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PhantomLamb

Getting Into Rum

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PhantomLamb

Starting to get into rum and looking for some recommendations.  Not looking for any clear/spiced/flavored rums but stuff that is actually aged and good for sipping.

 

Appreciate the help!

 

Thanks,

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jwperry

As with whiskey, your price point is relevant to the conversation. 

 

Foursquare offerings are an easy gateway (my favorite being 2005), but can be spendy and not available everywhere. Doorly's / Real McCoy are also from the Foursquare distillery, but carry slightly different flavor profiles. Doorly's XO is the 'gateway' I give to friends who like sweet rums but are looking to get into sipping rums. Between Doorly's 12y & Real McCoy 12y, I actually prefer their less aged products (8y & 5y respectively) because I like the lighter profile.  I feel Real McCoy 12y is fairly oaky. 

 

I've also grown to appreciate Appleton Estate's offerings; I like the fruity rum funk on the lower aged offerings and the mature flavor of the 21 year(this is the most expensive rum I've bought). 

 

I have a couple Worthy Park offerings on their way to me now, so I'll expand a little more in the near future. I've tried a lot of other rums that have been sweetened and I don't normally recommend those to whiskey converts. I'm now trying to pick and choose my way through non-sweetened offerings, which are harder to find info on than I thought they'd be. 

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lcpfratn

Most anything made and bottled in Barbados or Jamaica would be a good start since they have quality restrictions. Appleton, Mount Gay, Foursquare, Real McCoy, R.L. Seale’s and Doorly’s are good choices. There are many other options from other places too, but if you start with some of the 10 yr or older age stated versions of those I’ve mentioned above, you’ll have a good start. Mount Gay XO isn’t age stated, but would still be a good choice. Hopefully Paul or Bruce and a few others will chime in since they are more knowledgeable about rum than I am.

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jshleffar

As others have mentioned Mount Gay XO, Real McCoy offerings, Appleton 12, Smith and Cross are great starts that won't break the bank. Maybe grab an agricole as well to see how different that style is (Clement or Rhum JM are easy enough to find).

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Marekv8

A few thoughts…

 

IMG_2985.thumb.jpg.add3df42b5936282e0d5675a08f7220f.jpg

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Kane

Mostly echoing the folks above: Appleton 12, Smith & Cross, Mount Gay XO, El Dorado 12/15 if you can still find at a decent price. All different styles to test. I'm not suggesting that you should ignore a Foursquare if you see it in the wild.

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The Black Tot

 

Bass - Demeraras - Big, bold, grassy, oily, dark molasses, peppermint finish, vegetal taste of the cane left behind. 

          Caroni - Extinct - Cinnamon, coffee, oily. On the bitter side.

 

Midrange - Barbados - Light, caramel, toffee, sometimes tropical fruit (WIRD). Easy drinking. Ethical production with no added sugar (although Plantation bought WIRD so that's probably the end of                     unadulterated rum from there). A good place to start. Foursquare rums are ethically and well made but overrated and now overpriced and overhyped. However, so is everything else in rum right now. Most things truly special in the rum world now are VERY expensive, like 200 bucks a bottle expensive. The difference between rum and bourbon in this regard is if you're willing to spend the 200, you can actually get the bottles without too much hassle.

 

Treble - Jamaican - Estery, tropical fruit, floral, explosive flavors, "top of the head" type buzz. 

 

Cocktails - Think of them like music, and balance the bass, midrange, and the treble.

 

Agricoles and other Caribbean fare - I don't like them so I'm the wrong guy to ask. To me they taste metallic somehow.

 

Velier rums are worth what they cost - if you want to get to know your rums, suck it up and buy their offerings and slowly spend your time working through them. That's the fastest and the deepest although not the cheapest way.

 

Pusser's is great value for a daily drinker that doesn't suck. Get the Gunpowder proof black label.

 

Splash water into anything above 115 proof.  It's not a hot sauce competition, and 151 overproof rums are for floating on the tops of cocktails, where they will dilute down to nearly wine strength - they are NOT for neat consumption.  Think of them as cocktail spice.

 

Don't waste your time on the "liqueurs" with so much added sugar it's hardly rum anymore. El Dorado, Zacapa, Diplomatico, Cacique, Santa Teresa, Angostura are the worst offenders.

 

Basically, if it has a store display, a sailor, a hula girl or a sea creature on the label, it sucks. Apart from Pusser's if it has a picture of a sailboat, probably also avoid.

 

Find a connection to buy from K+L in California. They have released/carry the best rums in the US over the last 5yrs and counting.

 

Rum is a harder road now than it was 5yrs ago. And it will be harder still in Pennsylvania. Rum was one of the last spirit categories to get pressurized when bourbon and scotch became unable to satisfy the premium demands of their respective audiences. When the feverish bourbon production going on today starts to mature and we're swimming in lakes of bourbon and scotch (a little later on), people will return to their first love and leave rum alone again. I look forward to this time, but until then, I've spent the last 5-6 years hustling around Europe (where proper pure single cask rums are more respected) trying to grab as much from Aladdin's cave as I could before the door closes. 

 

I don't envy someone starting out right now in rum, any more than I'd envy someone who wanted to start a vinyl record collection. 

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lcpfratn

This! [emoji115]

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jwperry




Don't waste your time on the "liqueurs" with so much added sugar it's hardly rum anymore. El Dorado, Zacapa, Diplomatico, Cacique, Santa Teresa, Angostura are the worst offenders. 


I'd add Bumbu to that list.

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Kane
16 hours ago, The Black Tot said:

Don't waste your time on the "liqueurs" with so much added sugar it's hardly rum anymore. El Dorado, Zacapa, Diplomatico, Cacique, Santa Teresa, Angostura are the worst offenders.

