Thursday, December 3, 2009

Seven Tiki Spiced RUM

Here's another RUM that caught my eye. I am big into all things TIKI so a RUM with tiki in it's name is a must try. This is a 70 proof Spiced RUM but from what I've read there is a Dark and Silver RUM available too. Their literature says that it's made in Fiki but there seems to be some doubt to that claim. According to Edward Hamilton at Ministry Of RUM, it "is produced at the South Pacific Distillery in Fiji, a small distillery adjacent to the major Fiji Sugar Corp. sugar mill, which is near Lautoka city on the North West Coast of the main Fijian island of Viti Levu." It's raw material is "Sugar cane molasses from high-quality Fijian sugar cane, which has been growing in Fiji for thousands of years. It is produced on a continuous still. The continuous still gets its steam from a wood fired boiler." Yes, it actually is blended and ages in Fiji but bottled in France (for Europe) and the United States. It's primary uniqueness is that they use pure water from Fiji and sun-baked Indonesian nutmeg and Madagascar vanilla beans. It is certainly the only South Pacific RUM I've ever heard about. Seven Tiki Spiced RUM is part of the Bacardi Globe Brand line-up and is currently only available in California and Florida. I think I can order it online. Huh, maybe I am do another Christmas gift!

Horne Rum

I haven't tried Horne RUM yet but the website caught my eye enough to write the address down. It's an 88 proof Spiced RUM. I like it's dark color and it's Hurrican flag label. It says its a US Virgin Island blend of RUMs. I'll be on the lookout for a sampling.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bacardi Select RUM Tasting

Bacardi Select RUM is 80 proof (40% alcohol). It has a dark carmel appearance with medium legs. In the bottle, this RUM has a pleasant, mossy, carmel, smokey aroma. The smell has a light detection of alcohol and is a bit fruity (hints of orange).

Over Ice: Bacardi Select blends in a smokey, mossy, almost burnt aroma. Unfortunetly the alcohol smell increases dramatically. Taste straight over ice produces a great deal of alcohol burn which is quite harsh. However, I did notice a mix of carmel and fruit after taste once the burn subsided. But let me be clear, the burn is hot and thus not good.

With Coke Zero: Sweet and tasty. This is how to drink Bacardi Select RUM! This mix definetly enhances the carmel flavor and adds to the sweetness of the Coke Zero. Really, it is almost like they distilled this RUM specifically to make Cuba Libre with it. I like this much more than over ice.

Final score: 6.5 out of 10

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gosling's Black Seal Bermuda Black RUM

I'm trying to clean out some RUM remnants now that I've accumulated 60+ RUMs. Today's offering is Gosling's Black Seal Bermuda RUM (80 proof).

I must admit that I liked this RUM more than I thought I would on first approach. Having already tasted, and not enjoyed, Cruzan's Black Strap RUM I was affraid that this extremely dark RUM would taste equally as bad.

I found myself surprisingly mistaken. Black Seal is a dark RUM with a slight orange/red hew. It carries a unique smokey/sweet molasas fragrance with sound legs.

My "on ice" taste test showed semi-spicey, butter scotch/carmel candy sweetness. I thoroughly enjoyed the smokey, molasas linger and instantly gave it atleast 8 of 10.

My "Coke Zero" taste test unfortunetly did not go quite as well. The sweetness of the coke overloaded the instilled sweetness and washed away nearly all of this RUMs unique appeal. All that remained was an overly sweet, somewhat spicy drink which I no longer wanted to finish (all though I did; waste not, want not).

On final vote I would say this is an 8.5 of 10. I especially like the numerous "Dark n Stormy" drinks I pulled from this bottle prior to this test. I want to also shout out to my bestest friend Dee Sanders for lovingly bringing this bottle back from Bermuda to me. It almost makes up for the bottle of Blackbeard's Gold RUM for me that she left in the Cayman Islands. Love ya' Dee.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Margaritaville RUM "Ready To Drink" Classic Mojito

I apologize for the lousy picture quality. I snapped this on my last day of drinking this mix and was hoping to find a better photo online (no such luck).

