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White Rums

Whether you call them, clear, silver, white or simple 'see through' how do you drink them?


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Old 10-26-2007, 11:58 AM   #1
Edward Hamilton
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Default Oronoco Rum from Brazil

There was considerable discussion about this spirit on the What did you drink last night? forum so I'm starting this thread in hopes of not letting that discussion get too far from What did you drink last night? and to hopefully answer some of the questions which have arisen about that spirit.

Despite what has been written in some national magazines by some "spirits experts" who should know better, Oronoco is not a Brazilian rhum agricole imported by Caribbean Spirits.

Oronoco is distilled for and blended by Diageo, the largest beverage alcohol company on this planet who also sell Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Johnnie Walker Scotch whiskey, Smirnoff vodka, ose Cuervo tequila and a long list of other spirits.

Oronoco is not Brazilian cachaзa for two reasons. First, Oronoco is not distilled from sugar cane juice to between 38 and 48% alcohol by volume and second, it contains some molasses based spirit and therefore if sold in Brazil it would have to be labeled rum. Though cachaзa is the most well known Brazilian spirit there is also a lot of alcohol made from molasses in that country which is bottled at rum, vodka and other lesser spirits.

Oronoco is a blend of Brazilian sugar cane spirit made from freshly pressed sugar cane grown on the mountains in the southern part of that vast country, and aged Venezuelan rum.

The reason Oronoco tastes more like an aged rum than what many percieve to be a white rum is that fact that the base spirit is made from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. So you might ask, "Why doesn't Oronoco taste more like rhum agricole." That lies in the way rhum agricole and the base spirit for Oronoco are distilled. Rhum agricole is distilled to about 72% alcohol by volume, which Oronoco is distilled to a much higher proof rendering it closer to a neutral spirit. The vanilla flavor of Oronoco comes in large part from the addition of aged Venezuelan rum.

So why doesn't Oronoco have more of the smoky oak flavor found in other aged rums? That is part of the magic of blending which hasn't yet been divulged by my friends at Diageo. And as most rum drinkers discover there is a little magic in every bottle but don't despair, if spirits blenders told you all of their secrets it wouldn't be magic, would it?
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:36 PM   #2
Hank Koestner
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Thanks Ed, for all the info. It really is quite a rum, and whatever magic they use, it is fine by me!
Do we know what type of barrels they use for aging?
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:54 PM   #3
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My guess is used bourbon and whisky barrels for the Venezuelan rum, but the base spirit isn't aged.
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Old 10-27-2007, 06:42 PM   #4
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Oronoco: I'm still enamored and in need of purchasing another bottle. Besides enjoying myself, I have been sharing it with others religiously. Thanks for the good review, Scottes, and the considerable info. and new link, Edward. I was particularly pleased to have my rhum agricole question anticipated and answered.

Here is a related question: how did others come across this rum? I have seen no advertisements for it whatsoever. I heard a handful of folks whose tastes I respect and with whom I resonate recommend it and so began with a miniature bottle as an introduction. I can't find it locally, but have family in California who purchase and ship it to me.

So, how did everyone else discover this pleasant and surprising white rum?
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:13 PM   #5
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I heard about it on this site, then found it described on different links on Scottes website. I was lucky enough to happen upon it at one of our liquor
stores.
By the way, I was in a restaurant tonight that had Oronoco on the bar!! It must be that one of our local distributors has discovered this rum, and is putting in local establishments. I did not have time to check on other rums at this establishment, but I will return and do so. The name of the restaurant is Houstons.
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Old 10-28-2007, 02:20 AM   #6
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I learned about it here, and read about it on a couple review sites like RNDReviews.com. I managed to score a bottle in NYC when I was there a couple weeks ago.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:22 AM   #7
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I'm in SF, if I'm not mistaken Oronoco was launched here. I'm on my third bottle now, and got my first more than a year ago. We sometimes go to this Brazilian bbq joint that was carrying it. I had seen it before but inquired and the bar tender said it was the best SC product they had on hand. I didn't have any that day but took a chance on a bottle the following week.

You are right Millicent, I don't see it advertised much except in industry books like BIN magazine etc. but I don't think it really needs advertisement heavily. They appear to have it well inserted into the bar tending market. Any establishment that has a reputation for either rum or equator related cocktails and concoctions now stocks Oronoco.

As a side, last week I was at a wine event for Southern and there was David Nepove with a booth making what I'd describe simply as outrageous cocktails. Anyway, prominently displayed was Oronoco, which I asked him what he does with it and he whipped up something he dubbed a "Hot Brazilian" - interesting to say the least.

The point I was leading up to... of the 50 or so products he had on the upper shelves, Oronoco was top tier and the lone rum. There was another rum I spotted on a low shelf under the counter - obviously not a "display" item.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:06 AM   #8
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Oronoco was launched in San Francisco and was heavily promoted for a short time then Diageo pulled back and reevaluated their position with respect to this product.

As an aside Dave Nepove served the first ti punch in American at Enricos in Jan 2005 before he went to work for Southern Wine and Spirits.
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Hamilton View Post
As an aside Dave Nepove served the first ti punch in American at Enricos in Jan 2005 before he went to work for Southern Wine and Spirits.
Enrico's... Now there's a blast from the past. My pop was pretty good friends with the original Enrico. We use to frequent the place back in the 70's.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:08 PM   #10
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Enrico died Oct 9 of this year but the restaurant has reopened. Unfortunately the bar has lost much of its passion. I went late last week and was offered a special mojito made with Bacardi light. There is a time and place for Bacardi light but that was neither.
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