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Understanding Rum


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#151 tanstaafl2

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:51 PM

16 years old, from a "Versailles" pot still at Diamond, according to Berry Bros. What's Enmore about it? Who knows.

 

The single wooden pot still at DDL is named the Versailles still for its original home plantation of the same name. It was moved at some point in its life to Enmore plantation before finally ending up at the current DDL location. My guess would be that your rum was distilled while the still was residing at Enmore.

 

From the DDL website:

 

The Double Wooden Pot Still originated from the Port Mourant Estate, founded in 1732, and was later moved first to Uitvlught and then, in 2000, to Diamond. In the same way the original Single Wooden Pot Still was moved from its original home at Versailles on the west bank of the Demerara River, via Enmore and Uitvlught to its present home at Diamond. These two unique copper-necked Stills are valued by blenders and other experts as a source of very heavy bodied, very flavourful and deeply aromatic rums – the ancient Green Heartwood of the Still playing a major role in the development of these distinctive characteristics. While rum from this Still is used in the blending of other El Dorado rums, the El Dorado PM Marque Single Barrel Rum is a single distillate from the Double Wooden Pot Still from the old Port Mourant Estate.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
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#152 Hassouni

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:09 PM

Yeah. Given how much the stills were moved around though, it seems silly to call them by their estate name. For example, Uitvlugt could be any number of things...



#153 tanstaafl2

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:40 PM

Ain't history a real hoot?

 

:raz:


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#154 mhdousa

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 05:28 PM

So, based on recommendations here and elsewhere, I've bought a bottle of each of Smith & Cross and Wray and Nephew. I've tried mixing them and drinking them straight.  Unfortunately, I just cannot get into them. It's that totally funky taste that I can't get past. The logical conclusion is that I don't like hogo, right? 

 

Is there any hope for me? Is it an acquired taste or did the rest of you get it right away?



#155 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 05:59 PM

I liked S&C and W&N first time I tried them.  However I do not care for all spirits by any means.  Just thinking of that funky taste makes me salivate.  If Pavlov was right, that reaction could probably be acquired.  But maybe better to drink what you enjoy.

 

Now, if you will excuse me, I am about to go pour some La Favorite and sacrifice a lime.



#156 Kerry Beal

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 07:00 PM

So, based on recommendations here and elsewhere, I've bought a bottle of each of Smith & Cross and Wray and Nephew. I've tried mixing them and drinking them straight.  Unfortunately, I just cannot get into them. It's that totally funky taste that I can't get past. The logical conclusion is that I don't like hogo, right? 

 

Is there any hope for me? Is it an acquired taste or did the rest of you get it right away?

I'd say acquired for me - and a matter of finding just the right thing to mix them in.  Not all rum cocktails are suitable for all kinds of rum.  I recall thinking a Jungle Bird sucked the big one - then FrogPrincesse suggested making it with Cruzan blackstrap as suggested by Sam Ross - totally different drink.



#157 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 08:20 PM

So, based on recommendations here and elsewhere, I've bought a bottle of each of Smith & Cross and Wray and Nephew. I've tried mixing them and drinking them straight.  Unfortunately, I just cannot get into them. It's that totally funky taste that I can't get past. The logical conclusion is that I don't like hogo, right? 

 

Is there any hope for me? Is it an acquired taste or did the rest of you get it right away?

 

I've never had W&N but I agree on S&C. I suspect you'd have that opinion about Inner Circle, too. I find these very funky rums can add a lot of depth and complexity to cocktails--a wee bit in a Mai Tai, for instance--but they are not rums I enjoy drinking straight or in more spirit-forward concoctions such as an Old Fashioned variation.


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#158 Hassouni

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 01:20 AM

I recall thinking a Jungle Bird sucked the big one - then FrogPrincesse suggested making it with Cruzan blackstrap as suggested by Sam Ross - totally different drink.

 

Bleh, I think blackstrap makes it 20,000 times worse than it already was. I can't stand this drink! (Sort of like Fernet. I know other people like it, but I think it's utterly vile)



#159 KD1191

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 01:44 PM

As stated above, I'm much more of a whiskey guy, but had some very interesting rums last night while visiting Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago.

 

BvXZ-L9CYAASx4E.jpg

 

I'd mentioned being intrigued by the bottle on the left at a bar in Minneapolis last week, but couldn't stomach the $50 they were asking for a pour to find out if it was any good. Paul offered me a taste, along with a couple other things he thought I'd like better. Turns out he was spot on. The Guadeloupe was somewhere between pedestrian and unpleasant. Not like any agricole I've had.

 

The Duncan Taylor 2000 Single Cask from Hampden distillery was something of a revelation. High ester, lovely proof (106.2). Complexity that makes this rum something I could sip day after day without tiring of, but still rather light.

 

And, the "Caribbean 2003"...which actually smelled suspiciously like a Cuban rum. Perhaps, because it IS (or mostly is?) a Cuban rum. It's hard to set aside the 'forbidden fruit' element of these things and judge them objectively, but I thought it was tasty. Cuban rum is my baseline for rum. Typically, it's not terribly interesting, but it's delicious. Here, the flavors were accentuated in ways that clearly pointed in the direction of Scotland, where it was aged. I couldn't exactly put my finger on it, but mentioned that there was something Scottish about it (at which point he went and got the bottle below).

