To begin, I feel it’s necessary to mention that Raucous Rums is not for the faint of heart. This is a tasting for the uninhibited. Itâ€™s for those ready to expose their wild sides; their personalities saved for the high seas, imagining ports of old and illicit liquors behind counters of dark and gloomy bars ready to rouse their untamable natures hidden from common society. And what are these liquors of old? Rum, the true essence of the Caribbean.
Rum is a true spirit of the people, with origins of the most humble kind. It’s soft, sweet and supple characters are all easily admired by spirit enthusiasts everywhere eager to swallow rumâ€™s purely enjoyable nature. Drinking and sharing rum is a ritual easily shared by all, no matter their disposition toward other hard liquors. This simple rite of kinship creates a camaraderie that is impossible to establish outside of the scenario. With all this considered, our tasting of 22 eager enthusiasts forged new found friendships over this series of seven rums.
1. Cadenhead Green Label Classic
Cadenhead is known as one of the Scotlandâ€™s oldest independent bottlers, offering all sorts of spirits ranging from single malts to rums. With that in mind, they have quite the eye for remarkable casks offering some of the most interesting and independently bottled liquors. This specific rum is over the top with spiced vanillas, almost like a scented candle spicing it up with allspice and cinnamon. Though simplistic on the nose, the rum showed off it’s powerful stripes of candied green apple streaked with butterscotch and more spiced vanillas. Easy to enjoy but nothing out of the ordinary, just our classic rum, which the label indicates perfectly! $69.99
2. Plantation Grenada 2003
A unique release from a French independent bottler going by the name of Plantation who buy barrels of rum from all over the Caribbean and Latin America and finish them in cognac barrels. This release shows off the candy stand at the fairground in spades. If you haven’t experienced said candy stand, imagine candy floss, jelly beans, candied fruit strips and anything else elegantly candied. The finish in the cognac barrel adds a fair amount of sweet fruitiness that can easily convert anyone into a rum drinker.Â $74.99
3. Plantation Nicaragua 2001
Now here comes the cavalry. The nose is boisterous and loud right from the start. Finished with cognac barrels in similar fashion to most barrels procured by the Plantation series, this release offers more dark fruits, spices and gingerbread. With all this character one might think this bottling passed up its subtleties to show off all its power, but the neat thing is the nuanced underbelly which I feel was overlooked in the tasting. Definitely one of my favorites of the night. $74.99
4. Rum Nation Panama 21
Simply put, this rum stole the show. It was just too bloody drinkable. There isn’t anything specifically special about the profile, itâ€™s just an amazingly enjoyable sip. Lot’s of candied citrus, creamy and rich with tons of satisfaction loaded on the side. It’s the epitome of something so satisfying you just have to have another to capture that feeling one more time. Without trying it, you will never know. $109.99
5. El Dorado 21
Now I may have shown my bias by putting this one in the lineup. I am absolutely infatuated (maybe even in love) with this drink. It’s so well balanced, peacocking every one of it’s flavours in a flamboyant display. There is truly nothing hidden about this rum. Just imagine, for a moment, combining a fruit leather layered sticky toffee pudding accompanied by a parade made entirely of figs, dates, raisins and ridiculous quantities of baking spices. This was the number one rum of the night, nobody could deny their love for the one true rum monarch. $54.99
6. Flor de Cana 25
The under performer of the evening, though who can blame it, living in a shadow as large as the El Dorado 21. Delicate in comparison, this lass was only able to show off her most powerful characters, which are light at best (I have to admit it may have been my fault pacing this nuanced beauty after the behemoth that preceded it). Even with that in mind, the subtle delicacy is still quite the treat showing an uncommon perfumed nature alongside the tints of tropical fruits, making this rum perfect for those looking for an extraordinary experience. Want to convert a rum philistine? Apply one ounce of Flor de Cana 25, twice, depending on the severity of condition. Watch for effects and transition within ten to fifteen minutes. $174.99
7. Rum Nation Demerara 23
Dark and brooding, living in the shadows, disowned by its brothersâ€¦â€¦ this was the true outcast of the night. Sherry cask matured, turning something that may have been a rich amber colour into a menacing reddish brown lacquer, the true behemoth emerges. A fair warning to all intrigued, even the rum drinkers of the night turned pale at the nose of this beast, knowing the temptations of evil offered from the scent alone. Hailing from the lands of demerara sugar cane, this truly unique rum was procured for the connoisseur and to be enjoyed by those with an indomitable palate. Raw spice, cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg flood every sense, only to be assaulted again by ridiculous amounts of leather and cigar tobacco. Itâ€™s like entering an exotic trading booth, these aromas assail your senses leaving you all the more intrigued. To conceive the palate in mere words is dishonor to this spirit. You will have to see for yourself the possibilities of this visceral creation. I am in love. Only three barrels of this truly special release exist, get one if you can. Simply put, my favourite of the night. $157.49
Top three voted favourites of the night:
#1 El dorado 21
#2 Panama 21
#3 Plantation’s Grenada 2003
With that we conclude our tasting, all the rums consumed and the attending party heartier and happier for the night. It can be said that anyone feels happier with drink, but can only feel truly content with rum. I for one can easily affirm that statement with gusto, confidence and with at least twenty two people behind me shouting something (hopefully coherently) similar. Cheers me harteys!