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Understanding Rum


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#211 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 11:34 PM

Bryan Davis of Lost Spirits Distillery just put up a white paper on "trace carboxylic acid & ester origin in mature spirits." It's a good read for anyone interested in the chemistry of maturation in spirits generally and rum in particular. You can read it here.

 

This reminds me how much I have been enjoying Lost Spirits Navy Style, I've gone through a few bottles, and it is a regular in my mai tais (not white mai tais), most recently tonight.  Good stuff.



#212 Moto

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 10:35 AM

Don't give up on the Sea Wyne yet. Sipping it neat is like guzzling diesel fuel but it is great in a drink that calls for Jamaican or Guyana rum.

I've been sipping on the Caroni I just received. The nose is a thing of wonder. A little tar, along with toffee and butter and ripe fruit.The richness of the buttery notes really brings it all together. It steadily improves as you let it sit. The taste was really surprising. A little tarry bitterness but the main notes are that of a menthol eucalyptus cough drop and a big jolt of anise. It has just a hint of sweet to remind you it is aged rum. Makes me think of Fernet aged for 20 years.IMG_20150416_210308.jpg
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#213 Rafa

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 02:30 PM

Sounds a lot like the Gosling's Very Old I had at Hassouni's place—I wonder what happens during fermentation or maturation to bring out these eucalyptus/fernet notes?

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”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937


#214 scubadoo97

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 04:57 AM

Bryan Davis of Lost Spirits Distillery just put up a white paper on "trace carboxylic acid & ester origin in mature spirits." It's a good read for anyone interested in the chemistry of maturation in spirits generally and rum in particular. You can read it here.


Tasted his rum at the Miami rum trade show this weekend. He still has his work cut out for him. In theory it sounds good but he's not there yet

#215 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 12:31 PM

Tasted his rum at the Miami rum trade show this weekend. He still has his work cut out for him. In theory it sounds good but he's not there yet

 

Which of his rums did you try?  I have been pleased with the navy style, but that's the only one I've tasted.



#216 scubadoo97

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 03:35 PM

I'll have to look at my booklet but he had about 6 bottles on his table but I only tried the one he was pouring, I'll get back on which one it was. I quickly moved on to better things. My goal was to find producers of unadulterated rums. Most claim theirs has nothing added but that's obviously not true.

We did find some that were. Richard Seale and Bailey Pryor are both producing the real deal in Barbados



http://www.realmccoy.../thestory#today


https://rumdiariesbl...0-year-old-rum/
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#217 Hassouni

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 04:20 PM

I have to say I have not liked the LS Navy style I've tried, and I've tried it a few times on different occasions. It just tasted, for lack of a more detailed description, bad. I doubt it's adulterated...just not distilled or "aged" well. I'm still curious about their Polynesian, Cuban, and the new stuff coming out of their Big Black Box, or whatever, but so far I'm not encouraged.



#218 scubadoo97

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 06:04 PM

Today's purchases

2034092ce3295bb278d8552d4a63d832.jpg

Now off to do some blind tastings with my wife to see how they compare.
I did small samplings when I got them home. The Doorly's XO is a steal for the price
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#219 Hassouni

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 01:07 AM

The Doorly's XO is a steal for the price

 

As is the Seale's 10, and really all the Foursquare products!


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#220 Hassouni

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 12:59 PM

Just went to a rum seminar with Paul Pacult, in which I tried 10 new rums, most of them new to me. Many were sweetened/flavored garbage, but 3 I'd never tried stood out:

 

Appleton Reserve - I've only had the V/X and the 12/Extra. The Reserve struck me as way nicer than the V/X, and more rummy/less whisky-like than the 12. Very rummy, hogo-y, on the lighter side of Jamaican but still very true to the island. I think it would be great in cocktails calling for "gold Jamaican rum" where S&C would be overkill.

 

Owney's white - distilled in Brooklyn allegedly entirely from molasses, though it reminded me slightly of many microdistilled rums I've tried that are made from granulated sugar. That said, overall it came off very Cuban-style, or at least what Dave Wondrich describes as vintage Cuban style in Imbibe.  I bet it would slay in daiquiris.

 

Bank's 7. Late to the game, I know, but this was wonderful. Tropical fruits (papaya), cedar, a long dry finish, mmmm


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#221 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 02:59 PM

Owney's white - distilled in Brooklyn allegedly entirely from molasses, though it reminded me slightly of many microdistilled rums I've tried that are made from granulated sugar. That said, overall it came off very Cuban-style, or at least what Dave Wondrich describes as vintage Cuban style in Imbibe.  I bet it would slay in daiquiris.

 

Love that one. I tried it last year at Tiki Oasis in the rum tasting session that Martin Cate of Smuggler's Cove organized. I wish we could get it in California.



#222 Moto

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 01:45 PM

Tried another of the Velier Rums.  This time the Rhum Rhum Liberation 2012.  Reportedly a five year old rum aged in white wine barrels. 

 

The nose comes across to me as a combination of light smoke, brine and a bottle of fish sauce.  Not appetizing at all. In fact I can't even drill down to what it actually tastes like without these briny ashy notes getting in my way.  A few days later I  happend to sample  some green tea and found the exact same notes in the aroma.  Still doesn't help me enjoy it any.  

 

I try it with ice and I also let it open up for a long time and it was still an ashy mess.  I finally tried it after putting my glass in the fridge for about an hour.  The nose was much more subdued and I was able to really taste the rum.  Really soft light notes of apricot and peach, you can taste the white wine barrel.  Actually fairly elegant as long as it is not allowed to warm up to room temp.  Definitely not my favorite but an interesting experience.

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#223 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 06:14 PM

For those of you who do not care for Lost Spirits Navy Style, do you like Pusser's?

 

In my side by side tastings Lost Spirits was very much like Pusser's, only at a somewhat higher proof.  Would anyone agree or disagree?



#224 Hassouni

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 08:22 PM

I love Pusser's - to me the LS tastes nothing like it. 



#225 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 09:18 PM

I love Pusser's - to me the LS tastes nothing like it. 

 

Interesting.  I can't seem to find any Pusser's here at the moment but I will try to get a bottle and retest.  I've gone though my share of Pusser's in the last couple years.

 

Anyone else?



#226 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 09:26 PM

I've never had Pusser's but to me the Lost Spirits Navy Style has tobacco notes that are very distinctive and would make it a bit hard to mix with. To sip on it's also a bit crazy. I prefer their Polynesian and the 151 Cuban style.



#227 Hassouni

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 10:29 PM

I've never had Pusser's but to me the Lost Spirits Navy Style has tobacco notes that are very distinctive and would make it a bit hard to mix with. To sip on it's also a bit crazy. I prefer their Polynesian and the 151 Cuban style.

 

That's worth knowing, I think the navy style is really, truly bad.



#228 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 10:38 PM

Tiaré has detailed tasting notes on her site.



#229 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 10:48 PM

That's worth knowing, I think the navy style is really, truly bad.

 

Don't let that impression deter you from trying their other rums. They are killer (sipping on the 151 as I type).



#230 Hassouni

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 11:02 PM

Right, that's why it's reassuring that a fellow rum fan agrees that's it's crazy to sip!



#231 bostonapothecary

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 06:47 AM

I'm really curious and optimistic about the Lost Spirit rums. I'd pick up any bottle I came across, but no I haven't tried any yet. I did spend some time looking at their white papers and I wrote a lengthy analysis of their Wired articled. Hopefully it can help people make sense of what they are doing there and how sophisticated they are (hint not very sophisticated and very poorly researched). We kind of assume if you're a distiller, you are all knowing and fully educated, but that definitely isn't so. But hell, every time I travel I'm on the search for moonshine and amateur efforts. And I've been known to torture spirits here and there. Making any spirits well quickly becomes a twenty year journey, whether the produce realizes that or not. I think it can be fun to drink along every step of the way.

 

Investigating Lost Spirits' Investigations Part I

 

Investigating Lost Spirits' Investigations Part II

 

Investigating Wired's Investigation of Lost Spirits Accelerated Aging


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#232 Rafa

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 07:11 AM

I don't find Pusser's and the LS Navy very similar. The Navy is my least favorite of the Lost Spirits uh, spirits I've tried; it's loaded with flavor compounds, but doesn't walk me through them in any interesting way. My sense is Bryan and co. put a lot of energy into maximizing flavor density without thinking through how flavors interact, the role of "fixatives" (thanks bostonapothecary) in flavor perception and interaction, and other facets of distilling and blending that don't show up on a chromatogram. For Bryan Davis' next trick I'd like him to consider harmony. 

 

I can't recommend bostonapothecary's library of found distillation research enough to anyone interested in how spirits and flavors are made. And Stephen's thinking on perception and what's ickily called neurogastronomy is still ahead of its time and worth reading. 


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DrunkLab.tumblr.com

 

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937


#233 Rafa

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 07:17 AM

Stephen, it's interesting you mention this:

 

 

 

You want ethyl acetate as close to the recognition threshold as possible without going over. When you go over the recognition threshold, ethyl acetate will smell like nail polish remover, but when below (but well above the absolute threshold), ethyl acetate will be a bridge for the other aromas. Without ethyl acetate to bridge aromas, they will be perceived as disparate and possibly dissonant. The fixative term is used in many different ways but here it brings aromas together (spatially in the mind) to create unique and extraordinary percepts. A large part of distilling and blending is managing ethyl acetate.

 

I believe Bryan's stated that he tries to keep ethyl acetate as low as possible in his rums. I think he's an extremely talented autodidact but this is one place where his research seems to have failed him. 


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DrunkLab.tumblr.com

 

”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937


#234 bostonapothecary

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 08:12 AM

Thanks for taking a look Rafa. It is so hard to talk about some of this stuff concisely and for the layman. I hope I did it some justice. Its so easy to miss speak when you are on a journey learning about something and want to share where you're at as you go. We need to give Lost Spirits a ton of respect for sharing as they go. I've shared stuff here for years especially exploring new language and techniques for describing things. The further back in time you go, the worse my writing is.

 

I wrote an article a few years ago called From Free Fatty Acids To Aromatic Esters: Esterification in the Still Made Simple®. It looked at how esters form in the still and how they form elsewhere during production. It also looked at how decisions made to manage other congener classes impact esters and vice versa. It was really hard to write and I made tons of errors, some I edited and some are probably still there. Lately its been getting a ton of reads, but as usual zero comments.

 

One of the things I posited is that we'd see distillers seduced by the ester idea and they'd try to make super high ester products akin to the double I.P.A.s and ultra hopped beers. We might be seeing that now.

 

Another thing that comes up with Lost Spirits is that Bryan Davis' ideas on dunder aren't exactly historically accurately (as we found out only recently through discovering some lost literature). But hell, no one else's were either. A post I wrote called Muck Hole Not Dunder Pit, inspired by an eGullet flame war on this very thread, sheds some light on the true history and science of both muck & dunder and points to some amazing primary documents.


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#235 Moto

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 06:08 PM

I came home this evening and sampled the Lost spirits for the first time in a long time.  I think Rafa hit the nail on  the head with the word harmony.  It is almost as if someone assembled a Frankenstein of rums putting together all the required(or desired) parts but they are not in harmony.  I sampled it against Smith and Cross, Hamilton Jamaican Black Rum and Gosling Black Seal.  I chose the last two because of the strong molasses nose of Lost Spirits

 

I think part  of the problem may also be the name.  The only reference I have for a Navy rum is Smith and Cross.  Smith and Cross is head and shoulders above the Lost Spirits effort. I wonder how we would interpret Lost Spirits effort if they called it Lost Spirits California Style or some other name.


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#236 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 07:00 PM

 

I think part  of the problem may also be the name.  The only reference I have for a Navy rum is Smith and Cross.  Smith and Cross is head and shoulders above the Lost Spirits effort. I wonder how we would interpret Lost Spirits effort if they called it Lost Spirits California Style or some other name.

 

I would not try to compare these two. Smith & Cross is a Navy strength rum, whereas the Lost Spirits rum is a Navy style rum. See the following clarification on the Alpenz website.

 

 

Navy Strength
57% ABV (50% by weight, or 100° English proof) was the traditional strength required by the British Royal Navy. At this proof a spill of the spirits would not prevent gunpowder from igniting. As important, this degree of concentration provided an efficiency in conveyance on board and onward to trading partners far away.

Navy Strength should not be confused with Navy Rum, which was for over 200 years a daily ration in the British Royal Navy, and traditionally composed of rums principally from Guyana, also Jamaica and Barbados.


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#237 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for the papers.  I had a pleasant flashback to organic chemistry circa 1967, walking around the lab, sniffing all the lovely esters.

 

Sadly a Pusser's purchase is out of my reach at the moment, having blown my beverage budget (OK, well, seriously, who keeps a budget) on recent culinary hardware.

 

I can say that my mai tai recipe requires an ounce of either Pusser's or Lost Spirits Navy Style to be in balance.  I cannot get around it.  Granted, I have not tried all possible rums in a mai tai, and indeed only a small subset of what I own.  But I have drunk a lot of mai tais.

 

Second white mai tai tonight.  Fortunately I came home with fresh mint.

 

 

Edit:  and limes are now eight for $1.99!


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker, 28 April 2015 - 10:33 PM.


#238 Hassouni

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 04:06 PM

Well, I side by side tested Ed Hamilton's new 151 Demerara against the original Lemon Hart 151 and the Mosaiq re-issue.

 

Long story short, as much as I hate to give him credit, it's pretty damn good and WAY closer to the original than the Mosaiq was - should work perfectly in classic Tiki recipes calling for LH151.


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#239 Moto

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 01:07 PM

Thanks for the clarification info FP.

 

I tried another of my  recent rum additions, the 1993 Port Mourant.   While it is getting better on subsequent  sessions, it is not nearly as interesting as the Caroni or K & L rums I have tried recently.  It is very well made but overall after four sessions it just comes across as well aged brown spirit.  None of the curve balls or interesting flavors of the Caroni or Uitvulgt  The flavors and aromas of the Caroni or Uitvulgt were fairly obvious and just come flooding forward.  While it is bottled at 65% the the alcohol is fairly well integrated.

 

It may just be that I am unable to identify all of the things going on in this rum.  

 

Water improves it only slightly but again it is very well made and well aged spirit with no real  stand out character.  When factoring in price I think even the Hamilton cask strength St. Lucian offerings are better.  I do think it is much better than any of the Samaroli or Black Adder products I have tried though.

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