Well, In lockdown I needed a new hobby and I don’t know how it happened but somehow a shiny advert for rum caught my eye. I organised a Zoom Saturday night pirate theme party (that was my excuse to buy some) and bought a few bottles and spent the night dressed as a pirate drinking rum cocktails.
What followed was a fair bit of reading, by that I mean I was spending every spare moment googling rums and learning.
I decided to up the ante and try some sipping rums so bought a diplomatico reserva and a zacapa 23 solera both for A$100.
I took a big mouthful of the zacapa and it tasted more like methylated spirits than the deep complex reviews I’d been reading about . The diplomatico was much more to my liking due to its sweetness.
I’m now 4 weeks into my rum adventure and I’ve learnt that you just have to sip rather than swig it like shots! Going back to the zacapa 23 and sipping I now appreciate the depth of flavours and smell that I just didn’t realise were there before and the diplomatico is maybe just a little too sweet without as much flavour behind it . I also now know that these are really the bread and butter gateway sipping rums. Not too expensive so you daren’t drink it and not so cheap that you waste it on visiting friends that don’t deserve it.
I’ve somehow spent A$4400 and now have 25 bottles of Rum in my collection. The latest being the Don Q 20 yr old de la familia for a ‘special’ price of A$1200 with another $3-400 shipping and duties on top .
Most of my runs are wasted on my level of rum experience. I realise each time I go back to something that wasn’t that nice a couple of weeks ago that I’m starting to appreciate it a bit more .
I’m taking this all far too seriously ...or am I ?-I just can’t get rum out of my mind. I never ever drink at home but now I’m treating myself every night to a tiny sip of a different bottle for research purposes obviously !
My current favourite is Ron centenario 20 yr. I am trying to import a box of the centenario real and right now that seems to be the most important thing in my life !!!
I have so many top shelf bottles that I haven’t opened yet and I’m just making up how important events actually are as a justification to open them ...
-football team won-great, open a new bottle ✅
-did my tax return early-great, open a new bottle✅.
I’m just so addicted to this new Rum world. How did I get to 49 years old without trying anything more exotic than Bacardi ?!
Here’s my current cabinet...
2xRon zacapa centenario xo
Ron zacapa systema 23
Diplomatico reserva exclusiva
Flora de caña 25 years
El dorado 12 years
Cargo cult banana spiced
Plantation XO 20th anniversary
Plantation OFTD overproof
Matusalem 15yr solera reserva
Plantation stiggens pineapple
Captain Morgan Spiced gold rum
Bundy toffee and banana
Bundy chocolate and coffee
Bundy salted caramel
Ron centenario 20yr
Ron Esclavo XO cask
Grove Caribbean coconut
Ron Centenario 30 limited edition
Ron millonario xo reserva
-Diplomatico single vintage
Don Q 20 Year Old Reserva de la familia
I’m also trying my best to get diplomatico ambassador and the Appleton’s Joy25 year.
It’s an obsession!
I literally only taste a tiny bit so I’m not worried about becoming an alcoholic, it’s just those pretty little bottles and the interesting flavours that make me think I could have been a pirate in a previous life !
Is this normal ?!!!!!
Oh yeah, 50th birthday coming up- great, open an expensive bottle ✅!
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Lol xpommy, your collection will continue to grow as you sample more rums. I started my rum venture by sampling St. Nicholas Abbey 12 yr rum at the abbey itself and I was immediately hooked. My collection currently consists of 110 + unopened bottles of rum, most of which I have tasted and rated. The most frustrating is our inability to purchase rums that are not available in our country (Canada in my case) with Covid19 making it even more difficult.
The world of rum is a an ongoing adventure and finding new rums that suit our fancy is half the fun.
Hi Xpommy , being an xpommy myself and living in Queensland I sympathize with your predicament..
I re discovered rum about 6 years ago , like yourself I never got past Bacardi or Coruba. But now , wow , so many different ones to try as plenty available online. Just take your time or it can get overwhelming especially if you have a bit of coin in your pocket ! Here's a good tip , avoid Bundaberg except the Solera apparently.. Enjoy the long road ahead.
What worries me is that I instantly want to open them and taste them but then I also want to keep these little precious lovely bottles unopened forever so its taste doesn’t change.
