3 Cachaças

If you believe the Program for Brazilian Development of Sugar-Cane Alcohol (PBDAC), cachaça is the third most popular distilled beverage in the world, after vodka and soju. Wikipedia says it’s the fourth, adding rum ahead of it. Either way, it’s an extremely popular spirit made in Brazil as early as 1530. Over 30,000 small producers market over 5,000 brands and make about 350 million gallons a year – that’s about 2 gallons per person in Brazil, leaving just a little left over for the rest of us. Germany is the largest consumer of cachaça outside of Latin America.

Cachaça is made from sugar cane juice which is fermented for about 24 hours and then distilled to a product generally between 80- and 90-proof. Though this may sound similar to agricole, the two spirits should not be confused as the rest of the process – such as yeasts, distillation to 144 proof, maturation methods, cask woods, and so on – are quite different. As is the final product.

Given the number of producers of cachaça there are many, many variations. Much of it is drunk unaged, though some is aged a year or more in a variety of Brazilian woods, though American or European oaks are also used. Brazilian law states that cachaça must be aged at least one year in barrels no larger than 700 liters to be termed “aged” cachaça. Along with the unaged and aged cachaças, a third type is made by directly adding caramel or wood extracts. This variety is known as yellow cachaça, and is often sweeter because of the added ingredients.

Because of US laws cachaça must be labeled as “rum” when sold here, and is sometimes called “Brazilian Rum.” Knowledgeable liquors store owners realize this and often place cachaças away from the rum, so be sure to look around, or ask, if you’re shopping for cachaça. It took me a while to realize this, and I now have tendencies to roam the entire store looking for it. This is how I found my third bottle of cachaça which was over by the wine amongst 6 or 8 other cachaças. Discovering this third bottle finally allowed me to discover a true taste of cachaça and not one particular brand’s version of this spirit. It seemed silly to me to try a new style of cane spirit without knowing what the spirit itself was supposed to taste like, so I waited until I had 3 high quality cachaças before diving in.

Beleza Pura – $28 (750ml)
This cachaça, whose name means “pure beauty” in Brazil, is an artisinal cachaça brought to the US by Olie Berlic, a top sommelier in America. He moved to Brazil to find top wines, but instead turned his attention to cachaça. He spent 3 years tasting over 800 cachaças to find one that suited him and he brought it to the US as Beleza Pura.

This has a slight alcohol smell along with a bit of sweetness and a good amount of fruitiness, and thin but sticky legs that cling for quite some time. While I can detect hints of similarity with an unaged agricole it really is quite different – this is lighter and smells smoother, if that’s possible. An initial taste is very fruity, very nice, but with a bit of a burn that could be attributed to this being the first sip of the evening. Another larger sip show some hints of vanilla and the burn isn’t so bad. The finish is quick, but a very slight burn lingers a while before fading. A final sip has some more flavors and smells, one or two that I can’t place but are in that fruity/floral category.

Overall, this is quite nice. It’s not a sippable spirit, but it would certainly be very nice in the right cocktail – though it’s bold, assertive flavors might overtake many. I like it quite a bit, but I think it requires the right cocktail that would benefit from its assertive flavors.

Fazenda Mae De Ouro – $27 (1 liter)
This cachaça is an “artisinal” one, finely made by a small producer in the state of Minas Gerais. The sugar cane is grown in a sustainable way, and cut and processed by hand. The cane is cold-pressed, fermented using wild yeasts, and distillation in copper pot stills begins within 20 hours of cutting. Every 1000 liters of sugar cane juice end up producing only 120 liters of cachaça, and a mere 30 liters of this is aged for 1 to 2 years in 30-year-old Scotch barrels. After being filtered 3 times, it is bottled as Fazenda Mae De Ouro.

The smell is a bit more raw than the Beleza, not of alcohol but rather like fresher sugar cane. This has more similarity to an agricole smell, but again is milder. I really can’t detect any alcohol smell here. The legs are much thicker and slowly drip down. An initial taste is sweeter, less fruity, and much smoother than the Beleza. A larger sip shows more of the sweetness, fruit, and smoothness – though a mild burn hits after the swallow, and lingers a bit. But this finish has taste, unlike the Beleza’s simple burn for a finish. A larger final sip is very nice indeed – smooth and sweet. It lacks the assertive flavors of the Beleza but makes up for this in a gentler, subtler, smoother cachaça.

