View Full Version : Rum Vatting
When you put it that way...i guess it is science!
BTW, the Rum barrel is gonna get filled this weekend...I'm using a 2 gallon toasted oak barrel. I could use some help in selecting/tasting the Rums to use in the vatting...I'll post more on that subject soon.
If any folks would like to trade samples, (minis=50ml, 2 oz or 4oz bottles) send me something you'd like me to taste from your vatting or select bottle and I'll send back a sample from one of my barrels or archive bottles or other vintage whiskies...any interest?...PM me.
Thanks, Gary, seeing what you have written and my recent experiences with Rum, you are spot on!
The picture below shows the bonsai studio being prepared for Tims' arrival. My intention is to take some price point rums for the bulk of the corpus and tweek the profile with a few other, lesser quantity rums (maybe higher priced)to make a vatting of about 3.5-4 gallons.
More to come...
This is the "far view" of the botles lined up for use/consideration in the project.
This shot shows the close up of the first few bottles...
1. Rum Barbancourt, 8yo, Haiti rum
2. Gosling's, Black Seal, Bermuda black rum
3. Ron Viejo De Caldas, 8yo, Colombia rum
4. Pyrat, Superior Blanco, white rum from Anguilla, Brittish West Indies
5. On the edge of the picure is Ron Zacappa, Centenario, 23yo, Guatemalan rum
More in next picture...
6. Bacardi 8yo...regular stuff...
7. Pusser's Navy rum...regular stuff...
8. Rhum Martinique, French Agricole
More to come...
Next I had ...
9. Bacardi, Glod Reserve, Anejo, Puerto Rican rum, 500ml bottles
10. Meyer's Rum from Jamaica, 200ml and 375ml bottles
These would be the main corpus of the vatting...
I was fortunate to find a store closing its' doors after 33 years in business, the owner sold me the Meyers Rum and the Bacardi Rum below cost, so the price point is taken care of.
The Meyers is Jamaican dark rum and the Bacardi Gold Reserve Anejo is Puerto Rican rum, this is a version no longer available, or so I’m told. (I held one 500ml bottle of this in reserve for archive/refill/trade)
The Meyers is dark, sweet, molasses profile rum, relatively simple with a short finish. Obviously it is not well aged and thus not a lot of wood influence.
The Bacardi is very refined, more sophisticated rum. Golden in color, it is leaning away from the dark profile. It has strong notes of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, putting it in the spicy category, not super sweet to the tongue but it has good oak/wood notes of vanilla and caramel with a medium long, drier finish.
Ben and I opened these two rums last Wednesday night and sampled them, both good in their own rights, neither as good as my new personal favorite the El Dorado 15yo…I digress. I then vatted them in equal amounts…they complimented each other very well. The spicy complexity of the Bacardi played well to fill in the gap created from the simple, one dimensional, younger side of the Meyers. At the same time, the Meyer’s added some dark muscle with the contributing bold molasses sweetness that was lacking in the Bacardi. I'm very pleased to use those two together for the bulk of the blend.
That takes things off to a good start...
Now I just had to wait until help arrived to finish tweaking the vatting with the addition of other available rum resources.
Tim showed up on Friday evening and we went right to work after a quick taste of the 90 proof AMS Corn whiskey and three single malts.
…There were a few rums (the first four) that were not opened and needed to be sampled prior to the start of the blending. We tasted through them and made comment and personal note of each.
Tim and I experimented with eye droppers to measure the ratios of each rum in various combinations. This went on for quite a while with much communication about different characteristics of each blend that worked or didn’t work. Each snifter started off with larger amounts of the Meyer’s and the Bacardi Anejo to replicate the larger quantities that would be used in the blend. We were looking for a combination of qualities that would lend well to further aging and benefit from the influence of the new, toasted oak wood barrel. The picture below shows the final combination of rums, and we used all that are there on the table, this made approximately 3½ gallons. The Ron Zacappa 23yo was used for extra sweetness, a bit on the expensive side at 55 bucks a bottle, but this stuff was too sweet to drink neat, so into the blend it went. The Pyrat Blanco was used for a younger/un-aged note. The Pusser’s was filler and was quite similar in nature to the blend as it existed without it, thus not contributing or detracting. We used the Ron Viejo for the nice spice background and a strong anise note. The Rhum Barbancourt added a distinctive balance to the blend, I don’t recall a specific noteworthy feature, but it just contributed to the sum of the totals.
The taste is smooth and rounded, all rums complimenting each other to facilitate the guidelines above.
We noted one thing that Gary had made comment about, and stayed away from the temptation to put a bit of everything in the blend. My thought is that the mixture would be so complex that it would loose distinctiveness. We each have our own taste/tasting preferences. I think this one will do well rebarreled for more ageing. The final goal is to have a rum influenced barrel for maturing/rebarreling BOURBON or Malt...