Hmm m, I suppose I need to buy 2 bottles at a time-1 to drink and the other to hoard.
The good news is my wife has absolutely no idea that these things cost more than $30-40 each!!!
We get charged too much in Oz for some rums though. A$330 for a Presidente 23yr but that same bottle is about $100 in France.
I’ve imported 4 bottles from UK and Europe so far and works out I pay about $60-65 a bottle import duties. (5% duty+$65/litre of pure alcohol and then 10% gst on whole Cost including shipping)
Cheapest shipping so far was A$55 for 2 bottles so there’s still opportunity to find cheaper bottles overseas and import them .
Found a cheap Appleton’s Joy in NZ ( NZ$329)but they won’t knock the local 15% taxes off before shipping to me like they should simply because they don’t know how to do their paperwork😬
I’m just constantly looking all over the world for cheaper priced rums to import.
I just gotta get some Diplomatico Ambassador and the Appleton’s Joy.
I, and the thing I’m obsessed with- centenario real ....
Your wife won't forgive me but have you looked at liquormojo.com.au
If you want the best go for anything from Foursquare , from Barbados , no additives etc.
Here's the same thing. I often buy 2 bottles, one for drinking and sharing and one for collecting.
I have the same feeling, I just want to know what all these rums taste like before I die.
You are just at the beginning, it is an obsession and it will continue to grow.
Rigth now I try to get rums from closed distilleries, or bottlings that are no longer available for purchase. 100€ have become rather cheap in the meantime, the other day I bought a 677€ bottle.
You'd think I'm crazy. But it is an excellent rum, this quality and flavours will never be available again, nobody will be able to mature it for so long and no distillery will ever be able to produce it again.
I hope you have enough money or a great plan to taste all these rums.
(Wait until he discovers the world of R.L. Seales, i.e. pure rums - Foursquare, Doorly's, etc.)
I just opened a bottle of Foursquare 2007 tonight and it blew me away. I honestly worry that dead pirates will have caught a whiff and will be climbing out of their graves to come get it.
I saw that the only country that seems to have large stocks of the Centenario Real is germany but none of the shops will export outside of Germany but hopefully Centenario themselves are going to send me a box of 6!!!!
Yes, it seems I’ve just picked up an expensive hobby and to be honest it’s probably all wasted on my taste at the moment! I thought the plantation xo 20th and the el dorado 12 were harsh and not sweet at all when I tried them in my first week of sampling but it seems everyone rates those as sweet so now I’ll go back and try again and see how my tastes evolve .
Just went to liquormojo and most the ones I want are out of stock but couldn’t help myself and bought the diplomatico distillery no1 and no2 for A220 for the pair.
I genuinely think I’m out of control !!!
And now I’ve got to google the pure rums Mujuru mentioned....
I suppose this hobby is a lot cheaper than the 650rwhp 1275nm torque V8 Ute that was my last hobby before I had kids -That one seriously wasted a lot of my money !!
Oops , I knew I shouldn't of told you , you will be divorced or in the funny farm by the end of the month !
Just a note, R.L. Seale rums have no sugar added and are not sweet in the sense that rums like Diplomatico are. However, they have amazingly complex notes. Many of them have a higher ABV. They are strong and wonderfully complex. They probably aren’t for “beginners”...but given that you will have tried a good number before you get some it will take you to a whole new world. I am not a purist by any means and I still enjoy variation, but the more I have pure rums the more I drift into that world.
My God. You have just described me to the letter. The only difference is the different bottles of rum I’ve purchased.
I can’t get it off my mind! I’ve even become a day drinker, just to try a new (or not new) bottle!
Diplomatico Ambassador x2
El Dorado 21
Appleton Estate 21
Appleton Estate 12
Plantation XO 20 x2
Ron Zacapa XO
Mount Gay XO
DonPapa x 5 (now I know better)
Don Papa 10 year
Rhum JM VSOP
The real McCoy 12 Madeira
Dictador XO Insolent
Looking forward to what’s next!
I’ve also read some good books.
Rum Curious and A Bottle of Rum
I started last march here for the same reason, a hobby to get me through lockdown. I have now rated some 45 rums, tasted a dozen more (reviews will follow) and my liquer cabinet is far too small to store all my new bottles. My taste is rather different as I prefer dry rums but the story is just all too familiar.
