Do you spit? Do you swallow? :)

I know this might be a bit funny topic :grin: but I’ll try to explain myself as clearly as possible.

I’ve recently undertaken a spirits tasting course and we learnt to evaluate and find nuances of spirits, including rum. During the course we had plenty of samples so drinking all of it would make us dangerously drunk. Being even slightly screwed influences our ability to evaluate spirits, therefore the judges on the competition SPIT the alcohol instead of swallowing it. During the course we did the same.

Interestingly, the mouthfeel after spitting the rum is different than after swallowing it. This might seem awful and I was reluctant at first too, but I really encourage you to try. It’s like you are producing less saliva and the flavours remain more vivid. I feel like I’m able to distinguish more individual flavors this way.

I decided to share it in light of questions rised about lotteries encouraging excessive drinking. For me it’s clear: it you evaluate many samples (and some of us do 150+ in a month, it is 5 a day!!!) you shouldn’t drink it all :slight_smile: (or at least I wouldn’t :slight_smile: ). This can also be a healthy option for a rum festival.

With that being said, in my everyday drinking for fun I defenetelly swallow the rum. However, I would not consider splitting it “a waste”. What’s your oppinion on this, guys? Can the lotteries stay? :innocent:


I’d say with 150 tastings a month you have an alcohol problem


There’s no L in spit. Otherwise it’s what we do to bottles :thinking:

Never tried it myself. Serge is an advocate of the spittoon, too.


definitely . I would set the threshold way below 50 samples per month :joy:


I’ve just checked that in every lottery at least one person had 120+ tastings. So it happens rather regularly.


Thats an interesting approach and i might try it the next time, i have something in my glass, wich i wouldnt regret to not swallow - to my experience a lot of rums release a lot of tast just after you swallowed them - i guess the most prominent examples are the 94 NYs - its like missing most of the experience and aromatics if you dont allow the spirit to crawl back up and settle there .

150x2cl equal a bit more than four bottles of something but taken into consideration we are mostly having caskstrenghts that might be quite a lot and over the average consumption wich is approx. 46cl pure alcohol/ month :joy::joy::joy:


I do also wine tasting and here there is no question, you have to spit in order of being capable of testing more than 25 wines accurately.
But as Kudzey says the taste is not exactly the same when spitting, so I always try for interesting wines to swallow a little too, just to have both impressions.
I also spit in some rum tastings but my opinion is that for very rare and special rums it is a waste to spit them, it is not showing respect not to drink 1 or 2 cl of those legends.


Completely agree. I often spit in wine tasting. Sometimes at Rhum fest I 've spitted some “low levels” rums I tried. But I swallow rarest rums.


I also do wine tastings and there it is completetly normal to spit or put the rest of your glass into the trash can on your table.

In rum however I try to swallow them, since it should be something special or rare as people mentioned. With rums i dislike, i sometimes put a lot of my glass into the sink. Put im making really small sips in general. So im not drinking 1 or 2 cl in one chunk. Rather 0,3 cl maybe. So if im disliking the rum, i wont finish the glass.

Spitting could be an option on a fair or on a large tasting. But all rum tastings i have been so far, were pretty high-class.


I have also tried spitting out of interest - and indeed the flavors are different when the finish is missing. This is a great way to explore new flavors. Everyone should do it the way they enjoy it.

I would only recommend not to give detailed ratings afterwards refering to the exact flavors, because I think most people swallow the rum and then can no longer understand the rating of a spit rum.


I hope i am not the only one who drinks alcohol to get drunk :smile:… when i make my home tasting the good stuff is in the middle and some normal stuff to the end again. So you have still your sences working when drinking rums for hundres of euro :sweat_smile:

I never tried spitting… maybe someday.


I agree, If you taste so many different Rums per month sooner or later you’ll get some serious health conditions with all the cask strenghts over the time. Always remember that your liver alerts you when it’s too late and not prior to this moment. So If you taste more than 2cl for 5 days a week, which is already the border, you should spit. And don’t forget the other beers and wines etc. you also had. On the other hand you are all grown up and I don’t want to be a moralizer :wink:


That’s why i could never get so many ratings in a week. Everyday drinking is a no go for me.


Lottery Tastings in the 100s per Monzh may be also related to older reviews, just waiting to be posted.

Other than that I rarely drink more than 1 sample of 2cl, so I swallow. But I assume If being at some kind of event I would seriously have to think about protection for my liver, which means spitting as well.


I think spitting a rum out is OK if it’s a session or an event with often way more than 5x2cl.

But the practice needs some getting used to.

The only downside is that you wont get to evaluate how the rum “goes down” (smooth or with a burn) which is also a criterion to me. Won’t hurt to swallow one sip, spit the others. Middle ground.


i don’t see any downside. A benefit of the spitting is that you end up with a complex cuvée or blend :see_no_evil:
No but serious, I experienced the spitting practice in vine tastings or when visiting vineries. It’s the day to day practice of sommeliers and whisky and rum blenders.
And it should be the choice when doing a big tasting. Anyway, the palate loses its ability to properly taste with around the seventh spirit one is trying


Very interesting topic, thanks to @Kudzey for bringing it up! I never thought about it in the context of tasting rum.

Over the time I got used to sample a rum with quite small amounts of liquid (about 1-1,5 cl) and I prefer to have one sample on one afternoon / evening, sometimes two but seldom more and for that cases I do not spit. Often also because the liquid is to valuable :wink:

To me there are two cases when I would consider spitting:

  1. Many rums and alcoholic drinks in general deliver more and/or different aromas and mouthfeel when taking a larger amount of them. But I often dismiss that experience.

  2. While tasting larger quantities (let’s say during a rum festival) I usually taste a rum to get a quick impression of it and it would be healthier to spit and my sensoric abilities would benefit from spitting over the day, not to mention the ability to walk communicate clearly :crazy_face:

So this is worth a seriously consideration for next years GRF to me!