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Trick of the Rum Trade: Fooling you with additives...

 
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3467
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:42 am    Post subject: Trick of the Rum Trade: Fooling you with additives... Reply with quote

Trick of the Rum Trade: Fooling you with additives...


If you've spent much time here at the Project, you've no doubt read our now famous story of our first, wonderful encounter with the impeccable Richard Seale, Man of Purity. At a Burr Brothers tasting, the large crowd was excited to learn that Richard Seale would be present, and would be revealing his new rum! Wow!

Richard proceeded to the stage and with little introduction distributed a pour of his "new rum" to all of us, and proposed a contest - he'd ask three questions and all who could answer them correctly would get a bottle of his finest: Seales Ten Year. The questions...

1. Cane juice or molasses based?
2. Pot or column stilled?
3. Approximate age?

The consensus of the crowd (with some very experienced tasters present): molasses, pot, around 7 years old. With glee, Seales revealed the answer: we were all wrong. "It's a brand new, thin column-stilled rum," he revealed, "...that I phonied up to taste like a rich, older pot-stilled rum!". We'd all been had, and had good. And that insight, in large part, led to The Rum Project....


So how do distiller's cheat?


1. They rely on two things. One is the US Regulation that allows up to 2.5% of additives and caramel (but only if considered traditionally necessary to production), and second, that this regulation will not be strictly enforced. It isn't, and they add. Here's a short list:

2. Sugar and Glycerol (glycerine): smooth and sweeten a rough spirit.

3. Sherry: a bit of sherry (especially cream sherry) or port adds fruitiness

4. Raisin Extract: adds "authenticity" to the flavor, as does prune juice.

5. Flavorings (mostly artificial): these include artificial vanillan (duplicates aging in American oak), caramel (not coloring), cinnamon/cloves/nutmeg, orange, pepper (adds "woody" touch), smoke, and liquid oak.


Bottom Line:

These are just a smattering of the unlabeled tweaks and tricks. Through the means of loosely enforced regulatory loopholes, rum distillers routinely secretly use unlabeled additives and flavoring of all kinds to tweak their cheap and thin, column-stilled distillate to taste like much more expensive, rich and aged pot-stilled product. It's not hard to understand why...

It's cheaper and it works.

The rum reps - who know - refuse to talk about it. And the rum drinking public is presented with store shelves that are about 90% dominated by such swill presented at bargain prices. There's good reason why good cognacs and single malt whisky cost more. And what happens when two new mega-premium rums (Diplomatico Ambassador and Panamonte XXV Preciosa) promote their free-from-additives purity?

That fact is completely ignored.
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