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Currently enjoying a pour of Foursquare spiced rum which I picked up on the weekend. It's more subtly spiced than something like Captain Morgan and balanced more towards clove and nutmeg rather than massive vanilla. It's actually a pleasant enough sipper, which I was not expecting. I wouldn't be surprised if there are rums out there which are actually more heavily spiced and doctored despite not making mention of that fact anywhere; Diplomatico Reserva is one that I've had (and disliked) before which springs to mind.

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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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Okay, gents. My mail-order shipment of rum arrived on Thursday and I think I've got a nice little selection going: Appleton Estate 12, Bacardi 8, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, Mount Gay XO, El Dorado 12, El Dorado 15, Ron Matusalem Gran Reserva 15, Flor De Cana 12, Barbancourt 5 Star, Barbancourt 15 and Ron Zacapa Centenario 15. My gateway was the Appleton 12 which I picked up locally and really enjoy--well rounded stuff that's not too sweet and hits all the bases nicely. Next up was the Bacardi 8 which surpassed my expectations, as Squire and the knowledgeable store clerk said it would. At $19 it's hard to beat and will no doubt make a nice mixer as well when the weather warms up. The next night I opened the Mount Gay XO which I found to be very solid, perhaps a tad behind the Appleton to my tastes but definitely a bottle that I'm happy to have bought. In fact, when I returned for a second snifter the following night I was even more impressed with it, so I'm feeling pretty good batting 3 for 3. Last night I was really excited to open the Barbancourt 5 Star and couldn't believe the excellent nose on it when I poured it into a Glencairn. Even more impressive was the long peppery finish--by far the longest that I've sampled up to this point. But there was something odd lurking deep within the flavor profile that I couldn't quite put my finger on--an "off" note that I found minorly unsettling, even after a few additional sips. I chalked it up to one of "those nights" when nothing tastes quite right. (You know the ones, when even your favorites taste off for some reason and you move on to something else that hits the spot a little better.) Later in the evening I happened upon a rum review site and a discussion about Barbancourt 5 Star in which one contributor, who loves the stuff and has been drinking B5S for years, had a similar experience, not once but twice with two separate bottles that he purchased post-earthquake. He apparently detected a funky off flavor that he likened to "damp deck shoes that have been worn for years without socks." Like the reviewer, I wondered perhaps if I had scored a sub-par bottle, but I have nothing to compare it to so I'm unable to really judge it properly. Thoughts anyone?

Edited by unclebunk
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Last night I was really excited to open the Barbancourt 5 Star and couldn't believe the excellent nose on it when I poured it into a Glencairn. Even more impressive was the long peppery finish--by far the longest that I've sampled up to this point. But there was something odd lurking deep within the flavor profile that I couldn't quite put my finger on--an "off" note that I found minorly unsettling, even after a few additional sips. I chalked it up to one of "those nights" when nothing tastes quite right. (You know the ones, when even your favorites taste off for some reason and you move on to something else that hits the spot a little better.) Later in the evening I happened upon a rum review site and a discussion about Barbancourt 5 Star in which one contributor, who loves the stuff and has been drinking B5S for years, had a similar experience, not once but twice with two separate bottles that he purchased post-earthquake. He apparently detected a funky off flavor that he likened to "damp deck shoes that have been worn for years without socks." Like the reviewer, I wondered perhaps if I had scored a sub-par bottle, but I have nothing to compare it to so I'm unable to really judge it properly. Thoughts anyone?

Quite the haul!

Entirely possible with the Barbancourt. Haiti was hit hard by the earthquake and maybe the warehouses were damaged and it affected the barrel aging. Remember that as an 8yo the rum itself was distilled and barreled long before the earthquake. But maybe they lost some barrels and they added rum they might not otherwise have used to make up the deficit. Who knows with Haiti. Under the best of times the country is a complete disaster!

Also as an agricole it might tend to have a more vegetal taste in general and this batch just had more of it although it generally isn't as prominent as it is in younger Martinique agricoles. The 5 star is good for mixing as well so don't give up on it with one bottle. Try again or try some at a local bar if they have it before you decide.

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Quite the haul!

Entirely possible with the Barbancourt. Haiti was hit hard by the earthquake and maybe the warehouses were damaged and it affected the barrel aging. Remember that as an 8yo the rum itself was distilled and barreled long before the earthquake. But maybe they lost some barrels and they added rum they might not otherwise have used to make up the deficit. Who knows with Haiti. Under the best of times the country is a complete disaster!

