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Forbes.com - Ten Amazing Rums


Ed Hamilton
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I was really trying to refrain from commenting on that variety of Pusser's rum. I don't know if it is different since I haven't tried it but I can tell you with confidence that there are no wooden-pot stills. There was a wooden-column still operating about fifteen years ago in Guyana. In various communications I've read from the brand owners, Pusser's has been described as pot still rum, so this is a departure, or they got a new marketing person, or maybe it's just a simple editorial error. Additionally, they aren't claiming that any of the rum in this blend is from the British Virgin Islands, which doesn't produce enough rum to export. If I had to make a guess, I'd think the rum was very similar to the blue label Pusser's Rum in an expensive decanter.

The Antigua 5 year old rum is good if you can find it. I was also not going to comment on the rancio character of Zacapa, as I've not found it. But we aren't talking about Dewar's Scotch, which never varies.

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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  • 4 weeks later...
Jason Perlow,Aug 3 2005, 08:17 AM

Interesting choice of the English Harbor, its a rum that I haven't yet tried.

I purchased a bottle of English Habour while visiting Antigua. It's reported to be 21 years old but to be honest it didn't taste like it. It does have a cognac like taste that some folks prefer.......but not me. Very pale in colour also. :hmmm:

The packaging is upscale for sure. The bottle comes from England and the wooden cap from Portugal. I think I paid about 25 bucks. Insofar as it's one of the few rums I have found not to be available around here it's going to sit behind the bar for a long time just for looks.

Admiral Rodney from St. Lucia is another story. Said to be 15 years old I found it to be much more enjoyable to drink neat. :biggrin:

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Jason Perlow,Aug 3 2005, 08:17 AM

Interesting choice of the English Harbor, its a rum that I haven't yet tried.

I purchased a bottle of English Habour while visiting Antigua. It's reported to be 21 years old but to be honest it didn't taste like it. It does have a cognac like taste that some folks prefer.......but not me. Very pale in colour also. :hmmm:

Admiral Rodney from St. Lucia is another story. Said to be 15 years old I found it to be much more enjoyable to drink neat. :biggrin:

The English Harbour rum mentioned in Nick Passmore's article is their 5 year old. The 21 year old is a very limited production and has been diluted for bottling from the cask strength of about 70% alcohol.

The Admiral Rodney has changed quite a bit from their original blend and for my taste is much better than it used to be. St Lucia is also bottling a blend they call Chariman's Reserve, which to my taste is much better than their previously bottled Admiral Rodney which was a little past its peak of maturity.

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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The English Harbour rum mentioned in Nick Passmore's article is their 5 year old. The 21 year old is a very limited production and has been diluted for bottling from the cask strength of about 70% alcohol.

The Admiral Rodney has changed quite a bit from their original blend and for my taste is much better than it used to be. St Lucia is also bottling a blend they call Chariman's Reserve, which to my taste is much better than their previously bottled Admiral Rodney which was a little past its peak of maturity.

Have a couple questions for you.

1)Is there any reason a 5 year old rum would taste better than a 21 year old bottle?

2) When they dilute a rum do they use a younger rum to do so? Or do they add just sugar juice or water?

Will be cruising the Caribbean next January with another stop in both Antiqua and St. Lucia. Will definitely check out the Chairman's Reserve.

In your travels have you had a chance to sample Mt. Gay's Tricentennial rum. I paid 30 bucks for a shot at their store in Barbados. My wife had a fit but I told her we're here and I may never get back so it was a once in a lifetime deal. I have no regrets :biggrin: According to the guide the supply is about gone with only a few hundred bottles left for sale. When gone.......that's it.

Would be interesting to see a list of your top ten rums.

Thanks, I'm really enjoying the chance to exchange views with someone who really knows the stuff. :biggrin:

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There is nothing that says a 21 year old rum will be better than a 5 year old rum. Older can be better, but occasionally you'll find a rum that is past its maturity.

