My main concern about it, as related to my micro barrel post, is the general phenomenon of "Fast-aging" as it were tending to make things taste very woody at the expense of other things.
tanstaafl2, do you detect any of that?
When first tasted it was in a session with a variety of other spirits at one of my "Wednesday tastings".
I will make an effort to taste it again tonight or soon and taste only the Lost Spirits rum with a fresh palate to get another impression. But I do not recall it tasting particularly woody in the way a craft whiskey often does that uses small barrels, pressure cookers or other unusual techniques. And I have had more than my share of young craft whiskey because I am always looking to support something that proves innovative AND good. Occasionally I do find something interesting. But it is not the same as a traditionally matured whiskey.
I did reach out to Bryan through a mutual acquaintance and he indicated the following:
"If I added flavoring or coloring additives and stated no additives on the label I would be committing consumer fraud. I'm not committing consumer fraud."
I am inclined to take him at his word until proven otherwise. In addition others who know him (I do not) have indicated they have no reason to believe he is lying.
He also noted that creating color in a spirit is not difficult in his opinion and that the use of well charred "new or newish" (to use his words) and then re-barreling a few times over the course of time can achieve this. Given that much color comes from the wood in the early stages of aging it seems plausible to me. I also suspect the use of smaller size barrels but that I did not get confirmed. Just not sure what technique he might use to minimize the tannin or woody flavors that I would normally expect to accompany such a process. Which is not to say he might not have found a way.
He also noted the following:
"The thing I usually try to point out to people, is that I am interested in making the densest and most complex spirits I can. Whatever tricks I can devise to gain control over the maturation process, are ultimately tools that help me do my job. I recoil at the idea of adding caramel and sugar to garbage juice as much as the next spirits geek. On the other hand I have no problem using technology to accomplish my goals."
As Rafa notes I think he is indeed an "idiosyncratic, technically apt if autodidactic enthusiast with a very clear idea of what he wants his spirits to do, and the imagination and technical know-how to devise unusual ways of getting them there". However I am not surprised he is reluctant to share the nature of his technology with just anyone in this day and age.
But I know none of this will satisfy our resident skeptic, Capn Jimbo. Bryan did note he will be in Miami this month to talk about "engineering rum". I take this to mean he will be at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival next week. That is in the Capn's backyard I believe and if he isn't already planning to attend perhaps this will add further encouragement for him to do so.
Finally, I do try to not wade too deep into the fray on these essentially anonymous sites but I have to note that this comment sounds to me like a bit of blather from the good Capn:
"I'll be frank - I only had to see the dark mahogany of this very young rum to know that this rum is not worth my serious consideration. However if the distiller wishes to forward a bottle, I'll see to it that several experienced tasters will evaluate it; further, we will subject it to our own tests for the addition of sugar and solids."
This sounds remarkably narrow minded to me. You "know" it to be true and therefore not "worth" your "serious consideration" just by looking at the color of the rum? And you became the end all and be all of all things rum just how exactly? Because you have a blog on rum? No matter how many others may color or flavor their rum to dismiss one that apparently you haven't even tried is not particularly objective and rather seems the epitome of blather.
Since the Capn can't see fit to acquire his own bottle of the rum before lambasting it if the good Capn would care to PM me his address (or an address he has access to), which I pledge here to keep private, I will do my very best to acquire and send him a bottle on my dime to try for himself.
Although at this point I am not certain any "evaluation" he provides will hold much value with me given the scorn heaped upon this spirit without so much as trying it himself first.