 

BvXlVuGCQAEneaZ.jpg

 

If you tasted me on this blind, I'd have told you it was Scotch. Nothing crazy peaty or medicinal, but the level of smoke just clearly indicated this was Scotch. Not undelicious, just something completely out of left field for me.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

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#160 tanstaafl2

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 02:06 PM

Sorry to hear you didn't like the Guadeloupe. It isn't a stunner, which given the price would have been nice, but I thought its unique and fairly vegetal profile despite 13 or so years of age was pretty interesting. Almost delicate and a bit sweet initially but then finishes with the prominent grassy vegetal notes on the back of the palate along with a unique burnt sugar, almost slightly rubbery, finish that I sometimes find in agricoles and takes a bit of getting used to! Certainly a complex spirit to me.

 

The Plantation Guadeloupe remains my favorite by far from that island though.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#161 Hassouni

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:56 PM

Hampden distills Smith & Cross, so no surprises there, and yeah, Samaroli "Caribbean" is indeed Cuban.

 

So the Rattray Caroni was Scotch-y? It's on sale at a local boozeria and I've been thinking about getting some. For what it's worth, Sea Wynde, which is a mix of purely pot-stilled Guyanan and Jamaican rums, is smoky in a non-peaty way, too.

 

Come to think of it, why haven't I tried that in a Mai Tai....



#162 KD1191

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:29 AM

Sorry to hear you didn't like the Guadeloupe. It isn't a stunner, which given the price would have been nice, but I thought its unique and fairly vegetal profile despite 13 or so years of age was pretty interesting. Almost delicate and a bit sweet initially but then finishes with the prominent grassy vegetal notes on the back of the palate along with a unique burnt sugar, almost slightly rubbery, finish that I sometimes find in agricoles and takes a bit of getting used to! Certainly a complex spirit to me.

 

The Plantation Guadeloupe remains my favorite by far from that island though.

 

Perhaps it's a victim of my preconception of what agricole (even a well aged one) should be. My only point of reference with that many years on it would be the Saint James Extra Hors D'Age, which has so much more force and depth than the Guadeloupe. Delicate and agricole don't go together in my limited experience.

 

So the Rattray Caroni was Scotch-y?

 

Yes, indeed. It's not a peat monster, and I don't know if I'd feel as strongly about it if I hadn't just been drinking a lot of other rummy rums, but blindfolded I'd very likely have guessed it was Scotch.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#163 Hassouni

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:57 AM

For what it's worth, many independently bottled rums do have whisky-type qualities to them, but that has more to do with the absence of any added sugar, caramel, or anything else, and they tend to run on the dryer, scotch side rather than the sweeter bourbon side.



#164 Moto

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:40 PM

Hassouni - is the Caroni on sale in DC?  If so which store?  I will be in DC this weekend.  I thought the Caribbean was very scotch-like.  Slighlty medicinal with hints of menthol/eucalyptus if I remember right.

 

Currently the Plantation Guadeloupe and the Hamilton 9 year from St. Lucia are the first sipping rums I reach for these days.



#165 Hassouni

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 08:29 PM

I saw the same Caroni at Schneider's on Capitol Hill



#166 Hassouni

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 07:11 PM

And here is my review of the Rattray Caroni:

 
First impressions: 
 
Nose: delicate until stuck deep in, then acetone, alcohol prickle, wood, very subtle allspice 
 
Taste: alcohol burn, wood, astringency, tannins, papaya towards the finish, extremely subtle smoke (not peaty or smoky like scotch, perhaps from the char of the barrel?), final impressions as finish fades extremely dry. No real esters or funk to speak of, probably column-distilled? 
 
A few minutes later: 
 
Vanilla becomes apparent in the nose (15 years in a barrel, go figure), papaya taste comes sooner, less astringent, less alcohol burn, finish still bone-dry. A second sip reveals figs and passion fruit, with yet more papaya. On exhalation through the nose: leather, wood, different (but not as distinctive) fruit 
 
As it's resting, definite umami notes are expressing themselves in the very long (minutes later) finish. Glutamic acid in aged spirits? Perhaps 
 
Later still: No alcohol burn at all in the nose, molasses and sugar flavor notes start to be expressed (but not sweet at all) 
 
With a drop or two of water: sugar notes come out a lot more on the tongue, almost like baked sugar, but once again, still not sweet. 
 
After sitting covered for several minutes post-water: much heavier wood, notes of high quality very dark chocolate, with a bit of sweetness turning mildly bitter (as good dark chocolate does), slight resemblance to Bruichladdich's bittersweet characteristics, very whiskylike, in fact. Seaside single malt crossed with quality dark chocolate might not be a bad descriptor for this rum. 
 
With the glass empty, it smells very distinctly of what in English is called Urfa pepper, a very dark, roasted and sundried chile pepper used in Turkish cuisine, but without the heat. 
 