Just a quick review of the first RUM product from Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Spirits line. The "Classic Mojito" is part of a larger "Ready To Drink" product line which includes a number of flavored margarita pre-mixed beverages. Margaritaville Spirits has promised a full line of Margaritaville RUMs including Dark, Silver, Coconut, and Spiced RUM. The website has bottle photos and an announced street date of "Summer 2009".

First I must admit that I typically HATE this type of pre-mixed spirit. They typically are too sweet and carry a heavy syrup taste. Well, that description applies to thie product too.

To it's defense, the Mojito mix isn't quite as bad as the Margaritaville "Ready To Drink" margarita drinks. This drink carries a heavily sweetened lime/mint taste and it has a overt syrupy thickness.

Drinking it straight is nearly impossible. I found that I could improve it's drinkability by cutting it with club soda and splashing in some fresh lime juice. It does have a fairly nice nose of mint and lime but the strong, sugary-sweet smell is a major drawback. It's light, lime green color also reminds me of their afore mentioned pre-mixed lime margaritas.

Pre-mixed lime & mint flavor can never replace freshly muddled lime/mint. In the end, this beverage is simply not worth the time or the money. The mix is only 30 proof and once you add the extra club soda/lime juice waters this gets watered down to nothing worth drinking. I give it a 3 of 10.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy 50th Anniversary Hawaii

On August 21, 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.

Happy 50th Anniversary Hawaii! I hope to visit you one day soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Learned about this book from The Colbert Report. David Wondrich's "Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar". Looks like a good read.

"This book will leave you shaken and, I hope, stirred. Wondrich, one of the top spirits writers in the country, delves into the rich and fascinating history of mixology in America."
USA Today

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Mixed up a number of tasty Mojitos tonight with friends over to swim, eat and drink. Two problems though:

1. My limes were aged so their juice was slightly bitter. No problems though I simply tossed in some extra mint and some sweet lime juice and vola', no more lime problems.

2. No soda water. AARRGGHH! I had to use plain tap water. The first few drinks weren't the best but after 2-3 I didn't even notice.

The funnest part of tonight's mojitos...using my Bob Chinn's Crabhouse Mai Tai Tiki Mug.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fish House Punch

Now this looks like a tasty creation. Apparently it was a favorite of George Washington. Way to rock the RUM, George. Wow, this one takes an ENTIRE BOTTLE of RUM. Now that's some fun drinking. If I have a chance, I might stir some of this up over the July 4th weekend!

I didn't discover this recipe on my own. The Forbidden Island Tiki Bar in Alameda, CA sent out their weekly email and mentioned this one.

Fish House Punch Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (6 to 8 lemons), strained
1 (750-ml) bottle Jamaican amber RUM
12 oz Cognac (1 1/2 cups)
2 oz Peach Brandy (1/4 cup)
Garnish: lemon slices

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tommy Bahama White Sand

I don't like to sip many white/silver/clear rums but the Tommy Bahama White Sands RUM is pretty good. It's sweet, smells a bit like suntan lotion and generally reminds you of its name (ie. the beach). It has a slight burn on entry and a sweet but light coconut flavor with a hint of charcoal left on the palate. While I wouldn't drink it straight very often it makes for a fine mixing RUM in either a Mojito, a Cuba Libre or a full mixed drink like a Zombie.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pirates For Jesus!

This might be the greatest album cover of ALL TIME. I simply lose my breath when gazing upon its greatness. The costumes, the netting, the scary children, the even scarrier ventriloquist dummy. Alas, it's not, I do not own this treasure. I found it on another blog. I guess I will have to continue my quest to attain a copy of this wonder for myself.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rum Renaissance Results

The results from Rum Renaissance RUM competition are in and "Ministry Of Rum" has posted the medal listings. I am quite surprised at a few of the results including the sheer number of Gold medals issued. I know that there isn't a limit on Gold medals but come on, everything cannot be the best. The reason you have Gold, Silver, Bronze is to distinguish the best of the bunch. Not everything deserves a medal. According to "Ministry of Rum" 44 of 65 RUMs, or 68% of them, received Gold medals. That's simply too many earning Gold.

