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Old 12-27-2008, 09:26 PM   #1
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My fondness for rum has become well know among my friends over the past 18 months. They see me and my rummies tasting for special occassions, bringing bottles to challenge the rum that we hold in the highest regard for that particular month, and generally making much ado about the noble spirit.

My experience this holiday and the thread about bad rum makes me ask the following:

What to do when you receive a gift or rum at the door that you know someone purchased because you like rum but just is off the mark ?

Do you say, ohh thanks for the Bacardi, its just what I've always hoped for.

or even worst,

I had a dear friend want to get in on our action and brought a bottle of pyrat xo to the tasting to go against the Gran Matusaulam, the St. James Extra Old, and the El Dorado 15. Given I want to encourage him, not tell him that his rum is sweet, orange, rumlike swill. I know where he's coming from, my first rum was black strap. I guess the broader question is :

How do you taste a rum and remain objective in judging if that rum is not in keeping with your palate ?

(for example - tasting of a heavily spiced rum when you only drink non-spiced)

Obviously, the answer must be somewhere between decorum and objectivity.


Sarasota Rum
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:28 PM   #2
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Try not to get carried away with an elite sense of what's unacceptable. I had occasion to sip some Pyrat XO recently and enjoyed it, as I do most rums. Is it the one I reach for first? No, but a lot of people like it and it's got its own place in the world of rums.

Some will say the same about Zacapa 23 or Diplomatico, or Angostura 1824, or Barcelo Imperial, etc. Others will say those are among the best rums.

Honestly, the challenge is to taste the Pyrat XO in contrast to the others. It's not bad rum, even if your preferences sway you away from buying the sweeter rums that often trigger many pedestrian tasters to later become connoisseurs.

Your friend wants to join in the adventure. Encourage him.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:00 AM   #3
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Feel lucky people are giving you rum at all rather than annoyed at their lack of imagination.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:02 AM   #4
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If I wasn't so far away, I'd gladly take that Pyrat XO off you.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:18 AM   #5
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I too have received a gift of a bottle that will get dusty before it is opened. It is true that a friend that sees that you are a rum drinker is better than the mooch that comes in to drink whatever you are serving and doesn't contribute to the party. I think every one knows one or two of them.

I told the gifter that I had a bottle open and that I would save theirs for another occasion. I put it under the tree and went back to hosting. Before he had left he had tasted four or five different rums of varying quality.

As far as the objectivity, I am not the one to help there. If I try it and don't like it, or do, I have a hard time remaining objective in judgement. However, the Pyrat is a pretty good mixer. It has it's place in the rum line-up.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:58 AM   #6
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I find it is always better to say thank you, and except the others kindness.
Part of holding tastings or comparisons isen't neccesarily to taste only rums you know you like, but to make comparisons as to what makes each rum different. By including all manner of rums, I find it helps to educate my palate, and guide me towards the rums I would prefer. It also provides an educational experience for everyone in the group, no matter thier experience.
Rum is the answer. What was the question?
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:02 PM   #7
Lew Barrett
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Just say "thank you."

Later, at an appropriate moment, you can if you wish invite the donor to a tasting that includes their bottle and some others you may have more fondness for. Never suggest that a gift given in good spirit isn't appreciated.
It's like telling your wife you don't like her cooking!

I have myself purchased bottles I find I have no taste for. Why would I look down on another person's purchase if they have even less familiarity with the subject than I do?

Last edited by Lew Barrett; 12-28-2008 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:05 PM   #8
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A possibility that has not come up is one that I have employed many times. Cook with the rum. Something that is too sweet and fruity for your taste might be perfect used in desserts like pralines or cakes. Think of it as a food ingredient instead of a drinking rum, and you might find you are very happy with the gift.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:47 PM   #9
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I like your take on this, lperry. Mixing or baking, almost any rum can be made delicious enough to not have to ignore it or sink it.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:27 AM   #10
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If someone gifts me some Bacardi, I would certainly accept it with thanks! Of course it isn't going to be one of my sippers, but it would do fine if you are serving up Rum 'n' Cokes etc. You can serve up a round or two made with nicer rums, but once people start to get .... lubricated.... good rum is wasted. Thats when you can start pouring the Bacardi and Cokes, and nobody but the enthusiast would even notice!
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