Woo! This was my first rum tasting! So much fun deciding my lineup, figuring out what to talk about, research the points I’m not quite as clear on. Tasting through my lineup to set the order and prepare notes. It’s definitely one of the most fun parts of the job. It’s even more fun when I get to share all my knowledge and these tasty spirits with you all.
We went from India to Central America and the Caribbean and down to South America to taste some of the more interesting rums on my shelves. On the way, we got to talk a bit about Rhum Agricole Rum, along with the spirit’s ties to the navy, trade and -like all things back then- slavery.
We snacked on some specifically selected cheeses and sweet accompaniments from Peasant Cheese, and dove right in to taste the following.
Amrut Old Port Rum
Amrut uses the wonders of climate-assisted rapid spirit maturation for more than just whisky! 100% cane sugar rum reaps the benefits of the main part of Amrut’s business and spends time in their ex-whisky barrels, along with some new oak. It’s richly coloured and filled with flavours of dried fruit and vanilla with a hint of sweetness. $30
Rum Malecon Anejo 12 year
Malecon is an old-school Cubano rum recipe made in Panama. It spends its 12 years in re-charred bourbon barrels. Light and creamy custard notes with light toffee and hints of caramelized marmalade. $55
Rum Nation Guadeloupe Vieux
Like all Agricole rums, this is AOC is made with cane juice rather than molasses. Likely at least 3 years old, this NAS rum has notes of exotic vegetables and honey. Light grassy notes along with a hefty bourbon note (likely form the barrels). An excellent rum for those who want to stick to the lighter side. $82
Rum Nation Panama 18
This is most likely column still rum from the Don Jose distillery (makers of Ron Abuelo). Generous brown sugar and tobacco flavours along with candy syrup and confectioners sugar. The rum boasts a decent sweetness, likely from additives that are almost the norm among the industry (don’t take it as a negative). $88
Flor de Cana 25 year
The “25” statement on the bottle is actually an average year, just as it in with tawny port. Flor de Cana has a silky feel with loads of caramel and figs. Hints of caramelized pineapple syrup with brown sugar, on a platter of exotic wood. $190
Brugal 1888 Double Aged
This Dominican rum is matured both in ex-bourbon barrels, and then first-fill sherry casks. The Edrington Group-owned brand is held to the same barrel standards as The Macallan and Highland Park, and the quality of the wood shows in the palate of the rum. $50
Dictador Best of Rum 1973 Altisimo
The Altisimo series is a small selection of single casks, seen to be among their best. Each is bottled up unblended and ends up being usually around 300 bottles. 1973 is 45 years old and is loaded with rich, sweet pipe tobacco, ganache, and hints of clove and toffee-apple. $360
I have to say, I’m a little sad I wasn’t able to show off a Jamaican rum as they are among my favourite, but alas, they are not always that easy to find.
After exploring the histories, and sharing some stories, we polished off the cheese boards and picked out our favourites for the night. Rum Nation’s Panama 18 took first place, after Amrut Old Port for second and Dictador Best of Rum 1973 Altisimo coming up on the rear for 3rd place. The three of these took the podiums by a healthy margin. The next highest being a full 6 votes down. That’s a pretty interesting outcome! I figured the Dictador 1973ould come in first, but who am I to say, really.
For my first rum tasting, I’d say it was a success! Everyone left happy, either full or at least satisfied, and possibly even a bottle or two richer! We got to taste some delicious rums, and everybody learned a thing or two! Check marks all around! After that, I’m certainly looking forward to my next rum tasting, but before that, I’m going to have to pull out the stops and wow a couple more groups with Gin and Agave spirits. I’m sure you all have your tickets already right?