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Ed Hamilton

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Ed Hamilton

  1. Thanks for the introduction. Sounds like you are enjoying my favorite spirit and are off to a good start in Puerto Rico. You listed Barillito's Three Star, but don't overlook the Two Star. I got a big start to my rum career on Culebra in the early 90s, sampling rums I'd bring back from sailing trips to St Thomas.
  2. You came to the right place. And you have showed tenacity by finding Barritt's, that's not easy. But don't just read these posts, check out the Fine Spirits and cocktails discussion boards as well. There is a wealth of information and good recipes, free for the reading.
  3. As someone who doesn't drink any of the colas, there would have to be a pretty big payoff. And it would have to more than Bundy and something I wouldnt' drink in the first place. But I thougth it was interesting that in some countries you can get liquor on tap.
  4. I was driving through east from Kansas City through Missouri years ago and tried to buy a beer at a convenience store and was told that they couldn't sell liquor by the drink, I had to buy three. So what could I do? I bought three and didn't have to stop for beer for the rest of the trip, did have to stop to get rid of one of them though. Is still the law in the Show-Me state?
  5. Wednesday, the History Channel premiers its Modern Marvels show on distilleries. And if you're in the mood, there are two other shows the same night. Breweries, and Saloons at 8 and 9 respectively. History Channel
  6. I would be surprised if Bacardi was bottling malt beverages since their biggest alcohol source is molasses. Smirnoff, on the other hand, is another matter. according to the Smirnoff website SMIRNOFF ICE™ and SMIRNOFF ICE TRIPLE BLACK™ have a vodka base except in the US where premium malt is used in the mix.)
  7. Maybe it didn't meet consumer demand expectations, but if it wasn't acceptable for sale the Treasury department wouldn't allow them to be sold. For your security.
  8. This sounds like a good excuse to spend some time drinking some rum and enjoying a cigar. Wish I could make it down, maybe next year. Too bad 7 and a half feet of draft is a little too much for the local water in north Florida. But since I can't make it, please have one for me.
  9. Gin and tonic is one of the few drinks I drink when I'm not drinking rum. a few months ago I drank some Danmark and liked it a lot.
  10. I like to chill my drinks and then keep them cold so I like to use some crushed ice and some cubes. This gets and keeps the drink cold. not letting the drink sit around also helps.
  11. As for any spirits tasting, breath of the spirit is the key. The more varied your selection the more valid the tasting. The worst thing that will happen is that you'll learn something in the process.
  12. Welcome to the world of newpaper people who reprint press releases. Don't get me wrong, I love many of the Venezuelan rums, but Puerto Rico has the lightest rums on the market. Trinidad are the next lightest rums, not surprising since until recently Bacardi, the largest alcohol producer in the world, owned a large interest in Angostura, the largest distiller in Trinidad. Are Venezuelan rums good? A couple of them have been on my list of favorite rums for years, long before they were exported. Look for Diplomatico, Pampero Anniversario and Santa Teresa 1796 Antiguo de Solera. Santa Teresa also bottles several other rums that are worth discovering, but 1796 is the premium blend. Venezuela has been producing fine rums for years but due to political problems their export market has suffered. And like the rums from every other country, there are many grades of products. As for the hangover quotient, the only rum that is guranteed not to give you a hangover is the one you leave in the bottle. As for the beautiful women, even press releases get it right some times.
  13. Are these being sold in the states? I'm not much for government intervention but considering that liquor bottles can't look like soda bottles I'm surprised if these are sold in the states.
  14. I have add my two cents here. Rose's Lime Juice was originally made in Dominica, according to the history of Dominica. The original recipe was a combination of lime juice, which was plentiful on that West Indian Island, and sugar which was made on a smaller scale. Adding the sugar to the lime juice, added value to both exports. Lime trees were easier to cultivate than sugar on that rugged terrain, so the two crops were combined, the sugar was used to stabilize it for shipment in barrels to mother England. For many years in the 17th and 18th centuries, limes were a major export from Dominica and provided much of the foreign trade from that island. Fresh limes were also being exported from Dominica to England in the late 17th century. Without a lot of care fresh limes will last a couple of months when kept cool or wrapped in paper. It should be noted that storing limes in our modern refrigerators will dry limes out because the humidity is too low. Centuries ago ice was used to transport precious cargo without drying them out. Limes were also imported from India, another part of the British Empire of times gone by.
  15. Presently, St Etienne is bottled at the St Etienne estate, but distilled at the Simon distillery, not the La Favorite distillery. And yes, the flavor has changed in the past few years, at least in my opinion. This is a perfect example of labeling that is designed to bring you to the conclusion that the rum is aged 15 years, take another look and you'll see it says 15 Solera Blender which is a lot different than aged 15 years. The word 'aged,' or 'years' doesn't even appear on the label. Don't take this to mean I don't like the rum, I do, but the label doesn't really tell me anything I can hang my hat on. This is one of the few rums from the US that's bottled at less than 40% abv. There are definite oak tones in this rum, but the heaviest oak flavor I've found is in El Dorado 15 year old Reserve Special. French Oak is finer grained and generally instills less oak flavor compared to American oak found in most whiskey barrels.
  16. As best as I could determine, the packaged rum and coke was packaged at the strength that you would mix a cocktail. Sorry I can't be more specific, but I think this is stronger than beer. Good question.
  17. Before you throw your old monitor at me, I know most of the people viewing this forum enjoy more than rum and Coke. But, when I heard this I had to mention it. In Australia you have been able to buy rum and Coke mixed in aluminum cans with pop tops. But recently Bundy, the larger rum purveyor down under is offering customers rum and coke, on tap. Market acceptance is reported to be good, but there is a slight problem of bartenders serving glasses that are bigger than the standard drink which is about 30ml of 80 proof alcohol and then patrons drinking too much.
