Hi everyone, just signed up. I've been drinking rum for years but only bottom shelf Myers, Mount Gay etc.
Have been doing some homework and come up with a list which I'll be ordering tomorrow in time for Christmas.
Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva
El Dorado 12
Appleton Estate 12
Mount Gay XO
R,L Seale's 10
Flor de Cana 18 was on there but mixed reviews made me swap for the Appleton. I also swapped Zacapa 23 for Diplomatico. The difference is a total of £166 compared to £196 before.
I'm also wondering whether to go mad an buy the Zacapa XO as well.
Is that a good start? My plan is to build the collection with a new bottle every month, with the next one being the Flor de Cana 18.
Your thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Not much happening on this forum is there.. All of the above arriving shortly, except the MGXO which was out of stock so I replaced that with Rhum Clement Agricole 125th Anniversary.
If anyone's reading, which bottle would you open first?
I would start with the 2 sweetend rums (El Dorado 12 & Diplomatico R. E.)
as they are easy to drink if you just moved from mixing rums and then move on to RL Seale and Appleton Estate 12 once your palatte has matured a bit.
Don't have that much (good) experience with Rhum agricole myself, so can't really comment on that one.
Shame that MGXO was not available as out of the ones you listed thats probably my favourite.
I don't think the Appleton Estate 12 will impress you, especially against some of the others on your list.
Personally, dollar for dollar, the Diplimatico RE will be the shining star.
Similar, I would have stuck with the Flor de Cana. Even their 12 is so much better than A/E, at least as a stand alone sipper.
Enjoy your Rum-olidays!
Rob, that's along the lines of what I was thinking, probably try the El Dorado first. The Rhum Agricole is the most expensive, limited edition and I wanted to try a sugar cane one as well as molasses produced. That'll be the next to open. Read a lot of good reviews about the MGXO so will buy that next time it's in stock. Slainte!
Tony, not many bad reviews for Dimplomatico, only from people not liking sweet rum Must be good if there's a Diplomatico cocktail competition, good video on youtube. I'll let you know about the Appleton, I like what I've read and I just opted for a cheaper bottle as I was buying 5 of them. Flor de Cana 18 for my birthday in Feb! Cheers and have a good holiday yourself, let the rum keep you warm in Canada!
Bottles arrived today, home from work and the tasting session is on.
First one - El Dorado 12: First thing I'll say is I'll need training to educate the nose, how you all separate all the aromas is beyond me. First impression I got here was varnish, with a hint of acetone! haha. I used to be yacht crew so maybe that's why. I added a drop of water after a while, started getting some fruit cake perhaps. I realise I sound like a complete FNG so I can only hope these things come to you in time.
The difference between this and the bottom shelf stuff is obvious enough though, a distinct improvement in quality and smoothness. These drink smell expensive. Don't know what to say about the taste either, lit up my mouth with a warm burn in the mouth and back of the throat. Some sweetness, brown sugar/caramel. It's only been a brief visit as there's 4 others lined up and waiting so I'll come back to this again.
Oh and now I really understand what legs are, I found you see them best through the inside of the class, like wrinkles or an on an old lady's face all around the glass, thick legs running down in gloops, almost like mixing varnish. Also a green rim around the edges when held up to the light, a sign of quality I believe.
2nd up - Rhum Clement Agricole 125th Anniversary: Such a completely different drink to ED12. Strong smell of apples, same colour as apple juice, light and crispy, fresh and can taste apples also. This one will take a bit of getting used to straight. I'm developing a large ice cube in the freezer at the moment so will try that in a few hours. I added some coke to this and it was gorgeous. If I can't handle this for sipping then it will be an amazing sipper, well worth the £50!
Coming up next is Diplomatico RE......
Diplomatico RE: A bit sweeter than the ED12, easier to say caramel, brown sugar, toffee. I don't know why people complain about some added sugar, so long as the drink tastes good is all that matters, and this one is good. The taste stays in the mouth long after, rich and smooth. Makes you feel rich and smooth as well, only wish I had the F type Jag outside to go with the experience. No problems sipping this, tried with coke and just as good, can see why this is popular for cocktails. I'll come back to this but have two more waiting..
Seale's 10: I'm too much of a novice to review these drinks properly. Drier than ED12 and Diplomatico RE as I knew before trying. I'm told it might take some time getting used to these once the palate matures. Didn't get anything in particular from the smell or taste, wasn't that different to MG Eclipse! That should horrify some of you I know as I've only read good reviews about this rum. Excellent with a dash of coke zero, and please forgive my lack of experience!
Tim - this is the Appleton 12 review! - Have to say I'm impressed with this one. It's almost like cognac. Slight smokiness about it, prefer the smell to ED12 but can't pick much out, I'm hopeless unless it's really obvious like the Agricole apples. Thinner legs than the sweeter ED and Diplomatico. Nice burn going down, just adding some coke now which I've done with all the others. All 5 amazing with coke, hard to pick out the best although the Agricole is completely different to all, I guess that's sugar cane vs molasses?
At first visit I would say I could easily sip ED12, Diplomatico and Appleton12. The drier Seale's and Agricole I might need to mix.
If Rhum Agricole is new for some people, I would highly recommend the Clement because it's so different to all the others and needs to be tried. It doesn't matter a bit to me that it was the most expensive and the one I have to use as a mixer, because it's so good with coke. With a bit of getting used to no doubt the sipping will follow.
Spectacular bottle to have on the shelf too, the graffiti limited edition.
Just checked and I rated Appleton the highest, with a 9! It gives the impression of being the highest quality, even if I might prefer the taste of ED12 or Diplomatico. Something very rich and refined about Appleton, the hint of smoke adding to the character. I can sip the other two easily from the start, but would give the Appleton more time to get used to it and fully appreciate what's been made here.
In summary: a whole new world of rum just opened up. How do you go back to Mount Gay Eclipse after trying these?!
It's been a great week or so of getting to know these fine rums. Mount Gay XO back in stock and in the post, accompanied by El Dorado 21, which I'll have for New Year's Eve. Yo ho.
Add dark matter to that list.
Also think about adding some dry rums such as brugal 1888 to give yourself a well balanced cupboard .My personal taste wouldn't allow mount gay or Appleton in the cupboard as both very poor excuses of rum. I think value wise you can source much better flavoured rums. Also missing a decent spiced rum so either rebellion or rumbullion to that list .
Hi Kieron, the review I read of dark Matter wasn't a great one, interesting you recommend it and I was wondering what a rum made in Scotland would be like.
I have Spanish friends who told me about Brugal so it's on my list, they didn't say which one so I'll have a read up on the 1888.
Most reviews on MGXO are very good, the guy on whiskey review raves about it, but Mount Gay is where I started off really with the Eclipse so have to try a finer version.
I quite like the Appleton, will take time before I can describe these drink better but I got a cognac quality from it.
Haven't been thinking of spiced rums while I've been trying these, so I'll add rumbullion to the list. Cheers for the info.
Not much left of the Diplomatico RE, having a treble now after my first day back at work. I think this is one where you need to keep a case in reserve.
The Seale's 10 is a drier rum, and after an hour or so in the glass I was getting a very floral scent, couldn't take my nose away. I can see how it could take time not just learning about rum but also adjusting to the taste and discovering different aromas. It's a science.
+1 Kieron wood, well played
Dark matter is a massive surprise coming from Scotland it has a very subtle aniseed flavour , if your not a fan of aniseed and prefer a sweeter one then don papa is good . I know don papa is a marmite rum that some rave about and some hate due to the sweetness of the orange notes.
I also would recommend to anyone they buy a 5cl sample of el Dorado 25 as this is the greatest ever in my opinion.
Hmm, I think I'd need to sample that aniseed flavour before buying. I can't say I'm a fan of any style yet after just starting out but DRE and ED 12 I could drink all night. Looking forward to trying the ED 21. Would have to try the 5cl of 25 first, can't remember how much more this costs than the 21 without looking.
My next 2 planned after ED21 and MGXO are Flor de Cana 18 and maybe Ron Zacapa XO. I know a bar I can try the RZ 23 and Santa Teresa 1796 as well.
Sants teresa is nice, Ron zacp not a fan off again too smooth and not much depth to flavour for my pallette.flor de Cana is nice and decent dryness to it ... As previously discussed yet to try a mount gay that I actually like .The 25 is a different level to the 21 both good but 25 is the ultimate rum in my books .Pricey but royalty of a rum ...Explore flavours an styles and above all enjoy doing it.
ED 21 and MGXO arrived. ED 21 tastes expensive, you can tell it's a level above the others I have, dark fruits and a touch of smokiness, lovely stuff, and don't mind paying £80 for that sort of quality.
Slightly disappointed with the MG, was expecting a bit more from it the way Ralfy was going on about it in his youtube review. Still nice but I'd try other rums before buying another bottle.
No surprise in the disappointment in the mount gay that's a common them for their rums.with el Dorado 21 watch on Amazon as quite often can pick the bottle up for 60 quid.
If I see them at £60 I'll get a case!
The MG might have to be my expensive mixer.
Seale's 10 I'm getting used to more now. A lot going on with the nose, and a better rum than their Doorly's 12 I think.