Some of the "head scratchers" that I noticed included Bacardi Gold received a Bronze medal. How on earth did this win ANY medal? I cannot help but think this was done because Bacardi was a primary sponsor. I also cannot believe that Don Q Cristal got a medal, let along a Silver medal! This stuff is PURE swill. It's not even good enough to be a mixing RUM.

There are a number of medals I agreed on including Gold medals to Tommy Bahama White Sand, Flora de Cana 4yr. Gold, Mt. Gay Extra Old, Cruzan Single Barrel, Cubaney 8 Años Solera Reserva, and Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva. There are a number of RUMs listed that I've never tried and some I've never heard of. Of these, a couple really peaked my interest including Admiral Rodney (from St. Lucia), Opthimus 25 Años Summa Cum Laude and Batiste Rhum Blanc (St. Barts).

So check-out the results here and review the list yourself.

Carmen Miranda, Busby Berkeley & Esther Williams

So I have been on a Carmen Miranda kick lately. I watched "That Night In Rio" Sunday night and today Netflix sent me the 1943, Busby Berkeley directed musical "The Gangs All Here". TGAH bonus features include a special documentary on Berkeley and his use of dancers, props, choreography, etc. on a MASSIVE scale (see the "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat" shot below). The documentary prompted me to seek out other Berkeley movies which led me to Esther Williams..."The Million Dollar Mermaid." While reading more on Williams, I came across this postcard from a Williams movie set built in Cypress Gardens, FL. I thought the image was so cool, I just had to post it. That's Esther holding the skis up front.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gifted Rums

A friend of mine at Southern Wine & Spirits emailed me an article covering the Rum Renaissance weekend in Miami this past weekend. Over 100 RUMs were available for tasting and it looked like a wonderful weekend. Check out the link above for more information.

The article also included a link to the Rum Tasting organizer's website so I thought I would share it here. Robert Burr, father and son, write for the site sharing lots of great information covering the wonderful world of RUM. You should checkout if you have a chance.

Vinyl Kings!

I just saw a short documentary on Paul Mawhinney and his amazing record collection. Over 1 million albums, 1 million singles and 6+ million songs. Paul's nearly 70 and can no longer care for the collection so it is for sale. As of yet, no one had stepped up to aquire the collection who's value has been placed around $50 million but is being sold for $3 million.

Here's the short documentary.

Here's Paul's homepage.

P.S. I had to add this interview also. I don't know who this guy is but he's very odd and a bit creepy. Collecting every record ever made...yikes, you might as well shoot yourself in the head...ain't gonna happen.

P.S.S. I could do this all night long but this clip had to be posted. This is EXACTLY how most vinyl guys are.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Martin Denny's "Quiet Village"

Exotica music consists of a mixture of light jazz, Hawaiian music, percussion, jungle calls, etc. Martin Denny, along with Les Baxter and Arthur Lyman, are considered the Kings of Exotica music. I found this clip last night of Denny's band performing "Quiet Village" on Webley Edward's "Hawaii Calls" program. "Quiet Village" was the biggest Exotica hit ever produced. Watching this clip gives you an understanding of the Exotica sound.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Fetch me a Mai Tai, Ping Pong."

Following our trip to Memphis, which included visiting Elvis Presley's Graceland, we had to watch at least one Elvis movie. We chose "Blue Hawaii" this weekend and had a blast watching it. Watching movie's in the Media Room is quite an experience. With the 111" screen and the extra space, my son got to dance with Elvis on "Slicin' Sand"; very cool. Mrs. TheRumTrader and I had a good laugh thinking about how many cast members Elvis muse have slept with during shooting. Plus, we picked up our newest, bestest catch phrase from Angela Landsbury's Southern character..."Fetch me a Mai Tai, Ping Pong."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Voodoo Tiki Bar & Lounge (Charleston, SC)

