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Capn Jimbo

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About Capn Jimbo

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    http://rumproject.com/rumforum/

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    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  1. Understanding Rum

    I take great pride in being a truly accomplished master debator, but this incredible accomplishment simply pales in comparison to the master parsers. While masturdebation can and should be a source of pleasure, the same cannot be said of the master parser, who manages to find nuance by calling out even a misplaced punctuation mark. Yet this can be of great value as it improves one writing - or masturdebation - to new levels of competence. So it is with my good friend Hassouni and his excellent question, which is really a parse of the word funk leading to his presentation and questioning of "hogo". This is actually a much better question than it seems, or possibly much worse. It depends. Like many of us, the word "hogo" has become a mildly fashionable term to drop into an otherwise dull statement. It's the new "in" word for those who want to appear knowledgable in a - forgive me - funky kind of way. You see, the "funk" of yesterday is the "hogo" of today. And why is that? Like all intentionally clever slang, it's important that the descriptor be a bit shocking, a bit mystifying and not completely understood. And most important new and relatively unused. By using this new and not clearly understood word, the user appears knowing and "in". Like all new words though , enough use by enough people over sufficient time and the once cool word enters the general lexicon and appears in Websters. However, by that time, the word is no longer mysterious and "cool", so users like Hass and others are forced to rush on to the next made up term. Ergo "funk" - which essentially means "unpleasant" - has now become somewhat overused by the hoi polloi, and therefore has to be avoided at all costs. To be replaced by next term, namely Hass' "hogo". The real truth? "Funk" and "hogo" both mean unpleasant and the only real difference is that funk is now old school, while hogo is the new drop in. To me, both are inaccurate and were never properly used in the first place, particularly in regards to fine rum of the Jamaican style. Dunder is, was and remains dunder. The vastly higher complexity you note is the result of dunder fermentation and while distinctive, is anything but unpleasant - with the possible exception of inexperienced or misled rum drinkers who believe that overpowering sweet vanilla is the norm and anything else must surely be unpleasant uh, funk or hogo. Or monkeyshyte. So yes dear Hass, hogo may considered funk and neither is correct insofar as the wonderful complexity of dunder is concerned. It may however apply to Lost Spirits whiskies and rum.
  2. Understanding Rum

    "Dunder" and "funk" may be two of the most misused terms in rum, and I'm afraid we have years to go before these are understood. It's like "rhum agricole" which is nothing more than rum made from cane juice, and which should properly be referred to as "cane juice rum". For all practical purposes "cane juice rum" was born in Haiti nearly 200 years ago. Back then the rest of the French Islands - including Martinique - made rum just like everyone else, from molasses. It was not until sugar beets killed the cash cow of Caribbean sugar, that Martinique - very reluctantly - turned to cane juice out of financial pressure - an act which had nothing to do with quality or artistry. And it wasn't until the early 1990's - little more than 20 years ago that they cooked up the marketing ploy of creating the term "Rhum Agricole AOC Martinique" under the pretense that sugar cane actually had a terroir, and secondly that rum made by voluminous regulations was somehow superior to all others. The truth? "Rhum Agricole" is a marketing invention, and a recent one at that. Back to "dunder". Regardless of the this term being thrown around like a frisbee at a dog park, the real, honest and historical term emanates from the style of rum pioneered in Jamaica and which used "dunder". The real stuff. And just what is that "stuff"? It's the leftovers from distilling that were dumped in large open pits called "dunder pits" and left there for many years. These dunder pits were often over 30 years old, and over that long time and exposure to the elements became very, very nasty - but - also incredibly rich in flavor compounds and precursors as the contents combined and recombined. The magic? The magic was that the Jamaicans uniquely decided to dip out some dunder to be added to new ferments, and thus introduce hundreds upon hundreds of new and potential esters to their rums. How many? Most of what you think is rum may have between 30 to 50 esters. A Jamaican rum? Think a thousand. In fact this whole process of dunder produced esters was so important that Jamaica legally classified their rums by the number of esters, another subject. No other country or producers did this. And "this" is dunder from the dunder pits. Kindly ignore any other frisbees that fall nearby. This is the real dunder, and this is what you should be thinking when you use the term. What "dunder" is not, is Lost Spirits tossing an overripe banana into their ferment for 2 days. That my friends, is a very bad and misleading joke. Now - a quick word about "funk". What is funk? Some mistake it for an extension of the word "funky" - like taking a whiff of yesterday's jock strap. Funky! But before you think I'm kidding, I've seen the word used by any number of sweet bomb loving rum drinkers who run across a rare unaltered rum that lacks added sugar and vanilla. To them such a rum is dry, leathery, perhaps with a bit must or tar that then gets described as "funk". If not true then just what is real "funk". Dunder-produced Jamaican rums. What "funk" really describes is the tremendous complexity of a dunder-based rum, with not just 30 esters, but perhaps a thousand. Because of their number, age, and unexpected qualities these rums exhibit what is called "funk", but which would better be called "dunder". In fact, this complex aroma is so distinctive that its presence is easily noted, and indeed almost defines Jamaican style. Carry on.
  3. Blurring the Rum/Vodka Line