I'm not surprised in your view of MGXO, as you seem to like the sweeter EL D and DRE. I am surprised that you like the Seale and Doorly12 as I find them similar to the MGXO. Have you tried the EL D 8? It is my favorite of the regular EL D line.
Nathan, you been busy! ☺
nomad - The Doorly 12 I wasn't impressed with, but can't be sure due to only having one brief drink.
My first impression of ED 21 was that it was the best of all rums I've tried, but after half a bottle I found myself struggling with the last glass I had. The dark fruit/raisin/prune effect was getting to me a bit and I couldn't finish it. I'm hoping this is purely overdoing things slightly over the holidays as I don't want to find anything negative about this bottle.
Tonight I'm back to Diplomatico which has just finished so back on ED 12 for the last nightcap. Could all the reviews I've read claiming the 12 to be the best be right? How is the 8 compared to the 12?
Rob - been very busy! Had the first lot tested by friends and family, who all preferred the Diplomatico. Got carried away a bit and got the ED 21 in for New Year's. MGXO I'm going to give another go but surely will be a great mixer if not otherwise.
Next to order is a third Diplomatico RE, and since it's so good I'm tempted to go for the single vintage 2002 in Feb (birthday present)
Hadn't heard of this before now. Same price as Diplomatico 2002...
Giving the MGXO another go tonight and it's going up in my books. The nose is really nice, I just find it a tad harsh on the burn same as the Eclipse. It could be a lot better I think if it was a bit smoother.
I tried with coke zero and it mostly seems like a waste to mix these rums.
Finished the MGXO and by the end enjoyed it a lot more. The Rhum Clement Agricole which I struggled the most with in the beginning I'm sipping tonight much easier.
For a beginner trying a lot of new rums quickly, the sweeter ones are the easiest definitely. Diplomatico and ED 12.
I think it was not knowing what to expect when the bottles first arrived that made the others more challenging. Once you know the different flavours and appreciate the smells and tastes more they become easier to drink.
Appleton 12 was going down lovely last night. Rhum Clement tonight which I I would say is the closest in comparison to Seale's 10, at least in the nose and mouth although the flavour is still different to all of them.
So much for dry January anyway. Next in the post are Diplomatico Single Vintage 2002, Ron Millonario 15, and at the last minute went with Kieron's recommendation of Rumbullion spiced.
Handy having a good overdraft!
Finished the El Dorado 12 tonight I'm sad to say. One last bit left in the glass. Overall pound for pound this has to be the best. The smell, the taste, the slow burn and aftertaste. Going to have 1 small 21 to double check I think the 12 is better.
Essential re-order and have to try the 15 as well.
You need to try the 25 Nathan and that will Change your thoughts entirely about good rum. I just got a diplomatico mantuano which is delightful for the cost. It cost me 27 quid and is different to the reserva exclusiva.
I'd love to try but at £380 it's beyond my range at this stage. I'll add Mantuano to the list then. Already taken your advice on the Rumbullion, will arrive on Thursday.
Last glass tonight is the ED 21. Have to say, much prefer the 12 at the moment. I think it's a prune juice effect that's overpowering.
Do a sample from master of malt for 30 quid trust me or if your ever in manchester liars bar serve it for £25 a single shot. They also stock black tot which is an incredibly rare one that even i havent been able to try yet. I got the rum book by dave broom at christmas and it is an interesting read and i got a specialist rum tasting glass which is incredible as changes the complexity of the drink significantly.
I go to Manchester occasionally for concerts/day and definitely want to visit one of the rum bars next time. Would be a better idea to try the 25 at Liars than at home.
The book looks good for £5 and what glass are you using?
I'm using a large wine glass for now, not sure whether to get the Glencairn or final touch rum glass.
I'm thinking about the next 3 to try after Thursday's 3 arrive.
I want to re-order the El Dorado 12. Reviews of the 15 saying there's raisin and prune notes are putting me off, as that's what's spoiling the 21 for me. IIf the 15 is closer to the 21 than the 12 I might give it a miss.
Ron Zacapa 23 and Foursquare Zinfandel cask were the other 2.
Further review reading of the Flor de Canas are moving me towards the RZ23.
I have a final touch glass which is amazing and I have a crystal nipple glass. I generally try the rum in both as the final touch is designed with fluid dynamics to releade the aromas and can sometimes release too much, which I shwy I try it in both glasses. Rz23 re tried on Friday as wasn't overly impressed with it and that theme still remains.flor de Canas are all extremely dry and not very fruity. Yet to try the four cask ...
Yeah lots of mixed reviews about the Rz23. I actually had a smell from a newly opened bottle in work today, along with FdC18 and Santa Teresa 1796. RZ was the least interesting of the three. I'll get to them all eventually but for now I'll try to find the best ones first. Following what you said about not being too impressed and another review on here saying the Presidente Marti 19 is a better rum than it in the same price range, I went for that one.
Ordered another bottle of El Dorado 12, plus 3cl sample of the 15.
Foursquare Zinfandel Cask and the above PM19.
R.L. Seale's 10.
Wasn't very impressed to begin, but love it now. Last gone tonight, will re-order.
Had to persevere with the El Dorado 21. It was nagging me. I've followed Ralfy's tactics with a teaspoon of water.
I noticed how it started to open up and soften after a spoon. Still a tad strong so I added one more teaspoon.
The prune juice gave way and let in some more of the usual rummy smells, caramel, toffee, it almost seems like a different rum now and a bit closer to what I like about the 12..
I read a review saying this rum might have spent too long in the barrel, slightly overdone. I can see how that could be true, but a teaspoon of water saves it. Really nice now.
Ed21 for me is one that keeps in my cupboard and will have every so often for a treat, not drink the whole bottle, what I would recommend is that in a short space of time you have covered a small selection, but finished every bottle bought. It seems boring but I keep at least 100ml of each rum I buy to try 3 months from the review and reconfirm the first findings. This also makes it look like I have an impressive rum cupboard. Something I always find I have to do every couple of weeks with tasting is revert to a common mixer rum to reset my taste and not always get drawn towards the expensive rums as don’t forget most pubs in the UK do not stock a great selection, as in the ones near me that are not specialist rum bars stock Havana 7 which is an average rum.
also FYI Manchester are hosting a rum festival this year in June, just google Manchester rum festival 2017 with all the major suppliers with some unique ones that I wouldn’t usually buy but I’m sure I can sample at the event. At rumfest this year one of the major suppliers had a rum exclusive to the event which I sadly missed and I’m hoping Manchester do the same. Tickets are cheap at £15.... This event will certainly add to my list and push me over 200 if I’m not already there by then.
I actually finished two bottles of the Diplomatico! :p But had some help and it was Christmas.
I think I needed to do what I've done so far as it's taken some time to get used to some of them, such as the Seale's and Rhum Clement Agricole especially.
The next lot coming in will have to last a bit longer, it's an expensive game having to re-order so soon!
I'll see if I can get a few people interested in coming with me to the festival, would be a good day out.
To be fair Diplomatico reserva exclusiva is one that I can drink constantly.one of my favourites on the nose and taste. I can imagine ordering so many bottles is expensive, I typically do 3 a month with keeping some in reserve to retry in the future. At the moment Caroni seems to be popping up everywhere on the blogs. Another good cheap sipper is legendario, I know technically not a rum due to 26% but it’s like drinking rum and raisin ice cream and is stunning, if in Europe its about 13 euros so dirt cheap for quality.
I have noticed that the app has added bars on so will start reviewing them as visited plenty…
That legendario sounds interesting for a cheap one!
I have to flatter myself tonight by saying how clever I am with my review reading and research, which led me to choose the three rums I have before me tonight
Ron Millonario 15: Super smooth, fantastic smell and taste, doesn't need much time to breathe it's just liquid gold whenever you try it. I could tell from the second I unscrewed the cap which I haven't really had from any other rum, other than the Rhum Clement with its apples. I have to put this rum at the top of my list of everything I've tried before, even better then the DRE being in exactly the same class. It's £10 more expensive but that doesn't matter. I love the straw weave packaging, I love that it's from Peru, and I love this rum. I will have to have another bottle of this in reserve before it runs out.
Next up, Rumbullion!! I was NOT expecting what I got from this. Incredible stuff. Tizer?! Cola cubes, vanilla, a million spices I could never identify. Blew my hair back. It's great discovering these premium rums but I know know that spiced should not be overlooked. I want to try others. Fantastic stuff, I wonder how the other Rumbullions compare?? Navy strength and XO?
While I think of it what about Ron Millonario XO? The Rum Howler had it at the top of one of his top 10 lists. If it's better than the 15 I'm in trouble.
Last of today's delivery... Diplomatico Single Vintage 2002.
Being the same price as El Dorado 21, this wins easily. ED21 is an older version of the 12, like a beautiful woman's mother who you can tell used to be equally as stunning but has crinkled with time, slightly over done grapes turned to prunes.
DSV is a highly refined version of DRE. Hardly any resemblance in taste or smell yet you can somehow tell it's from the same family. It's rum cognac, and you know you're drinking high quality. This will be one for a special occasion. The ED 21 is gone already and I wont do that with this. I can tell what it is from the first try, ED21 needed multiple visits as i persevered and tried to find the best way to appreciate it, until finally it was gone.
