So I'm looking to gift my Baby Brother a bottle or 2 of nice Rum. He is not by any means a very discerning Rum drinker not does he even have a collection to speak of. His primary go-to is Bacardi Oakheart... which from my understanding lurking around the "Rum Community" is not much to speak of unless maybe evaluating strictly based off it's price point.
I'd love to "shock him" a bit and expose him to the world of finer rums and get him 2-3 bottles. I know in the title I said 1-2 bottles but I've actually already committed to introducing him to Gosling's Black Seal Rum which he told me recently he had never tried. I'm personally not a Rum drinker as mentioned but I do enjoy sipping on Gosling from time to time, and love a nice Dark n' Story once in a while. I have no idea what your community thinks of Gosling's, it's just hte only Rum I can speak to I've ever tried that I wanted to go back to... I have not tried many rums at all though.
To the point, I'm not sure if Bacardi Oakheart offers you much to go off of regarding his preference at all. I'm under the impression it is a bit more of a sweeter rum? Also- I'm pretty confident he sips it neat and does not mix.
The bottles that are currently on my radar from lurking are...
1. Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva
2. Foursquare 2007
3. Flor De Cana 18
Truth be told I follow a YouTube Channel by a gentlemen names Jeremy Siers who is more of a Bourbon/Cigar guy and I like his opinions on Bourbon and I stumbled across I Rum video (rare for him) he did last June and these are three he reviewed and thought if I like his Bourbon suggestions, my brother might like his Rum suggestions?
Anyways, I'd love to hear the thoughts and recommendations of your community though, before I pulled the trigger on anything. Budget wise I'm looking to spend up to 100.00-150.00 in total if this is reasonable?
Thanks so much for all your help!
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I have Bacardi Oakheart rated as a 6 out of 10 and I am not very generous in my ratings. It qualifies as minimally sweet with 20 gpl of added sugar.
Your first suggestion of DRE has twice the amount of added sugar and may be too sweet. He will probably like it and it is less than $40 US. As for your second and third suggestions, both are bone dry and he will most likely hate them. Any Foursquare Exceptional Cask Series is no place for beginners to start.
So, I went through my spreadsheet to find sweet rums that I rated at 7 or above with none costing more than $52 US each. Here they are in order of my preference. The only two of these that I still buy are the first two because I have gotten away from rums with added sugars.
Plantation XO 20th Anniversary
Vizcaya VXOP 21
Bumbu XO (black bottle only!)
By the way, if you want a rum that taste exactly like a Kentucky Bourbon, look no further than Clement 10 Year. It is a delicate rhum agricole that has spent too long in the charred barrels and absorbed way too much of that flavor. It then becomes a gluten free bourbon!
Oakheart tastes like a spiced rum. It's also sweetened, overall it's not a good rum.
But maybe he likes the mildness and the sweetness of it.
These two are for more experienced rum drinkers, they are good but I'm not sure if he can understand them:
Foursquare 2007 -> hazelnut, woody (cask strength)
Flor De Cana 18 -> woody
I think he will be impressed by DRE. It's a sweet rum with caramel, raisins and some ripe banana aromas. Beginners are also often impressed by Zacapa or Plantation XO.
Hello... with that budget you could get very good rums.
1. Flor de Caña 18 is good, but at that range, you could also consider Kirk & Sweeney 23 or Plantation 20th XO. Another one to consider is Dos Maderas, PX 5+5, finished in PX Sherry cask... very nice.
2. In the range of Diplomatico, you could find "The Real McCoy", 5 or 12 years.
3. An option for a higher and different profile is Ron Zacapa 23 Edicion Negra (Black Edition), which is a little darker, smokier than the regular Zacapa.
The Gosling’s Black Seal I just use when I make a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, but there is a more aged Gosling’s named Family Reserve which I’m sure he will like.
On the sweeter side which is the rum he probably likes, I recommend a bottle of Ron Zafra 21.
Maybe you have already made your choices but here is my 2 cts. on Foursquare 2007; that is IMO too much for a novice rumdrinker and will probably not be appreciated. From the same house I would replace that by Doorly's 5yo; easier to understand, less difficult to appreciate and at the same time a great introduction to dry quality rums.
The Diplomatico? I am afraid you just ruin his taste with that one and while popular overhere, it is in fact not a true rum. I would go for something less sweet like Plantation XO 20th aniversery (which is still very, very sweet and not my rum either).
Flor de Caña 18yo might have the same problem as the Foursquare (though it is more simple) but why not try something like the Oakheart (sort of) and give him a 'better' spiced rum; Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced, Chairman's Reserve Spiced or Foursquare Spiced? Those will be closer to what he already knows but still lift the bar by quite a bit.
Great spiced rum suggestions, but I would also like to add Lemon Hart Blackpool and Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced. I totally agree with your last sentence.
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