Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rum Fire, "Flavor on full"! or "Taste the Base!"



Rum Fire, to talk about it I'm going to go back a few years and tell you how I found it. Sitting on the patio outside of the Broken Shaker, I was sitting with a bunch of friends that were all in Miami for the Rum

Renaissance Festival and somebody pulled out a flask of Rum Fire and we all took a sip. Every one of us was impressed, amazed and intrigued. We wondered why this wasn't available in America and how beautiful Rum Fire was; it's huge Jamaican style rum, pungent aromatics. amazing structure, elegant depth and lovely warmth, or the best of everything you expect an excellent Jamaican overproof rum.

So that was a few years ago and every chance I've had since then, I've enjoyed Rum Fire. Usually neat, maybe with some ice, but that's how I am. Fortunately, I recently received a bottle from a friend and I was at home, so I made some cocktails and of course, Rum Fire held up brilliantly. Obviously, it blends perfectly with fruit juices because of the nature of it higher-proof, its intricate aromas, and its lovely full body; it stands up to sugar for the very same reasons. Because of how Rum Fire melds with juices and sugars it makes it an obvious addition to a variety of tiki drinks. Wild, fragrant, beautiful, ornate, elaborate drinks are no problem, Rum Fire will shine through.


Photo by Nicholas Feris

Jamaican Valet

1 oz. Rum Fire Overproof Rum
1 oz. Amargo-Vallet
1 oz. Lime juice
1 oz. simple, or gum syrup (optional/ adjust)

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, top with soda (or tonic)
Garnish with lime









The surprise was making 'traditional' style cocktails using rum a bitter modifier maybe a little sweetener or sweetening modifier, chilled and served in a classic glassware. I love those kinds of drinks, and my goodness I was floored immediately; I could see Rum Fire substituting for any huge gin immediately, I could see it marrying with vermouth's, amaro's, bitters, Sherry, or Port. All these things that are components to classically structured vintage cocktails--the kind of drinks not normally associated with an unaged, over-proof rum. Discussing this with my friend who gave me the bottle of Rum Fire, he coined the phrase "Taste the base".
Photo by Nicholas Feris




Heated Conversation

1 ½ oz. Rum Fire Overproof Rum
1 oz. Fino sherry
1 ½ oz. Amaro Montenegro

Stir with ice
strain into a cocktail glass
garnish with orange zest





That is -to me- the foundation of an elegantly structured classic cocktail; a cocktail that's built around a foundation spirit and augmented to amplifies the depth and breadth of the flavors without diminishing, or clashing with, the beauty of the base. Rum Fire is a perfect way to make these incredibly complex cocktails because of the immensity of the flavors in the foundation spirit. Anyways, here are a couple of cocktails that I came up with using fairly simple ratios that had fantastic results. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

While I was getting this ready to post, I noticed that Mixology Monday coming up and that this went perfectly with the subject that was presented by Stacy Markow at http://www.stacymarkow.com/.
Both of these drink utilize and could be utilized as a digestif
 Here is the link to the recap: http://www.stacymarkow.com/2016/12/27/mixology-monday-digestif-roundup/

Fantastic tour/history: http://www.therumcollective.com/2012/01/past-and-present-tour-of-hampden-estate.html
Their Website: http://www.h
ampdenrumcompany.com/products.html
Here is a great piece by my buddy Steve: https://www.uncommoncaribbean.com/2016/08/26/friday-happy-hour-the-tempestuous-trelawny-daiquiri/
Here another nice bit about the distillery that Rum Fire comes from http://rumconnection.com/hampden-estate/

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

BARRELL RUM Batch #001

WHAT? Barrell RUM? I know, I have been looking forward to this since I mentioned the idea to Joe and he said; "He's already working on it". Needless to say, when I saw this I was excited. When I saw what it was . . . I was giddy. I love big Jamaican Rum and, well let's just go into the details before I get all goofy.
A reminder, all Barrell offerings are limited and I've already mentioned in previous reviews how much I love this company's concept and selections, so click this link if you want to read those, let's move on!
Yes, I stole this from their website!
Basics on this RUM:
~ It was distilled and aged in Jamaica
~ It is made from fermented molasses
~ It was distilled in a pot still
~ It was aged 7 years in ex-Bourbon Barrels
~ It has been bottled at 134.73 proof
~ I is uncut, uncolored and is not chill-filtered

For their 1st batch of rum, BARRELL wanted to make an impact and they have certainly done that. Big, lovely, pungent aromas and flavors beautifully express the perfection of well-aged Jamaican Rum. It is warmly inviting and a perfect introduction to excellent rum --especially for lovers of high proof bourbon. This gem has, sadly, already let my house, I hope you can find some for your house.