See Jim, we got back around to the Bourbon part after all!
More to come…
The room was full of good smells!
Tim and I had tasted enough by now that we were fairly happy at this point in time...
Tim is here watching after the flow of things...after the barrel was topped off, we filled the archive bottle(s), plus...one for me...one for Tim...one for Roger...and one for the Gazebo!
(We should have some 6-7 week old stuff in time to take to the Gazebo for a head-to-head tasting with the unaged blend)
Drive in the bung and start writing labels...
Mark it, date it and sign it!
Thanks Tim, for all your help...you have a good nose and palate...it shows in the blend!
The bottles on the left side of the picture are the refiled archive bottles, those, in combination with the other bottles grouped around the barrel, are the rums used in the blend.
Starting with the bottle of Gosling's and all others to the right were not used in the blend.
The new Rum barrel sits next to the two previous Bourbon projects in the Saturday morning sun...now we wait.
Please comment, I'd enjoy "hearing" your thoughts...
Doug this looks great, what did the vatting taste like, compared to the Myer's Dark palate which clearly you used as the base?
The taste of the vatting had a good molasses base (Meyers) with strong spice notes (Bacardi), the mixture was sweetened by adding the Ron Zacappa 23yo, a Pyrat blanco was added for a note of youth and the others were fillers for additional bulk, (also to clear space in the liquor cabinet) having similarities without changing direction of the established flavor profile. The mixture was a good, well balanced group of flavors that were not simple, but not over blended to be so complex that the distinctive nature of the rums vatted lost complete identity.
Now, after sampling the mixture some 4 weeks after the introduction to the barrel, I came to the conclusion that the proof needed to be increased. The perfect opportunity availed its' self a few days ago when my son ran a cross a source of Lemon hart 151. (I had thought this stuff was long gone and only 40% versions remained on todayís' shelves)
I opened the barrel and bottled a 750 ml sample for archive and to make a little additional room in the barrel. I then added two bottles of the new Lemmon hart higher proof rum. (BTW the Lemmon hart 151 4/5 quart was probably the best target flavor profile I could ever ask for, but most people do not know what that tastes like. A very close second would be the currently available El Dorado 15yo in most ways) (Another BTW, the old Lemmon hart 151 does not taste like the current Lemmon hart 151)
The new addition will be one month in the barrel when the sample for the Sampler is drawn at the end of this month...this, along with the other two samples will be available to taste in my room or at the Gazebo if that doesn't upset anyone to have a rum to taste at a Bourbon event.
The wood seems to be adding an interesting note to the original vatting. The usual vanilla notes and caramel sweetness seem to be more background, with the wood tannin making more of an impression on the palate. I think the weight of the molasses and the inherent sweetness of rum have a tendency to hide the contribution of vanillinís the barrel is no doubt imparting.
Excellent Doug, sounds most interesting. I've just decanted a mickey of one of my rum vattings for you. I can't bring as much as I thought (even allowing a little extra) because I am limited (I just found out) to one bottle going into the U.S.. I've got to bring Jeff a bottle of Wiser's Family Reserve 43% abv and some beers for that Cummins Black Gold he will give me (Jeff: reminder). So this means I can't bring my special blends for my Manhattan at 6:30 p.m. but instead I will buy bourbons and ryes and make it up right there. That is the best way anyway, I'll buy some good bourbon, some straight rye and Canadian, some vermouth at Toddy's or in Louisville and show people how I do it at home. Also that way people can see what is in 'em. :) But I think I can take (because we are two crossing, I now realise) at least two bottles between us so that means that mickey (that's for you Doug) and I've got too a mickey of one of my all-North American whiskey mixtures, what I would have used (an example) for the Manhattans so people can sample that neat to see what they are like. Maybe two of those if I can. I just don't want to get delayed at the border paying duty going in, it's a long enough trip as is (not as long as yours, Doug, but you are flying in). Your vattings sound absolutely tremendous, I love it.
Just a FYI...
The rum in barrel #3 was put back into glass on May 8th 2006.
Roger and Jake and I had tasted it and the consensus was that it had enough time in the wood.
A small portion, prox 500ml, was left in the barrel to keep it "wet" while in storage.
My plans for the future use of the barrel are not yet decided, but Iím thinking about finishing a SMSW in there. My thought right now is to use Springbank 10yo 100 proof, but cash is in short supply right now and at 90 bucks for a 750ml bottle of the afore mentioned Springbank, and a barrel that holds 2 gallons...well, you can do the math...
One possibility would be to go with one of the cheap, young Signatory Vintage single malts instead of something expensive like Springbank. Maybe the Vintage Campbeltown (not sure if that's a Springer or a Glen Scotia, but most likely the latter).
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