Wednesday, October 30, 2013

White Rum Tasting - part One -- Spirit Taste 2013

The crowd came and we had a great time. Besides the Rum, we managed to pig out on some great Pulled pork, Spicey and Sweet Chicken Wings and beer bathed Bratwurst Bites. I had also pleaded with everyone to take pictures and email them to me -- so far; Nuthin.... So with what we got, we will talk. 

Let's look at the Rums to be tasted and some of the feedback we got. Remember, most of these have not had a rum beyond a bat or a captain logo, so this is going to be a new experience for them. 
I started by explaining that many (certainly not all) distillers make a white Rum for mixing. In many of the major market brands they tend to blend out much of the flavor as to let the taste of the drink ingredients come through. In Craft rums, this is not always the case - but, the flavors in whites are often superior when mixed.

Our first selection was a new Rum on the market -- Striped Pig. I will put in random comments - good and bad -- but with explanations of both so they are contextual.
"Nice bouquet, Peppermint? Warm and smooth going down." "Sweet on my nose - Vanilla?" "Light pleasant tasting, very smooth!" "Vanilla taste. Burns a bit when going down as a shot - better sipped." "I taste a bit of sweet caramel." "Vanilla immediately with an almost sparkly feel to it." "Great aroma." "Plain but a good mixer." "Wonderful smell long, nice after taste." "I like this one - A little vanilla with warmth and sweetness." "A bit of an alcohol taste/burn but then it smooths out. Even sweet flavor not at all overpowering." "Fresh good flavor, a bit of burn but a wonderful after taste." "Initial vanilla bouquet, fragrant - long lasting taste after." "Got a tingle and a vanilla flavor/aroma."

So there you have it. Not everyone commented. I note here that so many caught the vanilla hints in this rum's aromas. In general, most people liked it -- There were a couple perhaps three who did not. A harshness was cited in those comment. But that is what tasting is all about! Being the lead-off taste caught this brand in a bit of a newly awakened crowd too. As said earlier, many had never tasted a rum as a straight, neat drink. So after getting into the taste mode they began to have fun with it. As we progressed many changed their views as we talked about avoiding drinking the sample as a shot: That it should be savored a bit, swished and held in the mouth. Soon they were sipping swirling and enjoying like pros!

Many were avid wine tasters and also a contingent of home-brewers, so their comments were more exacting and practiced. It was a great mix! We all learned about tasting! 

Let's go to the next Rum: Journeyman Distiller's - Roads End Rum. "very light bouquet, heat on impact. A very warm rum." "More aromatic." "Bit of a burn in the throat, strong sweet smell." "A sweet fragrance, but a bite on tasting not much flavor but it lingers." "Nice, strong fragrance, I taste wood, Oak(?) in a white? Long body, long lasting." "Really liked the aroma and the long lasting aftertaste, pleasant!" "Strong!" "Plainer tasting and bit of a weaker aroma that others." "Long lasting taste. A bit rough at first but settled nicely." "Woody to me - that taste lingered." "Strong smell, with a heavy, sweet after taste. One drink stays with you!" "Not as smooth and flavorful as I would have liked." "Very clean, very nice, intense sweetness." "Burns in the mouth but turns sweet in moments." 

There you go two of the nine White rums we tasted at Spirit Taste 2013

Coming up" -- We taste Montanya Platino, Prichard's Crystal and Ugly Dog Rum. We will update you on any Rum news and we will Hopefully be seeing video soon! Til then -- I am:
Rick, The Rum Runner

Monday, October 28, 2013

One Year -- A Look Back, A Look Forward

Who knew? A year ago (today BTW) I began to put together a story, a story of my journey. For those of you newer than a year -- This is my first posting in the blog: Rick, the Run Runner.

We had a fantastic time at Spirit Taste 2013, wrapping up so much I have learned, so much I have enjoyed, so much I have traveled. At the get-together, one question often asked was, "Where to next?" We (my wife and I) have been tossing about ------ west. but nothing is locked in.

What happens as we go on? Well one thing is this blog. One thing that drives a successful blog is content. Next most important is... content. We have kept up a 3 day content schedule, and to be truthful, it eats into the research, improvement time budget. my new plan is this.
Friday is our single-most followed post. it gets reads all weekend long. Monday is the least followed. my proposal is a blog sometime Monday Tuesday Wednesday.... no certain day and a Friday blog of, I hope, superior content.

