This thread refers to sipping rum.
Beyond the frequent descriptions of the addition of water or ice to fine drinks as sacrilegious, as if it could impair the rum's flavour profile, it is worth noting that this can help open up a rum in many cases. However, it is as always a matter of taste, of course, and never malpractice.
I was wondering how you usually have your rum.
Do you have it neat? Perhaps with some ice? Or adding a bit of water to open it up?
Most importantly actually, if you usually have it neat, do you add ice/some water for cask strength rums?
I personally tend to have rums neat, especially milder and medium-bodied ones. For stronger ones I sometimes add some cold water. In fact, I have noticed with whiskys that the aromas really do "open up" upon addition of a bit of water, which makes all the difference for me with the Islay ones.
I have recently bought my first >46% rum (Foursquare 2005, at a mighty 59%) and I am fairly certain I will add ice or water to this one for it to open up.
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I do agree with a cube or two of ice "opening up" the taste and flavours of the rum.
I find most rums aged from about 7 or 8 years and up can be enjoyed in this way, but it does depend on the kind of rum and flavours that you like.
There are some flavoured and spiced rums on the mass market which seem to be made with the intention of mixing. Bombo and Cloven Hoof spring to mind here. Oh and the dreaded Captain Morgan Spiced...
It’s about temperature for me, I much prefer chilled. Big ice cube, glass with a stem, swirl it around gently. A big ice cube won’t melt too much. Just a little bit of melted water from the ice cube does open it up nicely too.
Me neat. And therefore every rum is a sipping rum, just that some are a lot more enjoyable than others :)
I dilute my rums with water frequently, since I like to buy overproof rums. Drinking a 54% ABV rum is IMO not a good practice, because alcohol tends to numb tongue at such concentration. When you dilute, some of the aromatics are forced out of the solution, so you get a nice aromatic blast when drinking, it's fantastic. It's similar to absinthe - buy as strong as possible alcohol, dilute right before consumption.
I have been having the Foursquare 2005 and I have determined that it improves significantly upon addition of some mineral water. At 59%, it really opens up with the water -much more aroma complexity and flavours that were subdued by the alcohol- and, from a purely hedonistic perspective, it's just more enjoyable: the richness in flavours is brilliant.
I always like to start with a neat sip, then (based on the burn, or lack) experiment.
I've learned that some spirits open up remarkably just from sitting in the glass for 10, 15 minutes if I have the patience... the ethanol burns off faster than the good stuff. Otherwise, I usually start with a few drops of water and go from there. (If something is high proof, I'll probably use a bit more water, and add it sooner rather than later.)
As much as I like ice with cocktails and harsher spirits, it's usually a desperation move with rum. Completely subjective, of course, but I prefer sweeter spirits at room temperature.
Found some cask samples that I blended together (ie poured into a decanter). They were Port Morant 1974/1975/1976 that were drawn in about 1998. Fairly sure that they were about 70%+ when drawn (but too much rum has fuddled my memory). But 2 parts rum to 1 part water was perfect. If it was 70% then that mix with water would give 46.6%
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