GSN Review: Monkey Rums

lamprey_monkeyrumbottleZane Lamprey (of “Three Sheets” fame) and I (of little fame) both attended the same high school.  However, we only met a few years ago at a Tales of the Cocktail convention in New Orleans.  Actually, I’ve met a lot of people from the Syracuse area in NOLA.  Anyway, Zane went on to bigger and better things, like hosting several TV shows and living in Los Angeles; while I decided to stay here in Central New York performing music and writing.  But, we do have one thing in common.  We both love to drink.  So, I’m glad Zane has branched into the spirits business with a few new rums.

Both rums are made  by the Angostura company in Trinidad from molasses using column stills.  It is then aged in ex-bourbon American oak barrels (not full of monkeys one hopes).  The coconut rum is aged six to twelve months, and the spiced from two to three years.

Monkey Toasted Coconut Rum (70 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Immense burst of coconut.  Tropical and
Taste: Coconut is the master of ceremonies here, but the rum underlying the spirit shines through as well.  Not too sweet or cloying, and with just the slightest touch of what I can only assume is toasted barrel.  This makes for a refreshing flavor that begs for several tastes.
Finish: Short and crisp.  Pow!
Overall: Nothing like the coconut rum named after the beach city in California, and that is a very good thing.
GSN Rating: A-

Monkey Spiced Rum (70 proof)
Visual: Light gold.
Nose: Mild, pleasant spice with a goodly dose of coconut.  Mouth-watering and evocatively Caribbean.
Taste: Extremely smooth initially, then a huge spice bomb kicks in with clove, cinnamon, coconut and nutmeg.  But, everything is balanced and the flavors work exceptionally well together.
Finish: A lot of spice lingers long, leaving a sharpness that is refreshingly unlike most highly sweetened spiced rums named after naval officers.
Overall: One thing I have to mention here, is the bottle design.  The bottles looks a bit barrel-like, feels great in the hand when pouring and for those of you who know who Pleepleus is, there are five images of him hidden on the bottle.  As a rum, this one is quite tasty and one that will make its way into regular rotation at the GSN offices.  Kudos, Zane!
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Monkey Rum

Blair & Zane Goofing Around

GSN: Backbar Review – November 11-15, 2013

cw sutcliffeDon Sutcliffe, managing director of California-based Craft Distillers, and Willie Phillips, former managing director of The Macallan, have collaborated on a new series of Scotch whiskies. To be known as The Exceptional by Sutcliffe & Son, the line is debuting this month with a whisky called The Exceptional Grain, made from a blend of barrels from the Loch Lomond, North British and Carsebridge distilleries, married in first-fill Sherry casks. The first release is 1,500 bottles, retailing at $100 apiece, with availability through Craft Distillers in all major U.S. markets. Two more whiskies, The Exceptional Malt and The Exceptional Blend, are slated to appear in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

indexRussia’s RSG Trading is launching its super-premium Russian Diamond vodka brand in the U.S. Handled by DUN Beverage Partners, Russian Diamond ($24.99 a 750-ml.) is hitting New Jersey (distributed by Allied Beverage) and several New England states (distributed by M.S. Walker) this fall ahead of a national rollout next spring. Targeted toward young professional consumers, the Russian import is presented in a diamond-cut package with an Italian velvet label featuring textured metallic lettering.

indexTrinidad-based Angostura will introduce the first installment in a new series of limited-edition rums early next year. The new entry, Angostura No. 1 ($49.99 a 750-ml.), will hit the California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Texas markets beginning in late January. A blend of 10-12-year-old rums matured in first-fill Bourbon casks, Angostura No. 1 is being released in a batch of 9,600 bottles worldwide.

indexBrown-Forman is launching its Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select into additional U.S. markets through the end of this year. Previously available only in global duty free and Tennessee, the ultra-premium offering will now also be offered in the Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco and New Jersey markets, priced at $165 a 750-ml. The 90-proof whiskey is aged in specially designed “Sinatra barrels,” which feature grooves to allow for more barrel-liquid contact.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily