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Why are white rums so maligned?


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Paul B (PREMIUM)

Posted 1 Jan '21 from United States with 358 ratings

Let's face it folks! White rums are what start out becoming the aged rums that we all love. Get it wrong on this first part and there is absolutely no hope for improvement. So here are my top rated white rums, all at my rating of 7 and displayed in order of my own ranking..

Selvarey White
Cana Brava 3 Year Old (no longer available)
Plantation Artisinal 3-Stars (with 13 gpl of added sugar)
Foursquare Probitas
Vizcaya Cristal
Marsh House
Diplomatico Planas
Doorly's White

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Mujuru

From United States with 64 ratings Replied 1 Jan '21

You forgot your Clairin Le Roche and Neisson Blanc that you rate very highly ;)

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 358 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

Mujuru:

I should have specified white rums that are molasses based. Those two that you mentioned are agricoles from cane juice.

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Mujuru

From United States with 64 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

Yes. I figured as much. I was mainly joking.

I would add Havana Club 3 Year (the Cuban version) to that list also. It is nearly identical to Selvarey White (though Selvarey White is just slightly better in my opinion)

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 358 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

Mujuru:

Here in the USA, we cannot get any Cuban products because of the embargo. I also live too far away from Canada where Cuban rums can be found. A few years ago, I did get to try Havana Club 7 Year at a bar in New Orleans. I never saw that rum again.

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Mujuru

From United States with 64 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

Yeah I know. I suffer from the same frustration. Hopefully at least the traveler restrictions will be eased again to allow travelers to bring back Cuban rum for personal consumption that they bought abroad. I found Selvarey White because I had had Havana Club 3 Year the last time I was in Germany (I go to Germany every 4 years or so), and I was looking for something like it. It is remarkably similar, in fact almost identical but with the flavors in Selvarey White being slightly more pronounced.

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Stefan Persson (PREMIUM)

From Sweden with 198 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

I fully understand that you only listed molasses based rums, but I still want to say that molasses based white rum is completely inferior to white Agricole rum in general.

The only ones that can compete are those that have been aged for some years and then been filtered to become white again.

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Mujuru

From United States with 64 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

@Stefan Perrson

I disagree. “Inferior” is a highly subjective term. Molasses based distillates are different from Cane Juice or Cane Syrup based distillates and I happen to like both of them for different occasions and for different purposes. I would not say Molasses based rums are inherently chemically inferior to Cane juice based rums.

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 358 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

The reason that it is very hard to find Cana Brava 3 Year is because that has now become part of Selvarey White, which Bruno Mars is a part owner of. I did a taste test of the two side by side. Eventually my suspicions were confirmed. Don Pancho got a really good deal out of that one.

I happen to like just about any rum, but I do classify Whites, Agricoles, and Cachacas separately. I do classify Barbancourt and Clairins from Haiti as agricoles, even though those laws are not as strict as the ones from the French West Indies. The yeast and type of sugar cane is basically what makes Haitian rums different from true agricoles.

So why can a US citizen drive into Canada to buy Cuban rums and bring them back? Because none of the profits in Canada go back to Cuba. Back when cruise ships were still allowed to sail from Tampa to Havana, I seriously looked into going. However, a cruise of similar length that did not go to Cuba was about a thousand dollars cheaper per person. Why? That extra grand per person to sail to Havana went straight into Castro's pocket. Those cruises did not last long and I never got to go.

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Stefan Persson (PREMIUM)

From Sweden with 198 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

@Mujuru
Maybe inferior is a too strong word, but what I really mean is that white molasses based rum got to be aged to come near white Agricole rum when it comes to rich flavors.

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Mujuru

From United States with 64 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

Actually, Paul, due to an executive order signed by Trump in September 2020, US citizens can no longer drive to Canada and bring back Cuban rum legally. He undid Obama’s allowance for that. Hopefully, Biden will reverse that policy soon because I am hoping to be able to bring some good Cuban rums back when I go to Germany this summer.

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Stefan Persson (PREMIUM)

From Sweden with 198 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

I really hope that you can buy Cuban rum again.
I think that they in general, even though I really like some Panama rum, are among the best Latin styled rum.
Maybe because they have rules about adding sugar, if I remember right it’s just 15gpl that’s allowed.

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Paul B (PREMIUM)

From United States with 358 ratings Replied 2 Jan '21

I was unaware that when Trump ended cruises to Cuba, it also entailed not being able to bring Cuban rums into the US from Canada. That is utterly ridiculous. I am sure that Biden will turn things around, but he has a lot worse things to worry about when he takes office in a few weeks.

As for rhum agricoles, I have found that they are too delicate and cannot really be aged for more than 3 years because too much of the charred oak flavor will be absorbed. Clement 10 Year tastes just like a Kentucky bourbon and costs a lot more.

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