The more I learn about the rum world, the more I realize that all the best rums have been had. There's always talk about how the new version of this rum "doesn't compare to the old one" (Mount Gay XO) or "they were better before they were bought by such and such..." (Angostura). Master blenders change, as do the laws in certain regions so nothing will stay the same forever- or even for that long.
So my question is what are some brands that have improved over time? Or does this just not happen? I can't tell if this is typical (for lack of a better term) "old-man-syndrome" where nothing can compete with its older counterpart, or if rum brands eventually degrade and reach for profit as opposed to quality and staying true to the brand.
Whether something tastes better is relative. I like the old El Dorado 15 version much better, but I think it's not better than the new one. Old version was a sweet rum, now it's almost a natural rum, but it doesn't taste any better to me, even though I know it tastes more natural now. Many say the new version is better, but not for me.Actually, I think that the new MG XO is better. Because of the triple cask, it is clearly rounder and a more mature in taste. Likewise, Appleton 12 has improved a lot, I have to admit that I'm crazy about this new version. I understand if someone says he likes Allen Smith's MG version better. Maybe he has drunk many bottles of it and love this version. There are rums that improve, but that doesn't mean most like it. Most of us do not like changes.
I would say, Chairman's Reserve (saint lucia)! With certainty! Their newest product is the modified spiced rum from the contest winner "Kyritsis", in limited availability. Their newly released "Legacy", a.k.a. "poor man's 1931", was quite decent! Their current 1931, this finalized and standardized version, is said to be the best of the series, compared against older releases! Their latest vintages, are highly praised in the rum world, especially 2009 the 2nd. They have interesting "Master Select" releases, that get better and better, with each new iteration!
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Do any brands improve over time?