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T Comp
On the subject of mingling bourbon and ED 12 rum: some successes, some failures. As I mentioned earlier, Old HH 8/86 was a success. WTRB was not. It really brings out the bitterness on the finish.

The surprise winner was Jefferson's 10 year rye (the newer, non-Canadian). Wowza! at about 2:1 rye to rum this is killer. I think the rum balances out the all-rye mash perfectly. I also tried it with some Willett 5 year (LDI) rye and it was good but need more oak. I'm tempted to buy another bottle of Jefferson's and vat the whole thing, it's that good.

Me too...except it will be my first buy of Jefferson's rye . And I've never found WT products to be able to mingle well with anything, even water...just always makes it more bitter. Though, wait a minute, Vermouth and bitters...WT does make a good Manhattan. Thanks for sharing Brisko.

And another thing on WT...as I have just sipped on some Kentucky Spirit and 101 (no Rare Breed currently open). Though it does not match the full on rum taste in some dusties, it still does have some rummy traces, more so than other modern bourbons and maybe that sabotages the ED mingling too.

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Gillman

I agree viz. Wild Turkey, that bird is not of a feather with very much else, except Coke maybe. :)

Excellent notion to mingle rum and rye or other straight whiskey. Just a little is enough I find. Bourbon used to be more rum-like than it is, so it makes perfect sense. And anyway, why not?

Gary

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sailor22

At what point does a vatting become a cocktail?

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Gillman

That is a good question. Really there is no absolute answer. Most would say, and I would agree, that the spirits to be vatted should be of the same type. But eg some places allow spirit caramel to be added to a blend, or "flavoring". So what if you added, within any permitted parameters, a sweet and dark rum instead of the boiled sugar, or used the latter as flavoring...? I guess my own personal answer would be, if the addition can be detected, it becomes a cocktail, but the whole thing is relative in other words (IMO).

Gary

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ChainWhip

I think Compass Box blends Single Malt & "grain" whiskies. While I'm not sure what a grain whisky actually is, I'm guessing its a separate class of spirit from Single Malt. High West also comes to mind with their bourbon/rye/scotch blends.

For me, I'm of the opinion that it is not a cocktail as long as it is vatted with spirits only. Once you add coloring/sugars/bitters/etc., then it's no longer purely a spirit. Of course, this narrow view could be problematic as it renders bottles like my Lagavulin 16 into a different class.

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squire

Grain whiskys are distillates made from a grain (corn, rye, wheat or barley) in a column still (single malt uses a pot still) which come off at a higher proof than allowed for single malt and are aged in used barrels. Grain whiskys are just as old as the single malt used in an age stated blend (12 years old on the label, for instance) though the high proof rates off the still and in the used barrel don't allow grain whisky to gain much in the way of barrel flavor. The distillate quality is high, though and what isn't aged for whisky is used for gin and vodka.

In short, grain whisky is cheaper to make and age and that's why blends cost less than single malts.

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tanstaafl2
At what point does a vatting become a cocktail?

Back when the word cocktail had a separate definition (early 1800's) as one of the many categories of alcoholic drinks (to include slings, fizzes, flips, punches, juleps, sours, etc.) a cocktail was defined as "a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters".

Now that a cocktail is broadly used to cover all types of drinks the use of the term "old fashioned" was essentially used to describe the original style of the cocktail, i.e. the "old fashioned cocktail" of the definition above.

Also now that a cocktail is more typically and broadly defined as almost any alcoholic drink it is less clear. More common current definitions include "an iced drink of distilled liquor mixed with flavoring ingredients" or "an alcoholic mixed drink that contains three or more ingredients—at least one of the ingredients must be a spirit".

A spirit being defined on Wiki as an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol that is produced by distilling ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables. This excludes undistilled fermented beverages such as beer, wine or cider. Although some definitions of a cocktail will include wine as a potential base spirit and some older cocktails used wine as a base spirit. It is perhaps a bit less common today to use wine but it no doubt still occurs.

Under that definition a vatting of spirits only doesn't really seem to fit well although if you counted one spirit as the base and the others as "flavorings" I guess you could fudge it.

To me it's a bit like pornography. I know it when I see it... :cool:

Edited by tanstaafl2

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squire

Straight whisky in a glass is a drink. Pour something non-whisky in with it creates a cocktail.

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Brisko

Well, I'll leave the question of "is it a cocktail" to the more learned among us but I revisited the "Rum 'n' Rye" again last night and it was just right.

