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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3499
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject: Welcome to the Twiggie Section! Reply with quote

You are now in perhaps the most controversial section of the Rum Project. Some rummies - mostly of the Preacher's "It's All Good" persuasion - have actually taken offense. Dear Kevin Myers - a brilliant poster - and I found ourselves in a fermenting debate over Twiggie, which reached a panty bunching culmination (and subsequent exit) for him.

The debate was respectful but passionate, and properly ended when the issues had been fully put forth. Don't miss it - "The Curse in a Verse: A Twiggie Debate" is core reading for your rum education. It's in this section. Read it or else!

Now, just what are the "Twiggie Tie Dye" rums?

Let's put it this way. Rum used to be the product of literally thousands of independent distillers throughout the Caribbean and elsewhere. Each country, each distiller had its own hard won methods to produce rum with individual pride. Over time many of these disappeared or were swallowed up by ever more modern, marketing driven corporations and even mega-corporations.

Think Barcardi. Think Diageo.

Like in all money grubbing, profit centered, individuality stifling enterprises the marketing department is king. Or maybe queen. These boys and girls could care less about history and tradition - but everything about sales, marketing and cost reduction. The result:

Lesser rums masked by copious and clever adulterants, additives, flavoring and effluvia. Believe me, if horse piss will add a "haunting and mysterious" sales increasing element to the marketing profile, it will be added. More likely artificial horse piss though, lol. To hell with the master distiller, the true artist of old. The taste engineer is queen. Or maybe king. Just under the Board of Directors.

I kid, I kid! Maybe.

The Twiggie Tie Dye rums are those that, in the cause of marketing and sales, have gone over the top insofar as hiding unannounced flavors and additives. At best caramel, molasses, sugar, vanilla, orange, clove and other spices. At worst - and more likely - artificial, taste engineered adulterants. Pre or post distillation doesn't matter; what does is that these additives, which likely include artificial flavorings, cover up or phony the rum to an obvious and excessive extent.

The end result:

Unadmitted flavored rums that may sell and even be reviewed well. But whose underlying rum might not, and probably wouldn't, stand alone. My family was a pioneer in the coffee roasting business. My dear grandfather invented, manufactured and sold some of the first electric coffee roasters of last century.

His work was all about quality, and his new machine was designed to protect roasting coffee from noxious gas fumes, and to preserve and maximize its flavor and aroma. He succeeded brilliantly. He always loved and promoted "Columbia Supremo" as one of the world's great coffees. Many of you know that. What you may not know is this:

Flavored coffees - which actually sell at a premium - are based on relatively crappy, less expensive coffee beans. The result is a marketing man's wet dream - lower product cost, higher retail sales and increased profits. All for a nickel's worth of flavoring. Who loses?

The consumer. And so it is with rum...

Go to Save Caribbean Rum Petition!
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