Overall, this is also quite nice but in a different way than the Beleza. It’s certainly much more sippable, and the subtler flavors are much nicer. I’m afraid that it might get lost in a bold cocktail, so this seems to belong in a simple cocktail with mild flavors that will let the tastes come through.

Leblon – $25 (750ml)
This cachaça is also made in the region of Minas Gerais, and the sugar cane is hand-cut and carefully milled. It is pressed within 3 hours of cutting, and fermentation begins using proprietary yeasts. After 15 hours the distillation process is started using copper pot stills. The resulting spirit is “rested” in XO Cognac casks for 3 to 6 months and then blended. It is triple-filtered and bottled.

The legs on this are somewhere between the other two – thicker than the Beleza but not as clingy as the Fazenda. The smell is similar to the Fazenda, but fruitier. A touch of alcohol is noticeable here, though it’s nowhere near the Beleza. An initial sip is a bit thick, and very sugary – like refined table sugar, not a smooth cane syrup taste. A larger sip shows some fruitiness, but not much at all, really. The long slow burn exists though, lasting far longer than it takes to type these two sentences. It’s a long slow fade. I’m wondering where the flavor is hiding, so I’ll give my mouth a few minutes to relax.

Finally, after a rest, I’m ready for another large sip of the Leblon. And… there’s some sweetness, and some fruit. I’m glad that I rested, even though I don’t miss that long fading burn. But another sip is bland, again. Is it only the first sip that has some taste here? Or is this the Bacardi of the cachaça world? OK, it’s not that bad, even though the burn is worse. A final sip, and I’m just left shaking my head and reaching for a sip of water to clear my mouth.

Just To Be Sure…
I wanted to go back and compare a small amount of the Fazenda to the Beleza, just to make sure that I’m thinking straight. I’ll do this in the reverse order this time, Fazenda then Beleza.

Fazenda… smell is mildly sweet and fruity, and refined – as in “clean” not as in “white table sugar.” A sip is raw/fresh, very smooth, some fruitiness but mellow with some sweetness. At this point of the night the burn is non-existent. This is good, but I am left wishing for a bit more taste.

Beleza… smell is mellower than I was expecting from memory. Still, it’s mostly alcohol, though some fruit and sweetness perk up. Taste is bold, fruity, with a burn. Nice, but not as nice as the Fazenda.

Summary
Cachaça is a different spirit than the molasses-based rums that I’m used to, but I like them for their sharp fruitiness and their taste of fresh sugar cane. They seem “livelier” than rums, more like a summer rum, and would kick some butt in the right cocktail. Yes, I’ll have to sample some caipirinhas and batidas. In fact I’m looking forward to it, before the summer ends.

As to the 3 cachaças sampled tonight, I’ll have to give my vote to the Fazenda Mae De Ouro. It’s certainly a cleaner cachaça, more delicate and suited to sipping. The finer, more subtle tastes were pleasant, not assertive or assaulting. I can’t wait until I can find some of the 5-year-old, though I understand it won’t be available in the US for a little while.

My second choice certainly goes to the Beleza Pura, though I will have to find the correct cocktail for it. The flavors were nice and bold – perhaps a little too bold – but the burn was not something I want to sip. In the correct cocktail this would probably be excellent, but I’ll have to wait until I find the right cocktail.

As to the Leblon, I’ll pass. The burn was almost as bad as the Beleza, but it had none of the tastes of either of the others. It was rather bland, really. Though it did have some sweet fruitiness it was no match for the clean and natural subtleties of the Fazenda.

Update
Originally I had never mentioned the prices of these 3 since they were so close – only $1 off from each other. But a reader reminded me that the Fazenda is a 1 liter bottle compared to 750ml of the others. So not only is the Fazenda my favorite in this review, it’s the cheapest by a noticeable amount. Good deal!

Angostura 1919 & 1824

The House Of Angostura, makers of the famous bitters, also makes a few rums. I’m sampling the 1919 and 1824 tonight.

Angostura 1824
This rum is the result of an intricate dance of doing things by hand. After 12 years of aging in used bourbon casks, a number of rums are hand-picked by Angostura’s master blender, hand-blended and then re-casked (by hand). After some time, when the blender is satisfied that the rums have properly married in the barrel, the rum is then hand-bottled into beautiful bottles, corked, and sealed with wax.