Side question, is El Dorado 15 any less sweet than its 12 year old brother? I really like it but sometimes it's just too sweet on its own. Do you guys have any recommendations?

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tanstaafl2
Well, I'll leave the question of "is it a cocktail" to the more learned among us but I revisited the "Rum 'n' Rye" again last night and it was just right.

Side question, is El Dorado 15 any less sweet than its 12 year old brother? I really like it but sometimes it's just too sweet on its own. Do you guys have any recommendations?

They are somewhat different as they are not simply the same rum that is 3 years older. I think the 12 is the slightly drier of the two but that is just my sense of the two. You would think it might be other way but that is not what I have found. The 21 might be drier but I haven't tried that in a while and that would certainly be a much more expensive pour! I just got a bottle of the 21 to go with my 12 and 15 so perhaps a little rum flight is in order!

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Gillman

I'm not trying to be facetious in saying, I used to find the 15 noticeably drier than the 12, and now I find it sweeter! I do believe these drinks change over time. As a natural product produced from limited stocks, this seems inevitable and is a plus in my book.

I may have to bring my current blend of the two to the next Gazebo as well! I did it about two weeks ago to try to maximize the best of each and it is very good if I may say. :)

Gary

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tanstaafl2
I'm not trying to be facetious in saying, I used to find the 15 noticeably drier than the 12, and now I find it sweeter! I do believe these drinks change over time. As a natural product produced from limited stocks, this seems inevitable and is a plus in my book.

I may have to bring my current blend of the two to the next Gazebo as well! I did it about two weeks ago to try to maximize the best of each and it is very good if I may say. :)

Gary

I suspect that DDL can and does adjust the source stills used for each one of the ED rums from time to time and that would certainly affect the profile. A change to a sweeter profile in the 15yo may be in an effort to counter and compete with the increase in sweeter rums in general in recent years like Zacapa.

And you are absolutely right that as a blend of rums that includes batched products from 2 different pot stills the ED rums can have some variability from time to time. I suspect those old wooden pot stills are still evolving over time and that is definitely a good thing in my book!

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WhiskyToWhiskey

Here's a chart I found that shows the different stills El Dorado uses for the expressions

post-7789-14489818551419_thumb.jpg

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Gillman

That is very interesting, thanks for that.

Despite that the 15 includes make from the wooden pot still and the 12 doesn't, I find them quite similar except the 15, well, older.

What is the PM still, what type is that if you know?

Also, I understand fruit concentrates are added to ED, at least the 12 and 15 (not sure about the 21 and 25), do you know if this is true?

Gary

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Gillman

Well, my blend (I actually have two) of the 12 and 15 would probably be considered, um, unorthodox by the company given this fascinating matrix of distillations from which its brands are carefully assembled, but I think they would agree it is very good! I will have to bring one now to April Gazebo, with my Smith & Cross.

By the way the taster they quote at the bottom of the page you linked, from Jan, 2011, stated what I said earlier here about the 12 vs. the 15, that the former has a richer fruitier profile. However, based on tastings almost two years later of current stock, I'd say the 15 has gotten sweeter and the 12 drier. Just my impression.

Gary

Edited by Gillman

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tanstaafl2
What do you guys think about Oronoco?

I ask because I "reacquired" a 1L bottle of it from a friend. It tastes pretty good to me. Different from the Pampero but still good.

An interesting rum from Brazil, it is made from cane juice like a rhum agricole by a company better known for making cachaça. It doesn't qualify as cachaça though as it is distilled to a proof to high for cachaça and then the juice is blended with other traditional molasses based rums. I don't have a bottle but have tried it. Fairly sweet and drinkable for a white rum as I recall but I would have to try it again to refresh my memory.

I have seen it priced anywhere from the low to mid $30's to mid $40's. Haven't priced it locally recently and it can sometimes be hard to find. As a mixing rum there are others that I like just as well that are much less expensive and more readily available like Flor de Cana 4yo or El Dorado 3yo (which is also quite tasty and pretty good on its own!).

Might make a decent sipper if you want to sip white rum (nothing wrong with white rum neat or on the rocks necessarily, just not something I do routinely as there are too many delicious brown rums I like better!) or work well in a mojito.

Saw a bottle of Oronoco today and bought it on an impulse. Pricey but I don't think it is just an overpriced vanilla flavored rum as I think the vanilla flavor is a natural product of its fairly unique type of production. In any case I think it will work well as a mixer and may prove to be the decent sipper that I seem to recall it being as well.

