Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back To Rum School -- Part Two

Hello Rum Students! We continue our rum lessons from last posting. We have recently reviewed the differing TYPES of Rum, but even more information is available. Remember Information is Power!!! Have a great read and Thank you to:

I am -- of course...


Types Of Rum

Most rums can be classified in one or more of a few distinct categories.

White Or Clear Rum

Bacardi SuperiorWhite rum is clear, usually has milder flavor and lighter body than gold or dark rums. These light rums are most often used to create cocktails that do not have a need for bold rum flavor.
In the U.S., most white rums are sold at 80 proof, or 40% alcohol by volume. They are often aged one or more years, then filtered to remove color. White rums may be cheaper to make and less expensive to purchase that more mature rums.
White rums are popular in the most common drinks, such as the Cuba Libre (rum, Coke and lime), the Daiquiri, the Mojito and the Piña Colada. Many rum cocktails call for a white or light rum, a gold rum and/or dark or spiced rum.
Popular white rums include Bacardi Superior, Don Q Cristal, Cruzan Estate Light, Oronoco, Mount Gay Silver, Matusalem Plantino, Rubi Rey, 10 Cane, Flor de Caña Extra Dry and Diplomatico Rum Blanco.

Gold Or Pale Rum

Baracelo Dorado Dark RumAs rum mellows in barrels over time, it takes on amber or golden hues. These golden rums usually present a more flavorful profile than the white or clear rums. Gold rums are used to make cocktails in which a stronger flavor is desired.
Gold rums are often aged several years or more and some coloring may be added to provide consistency. Subtle flavors of vanilla, almond, citrus, caramel or coconut may be present from the type of barrels used in the aging process.
Gold rums are often enjoyed on the rocks or neat, in addition to being used in cocktail recipes. They are popular in recipes for baking and making desserts as well.
These medium bodied rums are often quite affordable compared to older aged rums that have allowed to mature for many years.
Examples of gold rums include 1 Barrel, Abuelo, Appleton Special, Barcelo Dorado, Brugal Añejo, Bermudez Ron Dorado, Cacique Anejo Superior, Cockspur 5 Star, Diplomatico Añejo, Doorly's 5, Don Q Gold, El Dorado 5, Gosling's Gold, Matusalem Clasico, Maui Gold Rum, Montanya Gold, Mount Gay Eclipse, Pyrat Pistol, Sergeant Classic Gold and Sunset Captain Bligh Golden Rum.

Dark Rum

Flor de Caña 7 Dark RumDark rums are often matured in oak barrels for two or more years to develop rich flavors and hues of mahogany, copper and caramel. The label of dark rum is often assigned to a range of rums that are not clear, from light golden amber to black, as well as rums that are well aged.
Dark rums are often aged in oak barrels for extended periods. When used in cocktail recipes, the robust rums offer a contrast of more flavorful profiles compared to white rums, overproof rums, flavored and spiced rums.
Examples of dark rums include Cruzan Estate Dark, Bacardi Select, Flor de Caña 5 Black Label, Barbancourt 3 Star, Diplomatico Anejo, Angostura Dark 5, Angostura 1919, Appleton V/X, Barcelo Dorado, Cockspur 5, El Dorado 5, Matusalem Classico, Mount Gay Eclipse and Santa Teresa Selecto.

Black Rum

Maui Dark Rum from HawaiiThe darkest, richest, heavy bodied rums are often referred to as black rums, offering bold tropical essence to libation and recipes. Black rums are popular ingredients used to balance the flavors of drinks against gold, white and spiced rums.
Most rum is made from molasses, a thick, dark sweet liquid left over in the process of manufacturing crystalized sugar. The black rums retain much of this rich molasses and caramel flavoring and are sometimes colored with burnt caramel to achieve consistently dark hues.
Black rums are essential to many uses in the baking and candy-making industries, imparting bold sweet spicy flavors to cakes, candies, desserts and sauces.
The barrels used to mature black rums are often charred or fired heavily, imparting much of the wood's strong flavors to the liquid.
Black rums are popular in British territories such as Bermuda, Jamaica, the Virgin Islands and Guyana.
Examples of black rums include Coruba, Cruzan Black Strap, Gosling's Black Seal, Maui Dark Rum, Myers's, Skipper Demerara, Woods 100, and Whaler's Dark.

