Pirate Rum Reviews

Review: Mount Gay Sugar Cane

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Mount Gay Sugar Cane Rum

No, you didn’t misread. The above title claims this review is for Mount Gay Sugar Cane Rum, but the label calls it brandy. I just learned the hard way that they’re one and the same. It seems that in some states Mount Gay is required by law to label their brandy as rum – either way, it ain’t rum, and it certainly ain’t good. I used it to remove a nasty clog from my drain, and it didn’t even do a very good job of that. The flavor was vaguely reminiscent of shoe leather soaked in vinegar. If you think that sounds appealing, give it a shot. Otherwise, I’d stay clear.

Important Update! I almost let the hideousness of this “rum” scare me off Mount Gay forever – don’t make the same mistake! If you try only one new rum this year, make it Mount Gay Extra Old.

UPDATE: I’m killing comments on this post. It was written back in 2004 and it’s getting quite tedious to respond to every Sugar Cane Brandy fan that wishes to air their disagreements. So instead, here’s a generic comment and response copies from my FAQ:

Q. Are you a total dolt? (insert rum name here) is my very favorite, and yet you call it wretch – was your tongue burned by acid when you were young?

A. Rum is a very subjective subject, and while I welcome opinions that disagree with my own, I do get tired of belligerent posts that choose to question my tastes entirely – especially regarding reviews that were posted several years ago. My rum reviews can be quite opinionated – I freely admit that. I have a strong preference for what I consider to be “heritage” and “naval style” rums – meaning the dark, oaky, molassesy sorts like you often find out of Barbados or Jamaica, and the peppery, bold sorts that reflect the mixes favored by the British navy. I don’t give a flat fig what rums won awards, and if I wanted my rum to taste like cognac, sherry, or port, then I’d pour myself a cognac, sherry, or port. A high end rum that tastes like any of the above might be very pleasant on the palette, but to a swab of my preferences they taste like fail.

Review: Cruzan Black Strap

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Cruzan Black Strap Rum

I’ve been told Cruzan Blackstrap is one of the rums that most closely resembles that of the British Royale Navy, which may explain why so many of them defected and went pirate. They should have called this “Mike’s Spiked Molasses”, as I can sum it up in just a few lines:

Smells like molasses.

Tastes like molasses.

Leaves a distinctive, molasses-like aftertaste.

But all is not lost – it might be tough to drink without a grimace, but I can’t think of a better way to start your morning than pouring a few ounces of this 80 proof stuff on your pancakes. Yarrr!!! (more…)

Review: Captain Morgan’s Private Stock

Rating: ★★½☆☆
Captain Morgan’s Private Stock

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

Way back when I decided it was time to move up from Rum&Cokes, this was the rum I started with. Higher quality than standard Captain Morgan, it was very drinkable. The spiciness was appealing and exotic, and it nicely toned down the shock that would normally accompany drinking rum straight for the first time, thus making for a very smooth introduction. (more…)

Review: Blackbeard’s Reserve

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Blackbeard’s Reserve

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

The best of rums, the worst of rums. Ah, Blackbeard, how you’ve teased me. My brother brought up a bottle of Blackbeard’s Reserve 25 Year Aged Rum once when he came for a visit. Glorious bottle with a gloriously dark rum inside. And the taste? I don’t know that words can describe it. Let’s just say, some people look for smoothness in their drinks, others look for sugary flavors – me, I want to feel like I’ve been smacked in the teeth with a strap of leather wrapped around a gold-plated peg leg – and Blackbeard delivered like none other. I was in love. (more…)

Review: Rhum Barbancourt 8

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Rhum Barbancourt 8 year

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

In light of the recent happenings in Haiti, I figured I should try a Haitian rum. No, it doesn’t do anything to ease their troubles, but it makes me feel good. It’s as if I was doing something special and helpful, even though I’m not. Fortunately, Rhum Babancourt had more of an impact on me than my purchase of said rum had on the economy of Haiti. Unfortunately, it wasn’t THAT much more of an impact. (more…)

Review: Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva

Rating: ★★★½☆
Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

Whoa, momma! Many sources call this the “Cognac of Rums.” Now, I don’t know much about cognac, but I know a little about rum. And THIS is rum! Made by a family of Cuban exiles in the Dominican Republic, this 15 year old rum is not for the squeamish. This rum tastes like rum, and it has bite. If you’re not ready for it, you might lose an eye (and then you could wear a patch, which would be awsome!) Probably the best and truest rum I’ve tasted since Blackbeard’s Reserve (the 25 year, not that cursed 26 rotgut.) Additionally, this may well be the closest you can legally get to a true Cuban rum, which makes it even more worthwhile. Put it on your shopping list.

Review: Monte Cristo 12

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Monte Cristo 12 Year Aged Rum

Remember the movie Pirates of the Caribbean? Remember that pirate in Jack’s crew (the one who wasn’t Cotton, wasn’t the dwarf or the guy with the flask, and wasn’t the cute chick, Anamaria.) Yeah, that pirate. No? Me neither. He was probably very cool and piratey looking, but with so many colorful characters floating around, he just didn’t manage to leave a mark on my memory. Well, that’s how I feel about Monte Cristo rum. It’s good, tastes like rum, even has a reasonably satisfying tingle as it goes down my throat. But try as I might, I can’t find a single thing about it that makes it distinctive from other rums – nothing to make me want to rush out and get another bottle.

And that makes me sad.

Review: Appleton V/X

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Appleton V/X

Click to buy!
from Internet Wines and Spirits

This isn’t a rare rum. It isn’t expensive. Which is precisely why it deserves a glowing review. This has become my staple rum. I’m no longer a big rum & coke drinker, and many of your grocery store level “real” rums have fallen flat to me. But Appleton V/X is a fine deal – rummy but not too harsh. It gives the illusion of possessing depth while remaining shallow enough that you need not think too much. The perfect rum for a tired pirate doing late night web work or playing Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates – which is exactly what I use it for.

Internet Wine and Spirits says this rum has an “unctuous big finish.” What the hell does that mean?