Aromas of plantains baked with fresh grated ginger, lemon zest, nutmeg and almond with a dash of salt and drizzled with molasses are just the beginning. Like all well-aged Jamaican rums, there is a complexity that belies the idea of structure (which is deeply articulate on inspection). The barrel does its dance too, with familiar cinnamon, vanilla, coconut and a hint of char, but the rum stands tall. The flavors begin at the toasty nuances from the barrel and begin to spread with lime, grapefruit, and some oily pecan. The finish actually seems to start at the very first sip and build throughout the tasting experience, lingering to the finally that we will call the finish and hang on even longer for the after taste.

The company was founded by Joe Beatrice and Barrell Bourbon is committed to unique offerings with exceptional quality as the consistent bridge that connects each BatchThe whole website is fantastic. You can check out reviews (or post your own) and there some details on every offering that they have released and how / where to find them: As always, the Tasting Notes by Warren Bobrow are here and will definitely entice you,

Monday, December 12, 2016

Barrell Bourbon Batch 010

It's the holiday's so I wanted to be quick with this Barrell Bourbon review because they are so limited, and excellent.I'll mention again how much I love this concept and each selection has been fantastic, so click this link if you want to read some of the other reviews and let's move on! It is wonderfully expectable that each offering will show up and be delicious, during doing my due diligence in this review this Batch 010 hit my bourbon magic spot! Now this will make 8 (or more, I tasted a couple out in the wild and didn't get proper notes) different offerings from the team at BARRELL and each one has been great whiskey. Let's get the basics out of the way first:


Basics on this bourbon:
~ Straight Bourbon
~ Distilled in Indiana
~ Aged in Michigan
~ Crafted in Kentucky
~ 122 proof {uncut, un-colored, non-chill-filtered}
~ 8 years {new American Oak}
~ 75% corn, 21% rye & 4% malted barley

So from the last offering I wrote up, this from a different state, aged in a different state, a little younger, a different mash bill and ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. Again, I am not saying this offering is a better bourbon than the others, it just hits my sweet spot.

Aromas of citrus, roasted corn, vanilla, caramel, quince, steamy wood, sunflower seed, and fresh honey are supple and intrigue.
The flavor takes off from there building with cocoa nib, stewed stone fruits, fresh citrus, oily nuts, wonderful spice and impeccable balance. These daedal intricacies are like gossamer rather than layers--as you focus on one thing another is obscured but the memory draws you back to reexamine.
The finish is really the only hope of clarity; it finishes forever and instead of intensifying as the aromas and flavors did, it SLOWLY fades so you can try to observe the excellence included in this whiskey.

This is excellent Bourbon! An absolute treat to taste.

Check out Batch 010 on their website: http://www.barrellbourbon.com/batch10
I am going to quote my friend Warren Bobrow from his synopsis on the site: "Batch #10 is a revelation. Bursts of slowly roasted fruits enrobed in dark cocoa and touched with wood smoke abound. Swirls of wildflower honey and crushed walnuts come and go with every single sip rewarding attention and focus. Grits topped with long-simmering stew with undercurrents of saline, quince, and Meyer lemon".

Warren nailed it, you grab this one before it is gone!

Background info on the company: it was founded by Joe Beatrice and as Barrell Bourbon (and other Barrell offerings) they are committed to unique bottling's of exceptional quality as the consistent bridge that connects each BatchHere is their website and it is fantastic. You can check out reviews (or post your own) and there some details on every offering that they have released and how / where to find them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Barrell Bourbon Batch 008

I have no idea why this review was not posted already. Dang, I am so busy sometimes I get confused. I've have had this ruminating since late August and now it's late October--I have to be quicker on these Barrell reviews because they are so limited.I've already mentioned in my previous reviews how much I love this company's concept and selections, so click this link if you want to read those, let's move on! It is definitely getting to be deliciously predictable that the bottle will show up and be a winner, but I will do my due diligence! This will make 7 different offerings from the team at BARRELL and each one has been great whiskey.