The rum is a very dark gold, with thin but very clingy legs. The smell is one of dark, sweet molasses, with vanilla and a dark toffee or butterscotch. The smells are bold and rich. The taste is not as sweet as the smell, and has flavors that seem slightly charred – pleasantly, not burnt. The molasses is apparent, as is the vanilla and toffee, along with a hint of raisins or other dark fruit. The finish is a little long and spicy, with a bit of a burn that surprises me for a 12-year-old. This rum certainly fills the mouth with flavors, each trying to grab your attention, and they succeed one at a time.

My third sip, quite large, packs a punch of flavors, burn, and spice. Though somewhat sweet and certainly complex – my desires in any rum – this does not have balance in its flavors. Each flavor is distinct and makes its presence known boldly. Though it’s far from unpleasant, it is also not quite pleasant enough to enjoy as a fine sipping rum. I have to wonder how this would fair in a cocktail whose ingredients would help balance this rum. It’s interesting enough, just not balanced.

Angostura 1919
This rum is a blend of rums aged at least 8 years. It’s a medium gold color, with thin dripping legs, and smells fantastic. Sweet molasses and creamy butter come to mind, or maybe caramel rather than butter. Hints of vanilla come through. The flavor is a little smoky, rich, and creamy with hints of toasted nuts. It’s not as sweet as the smell. The finish is quite mild but a bit long, with a tiny hint of spiciness and just a little burn.

Another larger sip is more of the same. This is quite good, and a very nice balance of some simple flavors. It’s fine enough and smooth enough to be a good sipping rum, though perhaps it doesn’t have enough of any distinct flavor to be sipped too often. It would make a very decent mixing rum though it might get lost in stronger cocktails. Very good, but could use a little something more.

Summary

Price aside, the choice between these two is a no-brainer: the 1919 wins. If considering the price, the 1919 wins easily at less than half the cost of the 1824 ($26 vs $55).

But neither is perfect. The 1824 is rather unique and distinct and contains some very fine flavors, but is too unbalanced to be sipped on its own. The 1919 is well-balanced and rich, but it’s just a little too bland to be sipped too often. Either could succeed in cocktails, though the 1824 would need some careful thought.

I don’t mean to seem down on both of these rums – they certainly have their good points. They both just miss the mark by a little. Even still, the 1919 will go into onto my list as “Recommended” whereas the 1824 gets branded as being “On The Edge” since it’s a little too unique to be blindly recommended.

In Case You Missed It

Natalie over at The Liquid Muse has a great little post called Conduct A Home Tasting. This has some details she recorded at the Tales Of The Cocktail tasting seminar. She covers some tips on how to taste liquors, and goes into some details about Vodka, Gin and Rum.

This is yet another post that makes me sorry that I missed TotC. Great info.

An Agricole Rhum Tasting

The other day I had a couple minutes to kill before a meeting, so I hit Google looking to find any mention of rum tastings in Boston. The third link listed “An Evening of Rum & Bossa Nova at UpStairs” in Harvard Square. The blurb didn’t say much about the rum other than mentioning “AOC Martinique Rums” and I my curiosity was piqued about tasting some more agricoles. Then I noticed the date and time – the event started in 3 hours! What kind of luck was that, eh?

After work I drove into Harvard Square, found the place, and parked in one of those tiny parking garages that charge you by the minute. I walked over to the restaurant – UpStairs On The Square is the full name – and inquired about the rum tasting. When asked if I had a reservation my heart sank at the thought that I had wasted a trip into Cambridge and $10 for 12 minutes of parking. But they found room for one more person, and I was in.

I was 10 minutes early, and one of the few people in the room, so I browsed some the placards they had lying around. They listed agricoles from J.M. and Clément, and the small menus by every setting listed a tasting menu of drinks paired with food. Interesting. A moment later a gentlemen introduced himself, and it turned out to be Benjamin Jones from Clément, who I have had some email conversations with in my quest to learn more about agricole. We chatted about this blog, agricoles, my recent review of the Clément XO, and this event.

Ben introduced me to the local distributor of Clément and J. M., Jim Robbeson, and we discussed the difficulties of finding agricoles in Massachusetts. Jim mentioned that he was expecting to deliver some J.M. and Clément to a couple of Boston stores, Brix and Charles Street Liquors.

