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Old 01-13-2008, 05:27 PM   #1
erickaye
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Default Results of the Tasting

We had a grand old time last night, 5 of us tasting 7 rums blindly.
The seven rums tasted were:

El Dorado 25
Pyrat 1623
Mt. Gay Tricentennial
Zacapa Centenario XO
El Dorado 15
Zacapa 23 yr (full wicker bottle)
Hudson River Rum - Tuthilltown Spirits in New York

The results were interesting, to say the least. The only unanimous opinion was that the Hudson River Rum was by far the weakest of the rums. All five of us ranked it #7 It was the lightest in color, harshest in taste, had almost no nose, and seemed far inferior to the other 6.

We had 4 different favorites among the other 6. Two people voted the Zacapa XO best, with one #1 vote each for the Pyrat 1623, El Dorado 25 and the Tricentennial.

The interesting thing was that the highest rated rum overall was the Zacapa 23. Even though no one rated it #1, it got almost all 2s and 3s.

The Pyrat 1623 was quite a decisive rum. Tasters either loved it or didn't care much for it at all. 3 people voted it 6th, and the other 2 gave it a #1 and a #2. The three that didn't like it thought it was far too different from what should be considered "rum". Very heavy on the citrus and molasses. One person felt it almost could have been Cointreau. The other two of us simply loved it.

In our rough rating point system, which was rudimentary at best, we rated each rum 1-7 and added up the totals. The lowest number was the highest rated rum over all.

They came out ranked:
1. Zacapa 23 - 14 pts (No #1 votes, but all high ratings)
2. Zacapa XO - 16 pts (2 #1 votes, but also 2 #5 votes)
3. El Dorado 25 - 16 pts (1 #1 vote)
4. El Dorado 15 - 17 pts (No #1 votes)
5. Pyrat 1623 - 21 pts (1 #1 vote, 1 #2 and 3 #6s)
6. Mt. Gay Tricentennial - 21 pts (1 #1 vote)
7. Hudson River Rum - 35 pts (Everyone disliked this one)

Different rating schemes might have altered the rankings, but overall both Zacapas and both El Dorados fared better than the others. This may be because we mostly tend to prefer the sweeter rums, and are not tremendous fans of agricoles.

We also tried a bit of the Cubaney 8 afterwards, and it felt far inferior to everything except the Hudson River.


I'm not really sure what conclusions to draw from this, other than the fact that all 6 of those rums were quite amazing rums. For most of us, there was very little difference between our #3-5 rums, and our top ranked rums vs. our least favorite rums were a matter of personal preference.

I would have liked to compare one of the newer Zacapas with the older full wicker bottle one, and would have liked to throw a couple of other rums in the mix, and added a few more judges, but we only had 35 glasses.

What pleases me most, however, is that for about $32, you can get just about the best tasting rum made, as opposed to cognac or whiskeys which run into the hundreds if not thousands for a similar type experience.

Fellow Ministry member bstout was in attendance. Anything you'd care to add, Bill?

Eric
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:47 PM   #2
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what a great night. a fun education to say the least. on a certain level i feel are "rankings" are fairly irrelevant. I was one of the people who gave the pyrat a 6. It could almost as easily have been my number 2 because it has a great flavor profile. it was yummy. but i am not used to so much orange flavour in my rum. i rated it low because it was less "rum like". if we had been using a parker style rating sytem, it would still have been in the top tastes.

what i also got out of it was that i'll be adding a few bottles of el dorado 15 and zacapa 23 to my shelf.

also i wonder how the el dorado 25 would have done if it was a fresher bottle. it had been almost empty since it was opened in may, which may have flattened it a little. the 15 was about half full and i don't know when it was opened. i think the others were all opened that night.

now that i understand a little more, i would agree with angelsword's comment about our last tasting, we do like the sweet ones. although the tricentennial was my personal favorite, and it and the Hudson were the most dry of the bunch.
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:15 PM   #3
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I enjoyed reading reading this post. I have held several Wine tastings at my house. This inspires me to set up my first Rum Tasting! Once again Great Post!
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:37 PM   #4
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Default More Rums Tastings

I'm pleased to hear about the result of your tasting event. It brings you much closer to understanding rum when you get together with a few, or a few dozen friends and start carefully tasting some great rums. You can learn something from tasting every rum, and comparing rums while trading notes on perceptions.

Over a long time, certain rums will come out on top of many such ranking events, formal or informal. Your small sampling hit on two brands that are often on the short list -- Zacapa and El Dorado.

There are many sports cars I've love to own, not just one or two or three... the all time classics, the expensive ones, the "most-bang-for-your-money" cars. The overall list of desirables is lengthy.

There are so many notable rums, engineered by people who are excelling in their field, in so many different parts of the world, made by different methods in different facilities by different blenders. Knowing rums is understanding geography, agriculture, business and local cultures. It's a way of traveling vicariously.

Keep on tasting and keep trying new rums, not just the top shelf contenders. Having a rum tasting party is always a good idea. Ask everyone to bring a bottle of what they think is great rum.
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:46 AM   #5
RumBarPhilly
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This sounded like a lot of fun!

About the Hudson River rum, I think it was unfairly judged. I find it to be a nice, smoky rum. Not the smoothest, but still a nice flavor profile. Despite its high retail price, it shouldn't have appeared with those other heavy hitters.

Out of curiosity, where did you get the Mt Gay Tricentennial from?
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:35 AM   #6
erickaye
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The Hudson River was decent, but at $43 for a half bottle, I think they're asking a bit much for what it is. Definitely not in the same league as the rest, though.

Union Sq. Liquors in Manhattan had the Tricentennial, and they have one more bottle in stock, at $349.
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:06 PM   #7
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Ive got 1.6 bottles at my bar. Im very tempted to take the full bottle home for myself one of these days. I think PA has one more bottle. Its good to know you can still find it though. Its so amazing!
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:23 PM   #8
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I am very jealous of that rum collection in the picture. It has most of my fantasy rums. Where did you manage to find that full wicker bottle of Zacapa?
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:17 PM   #9
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A store here in NYC had them about a year ago at $32 each. I bought 4 bottles. Sadly, they've since switched over to the newer bottles, and they've slightly raised the price a little bit...
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickaye View Post
We had a grand old time last night, 5 of us tasting 7 rums blindly.
The seven rums tasted were:

El Dorado 25
Pyrat 1623
Mt. Gay Tricentennial
Zacapa Centenario XO
El Dorado 15
Zacapa 23 yr (full wicker bottle)
Hudson River Rum - Tuthilltown Spirits in New York
Eric,

Where did you buy your Zacapa XO and how much was it?
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