My goal of finding new rums is always in the hopes of my new trials winding up with a rating of 8 or higher, which is my top 10 percent. Since most of us are risk takers, one has to stick their neck out and try rums that may or may not fit one's palate. Given this scenario, one always winds up getting stuck with a rum rated 6 or less. For me, it is always like get them out of my sight and save the best ones for later. Needless to say, one can get quite blitzed doing this. Luckily, I have only found very few that had to go down the toilet, but I always struggled to find mixing methods that could save them, often to no avail.
Necessity is also the mother of invention! I recently wound up with a very smoky bottle of Zacapa Edicion Negra and an overly sweet bottle of Kaniche Perfeccion. Each one by itself was not good drinking at all. So I used my basic knowledge of mixing that I gained through these years. I started off with a 50/50 mixture of each. Not good enough. Then I figured 5 parts of the smoky rum to 3 parts of the sweet rum. That combination suddenly became drinkable and pretty damn good at that! Both were also too expensive to pour down the drain..
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When I have a rum that is rated six or less it just sits on another shelf until I get invited to the right party, usually a tailgate that is BYOB and bring it and leave it for others. Obviously I won't bring crap rum to a rum party or an evening of fine sipping, but if its a party with a bunch of other people who don't care about their alcohol that is perfect because then they can get lit and the rum can be consumed by those who want it. If it is truly terrible stuff that I wouldn't wish on anyone, then it goes down the drain - thankfully I have only bought one of those (Kraken) in recent memory. If the bad rum has the right attributes, I will save it for cooking but that is rare.
When it comes time for me to decide on buying a rum, I sort all of the reviews by rating. I have a few reviewers whose taste are in line with mine, so I check those first. Then there are the ones who almost always rate their rums extremely low. I ignore those. So what I meant by a rating of 6 or less is my very own rating. Each new rum starts out as a 6 and then moves up or down when my tasting starts. A few days later, I may need to adjust my ranking and/or rating. The bulk of my reviews rate as a 6. For those that I rate as a 5 or less, I will never buy those again. There are now so many rums that most of my 6 ratings also will never get bought again.
I recently gave away a full bottle of Drunken Sailor and showed this craft beer enthusiast the novelty bottle. He was afraid to drink it for fear of what it may do to him.
If the rum costs >$ 30, I'll sell it on ebay or I share them with other rum lovers. There are some people in forums who buy 5cl or 10cl.
The cheaper ones work well for mixing cocktails like daiquiri or old fashioned.
Usually there is no need to destroy something that another rum lover would enjoy.
Companies like Flaviar sell small samples of decent rum so that one can try before buying entire bottles. There is one problem with that. Where I live, I cannot have any alcoholic beverages shipped to me or my favorite liquor store to be picked up from there. Sounds archaic? There are a lot more states with even more restrictive laws. If I drive 17 miles to my neighboring state, alcohol above 5% ABV cannot even be sold and they only recently allowed mixed drinks at some restaurants. Going further north, there is one county in that same state whereby whiskey is legal, but beer is not. Go figure, but this is to help out the moonshiners by keeping beer from the competition. In states like Arkansas, one can see billboards warning of the last chance before entering a dry county. This insanity is left over from Prohibition and uses religion as a sorry excuse to keep things that way.
So, I just have to take my chances and buy entire bottles within a 400 mile radius, but no more of those long rum running trips.
I was in the same situation as Paul B until literally last week. Now legally I can order but websites haven’t updated to ship to me quite yet.
Crazy laws and there are no other rum lovers who would share a bottle?
If I wanna buy a bottle blind I'm asking others to share it with me. Or we do a tasting evening and everone brings two bottles.
If I don't like a rum and nobody wants it, I take a few samples and leave the rest. If I'm lucky it will became better after some months, if not, then I have something for cocktails.
