Duppy Share Winter Punch Time

You’ll be reading all about Duppy Share soon enough on these pages but in the interim, one thing that has stood out, wherever I’ve tasted the Rum, is just how well it seems to fit into a punch. With the weather starting to take a turn towards the chilly, I thought that a few Duppy Share warm punch recipes might be the order of the day………..

Snuggle Dup

Snuggle Dup - low res (1)An ideal alternative to mulled wine, this is a large-scale warm punch that will serve around 10 people…’s also a recipe that allows the character of the base spirit to show…..


  • 500ml of Duppy share
  • 2 litres of cloudy apple juice
  • about 5cm of sliced fresh ginger (I always peel it)
  • 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (plus extra to garnish)
  • the juice of 4 limes
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar


  • Pour the apple juice into a large saucepan, add the ginger, pears, lime juice, cinnamon and brown sugar
  • Bring the heady mixture to the boil and simmer until all of the sugar has dissolved
  • Serve in a suitable heatproof glass or mug and add a good measure (at your discretion / heavy-handed measure) of Duppy Share and sink a cinnamon stick for stirring / garnish

Sip, sip and sip again!

Warm Dup

Warm Dup

This hot punch serves 4 people and contains caramelised pineapple, cream, butter and cinnamon……whats not to like!


  • 160ml of Duppy Share
  • 160ml of fresh single cream
  • 60ml of pineapple juice
  • a fresh pineapple quarter
  • 40g of unsalted butter
  • 20g of brown sugar
  • half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon


  • Cover the pineapple in half of the butter, sugar and cinnamon and bake in the oven at 180C for around 20 minutes until golden brown
  • Warm the remaining butter and sugar along with the double cream and pineapple juice in a pan
  • Pour 40ml of Duppy Share into a suitable heatproof glass or mug and ladle the hot mixture over the top
  • cut the baked pineapple into wedges and add to the glass as a garnish
  • Lightly dust the top with the remaining cinnamon

Sit back and savour…………a guaranteed winner!

Keep your eyes fixed to the blog for my article on Duppy Share which will be added shortly.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Posted by on November 27, 2014 in Press Release, Rum


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Glorious Revolution

glorious-revolution-graphicOur visit to RumFest this year, our first, was an introduction to the levels of palate fatigue that can blight extended tasting sessions. It is therefore, a real testament to the stand out quality of one particular product that almost everyone that we spoke to asked, ‘Have you visited the Glorious Revolution stand yet?’ The answer was of course a resounding YES!

A lot of interest surrounded this Rum and it’s producers with tales of it being distilled in a shed at the bottom of their garden. Such interest can be sparked for multiple reasons though. You can say that it’s because of the novelty factor, the Rum is both fermented and distilled here in the UK. You can say that it’s because of the flavour factor, the levels of flavour within the rum were astounding. Or you can say it’s because Spirit Masters, made up of Alan and Amanda, were such nice people. Personally I think that it is a touch of all of the above, but the interest of Rum Diaries Blog hovers longingly over the flavour aspect. Before all of that though, a little background.

spiri-tmasters-logo-headerAlan and Amanda Collins own and run Spirit Masters, an English micro-distillery. It is an unbelievably small, family concern based on the Cambridgeshire-Suffolk border near Newmarket. Alan and Amanda are Scientists by trade with Alan having a PhD in Biochemistry and Amanda being qualified in Biomedical Science. Amanda also holds a WSET Level 2 qualification in Spirits, a WSET Level 2 qualification in Wines and Spirits and is also trained in food safety for manufacturing and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point).

Glorious Revolution was launched at RumFest 2014 and created a bit of a stir and excitement. I received a sample bottle a week or so ago and it’s rarely been far from my glass. I also got the opportunity to ask a few questions of Alan and Amanda to inform this article which allowed me a little more insight into their process.

