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Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaica rum

 
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JaRiMi
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Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:09 pm    Post subject: Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaica rum Reply with quote

On my recent excursion to Scotland with 28 fellow whisky aficionados, I actually managed to find nice rums as well Smile

One such was Smith and Cross Traditional Jamaica rum - Pure pot still Plummer & Wedderburn 57%.

Taken text from "Haus Alpenz" (bottlers of Scarlet Ibis I believe) website http://www.alpenz.com/images/poftfolio/smithcross114rum.htm , it says:

"This rum represents the distinctively flavorful and aromatic style that made Jamaica rum famous in the late 19th and early 20th century. Containing only Wedderburn and Plummer pot still distillates, famous for their notes of exotic fruits and spice, it delivers a tour de force of flavour and complexity that historically made Jamaica rum a cornerstone of many classic drinks.

The mark of Smith & Cross traces its lineage to 1788 as one of England’s oldest producers of sugar and spirits. Over time, the firm and its partners became prominent handlers of Jamaica Rum, with extensive underground cellars along the river Thames.

Tasting and Serving Guidance

The great tradition of this style is reflected in the famous drink recipes that call specifically for Jamaica rum. Make no mistake, this is not a sipping rum by contemporary standards. Upon initial pour, allow a minute to open up before tasting. We suggest exploring the profile first in the Jamaica Rum Daquiri (see sidebar) and from there to other classics.

On Production and the Wedderburn & Plummer

Through the 19th century and into the earlier 20th century, Jamaica Rum was revered for its deep full flavors and pleasing aromas. In this era, rum fell into three general classes, Local Trade Quality, Export Trade Quality (mainly an ester-intensive "High Continental" style for the German market), and Home Trade Quality for UK (and US) consumption. In the mid 20th century appeared the more familiar "Common Clean" light and/or sweeter styles on offer today, made with the column-still product introduced in the late 1950s.

The heavier bodied Wedderburn and medium bodied Plummer styles were made with a combination of the molasses, skimmings, cane juice, and syrup bottoms from sugar production, and the dunder of the previous rum production. A Jamaica tradition has been the use of wild yeasts indigenous to the region in the fermentation process, which is arguably a major contributor to the special body and flavor. The end result is a rum of tremendous and local character.

This Expression

Here we offer a blend of approximately equal parts Wedderburn and Plummer, the former aged for less than a year, and the latter split between 18 months and 3 years on white oak. It is not a style that necessarily benefits from further aging, as the oak can dominate the fruit and spice notes within and in time dampen the aromas.

Navy Strength

57% ABV (50% by weight, or 100° English proof) was the traditional strength required by the British Royal Navy. At this proof a spill of the spirits would not prevent gunpowder from igniting. As important, this degree of concentration provided an efficiency in conveyance on board and onward to trading partners far away.

Navy Strength should not be confused with Navy Rum, which was for over 200 years a daily ration in the British Royal Navy, and traditionally composed of rums principally from Guyana, also Jamaica and Barbados. "



Sorry, I borrowed this directly because for the most part it is not typical marketing BS...

A high-ester rum, it smells perhaps like a cross between nail polish, varnish and rum - How delightful that is Smile

On the palate, sip VERY carefully, but do take that tiniest 0,2cl or so, and try "as is" - before adding a reasonable dollop of water, and try to tame it down to around 43%. The taste is much better than the nose, revealing really old-style Jamaican hardcore flavours of rum. BIG. Overripe banana, and other fruits. Vanilla somewhere in between. Almost bitter burnt molasses notes.

Seriously folks - if you served this as the first rum to someone to try "as is", I think they'd say YACK - and run. But it is an amazing product in its brutal honestly, and old "high-ester" style. Works as "rum verschnitt" (cut rum) too - mix it with vodka or the simplest plain unaged white rum, and presto - one bottle makes 3, still violently volatile and full of flavour. It's a total bully from the past - and Big RESPECT for bottling this monster. Reminded me of Bristol's Vale Royal, but has an even bigger aroma and more brutal wedderburn flavour, due to sheer strength. Amazing. Don't let Appleton be your only understanding of Jamaican rum. Dis de original rudebwoy Rudy man...Spray dem wid bullets ah rum an' listen to murder she wrote! Boom shaka laka..!