Ron Millonario 15 was one that was disappointing for me, the bottle is stunning, and not the nicest bottle, google wild tiger the rums poor quality but the bottle is amazing. The Ron millianrio I tried after the ed21 so expected a lot from this as it’s in the same price bracket, I can imagine to sum its amazing but to my palette it was lacking flavour ad had a harsh after burn.
I haven’t tried the other rumbullion ones but instead gone on a journey trying different brands of spiced, for a present I was bought a UK spiced rum called morant bay spiced, which is pink in colour so very unique and not that expensive, however for a strong vanilla rum that goes with coke or iron bru is rebellion spiced. I tried rebellion black and was disappointed but the spiced is unique.im jealous you have tried single vintage but I’m saving that one for a rum tasting event. Another great spiced on is foursquare but be warned this makes like a chilli rum and coke as have a lot of spice and fire.
Surprised you weren't keen on RM15, I find it quite similar to DRE, but would like to have them both at the same time to compare.
I'm having another tasting with family next week with the new rums ,so am afraid to start on it tonight in case there won't be any left for them! Rumbullion instead tonight. I tried a bit with diet pepsi to see how it was, but again I think it's a waste to mix. There's enough flavours and smells going on it doesn't need anything else at all.
The Morant Bay looks interesting, something different for the collection and maybe for some summer cocktails, might keep that in mind for then.
Is Rebellion much different to Rumbullion? When you say strong vanilla and iron bru that's sort of the flavours I get from this glass now.
I'm not put off by the Foursquare fire, sounds like a good one to have for some extra kick. Impressed with Robert Seale and the Foursquare zinfandel sounds good, I'll know about that on Monday, so all going well I'll add the spiced to my list as well.
Saying that though I didn't get much other than a burn from his Doorly's 12, expected a lot more from it.
The Diplomatico 2002 is definitely a specialist rum. It's in a different class to ED 21 but about the right price, I think the ED 21 is overpriced from what I got from it, and comparing to the 12. Compare the packaging as well. Diplomatico has made much more of an effort with the presentation. ED 21 is no different to the younger ones. I'll be interested to hear your review on that when you try it.
As you know I've gone through these new rums fairly quick, but can't bring myself to have a shot of DSV tonight, it really does call out for an occasion!
Rebellion is a full blown heavy vanilla spiced rum, you can drink it neat as well which shows quality within a spiced rum. The Morant bay is a unique rum and something that’s a good party piece, the flavour is good but just trumped by rebellion, rebellion is also high in my rankings as its 10-15 pound cheaper than rumbullion but has enough flavour to warrant the cost of the rumbullion.
Foursquare like I said isn’t to my taste as high in heat but know a few people who love it. Doorlys like all Barbadian rum is a hit or miss at certain age of the rum, I find the 5 delightful but again find for the same price range can get a much better rum. Look forward to when I try diplomatico 2002.
A beautiful surprise the other day was Ron Varadero Añejo 7-Year, I didn’t have high hopes due to it coming from havanas distillation process but this seems a lot more complex and drier than the havana 7 which is the sister rum
Rebellion sounds like a bargain and worth a try, I'll compare it to Rumbullion.
Well I received the latest rums. I started off with the 3cl sample of El Dorado 15, and wasn't keen. There was a long lasting burn which didn't really go with water added, and there wasn't half as much on the nose as there is with the 12 either. I'll try younger rums but the extra expense for anything older imo isn't worth it. Once you go past ED 12 there are far better rums for the same price.
I'd have Ron Millonario 15 instead of ED 15, and Diplomatico 2002 instead of ED21. I'll bet the Ron Zacapa XO and Millonario XO are better as well at the £80 mark.
Foursquare Zinfandel I'm going to reserve judgement for now. I was expecting a drier rum, the Zinfandel notes and taste are there so I just think it's a matter of adjusting and getting used to the new flavour. I wasn't keen on Seale's 10 or Rhum Clement to start but they grew on me. The bottle looks great with a classy looking label. I'll see what the folks think tomorrow.
Presidente Marti 19 then. Thick, smooth and sweet with a slight burn which is just about right In the same class as DRE and ED12. Only had one try so I'm sure there's more to come.
Ron Varadero comes in a lovely looking bottle. I quite liked the Havana 7, so will be worth a try if better for the same price.
I didn’t mention before but as well as the rum tasting glass I also got an American white aged cask 1litre which will now allow me to blend my own rums and experiment with my own flavours. I will obviously still be buying others but time to implement my findings into my own rum.
I know I will be number 1 as some point within the next year , especially with a couple of festivals.
Yes I saw those casks. Are you making your own from scratch or experimenting with various rums?
Using a basic rum then aging them with various techniques that the main companies use ....
If we are still talking of beginners rums, I will add the Plantation 20th, so far it topped all my rums within that price range.
This thread isn't about beginner rums, it's about a beginner getting to know fine rum.
I was considering the Plantation next together with another spice in Rebellion. Most likely be a third El Dorado 12 added to that order, can't get enough of it.
Latest thoughts on my rum findings in general. I do prefer the darker, sweeter rums, but find the lighter ones a refreshing change when you want something different. You have El Dorado 12, Diplomatico RE, Ron Millonario 15 and Presidente Marti 19 all in the same category of dark, sweet and smooth with incredible aromas.
Then you have Clement Agricole, Seale's 10 and Foursquare Zinfandel which are all lighter in taste and colour with the most amazing floral bouquet, or in the case of Clement, fresh apples.
I thought of a quote from a great South American poet which I can adjust slightly from referring to someone's literature to rum, sure he wouldn't mind. I'll dedicate it to this evening's rum which keeps growing on me the more I drink it...
Anyone who hasn't tried Presidente Marti is doomed.
Something similar to a man who has never tasted peaches.
He would quietly become sadder, noticeably paler, and probably, little by little, he would lose his hair.
As for lighter rums, less sweet, I have tried 2 very goods rums too, from 2 big houses actually.
The Bacardi Gran Reserva Limitada and Havana Club Selección de Maestros were two very good surprises.
Some days I just don't want the sweetness of my Plantation and will enjoy more those two.
Also I had a bottle of a Gosling's Family Reserve Old I very enjoyed too, would advise it as well.
Presidente Marti that good nathan?
I havent sampled a few for couple of weeks due to brewing my own port finish rum which ahs been in the cask 2 weeks now and lookign forward to the 4-6 week point.
The rum festival in amnchester is now sold out with plenty of vendors that i have no touched anymore.I actually got bought 3 bottles of ed12 for christmas due to the amazon sale so currently working my way through that.As for francois comments i think bacardi are a poor excuse of rums and not had one thats worth noting, havana i can take or leave it as find other cubans rums to be better.
Ah shame, didn't think it would sell out that quick! What rum did you put in the cask and how long will you be leaving it in there?
I don't mind the Havanas as mixers, was wondering what the Maestros one was like.
I'll definitely buy the Marti 19 again, with a sample bottle of the 23 to try as well. A bit more expensive than DRE and ED12 but still worth trying, just shows the value for money you get with those two.
Very nice present having 3 bottles of the 12 for christmas! I'm already half way through my second bottle, love it.
Gosling's Family Reserve looks good value for £50, good reviews.
I agree with you about Bacardi and Havana in general but there was my surprise, I think these two are not to be overlooked because of their house. Especially if you are after something less sweet. Then it is all a mater of personal pallet. The gosling for instance, a friend of mine didn't like it, and it took me 2 or 3 times to actually start to appreciate it, then I was actually sad when I finished my bottle.
I have just ordered this month’s supply and stumbled across a bargain, new grove café rhum agricole £15.82 which is reasonable and definitely worth a try, I’ll let you know the resulting taste test, its only 27% so technically not a rum but more a liquor but I usually enjoy the odd one of 2 liquors.
My other 5 this month are
• Santiago de Cuba Anejo
• Ron Cartavio gold
• Plantation original dark double aged
• New grove dark rum
• Saint James reserve
The new grove is due to turn up tomorrow and then the others during the week …
Francois, will you be trying the Gosling's Family Reserve? It's a high standard of packaging compared to others at the same price and I have a feeling it could be a bargain after some of the reviews I've read. I think I'll take a chance on this in my next order.
Will look forward to your reviews on those Kieron, some new ones there .
I'd like to put in a big order but the bill is eye watering! Might need to be patient and wait a month for the other half.
Either Ron Millonario XO or Ron Zacapa XO for one of them.
Then Gosling's FR, Plantation 20th, Clement Canne Bleue, Angostura 1824, Ron Abuelo 12, Rebellion.
I should keep trying new ones before repeat orders of the same stuff!
try 3cl samples from master of malt
I already did Nathan, you can check my review, I really advise you to try it.
About your new orders, go for the Milonario XO. I never tried it, but really didnt like much the Zacapa XO. Like its little brother the 23y, it is WAY too expensive for what it is. We talked before about overrated brands, but personally I am still to drink a really good Zacapa.. even the XO was a real disappointment.
Myself I just bought a Quorhum 30y, been looking to try it for a while. I will have to wait end of February though, time for some family to bring it to me from Europe.
