Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Journey Towards Rum...

So let me get started by telling you about my interest in rum.
First, as I grew up and became aware of liquor, rum was a bit down the list from the drinks I sought.  To be frank, beyond beer and some cheap wines (Boone's Farm and the like) even graduating to such greats like Matuse (Every bottle is like a trip to Portugal...), which was, in fact pretty good. Still -- as an American guy from 21 till my 40's I tended toward beer. Sometime in the last decade and a half, my palette for alcohol changed. First most American style beers were fine -- but really more drinking to cool off, get a buzz or just socialize. I found certain ones that I had tolerated, no longer could be. Then, I discovered foreign beers and later craft beer both domestic and imported. I found myself drinking less and enjoying it more. Yeah, it is possible!
Not content to limit myself, I began to re-explore wine. Sure the first experiences were more for the budget - to maximize the effect, but an olde brother, who took me under his wing, introduced me to fine wine. This was the early 1970's when wine was beginning to come opt of its fancy cover it had worn for so long. Sure the Sommelier was still there but somehow he became less imposing - more a familiar - one to help me guide my way through. But, beyond a few favorites I never explored it too much.

The Age Of Enlightenment.

Now, I have just entered my 60's, many of  my tastes are locked in, immovable. Still I try for an open mind. So the ever present quest for fun drinks. At this point beer has really taken a back seat. I like Tequila -- but tend toward mixed drinks to straight except for a few brands. Gin? Had to give that up years ago as it causes an rare but painful form of indigestion in me and I have avoided it for many, many years. Vodka.... Oh yeah. But the problem here is so many others have discovered it already. Even now It seems all so "been there drank a bunch of that.." So, what to really look into? What to seek out, find, taste and report upon? My thoughts went back to a trip to the Caribbean where I was introduced to a completely new (to me) rum... 
My wife, Cathy and me, were on an 11 day cruise. Believe me, cruise the Caribbean entails a LOT of rum. To be honest I stuck with the well.  I didn't know enough about this spirit to ask for a specific, by name. This ended on St Kitts.
Our island tour was a unforgettable walk through the rainforest of St. Kitts. The wildlife, scenery; everything was fabulous. Have to admit the heat and humidity sure got us into the mood for a cold drink. The guides knowing this served a simple rum punch with a mix of tropical fruit juices and their local rum. This was that moment. One taste and I found that I instantly liked the rum and, to me, nothing had ever tasted like that before! I asked about it, they showed me the name CSR. A thirst had begun. We found that CSR was the local brew, basically made on St. Kitts and not sold much anywhere else. On the way back to the boat we found a store that sold it -- $7.00 US for a quart! We brought the legal limit home, doled it out to a few friends and neighbors. We made rum punches and even drank some straight. Rum and Coke NEVER tasted this good before!
Eventually we ran out -- it wasn't until 2002 that we found ourselves on St Kitts. We discovered we had a hard time finding any! Finally we loaded up on a mixture of Quart, pint and half pints and brought it all back. It wasn't long before I saw that stock deplete. Frantically I search for Someone who could wholesale it into the US. Over the years, I still drank rum, but, never re-experienced that flavor, that texture. The sweetness and thickness just was not available from other, mass-made rums.
I found this announcement in a we page....

Basseterre, Saint Kitts & Nevis

CSR closed in 1999 after the death of the founder Baron Edmund Rothschild. This rum is no longer being produced. 
It seemed the search was over. What we had tasted back in 1996 and has so much trouble finding in 2002 was the end of The Baron's Rum. 

NEXT --- My search for American Rums - and why!


No comments:

Post a Comment