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Heading to Jamaica in a couple of months for some r&r. Never been but guessing 1) I won't find any bourbon beyond Jim and Jack and 2) I will find rum out the wazoo. So.....assuming I am right what are the consensus recs for rums that a bourbon guy would enjoy sipping?

Look for something from Sangster's since it's not available here. The distillery is at World's End in the Blue Mountains.

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And a spoonful of sugar!

Now that's an idea for a new thread, In-Law whisky.

I do look forward to finding this years 10 yr Real McCoy LE though, interested to see the impact of the Virgin Oak Casks.  Last years LE was pretty great.

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Thanks to the kind assistance of a fellow SBer I was able to acquire the El Dorado "Connoisseur" range of single barrel, single still rums!

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This includes the EHP (Enmore Estate), a unique continuous wooden Coffey still; the PM (Port Mourant) wooden double pot still, the only one of its kind left in the world, and the ICBU (Uitvlugt Estate) using the original continuous four column French Savalle Still.

http://www.theeldoradorum.com/connoisseur-range

It has been posted here before but here is more about the stills:

http://www.demeraradistillers.com/our-heritage/the-stills

The wording on the website is a bit curious in places but I hope these are in fact "single still" rums as the website describes. If they are also single barrel so much the better. One big downside is that each has been watered down to 80 proof. But I knew that going in. Barrel proof, or at least higher proof, would be so much better.

I look forward to spending some time with each of these in the very near future!

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Bruce that is extremely interesting and your taste notes will be gratefully received here be assured.

Gary

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Heading to Jamaica in a couple of months for some r&r. Never been but guessing 1) I won't find any bourbon beyond Jim and Jack and 2) I will find rum out the wazoo. So.....assuming I am right what are the consensus recs for rums that a bourbon guy would enjoy sipping?

Sangsters is everywhere, as is Wray & Nephew and Appleton. Littlefield is smaller but just as tasty. Be sure to give rum cream a try. Goes great in coffee to start the day but works well over ice while lounging in a hammock on the beach. Yea mon!

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Went to a bar last night- Three Dots and a Dash. Focus is on classic tiki drinks. They've got an impressive drinks list, with proper TV and Donn recipes as well as nifty custom creations. I had a Jet Pilot and a Tropic of Thistle. The Tropic of Thistle was one of their drinks, and caught my eye because it had Arrack, Cynar, amaro Abano, and other curious ingredients. To top it all off, they've got a selection of over two hundred rums. It's a bit pricey, being a Chicago cocktail bar, but I plan on spending some time there to conduct further research.

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Went to a bar last night- Three Dots and a Dash. Focus is on classic tiki drinks. They've got an impressive drinks list, with proper TV and Donn recipes as well as nifty custom creations. I had a Jet Pilot and a Tropic of Thistle. The Tropic of Thistle was one of their drinks, and caught my eye because it had Arrack, Cynar, amaro Abano, and other curious ingredients. To top it all off, they've got a selection of over two hundred rums. It's a bit pricey, being a Chicago cocktail bar, but I plan on spending some time there to conduct further research.
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As a result of the recent review from SKU and because I liked the Pineau des Charentes Vieux he reviewed a while back so well I sought out a couple of bottles of the Ron Navazos Palazzi even though they were a bit spendy. Very glad I did. In fact, I kinda wish I had bought more now! Needed a few minutes in the glass to "breath" but once it opened up it was superb. Wonderful sweet fruit notes from the sherry but not overwhelming in any way. As SKU noted the rum shows up towards the back of the palate although it is definitely not the predominant player here. Densely oily mouthfeel with a lovely finish that really lingers.

In filling up the box I also picked up a cheap rum from Madagascar just because. Haven't tried it yet and don't have high expectations although you never know. Just liked the novelty of having a rum from Madagascar. Didn't get any when I traveled there a few years ago so kind of a belated memento.