I think I'll get the 3cl of Zacapa 23. I bought all my rums from Master of malt so far, and got the 3cl of El Dorado 15 from them. So many conflicting reviews about Zacapa, and with the 23 being an average of 6-8 years mostly it probably is overpriced. Compare it to Flor de Cana 18 for the same price, of which all is a single rum aged for 18 years. A lot of the reviews have people saying they prefer the 23 to the XO, but the video on youtube says different. I want to try it so probably a sample of the cheaper one first.
I just read your review of the Gosling, I think it's worth a try. I expect it to be a little different to everything else I've tried and looks to be a bargain if the taste matches the effort they made with presentation. We'll see!
Ron Quorhum 30 is sold out on MoM, and another one I want to try. Another expensive one on my list is Ron Abuelo Centuria, £122 on MoM but £103 on Amazon.
"I don't know why people complain about some added sugar, so long as the drink tastes good is all that matters, and this one is good. "
An interesting statement. The basis of the "complaints" is simple. Adulterating whisky, bourbon, rye and rum with hidden sugar, glycerol, artificial flavoring, and even wine is...
Illegal. Wrong. Cheating.
When Willy Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he answered "Because that's where the money is...". The distillers of whisk(e)y, bourbon, rye and the like simply do not cheat. Their spirits are pure and unadulterated. They are honest. Bourbon doesn't even allow coloring, and most fine whisky is uncolored, and unfiltered.
Rum though has been the rogue spirit. The distillers - when confronted by experienced tasters - denied they tricked up their products. It was not until Finland, Sweden and a number of qualified independent testers published their tests - proving at last that much rum was illegally altered - that we all finally realized the duplicity.
Back to the cheating - why add secret sugar? Like Sutton the answer is the same - money and profit. Distillers can take lesser, column made spirits - rough and edgy - and smooth them out and cover up the nasties with sugar. The worst offenders: the Zee, Dee and Pee rums. There was so much cheating - that allowed these distillers to "premiumize" their lesser rums, make up a romantic and impressive marketing story, in expensive bottles - all to sell a cheap rum as a "super-premium" for outrageous prices.
It didn't help that age statements were fictional and completely unprovable. Unlike some whiskies or bourbon, no rum distillers bonded their products, so the age was simply what they wanted it to be. By adding hidden sugar to smooth and thicken the product (the phony legs), glycerol to create a false mouthfeel, and flavorings to attempt to mimic truly aged rums - a cheap younger rum was made to appear as though it was a truly aged and complex product.
They are not. Consumers came to associate the thick altered rums with quality, so oddly enough it was and is the "super-premiums" that contain the most sugar - which actually masks and covers up the rum. Consumers thus never really knew what real, honest, aged rum tasted like.
I found it very interesting that "Nathan" - in time - came to appreciate the real and honest rums like MGXO, Appleton 12, etc. Those who finally "get" that about half of the 800 rums tested are phony and altered products, grow to prefer the real thing: pure, unaltered and honestly aged fine rums.
Hi Jim, many thanks for your reply, a lot of my research and decisions on which rums to buy came from reading the reviews on your website from yourself ans Sue Sea, I wish I could pick out flavours and smells like you do!!
I'd also read and understood your explanations about the merchandising of rum and the information we get about them. There'e a site available which tells you the sugar contents of rums I've seen as well, so for those who really want to know the information is there.
I've also seen from videos that the regulation process would be extremely difficult/impossible due to getting so many different countries to work the same way. Maybe one day they'll find a way but until then it seems people will have to do their own research.
The statement I made above in your quote meant that I don't know why adding sugar should put people off buying the rum if they like how it tastes, even though they know the bottle hasn't been advertised properly or is missing information such as added sugar.
I've found out that El Dorado and DIplomatico add quite a bit but omg they're so good it doesn't bother me one bit. My next bottle of each will be my third purchase.
For a good collection I think you need to have a wide variety of types.
I'll have the sugary two above, Ron Millonario 15 and soon will have the Zacapa 23 (found a litre bottle for £44!)
Then I'll have the RL Seale's products, Seale's 10 and Zinfandel cask I had&have, which are drier and fresher, including Clement Agricole (graffiti bottle). An astonishing difference in everything compared to the first group of which I expected most rums to be like. I've learned a lot about variety from quite a small range.
Appleton 12 I found to be very cognacy, taking time to get to know and appreciate was a challenge but I got there in the end. I still have a bit left and will reorder at some stage.
I have a new list which is maybe too expensive all at once, but I've found great prices e.g. Flor de Cana 25 for £88 instead of the usual £125.
Here's my new list Jim....
Ron Exquisito by Oliver 1985
Ron Quorhum 30
Ron Millonario XO
Ron Zacapa 23
Gosling's Family Reserve
Flor de Cana 25
Clement Canne Bleue 2015
Rebellion (to compare with Rumbullion at a cheaper price)
plus I need to reorder Diplomatico RE
Ron Millonario 15
El DOrado 12
Sorry forgot to add Plantation Barbados 20th Anniversary
Ron Abuelo 12 and Centuria
also curious about Caroni 17 yr old 1998
I loved the Presidente Marti 19 as well btw, looks like I'll be a fan of Oliver&Oliver.
All this rum talk forced me to place another order, was going to wait a bit longer but I failed.
Had some mind changes mid order, replacing already had with new rums..
Changed Diplomatico RE to Mantuano.
Clement Canne Bleue 2015, finally
El Dorado 8 instead of 12. Will try as sipper but mainly looking for a good mixer.
Ron Abuelo 12
Delivery on Thursday!
Two links that I hope are of service to choosing a rum:
The Master Sugar List (800 test by Finland, Sweden, etc.):
This link summarizes all sugar test from the above goverments and several independent testers. Check your rum to see if the distiller has cheated and adulterated their rums with sugar, et al.
A series of taste tests showing how sugar obliterates and smothers two otherwise pure rums:
Rum stands almost alone in the secret tricking up of lesser rums to attempt to mimic real, pure and honestly aged rums. As so well said by Richard Seale, this is cheating. The amounts of sugar added is stunning. Some so-called premiums use up to 12 tsp./bottle. With such alteration the rum is smoothed to death, smothered, and obliterates the rum profile. These altered rums should legally be labeled as "Flavored" per the TTB's Standards of Identity, with the primary flavoring clearly labelled, eg "Sugared Rum" or say "Sugar Surprise".
Far too many rum buyers are fooled into thinking they are buying legal "rum", when in fact they are buying lesser rums altered with all manner of flavoring and smoothing additives. Worse yet many of these are sold at unwarranted "super-premium" prices, for artificially flavored, inexpensive spirits, then misrepresented as premium aged rums, which they are not.
I read the taste test and have a few questions...
So in conclusion, the more sugar added to a rum should mean more of a reduction in the price of a bottle?
What happens when you have El Dorado 12 which has as much work and effort put in over 12 years of ageing as Appleton 12? While the main difference being more added sugar to change the taste profile so that it's a bit sweeter.
Is it possible to naturally produce a rum of equal sweetness?
I don't think anyone will agree to having "flavoured" or "sugared rum" on their labels. As a consumer I wouldn't want to see it either, as it would spoil the appearance and experience of drinking it.
I think the rums should have the added sugar information on the back of the bottle in a contents section the same as you have with food telling you how much sugar/salt,carbs etc are present.
Another point worth considering here is that once people start paying higher prices for aged rums is that they will most likely have read up on that rum already. Myself being new to premium rum, I do a lot of research and review reading which helps in my decision making.
Once I have the added sugar information I can assess that against the price of the bottle and compare it to others with less sugar.
For example, two very popular rums in Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva and El Dorado 12 will have a higher sugar content than Seale's 10. The price per bottle in the UK is around £35 for each one. Is this fair?
For me I think all three bottles are very good value for money for £35. The first two have more sugar than the Seale's but the end quality of the product is fabulous, for someone who is after that sort of rum with a sweeter profile. This doesn't mean it takes my custom away from Robert Seale, as I will buy Seale's 10 if I'm looking for something in a different category. Lighter, fresher, drier, different aromas. The fact that it doesn't have any added sugar does appeal to the senses and ADDS to the curiosity of the buyer.
The, I will look at Ron Zacapa 23, which I would guess has as much sugar as the first 2 mentioned. This however is priced at £50 per bottle. When you get DRE and ED12 for £35 which is similarly made, and Seale's 10 a more pure rum at the same price, from where does RZ find the extra £15?? Is it for the extra work moving the product to age above 7000ft?
It seems overpriced, which by the way is one of the reasons I still haven't bought this rum.
i.e. Well these sugared rums taste great but this company prides itself on the purity of its product by not having any additives put in, so lets see what this is like. I buy the bottle and appreciate the differences. It's good to know the differences that can be achieved in the distilling process.
To achieve the taste of sweetened rum, I don't think it will come as a surprise to any beginner that sugar has been added to achieve the richness/smoothness of the product. With so much toffee, butterscotch, caramel, vanilla notes I would find it miraculous if this was possible to produce by ageing alone.
