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tanstaafl2
In addition to the four noted for being free of added sugar Clement and Barbancourt (or so they claim) also do not use added sugar but as agricoles they are going to be even more distinct from the 3 Barbados rums. I am not as sure that the Appleton is free of added sugar.

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Underhilltab

Thanks all who replied to my post above. I appreciate it.

Tanstaaffl2 -- After reading this forum through, I've learned a lot from your posts. So, a special thanks to you.

As far as Rhum Agricole goes, how do you generally differentiate among Clement, Rhum J.M., Neisson, La Favorite, and St. James?

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bearmark

I would highly recommend Appleton 12 (great representation of Jamaican rum and a favorite of mine) and Mount Gay XO (lighter Bajan style). I haven't had the 12yr, but Flor de Caña 18 is fantastic and their 4yr gold is my standard mixer.

Even though they're sweetened and/or flavored, I would also highly recommend Matusalem 15 or 18 (not much difference in taste or price, so either will do) as well as El Dorado 15. Despite the sweetness, ED15 is complex and flavorful.

If you can find The Scarlet Ibis (~$30), then it's a great and unique rum from Trinidad.

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tanstaafl2
Thanks all who replied to my post above. I appreciate it.

Tanstaaffl2 -- After reading this forum through, I've learned a lot from your posts. So, a special thanks to you.

As far as Rhum Agricole goes, how do you generally differentiate among Clement, Rhum J.M., Neisson, La Favorite, and St. James?

At risk of sounding like a smart ass response the best way to differentiate them is to try them for yourself. While all have a similar basic style there are some differences between the various distillers just as there are for bourbon. There are some sites that have a few reviews that might be of interest if you dig around. For example:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/06/what-is-rhum-agricole-martinique-spirit-best-brands.html

Clement and JM Rhum generally have a reasonably good availability for their basic lines in the US. La Favorite is also a nice rhum and may be a touch cheaper if you can find it. I tend to see the Blanc but not aged rhum from La Favorite as much locally. St. James is also typically a bit cheaper around here but I find that I don't typically care for it as much. Might just be my palate. I like the Neisson rhums but they tend to be a bit pricey, especially ones with a little age.

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tanstaafl2
I would highly recommend Appleton 12 (great representation of Jamaican rum and a favorite of mine) and Mount Gay XO (lighter Bajan style). I haven't had the 12yr, but Flor de Caña 18 is fantastic and their 4yr gold is my standard mixer.

Even though they're sweetened and/or flavored, I would also highly recommend Matusalem 15 or 18 (not much difference in taste or price, so either will do) as well as El Dorado 15. Despite the sweetness, ED15 is complex and flavorful.

If you can find The Scarlet Ibis (~$30), then it's a great and unique rum from Trinidad.

The Scarlet Ibis is an interesting rum. It was specifically created by a bar in New York called Death & Co. as their private label funky higher proof mixing rum a bit like Smith & Cross but it gained some early popularity and was eventually released to the public through the same distributor as S&C. I use it more as a mixing rum where its higher 98 proof works well but don't typically drink it as a sipper (although it is not bad!). Haven't looked for it for a while so I don't know if it is still regularly available locally. Not terribly expensive as I recall.

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MTNBourbon

Finally got a hold of this one, looking forward.

El Dorado Special Reserve (15 Yr. Old)

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Kpiz

Dug into a bottle of Havana Club 7 that we brought back from Mexico. Pretty good stuff overall, and what it lacks in flavor it makes up for in novelty

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tanstaafl2
Dug into a bottle of Havana Club 7 that we brought back from Mexico. Pretty good stuff overall, and what it lacks in flavor it makes up for in novelty

That has been my experience as well. It is as much the novelty as the rum itself. Their basic rum is fine but hardly outstanding. And the price quickly gets ridiculous for the older rums. The 15yo is probably $150 or more for a typical 80 pf rum. The Seleccion de Maestros, which replaced the superior (in my opinion) Barrel Proof version is 90 proof but probably $75 or more for a NAS "hand selected" rum. I was underwhelmed by both.