Also as an agricole it might tend to have a more vegetal taste in general and this batch just had more of it although it generally isn't as prominent as it is in younger Martinique agricoles. The 5 star is good for mixing as well so don't give up on it with one bottle. Try again or try some at a local bar if they have it before you decide.

I enjoyed those first few pours of Appleton 12 so much that I figured I'd jump in with both feet, so I went with a range of things that you guys recommended and one or two others that I read about elsewhere which should hold me for quite a while, though I still want to find a Clement product. I haven't written off the Barbancourt 5 Star by any means but thought something was amiss when my first impression didn't match up well with the various tasting notes I had seen on-line. The off note I was picking up didn't really come across as vegetal to me, but had more of a metallic (iron?) quality to it, for lack of a better term, with a subtle dank bitterness that was mildly off-putting. But I'll revisit the bottle over the next few days to see if it tastes differently to me because my taste buds may simply have been out of whack that night which happens every so often. As you suggested, it may be worth seeking out another sample at a bar to see if my bottle tastes the same. Being a fan of a wide range of tequilas, I've found that I actually like some brands that are considered quite grassy/vegetal in character, so I don't think that's the culprit in this case. We shall see! Edited by unclebunk
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That's a really great selection of Rums Uncle. Plenty to explore in that group for sure, your in for some delightful evenings sampling those. Anxious to hear more of your impressions as you work your way through them.

Surprised that Zacapa 15 is still available, I thought it had been discontinued a few years ago. A very different pour than the Zacapa 23 solara if I recall correctly.

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That's a really great selection of Rums Uncle. Plenty to explore in that group for sure, your in for some delightful evenings sampling those. Anxious to hear more of your impressions as you work your way through them.

Surprised that Zacapa 15 is still available, I thought it had been discontinued a few years ago. A very different pour than the Zacapa 23 solara if I recall correctly.

My mistake on the Zacapa. It is, in fact, the 23 and not the 15 that I bought. I'm actually quite excited by my little haul, since the world of rum is all completely new to me. Tempted as I am though to race through my little collection to see how the various bottles differ, I plan to pace myself so that I can get to know each one before moving on to the next one. As I mentioned earlier, I was really knocked out by the Appleton 12 and Mount Gay XO (and the Bacardi 8 too for that matter), so I seem to be taking to the waters pretty easily and hope to investigate further over time. But for now, I've got a lot to look forward to with the El Dorados, Barbancourts, Zacapa, Diplomatico, Matusalem 15 and Flor De Cana. If these are anywhere near as good or better than what I've already sampled, I am indeed going to have some delightful evenings this spring and summer. Thanks again to you, Tanstaafl2 and Squire for pointing me in the right direction with such excellent recommendations. Now all I need is some warm weather, a clear starry night and some reggae out on the deck and I'll be all set!
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Don't forget the dancing girls in the coconut outfits, may as well go all out.
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Thoughts anyone on Ron Abuelo 7 and Ron Abuelo 12? They both seem quite affordable at roughly $24 and $32, respectively. Better to spend the extra dough on the 12 or are they sufficiently different from one another to consider both?

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E and T, what do y'all think about the nose of the ED15? I picked up a bottle a few weeks ago, and have visited it several times, since. But, I have to admit that I am put off by the nose. Something funky. Sipping it, there is none of that, which is disagreeable to me. It's delightful, actually. Creamy sweet, touch of orange, and with a drying and spectacularly long finish. But, there is something on the nose that doesn't hit me right. I have a bottle of Plantation Rum Grande Reserve that gave me the same funk. What are your nosing thoughts on this?
What you might be getting on the nose is a whiff of something the Cognac guys call rancio. Kind of a musty funk that hints at soggy old wood. As odd as it sounds if it's a balanced part of the nose and flavors it can work. Might be an acquired appreciation however.
Because Demerara Rum can be so cloyingly sweet I think the "oldness" and "soggy woodness" is used by some manufacturers as a kind of counterpoint both on the nose and in the flavor basket in order to move it away from the pancake syrup it can be. I have grown to like it very much. When it's present I anticipate a more complex tasting experience. It also speaks of time in the barrel which is so often absent from Rum.
I've got hours of reports to get done by tomorrow but here I am trying little pours of the ED 15 to check the funk out more :grin:. Now in the glass I'm not getting much of any rancio or even mustiness...but hold on...just shook, popped the cork and immediately took a big whiff from the bottle and damn!!!! Yep just a hint...but it's there. Rancio, mustiness or even more what I'd describe as that most definite of smells, the barnyard, and not hay...some might even call it sh*t...just like in some fantastic Rhone and Burgundy wines I've had. I find this does blow off in the glass and then there is also grapey/cognac/sherry flavors mixed in with the traditional rum sugars making this ED 15 a really unique, delicious and more complex rum...
Having finally gotten around to reading this thread from the beginning (something I guess I should have done at the outset in order to avoid asking a series of questions that have already been covered), I see that the issue of "funk" has been discussed at length and now I'm beginning to think that the "off" aroma/flavor I was picking up in the Barbancourt 5 Star may in fact be the "rancio" you guys referred to up thread. I'll have to adjust my pointy little hat and re-frame my thinking about this component, so that I can view it as a positive and deliberate attribute instead of an undesirable one.
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Thoughts anyone on Ron Abuelo 7 and Ron Abuelo 12? They both seem quite affordable at roughly $24 and $32, respectively. Better to spend the extra dough on the 12 or are they sufficiently different from one another to consider both?

