Quote Originally Posted by tanstaafl2 View Post
Looks like somebody has been reading Cap'n Jimbo's blog!

Although the Cap'n does have Mount Gay XO for his main Barbados representative the Seales is quite good as well. And I have been fortunate enough to have an extended dalliance with his first choice for the Cuban style, Havana Club 15 anos, in its native homeland. It is very nice but grossly overpriced in my opinion, at least in its current bottling, at $150 a bottle and not notably better to me than the Matusalem Gran Reserva Solera at probably less than a quarter of the price (I couldn't bring any home anyway but did bring an empty bottle as a souvenir!). I found the HC 7 anos to be perfectly exceptable at a far better QPR anyway.

Without any desire to pick at old wounds any discussion of rums for me should include other rhum agricoles in addition to Barbancourt. And to be fair the Cap'n does mention Clement Cuvee Homere, a traditiona lMartinique AOC rhum agricole, in the rhum agricole category. Barbancort is a fine rum and certainly to the best of my knowledge meets the definition for the rhum agricole style but somehow lacks the more classical grassy-ness of agricoles from Martinique and even Guadeloupe that is present to me even in more aged bottlings. I have to wonder if, like many rums, there is a little something extra added to Barbancourt that is generally not permitted to be added to agricoles from the more tightly controlled regions like the subset of rhum agricole from the Martinique AOC.
I'm definitely a fan of the Cap'n. He's taught me (and many others) a great deal about rum styles and finding affordable rum treasures. For me, it took me a while to appreciate rhum agricole and I plan on trying several others (Monte Cristo 12 for one). I also preferred Flor de Cana 18, which I still like a lot, before trying El Dorado 15. The list above is just what I stock based on a variety of taste profiles and value. There are plenty of other rums that I've tried and this list will continue to grow. I've thoroughly enjoyed Zacapa XO, Brugal 1888, Cruzan Single Barrel, Mount Gay XO, Westerhall Plantation (agricole/Cuban blend), Santa Teresa 1796, Doorly's XO, Scarlet Ibis and Dos Maderos 5+3, but I didn't much care for Zacapa 23, Dos Maderas PX, Wray & Nephew Overproof, Sweet Crude (Louisiana craft rum) or Pussers Blue Label. If you know the Cap'n, then you'll see several differences of opinion here.

There's a lot of variation in rum, just like there is with bourbon and malt whisk(e)y. This is what makes it really fun for me. Learning more about these styles and being able to identify them is extremely helpful in discovering new finds/values as well as being able to describe them to others for their benefit. The Cap'n has furthered this knowledge, which he attributes to Dave Broom, and he's also a stickler for truth-in-labeling, which I'm also a proponent of. He's in good company with people like Chip Tate of Balcones fame, which reminds me that I can't wait to taste his rum.