The Maximo "extra anejo" is truly absurd at well over $1000 for essentially a NAS 80 pf rum (Full disclosure, I have not tried it of course). At least you get a swanky bottle... :shithappens:

And I thought this was of note.

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-pernod-prepares-to-take-cuban-made-rum-to-the-united-states--2015-5

Pernod's Havana Club will have to change its name to "Havanista" for U.S. customers, because Bacardi International, now Bermuda-based after its founders fled the communist island in the 1960s, has the U.S. rights to the "Havana Club" name.

American visitors to Cuba can now take home up to $100 worth of cigars and alcohol and Pernod-Ricard's CEO joined the delegation for the first official visit by a French president to Cuba last week.

According to one article it may still be a couple of years before the embargo gets lifted.

Edited by tanstaafl2

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Kpiz
That has been my experience as well. It is as much the novelty as the rum itself. Their basic rum is fine but hardly outstanding. And the price quickly gets ridiculous for the older rums. The 15yo is probably $150 or more for a typical 80 pf rum. The Seleccion de Maestros, which replaced the superior (in my opinion) Barrel Proof version is 90 proof but probably $75 or more for a NAS "hand selected" rum. I was underwhelmed by both.

The Maximo "extra anejo" is truly absurd at well over $1000 for essentially a NAS 80 pf rum (Full disclosure, I have not tried it of course). At least you get a swanky bottle... :shithappens:

And I thought this was of note.

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-pernod-prepares-to-take-cuban-made-rum-to-the-united-states--2015-5

Pernod's Havana Club will have to change its name to "Havanista" for U.S. customers, because Bacardi International, now Bermuda-based after its founders fled the communist island in the 1960s, has the U.S. rights to the "Havana Club" name.

American visitors to Cuba can now take home up to $100 worth of cigars and alcohol and Pernod-Ricard's CEO joined the delegation for the first official visit by a French president to Cuba last week.

According to one article it may still be a couple of years before the embargo gets lifted.

Thanks for the background info, Bruce. I'm looking forward to seeing Havana Club...er...Havanista on the shelves at some point. Not sure I'll buy any after finishing the bottles I have, but it's always nice to have more options.

I actually brought back a bottle of the Seleccion de Maestros as well. I found it at a grocery store for about $45, which was within my budget despite knowing nothing about it at the time. 90 proof Cuban rum was just too exciting for me to pass up!

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tanstaafl2
Thanks for the background info, Bruce. I'm looking forward to seeing Havana Club...er...Havanista on the shelves at some point. Not sure I'll buy any after finishing the bottles I have, but it's always nice to have more options.

I actually brought back a bottle of the Seleccion de Maestros as well. I found it at a grocery store for about $45, which was within my budget despite knowing nothing about it at the time. 90 proof Cuban rum was just too exciting for me to pass up!

For $45 it is perhaps not a bad deal. I will be curious to hear if you thought it was that much better than the 7yo.

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Kpiz
For $45 it is perhaps not a bad deal. I will be curious to hear if you thought it was that much better than the 7yo.

I'll post back here when I open it; should be soon. The 7yr was only about $18 so hopefully the Seleccion de Maestros is at least a little better. Although I'd probably settle for it just being different.

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Kpiz

Has anyone tried the Hamilton St. Lucia cask strength rums? I've seen the Hamilton rums mentioned on here but can't find any tasting notes

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tanstaafl2
Has anyone tried the Hamilton St. Lucia cask strength rums? I've seen the Hamilton rums mentioned on here but can't find any tasting notes

I have had no luck getting my hands on any of them. They never seemed to come to Atlanta as best I can tell, just the regular Jamaican one and the new 151 Demerara. I would like to have the chance to try some if I can ever find any.

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Kpiz
I have had no luck getting my hands on any of them. They never seemed to come to Atlanta as best I can tell, just the regular Jamaican one and the new 151 Demerara. I would like to have the chance to try some if I can ever find any.

Good point - I think there were only ~20 cases of each of the cask strength rums released so these probably weren't too widely distributed.

