Where do you buy your rums when local stores have poor selections?
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I have cut way back on my online purchases the last couple years because I was spending way too much money, but these three were my main sources:
Wine Chateau, Ace Spirits, Mission Liquor, Luekens Liquor and over on the other side of the pond liquor stores such as Whiskey Exchange or Master of Malt in the UK. They have so many rums that you can’t get here in the States, a lot of limited editions, special editions etc. That is were you go to really expand your rum collection, with new, fancy, rare, and the list goes on. The only thing to warn you about is that it costs roughly 40$ or more to have a bottle shipped to the States.
I have a nice collection made mostly with purchases from Whisky Exchange. Expensive but excellent service.
It is very hard to get anything above 15% ethanol delivered in the USA.
I got anything I wanted using that website.
Marcos - it is only very hard to get spirits delivered in the US if you live in a state with restricitve laws. It also depends on the retailer, the laws are open to interpretation (so to say). I live in NC and have had some retailers tell me they couldn't do it while other retailers in the same state are perfectly willing. I have even had certain retailers go through periods where they do deliver out of state, then don't, then do again.
Thanks everyone for the input
I used drink up NY for along lime but I think they are TU
check out www.worldwidebev.com This might be pretty new but they have access to lots of choices and may either have it in your city or will have it shipped to your store
Here is another http://www.midwaywines.com
By the sound of it, those of us in the UK don't know that we are born.
I tend to use Masters of Malt and also 31 Dover. I maybe order 50% online.
The local Marks and Spenser is good and we have a newly opened Bargain Booze 200 yards away and the manager is really very keen to expand spirits. He has all sorts of interesting ones in - including some rums - he's picked by brains on that a bit, but with the onus on stuff that tends to be under £25. We also have some good shops about 10-20 miles away.
Bluestar - not really sure why you recommend worldwidebev.com . They only ship to 5 states, their rum selection is very limited and their prices are high.
Drinkupny site has said "temporarily closed for maintenance" for at least a couple weeks now so yeah they might be kaput.
Hey I know next to nothing about rum, other than what I have read, so you are talking to someone who only reads and researches within those parameters. I didn't look up worldwidebev.com for other States and I didn't have any purchases delivered via shipping. I noticed that they have, what to me was,a fairly wide selection of name brand rums rated above 7.5 or so such as Ron Abuelo, Plantation, Kirk & Sweeney etc. and a price range of $30-60. Maybe I was just impressed to find they built a brand new liquor store in town I didn't even know about which, I guess, ships internally between their stores, due to me having to wait a day for some brands to arrive.
I thought it might be a place for Rick to get a started. For the big boy connoisseurs, I am sure that the Whiskey Exchange in England and way more exotic suppliers are far better but they are out of my range. I did notice that if you check 20-30 different online stores that you will find a large variation for the same make and model. Think of me as pee wee league on a budget.
I haven't tried to buy from DrinkupNY since I went through my liqueur phase, so I was disappointed to get the same message.
And that is why I did what I did.
I get a trade discount from my old pals at The Whisky Exchange, and I have an account with the agent for various rum importers. The ones that I tend to drink most are the Doorly's and Mezan (as I sip away on a Doorly's XO).
Otherwise I pick up bottles as and when I come across them. Last one I got was last week when in France - popped into a supermarket. UK wise, M&S is due a visit for a couple of bottles.....
I thought that Doorly's XO sounded a bit familiar so I looked and, yes, it is one of about a hundred and some that I have on my to do list so I am moving it up toward the top. I would appreciate a comment from you on how sweet it is. I notice that quite a few rum raters like sweetness and quite a few berate it. Personally, I think I might like the dryer ones. As I said previously, I am at the top of the list for neophytes, or maybe the bottom but for certain my rank is amateur. Would I be correct to say that Ron Abuelo 12 anos is medium dry? I bought a number of different hopefuls and it is among those I presently prefer. To my tastes I also find Kirk & Sweeney 23 to be tasty, albeit a bit sweeter than the Abuelo. Do you believe that to be true?
