Fancy a tipple with a tropical twist? These six rums are complex, mixable and tremendously tasty. Rum is in vogue right now. 2020 has been tipped as rum’s moment in…
Fancy a tipple with a tropical twist? These six rums are complex, mixable and tremendously tasty.
Rum is in vogue right now. 2020 has been tipped as rum’s moment in the sun, and, frankly, it’s about time. But with such a vast range of brands, styles and source regions, it can be really difficult to choose the right one. That’s where we come in to lend a helping hand. Whether you’re a fan of dark or white, spicy or sweet, this selection of rum will have something you love, and hopefully something you haven’t tried before… Enjoy!
Havana Club has long been a standard-bearer for Cuba’s outstanding rum-making heritage and for good reason. This Havana Club expression, which makes a particularly good Daiquiri, was aged for three years in bourbon casks and then filtered which gives it a distinctive light straw yellow hue.
What does it taste like?
Marzipan, citrus, allspice, ground ginger, vanilla, a little lime, gentle oak and a delicate nutty note.
I don’t know anything about black holes, but I do know a good rum when I taste one and this expression is a very, very good rum. Horizon Black [Hole] Spiced Rum was built around a blend of Caribbean rums, and flavoured with black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, orange (both sweet and Curaçao), star anise and vanilla to give it a big, complex profile that makes it as delicious neat as it is mixed.
What does it taste like?
Curaçao, red cola cubes, stewed dark fruits, toasted cardamom and clove, vanilla, dark chocolate, rich molasses, root beer, treacle, Seville orange marmalade, espresso, liquorice, star anise and a hint of spent fireworks underneath.
A versatile, tasty and distinctive spiced rum from Ableforth’s, Rumbullion! is perfect for a number of rum cocktails, but on these balmy spring evenings, its best enjoyed ice and a good whack of lime. It features Madagascan vanilla, orange peel, cassia, clove and cardamom alongside the high-quality Caribbean rum. The label gives a shout-out to the nearly forgotten grog tubs, a robust vessel from which tots were dispensed to Royal Navy crew up until 1970.
What does it taste like?
Intense, sweet vanilla, flamed orange zest, cardamom, old-fashioned cola, manuka honey, molasses, candy floss, toffee apples, crème brûlée and a fabulous mix of thick cut bitter orange marmalade and tingling, zinging spices from cloves and cinnamon.
Unaged rhum agricole is the underappreciated star of the rum world, so if you haven’t given it a fair crack of the whip, then you know what to do. O Reizinho is an intense and funky expression from Madeira, Portugal that was bottled by the fab folk over at That Boutique-y Rum Company and was recently declared the winner of the Pot Still Rum category at the World Rum Awards 2019. And yes, that is a funky olive king on the label.
What does it taste like?
Super vegetal, pungent unripe banana, fresh green olives, saline seaweed, lively black pepper.
A classic name in rum, Wood’s has long been regarded for its singular profile, killer cocktail potential and reasonable price. It’s Old Navy Rum was distilled in Guyana, South America from sugar cane and bottled at 57% abv, making it one of the highest percentage volume dark rums out there.
What does it taste like?
Muscovado sugar, soft toffee and spice from cinnamon, cloves and pepper.
You may not know of many rums matured in Cognac casks, but given the fabulous French-owned Plantation brand was founded by Alexandre Gabriel (of Maison Ferrand fame), it’s little surprise to see this technique employed here. Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversary was initially matured in bourbon barrels, the spirit was then shipped to France for a secondary maturation in Cognac casks from the Ferrand house. It’s picked up numerous awards and is particularly delicious in a cocktail.
What does it taste like?
Spicy oak, guava, a little desiccated coconut, dried banana, sweet vanilla and caramel.
Your order of bite-sized bits of booze news has been filled once again, courtesy of The Nightcap! This week we’ve got stories about beer from 1936, colourful Macallan whisky and…
Your order of bite-sized bits of booze news has been filled once again, courtesy of The Nightcap! This week we’ve got stories about beer from 1936, colourful Macallan whisky and the return of a drink-filled Amazon Prime TV series.
