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DanM

Small Producer Light Rum Choices

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I am about to need a new bottle of light rum for cocktails and whatnot. I would prefer to buy rum from a small distillery over Diagio or other industrial giants. I would prefer to spend less than $40 for the bottle. What are my best choices?

Thanks!

Dan


"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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How small is a small producer? And what style of rum? Flor de Caña, El Dorado, and Barbancourt all make quality white rums commonly priced under $20. They are very different from one another, and are produced in greater quantities than a typical craft distillery (but much smaller than Bacardi et al).


 

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If you mean micro-distillery, in my opinion, there's very little micro distillery rum produced that is worth the cost.

To expand a bit, most micro-distillery Rum is not produced from Cane Juice or Molasses, it is produced from sugar.

Now, it is true that any spirit produced from sugar or sugar derivatives, including refined sugar, can be considered Rum in the US, but, again, in my opinion, Rum produced from Sugar isn't really Rum, it's Moonshine, to use a pejorative term.

There are a few small distillers making white rums from molasses in the US, but most are of the, "Hey, my white rum has so little flavor, you could use it instead of vodka and no one would notice," school.

St. George Spirits recently started making an Agricole Style Rum from fresh pressed cane in an unaged and aged version that is pretty cool and interesting.

Also, I agree with vice, the white rums from Barbancourt, El Dorado, and Flor de Caña, while not "small" producers exactly, are good products.

But then, are you looking to find "small producers" or simply producers not represented by multinational conglomerates?


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Personally I am becoming less and less sure that there is any non-agricole white rum worth drinking.


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Only if you like agricole funk and deem it essential to a white rum.

FdC 4 year, Barbancourt White, Appleton White, and HC Anejo Blanco all have their unique flavors that are definitely worth exploiting in a cocktail and entirely distinct from agricole herbaceousness (or vegetal quality, to my palate).

I've never liked rhum agricole very much, and I find plenty of pleasing alternatives thereto.


Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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Assuming here we're talking about white rums. As I prefer rums with real flavor and a bit of rum funk, I'd reach first for an Agricole Blanc. In the molasses-based, I'm a big fan of the Banks Five Island which makes a killer daquiri. If on a budget, the Denizen Rum product has great flavor and a killer price. The Flor de Cana and El Dorado are ok but given a choice for me they still too light.

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Also, I think small producer fetishization is a major problem with respect to liquor, especially when it comes to base spirits. It's not like buying strawberries, or beef, or even Napa wine; simply put, big distillers often produce the best product. I haven't tried a small-producer London dry gin that makes me want to abandon Beefeater or Plymouth, nor a rye (at the given price point) that makes me want to ditch Rittenhouse, etc.


Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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Also, I think small producer fetishization is a major problem with respect to liquor, especially when it comes to base spirits. It's not like buying strawberries, or beef, or even Napa wine; simply put, big distillers often produce the best product. I haven't tried a small-producer London dry gin that makes me want to abandon Beefeater or Plymouth, nor a rye (at the given price point) that makes me want to ditch Rittenhouse, etc.

You go enjoy that Bacardi and Jim Beam now and see if we don't take your Agricole, Rittenhouse and Mezcal away.

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You'll pry my Chichicapa from my cold dead hands you dastardly Alpenzer... ;)

Seriously, big distilleries produce a lot of overpriced crap (see eas's two examples), but so do a lot of small distilleries. "Small" is of course a relative term, and I don't consider, say, Laird's or Rittenhouse a small distillery simply because of their brand presence in the craft cocktail world. They're certainly nothing like Bacardi, Absolut, Bombay, etc. Random New Gin Guy, on the other hand, quite possibly isn't making a truly revolutionary product.


Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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Speaking of Banks, has anyone had a chance to try the new Banks 7 Golden rum yet? I see it has made it to at least one big US internet retailer but I haven't seen it locally yet. Apparently just released fairly recently I see that they did decide to take the "Islands" part out of the name of this one! Since when did Guyana become an island! :raz:

In addition to 2 additional sources of rum from Panama and Guatemala, from what little I can find (it isn't even on the Banks website as best I can tell), it has rums that are a bit younger but isn't filter so that it retains its golden hue.

Brief blurb


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Speaking of Banks, has anyone had a chance to try the new Banks 7 Golden rum yet?

I noticed it behind the American Bar at The Savoy in London last month...inquired as to whether it was a new release and was offered a taste. Only getting a quick glimpse of the label I initially mistook the 7 as an age statement. And, flavor-wise it actually does taste like a slightly aged version of the other Banks product. It's still a bit funky and rather complex, but it's more rounded and mellow than the original. They've done a good job with it, label ridiculousness aside.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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In addition to 2 additional sources of rum from Panama and Guatemala, from what little I can find (it isn't even on the Banks website as best I can tell), it has rums that are a bit younger but isn't filter so that it retains its golden hue.Brief blurb
Just noticed my error! That should be slightly older rums on average, rather than younger, in the Banks 7 Golden Rum compared to the Banks 5 for what ever that is worth.
Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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