A Case for Reference Stds

Chapter Three:
Tasting and Glasses

Chapter Four:
Rum Tasting: The Process

Chapter Five:
A Basic Starter Collection

Weekly E-Tastings

Links of Note

The Caribbean: Unplugged

WIRSPA: Unplugged

The Ministry of Rum: Unplugged

The Ministry of Silly Talk

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1. Art of Drink: Just a few reviews, this is not really a rum site, but worth a quick perusal. Very quick.

2. Beachbum Berry: One decent page of reviews, a quick, fun read to get acquainted.

3. "Tastings", the Beverage Testing Institute: Now we're gettin serious. A great site, with excellent quick and complete search capabilities. Tastings features complete reviews and ratings on many rums from a panel of top tasters, including Ed Hamilton. It is worth reading about their tasting method, panels and scoring (link). Their method uses two rounds of tasting using short scales to ensure repeatability and reliability. Make this link one of your favorites.

4. Bilgemonkey Reviews: A real pirate, the "Bilgemonkey" is man who loves real rum and pulls no punches in his worthy and honest reviews. You can rest assured there are a few companies who won't be sending him any samples anytime soon. A must for your faves.

5. El Machete: I like El Machete. A Cuban afficianado who really loves rum and approaches his reviews with love, detail and care. His descriptors are accessible, accurate and reliable. He's not reviewed all that many rums, but you can rely on the ones he has. Machete's explanation of his method and ratings are well worth the stop. Make him a favorite.

6. Robert Burr's Gifted Rums Events: in our Paradise of South Florida of course. I have attended two of Robert's tastings and they are incredible fun, well organized and useful. Robert and his wondeful family are in attendence, and he always has a pleasant surprise in store, like a Richard Seale presentation, or a special tasting of Temptryst custom rums by the one and only Daniel. Be sure to get on his mailing list if you live anywhere in or near Paradise.

7. Internet Wine and Spirits: A list of 277 rums by type, country and brand by a retailer of rum. Accordingly the descriptions are those provided by the crack(ed) marketing departments of the distillers so needless to say, are hardly unbiased. Useful only if you can't find a good review or description anywhere else.

8. Ministry of Rum: If you only had one resource, the Ministry of Rum is surely a candidate. A labor of love (and free rum) by Ed Hamilton - sailor, writer, photographer, taster and reviewer of rum. Ed puts few if any rums down, but some are the recipients of faint praise. If he really likes one, you'll know it. The best feature is his Rum Lover's forum (of which I am a thankful member and participant). The world of rum gets together here. Add to your favorities. Now!

Special Note: Since this posting the Minister and I had a bit of a dustup over "rhum agricole". He lost his robe, I'd had quite enough and resigned, and only then - in a fit of blustering petulance - he "banned" me. After I'd left, lol. Like after you've received a Dear John letter and your only response is "*&%#*& !... and stay away!". You can read the whole story - it's a hoot - here (link). As the adult in this disagreement, I'm leaving his link up.

But keep in mind that the Ministry is sponsored, Preacher Ed is/was an agricole rum rep (Neisson and La Favorite) and promotes his annual "Ministry of Rum Tasting Competition". Real disagreement or critical commentary is not tolerated, the site lacks serious reviews, and Ed is always right. Always. A gathering place for a handful of rhum snobs, softball information and trivial factoids ("Is it true the new Appleton Extra label eliminated the '12 year' line?").

9. Peter's Rum Pages: Truly an amazing site. No real reviews but a virtual treasure trove of information, labels, awards, book reviews et al. All about rum. For starters click on "labels" which are organized by continent. You'll find information on the history of rum in that country, methods, local distillers and their own history, plus pics and labels of all known bottles and products. Peter's sources are cited and linked. A tour de force. On your fave's please.

10. The Polished Palate: a listing of important rum and spirits events like the International Rum Fest in Clearwater (Florida), the International Rum Festival (Ybor City, Florida), or the Spirits of Mexico (California) to name just a few. Just another advantage of livin here in Paradise.

