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Agricole rum losing its "spirit"?


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Pirate

Posted 15 Nov '20 from Greece with 23 ratings

Not long ago, i got myself a bottle of nice, quality, agricole rum (J.M. XO). The bottle isn't even in the middle yet, but i noticed it started "losing"! The strong smell burning the nose pleasantly, is almost entirely gone... The taste is still okay, although it feels a bit toned down, or something... Is this a normal behavior, or not? This is my first agricole, that is why i am asking. The bottle is kept in a cozy place with low humidity and away from the hateful sunlight, in normal room temperature, like the rest of my rums. Do all agricoles behave thusly?

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 347 ratings Replied 16 Nov '20

Pirate:

Of all the agricoles that I have tried, what you have experienced with JM XO is not normal. I have tried several from JM and prefer their VO, which is less aged. Agricoles seem to be too delicate and draw too many flavors from charred barrels the longer they age. This is why I have stayed clear from their more expensive XO I suggest that you try their cheaper VO for comparison..

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vomi1011

From Germany with 239 ratings Replied 16 Nov '20

Maybe you can translate this site:
https://whisky-and-molecules.blogspot.com/2020/10/whisky-und-luft.html
"The strong smell burning the nose pleasantly, is almost entirely gone...".
I think this is the usual process of evaporation, where highly volatile substances get lost.
The rum becomes milder over time.
I noticed this on a high ester Hampden. Esters also belong to the highly volatile substances. After a month I noticed a loss of flavor in a half-full bottle and decant it into a 350ml bottle.

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Pirate

From Greece with 23 ratings Replied 16 Nov '20

Thanks for the detailed link, that was pretty enlightening. To be honest, i read some time ago about oxidization, but i thought that procedure to happen needed time, exposure, or both... 2 weeks ago i bought this bottle brand new and it was noticeably more "spirited"; especially its smell, has weakened considerably and it is well closed, stashed away, not in contact with either air or sun. Plus, none of my molasses rums ever displyed such a strange phenomenon, not even my darling 1931 which contains a small amount of agricole in it! And i had them for months, before finishing their bottles! So, agricole needs to be drank up fast...

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 347 ratings Replied 16 Nov '20

vomi1011:

That was a very interesting article on oxidation of spirits. The longer a spirit ages in wooden barrels, the more components will be introduced that can be oxidized. It also showed how lowering the pressure in the bottle with a wine-keeper type of apparatus will actually make things worse! This was news to me. So, it's either drink it up or store it half bottles, but most of those smaller rum bottles are usually plastic, which will also adversely affect the taste. Adding sterilized glass beads to the bottle will also help, but who on earth is willing to go through that much trouble.

Since this was a whisky article, it does not mention added sugars that are found in Caribbean rums. I can tell you from personal experience that these added sugars greatly increase the oxidation and deterioration of taste. I hardly ever buy those any more.

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Stefan Persson (PREMIUM)

From Sweden with 164 ratings Replied 16 Nov '20

I have around 50 different Agricole in my private rum bar and I have never noticed anything like it.
Oxygen naturally contributes to the perceived effect. A bad cork can therefore contribute negative. The more oxygen that’s in the bottle the shorter time you have to finish it, but normally I would say that you have almost up to one years time to finish it.
Other things that affect the aroma are the temperature of the drink. The optimal temperature is if I remember correctly 25-27 degrees Celsius which is easily achieved by heating the glass with one hand and putting the other over the glass to close the aroma.
Another thing that changes a person's experience of the aroma is their own nose. I currently have the flu and feel no aroma at all.

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Pirate

From Greece with 23 ratings Replied 16 Nov '20

Thank you Persson. Maybe because it's getting cold here and it was under 25 degrees. But i don't know, i have the impression that even its taste was toned down, although very slightly. The cork seems good enough, i do not think any air sneaked in, more than the tiny amount during the pouring of the drink in my glass.

Update: Following your advise, strong smell suddenly returned! And i can feel a better alcoholic bite! You sir, are a real brother! Bless you!

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Stefan Persson (PREMIUM)

From Sweden with 164 ratings Replied 17 Nov '20

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 347 ratings Replied 17 Nov '20

Stefan:

Use my old reliable cold and flu remedy: hot peppers! In the late eighties and early nineties, I made numerous trips to various Caribbean islands. None of those folks ever got the cold or flu. Then I found out that they use hot peppers in just about everything they eat. The Scotch Bonney peppers are the hottest, but are very hard to find outside of the Caribbean. However, jalapeno peppers are available everywhere and dirt cheap. Swallow as many of those as you can handle to burn those germs out! Hope you feel better!

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Stefan Persson (PREMIUM)

From Sweden with 164 ratings Replied 17 Nov '20

Paul,
Thanks for the tip.
Yes, I usually get rid of the flu maybe by eating strong food, but on covid19 it does not seem to bite.

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