There is also no rule when it comes to how to dilute the aged spirit. Some distillers dilute their rum with water, others top off their barrels each year with water so by the time they are ready to bottle the rum, the barrel is close to bottle strength. I don't know of any distiller that uses young rum, that would be a big mistake.

You can see a list of some of my favorites on the Ministry of Rum link to favorites.

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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There is nothing that says a 21 year old rum will be better than a 5 year old rum. Older can be better, but occasionally you'll find a rum that is past its maturity.

There is also no rule when it comes to how to dilute the aged spirit. Some distillers dilute their rum with water, others top off their barrels each year with water so by the time they are ready to bottle the rum, the barrel is close to bottle strength. I don't know of any distiller that uses young rum, that would be a big mistake.

You can see a list of some of my favorites on the Ministry of Rum link to favorites.

Thanks for your quick response and information. Nice to learn I still have many, many new rums to find and enjoy. While many of the brands you mentioned are new to me I have tried a few and they too are on my favorite list.

Thanks again and keep her headed into the wind....... :cool:

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Thanks again and keep her headed into the wind.......  :cool:

This reminds me of one of my favorite toasts, "Keep the wind behind you, and your glass half full."

The logic behind this is that with the wind behind you, a boat moves nicely and comfortably. And if you your glass is half full, you have less chance of spilling some of my favorite spirit.

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...

I recently received the following from the Chairman of Pusser's Rum, Charles Tobias:

Reference is made to your enquiry about Pusser’s Rum to Ed Hamilton and his written response to you that was published on your forum, egullet.org. Mr. Hamilton wrote, “but I can tell you with confidence that there are no wooden pot-stills.”

Well, I can tell with confidence that there are two of them that produce Pusser’s Rum. Photographs of the two, taken last year, are attached. One of them has me standing above it. Please note the wooden staves of the body of the still.

I would ask in fairness that you distribute this e-mail to your members who may have read Mr. Hamilton’s incorrect statement so that they are informed truthfully about Pusser’s Rum. The statement by Mr. Hamilton is untrue. 

In contrast, I would state that all of the Pusser’s Rum story is true. As incredible as it is, and it is, it is well documented for anyone caring to take the time to check it out. I doubt that there is any spirit with such a long and colorful history as that of Pusser’s Rum that is so well documented.

Sincerely,

Charles Tobias

Chairman

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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 recently received the following from the Chairman of Pusser's Rum, Charles Tobias:
Reference is made to your enquiry about Pusser’s Rum to Ed Hamilton and his written response to you that was published on your forum, egullet.org. Mr. Hamilton wrote, “but I can tell you with confidence that there are no wooden pot-stills.”

Well, I can tell with confidence that there are two of them that produce Pusser’s Rum. Photographs of the two, taken last year, are attached. One of them has me standing above it. Please note the wooden staves of the body of the still.

I would ask in fairness that you distribute this e-mail to your members who may have read Mr. Hamilton’s incorrect statement so that they are informed truthfully about Pusser’s Rum. The statement by Mr. Hamilton is untrue. 

In contrast, I would state that all of the Pusser’s Rum story is true. As incredible as it is, and it is, it is well documented for anyone caring to take the time to check it out. I doubt that there is any spirit with such a long and colorful history as that of Pusser’s Rum that is so well documented.

Sincerely,

Charles Tobias

Chairman

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Thanks for keeping us honest here.............. BTW: Had a 'painkiller' while visiting Tortola and loved it. Upon returning to the states I bought a bottle and had my favorite liquor store order a few bottles of the mix. At the end of a hot day a painkiller and good cigar give real meaning to the words............living well :biggrin:

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I appreciate Charles Tobias' interest in this forum. A few years ago, representatives of the company that make Pusser's Rum described this still to me as the last operating wooden column still. I have not seen this still, hopefully in the coming months I will have the opportunity to see this still.

