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Old 04-08-2009, 07:02 AM   #4
Count Silvio
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Originally Posted by Arctic Wolf View Post
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. Thereason 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.
Amen, I always do my tastings carefully and patiently over a few days to see whether I still feel the same on the next days.

Originally Posted by Arctic Wolf
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.
I've noticed this phenomenon as well on some reviews sometimes, though I usually find myself in the opposite situation - Usually my expectations are high which can lead to disappointment but I like to think I have managed to keep an objective view on my reviews. My readers can have the final word on whether I am biased or not.

Originally Posted by Arctic Wolf
To overcome these difficulties I have developed my own ranking system in which I never rate or reccommend 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.


You may laugh at my first category and I will admit it is a somewhat silly category. But doggone it I enjoy the abiance 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.
Its not a silly category, I too like a good packaging but I wont really let it affect the final scoring because it is the content that matters in the end.

Originally Posted by Arctic Wolf
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 lnectar starts the rum drinking experience. I love to nose a glass before I drink and savour the sweetness.
Personally, if I had to use a numerical system, I would rank up the nose way higher because I feel it is one of the most important aspects together with taste.

Originally Posted by Arctic Wolf
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)
It is always nice to read how others review rums, everyone seems to have a slightly different methodology. If you're interested to know more about mine, have a read.

Last edited by Count Silvio; 04-08-2009 at 07:06 AM.
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