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Old 04-07-2009, 11:36 PM   #1
Arctic Wolf
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Edmonton Alberta
Posts: 917
Wink Thoughts on Rum Ratings

Just thought I'd post my thoughts on rum ratings in general and then explain my own personal methodology.

First off I don't trust reviews from one time tastings. For example some friends and I did some sampling last November in which we tried about 9 different rums. One in Particular caught my palate. Captain Morgan's Private Stock. I quickly bought a bottle when I had the chance and an extra bottle for reserve. Funny thing was, the more I tried it the less I liked it. The reason was the overwhelming flavour of vanilla. At the initial tasting the vanilla was a welcome addition, but familiarity definitely bred contempt such that I finally resorted to using the rum as flavouring in my flapjack recipe to use up the bottle. (Still only half gone and I have that reserve bottle too.)

I have learned that the initial tasting is somewhat misleading.

Another thing about reviews is the biases we inherently have towards age and price. I know I am guilty of this. When I spend a little extra on an older vintage doggone it I want it to taste better and I know I fool myself. So I wonder how many others do this. When I read a review blog and see all the expensive aged rums ranked high I wonder if this kind of bias has crept in. Of course there is no way of knowing and taste is so personal that the only solution to this question is to try the rums yourself.

To overcome these difficulties I have developed my own ranking system in which I never rate or recommend a rum until I have tasted it in a variety of settings. I have found that I will naturally go back to the rums I like over time and the bias I may feel at the initial setting is somewhat muted.

Anyway this is my system based upon a minimum of 5 drams of rum over a minimum of 5 different sessions.

IN THE BOTTLE: 5pts
IN THE GLASS 10pts
IN THE MOUTH 60pts
IN THE THROAT 15pts
THE AFTERBURN 10pts

You may laugh at my first category and I will admit it is a somewhat silly category. But doggone it I enjoy the ambiance created by unwrapping a fine bottle from its packaging and then placing the decanter in front of my friends. I also have a rule that the more I paid for a bottle the harsher I judge this category. Rums under 20 bucks score 5 quite easily, and rums that cost more than 80 bucks must really impress to score 5.

IN THE GLASS is not quite as silly as a lot begins to happen as we open the bottle and pour the rum. Sweet molasses aroma hits the nostrils. Some Rums like El Dorado 21 gain legs in the glass and the expectation of sweet nectar starts the rum drinking experience. I love to nose a glass before I drink and savour the sweetness.

Of Course IN THE MOUTH is the most important category and it is all about taste. Basically this is a "How good does this taste?" category. If I am constantly drawn back to a particular rum I score this very high.

IN THE THROAT is all about that warm feeling you get as the liquid flows down. Important is the Aftertaste left hidden at the back of the palate. Also that nice burn you feel as the liquid goes down. Bitterness left behind always knocks this score down a bit.

Finally the AFTERBURN which is really a catchall category meant to smooth out any inconsistencies. Sometimes a rum is more than the sum of its parts and this is a good area to recognize that. Also this is an area where the rememberance of the flavour is more important that the actual flavour if that makes any sense.


So there you have it my own method of evaluating Rum. Tomorrow I will try to give everyone my own take of ten different rums using this method.


(Note: if this post is in the wrong area please feel free to move it)

Last edited by Arctic Wolf; 04-08-2009 at 10:59 PM.
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