I stole this picture from their site, behold Batch 008
Basics on this bourbon:
~ Straight Bourbon
~ Distilled and aged in Tennessee
~ 132.8 proof {uncut, un-colored, non-chill-filtered}
~ 9.5 years {new, charred, #4 white oak}
~ 70% corn, 25% rye & 5% malted barley

The biggest difference between Batch 005, 006, 007, 007B and the 008 is amazing. The mash bill is very close and barrel char is the same, the ages vary, but 008 is the oldest of this group and it is --by far-- the highest proof, it is almost 5% ABV higher than all the others of these. The mash bill; the distillery; the same barrel treatment, presumably the same aging warehouse. Like I said previously, these kinds of offerings show you how differently whiskey can evolve as it ages.

Aromas lead with smoky spice creamed corn with lots of fresh pepper, straw, pecans, and cacao.

The palate is a maze of nuance that must be attended to or you could miss so much (while still getting a whole bunch--there is a lot of love in there). The flavors are a displayer of checks and balances--stone fruits / chocolate, berries / articulated sugars. The tastes seem to dance and tease while dutifully reminding you of the savory spices.

The finish is warm, layered and lingers to attempt to remind you of all that you tasted and the power of the proof.

Excellent Bourbon! An absolute treat to taste.

Check out Batch 008 on their website: http://www.barrellbourbon.com/batch-008

The company was founded by Joe Beatrice and Barrell Bourbon is committed to unique offerings with exceptional quality as the consistent bridge that connects each BatchClick here to read their story on the website.

Oh, and the whole website is fantastic. You can check out reviews (or post your own) and there some details on every offering that they have released and how / where to find them: Check it out here: http://www.barrellbourbon.com/ It looks like Batch 009 is out now (or coming soon!).
And as always, the Tasting Notes by Warren Bobrow are there to entice you,

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ron Cartavio

I've struggled with this review for no good reason for so long it is driving me mad.
The rum is fantastic, I enjoy every expression. My problem is that every-time I start to write something, I cruise around the web a bit and see that my friends have already written something similar, they have been to the distillery, have a million cooler photos and all I can really do is pile up another mountain of verbiage.
So here is an idea, I am going to tell you I think this rum is very tasty, an absolute pleasure for me to share and I am going to introduce you to some of my web friends so you can see how eloquently they have written about it!
Cool Ad I found!

Head to Rob's Rum and put Cartavio in the search window.  Rob's Rum
My very good friend Nicholas Feris had something to say! The Rum Collective
Check out what Chris has to say and his extensive photos from Peru. Spirits Reveiw
My pal Dave covers 3 expressions, links below . The Rum Gallery
Matt gets detailed! Cocktail Wonk
Paul Senf and Margerat Ayala also gave a lovely write up the XO. GOT RUM?
Josh does a great job here! Inuakena

Here is the Ekeko > web page.

Also, check out Tastings, don't know these guys, but they do a really good job. Plus, they have links to reviews of each rum if you scroll down the page. ****Side note, my 2 favorite to 'regularly' enjoy are the 2 lowest rated.
Distiller has a review for the XO here,  and the 12 Solera here.

I don't think I know the Lone Caner, but I like his style. Lone Caner

Sorry if I forgot to include anyone. Email me, PM me or text me and I'll add you to the list!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Barrell Bourbon Batch 007

Back to the Bourbon! I told you I was paying attention to Batch #'s and since I've already confessed how much I love this company, let's move on! It is definitely getting to be deliciously predictable that the bottle will show up and be a winner, but I will do my due diligence! This will make 7 different offerings from the team at BARRELL and each one has been great whiskey.

