Rum Runnin’

by Shawn

Oh boy do I love rum! The rich -and at times unfortunate- history, the variety, the international penetration, and of course the drink itself! Just as I did last time I put on one of these, I wanted to create a lineup of interesting rums from a variety of countries and styles, and of varying qualities, and I think I succeeded in just that. Some newcomers and some old favourites, and natural, because this is Kensington Wine Market, some real rarities!

I’m not all that certain what pirates ate besides limes, so I just asked the lovely Peasant Cheese to throw together tasty boards full of cheese and meat. That works well enough! Well enough for an informative evening of swigging rum and singing a sea shanty at least! Well… maybe there wasn’t any singing, but that’s mostly because I’m not the sort of person to start that sort of thing off. Here’s what was swiggin’ though!

Cadenhead’s Panama 9 year old: This modestly aged rum is perfect to start the evening off with. It’s likely from the Don Jose distillery, which produces Ron Abuelo as well. It’s soft with custard-like creaminess and light white fruit with hints of esters. $125

Zuidam Flying Dutchman 3: Zuidam is the first artisan rum distillery in Europe, and it started small and shaky. A passion project between husband and wife, with a single still and production line. The Rum No.3 is at least 3 years old and spends time in New American Oak, Olorosso Sherry, and PX Sherry casks. The rum is lightly doughy with tangy wine cask notes. Soft and fruity with a moderate sweetness. $57

Teeda Okinawa Rum: This newcomer to the province is the only agricole style we’re tasting this evening. For those who don’t know, Agricole rum is a french style that was created when sugar beets started being used for sugar, and the demand for cane juice decreased. Producers turned to use the cane juice for rum instead of sugar. Agricole rum is softer and often exhibits grassy and herbaceous notes. This Okinawa rum is young and soft with hints of cane syrup and dunder. Mildly funky and fruity. $69

Compagnie des Indes Latino: This French bottler has this line of introductory rums. Their Latino blend is composed of Guatemala, Trinidad, Barbados, and Guyana rums. It’s lightly sweet with notes of danish pastry, vanilla and hints of oak. $56

The Whisky Agency Long Pond 2000: This obscure bottler offers some truly unique rums, and this happens to be one of my favourite. This 16 year old Jamaican is drawn from a single cask from the famous Long Pond distillery. Jamaica is known for it’s generous use of Dunder in their rums, and thankfully, this bottle exhibits nicely. Moderately estery with a mild sweetness underneath. A Raw rum with baking spice notes and a moderate fruitiness. $170

Dictador Best Of Rum Altisimo 1973: These rums are always winner. Dictador has these reserves of these ancient barrels. This bottling of the Altisimo line is 43 years old, and is rich and dark as can be. Rich notes of molasses, brandy-soaked figs, and baking cola. Not to sweet, but certainly not dry by any stretch. A beautiful peak into the historic past of rum production. $425

Cadenhead’s Dated Distillation MEV Guyana 26 year: Ending the evening with a bang (in my opinion). This is an oddity if I do say so. Distilled at the original Enmore distillery in their legendary Wooden pot still. At 26 years old, this rum is wild and feral with aromas of road repair, and electrical fire, and flavours of leather, pickled strawberries, elmer’s glue and wood tannin. It’s hot, but not TOO hot. $425

This was a rockin’ evening. Even with only 9 attendees! These rums were all showing spectacularly, and the sheer variety was impressive! I had predicted long before the tasting that the old and dark Dictador was going to take 1st place for favourite rum, and that was indeed the case. What I didn’t expect though was the Flying Dutchman coming in second, or the Long Pond coming in third! I mean, I love the Long Pond and it was MY first place, but not everyone loves Jamaica as much as I do. Either way, what great results! I’m going to give a special shout out to the Teeda, which was quite impressive to both Evan and myself.

Okay, that’s about all I have for you.
Thanks to everyone!
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