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Stupid question, is that different from regular zaya? I really enjoy the regular stuff...
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I believe Mike is drawing a distinction from the Guatemalan made Zaya before Diageo moved to using a blend of Trinidad rums made by Angostura.

Edited by squire
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When Diageo got their hands on Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala which was in Guatemala (obviously) and made Zaya, Ron Zacapa and Botran rums they made a number of changes to "increase production and efficiency". What that seems to have meant was make more at a lower cost and quality and charge more for it.

Zacapa went from a 23yo rum to a 23 year "solera" rum meaning that most of it was really made from much younger rums and only a little of the actual 23yo rum made it to the new bottles. To make room for more Zacapa the production for Zaya was completely eliminated from Guatemala and moved to Trinidad.

Many feel the original Guatemalan Zaya was a superior product but it is now a dusty. At the very least it is certainly different from what it once was. Would almost have to be given it is made and aged in a completely different location.

Many feel Zacapa suffered as well from the change from a full 23 yo rum to a solera style rum and seek out the original 23yo which is also a dusty now.

Very cool, thanks for the detailed post and all the info! I guess I'm kinda glad I enjoy the current Zaya as it is, I find it a very tasty and reasonably priced rum. That being said, I will be on the lookout for a bottle or a sample of the original as it's always fun to try the older offerings.

Thanks!

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michaelturtle1

Many feel the original Guatemalan Zaya was a superior product but it is now a dusty. At the very least it is certainly different from what it once was. Would almost have to be given it is made and aged in a completely different location.

Many feel Zacapa suffered as well from the change from a full 23 yo rum to a solera style rum and seek out the original 23yo which is also a dusty now.

Thanks for the info!! I was standing in the store racking my brain as I knew the bottle was different but had my iphone locked in a metal box in my car so I just gambled that it was the older bottle.. The store also had a 23 yr zacapa so I may have to stop by and see if it is the solera version or the true 23 yr. I do like a pour of Zaya neat on occasion so it will be a real treat to try the dusty bottle

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Rums are almost always blends of different ages and from different sources. Some of the Rum used to blend Zaya used to come from excess aged Zacapa stocks. Zacapa was winning awards and was acclaimed by Rum geeks but it was not widely known, distributed or promoted.

When Diagio bought Zacapa they increased production and distribution. To support their push they stopped sales of bulk stock to other labels and Zaya had to scramble to come up with stock to continue production. Like Transtfaal noted they also began using much younger juice in the blend that went into the Zacapa bottles.

Remember that with Bourbon an age statement denotes the youngest whiskey in the bottle while in the Rum world an age statement only means that there is some juice that age in the bottle. And it could be a very very small amount. Even with that loose definition of an age statement Diagio had to change the designation from 23 years to 23 solara on Zacapa. In this case 23 solara is a completely meaningless designation that is an attempt to mislead.

The current Zaya (Trinidad) is sweeter and a little less complex than the previous version (Guatemala). The older version is dryer as you would expect from a product with older Rum dominant in the blend. The new version has a much better nose and is delicious, but it is different. It's blended from different Rums.

The difference between the Zacapa 23 anos (old version) and the 23 solara (new version) follows the same pattern except that the old version is superior in every regard. Sometimes subtly so but still a more desirable pour. In a blind test I was part of with 6 people we tasted three Zacapa Rums, 23 anos. 23 solara and the current XO. The old 23 anos was picked as best by every participant. Of course YMMV.

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A couple of new rums landed today. I stumbled across the Renegade series on a long since forgotten blog post and have been curious about them for awhile. They tend to be pricey and get mixed reviews becasue they often aren't quite what people are expecting. But I can't seem to resist trying experiments like these and so recently took the plunge! Hopefully these rums were shipped to Scotland before the local producer could do much damage to it and allowed it to retain some of its true flavor. Reportedly they are unchill filtered. It is a bit unclear to me how long they spent in the Caribbean and how long they spent in Scotland as well as how long they spent in the final finishing wine cask. Some are described as very whisky-ish in nature which is most definitely a good thing!