As usual, I stole this picture from their site, behold Batch 007: 

Basics on this bourbon:
~ Straight Bourbon
~ Distilled and aged in Tennessee
~ 122.4 proof {uncut, un-colored, non-chill-filtered}
~ 5 years {new, charred, #4 white oak}
~ 70% corn, 25% rye & 5% malted barley

The biggest difference between Batch 005 / 007 and the 007 is the age. 007 is a few years younger but a very similar mash bill; the same distillery; the same people; the same barrel treatment. I said before, I'll say it again, these kinds of offerings are so informative, especially if you keep the open bottles to try next to each other. I don't (usually), but I do keep decent notes and I do have a good sense memory. So, next best thing.

The corn character is opulent in this, the 5 years in wood have given this Bourbon a gorgeous balance. 007 shows more of the lighter, brighter fruit (like 006) with a definite shine of citrus against the darker notes you find in #4 char barrels- maple, caramel, cinnamon, cocoa, with some hints of the char coming through the structure is checked with tart fruit in a spiced lassi dusted with baking spice.

Nose: Aromas of light juicy summer fruits, with some softer citrus and Peruvian popcorn, playfully bounce from scents of darker oak with creamy notes of caramel woven in,

Taste: The flavors focus on pocket pastries with over-ripe stone fruit and buttery crust, without sacrificing the aromas. The flavors build to unified statements of rich. spiced, fruit and balance.

Finish: It goes on and on, re-stating the aromas and flavors, but also revealing some fleshier aspects to be sought out in subsequent tastings alongside a darker showing off the fruits.

This is beguiling whiskey, it is youthful but only if you think about it. It has an "old-soul" if that makes any sense. Definitely, a whiskey to seek out and savor.

*Founded by Joe Beatrice, Barrell Bourbon is committed to unique offerings with exceptional quality as the consistent bridge that connects each Batch. They tell their story on the website, check it out.

By the way, the website is fantastic. You can check out reviews (or post your own) and there some details on every offering that they have released and how / where to find them: Check it out here: http://www.barrellbourbon.com/

And definitely, check out the Tasting Notes by Warren Bobrow, they'll make you hungry and thirsty at the same time!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Senda Real Tequila

This is a fantastic tequila that is kind of difficult to find if you are not in Southern California. This tequila is from NOM 1482, the name means 'Royal Path',  they own all their own agave, horno roasted--you know old school. That's what I think when I taste this tequila, blanco and reposado both, it reminds me of when I was younger and I would go to Mexico and score this style of tequila. I call it traditional, maybe even royalty, tequila for Mexico =honest tequila. Oh, and another thing to mention is, this tequila is a fantastic steal!

My pal Lou lays it down right here . . .
On Sipping off the Cuff, my buddy Mike goes crazy for it!
Or check out the US distributors site. . .  

But briefly, the Send Real Blanco is bold, pungent citrus, elegant spices, persistent minerality with great structure. Perfect for shots, cocktails parties and a good time!
The Senda Real Reposado is the blanco, but much richer with more baking / barrel spices thrown in. It is delicious, layered and balanced.

I'm in the mood for a beverage and these 2 cocktails are perfect to stand up to the rich bold agave of Sena Real, and either one (Blanco or Reposado) would be fantastic for either drink. These recipes are from Cafe Royal, by W.J. Tarling and these are my adjusted ratios, but please feel free to adjust to your preference.

Matador 

1 1/2 Oz Senda Real
1 Oz Orange Curacao (Clement Creole Shrub)
1 Oz French Vermouth (Dolin Dry / Noilly Pratt may be preferred for the Blanco)

I say stir with ice till very cold, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tia Juano 

2 Oz Senda Real
1 1/2 Oz French Vermouth (Dolin or Noilly Prat--Lillet even works here).
1/2 Oz Campari. (I love it with 3/4 Oz--but I am bitter)

Stir with ice till very cold, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chacun prépare sa propre mort ~ Ti' Punch!

Yay! Ti' punch day!

"Chacun prépare sa propre mort", is the phrase associated with Ti' punch in its homeland. What it means is "Each one prepares his own death". The way that Ti' punch is served is communal, several bottles of rhum, some limes, some sugarcane syrup or sugar, cups and ice if you like. Everyone makes their own drink, however, they like it.

To be honest, though, really this just a shout out post!
I am a huge fan of Ti' punch and always have been.