Imo most people would expect this as a part of rum and it won't put them off buying it. If anything this sugar problem gives Robert Seal et al another edge in their marketing, that for the purists who prefer that category of rum they can see from the marketing what it is. I for one haven't been fooled as a consumer when buying sweetened rum. As i gain more experience and knowledge of what rum is I'll still be more than happy to pay £35 for ED12 and DRE. What Robert Seale does is offer you the opportunity to try something different, and see what rum can be like without the additives.
I'm really glad we have this options as consumers, it would be awful if everyone did the same and these sweetened liqueurs is all rum was. There's no variety.
We need the variety, which includes the sweetened, pure, agricole, white, dark, spiced whatever there is.
I would hate to see Sugared of Flavoured on the labelling. This would spoil the experience and would be too in your face. Something similar to putting graphic photos of diseased lungs on cigarette packets. I KNOW what cigarettes do but I don't want to see that when I'm trying to enjoy a smoke. (I gave up years ago btw)
Interesting read from captain jimbo, shocked at how much sugar some rums have for the aging, however will still not stop me exploring flavours and rums even if they cheat .I agree that it’s not right to call something aged when its added sugar however I would much prefer this rum to be commercially available for me to taste than the companies stick the pure rum and it becomes unavailable. It is well noted that I consider El dorado 1986 the holy grail of rums and the fact it has 39g of sugar does not bother me in the slightest, I’m quite a quirky taster and explore the cheaper products as well as the expensive and even some liquors which obviously have a lot of sugar but still taste amazing.
I do support RJ seales point however I think the science of rum has had to evolve otherwise we would still be drinking the stuff the pirates drank years ago, although it’s not right to increase price for the aging process the development of flavours and wondrous and why I went into tasting rum in the first place.
This weekend was my birthday so mixed with plenty of rum Nathan, I tried diplomatico single vintage 2001 and found that although it tasted incredible it was not much different to reserve exclusiva which is half the price, this was done with a side by side taste test. One surprise of the weekend was the mount gay black barrel as a rum and coke is divine and delicious, considering I’m never a fan of mount gay this one probably higher on my list than most of the rum they produce.
I also want to start a petition to ban consumption of Bundaberg rum from the Australians, its vile and disgusting if I could score something zero I would…
"We need the variety, which includes the sweetened, pure, agricole, white, dark, spiced whatever there is. I would hate to see Sugared of Flavoured on the labelling. This would spoil the experience".
It is easy to forget, ignore or change the subject from the core issue. The TTB's Standards of Identity are clear. Be it whisky, bourbon, Canadian whiskey, rum or even vodka.
A product labeled with one of these - by law and regulation - may NOT have added sugar or other flavorings, glycerol, or other spirits. The primary exception is a few drops of coloring. The addition of any of these is simply not permitted and is a violation of the regulations.
Any of these spirits - rum in this case - which add sugar or flavoring must now - by regulation - first, must be clearly labeled "Flavored Rum/Whisky", etc. and second must identify the primary flavoring. Period. For example: "Sweetened or Vanilla Rum", "Prune Surprise", "Raspberry Vodka" or ""Cinnamon Whiskey". That's the law.
The distillers and purveyors of the other spirits follow the law. Bourbon goes one step further, as the regs specify "no coloring" and "must be aged in new oak barrels".
Rum distillers cheat and the reason is clear: added profit by creating false "rum" which are often lesser, cheaper, column rums which have been secretly altered to appear aged and complex, real "rum". This is not a matter of personal consumer preference, taste or law.
An example: If a car is advertised as having 200 hp and gets city mileage of 28 mpg, you buy it, only to discover that the engine is only 140hp and mileage is far worse, are you going to say "Well I like the car, and I'd rather not know they lied cause it will ruin the experience"?
I doubt it. Let's not confuse the issues. The distillers lied for years about sugar when confronted. They knew it was wrong, and why they were doing it. In sum, this is a matter of law. If we are being sold legal "Flavored Rum" that has been labelled "Rum" in violation of the regs, that we are being cheated.
At the Rum Project, we have nothing against flavored rums and liqueurs and the like. We only ask the distillers to follow the law and not attempt to mislead or cheat us. One of my old fave's was Zaya, which is massively altered and sugared. Frankly I don't care if the master distiller urinates in the
blending tank, as long as he sez so, lol...
I suppose distillers cheat because they're more interested in the rum they're trying to create than regulations? I'm only trying to play devil's advocate here, trying to imagine their intentions. Is it really to fool the consumer or just a means to an end product they're aiming for?
As I said in my previous post, at these higher prices most people will be doing their homework, so should have enough knowledge about the rum before deciding to buy.
Is it a case of distillers trying to disguise a low quality rum as a premium, aged one? This doesn't make sense to me when you could take El Dorado 21 as an example. The youngest rum in the bottle having been aged for 21 years. I don't see how much cheating a distiller can be accused of when this much effort has been put in. How much added sugar in ED 21, and does this not deserve to be called Rum?
If all the regulations were followed to a tee, how many rums would survive the label?
The effect I believe would confuse and turn people away from it, especially beginners. It seems like the aftermath of imposing these regulations would do more harm than good.
You'd have a small percentage of Rum compared to all the others scattered around new categories.
It just seems a bit petulant to me that distillers would be forced to plaster sugared or flavoured on their labels, as though it was a form of punishment, banished from the family of 'Rum'.
There would be no harm in distillers advertising sugar content on the back of the bottle, this would be useful information for consumers, especially when you consider how it might affect diabetics.
I'm sure something will be done eventually, my preference would be for the contents on the back of the label only.
Buying a bottle of Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva sugared rum or El Dorado 12 flavoured rum would spoil it for me, somewhat, a bitter taste intruding on the sweet.
On the other side of the coin, where you have "rums" like Old Hopkings Rum, then I agree with you wholeheartedly.
The cheap knock offs should have their distilleries burned to the ground, I'm picturing the scenes from Narcos where Escobar's labs are up in smoke!
Take the nasty stuff out sure!
"I suppose distillers cheat because they're more interested in the rum they're trying to create than regulations?"
No. Over the last decade the Big Three have come to take over and monopolize the marketplace. Worse yet, our dear government give them billions of dollars in subsidies, which means these three huge conglomerates can actually be paid to make rum. Further they have such control over the marketplace that they now dominate 90% of the shelf space, and 100% of the prime eye level space.
They have no real competition, as long as the rubes believe their hype and are led to believe that a fine rum is syrupy sweet, with a near impossible taste profile.
"Is it a case of distillers trying to disguise a low quality rum as a premium, aged one? This doesn't make sense to me when you could take El Dorado 21 as an example. The youngest rum in the bottle having been aged for 21 years."
Yes, it is absolutely a ploy based on two factors. First, rogue rum has been cheating so long with added sugar, glycerol (for mouthfeel), hidden flavorings like vanilla, prune extract, molasses, and artificial flavoriting - for so long that most consumers don't have a clue as to what real rum actually tastes like. These made up products - made with cheap, thin rums as a base only - are then "premiumized" in expensive bottles and labels, lush made up "histories" and marketing stories and are sold for simply outrageous prices.
Last are age statements. These are largely fictitious as unlike bourbon or say Canadian whisky, not one rum is bonded (supervised in a government sealed warehouse). Although it is perfectly legal for rum to be bonded, they won't do it because then the actual age would be revealed. For the moment these alleged "20+" year rums are simply incredible - they are unbelievable, unproveable, undocuments and we are asked to believe a rum is 23 years old and why?
Because the marketing team says so. Example: at one point Zacapa bottles stated "23 anos/years". When challenged and criticised to prove it, they quickly changed the label to just the number "23", which we are supposed to assume means years. The same happened with Flor de Cana - whose bottles used to state "4/5/7/12/18 years". After the Big Three put the squeeze on all the fine independents, FdC was forced to cheapen their blends, and like Zacapa, removed the word "years", believing that the drinking public wouldn't notice.
We did of course. Allow me to close with what should be a simple and inarguable notion. The law is the law. Breaking the law and evading the regulation with the sole goal of profiteering by the powerful is really not subject to debate or devil's advocacy. There are no gray areas here.
The black/white notion that if a rum (or whisky or bourbon) is not sweetened, it well, must surely be bitter has no basis in fact, as any brown spirits connoisseur knows.
Wasn't very clever of Zacapa trying to make out the rum was all 23 yrs old, people now know it's mostly between 6 and 8 years old with smaller amounts of older rums blended in.
I've copied this from the FdC website just now:
Naturally Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Flor de Caña’s signature Slow-Aged™ process means that the rum is naturally aged in small white oak bourbon barrels sealed with plantain leaves, producing a distinguished and elegant rum with tropical notes. This uninterrupted aging process gives the rum its remarkable amber color and rich flavor without the aid of accelerants, unnatural additives and with zero sugar content.
(and this about the 18)
A stunning, 18-year-old amber rum that is full-bodied, with a rich complexity of flavors and a smooth finish that lingers on the palate. Almost two decades go into its production, and the tradition behind it and artisanal excellence can be savored in every drop.
Is this true? That's one mighty gamble of reputation if not.
As I said before, Zacapa 23 does seem overpriced to me for essentially an 8 year old rum, around the same price as FdC 18, which from the above quotes seems to mean 18 yr old rum.
I don't know how rum laws are enforced, they seem pretty lax to me with all this going on, companies labelling as they wish, Zacapa keeping 23 on the bottle.