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jbutler

Not to put my nose into your business or anything, but remember that you guys have an entire real forum to talk about rum. It might be helpful to start new threads for new subjects.

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Kpiz
Not to put my nose into your business or anything, but remember that you guys have an entire real forum to talk about rum. It might be helpful to start new threads for new subjects.

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MTNBourbon

El Dorado Special Reserve (15 Yr. Old)

Well, finally opened this bottle up, very nice, nice sweetness, with a very nice dry finish. This might be the best I've had to date (have not tried that many), but it is hands above other's I've tried.

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WhiskyRI

Mad River Distilling Maple Rum

If you haven't tried it - check out Mad River Distilling Maple Rum. This is not a flavored rum but rather a rum that has been stored in casks that have previously stored Vermont maple syrup. Really interesting nose - and semi-affordable. Here in the Northeast bottles are running $40ish. Really interesting flavor profile and nose. It's my new favorite sipping rum when I want something different.

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jvd99

Had a few sips of Havana Club 7, the real stuff from Cuba.  Hadn't had it in years and it was as good as I remember.  Kudos to my cousin for cracking the seal on that one.

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tanstaafl2
4 hours ago, jvd99 said:

Had a few sips of Havana Club 7, the real stuff from Cuba.  Hadn't had it in years and it was as good as I remember.  Kudos to my cousin for cracking the seal on that one.

That was my go to rum when I went to Cuba a few years ago. Cheap (at least for tourists), plentiful and decent enough for sipping or mixing. Can't ask for much more!

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The Black Tot

Havana Club 3yr is my go-to white rum for mixing while in the UK. No complaints yet!

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BFerguson

Made a couple of Ti' Punch last night. Hit the spot after helping paint rooms and trim at daycare. La Favorite blanc used .

I was pleased to see that it recently became available. Not many places around here carry agricoles's.

IMHO, way tastier than the typical white rums.

B

Sent from my iPhone

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dcbt

Using a day off on this 80 degree Friday to convince myself I'm in the Caribbean.  Sitting outside by the pool, streaming a reggae station out of the Caymans, firing up the grill, sipping on delicious rum punch I made. Typical 1-2-3-4 sour-sweet-strong-weak radio with Seale's 10 yo and Railean White Rum for the 3-strong piece. (For those who care, OJ and pineapple juice for the 4 weak, grenadine for the 2 sweet, and lime juice for the 1 sour.) Fanfuckingtastic day...

 

Oh, and go stars tonight.

Edited by dcbt

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sailor22
On November 6, 2015 at 3:03 PM, Kpiz said:

Dug into a bottle of Havana Club 7 that we brought back from Mexico. Pretty good stuff overall, and what it lacks in flavor it makes up for in novelty

 

Made me smile, faint praise indeed.

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The Black Tot

The K+L Enmore 25yr was very well-received at this past sampler weekend.

 

I was much relieved because I went in pretty hard on this one. It was my first taste of it too!

 

It had the usual (well, there is quite a range, but instead we'll say "a familiar") vegetal cane note that you get from a typical barrel-select older Demerara, but it also had a touch of sulphur which really added to things. The finish was nice and long and there was a bit of molasses tar in there, which is likely from the El Dorado coloring caramel.

 

For me, there's a difference between adding sugar and ED's coloring caramel process, which is traditional (but whatever, everyone says theirs is traditional where most totally aren't). Note I'm not talking about regular El Dorado releases, which have a BUNCH of sugar added far beyond the coloring stuff. But their coloring caramel adds a very cool viscosity and a charred molasses effect which couples nicely with the vegetal cane notes which survive their pot still distillations.

 

Sugar, it should be mentioned, does not survive the distillation process. People in the US think rum is sweet and that the sweetness has come from the fermented molasses through the stills, but in reality it's because sugar has been added after the fact to most rums in US distribution. Sweetness in proper artisinal rum comes from barrel extractions, just like whiskey.

 

ED's coloring agent adds a bit of molasses sweetness, but it's far from overbearing, and in this one, it just worked to add something to the whole flavor progression. A real winner for me.

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