We will be back, later this week with a written an visual report on our Tasting cum Birthday party.... Till then... it's Me:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Before Spirit Taste 2013

Forgive me, but we are in the midst of decorating and preparing for Spirit Taste..... But, I left you these cards... Enjoy!

I Chuckled out loud at this one.....  

Is your mouth watering? Mine is.....

 Rock Town

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Middle Week Musing

One of the things I have learned about this world of rum is that most everyone on the distillation end has some fascinating stories. From dreams had while vacationing in the Tropics to a second chance at a new life after life changing circumstances, and almost everywhere in between. The passion to distill is often a passion to create something already enjoyed, while making it your own. Better when others share your passion, and satisfying when even more people agree, and want a share of what you make. As an enthusiast, I have to say I am having the time of my life tasting my way through. In one year the changes have been many, and I hope you agree, better....

On American Made Rum -- Right now:
Ugly Dog Bacon Flavored Vodka and Urban Legend Bloody Mary Mix will be featured at a new Grand Rapids event that bacon enthusiasts of all kinds just have to attend. So, join us Saturday, November 2nd for BacCon: A Bacon and Beer Celebration...and Bacon Flavored Vodka. The event is at the DeltaPlex Conference Center located at 2500 Turner Ave. in the City of Grand Rapids. It begins at 3:00p.m. Hope to see you!!
FINALLY! The first pallet of Queen Charlotte's Reserve is heading to the state warehouse!
FINALLY! The first pallet of Queen Charlotte's Reserve is heading to the state warehouse! — at Muddy River Distillery Belmont Nc.
Zac Brown & his band drank STRIPED spirits this wkend at the So. Ground Festival. Zac really loved the STRIPED Rum!
Bottled up a barrel of Small Cask today, got another couple to do. Good tasting stuff!
Crisp Midwest Autumn air and the smell of rum running through the still. It does not get much better. Toby will be in Tailwinds till roughly 6ish. Stop by and pick up a bottle.
Getting more excited for Saturday and Spirit Taste 2013...... See ya Friday!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Birthday to US!

Yeah, it's been a year, a year this coming week or so... I remember how it started, how I first got the idea. It was most likely late September 2012, I was chatting with my wife, I think members of our family were around, and I made myself a simple Rum & Coke. Sometime between first sip and likely a second or third refill, I realized how much I really liked Rum.
Rum. I drank it from time to time but never really stopped to think about it. In 1996 my wife and I cruised the Caribbean and one stop was the island of St Kitts. There they drank a rum named CSR. I found it was the peoples rum, not a fancy rum made to export, but a local, robust Rum. We took a tour or the island in Land Rovers, the guides taking us off the beaten path (including a drive through a cane field, plowing through the 10-to 12 foot tall canes and we exited along a cliff overlooking breathtaking beached. A rest point on the tour, the guides broke out chilled jugs of Pirates Punch made with CSR. My eyes, or more realistically my taste-buds were opened. What a great, different taste. To assure me it was the rum that added the new dimension, a guide gave me a shot, which I tasted and found it far superior than many of the rums I had EVER tasted. Mixed with just Guava juice, the flavor literally exploded in my mouth.
We bout the legal amount and loved it while it lasted once we got home. We re-visited St-Kitts in 2002 and once again we found it - bought it and loved it. But soon after I tried to see if I could find some for sale and get it imported to me. No luck, and one day I found it was gone.... One this blog -- we get a real look at CSR in its last days.. THE RUMELIER AND CARIBBEAN RUM told the story in this article -- Click here
Alas, it was gone - at least gone for me. 
So October 2012, I decided I wanted to write (I am a published author [WolfPointe Twighlight Times books] but had not done a lot of continous writing since about 2006). I wanted to blog -- but I needed a subject. It was then that I set out on my journey... To date I have bee too busy to look back 

Rum -- you gotta love it... You have to lick the glass. Until Wednesday...


Friday, October 18, 2013

Let's Taste Striped Pig's Striped Rum!

This South Carolina Company has just really hit the market. They were gracious enough to get samples to me for both tasting and for Spirit Taste 2013. Let's first introduce Striped Pig to all of you. I did a "Glad To Meet You" post a few weeks back, but at the time knew thay were still gearing up to come to market.... Well they did. Here is some information about them and their Distillery as well as the whole staff that makes it all possible.. Special thanks to Todd Weiss and Juliana Harless for getting the samples to me and their sales sheet which will help with more information and some decor here for Sprit Taste 2013....

