Cedar Ridge Distillery, Iowa.
This Christmas, Rick the Rum Runner was gifted a bottle of Cedar Ridge dark rum. At the time I had a severe case of the flu, and was barely able to even detect the aroma. However, when I opened the bottle (Barrel 17 Bottle 118) immediately other people in the room said they detected a distinct butterscotch aroma. Now, a few days down the road, upon topping the cork (which has that distinct "pop" sound i look forward to so much) I too catch that butterscotch bouquet.
Hopefully I have recovered enough to detect some of the subtle flavors. Of course, my first taste and any taste can always be superseded in the future. So, let us pour a bit into her snifter and see what we taste.
Aroma: Yes, the butterscotch bouquet, there is also a slight but very pleasant woody odor along with a spicy sizzle in my nose. In addition, I can detect just a slight molasses and caramelized sugar. I have to be honest here. I often do not like the flavor of wood in many of my drinks, one of the reasons I don't drink whiskey. However, the undertones of wood in this particular rum are delicate. I am anxious to discover the flavor.
Flavor: upon first taste, I do detect an immediate wood-charred flavor. Not unpleasant at all! I have to admit this is the first time a wood flavored spirit has been this pleasant on my tongue in a long time. Sadly, the flu still has me in its grip. Tasting isn't that easy. Let me tell you what I did detect, though.
First, the wood was light, very warming. Not a bit overpowering. I think however, there is a blank space in my taste. After a short time I did detect a definite sweet finish and aftertaste. It just seems that there were so many other flavors and my taster just let me down.
Secondly, the blank spots in the middle just did not feel right. I really do think it's more my tongue the rum itself. There is a definite caramel sweetness throughout.
Thirdly, the lingering sweetness slowly turns into an extremely pleasant molasses aftertaste. Again though -- there seems a more spicy finish then my clouded taste right now is hard pressed to identify.
I have to admit that I chose this rum to mix with eggnog on New Year's Day and it was a fine mixer for that. I further confess that one easily lead to two. I'm anxious to try this with other mixes that I enjoy, for instance, rum and Diet Coke. so, I will be back with more as we explore Cedar Ridge dark rum.
So what have we learned fellow rum drinkers? Well for this one, it looks like I have to explore dark rums even more. I intend to do just that. I'm afraid I probably have not done Cedar Ridge dark Rum justice by my still wounded taste buds. While disappointed, I look at it this way, it gives me a chance to pour another glass and taste test this exciting dark rum again and again.
I apologize to the distillers of Cedar Ridge for not being able to truly experience their rum. I will of course as all good rum drinkers do, taste this again soon. To the distillers of Cedar Ridge. I also extend an invitation to submit the taste tests from your own distillery. Perhaps your Lead Distiller, perhaps customers. I an eager to read and post the words of the makers and those who enjoy this rum. Either way, I would be more than happy to publish them here. In the meantime, I'm going to go back and let my tongue heal... Oh that sounds bad.
In the meantime, I remain, as always, Rick. The Rum Runner.