Navy Rum

Navy rum refers to the traditional dark, full-bodied rums associated with the British Royal Navy.
The Royal Navy was famed for its custom of providing a daily ration of rum to sailors, as far back as 1655 when the British fleet captured the island of Jamaica. Rum traveled aboard ships far better that French brandy. As a matter of fact, where grape-based spirits of wine and brandy eventually went bad in the heat of the tropics, rum seemed to improve as it aged in the barrels aboard ship.
Around 1740, the practice of watering down the rum and supplementing it with lime to prevent scurvy became popular. This change is often credited to Admiral Edward Vernon, who was known to wear an old grogham coat and his potion was nicknamed grog, or later, tot. The tradition of providing British sailors with a daily ration of rum continued until July 31, 1970, known as black tot day.
Pusser's 15 Year Old Navy Rum
To ensure the viability of the economies of its territories, recipes for navy rum included blends of spirit from British territories, including Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.
One of the first official purveyors of rum to the Navy was Mr. Lemon Hart, starting in the early 1800s. A few decades later, Alfred Lamb began aging his dark rum in cool cellars beneath the river Thames, earning his product the nickname of London dock rum. The Lemon Hart brand was registered in 1888 and remains to this day a popular staple of naval-style rums. United Rum Merchants was created as a merger of several leading rum concerns.
Unique to the rums of Guyana is their legacy 200 year old wooden pot still that produces an uncommonly rich and full bodied spirit. This Demerara rum is an essential ingredient in many navy rums.
The final supply of old British Royal Navy Imperial Rum, representing the spirit of international adventure, honor and bravery on the high seas, have recently been re-bottled and are available for the most serious rum collectors.
Some popular navy style rums include Lamb's Navy Rum, Pusser's, Lemon Hart, Skipper Demerara and Wood's 100.

Premium Aged Rum

Many fine rums are aged in oak barrels for years to achieve a superior flavor profile. The interaction of spirit and wood has a positive effect on the smoothness, the richness and the subtle flavors of the rum.
Aged rums often represent the finest examples of mature rums from a distillery, often blended to achieve complexity and distinctive flavor profiles. The cost of storage and the loss of some rum from the barrels through evaporation adds to the cost of producing aged rums.
These older, more mature rums, often labeled as anejo in Spanish territories, are often enjoyed neat or on the rocks like a fine cognac or single malt scotch. In addition, many cocktail recipes call for the inclusion of these flavorful and rich rums.
Aged rums generally take on darker and richer colors due to the time spent in barrels. Charred oak barrels can impart dark tones. Cognac and sherry barrels can produce a reddish tint.
Rums labeled premium or ultra-premium often contain age statements. In the U.S. and some other territories, the age statement refers to the youngest rum in the blend. For example, Appleton Estate 21 from Jamaica is comprised of agefine aged rumd rums at least 21 years old. Other territories have differing standards. For example, Zacapa Centenario 23 from Guatemala is a blend of rums aged 6 to 23 years old.
Premium aged rums include Angostura 1824, Appleton Extra, Atlantico Private Cask, Bacardi 8 and Reserva Limitada, Barbancourt Reserve Especiale and Estate Reserve, Barrilito 3 Star, Barceló Imperial, Botran Solera 1893, Don Q Gran Anejo, Chairman's Reserve, Cockspur 12, Cubaney 15, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, El Dorado 15, Flor de Caña 18, Gosling's Family Reserve, Matusalem Gran Reserva, Mount Gay Extra Old and 1703, Santa Teresa 1796, Trigo Reserva Aneja, Vizcaya VXOP, Zacapa Centenario XO and Zaya.

Vintage Rum

Plantation Vintage Rum 1992 VenezuelaWhile most rums sold in the U.S. are blended from multiple sources before bottling, some unique rums are bottled from specific vintage years of production.
Vintage rums are most often seen from the French islands, where the growing and processing season is short. In some cases, private label rum brands purchase a large bulk of rum from a single production year, age the product and bottle it when maturity is peaking.
Like in the production of fine wines, in some years the harvest is bountiful, while others are not as abundant. The amount of sugar contained in the raw cane might vary each year due to changes in rainfall and other environmental factors. The resulting differences are noted by the master distiller and the maturing process is monitored to achieve the ideal flavor profile for that vintage year.
Vintage rums are labeled with the year they were distilled and the location of their origin. Examples are Rhum J.M. 1997 Vintage from Martinique, Plantation Venezuela 1992 and the 1998 Vintage from Foursquare Rum Distillery in Barbados.