IMAG1318A food grade molasses is sourced from their chosen supplier. The key for them is consistency therefore the quality controls necessary to ensure that the supply contains a consistent level of fermentable sugars need to be carried out by their supplier to ensure that the raw material is as unchanged as possible from batch to batch. Alan and Amanda experimented with numerous yeast strains to enable them to utilise their desired technique which is to attain a slow and steady fermentation period until settling on their preferred (undisclosed) yeast . This period lasts for several weeks and I queried whether the UK climate is more beneficial when it comes to controlling the heat levels associated with fermentation as if not monitored and controlled correctly,the yeast will become dormant prior to the completion of the fermentation process. Apparently this is the case as a more consistent ambient temperature assists the process although careful monitoring is still required to control excesses of heat to ensure batch to batch consistency. This slow and long period enables more complex flavours to build which is vital as during the seminar given by Richard Seale at RumFest, the point was hammered home that fermentation is your chance to build flavour within a spirit as the distillation process strips it. As this Rum is unaged and will therefore not be allowed to develop in maturity, it makes total sense to control the fermentation process to provide you with ample opportunity to add complexity and flavour.

Distillation takes place over a period of 10 to 12 hours dependent upon the volume being distilled amongst other things. It takes place in a 200 litre copper pot still built in Portugal that has been tweaked to include ‘lentils’, special copper plates made for the top of the still to fractionate the alcohol into much higher levels of purity. The custom heating device employed by Spirit Masters enables them to control the temperature to within 1 degree. This enables careful separation of fractions to enable control over the Rum. The exact time period for distillation that they employ is not completely fixed however. Careful monitoring at several parts of the still, time of distillation, flow rate, volume, aroma and taste of the Rum as it comes off the still, all ensure the consistency of the final product. I queried the abv of the spirit as it comes off the still but was told that although their still has the ability to produce a spirit of up to 91.5% abv, the exact cut is something that they wish to keep as a secret. The Rum itself is not chill filtered either which adds to the mouthfeel….but you’re all interested in what it tastes like……..

Glorious Revolution – 40% ABV


Tasting Notes

In the glass: As you’d expect, the Rum is crystal clear and the immediate thing that hits you are the sugarcane notes. Very vegetal and grassy and it has that Wray and Nephew Overproof funkiness but dialed down….a lot. It is pungent, smells a little creamy with a hint of sweetness tickling my nose. It’s quite intriguing and builds up a lot of anticipation of what to expect….

In the mouth: It certainly delivers on flavour! There is an initial and very short-lived sweetness on entry which fades very rapidly leaving salty black olives which succeed in drying my mouth out . A creamy liquorice follows, like chewing a sweet. The vegetal, grassy agricole is present by the bucket-load but it carries less sugarcane notes than any of the agricoles that I’ve tried. There is something fruity on the back of my tongue, like pineapple that is on the verge of turning. There is also a really savoury edge to the Rum and a black pepper bite. It has so much flavour for an unaged spirit which is testament to the fermentation process employed and distillation method used. They combine to produce something really worthwhile. The finish is all molasses and black pepper and is not too long, which means that you have to sip again a lot sooner. It also feels a lot thicker in my mouth than I expected, it has real body to it.

As is usually the case, I want to try it in a Daiquiri, but given the agricole notes, I opted for more of a ‘Ti Punch style drink. Same ingredients I know but it kind of felt like a better fit……and fit it does. The fruity element in the Rum works with the lime and the sweetness is a welcome addition. It was a different experience as the only agricoles that I’ve used for a ‘Ti Punch have been at 50% so it had less kick but was kind of like a ‘Ti Punch for those who maybe aren’t sold on agricole. It reminds me slightly of the St Georges Agricole. I’d love to hear of any suggestions from those that are more well versed in cocktail creation as to what else to mix this Rum with.