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WhiskyToWhiskey
I'm not trying to be facetious in saying, I used to find the 15 noticeably drier than the 12, and now I find it sweeter! I do believe these drinks change over time. As a natural product produced from limited stocks, this seems inevitable and is a plus in my book.

I may have to bring my current blend of the two to the next Gazebo as well! I did it about two weeks ago to try to maximize the best of each and it is very good if I may say. :)

Gary

I tried to combine a very small amount of Angostura 1919 8yr (which I like, but does have a bit too much vanilla), and the Angostura 1824 12yr (which is more expensive, and a different profile not many like). The result....not good at all. Chalk it up as a fail.

What % did you used for the ED 12 and 15? I may want to try this.

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Gillman

On the 12 to 15, about 4:1.

I fully agree viz. those Angosturas by the way. One is vanilla/rubbery so to speak (the 1919), the other has deep aged pot still notes that seem best on their own.

But blending 12 and 15 is different, really.

Gary

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tanstaafl2

No bourbon today but I did pick up a bottle of the Banks 7 Golden rum, companion to the white Banks 5 Island rum. Both have plenty of that Batavia Arrack goodness to help set them apart from other rums.

Although I think it contains some older rum than the Banks 5 rum the 7 refers to the 7 source countries for the blended cane spirits rather than an age statement.

post-8493-14489818553385_thumb.jpg

I think it has been available for awhile elsewhere but it is new to Georgia.

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tanstaafl2

The return of Pirates and Rum, 21st century style!

David D. was recently waxing poetical on his Spirits Journal forum about pirates and rum but it seems not all is copacetic in the balmy Cribbean, at least when it comes to rum!

It seems the pirates now wear business suits and there is an all out "rum war" on between Puerto Rico and USVI to gain favor with the three of the biggest producers and now smaller rum producers in other parts of the Caribbean are starting to get concerned it could squeeze a lot of them (like Mount Gay, Seales, Appleton, Wray & Nephews, Sangster, Myers, Barbancourt, Brugal, Barcelo, Ron Matusalem, Flor de Cana, Demeraran Distillers Ltd. who make El Dorado) out of business.

That would be a sad thing indeed. Might have to stock up on some of my favorites just in case!

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squire

Another way of looking at it is subsidies will increase the supply of bulk mixing rums to private label (supermarkets, Costco, etc.) suppliers so we consumers can continue to enjoy bargain prices. Having said that I'm gonna give some thought to stocking up while I can.

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tanstaafl2
Another way of looking at it is subsidies will increase the supply of bulk mixing rums to private label (supermarkets, Costco, etc.) suppliers so we consumers can continue to enjoy bargain prices. Having said that I'm gonna give some thought to stocking up while I can.

No doubt it will provide more cheap bulk rum, probably of little real character, for use in private label offerings. But all distilleries sell bulk rum to some degree to survive and if the big three can do it vastly cheaper than the smaller guys it will help to further drive the smaller guys into oblivion. If this were fair market forces it would be one thing but this is happening because local governments, with the full aid and complicity of our own thoughtful congress, are giving the big guys massive subsidies by using a tax that was supposed to help build local infrastructure to instead subsidize big rum producers, who are already quite profitable on their own, in order to keep a few more jobs around (and likely win a few extra votes for the elected officials involved).

if it continues I suspect many small distilleries will fold and those that survive will have to charge more for their higher end and more interesting products.

As usual it sounds like a lose-lose for the consumer. At least the ones who like a bit more choice in the products available.

Edited by tanstaafl2

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squire

I wouldn't apply the term thoughtful to Congress but political animals are certainly cunning and posses well honed survival instincts. Nearsighted tax policies wrecked the smaller ship builders in New England and, I agree, similar policies could have a very damaging effect on the smaller rum producers in the Caribbean.

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ErichPryde

El Dorado, both the 12 and 15 years, are two of my favorites. RZS 23 is also high on the list and I buy it when it is on sale. I also have a bottle of Pyrat 1623 stashed away, along with a pistol and a bottle of Planter's Reserve from before Pyrat was bought-out and before their rum changed so much in flavor. I also have an older bottle of Zaya 12, from when it was more of a rum, and less of a vanilla-extracty thing (whatever it is now).

I use El Dorado or RZS as a base for my sazerac cocktails, instead of sugar/simple syrup.

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