From their website:
"The original “Striped Pig” is referred to in an Old Sturbridge Village booklet, Rum and Reform, in Old New England. In this selection from A History of the Striped Pig, 1838, we learn of the pig.  
This tongue-in-cheek story obviously drove home the point of the temperance reformers like Carrie Nation and Frances Willard; the pig symbolized all drinking men of that time in our country’s history.

The distillation process separates the alcohol from the fermented liquid. Our individual stills are custom designed to create the highest quality products while bringing out the distinctive flavors of each spirit.
We use both a pot still and a column still, allowing greater variability and control during the distillation process.


Once the distillation process has finished, new liquor can enter one of several finishing processes. Our clear products, including white rum, vodka and moonshine, are gently rested allowing the spirits to smoothen around the edges.
We select only the prime rum and whiskey batches to mature in our custom barrels.


Once a batch of our liquors is matured to perfection, it is prepared for bottling. It is sealed and labeled by hand to ensure the classic Striped Pig kiltered label design, with its exact batch and bottle number hand-written on the label and then signed by the distiller himself."

Make sure you visit their website and take the time to watch the video.... Visit them on FaceBook too...

That all said, Let's pour us some:

Tasting Striped Rum:
The aroma is sugar, almost cotton candy with a gentle, pleasurable molasses after. Being a white rum, I was on the lookout for that first sip "buzz" on the tongue. Very little, very smooth. The flavors, mirroring the essence is molasses, good dark stuff. The flavor is subtle sweet. This is not just for mixing. A white Rum robust and flavorful enough to sip on it's own. A splash of ice cold water ignites the bouquet even more. Sweeter, the complexity released even more. I have to say this is a pig of a different stripe!!! My rating will be on as are all my rum tastings. Because Striped Rum is new -- please give Andy time to install it on my shelf!!!
I have to say - Striped Pig was a white Rum of beyond the ordinary aroma and flavor. A great mix but never pass up its sip-a-bility!

Until Next week!!

This Year's Favorite Halloween Drink!

Rick The Rum Runners Favorite Halloween Drink - Brought to you by

Rum drinks are often associated with either Hot-Hot Weather or Dead of Winter Weather, and believe me Rum Punches (both cold and Warm) as well as Hot Buttered Rum, Grog and Pina Colata's are all great, But Fall drinks, those "Tweeners" that can be warming or cooling are great to find take this Years Favorite Halloween Rum Drink - The Dark and Stormy.
While decidedly simple to make and Tropical in nature, I have been told and tried this drink over the rocks and neat (true, the Ginger Beer was refrigerated but no further ice was added)
I tend toward simple in my drinks. Sure I LOVE a complicated multi-ingredient melange but, only when someone else (and someone else better at it than I) makes it. Here is our take on The Dark & Stormy:

2 - oz Amber Rum - (aged in barrels, getting that rich full flavor: We can recommend Taildragger Amber, Cedar Ridge Dark, Richland Rum, Montanya Oro, Sgt. Classick Gold, New Holland Freshwater Amber; really any good full flavored aged amber or dark rum...)

3 - oz Ginger Beer - We recommend Goslings as its flavor and body team up well and it tends to be less sweet than many Ginger Beers and certainly Ginger ale.
Garnish with a lime slice.

Some Bar Tenders will add Lime juice, strictly optional -- but I DO like a drop or two

That's it for me -- Rick The Rum Runner's recommendation for The Best Halloween Drink!! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Middle of the Week Thoughts

Here it is, Wednesday. Humpday - Rum Day... time is ticking toward Spirit Taste 2013 we have nailed
down the food. I am redesigning the comment sheets. Oh and The striped Pig sent samples and I am SO excited. We will have a taste and report here on Friday....

Whats being said on American Made Rum?
Come by and see us for a FREE tour and tasting! Maggie, the distillery dog, will greet you on your way in! #whatsinyourspirit
I can see they are getting ready for Halloween, or the anniversary of Rick, the Rum Runner. 
American Culinary Federation conference in Winston-Salem
Another Craft Rum Distiller out showing off their hard work! 
Well, we will be seeing and talking again Friday -- We will taste some rum from Striped Pig and we will release our Halloween Rum drink recipe..
Till Friday: