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Roadsigns along the information highway I suppose. People who never heard of these brands can read reviews and search them out. Dollars and demand drive it all.

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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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Rum is a bit tough to judge by as it has always been kind of a free for all.

An exception in the rum world in recent years has been rhum agricole which has been a bit more defined than most styles of rum. The AOC for Martinique (and it only applies to rhum from Martinique that meets the requirements) is a bit more recent as it first appeared in the 90's but it is at least a little bit like the rules for bourbon in that it is supposed to meet certain criteria including little or no additives like sugar or coloring.

Other than that I know of no real effective rules that govern rum production.

Zacapa is an interesting example. It once was a true 23yo rum. But around the same time Diageo began distributing Zacapa worldwide, about 2008 I think, the true 23yo went away and you could start finding it everywhere. A few years later Diageo bought a controlling interest in Zacapa and now it is just another part of their portfolio.

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I just bought (and am currently drinking) the new rum from Lost Spirits. One of the things that sold me on it is the statement on the back label, declaring that it contains no coloring additives, and no flavoring additives. It's hard to jump from straight bourbon, where I can safely assume there are no additives, to rum, where additives seem to be common.

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I just bought (and am currently drinking) the new rum from Lost Spirits. One of the things that sold me on it is the statement on the back label, declaring that it contains no coloring additives, and no flavoring additives. It's hard to jump from straight bourbon, where I can safely assume there are no additives, to rum, where additives seem to be common.

So how is it? Takes the trials of the damned to get one here where K&L doesn't ship so curious if it is worth the effort!

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How truthful their website is, is of course up to debate. However, they do have a pretty good reputation in the rum world, and their solera rums are some of my favorites. Matusalem labels their bottles of solera rum with the "average" age of the rum in the bottle, and so you theoretically have much older rum in the blend than is advertised. This just seems to be a more truthful and honest approach than most of the other rum producers who market solera-aged rums.

Matusalem does indeed have a good reputation, unfortunately it is undeserved. They are a very long way from truthful and forthcoming about their product. When the family left Cuba some of the relatives went to Miami and some to the Dominican Rep. The court battle between these two factions of the family contains a sworn statement detailing the recipe used for their Rum and it contains Macerated Prunes and Vanilla Beans. In short they are as guilty as any other manufacturer of using flavoring additives and then denying that they do.

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So how is it? Takes the trials of the damned to get one here where K&L doesn't ship so curious if it is worth the effort!

I think it's very good. It's a little young tasting, but the flavor is really good and unusual. I wasn't sure about it after my first taste, but I've come to crave the unusual flavor it presents. I alo love that its 136 proof. I think it's worth trying to get a bottle.

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A friend brought back from St. Lucia Chairman's Reserve The Forgotten Casks, a blend of pot still and column still rums between 5 and 11 years old. Really top stuff, smooth as glass but redolent of rich rum flavours especially the orange oil/petrol classic notes of the true pot still rum. I couldn't do a better blend myself. Better than most brandies IMO.

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This is the best I've had from Balcones IMO - and no it's not like other rums I've had. I really actually enjoy it as it's got some nice complexity and fruitiness. Too bad they're so difficult to come by.

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Is the Cask Reserve an annual release then? I was in Austin last year and didn't even see any in bars there; just the standard release.

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Opinions on the Appleton 21 year. I've only had the 12 and like it but is the 21 worth the premium price? Subjective question I know.

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Opinions on the Appleton 21 year. I've only had the 12 and like it but is the 21 worth the premium price? Subjective question I know.
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WhiskyToWhiskey
I have tried it but don't own a bottle. It was quite good but not distinctive enough to me to warrant spending $100+ on it. The Appleton 12yo is a very good rum and works well as a mixer too at around $30. I would see if I could find a way to try it first before buying.

I prefered to spend the money instead on the El Dorado 21 which was around $75-80 back when I got it a year or two ago. I think it may be a bit more now but haven't checked recently.

I really enjoy the Appleton Master Blenders Legacy which is $90 here. El Dorado 21yr is the best rum I have had to date. I agree the price of the 12yr at 30-$35 is a great buy.