This is a proper 100% pot still, unaged, heavy spirit. Pot distillation reveals all of the character of the spirit, including any character flaws and is therefore way less forgiving than column distillation. Alan and Amanda, by releasing this Rum are taking a risk on a general public that may not be ready for it and that may not appreciate it but that’s where the honesty aspect comes into play as it possesses far more character and integrity as a result of its origins than numerous big selling brands. It is full of flavour, challenges perceptions of what an unaged spirit can be and carries with it a complexity and a brutal honesty that is massively endearing to me. If you see it, buy it, and be part of the start of something wonderful. I hear that there may be an aged product in the early stages of contemplation which if true, makes Spirit Masters ones to watch for the future.

Again, many thanks to Alan and Amanda who provided a sample for this article.

Glorious Revolution should be available as we speak from Gerry’s in Soho… can find their website here and if you fancy reading about Alan and Amanda, you can find the Spirit Masters website here. They also have a blog on their site which is more than worth a read.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

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Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Rum


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Boutique RumFest

rum experience no date

Firstly, a little aside. If you have read any content on this site previously, you will know how much we enjoy and respect the work of Foursquare Rum Distillery’s Richard Seale. At Boutique RumFest we got to meet him. The evening was destined to be enjoyable after that moment.

So, on to the Boutique RumFest.

The whole experience was our first chance to sample the delights of the weekend as events had previously conspired to keep us away. We were fortunate enough to be allowed access to the Boutique RumFest which started off proceedings at 3pm on the Friday. We arrived at Euston, jumped in a taxi, checked into the hotel, took on refreshments and undertook the arduous journey down the stairs to the ILEC Conference Centre. Once inside we were greeted by a whole host of brands that we had not previously heard of and a few that we were familiar with. First up was Gold of Mauritius, who through good fortune, we had prior knowledge of. Amazingly, the Rums producer, Frederic Bestel was in attendance. There were then a few brands that we had not previously heard of. Amrut’s Two Indies Rum, various Rums (flavoured and unflavoured) from Fiji courtesy of Paradise Beverages, Koval Rum from Chicago and Sippin from London. All unique and interesting products in their own right. Familiar brands were also present in Ron Cubay, The Duppy Share, Dos Maderas, Clarkes Court, Green Island, Ron Centenario, Seven Fathoms, Opthimus, The Real McCoy, English Harbour and St Nicholas Abbey.

So many brands in a confined area for us to speak to, the beauty of the Boutique RumFest lies in the fact that you can grab more time with the exhibitors to hear about the Rums and their plans.

20141010_160402Two Indies

Two Indies from Amrut, which should hopefully see a release in the UK pre-Christmas is a blend of younger Caribbean Rums from Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana blended with a 3-year-old Indian Rum made from Jaggery Goor which is palm sugar obtained from the Date palm Tree. We have plenty of experience with jaggery goor (one half of Rum Diaries just happens to be Bengali) and when poured over fresh Luchi (a Bengali flatbread) it is sublime! This Rum was a real treat and I hope to grab a bottle as soon as it sees a release.


Paradise Beverages

Paradise Beverages has a vast array of their Fijian Rums. Flavoured Rums included Golden Honey, Coconut, Coffee, White Chocolate, Banana (very successful which is hard to execute), Rum Liqueur and they also had a White Rum.  Their range of Bounty Rums included a great Overproof Rum, Dark Rum, Spiced Rum and a White. Stepping things up they also had Ratu Spiced Rum, Ratu 5 Year Old Dark Rum and their limited release Lautoka 12 Year Old Solera Rum. We really need to reacquaint ourselves with these Rums as the range has a lot to offer.



Sippin had a very interesting pair of flavoured Rums. Both at 37.5% abv, there is a Mulled expression flavoured with Orange, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger amongst other things which is going to be just right for drinking in a month or so as the weather chills and a Spiced expression containing Lime, Honey and Ginger which is both refreshing and has a real kick of heat from the ginger. Both would be ideal served hot or cold. Good stuff.