Overproof Rum

Most rums available for sale in the U.S. are 80 to 100 proof (40% to 50% alcohol by volume). Rums which contains higher concentrations of alcohol are often labeled as overproof.
Rums produced for popular consumption are distilled to remove non-alcohol components. The modern distillation process produces a spirit that is generally 160 to 190 proof alcohol. After aging and blending, most rums are diluted with water to reach the 80 proof standard.
Some rums, such as Sunset Very Strong Rum from St. Vincent are not diluted. Sunset VSR is bottled at the full cask strength of 169 proof.
Cruzan 151 Overproof RumU.S. regulations prevent rums over 155 proof from entering the U.S. under most circumstances, so many manufacturers produce rums in the 150 proof range, such as Bacardi 151, Cruzan 151, El Dorado 151 High Strength Rum, Bruddah Kimio's Da Bomb 155, Gosling's 151 and Matusalem 151 Red Flame.
One of the most popular overproof rums is Jamaica's Wray And Nephew White Overproof at 126 proof. This potent spirit is the most popular rum sold in Jamaica.
Overproof rums tend to be more popular in the Caribbean Islands where locals prefer a stronger drink. They're also used in cooking recipes that call for rum to be ignited in flame (flambé) or drinks that blend a very strong rum into their recipe.
Classic rum punches are often made with high-proof rum mixed with tropical juices (and sometimes flavored rums and liqueurs) to deliver a "punch" to those that enjoy them.

Rhum Agricole

Rhum Agricole is a specific category of rhum made principally in the French territories of the Caribbean, including Martinique, Guadeloupe, Marie-Galante and St. Barths. Reunion Island (a French Overseas Territory, like Martinique) and it's neighboring Island Nation of Maritius in the southwest Indian Ocean also produce Agricoles. Rhums made in Haiti from cane juice may also be considered agricole by some experts.
Martinique is the only geographic region in the world to have an AOC mark in the rum industry. Similar to the AOC marks for champagne and cognac, the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée for Martinique rhum agricole is a standard of production, aging and labeling.
Clement VSOP Rhum AgricoleRhum Agricole is fermented and distilled from pure, fresh cane juice. The spirit is distilled to about 70 percent alcohol, a lesser degree than most molasses-based rums, allowing the rhum to retain more of the original flavor of the full cane juice.
The lighter rhums agricole are rested for up to six months before being bottled as rhum blanc. They're often used in the popular cocktail known as petit punch ('ti punch) mixed with lime and cane syrup.
Other more mature rhums have been aged in oak barrels for years, taking on richer hues and flavors. After three years of maturing, the rhums are labeled rhum vieux (old rum). Some of these exceptional spirits are bottled as vintages, such as wines from France. For example, the Rhum J.M. 1997 vintage spent ten years in oak before being bottled in 2007.
Some examples of rhums agricole include Clément XO and Cuvee Homere, Darboussier Rhum Vieux 1983, Depaz Blue Cane Amber Rhum, Rhum J.M. Agricole Blanc, La Favorite Rhum Agricole Vieux, Neisson Rhum Réserve Spéciale, St. James Hors d'Age.


The Brazilian sugar cane spirit known as cachaça (kah-SHA-sah) is one of the most popular categories of cane spirit in the world. Made from fresh sugar cane juice, cachaça is often bottled with little or no aging in barrels, presenting a full-flavored profile spirit most popularly enjoyed in cocktails, such as the caipirinha (kai-pee-REEN-yah), the national drink of Brazil.
Cabana CachacaSome premium products, referred to as artisanal cachaças, are often made in small quantities and aged in woods indigenous to Brazil. The region of Minas Gerais in Brazil is well know for producing artisanal cachaça. Using natural yeast in the environment, these spirits are distilled in copper pots in small batches. Maturing in wood develops special aroma components and softens the finish.
Large manufacturers of cachaça use tall column stills of stainless steel to produce vast volumes of spirit in a continuous process, most of which is enjoyed without maturing in barrels.
Examples of popular cachaças available in the U.S. include Agua Luca, Beija, Beleza Pura, Boca Loca, Cabana, Cachaça 51, Cuca Fresca, Fazenda Mãe de Ouro, Leblon, Moleca, Rio D, Sagatiba and Ypioca.

