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JarkkoKoo (PREMIUM) 🇫🇮 | 11 ratings Posted 8 Apr '22

I've always known that I don't like... no, I hate strong alcohol unmixed. On the other hand, I love cocktails, usually even the strong (Tiki) ones. Making cocktails is my hobby. Today I tried out some rums and whiskeys on their own... and you can guess what I thought of them like that. Not much.This brought up the question if there's any point in me rating any of the rums on this site. By itself not many (if any) will get more than 3/10 even if they work great in cocktails together with some fruit juices and sugars etc. I'm pretty convinced that even the "best rum in the world" wouldn't be to my liking on it's own.

Comments or thoughts?

Paul B 🇺🇸 | 426 ratings Replied 8 Apr '22


Everyone is welcome here, so keep submitting your reviews!  I see that you have already found one of the best white rums and rated it as an 8. Good job! This one is so good that it can be sipped neat or OTR, but mixing is where it really shines. Selvarey White is even better.

After more than four years of writing reviews on this site, I have come to the conclusion that European tastes are VERY different from those in the USA. With you being a mixer, your tastes are more at home in the USA. The neat sippers may criticize those who mix, but there is an incredible art for taking an undesirbale rum and making it taste good in a well made cocktails. My previous discussion mentioned something like this and you even responded to it. And a cocktail that saves a bad rum can most certainly be improved with a good rum. Just wait until you eventually get into clairins from Haiti!!!!

After having written 420 reviews and with me not being rich, many of those reviews came from cheap flavored and spiced rums. I had been criticized for doing this, but somebody out there may find these reviews helpful. There is a lot of awful stuff in the flavored rum world, but if I find a good one or more, I feel compelled to let everyone know. The Brinley Gold Shipwreck flavored rums from St. Kitts come to mind.

I now have 14 different types of rums that I have rated. Nothing is really off limits for me. If I like it, I will say so. And if it is downright repulsive, I will be more than glad to say so.

By the way, if I try everything possible to save a bad rum by mixing several different ways and nothing works, then those are the few that deserve my rating of 1 or 2.

JarkkoKoo (PREMIUM) 🇫🇮 | 11 ratings Replied 9 Apr '22

Paul B:

Thank you very much for your encouraging words. I'm glad to hear that also mixers are welcomed (at least by someone).

Maybe I should write a disclaimer in all my future reviews about not liking any alcohol neat, ha ha. 

Paul B 🇺🇸 | 426 ratings Replied 9 Apr '22


The key to finding good rums on this site that fit your tastes is to finally identify those reviewers with similar tastes. I have seen a few that take pride in their craft cocktail creations and are eager to tell us all about it. Yes, they are like finding a needle in a haystack, but worth the effort in finding them. Then there are the sugar police who want absolutely zero added sugar and not even a trace that comes from the casks. Then there are those with a sweet tooth. Then there are a few that hate almost everything. Then there are those who only like expensive rums.  We reviewers on this site are a diverse lot indeed!

As for me, I started out like most other newbies by loving the sugar bombs (the six most poular rums on this site). I was proud of that first collection and expected them all to last quite a while. Then between 2 and 4 months, their tastes all changed, for the worse. In addition to that, thay made me get married to the royal porcelain throne the next day. So these days, I stick with rums with less than 10 gpl of added sugar. Now and then, I will go for a good coconut rum for a trip to the beach. But if I try a new rum and it is awful, I will try like hell to find what it can be mixed with to avoid going down the drain. I have become a master of not throwing most rums away.

Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB) 🇸🇪 | 316 ratings Replied 9 Apr '22

Paul & JarkkoKoo,

Paul, Couldn't be better said.

 JarkkoKoo, Of course you are welcome here!!!

I've understood that you right now think that most of what you've tasted, tastes to much alcohol. So my suggestion is that you test something sweet from the Spanish style for example Zacapa 23, DRE or something from Oliver y Oliver.

 That's the way I got into rum and I believe that's the way it has been for most of us.

DB 🇺🇸 | 3 ratings Replied 16 May '22

I really didn't understand why anybody would drink whiskey or really any hard liquor neat when I first tried it. But, for whatever reason, I kept trying it. And trying it, and trying it. Fortunately, Einstein's definition of insanity did not prevail!

I've now come to very much enjoy certain whisk(e)ys, rums, tequilas, and mezcals neat. Rum is my favorite though, and I do prefer cocktails to straight liquors, but the right liquors can really deliver a pleasant experience. (Gin and Vodka though, I'll keep those in mixed cocktails for now...)

You've got pictured one that I very much enjoy sipping - the El Dorado 12. I did NOT like it at first, but now I love it neat. I also really enjoy the Plantation 5-Year Barbados, and many will think I'm nuts for saying so. So just keep trying 'em! You may never find one you like by itself, but you never know.

In the meantime? Of course! Rate away! You can always qualify your position like you have here, and people will know where you are coming from. Your reviews could always help folks in the same boat as you are.

OdysseusUnbound 🇨🇦 | 40 ratings Replied 19 May '22


I mostly enjoy neat sipping (with rum or other spirits), but a well-made cocktail is a thing of beauty as well. A rum that works well in a cocktail is a good rum for that purpose. Snobbery is ridiculous, imho. I'm not on this site daily, but I'd say you're welcome here.

bar la moura 🇭🇷 | 95 ratings Replied 19 May '22

in my bar the alcoholic bestsellers are:

1 cocktails and aperitives (have a menu just for them), 

2 wine from my region only (have red, white, sweet, dry)

3 beer

4 gin and tonic (yes those years G&T is very in)

5 liqueurs, various amaro

6 spirits

so it s a question of taste, some like strong, some not, and i try to find also best liquors

to satisfy my customers


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