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Rum Review: Conch Republic Dark Rum (aka Matecumbe Dark)

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How do you rate Conch Republic Dark Rum (five is best)?
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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 Jul 07, 2008 5:16 am    Post subject: Rum Review: Conch Republic Dark Rum (aka Matecumbe Dark) Reply with quote

Conch Republic Dark Rum (aka Matecumbe Dark): "Jalapeno Orange Marmalade"

Sometimes ya just gotta be a tourist. Living as we do in the Paradise of South Florida means that people visit us. And sooner or later anybody who is anybody sets foot here. Dry foot and you stay, lol...

But Sue Sea and I travel too, but not as far, to the Conch Republic, aka Key West. But anywhere in the Keys is close enough. Needless to say the Keys are a tourist's Mecca (now for sure I'm in someone's database) and sell the usual tourist crap. Since we too are just relatively normal people some of this doodoo ends up in our car and/or home. Like the Cuban guy who carves, paints and assembles little wooden and plastic dock and fishing scenes. Or the surprising bottle of Pirate's Choice Molasses Reef Rum we found in the Middle Keys (see Barbadian Style section).

Conch Republic is sold through all South Florida and if there was ever a rum seemingly designed as a souvenier this is it. Classic round, short necked 1-liter bottle with a genuine Jimmy Buffet style old seaplane featured on the label. But, what the hell we thought. We're Floridians, we love the Keys, it's not expensive. And if we don't like it we'll give it to Willy, our Bacardi swilling bud, or keep it for a conversation piece or mixer.

Au contraire! We will keep this rum. The reviews:

Sue Sea:

There's an off-the-beaten-path bakery and tiny restaurant in Key West called Henrietta's. And it's run by a robust island woman of the same name. Thanks to the tourists, magazine and newspaper writers who visit her unique creations have become famous. We first became aware of her when we bought some of her Key West Coconut Strips on Mallory Pier at the nightly Sunset celebration. And took home a jar of her hot Key Lime-Orange Marmalade, which has the kind of peppery taste and kicky finish we like in good rums.

My, I'm getting like Jimbo - off on a tangent. But my point is we do like to try products from our Paradise so sooner or later we were bound to buy a bottle of Conch Republic Dark Rum. I expected rotgut, but Conch Republic is a decent sipping rum. I found its aroma to be oakey with some leather, a deep orange/apricot, high vanilla and honey. The taste was pretty consistent but the orange was now more of a candy orange or orange marmalade. The finish was powerful and lightly peppery, medium and warm, and left a lingering heat. I found a nice aftertaste of what I would call orange rind.

Really, not bad at all.


Conch Republic Dark Rum is not really dark, more of a gold or light amber. Not as clear or lustrous as say, Mount Gay Extra Old or Seale's products. According to Robert Plotkin this rum is a blend of continuous stilled (from Cruzan) and alembic rums distilled at the Old Florida Rum Company at Lake Alfredo. Back to the tasting...

Sue Sea and I interact much more at our tastings now. Before we used to nose and taste, note and finally share our impressions. Now we discuss the rum as we are experiencing it. The nosing presented a deep fruit and oak, and later a nice but fleeting vanilla, light licorice and tar. The taste opened with a honey/orange then developed into a medium, lightly peppery, chest warming finish. For me the Conch Republic left a nice orange and leather aftertaste.

Both Sue Sea and I noted an alcohol tingle on first nosing. This is not a bad thing, but airing improves this, and most other younger rums. Don't be too quick with your drops of water. Overall Conch Republic is not complex, but it is a very consistent and balanced sipping rum with a good strong finish.

Rating (10 is best): a solid 6.

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