Flavored and Spiced Rum

Cristal AquardienteThe myriad types of flavors and spices infused into rums offer a wide range of interesting and multifarious variations of spirits, both full proof and limited potency liqueurs and creams. Spiced rums offer unique flavors to cocktails, rum cakes, holiday libations and many other uses, bringing decidedly tropical flavors to the palate.
Spices are generally derived from the seeds, dried fruit, root, leaf or bark of edible flora. These aromatic and pungent vegetal substances often provide excitement and zest to sweeter liquids. Many popular spiced concoctions were originally devised and distilled as medicinal cures and treatments for a laundry list of ailments known to plague modern society in the post-industrial generations. Many popular drink ingredients in the category of bitters evolved from such intendedly curative mixtures.
Roots of ginger, seeds of vanilla and allspice, bark of cinnamon or cassia and buds of clove are commonly used as flavoring agents for spiced rums. Fruit extracts of citrus, cherry, mint, black currant, coconut, mango, pineapple, banana and other tropical plants and trees bring luscious tones to flavored rum varieties.
Rum creams combine rum flavor with rich and decadent dairy textures to create dessert-like mixtures suitable for after-dinner libations or as a creamy base to other spirited drinks.
U.S. laws require products labeled as rum to contain at least 40% alcohol by volume. Some distilled spirits that do not meet this requirement are labeled as flavored rum, whether or not they contain discernible or dominant flavor agents.
Some popular brands of spiced and flavored rums include Captain Morgan, Sailor Jerry, Pango, Montecristo, Foursquare, Malibu Coconut Rum, Castries Peanut Rum Cream, Bacardi Limon and Dragonberry, Cruzan Mango and Coconut, Don Q Passion, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Crisma Rum Cream and Taylor's Velvet Falernum.

I have to admit -- We accomplished a lot over the last few times we've been together. But, I don't know about you -- The knowledge I have now will help me talk Rum, Allow me to perhaps have others join in and re-discover the real rums!
So, until next time I am:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Back To Rum School -- Part One

The article here is due to a huge tip of the hat to Rob's Rum Guide

A lot of good reading here. There is a lot so I split it up. Part II in the next post. I stumble upon these informative posts all the time and I want us all to be educated when it comes to our favorite spirit!

Rum 101 - What IS Rum?

Definition: Rum is an alcoholic spirit made from sugar cane, or it's derivatives. According to the United States Government Federal Standards of Identity, the following paragraph offers an official definition of rum.

(f) Class 6; rum. "Rum" is an alcoholic distillate from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, produced at less than 190 proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed basics of rumto rum, and bottled at not less than 80 proof; and also includes mixtures solely of such distillates.

Factors Affecting Rum Production

Significant factors that affect the taste, quality, color and viscosity of rum include the raw fermenting materials, the method of fermentation including the types of yeast used to convert sugars to alcohols, the method(s) of distillation, the process of maturing the spirits over time, the quality of water used and, in many cases, the blending of various cane spirits to create a final product. Additionally, some rum products include flavors and coloring agents as well.

Fermentation and Distillation

When sugar cane juice or other sugar-based liquids are allowed to rest, a natural process of fermentation occurs where sugars are converted by yeast into alcohols, at approximately the strength of wines. To further concentrate these alcohols, the process of distillations isolates much of the alcohol components by evaporating and condensing them into a second holding tank. The resulting distilled liquid contains mostly alcohol, plus some other ingredients that provide unique flavors. The more these alcohols are isolated, the fewer flavor components remain in the solution

Raw Materials Used For Making Rum

Sugar Cane spirits vary greatly in the manner in which they are created and by the products from which they are fermented.

Fresh Cane Juice

Some rums are made directly from cane juice, which is fermented immediately after being crushed. This raw sugar cane liquid typically contains 18 to 24 percent sugar in solution. Rums made from fresh sugar cane juice include the cachaças from Brazil and the Rhums Agricole from Martinique. Raw cane juice is not able to be stored for extended periods and must be fermented soon after being crushed.


Most of the rum distilled in the world today is made from molasses, a by-product of the crystalline sugar making process. After all of the crystalline sugar has been removed from the sugar cane juice, the left-over molasses still contains fermentable sugars and can be stored for extended periods of time. A finer quality premium table-grade molasses contains more natural sugars and flavors.

Cane Syrup

A third type of rum stock is concentrated sugar cane syrup, sometimes referred to Sugar Cane Honey or Sweet Table-Grade Molasses, which still contains all the sugars present in cane juice, with most of the water removed. This concentrated cane syrup may contain more than 90 percent sugar and is able to be stored to be fermented and distilled at a later date.

The Classic Plantation Or Estate Method

In simple terms, the classic centuries-old process of making rum from sugar cane juice is straightforward. When the cane fields are harvested, the stalks of cane are crushed and the juice collected. After extracting crystaline sugar from the reduced juice, the resulting left-over molasses is fermented to begin the rum process.
Selected yeasts are added to convert sugar to alcohol. The resulting fermented sugar cane solution is then distilled or concentrated to 140-190 proof and stored in barrels.
The classic plantation method is seasonal and the process is over after the harvest is complete. There are few rum making operations in the world that continue to follow the classic plantation method.