20141010_181441Dos Maderas

Dos Maderas with their sherry cask finishing methods add a new dimension to the base Rums and we would like more time with all there expressions. They had three expressions. The 5 + 3, 5 + 5 PX and Luxus. All expressions utilise Rums aged in their countries of origin, Barbados and Guyana. They are then shipped over to Bodega Williams and Humbert and aged for a second period. The 5 + 3 utilises 5 Year Old Rums and has an additional 3 Year Solera ageing in their 20 Year Old Dos Cortados Sherry Casks. The 5 + 5 PX utilises the same process and base Rums but also has another 2 Year Solera ageing in their 20 Year Old Don Guido (Pedro Ximinez) casks. The Luxus utilises 10 Year Old Rums as a base and then undergoes an additional 5 Year Solera ageing in their 20 Year Old Don Guido (Pedro Ximinez) casks. Rancio is the key word here………

20141010_184308St Nicholas Abbey

St Nicholas Abbey is a brand that we are  familiar with. We own the White and 10 Year Old Expressions and really enjoy them both. We also got to try the 15 Year Old…unbelievable stuff. New to the line-up is the natural progression for St Nicholas Abbey, their own 5 Year Aged Rum. Made on their estate, in their still, and aged by them. Both the taste and aroma are wonderful and come it’s 2015 release, interest should be at hysteria levels for this Rum, and rightly so.

20141010_160514The Real McCoy

The Real McCoy is a brand that we’ve had our eye on for a while given that its origins can be found at Foursquare Distillery in Barbados. The Real McCoy is the Rum inspired by William McCoy, a Rum Runner who during prohibition times anchored off the coast of Long Island and supplied Rum to the knowledgeable few. We got to meet Bailey Pryor, company CEO and Emmy Award winning Director of The Real McCoy, a film about the life of William McCoy. We already had high expectations for these Rums and this was confirmed once we got to try them. The 3, 5 and 12 Year Old expressions are a great representation of Bajan Rum and once again, a real credit to Foursquare Distillery. They are not just repeats of Doorlys 3 and 5, they are their own animal and display their own characteristics whilst still belonging to the Foursquare stable.

2014-10-02 15.07.18Gold Of Mauritius

Gold of Mauritius is a brand that we have recently come to know as I was fortunate enough to meet a few weeks ago with Darius from Trilogy Beverages who are distributing the Rum in the UK. The Rum is an interesting one for sure and talking with Darius and Fred gave an insight into the processes involved and the essential barrel choice and barrel prep. The Rum has a pretty unique character that allows it to be unbelievably tasty on its own but also allows it to mix well. I also had the opportunity to try something that was pulled from beneath the counter.I REALLY need to try it again as it was another beautiful Rum.

20141010_193538Ron Cubay

Ron Cubay, a brand that we have believed in since their arrival in the UK had their new Extra Viejo expression available for tasting for the first time in UK. It is a blend of aged stock, both white and dark, which is then filtered before bottling in one of the most striking presentation bottles that we’ve ever seen, all accompanied by a beautiful display box. Look out for an update to the Ron Cubay article soon to including tasting notes for the Extra Viejo.

20141010_200454English Harbour

This then leads nicely onto what we believe was the truly defining moment of the whole evening. Antigua Distillery Ltd had brought along their English Harbour line of Rums. The 5 Year Old you can already read about on Rum Diaries Blog. We also got to sample the 10 Year Old which kicked things up a notch in terms of depth of flavour but still had that satisfying kick. They had also brought along the 25 Year Old English Harbour 1981. It was beautiful. Probably one of the more complex Rums that we have tasted up to this point. It was a discussion point all evening between us, so much so that whilst sitting in Euston Station on Monday morning awaiting the train home, we ordered a bottle.


We were also able to meet up with Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack, Ben Gane of Drink More Rum, Robert Burr of Rob’s Rum Guide, Helena Tiare Olsen of A Mountain Of Crushed Ice and numerous other Rum Royalty. We also had the opportunity to meet up with some wonderful distributors too. Maya and Francis from Distillnation, Jenny from Sip Or Mix, George and Jessica from The Westbourne Drinks Company and Darius from Trilogy Beverages to name a few. Boutique RumFest was a really great opportunity to experience new Rums and to get an insight into the processes involved in getting a new brand to market away from the noise of the main event……but of course the highlight for us was having a photograph taken with Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador. A real gent and a true champion of Rum.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Rum


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It’s Rum Month for WIRSPA and ACR

*Press Release*


It’s Rum Month!

The Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque will be present at the leading rum shows during October, one of the busiest months in high quality spirits events around Europe. With the German Rum Festival, RUMFEST UK, Show Rum in Rome and the Belgium Rum Festival all take place during October 2014, along with other leading spirits shows like Bar Convent Berlin, Barforum in Barcelona, Boutique Bar Show in Edinburgh and Salone del Gusto in Turin, the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque will provide training and information to trade professionals during many of these shows to continue with its educational campaign around Europe.

If you are a spirits professional or aficionado, the month of October is one of the busiest months in the calendar. In fact, Germany hosts one of the leading spirits events in Europe (Bar Convent Berlin) and a Rum Festival just days before. Likewise, London Cocktail week takes place the week before Rumfest UK takes over the ILEC Conference Centre in Earls Court. And with other key industry events taking place all over Europe, October can clearly state its case as “The Rum Month”.

ACR Logo

Which is why the Authentic Caribbean Rum (ACR) Marque, developed by the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA), will be present at some of the leading events in order to continue its international educational campaign for drinks professionals.

The timetable of  “Spirited” Events during the Month of October include:

During the 4th and 5th of October the Marque will be present at the German Rum Festival, one of the most successful themed rum events in Germany. International Panel member Bastian Heuser will represent the Marque, providing sampling opportunities with a stand and providing further insight in a master class during the event. Two days after, the Marque will participate in Bar Convent Berlin, hosting a stand and offering a master class that will be delivered by ACR International Panel member Andrew Nicholls.

On Friday October 10th, during the start of RumFest London, WIRSPA will hold a special seminar with the objective of developing business internationally for producers of the rums under the Authentic Caribbean Rum (ACR) Marque. The seminar will include the participation of Ian Burrell, world rum ambassador and creator of RumFest UK and a presentation by IWSR on the rum category worldwide.

Following events in Germany and the UK, the Marque will continue its October tour of Europe to participate in Barforum Barcelona (20th-23rd), the Boutique Bar Show in Edinburgh (22nd) and Salone del Gusto in Turin (23rd– 27th). In all events the focus will be in providing information and education to all drinks professionals interested in learning more about the category.


Having attended the ACR Training on it’s Manchester visit to Liars Club, I found it to be a worthwhile venture to transfer knowledge about the marque and also the Rums under the umbrella to get some unbelievably great Rums out into the public consciousness. I personally got to try some Rums that I had never tried ( I still can’t locate a bottle of the amazing Monymusk ) and although the training is geared more towards the trade aspect, I thoroughly enjoyed my day. Of course it helped that the training was being delivered by Amit Sood and that I was sat next to the knowledgeable Michael Sweetman of the UK Bartenders Guild and Phil Nienhuis, who is also a massive Rum fanatic. If you have the opportunity to attend an event, I suggest that you do!

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Press Release, Rum


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Wild Geese Golden Rum

IMAG0011_1Relatively new to these shores, though released elsewhere in 2010, Wild Geese Rum is a range of three Rums, Golden, Premium and Caribbean Spiced. They are from the same stable as Wild Geese Irish Whiskey and I happened upon them whilst browsing for Rum online…..a pursuit that I often undertake. The marketing information spins a wonderful story………..

Voyages and Men

Ireland was torn by injustice and natural disaster. In the years leading up to the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, when The Exiles took the name the Wild Geese believing they would return, many had already been forced from their homes and transported to the Caribbean and Americas to work on plantations.

Hold Fast

Sent into darkness and exile they did not flinch when faced with this unimaginable horror. Many rebellions were to follow. Their story and courage has been largely untold until now.