Haven't tried the 7 but the 12 is a very easy drinking Rum that's not a terribly complex or rich pour that works OK neat or as a mixer. It's flavor has similarities to the Zafra 21 but if memory serves the Zafra is richer and more flavorful.

The 12 is another Rum that would benefit from a little more proof if sipping is the primary goal. It just comes across a little watery with a diluted finish.

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I really need to stop reading miscellaneous threads on this forum. Read through this one and honestly, my rum experience is from what I use for jello shots. Sampled some at a local store and ended up taking home a bottle of El Dorado 8 and Angostura 7. As the weather gets warmer, I can easily see these becoming summer night regulars. Hard to describe right now (beyond the obvious molasses). First glass I wasn't totally sure, but just kept liking them more and more. The El Dorado is easier to drink right now, but I'm really intrigued by the Angostura.

My wife's gonna glare when she sees these bottles - I already feel the edge of a glare with the bourbons and now something new? Oh well ...

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I really need to stop reading miscellaneous threads on this forum. Read through this one and honestly, my rum experience is from what I use for jello shots. Sampled some at a local store and ended up taking home a bottle of El Dorado 8 and Angostura 7. As the weather gets warmer, I can easily see these becoming summer night regulars. Hard to describe right now (beyond the obvious molasses). First glass I wasn't totally sure, but just kept liking them more and more. The El Dorado is easier to drink right now, but I'm really intrigued by the Angostura.

My wife's gonna glare when she sees these bottles - I already feel the edge of a glare with the bourbons and now something new? Oh well ...

I was eyeing the Angostura 7 too today. How do you like it?
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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally sampled the Ron Abuela 7 last night. Not terribly complex but definitely a very tasty rum at an affordable price. The Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve 5 Yr. Old Rum we cracked open a few days ago was a BIG hit with everyone who tried it. A perfect dessert drink at a ridiculously low price, to be sure. I can't wait to open the Plantation XO 20th Anniversary bottle I picked up too. Should be great!

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Finally sampled the Ron Abuela 7 last night. Not terribly complex but definitely a very tasty rum at an affordable price. The Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve 5 Yr. Old Rum we cracked open a few days ago was a BIG hit with everyone who tried it. A perfect dessert drink at a ridiculously low price, to be sure. I can't wait to open the Plantation XO 20th Anniversary bottle I picked up too. Should be great!

I think most, if not all, of the Plantations are cognac barrel finished. It is their signature style. But they also tend to have a fair amount of extra sugar added so they tend to be on the sweet side. I like rum, I like cognac cask finishes and I like sugar so not really a problem for me!

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I think most, if not all, of the Plantations are cognac barrel finished. It is their signature style. But they also tend to have a fair amount of extra sugar added so they tend to be on the sweet side. I like rum, I like cognac cask finishes and I like sugar so not really a problem for me!

I actually wouldn't have thought that I would like any spirit that is quite so sweet, yet my friends and I took to it right away. There is an almost butterscotch quality to it that we all really dug and even my wife liked it, though she turned it into a hot buttered rum drink with premium French vanilla ice cream that was awesome.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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bad_scientist

I bought an A.D. Rattray bottled 15 year old Caroni rum yesterday. This guy tastes like an olive smoothie. I'm serious, it's like green olive puree mixed in olive oil. Weeeeird.

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Picked up an El Dorado 12 yr for $26. There was an El Dorado Port Mourant Single Barrel next to it for $45, so an impulse buy to compare and maybe mix/mingle ...