We’ve spent some time in the office this week talking about how Jeff Goldblum is pretty much the perfect person. To be honest, we spend a lot of weeks doing that. In a way, he’s quite like the booze industry. We enjoy what they produce, we’re excited to see what they come out with next and they both make us thirsty. Only one, however, can be the true focus of The Nightcap. Sorry, Jeff. But needs must.
So what’s been going on here on the MoM Blog? Well, we announced winner of our Salcombe Gin competition, so congratulations are in order. Elsewhere, Jess witnessed the journey of a whisky from tree to barrel to glass courtesy of Jura Seven Wood and Henry enjoyed some Rum Punch as this is International Punch Day (happy IPD, folks!). Annie, meanwhile, had an eco-themed week, first dispelling some eco myths and then looking at some the finest eco distilleries. Adam’s theme was more sherry-tastic as he rounded-up some delicious and delightful sherried whiskies and then made an amontillado sherry cask-finished Tomatin single malt Scotch whisky our New Arrival of the Week, before finding time to talk about the new Jameson Caskmates release.
Despite all of that boozy goodness, there’s still more news stories to cover. It’s The Nightcap!
The Macallan Edition No. 5 launches in collaboration with Pantone
Sound the ‘New Macallan‘ alert folks, because the Speyside distillery has just launched a bottling as a “homage to the diversity and complexity of natural colour.” It may sound more Pantene then Pantone, but the expression is supposed to champion the spectrum of natural colour you’ll find across the Macallan range and features a collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute. The company created the shade of purple you’ll see on the label especially for this particular release, which has been named The Macallan Edition Purple. The Macallan Edition No.5 was matured in American oak casks and is said to have notes of caramel, vanilla, lemon basil and fresh fruit combined with oak spices, but more importantly, it’s a colour the brand describes as “sunlit barley” (I’m thinking of having my spare room painted that). “We can find much common ground between whisky making and colour creation and with Edition No.5 we have been able to explore and celebrate these two art forms,” said Sarah Burgess, The Macallan whisky maker. “Whilst colour development starts with mixing basic colours with precision to achieve different shades, for whisky-making, it is the knowledge and understanding of a specific palette of colours from the cask which is the starting point. From here we can craft the desired character and specific colour of the final whisky”. Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, added: “As the rainbow’s most complex colour, purple naturally felt like the ideal shade to highlight the equally complex process involved in The Macallan’s whisky-making”.
The remarkable historical beers
Britain’s earliest surviving canned beers go for £2,250 at auction
We’re used to old bottles of whisky selling for thousands of pounds but with beer less so. Which is why we were surprised when two old cans went for £2,250 at Chiswick Auctions in London yesterday. That’s a lot of bread for beer. But these weren’t just any cans. Oh no, these babies date back to 1936 and come from the Felinfoel Brewery in Llanelli which was the first brewery in Britain and the second in the world to produce a canned beer. Similar cans were shipped out to North Africa to keep General Montgomery’s army aka the Desert Rats refreshed. Handily at the time, the brewery also owned a tinplate works. The cans were lined with wax to stop the beer corroding the metal. It seems to have worked because both the contents of one can are entirely intact, whereas the second has suffered some evaporation. Not bad for 83-year-old beer cans. As for the taste of the beer, we are unlikely to find out whether they are drinkable as the cans were snapped up by the very company that brewed them (still in family hands after all these years) to go into its museum.
Havana Club Tributo 2019, which we can confirm is very tasty
Havana Club brings Tributo 2019 to the UK
At The Churchill Bar & Terrace in Portman Square, London we were treated to live Cuban music, delicious cocktails, a sublime menu and, best of all, the 2019 edition of Havana Club Tributo this week. The fourth bottling in Havana Club’s Tributo range, which was first launched in February 2019 at the Habanos Festival in Havana, Cuba, was created by three generations of masters of Cuban rum (maestros del ron Cubano) including Don José Navarro, Asbel Morales and Salomé Aleman, the first and only female maestra del ron Cubano, who each selected a rare and extra-aged rum base which were first left to mature in the 1970s, 1990s and 2010s respectively. These were then blended together with a rum that was matured for more than 25 years in French oak barrels to form the 2019 edition of Tributo. “Once again, the Havana Club Tributo collection praises the richness and variety of styles that form the base of the authentic Cuban rum category,” said Morales. “Each rum in the Tributo range uniquely focuses on a different element of the production process, from our ancient rum bases to cask experimentation and the 2019 edition continues this story by honouring the craftsmanship of three of the maestros del ron Cubano.” Rich, refined and intense, Havana Club Tributo 2019 possesses notes of dark chocolate, dried fruit, baking spice, coffee, brown sugar and exotic fruit. It certainly earns our seal of approval and will be available at MoM Towers soon…
A delightful cause, courtesy of a delightful beer!