If you want more info, details, even videos, my buddy at the Rum Collective does a great job with the details, check it!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Kirk & Sweeney Rum 12 Year

3 Badges (formerly 35 Maple St) has done a wonderful thing in bringing us Kirk and Sweeney Rum. The name refers to a famous rum-running schooner that worked the Caribbean during Prohibition (the story is here... ), but more important to me is that K&S is a lovely, intense rum that show a side of Dominican rum not often seen.

This rum is from the legendary Bermudez distillery, in the Dominican Republic. Not often seen in the US, Bermudez has been a mainstay and a stalwart in the DR since the 1850's.

At 12 years old, this is classic, well-aged Dominican rum.
The aroma shows vanilla, cane honey, toasty oak nuances, delicate dried fruits and caramel with earthy undertones.
The flavors build on the aromas and evolve in complexity to includes elegant baking spices. All of this builds boldly to finish that is rich, gentle and sumptuous.

All of this and it is presented in a lovely bottle. A bottle I find to be too heavy and hard to pour, but every time I complain about it to someone they say: "it looks so pretty / handsome /regal"--Whatever, it is pretty, but it's heavy and hard to pour.
Great rum, check it out.
Some other great reviews:



Friday, March 11, 2016

Win tickets to Miami Rum Festival!

Miami Rum Festival and Trade Expo April 15-17.


Rum is fun - Miami Rum Renaissance Festival from Jochen Hirschfeld on Vimeo.
A cool video by the legendary Jochen Hirschfeld!

This isn't that difficult a competition, just send an email to forrestcokely@gmail.com and I will put your names in a hat a pick 2 lucky winners. Each will get 2 tickets each. GOOD LUCK! I will announce the winners by Tuesday next week.

Just over a month away, but you can still make it!
Every year I go and I always have a blast!

I gush every year about how great this event is, but this year I am just going to post some links and let you see for yourself.

Bahama Bob tells it to you straight!
A great article from Difford's Guide!
Want to see how much fun?
Quite a lot here also . .
There are going to be so many new rums from all over.
The Miami Rum Renaissance website is handy too!
This years Rum Fest is not just the International Trade Expo for Rum, it is seminars, lifestyle exhibits, RumXP awards and bran new this year is the VIP tasting bar!

Too many photos, too many stories, you'll have just come on by!
I hope I see you there!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

BARRELL Bourbon 006

Love this company! This is a winner! The people at BARRELL just keep picking awesome barrel's. I have tried 5 different offerings and each one has been great whiskey.

*The company was founded by Joe Beatrice, his and the companies commitment is too unique offerings whose principle commonality is incredible quality. They tell their story pretty well on the website.
As a matter of fact. the website is a great tool to check out reviews (and even post your own) & details on every offering that they have released and how /v where to find them: Check it out here: http://www.barrellbourbon.com/

I Stole this picture from their site!

Basics on this bourbon:
~ from Tennessee
~ 122.9 proof {meow}
~ 8 years / 6 months old {new, charred, white oak}
~ 70% corn, 26% rye & 4% malted barley

Awesome, so the biggest difference between Batch 005 and 006 is . . . 005 was aged in the higher part of the rick house and 006 was aged in the lower. Same mash bill; the same distillery; the same people; the same barrel treatment; close to the same age (a few months); just the temperature variations and humidity between the zones in the rick house to impact them. I love these kinds of offerings! They are so educational.

Unfortunately, my 006 got misplaced (I get caught up in things, you know the drill), so my 005 was long gone before I could side by side these lovelies.

This is also big, tasty bourbon! And it is also filled with nice chewy spices that are intricate and balanced. Since the tasting notes on the website are so good, I am going to point out differences between 005 & 006 that I observe from my memory and my scribbled notes:

Right out of the gate, MOUTHFEEL. 006 is richer, fuller mouthfeel. That does not mean better or worse--just different. Also, 006 has the character of much lighter fruits, citrus, quince, green apples--but baked together with butter, or even sauteed in butter (with a lid). The grain structure comes in more articulated with sugars, like corn bread, candied corn, bit o honey, baklava.

Overall it is a whiskey not to be missed.

There are still some bottles out there to find even if I am late with my review. It is again "a wonderful bourbon with vibrant, full, flavors that is a "one-of-a-kind" and comes in at a nice price point. Looking for a treat? I say go for it"!

Thier website great info and reviews (Definitely check out Warren's!)