Almost any rum will taste good when the bottle is first opened, which I refer to as love at first sip. By the time the bottle eventually gets close to being empty, very few taste just as good as the day that I opened it. I have never had one wind up tasting better as the bottle slowly loses what originally came with it. The vast majority will never seem to be as good as that first sip, and a few get much worse. Now if that first sip is bad, either you never gave it time to breathe in the snifter or it is a sign of worse things to come if the bottle does not get poured down the drain.
As for sampling rums at a well stocked bar, this is a way of avoiding the purchase of entire bottles of expensive rums that one would be hesitant to buy. Most of those have been quite disappointing for me, perhaps because there is no telling how long that bottle has been opened. In only one instance was I blown away from one pour at a bar that I went on a trek afterwards to find my own bottles. The trek was worth it!
And as usual, I always adjust my ratings after that first sip. Less than half are still rated the same as my first sip. However, I don't keep track of how my ratings tumble down. My final rating is what counts.
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Maybe this is some kind of psychological thing that people are programmed to like things initially more than over time :)
It also may be related to one spending too much on a rum and then failing to admit to themselves that it was a waste of money. My first sip is always done with a clear head. Later sips don't always get that benefit and my impressions can become brutally honest.
Thanks to these reviews, most of my new purchases are expected to rate at a 6 or higher unless it is a total gamble on a rum with no reviews at all. I then first check online liquor store reviews if available, but most of those reviews are from casual drinkers and need to be taken with a grain of salt.
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