(GBP 31,95 at the Whisky Exchange)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-av7F1JBmj4
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Hassouni
Minor God


Joined: 05 May 2013
Posts: 438

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SC is pretty mainstream now stateside - most higher end bars have it. I too have the Bristol Vale Royal, and oddly I find that one more pungent and "weird", though for $30, SC is unbeatable.
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


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

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that it is appearing in bars means that the efforts here and elsewhere are beginning to be understood, and purity more appreciated.
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Hassouni
Minor God


Joined: 05 May 2013
Posts: 438

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capn Jimbo wrote:
The fact that it is appearing in bars means that the efforts here and elsewhere are beginning to be understood, and purity more appreciated.


The Haus Alpenz stuff is pretty much aimed entirely at high end bartenders and home mixologists - their portfolio is available in bars more than shops
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Rum Warrior
Swabbie


Joined: 11 May 2017
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

S&C Haiku Review

Sip it or mix it
The funk is strong with this one
It will get you drunk
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Guevara88
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Joined: 05 Jan 2014
Posts: 43
Location: Wiesbaden/Germany

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be perfectly honest: I have Smith & Cross at home and I am not getting it so far. To me, even watered down, it tastes very sharp like ethanol clouding its different taste nuances. I feel like an idiot because every resource available and credible to me states that this is a pretty good product.

Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate a good alcoholic burn. Actually, I do like Wray & Nephew as a sipper. Not even to begin with Foursquare 2004...

Do you have any suggestions how to approach Smith & Cross in order to find what I am missing out on?
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Nomad
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Joined: 04 Mar 2015
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Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guevara88 wrote:
To be perfectly honest: I have Smith & Cross at home and I am not getting it so far. To me, even watered down, it tastes very sharp like ethanol clouding its different taste nuances. I feel like an idiot because every resource available and credible to me states that this is a pretty good product.

Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate a good alcoholic burn. Actually, I do like Wray & Nephew as a sipper. Not even to begin with Foursquare 2004...

Do you have any suggestions how to approach Smith & Cross in order to find what I am missing out on?

What worked for me was to add a spoonful to other rums I was drinking and I found that that really enhanced those spirits and my enjoyment. Over time that spoonful has grown to a healthy pour though I still don't drink it straight.
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‘Why?’
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Foursquare, Scarlet Ibis, Barbancourt Estate Reserve 15, Appleton 12
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Guevara88
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Joined: 05 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, thanks for the suggestion! (I really like the Pratchett signature ^^)

Which rums do you "supercharge" this way? Did you try adding small amounts to cocktails as well?
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Nomad
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Joined: 04 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guevara88 wrote:
Hey, thanks for the suggestion! (I really like the Pratchett signature ^^)

Which rums do you "supercharge" this way? Did you try adding small amounts to cocktails as well?

It started with cocktails and for me, it works really well with juices and/or coconut milk; that's how I use it most of the time. I have tried it with many of my usual rums like Doorly's, Don Q, Mount Gay XO, the younger El Dorado's, etc. Whisk(e)ys too.

I do love Pratchett work and will use any chance to add in a quote, so here's a favorite-

"The person on the other side was a young woman. Very obviously a young woman. There was no possible way that she could have been mistaken for a young man in any language, especially Braille"
_________________
'We put all our politicians in prison as soon as they’re elected. Don’t you?’
‘Why?’
‘It saves time.’ -Terry Pratchett via The Last Continent
Foursquare, Scarlet Ibis, Barbancourt Estate Reserve 15, Appleton 12
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Guevara88
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Joined: 05 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha. Will check it out. Do you prefer S&C or any of the Appleton/Wray & Nephew as standard Jamaican reference?

Last edited by Guevara88 on Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nomad
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Joined: 04 Mar 2015
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Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jamaican rum is hard to come locally, except for the ones you've mentioned. Appleton 12 is the one that I do sip. The Wray & Nephew gets used like the S&C, though I prefer the S&C.
_________________
'We put all our politicians in prison as soon as they’re elected. Don’t you?’
‘Why?’
‘It saves time.’ -Terry Pratchett via The Last Continent
Foursquare, Scarlet Ibis, Barbancourt Estate Reserve 15, Appleton 12
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Guevara88
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Joined: 05 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

K, thanks for sharing!

I will spend some time of today’s evening to revisit S&C and see how it works for me. Will try pure, with added water and maybe also mixed with another rum from the more flat end of the spectrum.
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Rum Warrior
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Joined: 11 May 2017
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sipping S&C straight isn't a good idea unless you're already used to overproofs... and even then it's not the best idea. I still like sipping it.

Appleton 12 or a big bottle of appleton v/x is around the same price point. Find what you like at that price.

Jamican Rum and Ginger beer is the ultimate combo for me... add a lime wedge and you're good. You could even put a splash of pineapple juice in there, or maybe just a slice of pineapple.
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