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Picked up an El Dorado 12 yr for $26. There was an El Dorado Port Mourant Single Barrel next to it for $45, so an impulse buy to compare and maybe mix/mingle ...

That's a great buy for the single barrel. I've only seen those once (there are three) and they were about $80. Let us know how it tastes.

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That's a great buy for the single barrel. I've only seen those once (there are three) and they were about $80. Let us know how it tastes.
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That's a great buy for the single barrel. I've only seen those once (there are three) and they were about $80. Let us know how it tastes.

They seem to be all over the map. I have seen them under $50 but more often closer to the $75-80 range. Party Source has the ICBU currently for $75.99 but the PM and EHP are a lot more for some reason at a pretty pricey $87.99. Can't recall if they were available for tasting in the new "liquor library" where you try different bottles by the drink. I tried the new Duncan Taylor rums this weekend and ended up with the 1991 Trinidad and the 1986 Barbados bottles.

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That's a great buy for the single barrel. I've only seen those once (there are three) and they were about $80. Let us know how it tastes.

Just opened it and poured a small sample - since these are a bit expensive I wanted to get a quick note out - but there seems to be a very prominent acetone/nail polish remover component in the nose, palate and finish. I'm going to give it some air time, but ... proceed with caution! Try-before-buy, even if you find at such a "good" price as I did. The palate is surprisingly light bodied given the wooden pot still, but I suppose that is more about my expectations since I was so curious as to what such a pot would be like. It is watered to 80 proof (thankfully, given this acetone note).

This is a single barrel product, so perhaps the store where I purchased it drastically discounted to move it out based on other negative feedback from customers. To that end, I didn't get the woody/bitter finish that I've seen in other online reviews, so I don't want to over-rotate especially since this has only been in the glass for 30 minutes or so after opening it.

I've read that this is a primary component in the El Dorado 15 which I haven't tried, but I love the El Dorado 12 (about $26-$27 a bottle). I may just blend this away in subsequent El Dorado 12's - if it doesn't change, it might take quite a few!

I'll give it a few weeks and post if it settles down into something less angular - there is a bit of a spirity quality, so I don't know how old this is - the El Dorado 12 is much more rounded and balanced in comparison.

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holdtheice

Demerara rums aren't easy to come by in Australia, so I've only ever tried one, a bottle of El Dorado 12 which I imported from the UK last year. I don't know if it's just me, but I found that acetone/nail polisher remover note sutton mentioned to be very prominent even with the ED12. It's part of the reason that the bottle is still 80% full (the big sweetness being the other factor). If it's even more noticeable in the ED15 or the SB's, I'm glad I didn't go with them. Is it a common feature of the Demerara rums?

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A week later and the acetone notes in the Port Mourant El Dorado SB have blown off to a degree, but are still there on the nose and more importantly on the palate. Not as obtrusive, but still a primary flavor/aroma component.

The mouthfeel on this bottle is still on the lean side, with some spirity/pepper notes and short on the finish. I think this is the biggest surprise for me with this bottle given other online reviews, however, what others have thought to be very woody/tannic just may not be to someone more used to bourbon.

Blended 50:50 with El Dorado 12 does make an interesting sipper - the acetone notes are significantly tamped down and now add an interesting complexity, the sweetness in the ED12 is much reduced, the mouthfeel is medium to full and the finish has the molasses sweetness but not as heavy as the ED12 on its own.

Again, the El Dorado PM is a single barrel, so YMMV - I'll see if the bottle continues to evolve over time with more head space in the bottle. For me, still not a buy at $75-$80.

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tanstaafl2
Again, the El Dorado PM is a single barrel, so YMMV - I'll see if the bottle continues to evolve over time with more head space in the bottle. For me, still not a buy at $75-$80.

I seem to recall reading somewhere (but can't find it now) that these bottles, despite proudly proclaiming themselves to be single barrel on the label, aren't a true single barrel as we think of it but rather a small batch "single still" product. Even the El Dorado website describes it as a small batch rum despite putting single barrel prominently on the label.

http://theeldoradorum.com/our-portfolio/connoisseur/singlebarrelpm

A rare single-distillate heritage rum linked to the Port Mourant Estate, one of the oldest in the world. PM was the signature marque used to identify rums from this estate, founded in 1732. Their original Double Wooden Pot Still, the only one of its kind operating in the world today, continues to be used to produce this small batch El Dorado heritage rum.

It is rum so you have to take anything they say with a grain of sugar...

I need to try mine out again and see if I get the acetone note you mention. I don't recall it as being prominent in the past.

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