I just found out that my old home town of Charleston, SC has its very own Tiki Bar and Lounge. I am shocked to see one in South Carolina. They have $3 Mai-Tais during Happy Hour, Volcano Bowls, Scorpion Bowls, Donkey Punch, Suffering Bastards, etc. Now they just need a Zombie and they'll be complete. It looks like they use standard well brands for most drinks (to keep cost in check I assume). For RUMs they mention using Myers Dark, Goslings Dark, Malibu and Mt. Gay. It is my hope that their well brand RUMs are not BACARDI. It's also nice to see that they have Non-RUM Tiki drinks too. I know GASP!! The Rum Trader says its okay to drink something OTHER than RUM! No, I realize that some (very unsophisticated) people prefer something other than RUM...poor souls! This Bar is a definite "check it out" stop on our next visit "home". Mrs. The Rum Trader even asked if I'd like to celebrate our 12th Anniversary @ Voodoo. Wow, now that would be cool!

Voodoo Tiki Bar & Lounge

RUM Collection 4/18/09

In spite of my wife's eye rolling, I thought I'd pull out my RUM collection, count its number and take a photo. On 4/18/09 I had 43 different RUMs not including a large collection of mini-bottles. Plus, after I took my photos I found a few extra bottles that made the count but not the photo. I know, that's ridiculous but to my defense a number of the bottles are nearly empty. I counted 15 that we're near the end of their lives. I need to kill a few over the long weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pittsburgh, PA - RUM Finds

The family traveled to Pittsburgh, PA for Easter again this year. It's our third Easter with our best friends The Lizottes. They actually live in Murraysville, East of Pittsburgh so we hit some local Spirit stores to see what we could find.

Buying RUM in PA is like shopping in no other place. The state (PLCB - Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board) controls EVERYTHING. What's sold, the stores it's sold in, etc. They maintain and publish an "official list" of spirits, wines, etc. available in PA online here. You can only buy what they authorize; that's it. Their monopoly is interesting to read about (from Wiki-Pedia):

The PLCB holds monopolist rights to the distribution of all wines and hard liquor in the commonwealth. To this end, the agency owns and operates Wine & Spirits retail locations, commonly referred to as "state stores," in all 67 counties. This government corporation is the largest purchaser of wine and liquor in the United States and second in the world after the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

This monolithic control SEVERELY limits the brands stocked within the state and greatly favors large RUM distilleries like Bacardi and Cruzan. So, what I found on our outings was of very little variance between stores.

Special RUMs I did buy: Ron Rico Pineapple/Coconut Rum, Strohs "80" (160 proof)

Special RUMs I didn't buy: Sea Wynde

Memphis, TN - Rum Finds

The family has been traveling a lot lately and we just got back Sunday from Memphis, TN. My good friend, Dee Sanders, took me to Memphis' largest liquor store (Buster's) for a RUM trip.

"I could spend $1000 here in 5 minutes!" I excitedly exclaimed when I hit the RUM isle. They had so many RUMs that I wanted; I didn't know where to start.

Special RUMs I did buy: Trader Vic's Gold (1.75l), Lemon Hart 151, Starr African Rum (only $20), Angostura Gold 5 Year, Angostura Dark 5 Year, Goslings Gold (375l).

Special RUMs I didn't buy: Angostura 1824, El Dorado 12 & 21 Year, Planter's RUM (all brands), Prichard's RUM (all brands), Oronoco (1.75l), Red Rum, Sea Wynde, Trader Vic's Silver.

UPDATE: I meant to buy the Lemon Hart 80 proof instead of the 151 so I emailed my good friend Dee Sanders and asked if she could bring me a bottle on her visit to Columbia this week; she said yes! WooHoo!


I've been slack about posting on this blog about my obsession with Rum so I'll try to make up for it in the coming months by posting about my Rum finds and tastings. I'd like to keep a tally of all Rums tried with tasting notes. I'd also like to do some head-to-head tastings by category (i.e. Spiced, Coconut, Demerara, sugar cane, over-proof, etc.). We'll see how things go.