Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gillman

Remembering New England Rum

Recommended Posts

Gillman

Hi all, the Boss and everyone. Congrats again to Bruce for election as BOTY, and this post may interest him, and Sailor and all who like good rum.

 

As many know here, I keep busy with my blog at www.beeretseq.com, generally on beer history but often whiskey and other spirits. Today I turn my attention to the original American rum: New England Rum.

 

http://www.beeretseq.com/the-most-venerable-distillers/

 

I would be interested in all comments, here or there, especially any thoughts on what the old New England rum tasted like. Come to that, some of you may have tasted some, knowing how old bottles of this and that find a way to Gazebo tables! 

 

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tanstaafl2

Interesting article as always Gary! I have never had any older rum and the only one of the newer incarnations I have tried is the Tew rum which is available locally and not bad.

 

I wonder how much the problem or rectifying or using of other liquids and flavorings to stretch out or even fake rum was in that same period that led bourbon to create the BIB act. Seems like it would be pretty easy to create a sweet taste profile that could be passed off as rum.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gillman

Thanks Bruce, and I've since done more reading. Initially, Islands rum - especially Jamaican - was considered the best. One reason given was that in the Caribbean, "skimmings" were used in the wash (with molasses, water and sometimes dunder), a by-product of sugar manufacture. In America no skimmings were used because no sugar was made from cane there, or not in New England. However, later in the century, the best New England rum vied with Jamaican - also rum from St. Croix - in quality. So, I think the best rum from Felton or Lawrence, say, was well-aged rum which resembled a well-aged Jamaican rum, perhaps today's Myers? Hard to say.

 

I've had Tew also, it's not superlative in my view, a little young-tasting or at least some years ago.

 

Gary

Edited by Gillman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sailor22

Nice job Gary.

 

Best guess is that the Clarin from Haiti is close to original island rums in flavor and character. Basically anything from the cane plant that can be crushed and allowed to ferment with wild yeast.  Wasn't nearly all fermentation of the period done with wild indigenous yeast? If so there would have been noticeable differences between the products of different islands.

 

New England style of the period probably more closely resembles something like Mt. Gilboa, Jamaican pot still juice like Smith and Cross or some of the St Lucia pot still product Hamilton bottles.  Starting with imported molasses and distilled in pot stills.

 

The introduction of the Coffy still likely had a huge impact on both efficiency and flavor. But that happened a bit later.

 

As far as aged rum goes the wild card is the barrel. Haven't seen much mention of the wood used or the treatment (charing, toasting?) after construction. Do we know if there were new barrels being shipped to the Caribbean for use in rum aging? Perhaps some indigenous wood was used.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gillman

Steve good analysis thanks. Some of the old ads claimed a Jamaican or St. Croix character for the aged article, as here: https://books.google.ca/books?id=TuA1AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA72&dq=Felton+copper+distilled+rum+Jamaica&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Felton copper distilled rum Jamaica&f=false At least one online report of a mid-1900s Caldwell rum from New England said dense, rich, molasses/yeast notes.

 

Perhaps like Myers if aged a few more years?

 

The net seems to be, the young rums of New England  did not have the same repute as the Island ones but with age equalled the best of the latter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tanstaafl2
51 minutes ago, Gillman said:

Steve good analysis thanks. Some of the old ads claimed a Jamaican or St. Croix character for the aged article, as here: https://books.google.ca/books?id=TuA1AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA72&dq=Felton+copper+distilled+rum+Jamaica&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Felton copper distilled rum Jamaica&f=false At least one online report of a mid-1900s Caldwell rum from New England said dense, rich, molasses/yeast notes.

 

Perhaps like Myers if aged a few more years?

 

Myers from some years ago, which had more (or all?) pot still rum might be a better comparison. To me the Myers of today is a bit bland. I will still throw it into a punch for the less initiated but it doesn't have much, if any, of the funk I remember from a decade or more ago.

 

I have a bottle of the Myers Legend rum, supposedly a 10yo, that I bought a few years ago (which uses the same bottle as Birthday Bourbon as it happens) which I never got around to trying. Maybe it is better than the current regular Myers.

 

Gary, if you are coming to the Sampler I could be convinced to bring it! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fishnbowljoe

Nice article Gary.

 

I visited my brother in Boston a few years ago. While we were driving around town, he told us that back in the early 1900's a molasses tank at a company there gave way, and that there was a molasses flood that killed a number of people, and laid waste to a section of the town. Was this from a rum distillery?

 

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kpiz
21 minutes ago, fishnbowljoe said:

Nice article Gary.

 

I visited my brother in Boston a few years ago. While we were driving around town, he told us that back in the early 1900's a molasses tank at a company there gave way, and that there was a molasses flood that killed a number of people, and laid waste to a section of the town. Was this from a rum distillery?

 

Joe

 

I'm going to steal Gary's thunder here, though he'll probably have some info to add. Ratcheer actually posted about this a while back as it was the anniversary of the great "molasses flood". According to the article, it was Purity Distilling's tank that burst. I'm not sure whether they were making solely drinking rum or if they were producing industrial alcohol as well.

 

3 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

Myers from some years ago, which had more (or all?) pot still rum might be a better comparison. To me the Myers of today is a bit bland. I will still throw it into a punch for the less initiated but it doesn't have much, if any, of the funk I remember from a decade or more ago.

 

I have a bottle of the Myers Legend rum, supposedly a 10yo, that I bought a few years ago (which uses the same bottle as Birthday Bourbon as it happens) which I never got around to trying. Maybe it is better than the current regular Myers.

 

Gary, if you are coming to the Sampler I could be convinced to bring it! :D

 

I have an older, tax-stamped bottle of Myers Rum I'd be happy to share as well if it's of any assistance. Although I won't be able to attend the Sampler (:() I'm sure we can figure something out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sailor22
5 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

 

 

I have a bottle of the Myers Legend rum, supposedly a 10yo, that I bought a few years ago (which uses the same bottle as Birthday Bourbon as it happens) which I never got around to trying. Maybe it is better than the current regular Myers.

 

Gary, if you are coming to the Sampler I could be convinced to bring it! :D

 

I enjoyed it , but haven't seen it on the shelf in a few years

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gillman

Thanks to all for your contributions, I do recall the tank disaster being discussed here, I believe it was connected to a rum distillery but am not 100% sure. There was a brand called Pilgrim I know, indeed it started up again in the 1930s. Appreciate the offer of the older rums although not planning any forthcoming trips to Kentucky. (I will get down there to see you guys again, but not quite yet). 

 

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...