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What's your favorite ron añejo? (no agricole)


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Enigmaniac

Posted 28 Sep '15 from United States with 0 ratings

I'm talking old-world traditional aged rum, not the overly sweet stuff (Zacapa 23 for example, is a great example of, well, a great agricole...but it's waaaay too sweet for me). I like some, but prefer the drier, Earthier stuff :) any recommendations would be greatly appreciated, thank-you kindly.

I've been out of the loop for years...are there any left? or has the cheaper to produce agricole trend threatened old-world rum to near extinction?

I'm mostly into whiskey, but here is a very short list of rums (including rhum agricole), that I'm familiar with, along with some general notes...though some years have passed, labels have changed-- and sadly, what is inside the bottle under the same name, in at least the case of Zaya 12 has changed.

Zaya 12: had a great start in Guatemala...nicely balanced. It wasn't long at all before they sold the name to another party-- who opened a new plantation in Trinidad, abandoning the Guatemalan site. Things were never the same since.

Mt. Gay 300th Anniversary Etra Old (2003, special box): extraordinarily complex...my favorite...I doubt the MGXO now available is the same, but worth trying perhaps?

Ron Pampero Anniversario: so very underrated...needs breathing time, ie; healthy oxidization in the bottle...anything poured within the 1st week of opening is not very enjoyable IMHO...hope this hasn't changed. Oldest rum in this blend is 40 years, and retails for less than $5 a bottle in Venezuela...last I checked.

Pusser's British Navy Rum...unique blend...enjoyable, well priced.

Cockspur 12: decent, was a bit overpriced upon its debut (at least)...very light but charming.

Zacapa 23: nose is a treat, far to sweet to drink for me.

Appleton 12: overpriced...a tendency to grow on you if nothing else is around.

Gosling's Family Reserve: near perfection IMHO...provided adequate breathing time.

I'd love hearing your recommendations for any old-world style rums you enjoy, (dry/full of molasses/xo) :)

Thanks,
-Aaron

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Rob

From Ireland with 92 ratings Replied 28 Sep '15

Have you tried the El Dorado's 12 year and up?

Agree with you that rum tastes better after the bottle has been opened for a while.

Cheers,

Rob

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Enigmaniac

From United States with 0 ratings Replied 29 Sep '15

Hi Rob,

You're the 2nd person today who recommended El Dorado 12, (one online, one in person). I'm definitely going to pick some up, the 12 is available at my favorite shop. I went with the Gosling's F.R. today, as there was only 2 bottles left, and more of the others, but I get paid on the 1st...El Dorarado 12 and Mt. Gay XO is next up. Exciting, picking up where I left off, I appreciate your recommendations, thank-you! Seems there are some new names on the shelves I've yet to become acquainted with :D and some new expressions from brands I know.

Cheers! :) thanks again,
-Aaron

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Rob

From Ireland with 92 ratings Replied 29 Sep '15

Hope you will enjoy the EL12, I quite like it.

My gf actually bought me a bottle of Gosling Family Reserve for Christmas, so still got a while to wait. Guess Im now the only person who cant wait for winter to start?! ;)
Also planning on trying the Mt Gay XO some day soon. Let me/us know how you like it.

Cheers,

Rob

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Enigmaniac

From United States with 0 ratings Replied 2 Oct '15

:) Right on!

Regards the El Dorado, I could only afford one bottle that day and went with the Gosling's...the store apparently just got a case in of El Dorado 12 that day, and I figured there would be one left for when I got my check on the 1st...all sold out by then! Lol...the owner tried to warn me that they go fast...waiting for the next opportunity now.

I'll be sure to share my thoughts when the time comes, thanks! Cheers,
-Aaron

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Scott T

From United States with 120 ratings Replied 16 Nov '15

I don't know how you can say Zacapa 23 is "a great agricole" then say it is too sweet. No serious aged rum should have much if any added sugar, but Zacapa has been sweetened to within an inch of its life - 40 g/ltr of added sugar, though I have read that it has been reduced to ~25 g/ltr at some point in the last few years (which is still a lot.)