11. Refined Vices: the home of "Count Silvo", gentleman about town, whose site is dedicated to the fine arts of rum, spirits, cigars, beer, wine and other gentlemanly pursuits. No pirates allowed (except for me)! This site is indeed refined, and includes a forum frequented by some of the others on this list, including Dood and Scotte, among others.

12. RnD Rum Reviews: One of my personal favorite go-to sites for rum reviews. Sue Sea and I have found that El Machete (above) and RnD (Roger n' Dave) are often very similar, and seem to identify many of the same wonderful aromas and tastes that we do. YMMV, of course. RnD's site is more extensive, El Machete's perhaps more eloquent. Both know their rums and you would be well advised to rely on these three gentlemen. Rums are organized by country, type, age as well as a recommended short list. Extras include articles on organizing a rum tasting, spicing and a neat rum map of the Carribean. Bookmark it.

13. Rum Corner:Actually a Finnish site ("Romminurkka") nicely translated into English by the author. The site has a nice quickie overview of the history, production and types of rum, and includes reviews of the author's favorites (be SURE to read these). He has excellent taste and admits and explains his bias for Barbadian rums. Worth a good stop, you'll learn something. Oh, he has a nice little forum too - the only section in Finnish. Fini.

14. The Rum Dood: The "Rum Dood" is a dude, er dood, who digs on rum and recently redesigned his site. Dood, aka Rum Dood, aka Teh Dood, aka Matt Robold lives in Orange County, California but I won't hold that against him. Interestingly enough the Dood is the second rum site webmaster whose inspiration came out of honeymooning in the Carib (the other is our Finnish friend at the Rum Corner, above). It was St. Lucia for Matt, which may explain his selection of rums (I kid the Dood). Dood's site is more a blog of discovery of great value to newbies. His reviews are limited in number but well worth the read as you'll learn how Matt goes about exploring and tasting the rum. And anybody who loves Mount Gay XO is a friend of mine. Nice site search tool. Mark it.

15. Rum Pages: A website by Rene van Hoven, a writer, collector of rum and memorabilia, and a rum tasting judge from Holland/Amsterdam. Rene organizes and conducts tastings of spirits. The opening page gives the rum news of the moment, some of which is quite political (Bacardi in the news). His history of rum is particularly worthwhile especially regarding slavery. The site thoroughly covers the production of rum agricole, very interesting. A very nice search "library", click on any letter. Worth a good stop.

16. Rum Portal: Is just what it says - a "portal" to the world of rum. Links to 184 distillers and 771 rums by region, country, distillery and name. Plus books, events, competitions and more. Be sure to join their mailing list. Yet another very useful reference when researching any or all rums.

17. Rum Pundit:a nicely organized and well done site with extensive articles and archives about rum. Excellent list of countries and distillers with links to their sites, which you should check anytime you are considering a new rum. The site does have reviews but you have to find em. The author is none other than Ian Williams the publisher of "Rum: A Social and Sociable History" - one of my prized possessions and a book that is a must read for anyone who really wishes to understand the incredible impact rum had on the founding and development of the Carribean and the United States. The site includes news, events, recipes, books, punditry, history and articles. Pour a glass of MGXO and nose around..

18. Rum Review: One of the first rum review sites I found and one that features the bartender's viewpoint. On one hand, I'd have to say that the reviews are biased toward mixing (rather than sippiing), but I must give Andy and Adrian full credit for getting me into Mount Gay XO. And Brinley's Coffee. Take a quick look.

19. The Rum University: A website frozen in time by the respected Louis Ayala and his wife. Louis is the author of several books, not least "The Rum Experience" which covers every aspect of rum from history to politics, recipes and reviews of nearly 400 rums. I was lucky enough to find a soft cover at $29.95, I was blessed. Ayala also has what may be the only online "Rum University" designed to help any idiot - especially a Compleat Idiot like me - to understand and appreciate rum. Personally I downloaded the entire site which serves as an invaluable reference. My link is to his "Rum University" pages but do explore. Bookmark this one twice!

20. Rum and Cigars Reviews: a British purveyor whose list of reviews is mostly just marketing descriptions, but occasionally included some nosing and tasting notes from Dave Broom, et al. The site is there if you need it, but you probably won't need it.