There are also several Mezan on my list. Do to my senses becoming dulled over the years, well with the exception of indignity, I would be a poor rater. Do you believe moods and recently eaten foods might give a person different impressions to the point where they might give quite different ratings on different days? I don't want to appear a fool but could you define M&S? Due to the sentence structure it appears it might be some famous outlet? Well Google answered my inquiry. Marks & Spencer
You needn't feel obligated to answer.
Bluestar, as you might know, Richard Seale doesn't add sugar to his rums. He hates it.....with a passion.
The problem then, is one of subjectivity as to whether you consider a rum too sweet and whether the XO is too much. It certainly is no where near Zacapa 23 or Pampero Anniversario, but is a touch sweeter than the Doorly's 12yo. Not much, but just a little, although the 12yo is a richer. I wouldn't consider it that sweet in the scheme of things and certainly the Olorosso cask finishing doesn't make it too sweet. Not like Abuelo XV Olorosso which is way way over the top.
I have just moved on from that to the RL Seale's 10yo, in export strength guise of 46% (compared to the 40% of the Doorly's XO and 12yo). If you want something dry, then this might be something to go for. The higher alcoholic finish has a wonderful burn to it that is much drier. And in the interests of science, I have just opened up a bottle of 12yo :). A little unfair to compare as it does need a wee while to open up. Or in fact, maybe I have had too much rum this evening to be objective, instead I have got to the stage of just enjoying it :)
But personally I would recommend the XO as well as the 12yo, In fact anything from Richard Seale is likely not to disappoint as he is on top of his game. Having said that, if you don't want too sweet, then his lovely Foursquare Zinfandel cask 11yo might not be for you (maybe I should check that out just to be sure!!).
This last note of yours is chock-a-block full of info. I will read it more carefully in the morning. So Zacapa 23 is sweet? I just bought a bottle of that and it seemed sweet to me. Here is a thought. If you aged a dark rum in a glass cask in the sun so the color would lighten and maybe disappear, would you still be able to taste the original flavor? i suppose the big worry would be what would happen to the sugar which could probably degrade to amino acids. I believe the alcohol would be pretty stable unless it could breakdown into methanol? and carbon monoxide? Probably best to test. I know that during prohibition Cuber sent us some liquor, rum?, which had methanol in it and it caused a condition commonly called Jake Leg where one or more legs could only be dragged along and it was permanent.
I am too lazy to look it up at the moment but isn't the Zacapa distilled or ageing or? using the solera technique? Do you find a correlation between rums made of cane sugar to be generally sweeter than say treacle based rum? It is interesting that you mention the burn as a positive. Reading reviews on this very site, I noticed I have only come across mention of the alcohol burn as a negative. I enjoy some burn and if it also makes the rum drier, then I see it as a double positive. I have tried to stay from the higher octane because of being a lightweight. Until nowI hadn't thought about it altering anything other than me.
Presently I am having some Brugle 1888 and I like it. What say yee? Since my olfactory bulb and taste buds are not what they once were, I wouldn't know oak from wormwood but since I once developed an interest in parfum I might describe the taste as few though adequate high notes but scads of pleasant middle notes and > base. I guess really all I know is that something definitely cuts off at the high end. I could see where Zinfandel (my favorite followed by Cabernet Sauvignon) barrels might give a distinctive and delicious flavor, fragrance. You mentioned that the XO is aged in Olorosso casks. Once again I am too lazy to look it up at the moment but isn't Olorosso a sherry perhaps? I picked up that little nugget from reading about a previous rum you mentioned which sets itself apart from the herd by using two ageings both in sherry casks. My jewel for the night is Seale. Oh you know, I thought the netting on the Brugle and the tightly woven grass on the Zapata was decorative and it is but I believe it is was originally necessary for greasy and eventually unfirm pirate fingers, you know, like the cigar bands for smoking British women who wore gloves and perhaps still do. That is my theory and I am sticking with it until I am told different;y by an Englishman and only an Englishman.
I too find Doorly's XO to be pretty decent. It's one of those benchmark rums for me - good, but not right at the top - for me, it's the £30+ asking price that is a bit off putting, as I prefer quite a few rums that are roughly the same price.
To my taste buds, it feels like a £25 rum. But I'm sure others will disagree.
Bluestar, have you tried La Hechicera? It's roughly £36-£40 or so in the UK. It's very complex, has no sugar, and interestingly, starts off quite bitter and has a sweeter aftertaste.