Beer for good! Camden Town Brewery heads to London for UK’s first Can-for-Can Swap with The Felix Project
We’re all lucky enough to be able to enjoy delicious food and mouth-watering drinks on a regular basis, though it’s a harsh reality that that’s not true for everyone. That’s why we were super stoked to hear that Camden Town Brewery has launched a new autumnal seasonal beer, dubbed Harvest Hells Lager, in partnership with The Felix Project, a charity with a mission in raising awareness for food poverty in the UK. This is a problem which affects 8.4 million people nationally. Harvest Hells gets its autumnal notes from darker roasted speciality malts, making for a richer flavour while poetically turning its summery yellow hue to the reddish-brown of autumn leaves. Mmm, autumn leaves… But how does lager help food poverty, you ask? Well, from 24 September there’s going to be a Harvest Hells van gallivanting between London, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool with the UK’s first ‘Can-for-Can’ swap initiative! Bring a can of any tinned food and you’ll secure a can of Harvest Hells lager in return, while your tins will be donated to local food banks in each city. The when and whereabouts of the Harvest Hells Van can be found here. What’s more, Camden Town Brewery is donating 20p from every can of Harvest Hells Lager sold within the first month to The Felix Project. “Food poverty in the UK is a growing problem, with many people struggling to afford fresh and healthy food for themselves and their families,” Mark Curtin, CEO of The Felix Project, says. “We are delighted that Camden is not only helping to raise awareness of these crucial issues and the work we do at The Felix Project to tackle them, but also getting people involved in supporting the cause to help to reduce waste and eradicate food insecurity.” If there was ever a more appropriate time to do the can-can, it would have to be now.
Distillation here will begin in 2021. We’d like all artist’s impressions to include dogs, on another note.
Ardgowan releases Coppersmith malt inspired by the Clyde’s shipbuilding heritage
This week Ardgowan announced the first in a series of limited-editions whiskies. The company has received planning permission for a new distillery to commence operation in 2021 but in the meantime will be selling blended whiskies created by Max McFarlane. CEO Martin McAdam described McFarlane, former whisky maker for Edrington looking after brands such as Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, Bunnahabhain, Tamdhu and Highland Park, as a “whisky legend.” The first release is called Coppersmith and it’s a blend of Speyside and Highland distilleries wholly matured in first-fill oloroso sherry casks. McFarlane, who is from Inverkip on the west coast, said: “Coppersmith is the first in the Clydebuilt series of whiskies which Ardgowan Distillery will release in the years ahead. Each bottle in the series will celebrate the pride shown by generations of workers on the Clyde, who together built some of the world’s most illustrious ships.” He went on to say: “I wanted to produce a top-drawer blended malt and I believe that is what we have achieved.” It will be available from the distillery for £49.99 and from a certain online retailer soon.
The Three Drinkers return to Amazon Prime, and indeed to Scotland!
The Three Drinkers returns to Amazon Prime
The Three Drinkers are back, and this time it’s personal. We were pleased to learn this week that the irreverent boozy Amazon Prime show is back for another series. The Three Drinkers are, for those who don’t know, actress and wine buff Helena Nicklin, journalist and social media sensation Adrian Smith, and whisky writer and photographer Colin Hampden-White. The first series was called The Three Drinkers do Scotch whisky and for the second series they haven’t travelled very far, it’s called The Three Drinkers Return to Scotland. At this rate it’s going to be years before they even leave the British Isles. Anyway, we aren’t complaining as there’s a lot of good booze in Scotland; the dynamic trio will be visiting: Dalmore, Jura, Fettercairn, Glen Scotia, Glen Moray, Loch Lomond and Firkin Gin distilleries. “We’ve been blown away by how well the series has done in such a short time,” Nicklin commented. “We’re looking forward to playing up the fun side of our travels with more experimentation with food and drink, eerie ghost stories, ridiculous challenges and all the weird and wonderful tidbits people never knew about Scotland and whisky.” The new series will be available to view on your TV, tablet or one of those computer watches that are all the rage these days from early December.
This is Tails, the downstairs, at what we presume is Harvey Dent’s favourite bar
West Hampstead’s Heads + Tails bar channels two sides of a coin
If you’ve ever flipped a coin to try and decide which bar you should venture to, then Heads + Tails may be just what you’ve been waiting for. The West Hampstead bar was created by London mixologists Will Partridge and Chris Dennis, with the idea of having two complimenting counterparts to the bar: Heads, the top floor, and Tails, the downstairs. Each bar has a different menu, and we started off upstairs in Heads where there are spritzes galore and lighter cocktails, surrounded by light blue decor, filament light bulbs and a marble bar. We went for the Corpse Reviver No. 175, which marries Fords Gin, Dolin Blanc, Italicus and Chocolate & Mace Flower Bitters. Now, we weren’t with any corpses, though if there’s one cocktail that could revive the dead, it may well be this one. Beautifully light and citrussy, with a subtle rich creamy back note from the bitters. Then, there was Smoke on the Water, which takes Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila, mezcal verde, lime and watermelon syrup. Again, wonderfully well balanced, with juicy fruit tempered perfectly by the rich smokiness and grassy notes of the agave spirits. Then, you head downstairs to Tails, covered in dark oak and moodily lit by candles. It’s literally darker down there, and so are the spirits. Here we tried Twist of Fate, comprised of Wild Turkey bourbon, ginger and cinnamon syrup topped off with orange blossom water. Richer without being heavy, you can feel and certainly taste the difference between the two floors. A unique idea and a wonderful spot, and if you can’t decide from the list of delicious drinks you could always… flip a coin.
If it’s good enough for TripAdvisor, it’s good enough for us!
Rum experience comes to Manchester
The Manchester Rum Experience sounds like the most exciting experience to come to Manchester since the Jimi Hendrix Experience played at the Twisted Wheel in 1967. It’s the brainchild of Dave Rigby from the City of Manchester Distillery, the city’s premier attraction according to never-wrong website Tripadvisor. Tell us more Dave! “Our motivation with the new ‘Rum Experience’ was to pay homage to some of the influences which drove us to build the distillery at the outset. As a collective, we have been on an amazing journey over the last few years and as such, we wanted to share some of these incredible experiences, stories and some of the fun we’d had, through a range of new and diverse, interactive events at the distillery”, Rigby said. Tickets have now gone on sale for the experience which consists of a three-hour immersion in all things rum with Dave Marsland from the Manchester Rum Festival including history, cocktails and the opportunity to fill your own min barrel in ‘The Lab’. Best of all, the new experience is being supported by some of our favourite brands including Chairman’s Reserve, Bacardi, Don Q, Appleton Estate, Diplomatico, Pussers, Wray & Nephew, Doorly’s, Plantation and Gosling’s. Beat that Jimi!
Munich comes to London, only without any of the tradition. Still lots of beer, though
Inclusive Oktoberfests arrive in London
Once upon a time, you knew what you were letting yourself in for if you decided to go to the Oktoberfest. There would be men in leather shorts, mile after mile of pork sausages, oceans of beer, oh and you’d have to go to Munich to experience the whole thing. Well not anymore because this autumn there are three London Oktoberfests happening at Doc X in Surrey Quays: a fancy one, a gay one and a spooky one for Hallow’en. Go to http://www.doktoberfest.co.uk for more information. These differ from the original Bavarian festival in other ways: you don’t have to drink beer as there will be Champagne and non-alcoholic drinks served, or indeed eat traditional German sausages as at all three events there will be halal, kosher and vegan options. You don’t even have to wear leather shorts but you must be tolerant of those who choose to.
Asparagus this, Brussels sprouts that… you can’t beat a good ol’ G&T!
