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Recommendable to most
There aren't many 151 proof rums that are actually delicious, but this one is. You could try it in this order: first, sip some straight up. Yes, it's really fiery, but the unmistakable Demerara smokiness and burnt butter flavors shine. Next, drop in an ice cube and wait a minute. Better, right? Hints of tobacco, oak and butterscotch. And finally, add it to your Tiki cocktails whenever the recipes call for overproof rum. Indispensable.
This dark and mysterious elixir releases a rich brown sugar and molasses rich nose that immediately smacks of treacle and brown butter. On the palate is the hallmark rapid evaporation and sharp burn of 151 that gives way to an utterly scrumptious caramel corn and gingery molasses cookie profile. I've yet to taste a better dark blended overproof.
Having tried the Plantation OFTD and being very impressed, but I wanted to try this one. The demerara, caramel, vanilla, spice, and a hefty dose of oak. Not super nuanced, but this is phenomenally easy to drink for a liquor that's 75.5% alcohol.
I'll admit, I was afraid of this one when I first picked up a bottle for the sole purpose of making zombies. I had all those awful memories, as most of us do, of Bacardi 151 mixed into drinks with names like The Gorilla Fart and such.
But time passes, and we forget how we almost died of alcohol poisoning, and we are convinced by a blog post that it's time for a different kind of 151. And boy, is this ever different.
If you've never had a demerara rum, it's like going from only drinking American pale ales to getting a hefty pour of stout. The demerara character makes it taste like burnt caramel with almost a rich chocolate undertone. And while it's hot at 151 proof, it's not much hotter than an unfiltered bourbon like Booker's. While you're probably not going to be drinking it on its own very often, you certainly could. For something as strong as Everclear, it goes down surprisingly easy.
The best way to experience it is to make a classic demerara dry float as described in the Smuggler's Cove recipe book (there are probably other other sources as well). Leave the Hamilton 151 on the side in a tumbler and try a few sips without it. Then, pour about a quarter of the 151 into the drink and see how it changes the flavor. Finally, dump the rest into the drink, and experience it at its fullest.
While I use this exclusively as a float or a mixer in classic tiki drinks, I must admit I always save a few drops in the jigger to drink straight at the end. It's that good.
Neat was too hot
Mixed with water and twist lime mellowed it out but did not leave much distinction
Interesting to try in a Tiki drink of regular proportion, not a fish bowel
Even more dramatic than the 86 proof. Everything is amplified, with new qualities brought to the table like a pronounced smokey and toasted character.
People complain about sipping a 151 straight as if its a defect with the rum - its supposed to be hot, overwhelming, and concentrated - that's the point of a rum that's over 75% abv. However, this is one of the few overproofs that I can actually manage to sip and enjoy neat, maybe with a little water. Expect tongue-coating richness like with the 86 proof, and an even more dramatic spicy cinnamon/caramel finish that never seems to lose its intensity. This is exceptional rum, made intentionally as a mixer for tiki and fruit drinks, like the zombie. For $25, there's no reason to avoid having it on the shelf.
If you want to try it without cutting it, take tiny sips or you will numb your palate too much to taste it. I love the 86 proof Hamilton but cut to around 100 proof this stuff is fantastic. Also great to ratchet up the intensity of your Tiki drinks.
I've never had the original Lemonhart 151, which is legendary. I have a bottle of the newer version, but have not opened it. I don't know how it could get any better than this.
Dark, smokey with hints of vanilla and molasses, great for floating or mixing when a dark rum is called for in tiki recipes. Also added points for being a great value buy!
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