    It's fair to say that anything made under the banner of W&N/Appleton are clearly in the Jamaican style and contain both pot and column-stilled components. A fair comparison between the Appleton White and W&N Overproof requires that both be tasted at close to the same proof. Approximately two teaspoons of water (or a tad more) to the OP will come close to accomplishing that. Then compare them. My guess: you may still prefer the W&N.
  4. Perhaps, but that hasn't been an issue with beers and wines, now has it. Politics is really a simple game in the end. As our government becomes one of a mega-corporate revolving door, the regulations that ensue are those that those corporations have lobbied for. Consider for a moment the fact that most of our corporations pay relatively little in taxes as a result. In my view there are two factors here: the now distant reflection of Prohibition, ie tradition, and the mega's need to eliminate competition - the major factor. Thus, the regs make it hard for even legal small distilleries to start up.
  5. Blurring the Rum/Vodka Line

    And - no surprise - with a well-paid plug by the Badassitor of Rum, Ian Burrell, lol...
  6. Frankly it's a shame that US law doesn't allow home distilling as they do home brewing or home wine making. Then anyone with a couple hundred dollars to spend could and would make their own, perhaps superior product.
  7. Blurring the Rum/Vodka Line

    Pardon the play on word but vodka was orginally promoted (and defined) as "nothing", not something - and was specifically defined as a spirit devoid of any flavor whatever. But soon the marketers of vodka realized that "nothing" was not enough, and thus vodka became "something" other than "nothing", lol. Thus these lover of "nothing" were led by the Sydney Franks of this world to then want "something" in the form of subtle and not so subtle "flavors" - chocolate, mint, tutti-frutti and nearly unending flavors courtesy of the evil taste engineers of Dupont. Ergo, it's not a huge leap for - arghhh! - a rum-flavored vodka? Of course it isn't. Thus for Appleton or any other distiller of light rums to offer them up against tutti-frutti vodka by Dupont, is really quite a reasonable proposition. After all, if the drinkers of the world can be so easily convinced through marketing to spend premium prices for the cheap, mass-produced, unaged, artificially flavored alcohol called vodka, why not a light spirit made with real congeners like an Appleton? Think I'm kidding? Here's 13 of the strangest vodkas I know of: buttered popcorn, hemp seed, smoked salmon, bacon, double expresso, peanut butter and jelly, salted caramel, wasabi, pumpkin pie, chocolate covered pretzel, lavender lemonade, dill pickle and are you sitting down? Fackin "scorpion" flavored. And you think Appleton is a reach? Spare me...
  8. Understand. It doesn't happen with whisky tastings, but for some strange reason a lot of rum "reviewers" take pride in facing the beast, tasting it at full strength, then proceed to write copy exclaiming what a powerful, harsh and hair growing experience it was. OTOH most whisky reviewers prefer whiskys and a "sweet spot" in the mid 40% range. Whiskys over 50%, and surely over 60% (think W&N) are diluted with a couple teaspoons of water (think Ralfy). Indeed many of these legitimate reviewers add a bit of water to any spirit, even those at 80 proof. Why? For the OP's, the water is added to bring it down into the sweet spot for tasting and evaluation. For the 40%'r's though, water is still added (albeit in less amounts, even a few scattered drops) as it works to release more flavors, especially for the nose. W&N is certainly sippable, but not a full strength. When you consider it's low price and its proof, W&N is an amazing value for a 5-star quality product.
  9. Understanding Rum