Créole Shrubb
People were slowly coming in, and the wait staff appeared with trays of a tiny cocktail – Clément Créole Shrubb with the house-made Orange Sorbet. The Shrubb is an excellent orange liqueur made with rum as a base, and it matched perfectly with the sorbet. It was a delicious way to start the evening.

Clément Première Canne
After a few minutes most of the people were in and the bar manager, Augusto Lino, got up to say a few words and introduce Ben Jones, who spoke a bit about the rums and some more about the island of Martinique. The wait staff delivered small cocktails mixing Clément Première Canne with wildflower honey, cucumber and lemon juice. The cocktail was excellent, allowing the smells and flavors of the agricole to clearly come through while nicely balancing the distinct flavors. The food, salmon with cucumber and a cherry-honey and creme fraiche, was an excellent match for the rum, and all the flavors complimented each other very well. Nicely done!

Clément VSOP
Next up was the Clément VSOP, neat, served with sesame-encrusted asparagus on a plate covered with a delicious yuzu emulsion. The VSOP is a fantastic rum with a multitude of rich floral notes delicately balanced by earthy tones and the barrel tastes produced by the complex aging process. It’s a wonderful rum, one that I have on-hand and need to fully review. It went well with the asparagus, but I think I was thinking too much about the rum to really appreciate it.

I chatted a bit with a couple at the table who seemed to be primarily bourbon and single-malt drinkers. Though my dislike of whisky and whiskey limited the conversation, I did try to explain a bit about rums, and suggested a few I think whiskey drinkers would enjoy.

Rhum J. M. Blanc
Ben got up again and spoke while the wait staff delivered the next round – a cocktail with Rhum J. M. Blanc and Ahi tuna with caramelized banana and clove. Again the cocktail was very good – a mix of the J. M. and lime juice and a house-made ginger beer – though not quite up to the level of the first cocktail. Still, one could tell that the pairing was considered carefully and done well.

J. M. Blanc Vintage 1997
After some more words from Ben and Lino, the last rum of the night was delivered – the J. M. Blanc Vintage 1997. This was an exquisite rum, very complex with the floral and earthy notes typical to agricoles, well balanced with some nuttiness and a lot of vanilla. It’s a cask-strength rum, so after a number of sips I had to tone it down a bit with a single ice cube. This brought out a lot of vanilla and some sweetness and turned it into a truly exquisite rum. The dessert served with this rum was a nutmeg flan, which was quite good despite though the flan itself seemed a bit underdone. It was, however, no match for the rum, which was simply exceptional. I can’t wait to add this rum to my collection.

Summary
By the end of the night I considered myself extremely lucky to have experienced this rum tasting event. It started with chance hit on Google, followed by getting the last seat available without a reservation, followed by almost 3 hours of excellent food and exceptional rum. I loved the care taken to match the rums to the food, and especially the creation of the cocktails which accentuated the rums.

I certainly enjoyed meeting Ben and Jim and discussing the Clément rhums, as well as talking to that couple about the similarities between fine bourbons, whiskeys, and rums. On the way out I managed to catch Lino, a Brazilian, and we discussed cachacas a bit. It was a very fine night of drink, food, and conversation.

Agricoles
This tasting gave me a much better understanding of agricoles and certainly a much better appreciation for them. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on both J.M. rhums sometime next week, thanks to Jim telling us about a couple stores that should be stocking them soon. I’ll have to beat the couple at my table, though, as they were planning on buying 3 or 4 bottles of the J. M. 1997. And if they read this – I was wrong. I estimated about $60 a bottle, but it seems like it will be closer to $90, judging from some searches on the web. Expensive, yes, but not too bad for a rum like this.

Lino’s Blog (edit)
I just stumbled upon a blog entry from Lino, the bar manager at Upstairs and the creator of the fine cocktails had that night. He talks about the night, and it’s interesting to get a view from behind the scenes. Check it out at: http://upstairsonthesquare.blogspot.com/2007/08/agricole-rum.html

3 Coconut Rums

I’m not one for flavored rums – I’d much rather have a home-made infusion made with fresh fruits. But I happened to notice that Dave Broom, in his book Rum, gave Cruzan Coconut Rum 4 stars. 4 stars. For a pre-made, flavored rum. I figured that it had to be pretty good, and resolved myself to give it a try since I like coconut anyway. One day I saw a bottle in a liquor store and I grabbed it. And then I thought about comparisons, so I grabbed a nip each of Malibu Coconut and Parrot Bay Coconut. What the heck.

