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Tasty, but not quite great
Notes are very similar to an agricole with a hint of rubber and a slightly pungent banana note alongside earthy flavors. Not bad, but definitely a bit too heavy to sip.
Like nothing I’ve had before. After living in Shanghai for a while and eating mung bean based everything, this really reminds me of that flavor profile. What adds to the appeal is the historical significance. Worth the purchase.
Nose is like an inexpensive tequila and the taste is a bitter sweet almost wine with a long carryover, not what you want. Based on the review i was hoping for a funky rum a bit dry but this does not make the cut for me. I cannot think of anything this could be mixed or blended in that I would like. Now I have to figure out how to use it up.
Rubber and floral and at first you're like WTF?!?, but it's uniqueness grew on me the way agricoles seem to grow on people with time. It's from Java, an island in Indonesia, and uses red rice along with sugar cane; hence the unique rum-but-not-entirely flavor.
Interesting on its own, it's fascinating in a daiquiri, which brings its perfumed side forward. It's in classic punch recipes, but I haven't tried those. The bottle suggests pairing it with chocolate, which should be awesome for most people.
My rating of 6 splits the difference between "some will really like it" and "many would hate it." If you're trying to figure out if it's for you before buying a bottle... sorry, it's one of those things you want to try first, probably. Take the chance if you like off-the-wall stuff or want to try a punch with it; but for most, a whole bottle would be a big commitment. Absolutely try it at a bar if you can, though.
50% ABV (I think, unless it was By the Dutch that I tried...). Nose: smokey, sweet, bacon-y. A bit of a round, creamed corn note. Palate: very smooth and oily. Still sweet and smokey.
So, yeah... suuuuuuper weird. Wouldn't be my first pick for sipping, but extra points for being interesting, and probably makes a fun mixer. Oh man, the Bloody Marys you could make with this stuff! Not to mention the punches. I must make a batch of 'Rack Punch someday soon! (Everyone reading this, check out David Wondrich's 'Punch! The Delights and Dangers of the Flowing Bowl'. You're welcome.)
This was once the most desired style of rum around the world, though today it is almost completely unknown to the rum community, save for the Swedes which have a loving taste for it. Most of the product is likely exported from Java and blended into "Flaggpunsch", a sweet yet delicious liqueur that also works very well as a mixer in certain cocktails (like the Doctor Cocktail).
The great quality of Batavia Arrack is often noticed and better appreciated when you dilute it. A luscious, complex fruity aroma emerges, which can sometimes be obscured by other aromas when smelled at full strength. Resting in your glass for a time helps to release it. It is truly special to behold...
It is fermented from a spontaneous red-rice and molasses starter, which nurtures fission yeast instead of budding yeast (the "Jamaican" yeast). The wash is prepared from exhausted and over-limed (adding calcium hydroxide) molasses, which raises the pH and helps to release "rum-oil" precursors (this practice is quite different from many other traditional approaches to rum making). The "tapei", or red rice starter that is added to the molasses more than likely functions as a nitrogen and nutrient source for the fission yeast (S. pombe) that dominate the ferments as opposed to providing yeast seed. As the molasses ferments, the pH gradually drops and it is then rested for a time in clay pots after fermentation is complete, where aroma is monitored until the wash is mature. It is then distilled three times in Chinese-style pot stills and rested in teak barrels. The result is non-traditional but excellent flavors and aromas, which suit a style of rum that was invented for classic punches from the colonial era, like Jerry Thomas' Regent's Punch.
Very slight opaque tint. It has an herbal scent with a wonderfully complex fruity depth that reminds me of some French-style rhums and mezcals (think grassy, mineral, wet leaves, but with a delicious "rummy" fruitiness...). The mouthfeel is also wonderful - velvety, clinging, and with the illusion of sweetness. Again, grassy and thick on the palate, with nuances of toasted sugar. An earthiness lingers long and delicately on the finish. No sugar has been added.
I often combine this with Jamaican rums in drinks, such as the Maita'i, Junglebird, or Painkiller. I've also made some outstanding punches with it.
It makes my favorite daiquiri - I've tried a lot of rums, believe me, that says a lot about the quality of this spirit. 2oz Batavia Arrack, 1oz fresh lime juice, .5oz light 2:1 demerara syrup, 2-3 drops of orange flower water. The orange flower water really brings out the herbaceous mineral qualities of the rum.
I'm always thankful that it's still around, even if it remains mostly unnoticed or unappreciated by the rum community. As far as traditional rum goes, it doesn't get much better than this!
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