And finally… asparagus becomes latest wacky gin flavour
In what has essentially become our, ‘look at this weird gin’ slot, an asparagus-flavoured expression has added to the endless nonsense of novelty-flavoured gins. It’s one of the spirits on offer at the inaugural Malvern Gin Show which showcases “some of the finest spirits from the Three Counties region” and giving visitors the opportunity to sample a wide range of drinks from local and surrounding gin distilleries. A competition will even declare one distillery ‘the people’s champion’. The event, part of the Malvern Autumn Show, runs the weekend of September 28 and 29, and will include a brand new Gin Pod Theatre to host to gin-tastic talks and for visitors to get inspiration for recipe ideas. Some of the confirmed distilleries at the show include Hussingtree Gin (who are responsible for the asparagus gin), Brennan and Brown and Haven Distillery. “The Malvern Gin Show is a new addition and we’re all rather excited about it,” said Richard Heath, show executive responsible for the new classes “We have a rich selection of distilleries which are local to the Three Counties, and what better way to celebrate than to hold a series of classes, and of course give our visitors ample opportunity to do some tasting.” Run in association with Westons Cider Mill, the Malvern Autumn Show will host over 65,000 people at the two-day celebration right in the heart of the beautiful British countryside, and you can get your tickets now at malvernautumn.co.uk.
It’s results season, folks! Big companies left, right and centre are publishing their annual (or quarterly) reports, giving us an insight into how they’re getting on sales-wise. Today it’s the turn of Pernod Ricard to disclose its full-year data to the end of June. We had a nose through the docs and crunched the numbers to see how some of the world’s biggest drinks brands got on…
Similar to how dogs are not just for Christmas, rum is not just for Rum Month. As July nears its end, we take a look at ten terrific dark rums…
Similar to how dogs are not just for Christmas, rum is not just for Rum Month. As July nears its end, we take a look at ten terrific dark rums for you to enjoy now and savour during months that aren’t quite lucky enough to be officially designated as Rum Month.
All good things must come to an end, and that includes Rum Month. However, there is nothing stopping you from taking the things you have learnt during Rum Month and applying these lessons to other months of the year. Y’know, months like August, March, November, et cetera. We may not have mentioned your favourite month there, but rest assured, other months do exist.
New distilleries on the horizon, new head bartenders at the ready and new record-breaking gins ahoy – The Nightcap keeps you stocked up on the newest in new this week….
New distilleries on the horizon, new head bartenders at the ready and new record-breaking gins ahoy – The Nightcap keeps you stocked up on the newest in new this week.
It’s been a week since the last Nightcap update, which can only mean one thing… Well, honestly, it could mean a lot of things. However, only one of those things is important for this compulsory blog preamble – it’s time for another edition of The Nightcap.
After a break from Daiquiris on #MasterofCocktails last week, they’re back in force with probably the finest evolution of the drink – maybe with the exception of Artesian’s Frozen Banana…
After a break from Daiquiris on #MasterofCocktails last week, they’re back in force with probably the finest evolution of the drink – maybe with the exception of Artesian’s Frozen Banana with Caviar… and I’ll be having a crack at recreating that one in a few weeks’ time incidentally… but this week we’re going with The Hemingway Daiquiri.
He liked a drink or two did old Ernie, and this recipe is a fine legacy indeed. The theory here is essentially unchanged from the standard, only we’re going to be replacing boring old sugar syrup with Maraschino. The original recipe also calls for a splidge of Grapefruit Juice. Not convinced it needs it myself but we’ll stick it in anyway and you can easily omit it if you’ve not got grapefruits in (who does, usually?).
As a big bunch of whisky fans finally went their separate ways after another ace-looking Dramboree (Jake will tell you more soon, but I hear the barbecue was pretty special…),…
As a big bunch of whisky fans finally went their separate ways after another ace-looking Dramboree (Jake will tell you more soon, but I hear the barbecue was pretty special…), and a Serbian was embraced in the final throes of an epic battle with a Swissm’n somewhere in southwest London, it was also time for another Sunday night #MasterofCocktails on the twittersphere.
This week we made a Cosmopolitan. Controversial? Shouldn’t really be. They’re yummy if made correctly, and definitely a ‘proper cocktail’. So here we go…