Continuing still from my first and then second posts on this rum tasting, here’s number three. These five were enjoyed two nights ago as well (right after those in Part 1 and Part 2), but I’m just unfortunately posting it here early today, as the inability to see my computer straight later that night, LOL, and then family stuff yesterday, all led me to be unable to post until now.
Also, after supper that night was enjoyed before the last groupings of rum, these five were then enjoyed along with a quite nice H. Upmann No. 2 from 2008 that I was given in trade from good brother Emil (Oct 2008, “USE” coded stick), and after a nice sunset-filled sky that evening. The dense, creamy rich smoke from that cigar, and the bold power it still had in a nice balance profile, meshed well with these rums below.
Again, these five rums are sampled straight up, about an ounce of each, with no mixers, ice cubes, or chilling, and enjoyed at room temperature.
9. Bacardi Ron 8 Anos. (40% alc/vol, Puerto Rico) This one is aged for a minimum of eight years in oak casks, and then finished apparently in sherry oak barrels. While Bacardi Superior white is simply a mixer only, this stuff is different. From the box packaging, this is a special blend originally created in Cuba by Facundo Bacardi Masso, and was the “private family reserve blend” for over five generations.
This stuff has a nice aroma to it. On the nose, there’s molasses sweetness, honey, and almost a saltwater taffy tinge. Legs are fairly nice in the glass, very long and coating within the glass, and the golden copper colour is pretty good too. Very balanced in the mouth, with a lemony sweetness, and a smoky woodiness to it. The oaking is quite apparent with this, and helps meld it very nicely. An excellent and well-balanced sipper, I was also getting hints of sweet spice (nutmeg or cinnamon on the fringes perhaps), with a sweet stonefruit ripeness to it.
10. Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof. (45% alc/vol, Cuba) This lovely rich-copper-coloured rum, from the packaging notes, is aged in specially selected fresh white oak barrels, and then polished off in unique “finishing casks”, and then bottled straight from the cask directly at 45% alcohol by volume. This is the rum that, apparently, was discontinued and then reintroduced under a slightly changed recipe and different packaging under the Seleccion de Maestros label. This particular bottle of rum is my last of this type, from a 2011 trip to Cuba, and from one of the last production runs I believe. The rum in this is a minimum of seven-years-old (rather than a blend with seven years being the maximum, such as with the Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos), with it generally being referred to as a 10-year-old for the majority of the rum within it.
On the nose, some fresh nuts (cashew or brazil nuts?), some smoky honey, and almost like a rich black tea. Very distinct and slowly moving legs to this rum in the glass, with almost a negative attraction of the rum and the glass together (the rum doesn’t coat the inside of the glass so much as it pools itself into little droplets to “avoid” contact with the glass). Flavours of rich dark honey, caramel, some smoky woodiness on the back of the palate even, and then a full-bore heavy alcohol heat to hit on the backend of the flavour profile. With the heavy flavour profile and alcohol heat, it’s a very thin and lightweight feeling rum on the mouthfeel. A very nice rum to pair with nearly any cigar.
11. Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros. (45% alc/vol, Cuba) This is apparently the updated / newer version of the Barrel Proof. Again, being a 10-year-rum, the only real difference is that this rum is triple barrel aged (whereas the Barrel Proof only went through two caskings), and then the Seleccion de Maestros apparently does two sets of maturation in the old oak barrels first, and then does the finishing in new fresh white oak casks (opposite of the Barrel Proof style). Again, this is apparently the only real difference, in that the rest of the actual rum recipe is the exact same between the two.
I must say also that the packaging on this one is awesome. A cedar-look outer package, a lovely tapered crystal-clear bottle, and then the rich copper colour of the rum and the lovely cedar-look outer package all contrasted and accented heavily by the rich blue, gold, and red labelling.
Rich caramel notes and smokiness are on the nose, with a hint of lemon peel and fresh bread dough. Wavy legs are noted in the glass, within a heavy coating of rum when sloshed around in the glass. Flavours of sweet and savory spices are noted, accented by a buttery toffee and creme brulee profile. The heat aftertaste is very balanced throughout the mouth (not biting in any one area to hard), and meshes well with the profile. There’s even hints of tobacco and cedar essences in there (perhaps if one dreams and imagines hard enough, LOL). Again, another nice rum to pair with just about any cigar, but this is one I really enjoy paired off of dense and rich Ramon Allones or Montecristo sticks.
12. Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Dominican Rum. (40% alc/vol, Dominican Republic; batch # 002, bottle # S1878) This rum is made in the D.R., and imported and created by a company out of California called 35 Maple Street. The packaging of this one is unique, being in a giant apple-shaped bottle, and with very elegant and tasteful white silk-screening on the bottle showing of the history of the brand’s namesake (a rum-running schooner than ran from the Caribbean to the northeastern U.S. seaboard, before it was captured and turned into a U.S. Coast Guard instructional ship). This was an awesome gift sent to me by great BOTL Alex, part of a few trades and whatnot he and I did back and forth, and a rum I had not heard of nor seen before.
However, and especially for a 12-year-old rum, the packaging unfortunately is the best part of this rum, and while it’s nowhere near a bad rum, it’s not quite the best sipper. It has a rich copper colour, but the legs in the glass are a bit broken up and spotty. The nose is of heavy vanilla and oakiness. The mouthfeel of this rum is very watery, with no viscosity to it at all. The heat is almost overpowering on this rum compared to any flavours – one would almost think this is a barrel proof or 50%+ rum due to the heavy alcohol tones. There’s some nice caramel and butteriness there, but again, the heat overpowers it. If I drink this one as a sipper, it’s generally chilled/frozen (does this rum a world of good), or, more often than not, I’m cutting this one with a bit of Coke.
13. El Dorado 12 Year Old Rum. (40% alc/vol, Guyana) This is one of my favourite sippers. This rum is made in Guyana and is a “Demerara” rum, using Demerara sugar (a darker brown sugar than normal, containing a high level of molasses), which results in a strong and bold flavour profile. This rum contains a blend with a minimum age of 12-years (some rums upwards of 16-years apparently), and comes from a company making this stuff for 345 years now. Some find this rum too sweet and caramel-laden (attributed to its demerara sugar manufacture), but I tend to love that in good rums.
In the glass, a good consistent copper colour, and with noted wrinkly-looking and zig-zagging legs in the glass. Very strong butter and caramel aromas on the nose. On the palate, any heat is rounded and well-ascentuates the flavour profile, consisting of vanilla, toffee and caramel, and some sweet fruitiness (perhaps of dates or prunes?) Some sweet spices of allspice and nutmeg are around the fringes as well. I love this one as a sipper. Mixing with Coke is okay too, but I find the caramel sweetness of this one can almost be overpowering and too sweet if mixed with Coke. A bit of ice to chill this one does wonders.
Well, that’s where I left things off the other night. Didn’t get a chance to finish off the last five yesterday due to family commitments, but will be trying to get the rest finished off this evening though. More to come shortly to finish this off then…
Go here for Part 1, here for Part 2, and here for the Part 4 conclusion of this series.