I have come to a point when I buy rum where I am constantly in debate with myself whether I buy new stuff or store some of my favs. It is a constant battle where no side wins, except my vendors I guess as I simply do both and order more.....
I hate to bring bad news to folks, so I was reluctant to respond to your initial posting. When I first seriously got into rum two and a half years ago, I did like everyone else and started out with the ones with added sugars that are the most popular reviews on here. I was hoping that my collection would last for at least six months. Guess what? It did not thanks to added sugars! That was a terrible awakening and I have sworn off most of the rums with added sugars. For the few sweetened rums that I buy, they must be consumed in a month or two. I also had nowhere near as much cash invested in them as you now have. I also did not sip one little bit each day.
My advice is to keep track of the date opened for each bottle as well as the added sugar content. This can be found from Captain Jimbo's Rum Project. At the very least, a piece of freezer tape on the bottom of the bottle with this information is the bare minimum needed. At best, keep all of your rums in a spreadsheet like I do and it becomes very easy to find the oldest opened bottle. The other day, I had a bottle of Dictador 20 that was opened two months beforehand. It still tasted good to the last drop due to very minimal added sugar.
Good luck with this! You may need to drink them up!
I have seen all the talk about sugar and flavour change over time so that’s been my dilemma about whether I open half of these bottles because then I’ve got to commit to finish it reasonably quickly. For cheaper bottles that’s not a big issue but I think it’s a bit over indulgent of me to be necking a $300 bottle just because I know it’ll lose its flavour if I don’t. I just went back today and tried the plantation xo20 and the el dorado 12 which were said to be sweet and I couldn’t notice that a month ago. I can now taste the sweetness. The xo was smooth but I thought the el dorado just had too much flavour behind it - I kind of felt like I was sucking a T- bag so my sense of taste just isn’t ready for pure rums yet. I guess I’ve been trying to cram too much rum tasting evolution into too short a time but I have to remember that 4 weeks ago my first mouthfull of the plantation xo20 was horrible and now it was quite nice so who knows where I’ll be in a couple of months. I’m guessing I’m going to have a much larger collection by then !
As for my own bottle of Plantation XO that was opened up 5 weeks ago, it already does not taste as good as the first day. Then again, I had a small sample of my newly opened bottle of Vizcaya VXOP 21 before the Plantation. So prior food and drink combined with one's mood affects the taste each time. I will sample at a later date with nothing strange beforehand.
I found that most rums with added sugar only taste worse with age in the bottle. However, one exception stands out, which is Cartavio Solera 12 from Peru. What makes that one different is that it needs up to an hour to breathe in the snifter. The first sip would rate as a 5 or a 6, but after an hour of breathing, I rate it as an 8. It also has only 8 gpl of added sugar. This is one very unique rum for sure, but I don't usually have the patience to allow that much breathing time.
"(Wait until he discovers the world of R.L. Seales, i.e. pure rums - Foursquare, Doorly's, etc.)"
LOL! That's an excellent point Mujuru! We just did some blind tastings with the 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 then with Premise, Sagacity and Nobiliary and it was some mindblowing stuff.
I would recommend the OP giving rums from Barbados (Foursquare, Doorly's, RL Seale's; Mount Gay) and Jamaica (Appleton Estate, Mezan XO, Hampden, Worthy Park) a try initially. Then there's St Lucia, Martinique, Guadalupe, etc etc. So much to explore! As was mentioned previously, pay close attention to sites like Fatrumpirate and lists of additives. Trying overly dosed rums almost turned me completely away from rum until I was able to figure who did and who didn't dose.
My jam recently, besides anything Foursquare, has been the funky Jamaicans (Hampden Overproof, Rum Fire, Worthy Park Single Estate, Rum-Bar, Hamilton Pot Still Black/Pot Still Gold). Initially couldn't stand to take a whiff but I fully embrace it now!
I tried Mount Gay eclipse at a bar last week and I struggled to finish it. Not sure if that’s not a particularly good one to try or I’m just not ready yet and still stuck in smooth sweet rums. I am keen to find low sugar ones I like that last longer as I’m already looking at having to skull 6 bottles I’ve opened over the next couple of months and I usually ( prior to this rum discovery) never drank at home !