Determined to win freedom, those that escaped, blazed a trail across the endless blue as liberators and pirates of the Caribbean. Navigating their way across the featureless seas and against all odds their only option being to survive and succeed.



Wherever you are in the world, if you are of Irish descent you are part of this story and entitled to call yourself ‘Wild Geese’.

Wild Geese Golden Rum – 37.5% ABV

IMAG0008_1There is little to no information on the blend of Rums within Wild Geese Rum, therefore I decided to ask the question. I’ve been informed that Wild Geese Golden Rum is a blend of five Rums sourced from five distilleries. Again, similar to a recent post, the Rums are from Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana, Angostura in Trinidad, Hampden in Jamaica, St Lucia Distillers in St Lucia and the excellent Foursquare in Barbados. The Rum from Guyana, St Lucia and Jamaica is pot distilled and the Rum from Barbados and Trinidad is column distilled. The constituent Rums are a mix of ages with the Rum from Barbados being 5 years old and the remaining 80% between 3 and 5 years old. Again they are blended, reduced to the bottling strength of 37.5% ABV, batched with caramel for colour only and then bottled. The Rum has gathered a host of awards over the past few years winning Rum XP Gold in 2013, Silver at the WSWA 2013, Bronze at the ISC 2013, Silver at the IWSC 2013, Gold from the Beverage Tasting Institute in 2013 and was also rated 4.5/5 by Diffordsguide in 2013. Praise indeed but before moving onto my tasting notes, I have a few gripes. Firstly, the bottle label mentions that the Rum is ‘Part of the Internationally Acclaimed, Award Winning, Luxury Collection of Premium Spirits’…the term ‘Premium’ has lost its resonance with me now given it’s overuse of late. Is that where ‘Super Premium’ comes into play??? The ‘top of the range’ product from The Wild Geese Rum is actually called ‘Premium Rum’…..big shoes to fill. Secondly, the bottle label really confuses me. A Crystal Skull (we all know how that film turned out), a Pirate Ship against a moody moonlit backdrop and more text fonts and sizes than you can shake a stick at. I find it a little busy and confusing and quite unattractive. That aside, I’m not a treat for the eyes myself!  I do like the bottle shape though. As I keep telling people, ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’. Wild Geese Golden Rum is priced at around £19 a bottle which is right in line with Bacardi, Havana Club, Mount Gay, Appleton and Cockspur, so these will be the direct competitors if it makes it onto supermarket shelves, online is a different story.

IMAG0010_1Tasting Notes

In the glass: The Rum is a pale golden straw colour in the glass. Caramel, butterscotch and fudge lead the way. Vanilla then creeps up along with a light apricot syrup, the kind left over if you buy canned fruit. This is all rounded out by a little funkiness from the pot still Rums. It’s pretty pleasant stuff and bodes well for the tasting.

In the mouth: What strikes you immediately is how light a body this Rum has. The pot still element is the first thing that greets you alongside a mild spice. Vanilla and butterscotch follow with a little marzipan edge. It is, so far, totally consistent with the nose. The finish is quite short and is full of buttery fudge and that apricot syrup.

Mixed drinks pose another issue as the light body of the Rum requires something not too overpowering. With Coke, the pot still element shows through, but it’s the only thing that does. In a daiquiri, it works quite well as it is not overpowered by the citrus. It did work well in a little punch that I concocted using fresh lime juice, a passion fruit syrup and sugar syrup 50/50 mix, a good 60ml of Wild Geese Golden Rum and all topped up with peach nectar. Tasty stuff. There are several suggested cocktails on the Wild Geese Website here but in some, such as the Mai Tai, the Rum is overwhelmed by the other ingredients. For me, stick to simple and you won’t go far wrong.

