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Old 02-29-2008, 11:38 AM   #1
krustykrab
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Default Cruzan questions

Just picked up a bottle of Cruzan Clipper 120 proof - anybody ever have it? I don't have too many expectations for it, but had never seen it /heard of it before, so it was interesting (and ok to bring on the plane) unlike the 151's


Also, for a distillery of a decent size /product line / following and fairly long history, why do they not have an aged product? They have the 5 year Estate Diamond, and the Single Barrel, as their premier products (how old is the SB, by the way?) but why do they not make a 12/15 etc yo? Seems like it would make sense? Maybe it is in the works?
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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Their Single Barrel contains Rum that are up to 12 years old. I am a big fan of their product line. I know that the Family have been critical of companies that claim to have 20 or 25 year old Rum. I would also point out that older isn't always better.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:41 PM   #3
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You are lucky to have found a bottle of Cruzan Clipper, that spiced rum is very hard to find and was going to be discontinued a few years ago.

Unlike many other rum companies, all of the rums bottled under the Cruzan label are aged at least 2 years. Their Estate Diamond is a blend of rums aged between 5 and, I believe, 10 years. Cruzan Single Barrel rums are aged up to 12 years, but the Estate Diamond is my preferred rum from that lineup.

Cruzan has historically concentrated on making rums which are slightly fuller in body than the rums made about 75 miles west on Puerto Rico. For a distillery located in the hurricane belt, it is a real gamble to rely on very old rums as part of your business plan. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 destroyed much of St Croix though the distillery was spared compared to many other businesses.

When you age a light bodied rum more than about 12 to 15 years the taste of the wood tends to overpower the rum flavor. Cruzan has been very successful in making rum to fill the demand in their market. In the simplest terms, for Cruzan to make and age rums more than 15 years would require them to do a lot of things differently which aren't cost effective for their market. Very few people in the rum industry make much money on their oldest rums after you consider the costs involved in making a product and then warehousing, insuring and maintaining it for more than 15 years which is one of the reasons some well-known brands are changing their age statements and reducing the aged components of their oldest products.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:49 PM   #4
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Thanks, Ed - answers my question - I was just curious with so many others pushing older rums, why they hadn't - makes sense! I am a big fan of the cruzan rums I've tried, but now I have 3 new ones to try - I am looking forward to trying them tonight!

I picked up that bottle of Clipper at the Peublo on St Thomas across from Kmart for, I think, $5. They had the full line up of their 151's there as well, both a lighter version and a darker version, which are all not mentioned on Cruzan's website. I was very interested but unable to bring back on the plane... bummer! Have you had them? How are they?
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:54 PM   #5
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I'm not a huge fan of 151 proof rums. Most are aged very long and are just too strong to be enjoyable. To demonstrate this for yourself, take a measure of 151 rum and then add a little less than that amount of water and you'll have something which is about 80 proof, the proof of the most commonly available rums. Taste the two and you'll see that just adding water doesn't quite measure up to blending the water into the rum. And the water you use probably isn't the same as the water used to make the rum at the distillery.

It has long been my view, that if I need to drink something as strong as 151, I'll have two drinks instead of one. Like sailing between the islands, the journey can be as much fun as the destination.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:00 PM   #6
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This is part of an article I found on line. Nelthropp is from Cruzan Rum.

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This brings us to the touchy subject of the aging statements on bottles of rum. Because of the Caribbean heat, an unusually high proportion of the rum evaporates from the barrel every year. As Nelthropp says: "In two years, we lose 15% to 17% of what we started with, thanks to the extreme heat. In 12 years, we have less than five gallons left in a 52-gallon barrel. We are still trying to figure out how some of our competitors are aging their rums for 24 years!"

While he's careful not to be censorious of his competitors in those jurisdictions where adherence to the rule of law might not be as exact as it is in the U.S. territory, the implication is that not all age statements on a bottle of rum should be taken at face value.

This was exactly my experience as I tasted my way through several dozen rums. In some cases, the older rums were not only smoother but had a far more intense and concentrated flavor. But in others, they just tasted old for the sake of being old--smooth but without character. The bottom line here is to remember that just because a rum carries a hefty price doesn't necessarily mean it's good.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:05 PM   #7
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"In two years, we lose 15% to 17% of what we started with, thanks to the extreme heat. In 12 years, we have less than five gallons left in a 52-gallon barrel. We are still trying to figure out how some of our competitors are aging their rums for 24 years!" KINGSTON quote.

I knew rum evaporated quickly in the heat but not to that extent. Would there be any benefit to warehousing the rum in an underground cellar? It would be cooler.
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:38 PM   #8
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Ed could probably answer your question better than I could.

but...... From my understanding The Central American Rum companies store their Rum at higher elevations that are cooler and in turn cause less evap in the barrels. I dought that any has underground storage in the caribbean (hard to dig into the ground & flooding from storms and hurricanes).
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:18 PM   #9
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I am very rapidly discovering that the age of a rum has no direct bearing on how much I like it. I prefer Zacapa 15 to 23, I believe I have a newly discovered preference for 1919 over 1824 (which occupied the pinnacle of my preferences just a few months ago) and I'm a Cruzan SB fan as well.

Can't say which I prefer in the ED line yet because there are more I need to try. It may go line to line, but age ain't everything.
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KINGSTON View Post
Ed could probably answer your question better than I could.

but...... From my understanding The Central American Rum companies store their Rum at higher elevations that are cooler and in turn cause less evap in the barrels. I dought that any has underground storage in the caribbean (hard to dig into the ground & flooding from storms and hurricanes).
That makes sense. When I was at the St Lucia Distillers in 2006 I remember being told that the whole island is basically the summit of an old undersea volcano. Pretty hard and expensive to mine into that.
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