I understand and agree with the sentiment, but I wouldn't say the doctored rum category is entirely time wasted. El Dorado and Zacapa certainly added something to my mental portfolio. I say good to try a few pours. I hate them all the same today, but still :)

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The Black Tot
56 minutes ago, Kane said:

I understand and agree with the sentiment, but I wouldn't say the doctored rum category is entirely time wasted. El Dorado and Zacapa certainly added something to my mental portfolio. I say good to try a few pours. I hate them all the same today, but still :)

 

I would say there's no point in buying them, as you'll encounter them sometime whether you like it, or not.

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The Black Tot
7 hours ago, jwperry said:

I'd add Bumbu to that list.

 

 

I didn't think there was any risk of anyone taking a rum named Bumbu seriously :)

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PhantomLamb

You guys are legends, I was out for a few days so didn't get to check the thread.  Thanks so much, I saw a few of these in the LS today but didn't pull the trigger.  Wanted to hear everyone's thoughts first.

 

Very much appreciated!  Will update as I start my rum journey.

 

Random question, I visit South America, Colombia specifically to visit my in-laws quite a bit.  Any recommendations on Colombian/Panamanian rums as I've come across these frequently.

 

Thanks,

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The Black Tot

When I was there about 5yrs ago Colombia was a rum (and spirits in general) wasteland. I tried a few of the local rums and they were truly awful. Santiago or something like that. I remember it tasted like cheap rum with (no kidding) a touch of Jalapeno.

 

You're better off bringing bottles DOWN for your vacation.

 

But DO take some coffee plantation tours.

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PhantomLamb
15 minutes ago, The Black Tot said:

When I was there about 5yrs ago Colombia was a rum (and spirits in general) wasteland. I tried a few of the local rums and they were truly awful. Santiago or something like that. I remember it tasted like cheap rum with (no kidding) a touch of Jalapeno.

 

You're better off bringing bottles DOWN for your vacation.

 

But DO take some coffee plantation tours.

That's kind of what I've thought in my trips there.  The plantation tours are awesome.

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PhantomLamb

Forgot to mention initial price-point is probably $65 and below getting started.

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The Black Tot
6 hours ago, PhantomLamb said:

Forgot to mention initial price-point is probably $65 and below getting started.

 

Then you can afford Mt Gay XO, Pusser's gunpowder proof, some of the cheaper Foursquare products like Doorly's XO or the Real McCoy, and Smith And Cross.

 

Smooth Ambler Revelation Rum if you can find it.

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Marekv8

I’ll second the SA Revelation Rum— I found it recently for $33.99— so it’s still out there.   

 

Your price cap may also net you a Hamilton St. Lucia CS with age statement (Ed claims the 9yo is tops) if you’re lucky. 

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PhantomLamb
2 hours ago, Marekv8 said:

I’ll second the SA Revelation Rum— I found it recently for $33.99— so it’s still out there.   

 

Your price cap may also net you a Hamilton St. Lucia CS with age statement (Ed claims the 9yo is tops) if you’re lucky. 

Just checked on the PA Wine and Spirits website, both 2004/2005 available for about $65.  Good deal?

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Marekv8
1 hour ago, PhantomLamb said:

Just checked on the PA Wine and Spirits website, both 2004/2005 available for about $65.  Good deal?

 

That’s about the going rate. Another bottle to seek out is the Stolen Overproof— typically under twenty bucks, albeit a 375ml. 

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lcpfratn
 
That’s about the going rate. Another bottle to seek out is the Stolen Overproof— typically under twenty bucks, albeit a 375ml. 

An excellent recommendation that I forgot to mention even though I have a bottle sitting on my bar...and a few more in the bunker!
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GoCubs85
12 hours ago, PhantomLamb said:

You guys are legends, I was out for a few days so didn't get to check the thread.  Thanks so much, I saw a few of these in the LS today but didn't pull the trigger.  Wanted to hear everyone's thoughts first.

 

Very much appreciated!  Will update as I start my rum journey.

 

Random question, I visit South America, Colombia specifically to visit my in-laws quite a bit.  Any recommendations on Colombian/Panamanian rums as I've come across these frequently.

 

Thanks,

I'm down in Colombia annually - they have decent rums.

http://ultimaterumguide.com/columbia/

 

Ron Medellin 8 or 12 year is good and available almost anywhere.

 

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tanstaafl2
12 minutes ago, GoCubs85 said:

I'm down in Colombia annually - they have decent rums.

http://ultimaterumguide.com/columbia/

 

Ron Medellin 8 or 12 year is good and available almost anywhere.

 

Rum in Colombia is typically bottled at 76 proof. A minimum 80 proof is typically only for export mostly to the US. Given that 80 proof is already pretty thin this is not exactly an improvement. However, it may be safer than the water even if it does taste about the same...

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GoCubs85
15 minutes ago, tanstaafl2 said:

Rum in Colombia is typically bottled at 76 proof. A minimum 80 proof is typically only for export mostly to the US. Given that 80 proof is already pretty thin this is not exactly an improvement. However, it may be safer than the water even if it does taste about the same...

haha - right!  although i've never personally had any issues with the water

 

I will say that the exchange rate is phenomenal right now and I can imagine some things might be mighty cheap.  I usually pick up some Don Julio Silver for around $33 compared to maybe $45-55 here in US.

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tanstaafl2
1 minute ago, GoCubs85 said:

haha - right!  although i've never personally had any issues with the water

 

I will say that the exchange rate is phenomenal right now and I can imagine some things might be mighty cheap.  I usually pick up some Don Julio Silver for around $33 compared to maybe $45-55 here in US.

Outside chance I will be in Colombia later this year so hopefully I will have a chance to find out for myself! About the exchange rate, not so much the water. I have rolled that die and lost one too many times...

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