If you want a great agricole without paying AOC prices, Barbancourt 5 star (8 yr) is the way to go. The 15 yr is also very interesting but in many opinions over-aged and quite pricey. I can get the 5 stat at a little more than half the price of the 15 yr.

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Charles M

From United Kingdom with 126 ratings Replied 20 Nov '15

I'd second the Barbancourt 5 Star. I think I prefer it to the 15yo which is too dominated by oak.

Zacapa Solera 23 is a fascinating rum. I don't like it, but so many people do (and that's the bit I find interesting). But calling it an "agricole" is just plain wrong as it is made from molasses.

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Scott T

From United States with 120 ratings Replied 21 Nov '15

Everything I have read says that zacapa is in fact a cane juice rum. It was a surprise to me because it has been sweetened to the point that it no longer tastes like one.here

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Beukeboom

From United States with 305 ratings Replied 21 Nov '15

Today I purchased three rums and all three were home runs IMHO. The two of the three I think fit your criteria are Ron Centenario 25-year rum and Vizcaya VXOP. I see El Dorado has been recommended and I concur although I add you won't go wrong with either the 12-year or 15-year rum. The 15-year is a bit more complex in flavor but both are excellent. Also I recommend the Kirk & Sweeney 12-year. I also have a bottle of the Kirk & Sweeney 23-year but haven't tried it yet.

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Charles M

From United Kingdom with 126 ratings Replied 21 Nov '15

Scott, done a bit of looking around and it seems that it is made from a sugar cane syrup. So not juice and not molasses, somewhere in between maybe? Although there are those that would consider it to be almost molasses rather than cane juice.

Whatever, I think we could probably agree that it isn't made to taste like an agricole.

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Scott T

From United States with 120 ratings Replied 21 Nov '15

The company calls it "first press cane juice honey", not sure exactly what that means. If it is just a concentrated form of cane juice and not a byproduct of sugar refining like molasses, then I guess it would quess it would qualify as an agricole. I don't see it specifcally called such anywhere, so I really am not sure.

This line from th Zacapa wiki page is rather humorous -
" Zacapa 23 is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume.Zacapa rums are not heavily sweetened, at the end of the aging and blending process, these rums have between 20gr/L & 23gr/L of residual sugar; mainly fructose and glucose. Zacapa does not add any granulated sugar or sugar syrup at any point in time to any of its Rums"

So I guess they want us to believe the "23 g/ltr residual sugar" comes from the aging in wood? That's rich (pun intended). The footnote credits Chip Dykstra (Arctic Wolf) from his shill - err, review - site.

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Capn Jimbo's Rum Project

From United States with 1 rating Replied 15 Feb '16

Notes on the Zacapa 23, a company known for it's heavily altered liqueur they attempt to pass off as a rum. First it was labelled "23 Anos". When challenged, they admitted is was not 23 years old, so the label became just "23", hoping people wouldn't notice. They did. Next they were outed for 10 teaspoons of secretly added sugar (and who know what else) to a liter (ie 41 grams).

So now they advertise "20-23grams" - which is STILL a huge amoung (6 teaspoons), but wait! They want you to believe that they are now using just half the sugar, as if half the arsenic makes a difference, lol. The truth: they substituted fructose for simple sugar sucrose. It is well known that fructose is nearly twice as "sweet" as sucrose, so the bottom line is that Z23 is just as syrupy sweet as ever, and nothing has really changed.

Readers should note that anything over 5 grams quickly becomes a smothering abomination. This is true as well for altered Angostura sugar bombs, the Diplomaticos, the El Dorados 12 and up, and any of the Plantations. There are more.

For those who want to know what real, complex cane juice rums taste like you can do no better than Barbancourt 3 or 5 Star, or the very affordable St. James.

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RedBlaze6

From United States with 26 ratings Replied 15 Feb '16

Jimbo and Scott T at it again with their sugar nonsense. It's like you guys are waiting to bore us all with your sugar per liter algorithms. Can't you guys just answer the questions?

Enigmaniac, ED15 is nice. I prefer my rum neat, but ED15 tastes better on the rocks or with a splash of water.