Sorry, when I saw you had no reviews and checked out the website I was suspicious you might be a shill, but now I am sure that is not the case. I noticed that world wide bev was missing some of what I consider to be "benchmark" widely available rums such as Appleton 12 yr /rare blend, Mount Gay XO, El Dorado 12 and 15 yr or any of the Plantation rums.
If you want a reference for the amount of added sugar in a rum, here is a master list:
Seale's products have no added sugar, any sweetness in the Doorly's XO is due to finishing in Sherry casks. Ron Abuelo 12 yr on the other hand has a ton of added sugar, nearly 30 g/ltr. This puts it on par wtih El Dorado 12 yr. In no way would I call these "medium dry", these days I find them syrupy sweet. They do both have very robust flavors which make them still enjoyable, unlike Diplomatico Reserva which I find bland and too sweet (despite having less added sugar than the other two). I have a few bottles of Abuelo 12 I picked up a few years back on closeout for around $16 each, and I don't regret the purchase though these days I only go to the sweet rums when I am in the mood.
Zacapa uses "solera" aging and since labeling in the rum world is not regulated, they can call it 23 yr old but there might be a teaspoon af actual 23 yr old rum in a barrel. in reality the average age of the Zacapa 23 is said to be 6-8 years.
The reason I put the price limitations where I did was and is based on what I thought I was willing to spend for eleven choices a wider tasting range because I wanted to have a wider range to compare. I never dreamed anyone would respond to a rank nobody. Now I see that I should have done this in reverse and asked questions before buying but then that is a too sensible and orderly for the likes of me. Your nod toward La Hechicera makes me wish I might have heard about it first because now I want it and I have shot enough on the first eleven to the point where I should hold off for a month or two. The same is true for Doorly's XO. Still for my first two weeks at this venture, I have had lots of fun and now some actual valuable info. Once again thank you.
You have nothing to be sorry about. You handled yourself like a true gentleman. Those are getting to be rare in the USA where most everyone has started acting like warriors of Ginghis Kahn. And then, of course, it turns out that you were spot on. I am glad I wrote that little ditty since you just sent me a number of new rums. I bought the Appleton 12 Estate, the Eldorado 15, Mount Gay black barrel and one other Mount Gay that I am hoping is the XO and yes the Zapata 23 which has been called to task for the 23 designation. The big prize might just be the web page listing added sugar. I don't really know what I am doing so I just grab several bottles and have contests with just a modest thumb of each. I try to remember to measure with the thumb horizontal at the beginning and then once in a while I give one a thumbs down and try to measure on the outside of the glass. Again, thank you.
keep in mind that most people, when they start drinking rum, tend to prefer the sweeter ones, The exception is often people who have come to rum from spirits like Bourbpn or Scotch which don't have sugar added. (Cognac and Tequila often do.)
When I first started drinking rum I was totally enamored of the El Dorado 12 and 15 yr old. I was very disheartened when I found out just how much sugar was added (even moreso with Pusser's 15 yr, though the regular blue label doesn't have much at all). These days since I have become used to drier rums, when I do go to the sweet ones they taste cloyingly sweet to me. To give a parallel, I used to love Mountain Dew but stopped drinking sugared sodas long ago. Nowadays I still indulge in one on rare occasions but barely find them drinkable.
I do however like Rum Old fashioneds, but I prefer to make my own and not have them bottled ahead of time for me and sold as "premium Aged rums" for a high price.
That is true for some people, but also bear in mind that there are many rum drinkers who have been drinking for a while and STILL enjoy sweet rums about as much as dry ones. There are quite a few people here (including some well known people) who have rated a lot of rums who have stuff like El Dorado, Diplomatico RE and Dos Maderos etc as highly rated - often as highly rated as some dry rums.
Sometimes I think there is a tendency to look down on sweeter rums as being somehow lesser or inadequate. I think that's wrong and I also think it's inappropriate to the taste buds of many people. I think it's good to have choice and good that there are good sweet rums, good dry rums - hell yes, even good spiced rums. And yes, there are bad and average ones in these categories too.