This Rum is a good example of something that I think, on the visual front, is trying way too hard to stand out. So much so that what it actually does is mask what is clearly a decent, flavourful blend of Rums. You can hide behind crystal skulls and a marketing fanfare but put simply, this is a tasty, relatively inexpensive Rum, that is interesting due to the blend of Rums and the quality of the ingredients. The beauty of this issue is that if required, the label can be amended, and this is no way affects the product contained within. This is just my opinion though, so if you’ve tried it, if you love the presentation or have any other opinions, it’d be good to hear what you think.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

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Posted by on September 28, 2014 in Rum


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Doorly’s XO

IMAG1183_1Stepping online and looking up into the £25 to £35 price bracket opens up a veritable feast of amazing Rums to those who are willing to look beyond the supermarket shelves (though some great Rums are available there too). One such Rum that makes you feel almost guilty of theft is Doorly’s XO. A Spanish Oloroso Sherry Cask finished blend of Rums from Barbados that offers incredible amounts of flavour and countless glasses of enjoyment. It’s a steal at £25 a bottle and can compete with other more expensive and also highly regarded Rums. It will come as no surprise then when I tell you that this is another Rum produced by Richard Seale at the amazing Foursquare Rum Distillery. You will have read about my love of all things Foursquare and Richard Seale in my article on R.L Seales 10 but if not, click here for some background information on the distillery and Rums.

Doorly’s XO – 40% ABV

IMAG1182_1Although there is no age statement on the bottle (there is on the 5 and 3), I have it on good authority that the minimum age of the Rum in the blend prior to the second maturation is 5 years old with the second maturation in seasoned Oloroso Sherry Casks is for a minimum of 1 year. This it seems is where the general consensus comes from that the youngest Rum in Doorly’s XO is 6 years old. There will be older Rums in the blend prior to the second maturation but the omission of an age statement gives Foursquare the flexibility in their control over the necessary time spent in casks of different ages at each maturation stage and it also allows them to emphasise the fact that the Rum is twice matured. This second maturation adds another level of interest to the Rum. Oloroso Sherry is a Dry Sherry with a nutty flavour profile. It is often used as a base to build upon to create sweeter sherries. In the case of a bottle of Matusalem Oloroso Sherry that I have, it is the addition of 25% Pedro Ximinez that sweetens the Oloroso Sherry and the flavours within that bottle really are something else. The bottle itself (although different in other territories) is a part of the family of Doorly’s Rums that sit on my shelf. The XO, 5 and 3 all have the same shape of bottle and all have the image of the Blue Hyacinth McCaw on them. The same label shape and size make for an attractive presentation when all lined up in their varying stages of emptiness… least at Rum Diaries HQ. A place which saw me finish and then re-purchase a bottle of Doorly’s XO whilst taking my tasting notes, such was my level of desire to get my notes correct…………..

Tasting Notes

IMAG1184_1In the glass: The Rum is a deep coppery orange in the glass and displays bountiful droplets with a slight reluctance to move. The Rum has deep caramel up front with aromas of orange oil and orange zest. There is a little spice tingle and a dark fruity oak. As the Rum warms up in the glass, coconut, peach, passion fruit and a little fudge reveal themselves.

In the mouth: The Rum is awash with peppery spice and heat initially, wrapped in a nutty sweetness. Orange zest and oak are also present. As the dominant spice subsides, the nutty, sherried oak comes to the fore with a little caramel sweetness. After time, the peach, passion fruit and coconut show up on the back-end. Further sips confirm the prominent spice but the sherried oak develops more quickly as your mouth acclimatises to it. This again develops into caramel, coconut and peach. The Rum has a beautiful character whereby it is the Rum, not the sherry that defines it. The sherry is the vehicle on which the other flavours are transported. There are no dead spots where you are left wanting for flavour. The Rum has a long finish that starts peppery and ends with toasted coconut, slight oaky bitterness and faint peach. Tobacco shows up as an after smell in the glass. An example of sherry maturation executed correctly. Never dominant and never defining the Rum, just allowing the right amount of influence to come through.