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Scott T

From United States with 120 ratings Replied 16 Feb '16

Looking around at the other posts you seem to be the only one that thinks all the concerns about added sugar are nonsense. . But since you seem to be the self appointed Police of the discussion board we will be sure to clear any future posts with you mmmmkay?

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RedBlaze6

From United States with 26 ratings Replied 16 Feb '16

The sugar debate is definitely something to discuss, although its of no significance to me. My point is that people who are looking for opinions on rums, such as Enigmaniac and myself, have to hear you guys go on a tirade about sugar levels. As a result of you and Jimbo bombarding my post with off topic chemistry results, I actually read the info you guys shared and now know how much sugar is in all of the popular brands. Thanks for that but that's not the info I was seeking when I read the thread topic. Start your own string that opens up discussion about that.

What I am seeking is people's opinions of how certain rums taste so that it may influence a future purchase. Such as Beukeboom's Kirk & Sweeney recommendation.

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Beukeboom

From United States with 305 ratings Replied 16 Feb '16

BTW, I did try the Kirk & Sweeney 23-year and I really like it. In fact all three of the K&S rums are outstanding IMHO. Since I tried all three somewhat far apart, I plan on having a little taste comparison with all three at the same time to see what differences there are.

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mistercoughy

From United States with 239 ratings Replied 16 Feb '16

Hey Maniac,

R. L. Seale produces a 10yo rum under his own name and a 12yo under the Real McCoy label. Both are superb.
I don't like either the Vizcaya VXOP or the K & S 12yo because they are - imo - sweet and one-dimensional. Not as bad as Zaya, but close.

You mentioned liking Pusser's. In that case, I encourage you to seek out Ed Hamilton's Jamaican Pot Still rum (either black or gold). Bursting with pungent funk and aromatics galore. A wonderful but challenging sipping rum.

I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for ED12. It's a really tasty beverage, and a great gift for friends whose only experience with rum is Bacardi and Coke from high school days. I stopped buying it, alas, because of the comically large amount of added sugar, but you owe it to yourself to try a bottle and savor its goodness and unique flavor profile. You won't be disappointed.

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Beukeboom

From United States with 305 ratings Replied 16 Feb '16

I did not know the Real McCoy rum was by the same folks that produce R.L Seale. Real McCoy 12 is an excellent rum. I've been wanting to try to get R.L. Seale but no one in this region either has it or is able to get it.

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mistercoughy

From United States with 239 ratings Replied 16 Feb '16

You may be able to cajole the guy who sold you RM 12 to ask his distributor to get Seale 10. Sometimes it's under "Seale", and sometimes under "Foursquare" (Seale's distillery). And if you have a Total Wine store near you, they carry it. Given how tasty Seale 10 is, you might want to consider - and I'm just spit-ballin' here - moving to a state where it is more readily available. You gotta have standards, right?

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Scott T

From United States with 120 ratings Replied 16 Feb '16

Seales has an exclusive distribution agreement in the US with Total Wine for Seales and Doorly's products. This is good and bad because if you are fortunate enough to live near one that has a liquor license, the prices are fantastic. IMO the 5 yr Barbados is one of the best deals around at $20 for a 1.75 ltr, and the Doorly's XO and Seales 10 yr are screaming bargains for the quality.

I have seen other products from Seales with other labels available elsewhere, namely Foursquare and Real McCoy. Hitime wine in California has the Foursquare 9 yr Port Finish for $35 and RM 12 yr for $42 - not quite as good a deal as the others, but I plan to order them the next time I have the chance.

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Scott T

From United States with 120 ratings Replied 16 Feb '16

Redblaze,

This is not your thread. I did not see you ask for any opinions on this particular thread. I would appreciate it if you do not attempt to tell me where and when I can post my opinions. Thanks.

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Beukeboom

From United States with 305 ratings Replied 16 Feb '16

mistercoughy, unfortunately I got the RM12 in New Orleans. The local chain store (ABC Wine and Spirits) sometimes has the RM5 but cannot order the Seale. I've tried.