    Times 2. Times 3. Islay's are the whisky of real afficianados who would sooner shoot themselves then add ice and/or soda. Good grief. Isn't this gentleman an advocate of dehydrated, instant Pixie dust aging powder? Call me old fashioned, but when it comes to art, scientists get lost in their own fractals while Picasso made millions and got beautifully and frequently laid, lol...
  10. Very entertaining. This is perhaps one of the most eloquent but purely speculative posts I've seen in awhile. "...I (don't) think ...1935 ...likely ...probably ...may be ...shit on a chemical level... lots of questions". Great fun, great reading, lots of fun. And this is exactly why The Rum Project was created. What I posted about W&N is factual and stands, sorry. If you want to believe your own ruminations, you certainly may and we'll just agree to disagree. Inn any case, do keep calm and carry on.
  11. You're right insofar as faking "7-10 years". At the same time W&N is not the least bit "industrial". What is loosely called "industrial" rum is the typical output of those very large industial distilleries, where you'll find up to 5 huge, side-by-side column stills, often one feeding the next, with the result of capturing every bit of alcohol, produced close to 94%. Very little flavor is left, and these industrial rums are then phonied up with all manner of unlabeled sugar, glycerol, flavorings and the like to be palatable. In Jamaica it's quite the opposite. The fermentation is dunder based and takes much longer, to develop the maximum number of esters possible. You'd have to be nuts to go to all that trouble (creating a flavorful wash), only to strip out all those flavors by industrial processing. They don't. What they do is to use a combination of column and pot stills to retain a LOT of flavor. The wash is distilled to significantly less alcohol, specifically to retain and maximize these flavors. W&N is one of the world's great rums, and has earned multiple awards including a very hard to earn "5 stars" from Dave Broom. who calls it "rounded, rich, and complex, with real substance, punchy but classy". In other words it is the exact opposite of the industrial swill that passes for rum. Don't confuse this OP with industrial rum. In truth, W&N is really quite low alcohol for an overproof. Want a real industrial? Try 151.
  12. Understanding Rum

    A good and honest read, bravo! I can now add "gustatory latch" to "fast seasoning", "fast dunder" and "fast aging". If the major producers - and some of the small distiller too (who like "annuals", appear, bloom and experience a "fast death" - if all these had their way and could convince more people like this poster, who would "...shell out $50 in a heart beat for shitty rum", then their wet dream would finally come true. It's a race to the bottom, as the producers slowly dial down their blends (think MGXO), and add sugar (but not for acidity) for American sugar cereal, "fast food" fatties (think Plantation, El Dorado, Zacapa, Diplomatico, etc). While the valuable stocks of fine and well aged rums are reserved for some of the new invented classes beyond the "aged" class - like "Premium Aged", "Super Premium Ages" and "Extra Premium Reserved". Of course these latter categories are invented, much as Zacapa "23", and are nothing more than decent blends delivered in crystal bottles and wooden cases for those short on brains but heavy on ego and cash. The recent Miami "awards" are proof positive of this trend toward the SOS, shitty and shittier for those who'd gladly pay $50 for these calculated concoctions. BTW - anyone care to comment on the "gustatory latch" for a good Islay?
  13. Rum, rum....

    No. Less than no.
  14. Last call for (aged) alcohol! Quit fussing and buy a bag of Jack Daniel's wood chips sold for barbequing, or you can try places like Hillbilly Stills, who sells oak chips at varying stages of toasting: light, medium, etc. You're talking $5. I'm done, you're it. Try it, report it but fer gawd's sake enough chip chap...
  15. Rum Substitutions

    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...
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