The Rum Blog

Growing up, I seem to remember that half my family members drank gin (& tonic) while the other half drank rum (& coke). This is in addition to wine, beer, and anything else that the occasion might have demanded. My background is a combo of English, Irish, and Scottish so family gatherings were never lacking in libations...

I am not sure exactly when, but I ended up on the rum side of the family. That is not to say that I never drink gin (or other liquors), but my go-to beverage is rum & coke. Like my maternal grandmother, I initially favoured Bacardi white (I know, BO-RING). I eventually got out of that rut, and decided to go on a mission; a very yummy rummy, rum-tasting mission. 
Join me as I travel through all the rums at the LCBO and outre mer ("across the sea") as well.
Favourite / Best Value Pick

Ron Caney Añejo Centuria

August 16, 2015
As you may have already noticed, I am lucky enough to be spoiled by people. They bring me back rums from far off places, such as the Dominican Republic, and, in this case, Cuba.
Currently, the only Cuban rum available through the LCBO is Havana Club. And while I like all of them, from what I've been told there are upwards of 10 other rums available only on the rum-filled island. Other rums that I have been lucky enough to try from Cuba can be found here. I have (perhaps controversially) classified Bacardi as Cuban, even though it is neither currently made nor bottled in Cuba. 

I think this bottle may have cost me a batch of butter tarts. I am completely open to bartering baked goods (or other types of food) for rums not available at the LCBO.

Of the Cuban rums I have tasted, I find they all have similar qualities to this one. They have a pretty rich, spicy taste but also are a little rough around the edges with a good burn on the finish. I don't think I would every turn down a rum from Cuba.

As an aside, I looked up the meaning of Caney. It means hut or log cabin, and can also mean chief's house. Given the image on the label (what looks to be a group of indigenous people dancing and/or celebrating in front of a large hut), I suspect the correct translation in this case may be chief's house.
 

Lunch at The Oxley

February 16, 2015
The Oxley is a great pub in Yorkville.  I've been there a few times since it opened a few years ago.  It also has a sister-pub down at Yonge/Dundas called the Queen & Beaver.  The decor inside is all wood, with old-fashioned tables and chairs, and paintings of hunting scenes adorning the walls.  In the summer, they also have a great back patio that is completely sheltered from the noise of busy Yorkville Avenue. 

I think some would probably refer to it as a gastro-pub, but having lived in England I would say it is really just a proper, authentic version of an English pub.  At the end of the day, there is excellent food and drink to be had there.  Such things as home-made sausages, Lamb vindaloo (I do believe curry is the national dish of England), fish & chips and seafood pie make up the menu).  They have an impressive selection of beers, classic cocktails and they often feature limited edition and local specialities.

I was there a few weeks ago, and sat at the bar when, what to my wondering eyes should appear?  A small wood cask with HOME-MADE SPICED RUM.  *SQUEAL*  It was sitting right in front of me, almost taunting me. Much to my disappointment, it was not ready to open yet.

I had a nice chat with the manager, who informed me that it would be open in a few weeks.  I was curious about what they put in it but he was reluctant to share. I did manage to find out that they start with Havana Club Blanco as the base.  I also learned that there is a store down on Queen Street West at Ossington where you can source the barrels (about $75) and lots of other unique cocktail accessories.  I will be making the trek shortly. 

Fast-foward two weeks, and I made a return trip to The Oxely, but only after confirming that the rum was ready.

It was quite delicious.  I sipped it straight in order to do my best to analyze the flavours.  I got orange right off the bat, both smell and taste.  And all spice.  At first I was conflicted between clove and all spice, but I think I have finally settled on all spice.  It was a lovely shade of light orange-rust.  When I decided that I had done all I could do, I mixed the rest with coke.  It was equally good with coke. The manager remembered me from my previous visit and we had a follow-up chat.  The rum usually lasts a few weeks so I may need to revisit in the near future.
 

Rums for Christmas

February 16, 2015
I got RUMS for Christmas!  Not just these, but these may be my favourites.  There is a long history to me and these rums, which has been told, piece by piece, in multiple blog posts.

In short, my bestie brought me back the white directly from the Dominican quite a few years ago.  At the time, it wasn't available at the LCBO.  So far, it is the smoothest white rum I've had.

Initially the LCBO started to carry the regular Brugal Gold (which I don't care for and still have a bottle on the go), and then brought in the Brugal Añejo (which is delightful) and now also (so I just learned) the white.  I already have a blog post on the Blanco, but another friend more recently brought it back from Dominican for me.

I think they make a beautiful couple. Almost a shame to open them. 
 
 

Gosling's Gold (aka Rum & Baby Food)

February 16, 2015
Any reasonable person may ask what rum has to do with baby food.  And the answer is nothing, really. Except baby food jars make for really good liquid storage. 

The story goes that my best friend's husband (let's call him the Irishman) got a bottle of Gosling's Gold from a friend.  You can't currently get the Gold at the LCBO; you can only get the original Black Seal.

I had to lift this picture from the interwebs because I forgot to take a photo of the bottle. 

The Irishman has partaken many times in my rum bounty, so he was nice enough to offer me a few samples.  I had a couple of drinks at their house one night, but they also gave me a shot to take home for future consumption.  Enter the baby food jar.
I find it hilarious that I have rum in a baby food jar. However, at the time, it was very practical.

My bestie and the Irishman had just recently welcomed my de facto nephew into the world so there was an abundance of these jars around their kitchen.  It really is the perfect size for small amount of liquid.  If anything, it just speaks to both of our practical sides that we take no issue with the obvious conflict.  I do get some pretty strange looks though. 

And just in case there was any doubt that my name actually is Jacquie...

To be honest, I don't have much to say about the rum. I haven't really consumed enough to comment on it that much. I remember it having a pretty intense burn to it, so I did mix with coke after tasting a few straight sips first. I hope that one day it will become available in the LCBO. Or even better, maybe I will travel to Bermuda to take in some sun and rum first hand.
 

English Harbour - Aged 5 Years

December 26, 2014
This blog post is actually timely compared to the previous three.  I was in the LCBO about a month ago, cruising the holiday specials and sales when I saw a brand new rum that I have never seen before: English Harbour. 

The LCBO frequently changes their stock, adding and taking away products, so I usually buy new products as soon as I see them just to make sure I don't miss out.

This rum gave me the opportunity to add a new category (Antigua) to my blog. :-)  The sacrifices I make for my blog...

This rum was delicious.  It smelled like coffee mostly, but also a little wood and the usual toffee/caramel combo. It went great with both Coke and Pink Ting. As a result, it didn't last very long.  Onto the next bottle I go!