This Rum really does deserve a place on everyone’s shelf, not just those with a real interest in Rum. It sits at a very accessible price point and is equally at home neat, with a mixer, or in a drink such as the Corn ‘n Oil. It is a fine example of the craft of sherry maturation by a master of his craft. Wonderful, thought-provoking stuff and as a fanatic that buys a lot of Rum, it is an absolute steal for a Rum of this calibre.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Rum


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Angostura Butterfly House

*Press Release*


The taste of Trinidad comes to London Cocktail Week as Angostura creates Butterfly House

Angostura Butterfly House 1

A truly unique experience will be coming to this year’s esteemed London Cocktail Week as Angostura rum brings tropical Trinidad to London’s Shoreditch. Open from Thursday 9th – Sunday 12th October, The Angostura Butterfly House will bring fluttering moments of joy to all who take a stroll within it.

When the butterflies dance, the sugar cane is ready for harvesting and at the Angostura Butterfly House an array of butterflies will be dancing to the tune of Trinidad’s legendary rum and bitters. Bringing to life the story of Angostura, the pop-up will offer visitors the chance to experience the sweet, sweet sights and tastes of the most treasured plantation fields.  Be embraced by friendly butterflies in the ethically created Butterfly House, press your own sugar cane juice and have it transformed into one of the delicious butterfly inspired Angostura rum cocktails on offer, sure to send you fluttering into the night.

A series of masterclasses and other events led by Angostura’s Master Distiller, John Georges and Global Ambassador, Mike Tomasic will also take place within this tropical paradise in the heart of Shoreditch at 31 New Inn Yard, including:

From Cane to Cocktail: all the way from Trinidad, House of Angostura’s Master Distiller, John Georges talks sugar cane and molasses while Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge winner and Global Brand Ambassador, Mike Tomasic leads a tasting of infused sugar cane juices v gomme syrups.  Thursday 9th October, 3.00pm – 4.00pm (Tickets £9 – limited to 16 places)

A Bitters Heart:  Angostura Aromatic Bitters is famed throughout the world for its ability to enhance flavours. Prepare to be surprised as Global Brand Ambassador, Mike Tomasic showcases an array of cocktails – each one of them including a whole shot of Dr Siegert’s classic creation.      Friday 10th October, 3.00pm – 4.00pm (Tickets £9 – limited to 16 places)

Nectar and Nous:  what would it be like to taste through your feet?  Imagine only being able to see green, yellow and red.  What an odd life you’d lead with no mouth to drink.  Be fascinated by the life of a butterfly as expert, Luke Brown (who has over 30 years experience in creating perfect environments for butterflies and has helped bring the Angostura Butterfly house to life) fires facts and figures while the guys at The Cocktail Lovers will create cocktails they’ll love to savour.  Saturday 11th October, 3.00pm – 4.00pm (Tickets £9 – limited to 16 places)

Float Like a Butterfly…:  No punches will be thrown, but the fight will fast and furious as reigning champion, Australia’s Mike Tomasic takes on Scotland’s Angostura City Sessions winners in a title defence of the House of Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge middleweight belt he won in March.  Three rounds, three drinks and plenty Ali-shuffles to some solid beats.  Sunday 12th October, 3.00pm – 5.00pm. Free entry.

Angostura Butterfly House 2THE ANGOSTURA BUTTERFLY HOUSE will be located at 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3EY

Opening times as follows:

Thursday 9th October 16:00 – 23:00

Friday 10th October 12:00 – 23:00

Saturday 11th October 12:00 – 23:00

Sunday 12th October 12:00 – 23:00


From Cane to Cocktail: Thursday 9th October, 15.00 – 16.00.  £9 (16 places)

A Bitters Heart: Friday 10th October, 15.00 – 16.00.  £9 (16 places)

Nectar and Nous: Saturday 11th October, 15.00 – 16.00. £9 (16 places)

Float Like a Butterfly…: Sunday 12th October, 15.00 – 17.00. Entry Free

Everyone is welcome to enter the Angostura Butterfly House and entry is free. Tickets for the masterclasses are priced at £9 and can be purchased in advance via the London Cocktail Week website:


© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Press Release, Rum


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