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WhiskyToWhiskey

Picked up El Dorado 8yr recently and think it's pretty good. A nice sipper and a bargain at the pricepoint around here ($30).

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Picked up El Dorado 8yr recently and think it's pretty good. A nice sipper and a bargain at the pricepoint around here ($30).
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I don't know the first thing about rum, having never dabbled in the spirit at all over the years. Generally speaking, I'm not much of a mixed drink person which tends to be how all my rum-drinking friends consume their rum, so it never seemed a natural fit. But a Scottish relative recently brought me a bottle of Pusser's Rum, telling me "If it's good enough for the Royal Navy, it's good enough for you." And I'll be damned but I really enjoyed sipping it neat from a Glencairn. I don't know where Pusser's falls in the realm of decent rums but I may have to investigate this spirit further.

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I don't know the first thing about rum, having never dabbled in the spirit at all over the years. Generally speaking, I'm not much of a mixed drink person which tends to be how all my rum-drinking friends consume their rum, so it never seemed a natural fit. But a Scottish relative recently brought me a bottle of Pusser's Rum, telling me "If it's good enough for the Royal Navy, it's good enough for you." And I'll be damned but I really enjoyed sipping it neat from a Glencairn. I don't know where Pusser's falls in the realm of decent rums but I may have to investigate this spirit further.

As a whiskey drinker you owe it to yourself to try some of the rhum agricoles, especially those with a bit of age on them. Tend to be a bit pricey but some are quite good. I like some of the bottles Clement is doing (especially the single barrel line but it is not typically available in the US) but oddly don't see any of them on Binny's. The Clement Grand Reserve 6 and 10yo are available in other places.

The Neisson Rhum Agricole Reserve Speciale at Binny's is a bit pricey but might be a good option at up to 10 years of age.

And the Haiti based Barbancourt, especially the 5 star, is usually available and reasonably priced at around $30.

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Not much of a rum guy myself but when I do Pusser's or the other Navy Strengths (114 proof) will do fine.

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As a whiskey drinker you owe it to yourself to try some of the rhum agricoles, especially those with a bit of age on them. Tend to be a bit pricey but some are quite good. I like some of the bottles Clement is doing (especially the single barrel line but it is not typically available in the US) but oddly don't see any of them on Binny's. The Clement Grand Reserve 6 and 10yo are available in other places.

The Neisson Rhum Agricole Reserve Speciale at Binny's is a bit pricey but might be a good option at up to 10 years of age.

And the Haiti based Barbancourt, especially the 5 star, is usually available and reasonably priced at around $30.

Thanks for the info. As a complete and total rum newbie (and one who needs to save his shekels for bourbon and scotch), I am interested in products that would be considered "traditional," if there is a thing. I think that is why the Pusser's had great appeal, as the Royal Navy has been dispensing it to sailors for hundreds of years. Whenever I ask some boob at the liquor store what I should buy, I am always directed to some sort of flavored rum which makes me think the clerk would also be the type to recommend Red Stag or some other vile spirit. I will definitely look into your recommendations to see if they are available in the Chicago area.
Not much of a rum guy myself but when I do Pusser's or the other Navy Strengths (114 proof) will do fine.
I haven't seen that anywhere (or any Pusser's for that matter) but my Scottish uncle, who drinks the stuff by the stein, suggested finding the 15 year old version.
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Since you asked Bunk here are some thoughts:

During the Pax Britannica when the Brittish Royal Navy ruled the waves the person aboard a Man-O-War in charge of ship's stores was called the Pusser. Among other things he measured out the daily grog ration using Naval Rum which by Admiralty Order was 100 proof under the old measuring gauge (114 proof using modern standards) which was supplied by independent military contractors. This was the origin of the name Pusser and what we now refer to as Navy Strength rum.

Using the link to Sals I see he has quite a lot of rum in stock, most of which are common mixers. If you want something to drink neat I can recommend the following which are on their list:

Appleton Estate Reserve

Appleton 12 year old

Bacardi 8 year old

Barbancourt 15 year old

Flora de Cana 12 year old

Matusalem Classico

Mount Gay XO

Ron Botran 1893

If you ask for a high end rum the employees might try to steer you toward Pyrat Rum XO or Ron Anejo Pampero Aniversaro, which are high end (and high profit for the stores) but, like Blantons, you are paying a premium for packaging/image and, most importantly, I believe they contain a trace of additional sweetners as well as flavor enhancers like macerated Curaco orange peel, which are legal in their country of origin and do not have to be disclosed on the label.

Stay clear of Ron Zacapa 23 unless the label clearly states all the rum in the bottle is at least that old. The ones labeled Solera mean a lot of 6 year old rum with some 23 tossed in. In fact be leary of any rum claiming to be over aged because most of the rum producing countries allow the year on the bottle to be the the oldest rum in the mix when in fact it may only be a small part of the blend.

The 10 Cane is a bit of a trick pony in that it is made only from fresh sugar cane juice as opposed to molasses and is aged for about a year. It is a premium and unique in the Agricole style, certainly worth trying but I've seen it priced between $20 - $40 in the same city.

I would pass on Pussers unless it is the 114 proof, it really is not the original stuff, just shares the Pusser name like the current outfit that has appropriated the Michter's name.

I've tried all the above, served them to guests, and would choose an El Dorado 12 over any of them.

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Since you asked Bunk here are some thoughts:

During the Pax Britannica when the Brittish Royal Navy ruled the waves the person aboard a Man-O-War in charge of ship's stores was called the Pusser. Among other things he measured out the daily grog ration using Naval Rum which by Admiralty Order was 100 proof under the old measuring gauge (114 proof using modern standards) which was supplied by independent military contractors. This was the origin of the name Pusser and what we now refer to as Navy Strength rum.

Using the link to Sals I see he has quite a lot of rum in stock, most of which are common mixers. If you want something to drink neat I can recommend the following which are on their list:

Appleton Estate Reserve

Appleton 12 year old

Bacardi 8 year old

Barbancourt 15 year old

Flora de Cana 12 year old

Matusalem Classico

Mount Gay XO

Ron Botran 1893

If you ask for a high end rum the employees might try to steer you toward Pyrat Rum XO or Ron Anejo Pampero Aniversaro, which are high end (and high profit for the stores) but, like Blantons, you are paying a premium for packaging/image and, most importantly, I believe they contain a trace of additional sweetners as well as flavor enhancers like macerated Curaco orange peel, which are legal in their country of origin and do not have to be disclosed on the label.

Stay clear of Ron Zacapa 23 unless the label clearly states all the rum in the bottle is at least that old. The ones labeled Solera mean a lot of 6 year old rum with some 23 tossed in. In fact be leary of any rum claiming to be over aged because most of the rum producing countries allow the year on the bottle to be the the oldest rum in the mix when in fact it may only be a small part of the blend.

The 10 Cane is a bit of a trick pony in that it is made only from fresh sugar cane juice as opposed to molasses and is aged for about a year. It is a premium and unique in the Agricole style, certainly worth trying but I've seen it priced between $20 - $40 in the same city.

I would pass on Pussers unless it is the 114 proof, it really is not the original stuff, just shares the Pusser name like the current outfit that has appropriated the Michter's name.

I've tried all the above, served them to guests, and would choose an El Dorado 12 over any of them.

Wow. That's a load of great information. I just walked out the door with a bottle of Appleton 12 which set me back $35 plus tax. (It was $5 or $6 more than the Estate Reserve, so I chose the bit of extra age.) I passed on the Pusser's, as you suggested, but almost pulled the trigger on the Matusalem Gran Reserva (15 year old?) when I discovered that I could get it much cheaper elsewhere. How does that compare to the Classico? I was disappointed that the Barbancourt 15 was out of stock (only had the 8 year old). No El Dorado at all on the shelf which seems to be a popular favorite here (and under $30 to boot!). I'll definitely be looking for that one. So, what's the skinny on the Bacardi 8? That looked decent enough and very affordable too at $22, which came highly recommended by the senior sales clerk who seemed to know his stuff. He said it was hard to beat for the price and worthwhile for someone just getting in to drinking rums neat. At the end of the day I would like to get four or five bottles that are ideally priced under $40 that most folks would consider high quality and excellent value. Thanks!
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