Descriptions
As expected, nothing secret is easily divulged about these three flavored rums. Malibu is a 42-proof spirit made using Barbados rums, but is labeled “Caribbean Rum with natural coconut flavor.” Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay – also 42 proof – is a Puerto Rican rum also “with natural coconut flavor.” The Cruzan Coconut – at an eye-popping 55 proof – is from St. Croix and has – surprise – “natural coconut flavors.” Cruzan also shows a registered slogan: “The taste is real.” I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.

I’m curious about how much natural coconut flavors these rums have, and how much of the coconut taste comes from a chemical lab. I guess they have to go that way since the natural flavors probably won’t last a year on the shelf. I’ve heard rumors that 267 had a difficult time with their infused spirits. I do want to try their Pineapple Rum Infusion some time, but all I can find is their Mango Rum and I’m not a real fan of mangoes.

Malibu Coconut Rum
First up, in no particular order, is the Malibu. This smells mostly of alcohol, with some sweetness and some rather fake-smelling coconut lingering in the background. I’m actually surprised at how weak the coconut smell is – I hope the others aren’t like this. The taste is actually mostly non-existent but with a lot of coconut smell, but the rum has some sweetness and barely any hint of alcohol. No burn whatsoever – it’s quite smooth. The coconut, however, is slightly reminiscent of the beach – and I mean a New England beach with hundreds of folks slathering sun protection on their pearly-white skin. This tastes more fake than anything, though it’s not horrible. Its smoothness and sweetness make this a rum that’s easily drinkable, and I can see why they have sold so much over the years.

Parrot Bay Coconut
Next up is Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay. I can’t detect an alcohol smell with this one, but I can’t really detect any coconut either. Instead, there’s something fruity – so much that I grabbed the bottle to make sure that I had the Coconut version, which I do. Another few smells finally find the coconut smell, but it’s faint – like sniffing a roll of Pina Colada Lifesavers before you open them. The taste definitely contains more coconut, but like the Malibu much of the coconut hits the nose and not so much the taste buds. There’s less fakeness here, though there’s a tiny bit of a burn. Well, the burn is noticeable whereas the Malibu went down like water. The Parrot Bay is better than the Malibu, but it’s not quite awe-inspiring.

Cruzan Coconut Rum
Last up is the Cruzan. Actually I think I subconsciously planned to try the Cruzan last. Yeah, I probably did. Anyway, a sniff of this one detects only coconut – no alcohol and no fruits – but it is very faint. The Cruzan actually has the least coconut smell of the bunch, even with my nose buried halfway into the shot glass. At least I can’t detect any fake chemical smells like the Malibu. As for taste, the Cruzan easily has the most burn. The taste is on par with the Parrot Bay, though the extra bit of a burn from the Cruzan drops it a point.

Malibu Zero, The Others…
Well, it’s easy for me to say that the Malibu is the loser here, but the Parrot Bay and the Cruzan are too close to call. Obviously it’s time to kick back for a few minutes, let the mouth relax, and try these two again. I’ll be back in a few minutes…

Coconut Showdown
First up this time will be the Cruzan Coconut – two healthy measures swished and swallowed. And the result is… Nicely sweet with a good amount of realistic coconut. There’s still the burn, though, which is slight but should probably be non-existent in a 55-proof spirit. Overall it’s OK, but nothing to write home about.

Next is – of course – the Parrot Bay, using the same methods of imbibing. And the result is… Somewhat boring. It’s slightly sweeter than the Cruzan, with a thicker mouthfeel and the coconut is not as good since it has a tinge of chemical plant around it. There is absolutely no burn though, so this is the coconut rum of choice for girly-man shooters.

And The Winner Is…
Well, I’m certainly not much of a winner in this showdown since it points out that I wasted $12 on a fifth and two nips. But between the Coconut Rums the winner has to be the Cruzan for it’s slightly better coconut flavor and higher alcohol content. But it didn’t win by much – the Parrot Bay was smoother than simple syrup and had a decent coconut flavor. The clear loser is the Malibu – which makes it a winner of sorts since it has achieved the lowest point on my Rum Rankings list. Yes, it’s worse than Bacardi White.

