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Barbancourt rums


El Ron de Cuba
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Okay,

I'm about to begin school for the fall semester, and I'm leaving Deep Creek Lake, MD (my family has a place here.) There are a few decent liquor stores up here, and I want to take advantage before I go back to Morgantown for school (where there are NO good liquor stores.) I guess I could drive to Pittsburgh, PA for a few bottles, but it wastes gas and I'm in the process of fixing up an '85 Cadillac Brougham, so I need all the money I can get! So...

They carry the major commercial brands (Bacardi, Morgan, Mt. Gay) plus Cruzan, Barbancourt, Gosling, and a few other notables. I most need a bottle of white rum (I've got plenty of good anejos at home) to replace a bottle of Bacardi that has run out in Morgantown (don't scream...it's the only "good" white you can get in M-town!) I'm thinking Barbancourt (I don't like Cruzan's white), but just wondering whether their "new" white is worth getting, or whether I should go for 3 star (is it white, too?)

I was hoping we could share profiles of Barbancourt here...so let's shoot!

Bruce

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If you can find the Barbancourt White, try it. It is very different compared to Bacardi. While I don't drink it straight, it is a nice addition to the bar, but since you'll be the only one with it, either buy two bottles or stash it away.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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Okay,

I'm about to begin school for the fall semester, and I'm leaving Deep Creek Lake, MD (my family has a place here.) There are a few decent liquor stores up here, and I want to take advantage before I go back to Morgantown for school (where there are NO good liquor stores.) I guess I could drive to Pittsburgh, PA for a few bottles, but it wastes gas and I'm in the process of fixing up an '85 Cadillac Brougham, so I need all the money I can get! So...

They carry the major commercial brands (Bacardi, Morgan, Mt. Gay) plus Cruzan, Barbancourt, Gosling, and a few other notables. I most need a bottle of white rum (I've got plenty of good anejos at home) to replace a bottle of Bacardi that has run out in Morgantown (don't scream...it's the only "good" white you can get in M-town!) I'm thinking Barbancourt (I don't like Cruzan's white), but just wondering whether their "new" white is worth getting, or whether I should go for 3 star (is it white, too?)

I was hoping we could share profiles of Barbancourt here...so let's shoot!

Bruce

I doubt you'll find may good options in PA, especially when it comes to light rums. You can't get any Barbancourt rum here. Almost all of the Cruzan line is special liquor order, aside from the flavored and the single barrel. The Flor de Cana is only available at the specialty stores, and even then you still can't get the white rum or extra dry, only the 5, 7, 12 and 21 year rums. Overall, the rum selection seems pretty poor in PA.

So I'd say take advantage of the liquor stores in MD while you're still there.

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Ed and Alpha,

Thanks for the help. I'm putting it all in the "memory bank"...let's hope there's more in there than in the "real bank" :)

Alpha, I was under the impression that there were some "specialty" stores in Pittsburgh that might carry the Flor de Cana whites or something like that. However, I just looked on the PA state stores directory, and sure enough, there's a good selection...except for whites...go figure...Cruzan is the only really "good" brand we have here in WV (and it's special order); Bacardi makes some good stuff, but I like something with more character.

Ed, thanks for the tips. Do you drink any whites straight? Just wondering...I don't know what my thing with white rum is now...just trying to find out about more of them, I guess. Maryland carries some of the Rhum St. James line (no whites or the paille), so I did get some extra old. I am looking forward to that when it comes in.

I just get disappointed that some places don't carry good rums. It seems like a good spirit to carry; I mean, whisk(e)y is great, but I mean, it comes from wheat and stuff you make bread from! Rum comes from sugar cane and, come on, how many plants that are distilled can you just break apart and eat on the spot? Maybe if people got some fresh cane to chew on they'd understand! Oh well...

Bruce

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Barbancourt three star isn't white, but for a white sipping rum, though challenging as you put it, I would definitely try these Brugal white, Barcelo Gran Blanc and Flor de Cana white. These won't be easy to find, but worth it.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ed,

I've had the bottle of Five-Star open for a while. I notice the nose is a lot hotter than the other aged rums I am used to. Is this a Barbancourt characteristic, or is it just that I am used to rums distilled from molasses rather than pure cane juice? Just wondering...