Modern Methods Of Making Rum

The Traditional Pot Still

Many artisanal rums are produced by small companies in small quantities. The traditional pot still is a method of distilling fermented product in relatively small batches. The fine art of the distiller is the key to success for the traditional pot still method. The disadvantage is that each distinct batch may vary to some degree and high volume production is not always feasible.

pot stillThe Column Still

Most modern, well known brands of rum are made from molasses distilled in large column stills. The process involves heating the fermented molasses wine (sometimes called beer or wash) in tall columns. Steam in the column strips the alcohol from the fermented wine. The alcohol rich vapor is collected from the top of the column then condensed into a clear high proof alcohol.

Resting And Maturing

Rums generally gain golden and amber hues as they mature. Some distillers use burnt sugar or caramel coloring to further enhance or balance the color for consistency. Many dark rums gain most of their rich color and often their full-bodied flavor from added caramel or molasses.rum maturing
Like vodka, which is nothing more than clear distilled alcohol with water added, fresh rum, when first distilled, is clear and lacks the sophisticated flavors and golden amber hues of fine sipping rums. Unlike vodka, only a few rums are bottled before being aged.
Clear rums like Bacardi Silver and Don Q Cristal are aged at least one year to gain smoothness, then carbon filtered to remove the color gained from the barrels during the time spent aging.
Among premium rums on the market, aging in oak barrels is one key element to producing a superior product. The choice of used whiskey and bourbon barrels is common. The alcohols in the rum interact with the wood to add subtle flavors, extract color and develop a smooth characteristic that is highly desirable to aged rums. For example, Appleton rums from Jamaica are aged in used Jack Daniels whiskey barrels from Tennessee.
Another method for maturing rums is the use of new oak barrels, often charred to an alligator-skin type texture, giving the rum a stronger interaction with the wood element in the maturing process. The size of the barrel makes a difference as well. Small barrels offer a higher wood to spirit ratio and tend to mature faster.
Some rums are aged in barrels previously used for sherry, cognac, port and other distillates, imparting their own unique characteristics. These variations can give a master blender a range of flavors with which to create unique blends.
Because methods of maturing can vary greatly, the simple age statement on a bottle of rum is not always an indication of the maturity of the spirit. Rums aged in small charred oak barrels, for example, can become quite mature at three to five years, while other methods take many more years to achieve similar wood-infused flavor profiles.

Color, Clarity and Viscosity

Rums generally gain golden and amber hues as they mature. Some distillers use burnt sugar or caramel coloring to further enhance or balance the color for consistency. Many dark rums gain most of their rich color and often their full-bodied flavor from added caramel or molasses.
Over time, some water and alcohol evaporates from the aging barrel. This missing liquid has long been called the "angel's share." The remaining product in the aging barrel becomes more concentrated in flavor, color and viscosity.
When evaluating fine rums, judges will examine the color, clarity and viscosity of rums by holding a tasting glass up to a light source and swirling the product. The resulting drips of liquid on the glass, known as "legs" offer an indication as to the range of thin or thick characteristics. The rich color of the rum may indicate a level of maturity compared to other products. Exceptional clarity may indicate sophisticated filtering methods have been used.

Blending Rums

The master blender of a fine spirit is the rock star of the organization, possessing great talents and abilities necessary to produce the unique products of that brand. There are mysteries and closely guarded secrets involved in the aging and blending of fine spirits. In many cases, aged rums are blended, then stored in barrels again to further mature and "marry the flavors" before bottling the final product.
One unique method of blending, known as the Solera Method, involves adding small amounts of newer rum to barrels of aged rum as the angel's share is depleated. After many years, the resulting marriage of rums of many ages can create a complex blend often described as a symphony of tones or flavors.

Age Statements

In the US, the age statement must refer to the youngest rum in the bottle.

Alright, Class, It's recess time! Relax, review have a sip or two. No tests -- but you'll be able to talk rum so much better. And Let's face it we never know when we might be in the mood for a nice, well-crafted hearty rum and know just what to ask for.
Come back for Part II -- Next time Right here with -- ME!  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rum Nomenclature -- Or, Our Jargon

From to all of you. There are many rum sites and many distilled spirit sites. Leave it to the Rum Runner to try and find things that spark interest. I found the information imparted by Ms Graham to be very refreshing and it really answered so many questions.

An Introduction to Rum

By Colleen Graham, Guide

It is rather hard to define the entire rum family as a group because of the variety of rum produced. Each of the light, gold, dark and spiced rums have their own distinct characteristics and furthermore the rums produced in each country differ from one another due to varying laws and tradition in production.

After Columbus's introduction of sugarcane to the West Indies in 1493 the first rum was produced in Brazil, Barbados and Jamaica making rum the first spirit of the New World. By the mid 1700's rum was being made throughout the Carribean and South America. It soon became popular in New England and was produced there as well. The Rum Sling made of rum, sugar, water and lemon juice is considered the first American cocktail.