Mount Gay Eclipse is only good as a mixer and Doorly's makes better mixers. I have the Eclipse rated as a 6 and ranked at the top of the bottom third of all that I have reviewed so far. At 66%, it is not worth buying again, no matter how cheap it is.
Another country to consider for no added sugars is Nicaragua with the Flor de Cana line. However, they add a small amount of sugar to their 25 Year Rum.
One thing about the Foursquare ECS (Exceptional Cask Series) is that all of them have a high ABV%. This means that they will retain their flavors much longer. You can always add water to meet your tastes and bring out some flavors. However, I have yet to find a Foursquare rum that warrants repeat purchases IF one can find them again. I had really liked their Zinfandel Cask rum until I found a Don Q 2005 that was cheaper and tasted better. I have yet to see another one of those Zinfandel Cask rums for sale anywhere.
yes, the Eclipse is not what I would call a top shelf Barbadan rum or a sipper but Doorly's a mixer? Even their 5yo blows anything from Plantation away ( ok I am biased here) and is a pleasure to drink neat. If you want to try some affordable dry rums Doorly's is in my top 10 no matter the age, along with Mount Gay's XO, about anything from St. Lucia Distillers (Chairman's Reserve, Elements Eight), Cockspur 12yo, Conde de Cuba (any age over 5yo) and other Foursquare offerings (R.L. Seale's 10yo!). The Colombian ' la Hechicera' is another gem if you are into dry Spanish style rums.
The Eclipse is not even ment to be drunk on its own (I won't stop anybody who wants to btw) so hardly a benchmark for a dry rum and really at the bottom end in both refinement and moneywise. Oh, and don't make the mistake that money buys you quality; that is so for most things but in the past couple of months I found that there is no world so full of piracy as the rum world. Don't believe any pricetag before you have had the chance to actually taste some.....
Harrie, lol@ no world so full of piracy as the rum world! Arrggggghhhh!
When the Mrs has a shower I’ll be on the internet ordering a few of those !
I should have clarified what I meant when I referred to Doorly's 5 year. I got a 1.75 liter plastic bottle for less than $20 us, so this is mixer pricing. However, as you said it can be sipped neat. I actually prefer their XO or 8 year for sipping neat, but was very disappointed with their 12 year. Their 3 year white is also priced as a mixer and can also be sipped neat. Bacardi, eat your heart out!
Doorly’s 12-year is one of my all-time favorite rums, and definitely my favorite under $40. You can get it for $23 a bottle here in the state of Georgia. The fact that it is an RL Seale “pure” rum with all of my favorite notes for under $25 continuously blows my mind. I haven’t had Doorly’s XO or 8-year yet because I just keep stocking the 12 year. Paul and I probably just have different flavor preferences.
My review of Doorly's 12 year may be biased. After three days of partaking in legal cannabis edibles in Las Vegas, it was finally time to come down. My opinion has changed from legalizing it to just decriminalizing it. The USA does not need any more lazy good for nothing folks who are always stoned.
At any rate, the Doorly's 12 year was my rum of choice to get back to normal. And due to it being "too long in the wood", I absolutely hated it just like any bourbon aged too long. I actually preferred the Foursquare Spiced Rum, which my system can no longer handle unfortunately. As I said before, what one has had to eat or drink before can affect one's judgement of any rum.
Hahahah, no that makes perfect sense. Pick an afternoon (between lunch and dinner), drink some water or have a cracker, and the pour yourself a glass of the Doorly’s 12 year. The oak, banana, orange combination is just my jam. My only issue with it whatsoever is that the aftertaste is too short; I want more of it, so I keep sipping on it. Watching me with a glass of Doorly’s 12 is like watching a baby with a sippy-cup.
Thanks for explaining; maybe all those green leaves didn't really help to get it all into perspective?
Not judging here; that stuff is sold on every streetcorner here (sort of legal) in the Netherlands and I am fine with that but all I can remember after using that stuff is that I was craving for cheese afterwards... (also very available over here). I really prefer alcohol as long as it is a quality spirit and cheese works with that as well....
Maybe time to make a cheese dpt. overhere? ;-)
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