Summary
Yuck.

Pyrat Cask 23

Pyrat Cask 1623A long time ago I happened upon a liquor store that had a bottle of Pyrat Cask 23 (aka Cask 1623). I looked at the $240 price tag and drooled, shook my head and bought a lottery ticket. I lost, and went home without that bottle of rum.

Last summer I happened to be chatting with a co-worker and found that we had a common interest in our love of rums. I mentioned the story about seeing the Pyrat 23, and he showed a particular interest in it. So much interest that he wanted it, so I offered to pick it up for him if they still had it. I eventually did get it for him, and we tried it and loved it.

Last week this co-worker announced that he was moving on, going to another job. Yesterday I asked if I could borrow the bottle. Well this brought a round of laughter from all sides – how does one “borrow” a bottle of rum? I promised that I would drink as little as possible – just enough to do a review for this site. He agreed, still shaking his head.

With friends like this, how can you go wrong? Thanks Chris!

An Introduction
Pyrat Cask 23 is a blend of pot-still rums of up to 40 years old, made and blended by Anguilla Rums, LTD. It comes in a hand-blown glass bottle with some antique-looking labels, a couple ribbons around the neck, and of course comes with a Hoti medallion dangling from a thick black string. There’s a small label on the bottle (it actually fell of this one) that is a hand-written serial number and signature from the bottler. The bottle is packed in a cedar box with a Hoti medallion inset in the front. All in all it’s a heck of a presentation.

Initial Taste
I had promised myself that I would pour only a finger of this borrowed rum, so I grabbed the widest glass I could find and poured a small amount. (Just kidding Chris – it was half a finger in a double old-fashioned glass.) This is a very dark rum – not dark like Myer’s but a very dark golden color. The initial smell is sweet with a faint orange tinge that seems typical with Pyrat rums, and delicately charred oak. It has some tones of very refined molasses, fruitiness, and a touch of honey. There are some other smells in here that are very faint and take some concentration to find. They’re so faint that all I can think is “fruit” but I get no further.

The initial, tiny sip is rich and full, sweet and a bit thick. Too small to really explore, this sip is predominantly sweet, faint molasses, and a bit of spiciness in the finish. The next, larger sip is more of the same – rich and sweet and excellent, but not a lot of flavors are coming out yet. This is most likely because I’m afraid to drink this up and leave Chris nothing, but I’ve got to bite the bullet and take a full, proper sip…

Wow, that fills the mouth with flavor! But again it’s more of the same tastes as before, with no other tastes really coming out. But this large sip certainly shows a few tricks in its finish. It’s got a long, wonderful finish that stays in the mouth for a very long time. This might have to do with its thickness coating the mouth – luckily that thickness is not cloying but has a rather silky mouthfeel to it. Tones of licorice come out at the very end, and some slight barrel – the best barrel tastes I’ve ever experienced. Though slight, they show off a delicate but beautiful balance of licorice vanilla, and oak.

It’s extremely smooth, but not quite the smoothest rum I’ve ever had. But the taste keeps coming long after the burn fades to nothing, so I can deal with what little burn it has.

I left a very tiny sip in the glass, just enough to coat the tongue. And I’m glad that I did, for it is very pleasant. And it keeps me from pouring another finger just to make sure…

Summary
This is certainly an excellent rum. Sweet and fruity, smooth and with an amazing finish – it might be the longest finish I’ve ever experienced in a rum. It’s certainly the best finish, by far, of any rum I’ve had. And that’s what takes this rum all the way, since it lacks the complexity that I’d expect in a blend of very old rums. The initial rum tastes themselves are simple – sweet molasses rum with orange tones and a touch of fruit. If that were all this rum had to offer then I’d certainly stick with the much sweeter Pyrat XO at one-tenth the price. But the back half, starting just after the swallow, really bring out the care and craftsmanship that went into this rum.

Money aside, this rum is outstanding and goes to the top of the list. But at $240 a bottle you have to be fully prepared to appreciate this rum. Don’t just take a sip and expect magical things to happen – get your money’s worth and pay attention and concentrate.

But I have to admit that even after this tasting I am not even thinking about spending $240 on a bottle of Pyrat Cask 23. That is the same amount as 6 bottles of Zacapa 23-year-old. But if I had the expendable income I would certainly buy one. And I would not share – except with Chris.