The use of sugar cane distinguishes rum from other liquors. The sweet juices from the sugar cane are turned into molasses and this syrup is then fermented into rum. Rum is then aged in casks, the type of cask used is the determining factor on the color of rum produced in the end.

Light Rum:
Light-bodied rum is sometimes referred to as White or Silver and is a very subtle liquor, much like vodka with a sweet tooth. These rums are generally aged in stainless steel tanks for up to a year and filtered before bottling. This process gives light rums their clean, light flavor and makes this variety the most common rum for cocktails.

Gold Rum:
Medium-bodied rums are often called Gold or Amber rum and are rich and smooth. This is a result of either the production of congeners (organic compounds produced during production) or the addition of caramel. Gold rums are often aged in oak casks which also contribute to their dark, smooth characteristics. Gold rums make a smooth sipper and can be used in place of light rum in some darker cocktails.

Dark Rum:
Heavy-bodied or dark rums are typically used in rum punches and are combined with light rum in many cocktails such as a Hurricane. These are the richest rums that receive their flavor from being aged in charred oak casks. Besides adding a rich, sweet flavor to cocktails, dark rums are the preferred sipper of the rum family, especially Angostura 1824 and Barbanco 15 year. 

A subcategory of dark rums are those called blackstrap. These are produced from the darkest molasses produced by the third boiling while refining sugar and the resulting rum is equally as dark, rich, and thick. Examples of blackstrap rums are Cruzan Black Strap and Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum.

Flavored Rum:
Flavoring rum by adding spices and aromatics during the distillation has become popular in the latter part of the 20th century. Beginning with coconut and spiced rums, the variety of flavored rums has grown to exceed the number of flavored gin and vodka options available.
Overproof Rum:
Overproof or high-proof rum is often only used as a float or dash in cocktails. This potent rum is 75% pure alcohol (150 proof) and can be dangerous to the human body if it is not diluted in some way. Never use overproof liquors of any kind in cooking or near an open flame.
This Brazilian rum differs from others because it skips the molasses stage and uses pure sugar cane juice in the distillation process. Cachaca is the sweetest rum available and can best be tasted in a Caipirinha. Read more about Cachaça and find more cocktails.

The Runner Wraps it up...

Yes I too still have even more questions... Like, "I loved CSR from St. Kitts, but since it was from there rather than Brazil, was it still a Cachaca rum??"

A Plea

Always looking for good rum (preferably American Made Rum) content. If you are a write, a drinker, a drinker-writer or a #Rumlover.... And can scrawl; please send articles for Rick The Rum Runner. We are always looking for good stuff and want to build a stable of writers. Send ideas, finished works etc to Rick, The Rum Runner

As always fellow Rummies.... 
Lick the glass!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rumratings.Com Launches Site

Ravings of a Rumrunner

I have been talking about this site for some time. Now that Andy has stocked it with many US Rums too, I wanted to spread the word even more. Please join in. I have been able to rate a few rums and even non-US varieties which I don't cover here. It's fun and gives us a place to easily rate a rum and even get rewards! Watch for Rick the Rum Runner to use this site for ratings in the future.



Rumratings.Com Launches With 1000+ Rums, Personalized Cabinets

Contact: Andrew Shannon
+44 7718 987 362

28 January, 2013

RumRatings, an online community where members can rate, share and discover rum, has started with a bang by collecting more than 500 ratings since officially launching 1 January, 2013.

With 1000+ rums from 70 countries that members can add to their personal cabinet, RumRatings has built a haven for enthusiasts who seek an international rum selection and real-life feedback.

Founder and ‘Chief RumRater’ Andrew Shannon has been astonished by the response. “The passion of RumRating’s members has been truly amazing. The ratings feature in-depth knowledge yet have flooded in - a few members rated more than 30 rums in 1 day!''

A recent collaboration with El Dorado rum will surely spur more excitement. In addition to earning badges such as “Captain of the 7 Seas,” each RumRatings member now receives a 15-year El Dorado mini bottle for rating 15 rums.

“I loved the idea since the beginning - and think it’s a brilliant site!” says El Dorado’s International Brand Ambassador Stefanie Holt. “It’s great to see such interesting and passionate ratings from the initial members, and I expect many more to come.”

By incorporating design features that fit all screen sizes, many ratings have been submitted while on-the-go through tablets and smartphones. Future development plans include leader boards, rum discussions, social logins, and a mobile app.

Visit today and create your own personal rum cabinet.