  18. I spent last night in San Francisco and two people in the hotel industry but not in the food and beverage side of the hotel told me that sake was being touted as the next big segment of the alcoholic beverage scene. I thought it might have something to do with the abundance of Japanese tourists and business people in San Francisco. Is this true in your region?
  19. In hte islands, almost anything you can shove down a rum bottle is put in rum. Cloves, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, peanuts, seamoss, rosemary, cherries, tamarind, lime, passion fruit, sugar apples, pineapple, orange and then such things as conch, crab and even meat - pork, beef, conch and even scorpions. But of all these peanuts seemed to be the best of the least expected flavors I've encountered. And I should mention bois bande, it's said to be better than viagara, according to the old women in the markets who sell bois bande rum in Johnny Walker bottles. Branding is important, even if the bottle is used and the label is coming off.
  20. The last thing you should be is sorry. The kind of barrels is important but in the rum business many of the barrels are used, whiskey- all types and it makes a difference, sherry casks, and a few distillers even go to the expense of using new oak barrels. In the whisky business, almost everyone uses new barrels but that's not so in the rum business. I agree that the better distillers are more truthful in part, because they have more at stake. A reputation for misleading the public, your customers, is hard, if not impossible, to shake. I've seen a number of rum labels 'dat just ain't telling de truth,' but it's not my first objective to call them to task, they know who they are. I am trying, though, to determine how much credibility consumers, and buyers, put in the stories printed on rum labels. How much do you believe of what's printed on labels?
  21. In the US, alcohol beverage labels must be approved by the government to make sure that they include among other things, a country of origin, alcohol content, net contents, etc. Beyond the required information at a lot of bottlers include other information about their products. How much credibility do you give rum labels, rum web sites, or magazine articles?
  22. You should be able to find Bacardi Anejo in most states at larger liquor stores. It is a very overlooked product in the Bacardi lineup and one worth trying. The bottle is also different from the other Bacardi bottles, slender and slightly conical. I sip it with a little water occasionally but mostly mix this rum with a little ginger ale or fresh fruit juices.
  23. Ahh Barbancourt 5 star. aka Reserve Speciale, Special Reserve. To me that is the best of the Barbancourt line. Lots of butterscotch on the palate and a lingering smoky coconut, fruit and vanilla finish. I sip that one with a little ice or cool water. Sometimes I even add a little Cruzan Estate Diamond, stir and see how the flavors change with time. I have a small bottle of this blend on board and it consistently ranks high among fellow rum lovers. If this sounds crazy, so be it. Try it, but be warned that you might like it. The Estate Diamond is a drier rum than the Barbancourt and they complement each other well. Barbancourt is made from sugar cane juice and/or sugar cane syrup, depending on availability, distilled in a single-column still and then redistilled in a pot still, aged in large vats and then bottled in Haiti. At 8 years old, 5 star is smoother than 3 star (4 years old) and most of the people I know enjoy it more than the 15 year old Reserve du Domaine, the one in the fancy box. When I do presentations, I like to introduce drinkers to the 3 star, then move to the 5 star and let them experience what aging does for a rum. But the 15 year old is a different blend and most people prefer the younger 8 year old blend. And at half the price of the older product, 5 star is a great value. So try this one with a little water and see how the flavor opens up, but too water will kill it very quickly. I also mix this rum with a drop of ginger syrup and ice for some variety from time to time.
  24. No offense Ned, but I've spent the better part of the last twenty years on my sailboat in the islands, so NYC isn't the center of my universe. As for this funny spelled rhum you found can you give us a hint as to the label name? Is it dark or white? I assume it isn't Barbancourt, but I don't want to make an 'ass' of 'u' and 'me.' Bear with us, there is a use for that rhum, but please don't mix it with Coke, that's coca-cola.
  25. I have known Luis since shortly after he bought a copy of my first book, Rums of the Eastern Caribbean published in 1995, and I applaud his tenacity and hard work to promote rum in all its forms. I was disappointed, however, when I read Lesson 6 of his Rum University: During one of his expeditions, Father Labat fell ill with the Maltese fever. As his fever worsened, one of his clerks decided to give him a medical recipe made by the local Caribbean Indians. This tonic, derived from the sugar cane alcohol, was named "Kaniche", and had been fermented in masticated green tobacco leaves. This sounded familiar, even though Luis didn't give the source credit The Kaniche Rhum website. Caribbean Indians didn't grow sugar cane until it was imported from Brazil in the early 17th century. Tobacco, not indigenous to the islands, was also brought to the Caribbean. The Carib Indians had very little social interaction with the Europeans and rarely met other than to wage war. Before Martinique was colonized by the French, the Caribs were exterminated. Today the last surviving Carib Indians in the islands live on the northeast coast of Dominica, on a reservation. Dominica was the last Caribbean island to be colonized owing in large part to the difficulty of settling a very rugged landscape controlled by fierce warriors who did not depend on cultivating agriculture for survival. At the risk of sounding ungrateful to my friend I wish he had done more than research one of my favorite spirits on the internet. As for the credibility of his source, there are other significant errors in the story, but I'll leave that for another time. Kaniche rhums can not be found in the French West Indies for a couple of reasons. First, the name 'Kaniche Guadeloupe', or 'Martinique,' violate French trademarks according to Mr Cailleaux, the General Secretary of CODERUM, the organization that regulates the French rhum industry. Secondly, Kaniche rhums are blended in France from spirits of undisclosed origin. And in spite of the name Guadeloupe and Martinique, neither of these rhums has an Appelation d' Origine on the label.
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