Overall thoughts: This is a weird rum, but not in the way that, say Smith & Cross is weird. It's very complex and sort of challenging to pick out the distinctive flavors - 15 years in oak also puts a heavy veneer over everything as well. I only poured myself 3/4 of an ounce, which maybe wasn't enough. To do this rum justice, at least an ounce is needed, as is at least half an hour for it to air out periodically. In fact, in the future, I'll let it sit for 10 minutes before even taking my first sip. 46% is sort of my ideal strength, and I don't consider it that strong, but at 46% this is a bit hot. Not sure if water or a really long time airing out is best to deal with that.

Edited by Hassouni, 08 September 2014 - 07:11 PM.

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#167 Moto

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for reporting back on the Caroni. Sounds quite interesting. Let us know your thoughts once you have more time and let us know if you would buy it again.

#168 bostonapothecary

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 09:48 AM

As it's resting, definite umami notes are expressing themselves in the very long (minutes later) finish. Glutamic acid in aged spirits? Perhaps 

 

Umami is also often referred to as the fatty acid taste so it relates to esters which are fatty acids bonded to alcohols. In spirits I often refer to it as olfactory-umami because whatever creates the sensation is volatile. if fatty acids can stimulate gustatory-umami and esters derived from them are co-experienced together in the course of normal eating the mind eventually links the two similar to synaesthesia.

 

it isn't so straight forward and there are countless exceptions.

 

I liked that rum. its crazy that they are so expensive now. you used to get all that character for $30 but I guess its becoming rarer and rarer.


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#169 tanstaafl2

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 01:22 PM

attachicon.gifBvXlVuGCQAEneaZ.jpg

If you tasted me on this blind, I'd have told you it was Scotch. Nothing crazy peaty or medicinal, but the level of smoke just clearly indicated this was Scotch. Not undelicious, just something completely out of left field for me.


Kind of an odd label. Says it is barreled at cask strength yet it is noted to be 46%. I suppose that could indeed be cask strength if it was aged in Scotland but kind of a typical proof.
 

And here is my review of the Rattray Caroni:

First impressions:

Nose: delicate until stuck deep in, then acetone, alcohol prickle, wood, very subtle allspice

Taste: alcohol burn, wood, astringency, tannins, papaya towards the finish, extremely subtle smoke (not peaty or smoky like scotch, perhaps from the char of the barrel?), final impressions as finish fades extremely dry. No real esters or funk to speak of, probably column-distilled?


Caroni, which closed in about 2002, reportedly had both a pot still and column still so it could be from either or a combination of the two. Probably no way to ever know for sure unless AD Rattray cares to spill the beans, presuming they even know. When the Trinidad government closed the distillery apparently the remaining barrels went hither, thither and yon in relatively short order! Some reports suggest that The Scarlet Ibis rum used Caroni as a source but I have no idea if they still do.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#170 Hassouni

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 01:40 PM

I doubt Scarlet Ibis would have been so cheap if that were the case. Its also a fairly young rum.



#171 tanstaafl2

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 01:59 PM

I doubt Scarlet Ibis would have been so cheap if that were the case. Its also a fairly young rum.


I doubt it is made from leftover Caroni today. But I found a post from Eric Seed (post 16 from "eas" is the one) that seems to confirm that the original private bottling of The Scarlet Ibis for Death & Co was a blend of 3-5yo Trinidad rum that they were told was pot still distilled which leaves Caroni as the most likely source since Angostura doesn't have a pot still and never has as far as I know. If anybody would know presumably he would since he bought it and bottled it!

Although I suppose it must be noted that Moet Hennessy open the 10 Cane distillery in 2003 with a pot still and Scarlet Ibis first appeared in 2008. The math suggest that maybe this could be the source? 10 Cane is, or at least used to be sugar cane juice like agricole (although I seem to recall that this changed at some point and it is now blended with molasses based rum and production recently moved from Trinidad to Barbados) but there was nothing to prevent them from running a bit of fermented molasses through the still every now and again!

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If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#172 KD1191

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 04:07 PM

With the glass empty, it smells very distinctly of what in English is called Urfa pepper, a very dark, roasted and sundried chile pepper used in Turkish cuisine, but without the heat. 

 

Urfa biber is a great note. Wouldn't have put my finger on it previously, but in retrospect I can see exactly what you mean.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#173 Hassouni

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:34 PM

My nose and palate aren't that developed, but the papaya note shot right out, and as I was sniffing the empty glass I was like..."is that isot???" (the Turkish name for the pepper in question). Similarly in Highland Park 12 I get an extremely distinct pineapple note in the finish.  

 

Strange the flavors and smells one can discern, and the others that are all jumbled together.



#174 Moto

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 02:23 PM

Anyone who is interested in a range of rums should visit K&L.  They just reduced several including their El Dorado single casks and the Nicolas Palazzi Sherry Cask aged rum.  If only they delivered to my state!


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#175 tanstaafl2

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 02:41 PM

Anyone who is interested in a range of rums should visit K&L.  They just reduced several including their El Dorado single casks and the Nicolas Palazzi Sherry Cask aged rum.  If only they delivered to my state!

 

My problem as well. I have several of the NP Sherry Cask aged rum already but would buy more for $100 if I could.

 

Damned annoying.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2