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First of these two is a Grenada rum from Westerhall aged 11 years and then finished in Haut Brion casks at Brichladdich. I first had Westerhall rum probably over a decade ago but the standard tourist bottling is a light rum probably imported from Trinidad and aged but not made on Grenada. This Renegade rum claims to be from the old pot stills at the distillery in Grenada and so hopefully has a bit more character. One reviewer has described it as being a bit like a dry rye. Sounds fun!

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The second is a 16yo rum from Angostura in Trinidad which makes their own brands as well as Zaya (or at least some of it?) among others. This had a decent amount of age on it and hopefully had not been messed with prior to being acquired by Renegade (Murray McDavid) and shipped off to Islay where it was finished for a period of time (a few months perhaps?) in Chateau Lafite cask.

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Probably won't open these up until I can gather at least a couple of like minded friends for a little tasting and with the holiday this week that may mean next week sometime. if I can resist that long!

If anybody knows of a decent link for more information about these specific rums or this series in general I would welcome the info!

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We can add this to the table when we do the next "like minded friends" thing. I hated this one when it was first opened but a few years in a half empty bottle seem to have been good for it. More Rummy now and a lot less Scotchy. Some of the Madeira shows now and didn't earlier. Still isn't worth near what I paid for it.

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My buddy snagged a bottle of Balcones Special Reserve Texas Rum today… it was our first time to see this one. Maybe Winston can tell us the difference between this one and the plain old Texas Rum.

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We can add this to the table when we do the next "like minded friends" thing. I hated this one when it was first opened but a few years in a half empty bottle seem to have been good for it. More Rummy now and a lot less Scotchy. Some of the Madeira shows now and didn't earlier. Still isn't worth near what I paid for it.

Sounds interesting! I will open mine soon and see if they are also heavy on the scotch influence. A little air time for these might be warranted as well. I doubt they are going to be worth the cost either but it won't be the first bottle I paid a lot for just to be able to try something a bit experimental.

Some of the Woodford Masters Collection and the BTEC bottles come immediately to mind!

I will look forward to comparing these to your 1990 Guyana.

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Interesting article on Drink Spirits today about Bacardi's new "premium craft" rums.

Facundo Bacardi Rum

80 proof rum from $45 to $250? A filtered rum for $45 when excellent options like Flor de Cana and El Dorado are out there for less than half? A blended rum "up to 23 years old" for $90? Hmm, sounds like Zacapa for only twice the already high price of its fellow industry Goliath, Diageo.

Is it wrong of me to be rather circumspect about these rums without having tried them?

Nah, it's Bacardi. This rum Goliath is going to have to earn my trust and as much as I spend on unusual bottles this time I don't feel particularly compelled to give them my money unless I try it first. Preferably on Bacardi's dime!

Edited by tanstaafl2
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Recently picked up a bottle of Ron Betran Anejo Reserva and thought it was a good value on sale for $20. Not overly sweet, just the right thickness, with nice age.

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Recently picked up a bottle of Ron Betran Anejo Reserva and thought it was a good value on sale for $20. Not overly sweet, just the right thickness, with nice age.

Ron Botran perhaps? Botran is the family that owns Industrias Licoreras de Guatemala which makes both the Botran line and Zacapa. I never had the pre Diageo Botran before Diageo became their partner and pushed for increased production but it seemed to have its fans. The current bottle of the Reserva is decent and interesting for being relatively dry as compared to the sweetness of Zacapa. Not sure whether Diageo has as much connection with the Botran line as they do Zacapa but given how the push to increase sales of Zacapa is straininig production capacity it seems reasonable to think it might strain the quality of Botran even if there is not a deal with Diageo for this brand.

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Came across a Plantation Grenada 1998 today. The only ones I usually see are the Barbados 5yr and the Jamaica. Decided to bring it home without knowing much about it, but figured I might not see it again and at worst I'll use it for cocktails.

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