I’ve recently had a great tasting of rums but all were over 60%. Last week I grabbed my basic cabinet bottles: Appleton 12, Equiano, Pussers, Dictador, Doorly’s, etc and… I found out that these everyday sippers are no match for higher-proof rums.
Is it just an accident, or does the low proof not convey the message? I feel the dilution and syrupiness every time I try the 40% now, certainly missing the depth and finish. Do you, guys, have similar feelings to me? What 40% rums can you recommend? Do the low-proof rums deteriorate faster once the bottle is open?
Welcome to the land of real rum
Well explained, @MrRumantic. Regarding the agricole style rums I agree. Rum that falls in that category still delivers a decent flavor expirience while often bottled at lower strength. But that style requires an “open minded” person and is quite far away from the rums you mentioned taste wise.
My first Agricole was a blind bought bottled Depaz VSOP 10y ago. At that time i wasn’t ablento understand what i was drinking. It took me some time to understand Agricole. Now i love it very much and it is part of my three big loves in the rum world. The Esters of Jamaica, the Dirt of Trinidad and the grassy notes of Martinique
I do not fully share this view.
It is true that today I find 40° rums a little light. But I also find those over 60° a little too heavy. Often we wait a long time to drink them so that they express themselves. And in fact, to express oneself is to let the alcohol dissipate to give place to the rest.
I am not a great specialist but there is reduction and reduction too…
It is possible to reduce before bottling, or before putting it into barrels (if I’m not talking nonsense, this is often done in cognac, and also in the French West Indies). The two ways must give very different things.
In any case, I recently did a tasting: La mauny 2005 (42°, cognac cask) vs St James Velier 2008 (60°, cognac cask too). The deepest in aroma, nose and mouth is the La Mauny, on the other hand it doesn’t scratch the throat at all, it flows by itself :), but it is true that I would have loved it with a few more degrees.
Currently I find that rums around 50° when well reduced, are just the perfect balance between depth of flavors and drinkability (Neisson 48.5°, HSE 48°)
I also think, more sadly, that we get used to a stronger alcohol and that less loaded alcohols seem to us simply too light… Addiction, my friends…
Reducing a rum to the point were it is perfect, is an art for itself and the rums becomes the personal taste/ vision of the bottler. I respect that a lot. What kind of water also makes a difference and the rum reacts slowly with the water so you get the final taste after a view weeks in the bottle or cask. I am with you that it can make a rum better because it opens it and the water kann “create” new flavors. To hit the perfect point is the art. But i even more love to have the rum as pure from the cask as it can be.
I was refering to the bottles listed by the OP.
… i was in a rare writing mood yesterday. You are right. They are of very different taste.
In general alcohol is a medium to transport flavours. So the general rule could be: the more the better… Unfortunately it also is more complicated. Higher ABV spirits are often undrinkable for the untrained (which is the majority of casual consumers) and should be poured in moderation. No cocktail party survives in friendly atmosphere for long, if all spirits used were to be 60%. After all, I don’t want to be horribly drunk after a Daiquiri and a Mai Tai.
Also, I find to really have a well done rum means the alcohol is well integrated (not harsh in your face), which gets increasingly more difficult the higher the ABV is. But I had 60% spirits that drank like 40%, and others I could not drink without heavy burn. Thus the dilution, as said before, is an art.
The 40% (or 38%) number in most countries is just a result of regulations and law, anything less would not be allowed to be called Rum i. E…
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I didn’t actually want to say that the weaknesses of the low-proof rums is their weakness . And I can’t possibly imagine a Pina colada with some 80% burner. I think now I will commit my tasting evenings to the stronger guys in the foreseeable future.
And for the Agricole style, (don’t blame me) I’ve tried these once or twice but it seems so distant from what I seem to enjoy that I dropped their exploration for now.
Still waiting for more suggestions of your recommended 40%s
I can’t think of anything with 40% right now, but I like the Mount Gay XO at 43% if that still counts I also got a sample of the Dictador Best of 1980 recently that was a really positive surprise at 41% given that I usually don’t like Dictador that much. But that was a one off tasting and might have jus been in a good mood ^^ And I guess the price tag is hefty too
I think any of the recent Plantation bottling are worth to be recommended.
They are not exactly “40%” but usually damped down quite a bit.