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Rum Substitutions


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Czequershuus

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:54 PM

While I love to recreate drinks from recipes as accurately as possible in terms of brands and styles, I often find the rum category  the most challenging, because of the wide variance in the different styles, and my rathe limited budget(darn student loans). Though I have a specific question I thought I would name the topic more broadly so other seeking advice on which rums may work as substitutes(or myself in the future) Could benefit as well.

 

My specific question at this point is what would be my best bet as a sub for Old Monk Rum. I have never tasted it. Is it funky? Mellow? I currently have Smith & Cross, Appleton V/X, Goslings Black Seal, Burgal Gold, Wray & Nephew Overproof, Cruzan White, and Lemonhart 151 to play with for rum(and Batavia Arrack, to stretch the category). Which of these would be closest to Old Monk? Or which blend of rums?



#2 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:03 PM

Apparently it's rich and sweet with vanilla-caramel notes.

From drinkupny (this is for the 7 years):

 

A favorite in India, Old Monk Rum has a distinctive, inviting, and almost sweet aroma and delicious vanilla caramel flavor. This is an excellent choice for making comforting cocktails like a Hot Buttered Rum.

 

 

More detailed review here.

 

What are you planning on using it for?


Edited by FrogPrincesse, 06 March 2014 - 01:05 PM.


#3 Czequershuus

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:09 PM

Apparently it's rich and sweet with vanilla-caramel notes.

From drinkupny (this is for the 7 years):

 

 

More detailed review here.

 

What are you planning on using it for?

 

Hmm, sweet and vanilla-caramel, maybe my Appleton would be the best choice.

 

I am opening a bottle of Oloroso sherry tonight an thought I might try the 1818 Cocktail

 

I was wondering if it might be a little funky, but based on that description I guess not. You would think something called Old Monk would have a strong flavor profile.



#4 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:17 PM

Appleton is always good, or maybe go with something more substantial like the black seal.



#5 Czequershuus

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:18 PM

Appleton is always good, or maybe go with something more substantial like the black seal.

That might be a good call. Or maybe split the difference. Sweetness from the Appleton, body from the Goslings.



#6 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:23 PM

Sounds like a plan!


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#7 Rafa

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:03 PM

I haven't had it in a while, but I remember Old Monk tasting closer to Cruzan Blackstrap than to the elegant Appletons, with a strong (but not overpowering like the Blackstrap's) molasses/maple flavor and a bit of a rough edge. A few dashes of Blackstrap mixed in with a more conventional gold or dark rum would be my suggestion.
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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


#8 lesliec

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 06:29 PM

I also haven't had it for a while, but I seem to remember it's quite sweet.  I'd go Appleton + Gosling.


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#9 Hassouni

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:28 PM

Sweet you say? ED12 to the rescue


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#10 Czequershuus

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:24 PM

I can report that Appleton+Goslings combo worked a treat. The 1818 was a superb cocktail. Thanks to all for the advice.


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#11 EvergreenDan

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 05:05 AM

Old Monk has a heavy molasses aroma. It is not actually very sweet. I'd literally at a touch of molasses -- maybe start with 1/4tsp.


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#12 Capn Jimbo

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:43 AM

My specific question at this point is what would be my best bet as a sub for Old Monk Rum. I have never tasted it. Is it funky? Mellow? I currently have Smith & Cross, Appleton V/X, Goslings Black Seal, Burgal Gold, Wray & Nephew Overproof, Cruzan White, and Lemonhart 151 to play with for rum(and Batavia Arrack, to stretch the category). Which of these would be closest to Old Monk? Or which blend of rums?

 

 

Answer:  there is no substitute, your attempt with Appleton's + Goslings not withstanding.   Sorry.


Edited by Capn Jimbo, 26 April 2014 - 09:44 AM.


#13 Czequershuus

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 02:50 PM

Answer:  there is no substitute, your attempt with Appleton's + Goslings not withstanding.   Sorry.

 I believe you are misunderstanding the use of the word "substitute." The goal substitution is not to perfectly recreate, but to achieve something close to the original. To say there is no substitute is singularly unhelpful. 


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#14 Capn Jimbo

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 10:30 AM

 I believe you are misunderstanding the use of the word "substitute." The goal substitution is not to perfectly recreate, but to achieve something close to the original. To say there is no substitute is singularly unhelpful. 

 

OK, there is is nothing close to the original.   Better?



#15 Tri2Cook

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 10:56 AM

Being subject to not only what the LCBO is willing to carry but also to the whims of the individual store managers who may or may not be willing to bring something in even if the LCBO carries it, I'm quite often forced to substitute. So, even if I can't replicate, I try to get as close to the original intent as possible with what's available to me to work with. I consider substitution suggestions from those who know more about the subject than I do valid and valuable. I may not be able to recreate the profile of a particular rum but if somebody can get me closer than I'm able to work out on my own, I'm better off than before I asked. Maybe there is no close approximation for some rums but I feel confident that some approximations will be closer than others. For some of us, that has to suffice.


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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#16 Capn Jimbo

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 11:14 AM

Let me put it this way.   While that may be true for a large number of rums from one of the basic styles - Bajan, Jamaican, Cane Juice, Cuban and Demeraran - where there are many possibilities, Old Monk XXX is a rare exception.   At The Rum Project we've tasted hundreds of spirits, mostly rums, and Monk doesn't align with any of them, or even any possible blend that I can conceive.  The reason:  it is not Caribbean and represents special and atypical Indian flavorings and a profile that stand alone.   That's what makes it special, yum.

 

It is among one of my favorites because of that.    The addition of molasses suggested above will fail.    Seriously, give it up, you can easily buy one for $15.99 at Drinkupny.   No need to beat yourself with thorns over this one.   You won't be sorry...


Edited by Capn Jimbo, 27 April 2014 - 11:18 AM.