Even though I grew up in what is known as the northern capital of the Caribbean, rum is still pretty much frowned upon here as well as in the rest of the Deep South. I would have trouble giving away any unwanted rums. Ironically, when Prohibition happened, New Orleans smuggled in lots of rum from the Caribbean. They wondered what in hell they would do with it. So they added lots of tropical fruit juices with guava dominating to make an iconic drink. For the glass, they used a kerosene lamp used for hurricanes and the legendary Hurricane drink was born at Pat O' Briens. It has four ounces of cheap rum in each drink. A friend once took me up in his Cessna plane way back in the seventies, and then told me to take hold of the wheel and the pedals. I screamed at him because he had no idea that I had FOUR Pat O' Briens' Hurricanes in me. That was 16 ounces of rum and flying a Cessna! He did the taking off and landing, which is the hard part. When I told him what I had to drink, his response was like, "Well, you didn't look drunk" to which I responded, "But you never asked". Always ask before turning the controls of a plane over to a known heavy drinker.
When visiting liquor stores elsewhere in the Deep South and asking for a specific rum, one will always be told that this is Bourbon Country. Rum can be considered as gluten free bourbon with lots of health benefits. With me being still alive is the proof.
You have to know where to look - agricoles are usually rated lower because the average drinker don’t know how to drink/appreciate it. So meaning a rum from an area/country that has high quality regulations definitely is worth the risk.
However, my last example of taking risk was with Matusalem Platino - rated slightly over 6. What an absolute crap rum :) So there you go :)
That one bottle of Matusalem Platino ranks in my lower 32% of all that I have reviewed and I have it rated as a lower 6. NEVER use the overall score on this site before choosing your next rum. That is just a rough guide to get you into the ball park. Find reviewers whose tastes closely matches yours and let those be your ultimate guide. And all newbies should avoid agricoles until they have much more experience. As one sails into the French West Indies, their music screams, "We are French! We are different!". How true!
Any low rated rum in my house will be used in cocktails instead, unless it's a very expensive bottle that's good according to others but just wasn't to my liking, then it's saved as a "for friends and family" bottle
Paul B : amen to that! (Regarding doing more research and finding users with matching ratings/rums)
But the funny thing is my first experience with rum was with agricoles. Except The odd rum n coke with Oakheart that I did not consume knowingly actually. Never looked back -:)
How about an exchange? I will earnestly introduce this post with the preamble that “this might well be a crazy idea”. I will nonetheless send it up the flagpole. I have noticed many fellow rum tasters really like Hampden rums. I acknowledge this is a fine distillery. But I just don’t care for their products. I gave them another try yesterday and spent $50 on Hampden Estate 8 year. I gave it a fair try. 3 shots, one over ice. I hate it. This 98% full bottle will sit in my cabinet forever. I propose a swap. Anybody out there have something they don’t care for that they want to swap? I am in the USA and can guarantee I could re-seal this and ship it safely. I would rather see someone enjoy this than have it sit in the back of my cabinet in perpetuity. But an exchange would be ideal! Any one hate Chairman’s, Malecon, Worthy Park, Privateer, Papa's Pilar or any Panamanian rums? Let’s trade! I also am not a fan of Solera finished rum. I have some fine ones available! If I am crazy I will accept that unashamed and return to my insane asylum! Thanks for reading.
Take the advice from my own rating of 5 for this rum. Feel free to not care about the taste and just get shit faced on it. You will feel just fine the next day because there are no additives. Now if someone offered me a million dollars to take that bottle off of your hands, I would politely refuse. You may also try other suggestions of making ice cubes from coconut water, which can save almost any low-grade rum.
@Docsarvis Too bad I can't change with you. I love to mix it with my high ester Hampdens to reduce the abv and to develop more malt in the aftertaste.
I think it would be better to start with Smith & Cross.
Truly great, practical and almost philosophical responses. Thank you very much!
I took your advice and just picked up a bottle of Smith and Cross. Appreciate your insight. I like it. Check out my review. It reminds me of islay Scotch. An acquired taste for sure. Islay's are now my favorite by far. I need to continue to taste this It beats the hell out of the Hampden. Trade you for a Bonpland!
PaulB...... Your truly philosophical advice will be my next more You are a gentleman and a scholar! Cheers!
Thanks for the compliment and that is the first time in my life that someone has ever called me a gentleman. I was always called "crude, rude, lewd, and downright disgusting" even though they all knew that I had a BS in Civil Engineering. I could handle myself quite well on construction sites since I had a mouth like a pirate.
Keep up the good work on your reviews. You are on track to be one of the most respected reviewers on this site!
Very kind words. Thank you.
Besides, I like @$!*ing pirates!
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