Please contact Andrew Shannon at for more information

About RumRatings

RumRatings is an online rum community where members can create a personal rum cabinet, share stories of rum adventure, and discover new favourite rums. WIth a “RumBase” of 1000+ rums from 70 countries and hundreds of member ratings, RumRatings is quickly becoming a global resource for all things rum. The Rumratings online rum community can be found at



From Rick, the Rum Runner,
For a new site, Rum Ratings makes it SO easy to rate a rum. Also you can go back and re-rate or note changes. I just hit 15 and am still searching both the shelves and my memory for all the rums I have tasted!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spirits make gains in 2012, especially overseas

From USA Today:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Video of the week! An afternoon at the Copper Run Distillery

Not much rum information here but a nice look at a place I am planning to visit. A trip to the Ozarks is needed!!

Video of the week!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Flip Fan On, Elevate Feet, Sip -- A look back....

OK accuse me of dredging up the past – but while exploring, always looking for history and the resurgence of not only rum as we knew it – but many rums that actually taste like something. You'll be surprised that in 05 rum was gaining on vodka in popularity. While happy to see that – the quote that we (USA) are, ". . .a one-brand country" shows me how far we've come. Also, not – as far as I can tell, not one American made rum in the bunch....


Flip Fan On, Elevate Feet, Sip

Published in The New York Times: August 10, 2005

IN the steamy midst of August, when standing on a subway platform feels as wet and heavy as a hot bath with your clothes on, it's hard not to crave escape. Close your eyes and you can almost transport yourself to the tropics.
That blessed little breeze? It's wafting in from the sea, not the train passing in the other direction. That garbled, indecipherable noise? It's amazing how a few lazy birds squawking can be so loud and annoying. That cool, tempting cocktail? Rum, of course.
Planter's punch, daiquiri, piña colada, mai tai, swizzle, mojito - rum drinks all. No spirit connotes lassitude and indolent relaxation like rum, at least nowadays. Decades and centuries ago, rum evoked other images, not nearly so pleasant. Back when the sun never set on the British Empire, it was the shipboard drink of His Majesty's enforcers, the Royal Navy, in the form of a daily ration of grog (one part rum, three parts water, add lemon or lime juice). Before that, in Colonial America, it was a sturdy component of the infamous triangle trade, in which rum, sugar, cash and slaves were among those goods that traveled the route from Europe to Africa and the New World.
Rum's richly evocative history is matched only by the diversity of distinctive styles on the market today. Like single malt Scotch, rum can vary tremendously, depending on where it is produced and by what method. But unlike Scotch, which must come from Scotland, rum, like gin and vodka, can be made anywhere in the world. The single characteristic that unites rums is that they are all distilled from sugar cane, or to be more accurate, the byproducts of the process of making sugar out of sugar cane.
But even that is not a precise definition. Most rums use molasses as their base, but many use sugar cane juice instead, especially rums made in French-speaking areas, which are labeled rhum agricole, or agricultural rum. By contrast, molasses-based rums are often referred to as industrial rum, which is often an unfairly pejorative term.
Either way, rum, America's leading spirit in the 18th century, is surging in popularity again. It is now second only to vodka in sales (though by a ratio of more than two to one), according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, a trade group.
Flushed with heat and ready for fantasy, the Dining section's tasting panel decided to taste a variety of rums. It was more than just a transporting experience - it was fascinating, demonstrating that good rums can be every bit as complex as Scotch or Cognac, and that they can be enjoyed neat just as easily as in a cocktail, although sitting on a beach in the tropics, you would hardly want the cabana boy to return with anything that wasn't cold, tart, sweet and fruity.
For the tasting, Florence Fabricant and I were joined by Eben Klemm, director of cocktail development for B. R. Guest, a restaurant group that includes Dos Caminos, Fiamma and Vento, and Clark Clark, an owner and the bar director of Bar Marché, a restaurant in NoLIta. They both have a firsthand view of the rum market, and as Mr. Klemm said, "It's a one-brand country."
That brand, of course, is Bacardi, which makes, among other products, the familiar white rum that is perfect for cocktails like the Cuba libre, better known as rum and Coke, or as some cocktail manuals like to put it, Bacardi and Coke. In drinks like that, or like frozen daiquiris, the rum is overwhelmed by the accompaniments, which is fine because these mass-produced rums have little flavor anyway. But while we included two inexpensive Bacardi rums in our tasting of 24 bottles, we were most interested in examining the true flavors of rum. We ruled out two other highly popular categories of rum: those with added flavors like lime, banana or coconut, and spiced rums.
That left us with a narrow swath of rums, as far as sales go, but we still needed to pare our choices. Since rum comes from so many places, no single set of rules guides their production. Our 24 bottles alone included 18 from seven different Caribbean islands, two from Central America, one from South America, one from Louisiana, one from Australia and one from Mauritius in Africa. Some rums are bottled without prior aging. Others are aged in barrels for anywhere from a few months to 15 or 20 years.
They range in color from clear to beige to golden or amber to inky dark, and while it may seem that darker colors correspond with longer aging, that is not true. Many producers achieve a darker color by adding caramel to the rum - no rules, remember? - which can also affect the flavor, adding additional sweetness.
We decided to eliminate dark rums and limit ourselves to white and amber rums, a distinction that was somewhat arbitrary but not inappropriate for such a libertarian, swashbuckling spirit. As someone who has enjoyed rum but hasn't made a study of it, I expected the amber rums to be much more interesting than the whites. Indeed, the amber rums had a lot of character. Many had a buttery quality along with subtle, complex flavors that included vanilla, banana, smoke and spice. But the whites were a tremendous surprise. The best had a purity of flavor, a distinct sweetness that led me to believe I was actually tasting sugar cane, along with other floral and fruit flavors. The best amber rums, too, conveyed a pure cane quality.
"I found myself looking for a preservation of character, telling me it wasn't a bourbon or a Scotch," Mr. Klemm said. Some of the rums also had a distinct brininess to them that we all found intriguing.
"Maybe proximity to the sea is reading too much into it," Ms. Fabricant said, reining in our tropical escape.
Our 24 rums were split, half and half, into ambers and whites, and our Top 10 included, though not by design, five whites and five ambers, demonstrating that great rums can come from any category. In fact, our No. 1, 10 Cane from Trinidad, was one of those white rums with enough of a beige tinge to fall somewhere in between the categories. This rum is a new entry into the high-end rum market from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the luxury goods company. At $43, it was by far the most expensive bottle in our Top 10, though second in price in the tasting to Bambu, a $60 bottle that narrowly missed the cut. Ms. Fabricant called it elegant and Mr. Klemm found a "great sense of terroir." I loved the smooth, slightly viscous texture and the purity of flavors.
We tasted three rhum agricoles from Martinique, and all three made the list, including the amber St. James Royal, which had lovely floral flavors and was our best value. Perhaps it indicated a preference for rums made in the agricultural style, from sugar cane juice rather than molasses. It turns out that the 10 Cane was also made from sugar cane juice. But all the other rums in our Top 10, including the excellent No. 2, Demerara El Dorado, were made from fermented molasses, so generalizations are difficult, except to say that in most Caribbean islands, the choice of cane juice or molasses is traditional more than anything else.
Perhaps the most familiar name on the Top 10 list is Mount Gay Eclipse from Barbados, which you can find in just about every bar in New York. Its popularity should not diminish the fact that it is a fine rum, for sipping or for cocktails.
Among those rums that did not make the list were Inner Circle from Australia, which we found overly harsh, and Starr Ultra Superior, from Mauritius, which, though we all liked it, could not eke past La Favorite, an agricole from Martinique. Mauritius, by the way, is actually a small island in the Indian Ocean with climate, at least, in common with the Caribbean islands. Though the island is not on the triangle trade route, the fact that an African country is exporting rum to the United States is both a reminder of what once was and a sign of what may come.