We must not forget, that the British Navy had a history of adding things to its rums - and they played a huge part in the popularisation of the blessed spirit.
I don't mind a sweet rum from time to time, but like Scott, I end up finding them too cloying. I'll hold up Zacapa 23 Solera again as an example. Just look at the scores it gets....https://www.rumratings.com/brands/853-ron-zacapa-23-solera Personally I think it a very average rum, but of course one man's meat is another's poison. But what I find interesting is how divisive it is...some absolutely love it, some hate it, some can see it's "faults" but don't mind it.
TBH while I like Richard Seale's attempts to change labelling laws to show what's been added, I don't really agree. To me, so long as the bottle tastes good, I don't mind what has been added. If it is not to my liking taste wise then I won't buy it again, simple as that. The argument that it is there to protect consumers, is one that I don't really buy into. A consumer might, if they have not looked into things first, need protecting just once and then learn from their mistake (if they don't like the rum). Having said that, while Marks & Spencers own rum (bottled by Plantation) had ingredients on the back, they were a little disingenuous. IIRC it was colouring and cane sugar. Cane sugar to me was an attempt to confuse people - rum comes from sugarcane, so what difference is there adding a bit of sugar that comes from sugarcane?
Anyway....I don't like cocktails and mixed drinks that much, and drink rum straight up. I even quite like those that probably are best in mixers straight up (for example - Blackwell Black Gold). The most disgusting of drinks is rum & coke
Overall though, THERE IS NO RIGHT AND NO WRONG and if you like something, who is to tell you that you are wrong?
it's not so much "looking down" on sweet rums, it's mostly that people dislike being sold something the label claims is a "premium 15 yr old rum" for a $40+ price tag when in reality it might be a cheap rum with a teaspoon of 15 yr old rum and sugar added to give it that "premium" taste.
Here is a cut-and-pasted excerpt from Cap'n Jimbo's rumproject forum:
R. L. Seale's 10 Year Rum: "A Modern Classic"
"One of our most memorable experiences was meeting Richard Seale at Robert Burr's Barbadian rum tasting. Seale is the number one producer in Barbados and has committed his distillery to two objectives: (1) modernization and (2) integrity. He has achieved both. Richard led off the tasting with a bit of history and the process of rum making; he then announced that the rum tasting would begin with a "special rum" he'd brought just for the tasting. He advised that he would then ask three questions - anybody who could answer all three correctly would get a bottle of his Seales 10.
The first question was "Is it cane or molasses based?". Most guessed molasses. Good so far. Second was "Is it pot or continuous stilled?". Most said it was pot stilled. Last question "What is it's age?". Guesses were from 4 to 7 years old. Seale then revealed the answer "It is a brand new, molasses based, continuous stilled rum that I phonied up with molasses, vanilla and some other things"!
His point: a lot of rum, more than you'd ever guess, has been altered with all manner of additives, flavorings, sugar, molasses, et al. Often age statements are based on a minor quantity of rum blended in with marketing more in mind. As Richard put it "They toss a teaspoon of 20 year into a barrel and call it aged". "
I agree with the notion that people in a perfect rum world would drink what pleases them most. Sugar may be hardwired into our chromosomes. There is some reason that hunter gatherer humans, as well as bears and other of our distant relatives are willing to endure hundreds of bee stings to steal a bee hive. Now that must fall in the category of honest ratings. If you have seen some of the videos on youtube of animals eating fermented fruits, then I believe those animals would vote for sweet rum.
I just thought of a caveat for my scatter shot guesses on trying to guess if a rum is dry or sweet. Maybe all of my eleven bottles are sweet and I am using a whole other parameter to rate them. I am always alert for a way out.
I was caught off guard by the news that some tequila has sugar added. I was attracted to a bottle of tequila due to the apparently hand blown bottle since that is an interest of mine. I enjoyed the quality of the taste and I must say that I never once guessed that it might have been el azúcar more than the Agave tequilana.
Good to hear from you again. You seem to be quite right to consider the effect England has had on the history of rum for much of Western culture. I think that just recently Great Britain may have eliminated the grand tradition of a daily grog ration. If it is true, I rue the day that happened. There is a tradition of honoring the history of mankind's cultural evolution. I am going to try spiced rum.
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