For those who have followed me recently, you will need to know that most of those shown in my cabinet have been long gone. I am now concentrating on repeat purchases of some of the best value rums with a maximum price of $100 US, with maybe 15 different bottles maximum. Only one of them is sweet (Plantation XO 20th Anniversary), so this one can be ignored for blending in this discussion.
I can compare my rum obsession to my days riding Harleys. I would ride into bike night and ask myself what is wrong with this picture. They are all sitting around mentally masturbating over their bikes. For gosh sakes, ride the damn thing! The same goes for rum. Why on earth gloat over an expensive bottle of rum without drinking it?! Drink it! (well those with super rare Caroni's and such are excused here).
Tiki legends Trader Vic and Don The Beachcomber often combined rums for their unique Tiki drinks. Why? Because there was no perfect rum back then and to this day, that still holds true, but to a much lesser extent. So my first blending experiment was Santa Teresa 1796 with too much sherry, then combined equally with the new Appleton 8 Year Reserve Blend that has just the right amount of hogo funk for my tastes. Good, but I knew that I could do better. My next blend was an equal mixture of this Appleton 8 Year with Eldorado 8. Wow!!!! Can you say Mai Tai without all of those other juices and additives?!
My whole point is that with a well chosen small collection of affordable rums, you can blend them to meet your own tastes at minimal cost. If it makes a good blend neat, then it will probably make a great cocktail. This was meant for rums costing more than $20 US, but for those still into Captain Morgan and Bacardi and Sailor Jerry, I would be interested to see what you come up with!
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Paul you got me worried there a little bit with your 'small' collection but then I saw the (reassuring) number of 15 and I couldn't resist a smile (well, spitting coffee over my screen really).
I don't mix (neat only here) but since I joined RumRatings I do confess that the number of rums in my cabinet is steadily growing and while I was just looking for 2 or 3 more for a change of flavours I know now that resistance is a bit futile and that thought a little naive ...
There are quite a lot of affordable sippers out there (up to €25) and I have set my max at €50 for the time being as there are plenty of nice rums available below that mark.
I started out more than two years ago on this site and was also initially inspired by the sugar bombs with the most number of ratings. Early on, I decided to try a dry rum called Don Q Gran Anejo and did not like it at all. At that point, I put a $50 US limit on any rum that I was willing to try, all because of what I had paid for that Don Q. BIG MISTAKE!! By the way, it took me only 5 days recently to finish off a bottle of Ron Zacapa XO at $94 US. I now put my limit at $120 US per bottle.
So here is what I advise! Review the hell out of any potential rum that you consider buying. Also make very special note of which raters prefer sweet and which ones prefer dry. I do adjust my ratings and reviews as time marches on. I started out preferring sweet and now prefer mostly dry rums. Heavily sweetened rums don't last in the bottle very long and can wreak havoc on your system the next day. By this time, you will know which ones that you prefer and who to admire. With all of these reviews, the chance for bad purchases will be very slim!
My method for rating the ratings is simple but it works well; every negative rating of a dry rum can be ignored when the reviewer has Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva in his/her cabinet rated 8 or higher. At 7 it counts at 50%. Since it is the most reviewed rum here most have tried it and it works like a charm.
My budget per rum is not set in stone but when a destiller or blender cannot convince me at the €20-30 level I don't see a reason to move up in their range. That has been for decades my method at winetastings and it worked great so I use the same way with rums (and Calvados and Eau-de-vie). The funny thing is that sofar the highest mark a +€50 rum (at tastings or 2-20 cl bottles) in my cabinet is a mere 7 and my first 9 was just €21 (E8 Vendôme).
But blending myself, well I haven't reached that point yet but it is a nice idea to experiment a little and it is indeed no different from what any other blender does.
Your logic is absolutely brilliant! Nothing worse than spending more than $50 US per bottle of rum only to find out that it does not live up to it's price tag.
You may want to try Diplomatico Mantuano and this is what the DRE would taste like with only one fifth of the added sugar. The DRE has 41 gpl of added sugar. The Mantuano has only 8 gpl of added sugar.
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