Bruce

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Ed,

I've had the bottle of Five-Star open for a while.  I notice the nose is a lot hotter than the other aged rums I am used to.  Is this a Barbancourt characteristic, or is it just that I am used to rums distilled from molasses rather than pure cane juice?  Just wondering...

Bruce

How do you like the 5 star?

I remember reading someone saying it is a similar style rum to the Flor de Cana 7 Yr (which you saw in my other post I don't like). Have you had the FdC? If so, how would you compare it with the 5 Star.

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Haven't had FdC...

The 5 star (and Barbancourts in general, it seems) have a strong nose, maybe due to being distilled from pure cane (I'm used to molasses-derived rums.) The taste isn't as different, though. It takes a little getting used to, but really isn't that heavy, in my opinion. I think it would be worth it to go get a bottle. Mine was like $19.99. Haven't tried 3 star yet....

Bruce

How do you like the 5 star? 

I remember reading someone saying it is a similar style rum to the Flor de Cana 7 Yr (which you saw in my other post I don't like).  Have you had the FdC?  If so, how would you compare it with the 5 Star.

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  • 6 months later...

I'm no expert, but I think what you want depends on whether you lean to cocktails or sipping. I'm a cocktail drinker myself, and I bought the Barbancourt White for mixing (don't worry, kids, I'm not mixing it with anything that comes from a can or a mix or artificial coloring). We have tried other Barbancourt aged rums for sipping and been very pleased. While the the nose is lovely on the white, and the flavor is very interesting, I don't care for it in cocktails. I find it has a very distinctive finish that overpowers the other ingridients, and most of my guests have found it unpleasent. Just my two cents on the matter. I'm still looking for a white I like for mixing...

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I agree with you LindyCat, Barbancourt White is a little tough to mix in the usual rum cocktail. The high-ester finish gets in the way of the body and aroma. I should be noted that although Barbancourt Rhum is spelled with an H, that this wouldn't qualify as rhum agricole since it isn't made entirely from fresh sugar cane juice, but rather sugar cane syrup, it is also distilled to more than 72% alcohol, but it does have some of the floral characteristics of the French agricole rhums.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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I use the Barbancourt White to mix, but as you say, it is a little strong; I usually reduce the rum portion a little bit to cancel out its more present taste...

Bruce

I agree with you LindyCat, Barbancourt White is a little tough to mix in the usual rum cocktail. The high-ester finish gets in the way of the body and aroma. I should be noted that although Barbancourt Rhum is spelled with an H, that this wouldn't qualify as rhum agricole since it isn't made entirely from fresh sugar cane juice, but rather sugar cane syrup, it is also distilled to more than 72% alcohol, but it does have some of the floral characteristics of the French agricole rhums.

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  • 1 year later...

In the duty-free shop in Guatemala City, I had some Quetzales to burn so I picked up two bottles of 23-yo Zacapa Centenario — then noticed they had Barbancourt 3-star for $6 a bottle!

I still had enough for one, so I grabbed it. With the ridiculous new liquid restrictions, even though I was handed my box of three bottles, sealed and labeled with a receipt on the box, at the gate — once we arrived in Miami it had to go in my check-in luggage for the flight to Baltimore.

Were I able to carry more, I might have bought 10 bottles of the $6 3-star. Barbancourt overall is one of my favorites.

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Hmm...perhaps I have to give the Barcanbourt 5 Star a try...although it's $40CDN here, more expensive than Havana Club 7YO/Appleton Extra, and the same price as Mount Gay Extra Old and Flor de Cana 12YO.

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If you like the Barbancourt 3 Star, definitely try the 5 Star but I can't recommend the much more expensive 15 year old, unless you've got a lot of extra money to spend.