It would be interesting to see a true value guide corresponding to the sugar quantity information you get from the site you posted here.
I'd like to see a list of rums with their actual prices and how they should be priced considering what's been added to them. I'd imagine the greater the sugar the more the price drop.
When I think of the cheap Captain Morgan priced at £15, Mount Gay Eclipse at £20, DRE for £34 seems pretty decent to me, as is Seale's 10.
If Seale's 10 is £35, does this make DRE overpriced because there's quite a bit of sugar and flavouring gone into it?
Doesn't seem to be much room for cheating customers there for me. Maybe a bit more if we look at the more expensive ones like Ron Millonario XO for £80.
I have a bottle of Diplomatico Single Vintage 2002 at the moment which cost about £80.
How would you rate this product for quality and price?
Whisky is frequently bonded and aging is government supervised. Canadian whiskey is always bonded. Bourbon is often bonded. Rum is NEVER bonded; thus age statements ffor rum are completely speculative and in an industry that has broken the for decades.
Another excellent example is Ron Matusalem, who was outed for adding vanilla and prune extract to their rums. They claim that their most popular soleras is 15 years old - yet a solera by definition, gets one year older each year. Yet magically, Matusalem's 15 year solera never gets older.
This of course is impossible and beyond unlikely as a solera requires 4 times the barrels (in layers), is an extremely expensive proposition, and therefore cannot be replaced en masse year by year to maintain the certainly fictional "15 year solera" year after year.
It's marketing. Think about it - any distiller who ages a spirit 18 years will not fail to say so "18 Years Old" or "18 Years", in proud bold letters on the label. The difference between the website and the label is that the label is regulated, while the website is not. The omission of the word "years" on the label, many believe with good cause, is done knowingly. I know of no competent reviewer who would disagree that except for a handful of distillers like Appleton, Barbancourt, or Seales, that most distillers age statements cannot be trusted.
Mount Gay maintains their integrity by not making age statements at all, as they are well aware that such statements for rum are without bonding, nearly meaningless. Keep in mind the El Dorados, Plantations, and the Zee rum that also have adulterated their "rums" with additives in violation of the regulations, yet are we to believe that when it comes to age, they are suddenly honest?
Really? Folks, enough said. Enjoy your adulterated, mixed-drink-in-a-bottle, heavily sugared and flavored "premium rums" as you will.
Happy Birthday! I wonder is the 2001 much different to the 2002? The 2002 didn't have the same richness or mouthfeel as the DRE but as of what's been discussed with Jim up to now this should be down to the 40+g/l of added sugar. I haven't seen what's in the vintages yet. If it was a blind test I'd be able to tell it was from Diplomatico but it's not such a strong flavour. I'll do a side by side test with the Mantuano when it comes on Thursday.
I've been reading up more on the sugar debate on Jim's forum, I saw him recommending the Mount Gay 1703 to someone and said it was above the 10 point scale.
It;s just over £100 so I'll go mad again end of Feb and order one of those next payday, my birthday on the 22nd so there's my excuse.
I don't think sugar content will ever put me off buying certain rums, DRE and ED12 being two of the highest, and Zacapa 23 half what they are on 22g/l.
It took me until the end of the bottle to start appreciating it more, initially disappointed but slowly found more flavour and aromas by the end. So the black barrel you'd have as a mixer only?
It's a new angle for rum discovery, comparing the sweetened with the more pure.
Appleton 12, Seale's 10, 4square Zinfandel, Clement Agricole are the ones I've had so far, so MG 1703 next.
I saw an advertisement for Bundaberg saying it was the winner of the world's best dark rum, so immediately made a note of that to try. I shouldn't bother then?! Why was it so bad?
(I'm talking about MGXO there before I ask about Black Barrel)
This is the best list I've seen so far about sugar content:
Diplomatico RE with 41g/l while the Reserva has 9-12, which I assume will be the same for Mantuano.
I've been interested in trying the Dictadors as well, and they have 0-5g/l, same as Mount Gay.
bundaberg was a full on fire gasoline type rum, granted I did drink it on ice but all 3 of the ones I sampled were disgusting, no flavour and harsh after tones. I tried 3 of the selection and I would not give this to my worst enemy, one tasted like Sambuca which is ridiculous in itself.
I have just ordered el dorado single barrel on the curiosity of sugar content as it has 0-5. The diplomatico single vintage was still enjoyable but couldn’t see the value over the RE.i still consider el dorado 25 1980 to be the greatest rum ever and that has 51gs/l.
I tried the mg 1703 old cask and it was delightful aswell as the surprise about the black barrel mentioned earlier. My orders due this week so hopefully should be touching 200 by this time next week and then the countdown is on until I’m no.1.
What I do find interesting is the amount of rums that the USA claim to produce on the ratings app that are unavailable In the uk and not been sugar tested as I imagine them to be full of it. I feel blessed in the UK the selection we do have …
also that drecon list is epic and makes a lot of sense
The Rum Project works closely with drecon (Johnny), the Fat Rum Pirate, and many others. At a point we felt that there was need for a "Master Sugar List" including ALL the tests performed by ALKO (Finland), the Swedes and by a number of independent sources. Compiling ALL tests into a single source will benefit all those trapped in the world of Rogue Rum. Caveat: I do not guarantee the accuracy of any test, nor my typing skills. The tests by ALKO and the Swedes can be considered very precise; those by Johnny Drejer are also quite accurate. Also included are hydro-based tests performed by Moi, Cyril, the Pirate, dawsonh, mamajuana and soon from rum lovers everywhere, as submitted for "The Great Sugar Test". These latter are of course subject to error, so please point out any aberations which the testers will gladly repeat.
Johnny recently submitted another batch of tests, soon to be added to 800 tests already listed in alphabetical order. Please take a moment to consult the Master Sugar List:
...we'd like to hear you comments. Worth noting is that about half the rums tested are adulterated with sugar, and often other substances including glycerol (false mouthfeel), flavorings (false complexity), and even cheap wine (same). Even as little as 5g/liter is notable, and by the time some of the "super-premiums" add up to 12 tsp (say 41g/l), the rum has lost all real character, and has become a liqueur.
Again, we are NOT opposed to fine flavored rums, but we do expect distillers to be honest, to follow the law insofar as labelling, and perhaps someday, to even bond their rums for honest age statements.
Great list, does that AH Riise have 96g/l of sugar?!
If the labelling were changed, what should be the limits for the different categories?
Would it be 0-5g/l to remain as Rum
Everything up to say 40g/l as flavoured and anything over becoming a liqueur?
I'd definitely like to have contents added to the back of labels.Seem like a very difficult task though getting everyone comply.
New rums arrived today.
There's quit a difference between the Diplomatico Muantano which arrived today and the RE.
I could only do a quick sip test as I'm taking tablets for a muscle strain, and I've noticed you can't taste rum properly after them.
The Mantuano is lighter and less sweet, quite nice as far as I can tell but likely to be used as a mixer.
For a sipper it's worth paying the extra few pounds for the RE.
I understand there's 41g/l of sugar in DRE, and it would be interesting to know how much other additives/glycerol they've used altogether. The mouthfeel is quite intense, full of flavour, rich and smooth. If it's not a real rum then it's a really fine liqueur.
El Dorado 8 I'd compare to the 12 in the same way as the Diplomaticos. They'll need a better test later on I'm I'm able though.
Ron Abuelo 12, not as good as ED 12 or Presidente on first impression, with some after burn on the chest.
Clement Canne Bleue 2015. Wasn't expecting this to be for sipping, very very grassy, that distinct flafcour of rhum agricole. Most definitely will have to use this in cocktails, don't think I could sip this as I do with the Clement 125th Anniversary.
Rebellion Spiced! Wow, for a £19 bottle, Kieron you're right when you say this is up there with Rumbullion, it wouldn't be out of place in a more expensive category. Really nice smell, seems darker and a bit smokier than Rumbullion, but in a good way, smoother I think as well, possibly even easier to sip.
Great value for money, at that price I'd stick with Rebellion rather than order Rumbullion again.
It makes a mockery of Sailor Jerry and Red Leg, being around the same price.
A friend brought Koko Kanu to my attention, very good reviews about it and supposed to be far better than Malibu.
These aren't my thing I'm only curious as I could improve the selection in the bar at work. It's £18 a bottle so may buy one to try, another one for summer cocktails if i take that up as a wee hobby/project.
Koko KANU started this whole project for me , it's the best coconut rum money can buy pal
If I was to operate a bar that wanted a different variety of flavours for low cost I would stock , rebellion,koko kanu and legendario. All excellent rums for under £30. I would then obviously do a baseline of premium rums.
I imagine all the rums you have bougth will taste different once the taste test has been done without medication, mutano is lovely but when I bought it , it only cost me £24 now its touching £30 I would go with the RE as can pick that up for £34.EL dorado 8 and 5 I consider mixer rums as they lack the premium flavours of the older stuff, I probably will need to cross reference with the sugar list on that one. The single barrel I ordered yesterday so looking forward to tasting that this weekend.
I’m yet to be convince by rhum agricole as not had many that have blew my socks off, also this week rum was featured on channel 4,s food unwrapped, well worth a watch. This weekend should be the unveiling of my port cask flavoured rum dependant on taste test and weather I leave it for another week.