From a historical perspective, the pot still preceded the development of the column still. The earliest pot stills were heated by direct firing from a wood fire. Later, column stills were heated by steam injection at the bottom of the still. More modern pot stills are heated from an external steam source. Without seeing the inside of this wooden still it is impossible to determine whether this still is heated by steam injection or whether there is a heating coil used to heat the wash. In a column still, the wash is allowed to cascade down over the plates inside the column. As the steam rises it heats the wash and strips the alcohol from the wash before it is collected from the top of the still.

Without seeing more of this still, it is impossible to tell the configuration but the gooseneck in this photo does resemble that of a pot still while the vertical wooden staves more closely resemble a column still.

And while I'm on the subject, it should be noted that a single column still with only one product stream is similar in distillation characteristics to a pot still with the advantages of greater production and consistency during the distillation batch.

I would like to thank Charles Tobias for addressing this controversary. In the process of the research for my first book, Charles Tobias was generous in helping me locate more research material. I have been, however, unable to determine where the rum from the British Virgin Islands used in the blend was distilled. Representatives of Jim Beam Brands, the company that owned the Pusser's brand in 1995, told me that the British Virgin Islands component was from old stocks.

It is noteworthy that Charles Tobias has worked tirelessly to preserve the tradition of Pusser's Rum and he is correct that the original purser's rum served sailors on board Royal Navy Ships since the early 1600s is the most historically documented blend in the history of this noble spirit. And despite claims from other rum companies, the Blue Label Pusser's Rum is probably closest to the taste of that rum served to sailors for centuries. In 1979, Charles Tobias secured the future of Pusser's Rum when he organized a sustainable contribution to the Royal Navy's retirement fund in exchange for the right to use the name by which this rum was known until the daily tot was discontinued in the early 1970s.

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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Color me ignorant but what is a 'painkiller'?  Is the mix available in the U.S.?

Thanks,

Kevin

Hi Kevin.......

Glad to help............... The recipe is listed below. Beware.........it's a butt kicking drink. As for the mix. I had Hi Times Liqour in Costa Mesa, CA order it for me. Cost was ten bucks for a 64 oz bottle. You can also order it through the Pusser rum web site. It's shipped from their pub in Hollywood, Fl.

You can also make it from sratch using the recipe below. The only thing to watch out for is the coconut part. Make sure to use the can found in the liqour store as some are way to thick... The mix is the best and once you've tried one you'll want more and more....guaranteed. :biggrin:

Pusser's Rum Cocktail: The Painkiller®

The infamous Pusser's Painkiller®—the drink we are known for throughout the West Indies, in the U.S. and many parts of Europe!

The Painkiller® is a blend of Pusser's Rum with 4 parts pineapple juice, 1 part cream of coconut and 1 part orange juice served over the rocks with a generous amount of fresh nutmeg on top. You have a choice of numbers 2, 3 or 4, which designate the amount of Pusser's Rum! Cheers!

Painkiller #2 ... 2 parts Pusser's Rum

Painkiller #3 ... 3 parts Pusser's Rum

Painkiller #4 ... 4 parts Pusser's Rum

Note: The pub in the B.V. I. will not sell a Painkiller #4 to women!

Or use the mix and save the pain!

Having a really big party? mix your Painkillers in batches!

Property of Pusser's West Indies Ltd. 2005 All Rights Reserved. Pussers

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  • 1 month later...
Hi Kevin....... Glad to help............... As for the mix. I had Hi Times Liqour in Costa Mesa, CA order it for me. Cost was ten bucks for a 64 oz bottle. You can also order it through the Pusser rum web site. It's shipped from their pub in Hollywood, Fl.

Pussers Website

I finally got off my butt and found a liquor store to order a bottle of the Painkiller mix. While I'm not averse to also buying a bottle of Pusser's rum, are there any rums that are similar to Pusser's?

Hoping to sample it this weekend with both Pusser's and some of the other rums I have.

Thanks very much,

Kevin

DarkSide Member #005-03-07-06

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