21. Scottes' Rum Pages: Scotte needs to be your friend with his great site with plenty of reviews, scuttlebutt, articles, tastings and more. Good search feature, simply click on a rum (left column) and you'll get all his articles which include it. A rum ranking and a nice piece on how he tastes and reviews that you will find useful. Excellent links. Keep up the good work Scotte! In your favorites please.

22. Solar's Rum Page: The solar site is really a, well, solar site but somehow - and thankfully! - there appears what I find to be the single most impressive page on rum on the net. A superb one-page history, overview, modern distillers and explantation, with extremely valuable and educational links. Read this page and you'll be a rum superstar. Better yet, copy this page and refer to it often. A must visit!

23. Spirits Reviews: Covers all spirits, including rum. Reviews 22 rums with particular attention to the agricoles, with nice nosing and cigar notes. Links to 150 distilleries. Worth including when reviewing, uh, reviews.

24. Tiare's "A Mountain of Crushed Ice": I first came upon the lovely Tiare on a well known rum website. She is one of the more prolific posters and has a keen interest and appreciation of Tiki drinks, spirits in general and rum in particular. Quote: "You'll find me mixing up a range of drinks, crushing ice over the whole kitchen, making garnishes, syrups, infusions and bitters, sipping aged rums or cooking up something spicy and photographing my experiments". Do visit this wonderful blog.

25. Wine Enthusiast Magazine: Similar to the extensive BTI (Beverage Tasting Institute, above) listings, I am sending you to their links page where you can search by type, rating, price and best buys. Tip: be sure to select "unflavored rums" for your first search (then try the other catagories). Searching on simply "Rum/Rhum" misses almost everything! A must bookmark!

26. Malt Madness Beginner's Guide: One of the coolest spirits sites on the net by an intelligent, funny and more than competent webmaster. I am sending you to his "Beginner's Guide" which will lead you gently into the world of tasting. You'll learn the vocabulary, techniques and find answers to how you can better enjoy your experience. You really should skim the whole guide, but if nothing else be sure, sure, SURE to visit the sections on Enjoyment (covers glasses, nosing, tasting) and Practice (of dramming). Great stuff, a must nose.

27. AllPosters.com: A wonderful source of many vintage rum (and other) posters. If you like great period art of rum or of the Carribean (like you'll see here), All Posters is a terrific resource. A truly mindboggling selection of posters, framed and unframed, in every possible category. Vintage art and ads, fine art, photography, food and beverage, travel, humor, motivational and world culture to name only a few. They even sell calendars, canvas art, frames, wall murals, standups and signs. Amazing. And with an advanced search option to locate any of over 500,000 subjects in any media by type, size and/or price. I'll toast to that! I beg you to visit this site. Personally, I bought this one..

Any resemblence to Capn Jimbo or Ed Hamilton is entirely intentional, er, coincidental. Actually the tin sign I bought was:

I believe a good cigar (a Presidente of course, lol) rum would be a good accompaniment to this one.

27. Portuguese Copper Alembics (Stills): A link to Destilarias Eau-de-Vie - Iberian Coppers S.A. a company of artisans that continue to manufacture (by hand) authentic copper stills of all kinds. For example, here's a couple pics, the first (left) of a small but competent "rum" still with two recipients designed to produce an acceptable distiallate on the first pass, with a second (right) of a traditional pot still (that will likely require double distillation).

Rum Still w/recipientsCopper Pot Still

The company produces stills from decorative to commercial. A home hobbyist can produce perfectly acceptable rum (and other spirits) with these fine stills, and do so for a modest investment.

28. Thousand Oaks Barrel Co.: Handcrafted, charred white oak traditional barrels in sizes (1- 20 liters), and accessories of interest to home distillers. It would be well to note these are new barrels. Prices are attractive, from $29.95 and up. Are these good barrels? How the 'ell would I know - I'm a Compleat Idiot!

28. The Rum Portal: Dennis Klindrup's site - accurately called a portal - to other resources, including this one. One of the more interesting sections lists rums by region. There are also links to events (mostly European), rums by name and distillery and much, much more. Yet another resource worth checking out.



The Rum Evangelist

Best regards...
Capn Jimbo

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