"Great list, does that AH Riise have 96g/l of sugar?!"
The four AHR rums tests ranged from 50 to over 96g of sugar per liter. That is an amazing amount of sugar (equal to nearly 30 tsp of sugar per bottle). To say that these taste nothing even remotely like pure and legal "rum" would be an understatement.
"If the labelling were changed, what should be the limits for the different categories?"
At this point the problem is primarily that the distillers are violating the regulations, and that we need to first enforce the regulations we have. This so far as been a slow process. The Master Sugar List has accelerated the process, as the fact that buyer now know which distillers cheat is information enough for now. This has caused many distillers to make and produce better rums which are pure and unadulterated.
"Would it be 0-5g/l to remain as Rum Everything up to say 40g/l as flavoured and anything over becoming a liqueur?"
Depends on who is testing. Government tests is VERY accurate insofar as sugar, so ANY sugar is a violation and should be labelled "flavored rum". The US Standards of Identity distinguish a "liqueur" as:
"Cordials and liqueurs are products obtained by mixing or redistilling distilled spirits with or over fruits, flowers, plants, or pure juices therefrom, or other natural flavoring materials, or with extracts derived from infusions, percolation, or maceration of such materials, and containing sugar, dextrose, or levulose, or a combination thereof, in an amount not less than 2 1/2 percent by weight of the finished product." "Rum Liqueur" must also be at least 30%, and most are between 30 - 35% "Rum" and "Flavored Rum" are at least 40% (80 proof). It's probably best for you to read the defintions for yourself:
The tests performed by Drejer, Cyril, the Pirate, the Project and others use a hydrometer test which is slightly less accurate, but still very good. For these testers 0-5g/l is reasonable.
Do you ever drink any of the sugared rums like Diplomatico RE if you feel like something sweeter?
Or do you stick with RL Seale's and Mount Gay unsweetened rums? I saw you recommend MG 1703 and I'd like to try that with my next order.
What other pure rums would you recommend?
I've tried making a Ti Punch today with my Clement Canne Bleue 2015.
Couldn't find any caster sugar in the supermarket so I bought coconut sugar (first time I've seen it)
Resulting cocktail is a dark Ti Punch, and not too bad!
"Do you ever drink any of the sugared rums like Diplomatico RE if you feel like something sweeter? Or do you stick with RL Seale's and Mount Gay unsweetened rums? I saw you recommend MG 1703 and I'd like to try that with my next order. What other pure rums would you recommend?"
Most experienced rum lovers slowly but steadily gravitate toward honest, legal and pure, unadulterated rums, as these have not been smothered with syrupy sweetness. This is not to say that many don't enjoy liqueurs, but they do object to lesser tricked up sugar bombs being sold as "super-premium rums" of dubious and unproveable age.
Unfortunately many rum drinkers are unknowingly introduced to these faux, sugared rums, further misled by the so-called "super-premiums" - which add tons more sugar. The come to mistake these concoctions for real rum, which they then mistakenly compare to real whiskies.
This is changing as more and more buyers have become aware of the deception, have tried some truly honest and aged rums and finally understand what they've been missing. Example: Nathan, who started this thread.
One of the great contributions was by our Rum Project member "Che" - an experienced taster - who did a VERY thorough study of the effects of illegal sugaring (from 1g, all the way to 50g/l) - and reported the effects of adding sugar to two very well known pure rums (a pure young white with a fine 10 year aged rum).
The effects of sugar were substantial, smothering and entirely negative. I urge all of you to please read his report:
Do you ever drink any of the sugared rums like Diplomatico RE if you feel like something sweeter?
Or do you stick with RL Seale's and Mount Gay unsweetened rums? I saw you recommend MG 1703 and I'd like to try that with my next order.
MG's 1703 is one of the greatest real rums ever produced. For others to try, the Master Sugar List is an excellent resource. I might suggest Barbancourt's wonderful 5-Star, any of the many Seale's made rums, almost any Appleton. Wray & Nephew's OP is perhaps the finest OP - pure and unaltered - on the planet. Oddly enough Bacardi's 1909 Heritage edition, bottled at 43% - is a truly great white, complex and made as it was in Cuba.
A friend has just told me the other day he's going to bring a bottle of Wray and Nephew OP when he's home over Easter! 63% I'll let him know what you said.
I'll make sure I have an MG 1703 for then as well.
The MGXO Cask Strength 63% is sold out on MoM at the moment.
I left the El Dorado 8 alone for a while, and today I'm liking it a bit more on its own. Less sugary than the older ones, and almost closer in profile to MGXO
A third bottle of Diplomatico RE and a second Rebelilion Spiced on the way.
Gosling's Family Reserve is the other which I've been waiting to try.
MG1703 won't be too far away.
"I left the El Dorado 8 alone for a while, and today I'm liking it a bit more on its own. Less sugary than the older ones, and almost closer in profile to MGXO"
The ED8 - as experienced by Nathan - points out just how bad things got insofar as the illegal tricking out of rums by many distillers. Nathan is entirely correct about the older Dorado's, with the 12 and 15 having tested out with over 30 gram, while the 8 year testing out at "only" 15 grams.
Two things we need to know:
1. Even 15 grams is pretty awful, and at 30 grams? This is no longer rum, but a true sugar bomb. You might ask yourself why the so-called "premiums" are the most sugared. The answer: the distillers add enough sugar to cover up harshness and flaws of the younger rums, in this case the 8 year. But know this: anything over 10 grams has been seriously masked and ruined.
Check out Che's amazing test of pure rums he altered with from 1 to 50 grams of sugar. It is shocking how quickly sugar alters and covers up a lesser rum.
2. What has happened is that rums were altered illegally for so long that many drinkers actually believe rum is supposed to be a sweet, thick product. Having deceived us all, when producing a so-called "premium", the producers now feel obligated to add even MORE sugar. Amazing!.
Bottom line: the consumer has been trained to equate sugar with quality, and have come to believe that most sugar bombed, syrupy products are actually worth the serious extra cost. Fraud piled on fraud.
Hey Kieron sorry I missed your two posts there in between the sugar debate. I've bought Koko Kanu for the bar at work, as well as Rebellion spiced. I'd have to try a sample of Koko first before buying, but the Rebellion is an instant favourite. To have tried all these different rums at over £30, Rebellion should be up there i the same price bracket when you compare it to Sailor Jerry or Kraken. It's good enough on its own which is something I wasn't expecting. The bottle didn't last long and the second will arrive on Thursday. Finishing off the Presidente Marti now, I'm finding it quite similar to Ron Millonario 15 at the moment.
I don't think I'll ever be able to have a decent collection, go through it too fast!
As for Rhum Agricole, take a chance on the Clement 125th Anniversary (graffiti bottle)
I wasn't sure at first but it really grew on me, if not for sipping then a great (posh) mixer with a difference. Taste amazing with coke.
Clement Canne Bleue is a funny one, incredibly grassy and you could even say tastes vile! It's ok with coke and probably even better in cocktails once I get around to it.
Legendario elixir de cuba needs adding to them two then you have the perfect bar selection. I had a knockout one this weekend which I will be buying a bottle off and it was plantation double aged dark on the rocks… I only had a sample but will be purchasing a bottle as its incredible and given me new hope towards the plantation rums. I have had mixed reviews of plantation so going to discover some more of theirs to see if they hit the spot…
The barrel rum I aged I think I was to heavy on the port so the first batch was deep in port and rum flavour, quite nice but expecting better.. now I have just added an overproof white rum from Wray and nephew and I’m going to let the barrel do the work ..
Clement- I have recently had a couple in one of my favourite rum bars and a real mix of flavours, the orange one is the “2nd best orange rum after Sant Teresa orange liquer, ( add that to your bar as well), I had a clement vieux that was revolting with coke… I will explore the other Clemens but really disappointed so far…
Now over 200 rums so that no.1 spot will slowly happen…
Legendario sounds like a very sweet one. I haven't tried any liqueurs yet could try it as it's so cheap.
I've been considering the Plantation 20th Anniversary, do you not think they're very good?
Shame about the home made, trial and error!
I want to try the Santa Teresa 1796 as well, will be in my non sugared order along with Appleton 21 and MGXO 1703.
Gosling's Family Reserve arrived a day early. Presentation deserves applause, they've gone to some effort fair play. I'm reserving judgement for now, as I've found so far it's not really worth reviewing at the first try, I'll have a couple tonight and try again next week. First sip I had was instantly dark chocolate. The reviews I've read are dead on. Dark chocolate, tobacco, leather, smoky, not too sweet. Lovely dark mahogany colour and thick legs.
I'll leave that for now and get back to Diplomatico RE, it's been a while.
Well what happened here? I'm suddenly more aware of the sugar in DRE. It's been a couple of months since the last time, my first glass back I'm just thinking sugar bomb!!
So as a beginner trying higher end rum you find the sweeter ones easier to drink, but in time after trying a lot of different kinds you start noticing the sugar more. Is this why Capn Jimbo who's been drinking rum for years is so against the sweetened rum?
Now I know a bit more I think you could easily put Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva in the class of a rum liqueur.
