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The Smoothest Rum? (And a long conversion story)

Scott S

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It's been a while since I've visited The Ministry of Rum, but recent events have brought rum back to the forefront of my brain it seems....

I don't drink at all in the winter, but spring is here and I met up with an old friend recently. After some talking I joined his weekly poker night with a bunch of regulars. Come to find out they enjoy single malt whiskies, which I don't enjoy so I brought some rum to the next game.

I started off with a bottle of Cruzan Single Barrel Estate. Evil as it may sound, I knew these guys weren't rum drinkers and might mix it with Coke. It might seem a crime but I knew that it would mix well for the lighter folks. Well some mixed, but others tried it straight and it was definitely enjoyed by all.

For the next game I brought some Ron Zacapa Centenario and Pyrat XO. I only had a couple fingers of the Zacapa and 1/3 of the XO, but figured that it was enough to allow several tastes. I also warned that these rums should really be enjoyed straight, and produced a bottle of Mount Gay Eclipse for the ones who wished to mix. The Cruzan was finished that night, as were the small amounts of Zacapa and Pyrat.

No Coke was mixed this night, and the Mount Gay was never even cracked. I figured that these people were learning - and who wouldn't with the above selection?

The next week I totally forgot to check my bar, and rushed towards the game. I remembered in time, so I stopped at a good liquor store on the way and found a great selection. (Yes, I'll be back.) I hemmed and I hawed, trying to remember which rums were on my list to try. They had several rums known to me but I wanted to try something different. I settled on a bottle of Pyrat Pistol.

It would be an understatement to say that it was well received. The Pistol bottle is small and didn't make it through the second game of cards. So the Mount Gay was cracked and quickly poured with Coke. Though it can't be compared to the Pyrat it was still enjoyed by the rum drinkers.

Yes, I officially labeled them Rum Drinkers at this time. One of them said that he "was definitely going to start drinking rum from now on." I wrote down my 5 favorites rums for him, and then wrote the list again for another guy.

The following week proved very lucky since I went hunting under my bar and came up with a bottle of Pampero Anniversario that was about half full, and another bottle of the Cruzan Single Barrel which had barely been touched.

The rum had good effects for me that night, as I won enough at poker to pay for all that rum and more. I converted another one of the guys. And I noticed that my friend's bar still had 6 bottles of single malt, but only a single bottle of rum was left standing. A good sign, I'd say.

Tomorrow night I'm bringing a bottle of Montecristo 12-year-old. I have high hopes for this one, as it's been on my short list for some time. I was truly surprised to find it in a local liquor store. Though I have not done poorly at these poker games, who can really lose with rums like this? And so far I've got 3 converts to The Dark (rum) Side. Wish me luck for more converts.

So, on to the next part. I spent about 3 months researching rum a couple years ago, and then spent the last 2 summers "studying." :-) In all I tried about 30 or 35 rums, with most of them being on someone's Top Ten list.

My favorite 5 (in order) right now are:

Pyrat Pistol

Ron Zacapa Centenario

Pampero Anniversario

Pyrat XO

Diamond Single Barrel Estate

The Ron Zacapa Centenario has been my favorite until I tried the Pistol. I have to admit that the Pistol might be at the top of the list because it was a very recent tasting. I love it's smoothness, but it is pretty darn sweet - though I like sweet rums this was over the top. It might not be drinkable for long. I also like more flavorful rums - I love the Pyrat XO for the number of different tastes in a single sip, but it can't compare to the Pistol or Zacapa for smoothness.

I do have to admit a preference for smoothness, and the Pistol and Zacapa are quite smooth indeed.

Which rum do you think is the smoothest?

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I was at a party last weekend with a lot of rum drinkers and got to try Zaya for the first time. Ron Z has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and someone told me that Zaya is made right across the street. I don't think it had the depth of flavor you find in the Ron Z., but in my opinion went down even smoother. Similar to Ron Varadero 7 from Cuba, with less spice.

If I can find some for a good price, I look forward to trying it again on its own, vs. comparing it to other rums as my palate and brain got foggier and foggier. Ron Z will always be at the top of my list, and I hope I like Zaya as much as I think I will when revisiting it. I've always found Pyrat to be a little too fruity for my taste, but it's definitely smooth. Another favorite of mine is Barbancourt 15, it has great spice/zest to it and goes down smooth.



Kansas City, Mo.

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My eG Food Blog- 2011

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It's probably on your list, but I would have to add Santa Teresa 1796 to a list of smooth rums. Sugar cane syrup is sometimes added to rums and goes a long way to making rum smoother but I'm not generally a fan of sweet rums.

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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It's probably on your list, but I would have to add Santa Teresa 1796 to a list of smooth rums. Sugar cane syrup is sometimes added to rums and goes a long way to making rum smoother but I'm not generally a fan of sweet rums.

It's been on my long list but it's certainly on my short list now. I've never run across this locally though, so I may have to get my shop to order it or go online.

The Pistol was great, but most likely too sweet to drink often. In any case, variety is a good thing, so I'll try the Santa Teresa.

Thanks Ed!

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