And almost everyone I know who drinks Barbancourt agrees with me.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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  • 2 years later...
I agree with you LindyCat, Barbancourt White is a little tough to mix in the usual rum cocktail. The high-ester finish gets in the way of the body and aroma. I should be noted that although Barbancourt Rhum is spelled with an H, that this wouldn't qualify as rhum agricole since it isn't made entirely from fresh sugar cane juice, but rather sugar cane syrup, it is also distilled to more than 72% alcohol, but it does have some of the floral characteristics of the French agricole rhums.

i bought a bottle of barbancourt white after hearing some wonderful reviews. it seems like a very well constructed rum and i can see why people like it, but i find the taste rather unpleasant sipped neat. even when i do reduce the amount in a cocktail, i find that the flavor clashes (maybe it's just me?). is there a drink that any of you find works well with this rum? help me use up a bottle i've had for the past 4 years! :)

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I agree with you LindyCat, Barbancourt White is a little tough to mix in the usual rum cocktail. The high-ester finish gets in the way of the body and aroma. I should be noted that although Barbancourt Rhum is spelled with an H, that this wouldn't qualify as rhum agricole since it isn't made entirely from fresh sugar cane juice, but rather sugar cane syrup, it is also distilled to more than 72% alcohol, but it does have some of the floral characteristics of the French agricole rhums.

i bought a bottle of barbancourt white after hearing some wonderful reviews. it seems like a very well constructed rum and i can see why people like it, but i find the taste rather unpleasant sipped neat. even when i do reduce the amount in a cocktail, i find that the flavor clashes (maybe it's just me?). is there a drink that any of you find works well with this rum? help me use up a bottle i've had for the past 4 years! :)

I like using Barbancourt in cocktails and punches, it has such a unique character. Here are two of my favorites:

Presidente Vincent (from Mr. Wondrich)

1.5 oz Barbacnourt

.75 Dry Vermouth

.75 lime

1/2 tsp sugar or rich simple

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Very dry and elegant drink.

Cesar's Punch (from Mr. Berry)

2 oz Barbancourt

1 oz grenadine (homemade)

2 oz lime

1 tsp sugar or rich simple

3 dashes Angostura

Stir or shake without ice and pour into a tall glass full of crushed ice, stir to chill. Delicious.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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FWIW, Death & Co. uses Barbancourt white in a lot of their drinks. It appears to be their primary white rum, though they also use Brugal and La Favorite rhum agricole.

Andy, where are you getting your Barbancourt white in Texas? Spec's appears to only stock their dark rums.

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FWIW, Death & Co. uses Barbancourt white in a lot of their drinks. It appears to be their primary white rum, though they also use Brugal and La Favorite rhum agricole.

Andy, where are you getting your Barbancourt white in Texas? Spec's appears to only stock their dark rums.

I've seen it but I can't recall where. I actually am having a reading comprehension issue today and missed the critical "white"; the recipes given are intended for use with the aged rhums, but no reason not to give them a go I guess.

Kent, have you tried a special order? Off-topic, but I noticed last weekend when in Houston that they are now carrying at the big store the Rittenhouse 80, though at a relatively steep price ($17-18) that makes Overholt the better buy.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Yeah, the Barbancourt is the way to go for a good, versitile white rum (or rhum), and the FdC works just as well. I can find it in LA for $10 for the four year, which, for the price, is great for cocktail mixing. I was forced to pick up the Mount Gay Eclipse Silver last night for mixing and thought it was a great substitute in a pinch... even has that strong nose of the barbancourt, (in my opinion).

Red Bull/Vodka is the downfall of civilization...

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  • 11 months later...

LA Times article on how the distillery has fared after the earthquake.

Walls collapsed, machinery was damaged, and the plant's 800 French oak vats, each holding 2,000 gallons of rum, swayed and tumbled into one another like dominoes. About a third of the rum splashed onto the ground... "But we should be back in production in three or four months" -- a small interruption, though one Gardere says is unprecedented in Barbancourt's history.

And some other factoids:

And every voodoo priest and priestess in Haiti knows that soaking the ground with the golden rum -- not the three-star version, mind you, but the five-star, aged twice as long -- can raise the spirits of the dead.
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