It's over 40g/l which I guess should qualify.
Presidente Marti I really enjoyed but it's just as sweet. Abuelo 12 is quite poor quality I wouldn't buy it again, even has a weird burning effect, not in a nice after burn way but as if you;ve eaten something too hot that's burnt your throat.
I'm going to finish this glass of DRE and try an Appleton 12 again.
"So as a beginner trying higher end rum you find the sweeter ones easier to drink, but in time after trying a lot of different kinds you start noticing the sugar more. Is this why Capn Jimbo who's been drinking rum for years is so against the sweetened rum?"
Let's clear up one thing, if I may. There really isn't such a thing as "sweetened rum", or "sweetened whisky" for that matter. Rum and all other spirits are clearly defined. The only kinds of rums are: "Rum", "Flavored Rum", "Rum Liqueur" and "Imitation Rum". The TTB's federal regulations define each of these very carefully.
There is no such thing as "sweetened rum". Any rum with secretly added sugar is should be legally labelled and properly called "Flavored Rum". If the primary flavoring is sugar, the label should also state it.
The problem is this. Most of the sugar bombs are mislabelled as "Rum" when they should legally be labelled "Flavored Rum". By cheating and secretly adding sugar and still calling this concoction "Rum", the consumer has not only been duped, but is led to believe that a legal "Rum" tastes sweet and syrupy.
This is a huge issue as about half the so-called "Rums" available are fraudulently and secretly tricked out with hidden sugar and other false flavorings, but still sold as "Rum" instead of as "Flavored Rums", and the consumer pays for a pure rum, but gets a cheap, tricked up rum that may satisfy one's sweet tooth, but is in no way a real "Rum".
Whew! For details, there are several earlier posts that cover the Master Sugar List and Che's taste test of how sugar ruins real rum.
Oops... one more point. The cheating distillers love it when consumers post that they had a great "Rum" - say Z23 - when they should be saying I had a great "flavored rum" or "rum liqueur". It is up to us to keep them honest and call a spade a spade...
I just can't believe the difference now. Last time I was loving this ............ rum, and now I'm still trying to finish the glass.
When you come from Mount Gay Eclipse and Havana Club or Sailor Jerry, lets call them the Tesco rums, going from that to Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is a big leap. It's a taste sensation. What you're not aware of, thinking of or even care about is the amount of sugar inside the drink.
DRE along with a few others was the first I'd tried on the first tasting session which is covered in the first few posts of this thread.
I wasn't keen on the drier rums, Appleton and Seale's, they took longer to get used to. Most people will tell you that you'll find DRE and El Dorado easier to drink, "beginner rums" and so on.
So I may have reached a point now on discovering that DRE isn't the same to me as it was in the beginning.
And when you have quite a few of these with the same profile, it might push you more towards the lighter experiences of the more pure..
This might have come in good time as I was thinking of forking out on more expensive sugared rums like Millonario XO, RZXO, Ron Quorhum etc.
If you're in the mood for sweeter rums then maybe DRE or RZ23 ir El Dorado at the cheaper end might be ok, but is it really worth paying double the price for something that is hardly any different considering sugar content.
Does it matter how long it's been in the barrel if there's the same 40g/l in it as the cheaper one?
I think I've discovered this early on with El Dorado 21. Absolute waste of money you may as well have 2 bottles of the 12 and not be sickened by the prune juice which you have to water down to enjoy.
I'm on the road of discovery and seem to have come to a crossroad.
I was already planning on non sugared rums next anyway, more inclined now after tonight's DRE. Next will be
Santa Teresa 1796
Or maybe just the first 2 as new ones and another Seale's 10.
Nathan, you now represent the many rum lovers who appreciate an honestly made, aged, bottled and labelled pure rums, congratulations. The secretly sugared rums are usually lesser rums that needed tricking up to be sold - worse yet, some of these are sold as "premiums"
Although I've said it before, don't get too excited of claims of extreme age. Unlike whiskey, these age claims are made without any proof of age at all. No rum is bonded or supervised in a government warehouse. Thus the age claims are fantastical. You simply can't trust them.
On the other hand there are a few distillers like Seales whose age claims are honest, but these few are the exception. It is wise to avoid all rums altered with secret sugar, as any distiller who cheats with added sugar and flavoring and still falsely labels the bottle "Rum", is likely to also be lying about true age.
Legendario is very sweet but a good dessert variation liquor at least they have labelled it that.
Manchester now has a rum distillery which is exciting and looking forward to sampling that, created by some university students. Plantation I have had mixed rums only now seem interested in exploring after tasting the new formula for the dark rum, what would be interesting is if the sugar content has increased on this one .
The homemade will come with time I was just too heavy on the port flavouring and I think starting with a white rum will suit me more.
Sant Teresa is a hidden gem distillery for me that has very unique offerings from the 1796, linaje and the liquors they do they are certainly one of my go too producers.
Goslings family reserve is an interesting one as it’s a sweet rum that I don’t like, it’s too heavy on the after burn but a delight of flavours. I completely agree about the presentation that is a lot of effort in the design process. I have tried it 3 times to see if I like it and always come to the same score.
Dre is my constant choice to drink on an evening as I can drink quite a lot of it but my top 10 is constantly changing and containing so many different flavours. Try the new grove café Nathan liquor is delicious over ice currently £15 on mofm.
Reviews I read on Foursquare Port were saying the Port flavour was a bit heavy as well, so I wouldn't be too down about it! I have the Zinfandel cask, and the reviews for that said the Zinfandel wasn't as noticeable as the Port.
You do notice a white wine flavour, and I'm not sure it's a great idea. It's harder getting used to this that the dry rums that took me a while. Doubt I'd go for it again.
I'm going to give the sweet drinks a miss for a while I think. After sampling a few varieties of heavily sugared rum I'd say you have a pretty good idea what you're going to get from anything similar. I'd still like to try Zacapa but the ones on my present list are pretty expensive so might be a while.
I wonder how different the 1703 can be to MGXO and is it worth the difference in price?
Same for Appleton 21 compared with the 12.
Zacapa do not waste your hard earned cash, I have tried on many occasions to like the 23 rum but failed every time. I have had it multiple ways as well, on the rocks, water, cuba libre (expensive one at that) and I had a friend who grated a small bit of dark chocolate across it and it was still disgusting. Will never purchase a bottle, buy sant Teresa 1796 for the same price match….
Appleton I tend not to get on with on its own as I find they over smoke the rum flavour just resembles tobacco. Give ron verado a go from whisky exchange a very dry rum that is a good quality flavour or ron cartavio is a good mid-range rum..
The next batch of my own is a simple white rum with a little caramel added and let the barrel do the work .. I imagine this to be a much better flavour but we shall see…
I 2nd the motion on the Ron Zapaca, most overrated rum around.
Great list you've got going! I appreciate the thought you're putting into this. Where do you currently stand in terms of most recent purchases and which ones you're eyeing next?
Zacapa: You should at least try it. For me personally, not a fan of sugared rums or big brands in general (Zacapa is fairly ubiquitous) I reaaaally didn't want to like it. And to be honest I didn't much at first. But it has grown on me. I gotta say, it's rich and complex, especially after time to breathe. I think there can be a time and a place for it, and darn if it's not delicious. A rum buddy of mine reached a similar conclusion... didn't want to like it, not a fan of DRE etc., but Zacapa grew on him. Is it a staple in our home bars? No. But we'll also not turn our nose up when offered it, or when it's just time for a "dessert" rum. (I put it on par with Plantation 20th, which I DID want to like, but ended up liking less because it was just so.darn.sweet.)
Foursquare: I am head over heals for the Zinfandel cask blend, and a huge fan of the Port and 2004 cask blends as well. I smell the Zinfandel and it transports me to an ageing cellar. The Port needs more time to breathe, but is also rather tasty. As I'm drinking more rum and less wine these days, they remind me what I'm missing out on :) For me, they're fun and special, and I could sip them all night.
Mount Gay: when you've had some time with 1703, let us know what you think re: overall quality and value compared to the XO. I've tried XO, found it similar to Santa Teresa 1786, and thoroughly enjoy them both. I don't think my budget will ever allow for me to add any 1703 edition, Appleton 21, ED21 etc. to my shelf, but it's always good to set one's expectations in case a tasting opportunity arises.
You may also want to keep an eye out for Penny Blue XO from Mauritius; tried it yesterday and loved it. thefatrumpirate sang its praises as well.
Hi piratejabez. I haven't heard of Penny Blue before so will look it up.
I still haven't tried the 1703. I went a bit ape since Christmas with all the rums and have to recover some finances, live on bread and water for a while!
ED21 I won't ever buy again. It's over done and the 12 is much easier to drink.
I got Zacapa for the bar at work so will try a glass there first before I buy a bottle.
They have Santa Teresa too which I haven't tried yet.
I'm currently sipping Wray and Nephew overproof. I fount that a slice of lime helps with the smoke and fire.
My rum collection is down to a few now, finished my Zinfandel cask the other day. I think I need another Seale's 10 next, Love the smell of that.
And maybe a Gosling's 151
Smith and Cross. If you like that there is an enormous world of rums that you will enjoy. If you absolutely can't stand it then go straight for the El Dorado and stick with that.
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