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Pure rum: tastes like?

 
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


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Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:15 am    Post subject: Pure rum: tastes like? Reply with quote

Purity is as rare as a 30 year old virgin...

But it does exist. Although most rums currently being sold have been tweaked with unlabeled additives, artificial flavorings and the like, there yet remain a reasonable number of rums that are pure, or have been altered so skillfully that we can't tell.

We'll get to the actual aromas and flavors you can expect in a real, unaltered rum but first let's hear from a few experts as to which distillers and bottlers provide a pure rum experience:

Quote:
JaRiMi: "I can concur that John Barrett's Bristol Classic Rums are very good examples of pure rums, with no funny methods used.

Tasting such rums, many single cask releases, is an eye-opener in many ways - for example, these rums are very dry in taste, when compared to almost any "mass-market" rums sweetened generously with added sugar. They also showcase aging quite well, and make an interesting comparison to tropic-matured rums claiming to be all 30 years old etc.

Cadenhead's is another brand that has bottled pure rums, as is Gordon & McPhail. In general, there is a lightyear of difference between the taste of mass-market products, and these independently bottled rums, which often appeal more to Single Malt Whisky drinkers, for the very fact that they haven't been "tampered" with, but also because the taste is often closer in style to whisky because of the lack of tampering.

Richard Seale is doing pioneering work also in Bim (Barbados, that is), and for example the single cask from him bottled for Milroy's of Soho whisky shop in London was amazing & pure. Savana distillerie, and Riviere du Matt from Reunion also produce fine, natural rums for example. I think Rhum Martinique's are generally so regulated, that they are pretty pure.

Finally, Silvano Samaroli and Luca Gargano from Italy have absolutely fantastic old Demeraras and Caroni rums for example, all which are bottled at full strength, and without any funny business."


As regarding the aroma and taste experience with pure rums, he adds:

Quote:
JaRiMi: "As a footnote, I think most rum lovers, especially those in USA, would be shocked tasting a rum that has not received any "fixes".

The dryness would hit as number one issue, and then - well, the richness of natural flavours, not hidden underneath excessive filtering, added fruit, oak extracts and sugars etc. If sweet sugar (or aspartame!) is what you like, you will not like Rum - as it is from the cask, I suspect. And I do believe rum straight from the cask is similar in this sweetness aspect, no matter what the distillery.

Anyways, there's a market for every style, I just wish that companies selling mass-market rums would be more honest in the rum business as to what & how much they add to their products."


To this list we'd specify that any rums emanating from Seale's Foursquare distillery, especially Seales Ten Year and Doorly's XO (although it is finished in sherry barrels). We'd also add Mount Gay Extra Old, any of the Appletons (particularly the Extra), and Wray & Nephews Overproof. For the cane juice category, Barbancourt is perhaps the best example.


*******

Next: the aromas and flavors...

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Last edited by Capn Jimbo on Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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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 Feb 06, 2011 4:19 am    Post subject: Smell and tell... Reply with quote

Finally! The aromas and flavors of real, pure rum...

Following is our short list of the aromas and flavors we find most typical of real and unaltered molasses-based rums:


Floral: orange blossom, tea
Fruity: orange/orange marmalade, lemon/grapefruit, bing/black cherry; apricot, raisin, prune, figs, dates; banana incl. overripe
Herbaceous: tea
Nutty: almond, baked nutty (eg nutbread), sweet pecan,
Caramel: vanillan, caramel, caramel cream, toffee, chocolate, cacao, butterscotch, maple, molasses
Woody: atringency/tannins, oak, cigar box, burnt toast, tobacco
Phenolic: tarry, medicinal
Feinty: leather, tobacco, furniture polish
Earthy: musty, cork, dunder
Sherry: sherry, reddish color
Bourbon: bourbon
Spicy: clove, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, white pepper, jalapeno, nutmeg, licorice, anise
General: baked, roasted, fresh-out-of-the-oven, burnt, smoked, dry/dried

Unaltered Cane juice rums
: add caney, reedy, fields, hay/straw, rice paddy/woven basket, cut grass, asparagus, sauerkraut, anise/licorice


*******

These few have proven to be the most common, most likely and most important sensations we have experienced over the past few years in tasting over 130 rums, and in doing multiple comparisons. If you post, I'd appreciate if you'd likewise stick to only the most common aromas and tastes you have found...
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