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Ed Hamilton

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Ed Hamilton

  1. Appleton also is one of the few distillery sites that will tell you who the importer is and you can go from there, but believe me it is on the shelf at Sams in Chicago and it is legal here. I've heard more BS in this industry than in almost any other except maybe politics.
  2. One of the treasures I discovered in the islands was a simple drink called a 'ti punch, literally translated from French this is simply a 'little punch.' Squeeze a small piece of lime into a glass, add a measure of sugar cane syrup, available in the islands, and four or five measures of white rhum agricole. This is by far the most popular drink in the French islands but like a lot of things, America doesn't seem to appreciate it. I know rhum agricole is hard to find stateside but I'd love to know what you think about this drink that has become one of my favorites. I appreciate that it takes some practice to make a good 'ti punch. But it is certainly worth the effort.
  3. There are a number of vintage rums from Jamaica that have been aged in Scotland and other places, I'm interested in hearing your impressions. Sometimes since these are from one year and not blends they can be a little pale in depth, but you never know until you try them. Sounds like you had a good day rum hunting in one of my favorite cities.
  4. Those rums more closely resemble the 7 year old Nicaraguan rum. But I couldn't bring myself to mix these with Coke, but then I don' t drink two cokes a year, with or without rum.
  5. As for the secret ingredients, there may be some sugar cane syrup but certainly not molasses. But I can tell you that the alcohol is molasses based.
  6. There are only two Barillito rums bottled in Puerto Rico, two star and three star, the stars are on the neck of the bottle. Although both of these rums are quite a departure from the light rums that are popular in Puerto Rico, some of the lightest in the islands, Barillito rums are considered on of the prizes of Puerto Rico. If you are going there and bring back a bottle of these rums for your Puerto Rican friends you can't go wrong for gifts. But don't just buy a bottle or two, unless you don't plan on tasting it yourself. It's not uncommon for tourists to the island to buy a bottle for a friend, taste it and then wish they had bought more, and not have any to share when they get back to the states. There is a small amount of these distinctive rums sold in the US but distribution has historically been in small markets in Puerto Rican neighborhoods. Buy it when you see it. What sets these rums apart is how they are blended. In spite of being made and bottled on the site of the Fernandez hacienda just outside San Juan, these rums are distilled here any more. High proof alcohol from Bacardi is brought here by tanker truck and then the magic begins. To this alcohol the family's secret recipe is added and then aged in large oak wine barrels from Europe, over 500 liters each compared to the usual 165 liter capacity of the whisky barrels used to age most other rums. The blending is done prior to aging and at nearly the proof at which the rum will be bottled. Most other rums have water blended to reduce the aged proof down to 40% alcohol or so for bottling. At Fernandez, very little water has to be blended in the final days prior to bottling. Another reson this rum is so sought after is that it is aged at least three years and the three star is aged up to six years although small amounts of rum that has aged many more years is added to the premium three star to give it added flavor. Since this is a small family operation, they don't produce massive amounts of their rum, and, they don't want to expand distribution which would mean increasing the warehouse and everything else at the facility. The original warehouse was built just after World War II and when I was last there I was offered a glass of rum that had been aging in one of the original barrels. I can hosestly say that it was one of the smoothest, most enjoyable glasses of rum that I have ever tasted. Cheers,
  7. It's interesting that you compare this to Cruzan Single Barrel, I find the Cruzan to be totally unique. It is lighter than the Flor de Cana rums and even their own Cruzan Estate Rum. Happy tasting.
  8. Pyrat Castk 23 is nearly $300 US, if you can believe it. Like I said before it's good but I can buy a lot of rum for that kind of money.
  9. Congratulations on finding this one. Flor de Cana has had some distribution problems, but its worth looking for. Since aging conditions vary there are vast differences in the depth of the smoky oak flavor gained by rum as it ages. Some of the differences are: strength of the rum that is aging, the condition of the barrels used for aging and the atmospheric conditions at the aging warehouse.
  10. Eric is right there have been a number of problems including political turmoil in Guatemala. But don't worry, the rum is still aging high in the mountains and like when Barbancourt was hard to find while the US blockaded Haiti, the end result was that the increased their aged rum stores. Patience will be rewarded.
  11. Havana Club is available at some of the better stores in St Martin, St Barths and I saw some a few months ago in Grenada for about ำ US a bottle. Nice rum.
  12. Barrilito is a small company that blends rum from one of the major distillers with their own secret blend of spices and juices. this blend is aged at nearly bottled strength for at least six years and up to twelve years. There are only two labels, 2 and 3 star. don't miss it while you are in Puerto Rico. Barrilito is also available in the states in limited areas. Check my site for some of the places where it is available.
  13. I wish I was going to be in Culebra, but I am in Chicago for a few months while I do some research on some new rums that are coming to the market. Cheers, and have a Barrilito for me.
  14. Special edition rums are exactly that, special editions. If you are going to drink the rum look for something that you know is good before you break the bank.
  15. I had an opportunity to try this rum in Anguilla before it was available to the public. I can honestly say that it is #### good rum. But $300 is a lot of money in anyone's book. There are a lot of costs to market a niche product like this but if you spend that kind of money you'll probably be the only one on your block with a bottle.
  16. If yo are interested in seeing what has been posted previously click on the [READ] space on the first page of the Ministry of Rum forum. Cheers and enjoy yourself.
  17. Thanks for joining us at the new Ministry of Rum discussion forum. If you have any questions or comments about my favorite spirit please share your thoughts with others. Cheers,
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