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Aging Wray & Nephew Overproof in Oak


Hassouni
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I always have a bottle of the Extra on hand, and the 21 is too damn expensive. The post immediately before yours basically describes my issue - I'm wondering if, and hoping that, "cask conditioning" the overproof will keep the same in-your-face profile, independent of proof, of the white spirit, or if that's something that wood filters out.

 

So, I think Jimbo said it in much more words, but you cannot fake 7-10 years of aging. In any case the overproof is a very industrial spirit IMHO.

Jason Perlow

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You may not be able to fake 7-10 years of barrel aging - but you might still be able to produce something extremely palatable that retains the funk you want to retain.  Only one way to find out!

 

I think it's fair to say that my experiments above - while not producing Appleton 21 - still made a much smoother, oakier product than that with which I started.

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You may not be able to fake 7-10 years of barrel aging - but you might still be able to produce something extremely palatable that retains the funk you want to retain.  Only one way to find out!

 

I think it's fair to say that my experiments above - while not producing Appleton 21 - still made a much smoother, oakier product than that with which I started.

 

That's good enough! I'll see what I can do

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So, I think Jimbo said it in much more words, but you cannot fake 7-10 years of aging. In any case the overproof is a very industrial spirit IMHO.

 

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.

Edited by Capn Jimbo (log)
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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.

 

 

Let me rephrase that. "Harsh and nasty." :) I just don't like the way it tastes. I'm not a big white rum fan, although I own several bottles of white agricole that I got as gifts from Ed Hamilton the last time I saw him in new york. I've made the occasional Ti Punch with them and have had many on St. Martin. :)

 

I've never been to Wray & Nephew's/Appleton's distilleries so I can't comment on their stills. Unfortunately that was something I missed out on during my last trip to Jamaica in 2001. Been a while.

 

I've been to the Bacardi distillery in Puerto Rico. You're definitely right this is rum production on a massive, industrial scale. For comparison I've also been to the Barrilito one, which is like comparing the earth to Jupiter in terms of production mass. That's a great rum.

 

I have a bottle of 151, and I use it specifically as an ignition source for Bananas Foster. :) 

 

BTW, I notice you live in Ft. Lauderdale. I live in Coral Springs. We should compare collections sometime.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I've been to the Bacardi distillery in Puerto Rico. You're definitely right this is rum production on a massive, industrial scale. For comparison I've also been to the Barrilito one, which is like comparing the earth to Jupiter in terms of production mass. That's a great rum.

 

Barrilito is actually made from Bacardi bulk rum, and they do add flavorings, but they don't hide the fact. They're basing it on a Spanish tradition of adding fruits, etc to barrels while aging (or something along those lines), very similar to the now-outed Matusalem formula. Perhaps our resident Borinqueño knows some more info.

 

I really like Barrilito, and again, since they don't hide the truth I'm fine with them, but it goes to show how mega-industrial, no taste rum can be altered to be quite tasty, a practice that's unfortunately quite common and rarely if ever disclosed.

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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.

 

I don't think this is a fair assessment of all of Jamaica's rum production. Jamaica is known to employ a spectrum of techniques. a thorough early description exists in Chemistry and Technology of Wine and Liqueurs by Herstein & Gregory (1935, but there is a recent reprint). one thing that Jamaica does, because it produces a spectrum of rums, is segment molasses by quality. the lowest quality molasses (lowest in noble aroma precursors) likely goes into products like W&N over proof. it is probably also column distilled due to costs of extending the time under heat. it is meant to be economy drinking for a fairly poor island. W&N is also probably fairly high in higher alcohols relative to other spirits and this may be responsible for the aggressive taste rather than a high ester content. conventional spirits wisdom says no one is supposed to enjoy W&N because it is shit on a chemical level, yet so many of us do therefore it raises lots of questions about what is "good" (whatever that means) and why exactly we enjoy drinking what we drink.

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I don't think this is a fair assessment of all of Jamaica's rum production. Jamaica is known to employ a spectrum of techniques. a thorough early description exists in Chemistry and Technology of Wine and Liqueurs by Herstein & Gregory (1935, but there is a recent reprint). one thing that Jamaica does, because it produces a spectrum of rums, is segment molasses by quality. the lowest quality molasses (lowest in noble aroma precursors) likely goes into products like W&N over proof. it is probably also column distilled due to costs of extending the time under heat. it is meant to be economy drinking for a fairly poor island. W&N is also probably fairly high in higher alcohols relative to other spirits and this may be responsible for the aggressive taste rather than a high ester content. conventional spirits wisdom says no one is supposed to enjoy W&N because it is shit on a chemical level, yet so many of us do therefore it raises lots of questions about what is "good" (whatever that means) and why exactly we enjoy drinking what we drink.

 

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.  

Edited by Capn Jimbo (log)
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Let me rephrase that. "Harsh and nasty." :) I just don't like the way it tastes.

 

 

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.  

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So is Appleton White nothing but diluted WN OP? I have not tried the former. (And the only Appleton I've had in my collection is the 12, I've tried the V/X at a bar once or twice, but not under careful scrutiny)

 

 

According to Appleton literature, White is aged and filtered.

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Really? the Appleton site is mum on any of Wray & Nephew's other products, and the WN site doesn't have much info. If it's available online, do you mind sharing it here?

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From their website:

 

 

Appleton White Jamaica Rum is a blend of rich pot still rums and light column still rums and, unlike many other white rums, Appleton White is aged and then filtered slowly through charcoal filters to remove the colour.

You can tell the difference – Appleton White is a light-bodied rum that is brilliantly clear and exceptionally smooth with a light fruity bouquet with delicate pear and apple notes.

Rum drinkers around the world will appreciate the mixability of Appleton White Jamaica Rum – the perfect complement to fruit juices, colas and tonic water. Anything vodka and gin can do, Appleton White can do better.

 

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Yeah, but that's not the same as Wray & Nephew Overproof. I guess reading it again, maybe that's what Adam George was referring to, though.

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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