Search Terms

Whenever I check the statistics for this blog I always check the Search Terms section. This lists various phrases that people have used in some search engine which somehow produced a link to this page. Checking this list gives me an idea of what some people are looking for. People often search for reviews of rums I have not yet tried but are listed on my List Of Rums. And that sometimes gives me incentive to try to post something about it. Alas, I don’t do that often enough so I thought I’d take up some space “answering” some of those searches as best as I can.

“coyopa rum review”
I bought a bottle of this recently and tried a little. I wasn’t very impressed – it’s decent enough but outrageously priced for what you get. I used it to mix a giant batch of Pina Coladas and it was very good, but $50 for a general mixer is insane.

“cruzan vs bacardi
Cruzan is better, and much cheaper. Check out my review of 5 White Rums.

“leather covered rum bottle”
That would be Ron Pampero Anniversario, which I’ve had numerous times but have not fully reviewed it. It’s excellent, and will certainly land in my Highly Recommended list.

“how much zacapa centenario”
About $35-$40, at least in Massachusetts, for the 23-year-old. The 15-year-old is a bit lower. Both are worth every penny.

“The best rum for a mojito”
So far, my vote is for Ron Matusalem Platino for an “authentic” Mojito. Jeffrey Morgenthaler recently posted an excellent article about Mojitos, and the Comments list a number of opinions about which rum to use.

“new rums to try”
Check out my Rum Rankings list and start from the top and go down.

“flor de cana in nyc”
I believe Astor’s Wines and Spirits carries it.

“how to drink rum neat”
I pretty much follow Edward Hamilton’s suggestions. They can be found here.

“solera process”
My review on Ron Zacapa 23-year-old describes it and this Wikipedia article gives some insight and history.

“sweetest rum”
I’d say the Pyrat Pistol from all of those that I’ve tasted. The Clément Créole Shrubb is *much* sweeter, but it’s not a rum, but rather a rum-based orange liqueur.

“rhum forum”
Ministry Of Rum forums.

“make bacardi superior taste good”
1oz Bacardi Superior
1/2 lime, cut & squeezed
2 liters Coke

“tasting note pyrat 1623”
I’ve had this rum, but it was some time ago and I didn’t take notes. It is fantastic, though. I seem to remember it being a more classic rum, nothing like their sweet and orangey XO or Pistol. It’s not cheap, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever pay $240+ for it, but it sure is nice…

“cruzan vs. malibu coconut rum”
What a coincidence! My plans for this weekend include a 3-way between the Cruzan, Malibu, and Parrot Bay coconut rums. Check back in a few days.

“how to open ron centenario rum”
You must have one of the old bottles that’s entirely covered in the straw wrapping. At the base of the “cap” – right on the “shoulder” of the bottle – you should find a thin red line. Find the beginning of that line, and pull around the bottle. It’s much like a pack of cigarettes. Once you’ve pulled all the way around the straw “cap” will lift straight up.

“what is the smoothest rum”
In my opinion, for 80-proof rums, the Ron Zacapa Centenario 23-year-old.

“hoti, saint”
According to Pyrat’s web site, Hoti is “the famous Zen patron saint and protector of little children, fortune tellers, and bartenders.” Checking the web I can’t find out much more about this, so believe at your own risk. Pyrat (and/or Patron) has woven some great stories about their rums…

“easy rum mojitos with lime concentrate”
Don’t do it! Mojitos are easy enough. Heck, I even tried the Stirrings Mojito Mixer, which is quite good but not nearly as good as the real thing and saves about 30 seconds per drink.

“is tommy bahama rum any good”
Not from what I’ve heard, but I did pick up a nip of each in order to do a review. I’m just not psyched to try it…

“lemon hart rum vs captain morgan”
There is no comparison. This is like comparing Brandy to Dr. Pepper. Lemon Hart is a demerara while Captain Morgan is a spiced rum.

 

Well, that’s about it for now. I did note a bunch of rum reviews that people where searching for, and I’ve made a mental note to push them up in the list. A lot of people are looking for info on Angostura, for instance, and I’d actually like to do a comparison on the 1824 and the 1919 sometimes soon so check back. Many of the other rums are not in my collection nor can I find them anywhere locally, so they’ll just have to wait. But if you see a rum on my lists and would like to get more info, or a full review, please leave a comment.