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Ice or no ice?

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Posted 1 Aug '20 from Australia with 14 ratings

I Usually drink rums neat but decided to put some ice into a zacapa 23 which I think is quite nice but it made it so unbearable I couldn’t finish it ? It tasted like a rough whisky. Is it the ice watering down the sugars which usually mask the flavour so I hadn’t noticed the bad taste before ???

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From Netherlands with 49 ratings Replied 1 Aug '20

I am not sure as I never (will) drink Zacapa 23 nor drink my rum on the rocks. But temperature might have something to do with it as well. I never tried it with rums but when I go to winetastings in order to refill the cellar I prefer to drink my white wines warmer than recommended and my red wines cooler. Just because in that way they show their flaws much easier than on the 'right' temperature.

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From United States with 47 ratings Replied 1 Aug '20

I only drink rum over ice, usually over an ice ball. A small amount of water usually opens up the flavor of spirits....however too much water will of course mask the flavors by diluting them too much. I prefer a large ice ball in a temperature controlled cup to get the ice melt and temperature just right. I realize many don’t though.

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From United States with 24 ratings Replied 1 Aug '20

No ice. Ice is for cocktails. ;)

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martin jeppesen

From Denmark with 237 ratings Replied 1 Aug '20


I expirience the same as you. I’v always felt that iced or just cool rum taste off somehow, sometimes to a degree, that it kinda ruin the rum, also sugarfree offerings. Don’t think the delution is to blame, not entirely anyway, cause outdoor sipping in really cold weather has the same effect for me. Would love to know what the explanation for this might be...

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From Germany with 166 ratings Replied 1 Aug '20

I would say, ice doesn't improve the taste, it reduces the flavours.
And there is enough water at 40% abv in the rum, there is no need to reduce it further.

Sugar doesn't mask the flavours, it improves the taste for people who are not used to high-proof alcohol.

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From Greece with 14 ratings Replied 2 Aug '20

I would recommend against ice cubes, unless it is a mix (rum+coke, mostly). Especially for sipping rums, altering it in any way wouldn't do, at least for me. Besides, rum is one of those drinks easily potable during warm seasons and summertime, considered to be quite "exotic" in and by itself.

Also, anything costing over 30 bucks, is usually a terrible mixer or wasted with added stuff inside (but this unofficial "rule" might have many exceptions).

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From Sweden with 61 ratings Replied 10 Aug '20

I never drink with ice. As said above it masks the flavours. If it's a good rum I'd rather heat it slightly to bring forth all that tastiness. If it's a worse rum that needs ice I stay clear of it all together

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Easy E

From Singapore with 2 ratings Replied 11 Aug '20

No ice, ice AKA Rocks only for whisky. But I if I have add something, spice rum & agricole with a small amount of water, dark rum neat only, light rum with cola or other fav soda and aged rum well ... It is depend.
Age rum like Plantation Double Age, some people love to drink neat and some love to mix it cola or add a bit of a fruit.