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Old 08-19-2010, 08:30 PM   #1
RichardHMoore
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Pawleys Island SC
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Default Rum tasting in SC

2010 Quail Creek Rum Tasting

One cannot live by bread alone – you must also have rum! So a group of us got together at S&S home last week for a rum blind-tasting. This about the third time we’ve done this in the past 5 years. The incentive for our past tastings has usually been a visit by a friend from Columbia (SA, not SC) who brings different rums, often ones that are not easily obtainable in the US. This time however we wanted to say “arrivedercii” to our friends who a leaving for several years in Florence (Italy, not SC). Having just spent some time in Trinidad, they also had an assortment of rums and the rest of us did some house cleaning, contributing those bottles from the back of the closet that we’d been saving the last little bit of. For consistency we only sampled dark, unspiced rums. So that explains the rational behind the selection of rums for the night. We sampled 10 different rums and five of us rated our top five selections, the top selection getting 5 points, the next 4, etc. Here are our notes, some other taster’s impressions and our final tallies:

A) Appleton Estate Reserve (Jamaica) Rich color and body, sweet caramel taste but with peppery overtone. (R liked this one best, giving it 5 points, but overall it only garnered 7 points for a 4th place finish)

B) Prichard’s Fine Rum (Tennessee) light color and body, faint aroma, some smokiness. Drier than A (above) with a brandy-like finish I thought it comparable to some of the drier French Caribbean rhum vieux that I’ve tasted. (My 2nd favorite, but not highly rated by the others, so it didn’t make the top 5).

C) Ron Zacapa Centenario Gran Reserva (Guatamala). Medium body, much sweeter than A or B, with a maple sugar/ caramel aroma that I identify with many Central American rums. R thought it reminded her of one of the older Flor de Caña rums. Sweet taste lingers, but not cloyingly. (I rated it as my #3, R gave it her 2nd place 4 points, and with 20 total points it was our overall winner).

D) Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva (Venezuela). Pleasant aroma, accented with caramel and Caribbean spices, Lightest body so far, with a initial sweetness followed by a very dry alcoholic anisette aftertaste. (I gave it 2 points, overall it came in 5th with a total of 6 points).

E) Old New Orleans 3 year old (Louisiana). I thought it had a light, almost insubstantial body, however R considered it heavy, “pusserlike” (which she doesn’t like) with a very sharp vanilla taste (one taster said “candy corn”, another “tobacco” and finally another “stale tobacco”), impressions of aftertaste ranged from “not much” to a “harsh alcoholic burn in the back of the throat.” As you can probably tell from the varied impressions, this one didn’t do well either individually or overall.

F) Pyrat XO Reserve (Anguilla). Not much aroma, rather astringent with a chemical orange (one taster said phenolic, another butterscotch) taste. Very distinct from the others so far. (I thought I recognized it and gave it 1 point for old times sake, but overall it didn’t make the top 5).

G) Ron Medellin 12 Años (Columbia). First impressions were a licorice or fennel aroma and taste with an alcoholic peppery finish. Medium body and color. Not rated highly, but interestingly enough this same rum, in fact the same bottle, was our top pick in the first Quail Creek Rum Tasting. Maybe sitting in the back of the closet for all those years did not improve it?)

H) Havana Club Añejo Especial (Cuba). My impression and that of one friend was that this tasted like rum was supposed to. A pleasant, clean aroma, distinct, but not overpowering molasses flavor and a crisp finish with some bite. (I and one other gave it our #1 rating – 5 points, which together with 3 additional points picked up from others made this the overall #2 rum).

I) Bacardi Reserva Limitada (Puerto Rico) I thought this was nice rum, a hint of vanilla and a smooth finish but not distinguished from the others. Apparently others liked it better, giving it a total of 11 points and a 3rd place finish. This bottle was several years old, when the Reserva was only available at the Puerto Rico distillery

J) Mt Gay Eclipse Rum (Barbados). Sharp aroma (iodine), with a rough / raw taste. This was from one of the bottles with crown-tops. It didn’t get any points, so I guess this was our least favorite.
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