Ivar De Laat
Not being content with having a passion of his being seen as average by most people, Ivar wants to promote honest producers and their products to help to make any difference he can. He has a desire to gain rum knowledge from the true experts and then share that knowledge as far as he can. Ivar is really trying to push the rum category forward in Canada. Join his Facebook group to try to help him spread the good word!
I have to mention that access to good rum is limited while living in Ontario, Canada. Our government liquor stores have tax money on their mind, not an interesting rum selection. This is also why I started the Rum Club Canada on Facebook, to hopefully make a tiny difference in promoting rum over here. My 3 choices come from outside of Canada.
A very difficult choice between Triptych and Criterion. I like them both just as much. This should be a top 4 in that sense. I’ll give it to Criterion because it’s more widely available and at a lower price. It’s quite amazing that a rum of this quality is priced this low. It has a proper age statement and lots of clear information on what’s in the bottle. Richard Seale and his team deserve a lot of credits for this and for teaching 99% of rum enthusiasts at least one thing about rum at the same time, which is a remarkable achievement. Foursquare has been on the rise for a while now and comes up in almost every other discussion about rum. Deservingly so.
Compagnie des Indies New Yarmouth 12
Not just because it’s a major funk bomb with strong paint stripper fumes, but also because it’s from a distillery that’s largely been under the radar. That makes the rum enthusiast’s heart beat a little faster. I’m hoping the many favourable opinions on this rum will guarantee more future releases.
Diamond and Versailles Vintage 1996 (Velier Demerara Distillers)
I was too late in the rum game to get my hands on earlier Velier releases. Apart from a lucky bar find in Venice and a few samples from rum friends, this was my first real opportunity to sit down with a bottle. It’s epic with much going on. It’s so expressive that even someone who’s not good at identifying flavours (aka me) can come up with more than two. Here goes: salty water, brown sugar, olives, smoke, oak, caramel, liquorice and molasses. I’m thankful for the opportunity I got to buy this bottle and for the marriage between Luca Gargano and DDL!