Tasting Report: Long John Silver Never Had It So Good

10 Cane Trinidad Light
80 proof
Neither white nor amber, but pure, smooth and elegant, with luscious sugar-cane flavor and enticing texture.

Demerara El Dorado
$23 ***
12-Year Guyana Amber 80 proof
Rich amber color, with aromas of banana and vanilla; pure and subtle.

St. James Royal Amber
Agricole Martinique 90 proof
Smooth, rich, floral; lingering flavors, with great personality.

Cane Louisiana White
80 proof
Vanilla aroma; smooth, with a thick texture and long, lingering flavors.

Mount Gay Eclipse
Barbados Amber 80 proof
Mellow, pure and smooth, with vanilla and butter aromas.

Palo Viejo
Puerto Rico White 80 proof
Pure, smooth and subtle, with rich flavors.

Ron del Barrilito "Three Stars"
** ½
Puerto Rico Amber 86 proof
Briny, smoky and complex, yet well balanced.

Neisson Agricole
** ½
Martinique White 100 proof
Complex aromas, with a delicious natural sweetness.

Plantation Eight-Year
** ½
Jamaica Amber 90 proof
Complex and brandylike, with fruit, floral and vanilla flavors.

La Favorite Agricole
Martinique White 100 proof 1 liter
Harsh at first, but becomes smooth; with lime and brine flavors.