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Corked Rum – Honey, vanilla, toffee, cork ?! What?


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Tequilalex

Posted 1 Apr '17 from Canada with 15 ratings

Wine enthusiasts are aware of the risks of getting a spoiled bottle. Cork taint can affect wine from all price range and quality. I’ve personally got many corked bottles overtime. Some of everyday 10$ wines to the 50$+ Barolos that were aging in my cellar. Here in Quebec, we can return spoiled wines, no questions asked, if they were purchased within a year. Imagine the frustration of opening an expensive bottle that you’ve been nurturing for many years, only to find out it is corked and there’s nothing you can do about it.

On my first Dominican Republic trip many years ago, our hotel graciously gave us a bottle of Brugal Anejo (with screw cap). Back then, I did not drink rum at all, still I kept the bottle all those years . When rum became a passion, I opened the bottle only to sadly discover the familiar cork smell. I discussed this with friends and the spirit specialist at my local store… corked spirit? Apparently I was crazy.

Fast forward to last week. I’m drinking my first Barcelo Imperial ordered in Punta Cana at the hotel bar. Although the cork taste and smell is present, the rum is still drinkable. Since rum is blended, I’m guessing only certain casks were spoiled and the mixed volume made this drinkable. Luckily this spoiled bottle was finished and I got excellent untainted Imperial the rest of my vacation.

Since I well behaved all week, yesterday I decided I deserved to open and taste for the first time the Brugal Leyanda I brought back (thanks to the Rum ratings rave reviews). After smelling in the brand new bottle, I could tell it was badly corked. Still I tasted it wishing it was tolerable, I could somehow taste the Leyanda greatness, but the cork aftertaste was just too much.

Here I am with an undrinkable product I purchased in another country and probably will not be able to get a replacement. As a last resort I wrote directly to Brugal, I will post the outcome in this thread.

In the future I will put a maximum amount I’m willing to risk. No way I’m buying expensive spirits when I can’t return or exchange them.

Any of you got similar experiences or corked rums? What brand? So far I’ve only had this problem with Dominican products and Brugal is 2/2 in my book.

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Tequilalex

From Canada with 15 ratings Replied 1 Apr '17

Apparently a fellow RumRatings user also got a corked Brugal!
https://rumtastic.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/brugal-1888/

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Rumtastic

From United Kingdom with 20 ratings Replied 1 Apr '17

Yep. Brugal 1888. 100% corked.

Now I must add that I do often find that musty cork, slight bung cloth note in DomRep rums, usually it's in the background and just part of the character. In this case the nose was ok but the taste most certainly was not, and the finish was a bit off and very flat.

Luckily I made my purchase from Amazon and they were happy to send me a replacemnt without charge. I did a back to back with the new bottle and there was a huge diffetence; the new bottle was very vibrant and full of juicy flavour. Yes there was that usual DomRep musty note but only what I've come to expect with such rums.

So corking of spirits can happen. A cork is a cork afterall and can still contain TCA. I think it may be the inherent nature of DomRep rums that means it shows more in them, but it is the first time I've ever had a badly corked spirit.

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Charles M

From United Kingdom with 126 ratings Replied 3 Dec '19

Hmmm. I had a corked bottle of rum, and it was a Brugal 1888 as well (https://www.rumratings.com/brands/143-brugal-1888?review_id=4441#alt_review_4441). Working in the wine/spirits trade I'm well aware of the cork taint, but......I'm just wondering whether there is a problem with the 1888 that gives a cork taint flavour??? Or is it just coincidence?

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