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For several years I do work for Japan company and enjoy discovering everything connected to this country and culture. So kind of naturally I feel a need to find out, in addition to quite good and famous whisky, what kind of rum they can produce in Japan. Some time ago I have tried some of local rum during my visit but you can imagine, so many new things I'm not able recall what was the brand. Recently I have obtained 3 bottles from various destilleres and this kind of short review will be dedicated to them. What is interesting there are all from the southernmost bigger island with name Okinawa. Make sense, more northern parts of country are not good for sugar cane.
Nine leaves clear 50%
Most people will know rum from Teeda. That one I can see time to time and have it's 5y version. That's probably the most closer to what will call "normal" rum. With typical light gold color, soft taste with tone of herbs and long a bit medical end. What is not so great is aroma, kind of sweet but unusual smell. As GA wrote in his review above, the smell is kind of chemical or medical like in hospital or laboratory:) Well, still it is rum kind of rum as we know it. Maybe agricole with tones of grass and herbs.
Now I will continue with other two which I call intensive experience. Believe me, you will never forget once you try these :)
Nine leaves is clear, very dry rum which offers despite higher alcohol volume smooth experience. I start with taste because it reminds me a bit "slivovice" which is distilled from plumbs in area I grew up. It is really smooth, with tones of vanilla and maybe a bit wine. In contrast what I can read here, I would say the taste is not so bad, it would work well mixed with coke or other drinks. And they also write on the bottle this one is made to be mixed. Then the weird smell goes away too. Because on nose I all the time keep find sake (surprise:)
In the end, the most unforgettable master piece is Kiyomi. I swear, any who looks for unique drink this is the one you should try!
I start with smell because this is not possible to forget. Even wash from the glass. No matter how I washed glasses in hands it does not go out. Only 3 hours in dishwasher with program on 60C+ was capable to remove the sweet smell of several weeks dead cat in a cellar. They say you should find smell of pineapple and needless. Yes, probably but if you know how dead body smells after a while, you will have no other association. And the taste? Very close the same. If you somehow overcome aroma (ideally stop breath) you will be able discover something what I will mark Nine leave on square (^2). So crazy it is. If I shall find something, yes it is like Olives and Pineapple mixed together. You are not able decide if it has sweet or salt tone. Again long tale stay inside your mouth for long. Even you do not want :) Here is good to have something to eat and drink next to you. But I promise you, after 3rd tiny glass(do not try take normal size), if you are capable to make it, you start enjoy it in some strange and perverse way.
So how to make conclusion on those. If you look just for pleasant easy drink, happy with what you can find all around go away. You will be disgusted.
For those who already have tasted a lot and still looking for something unique and new, even it smells like a several week dead animal. This is what you should be after.
Luktar lite konstigt men smakar desto bättre. Smakar gott men lite spritsmak,inte söt alls.
My first japanese rum, tried it on a rum festival. Really enjoyed it.
Smell is like rancid robitussin, taste is watery then a more rancid taste (some would say agricole funk) the long burn finish. Stick to 9 leaves or my new favorite from Japan Ryoma
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Rum z Okinawy 10 out of 10
"Teeda" znamená na Okinawě slunce. Rum se vyrábí v destilerii Helios. Mělo by se jednat o blend rumů starých 5 - 15 let dozrávajících v sudech z amer. bílého dubu po bourbonu. Rum je bez karamelu či jiných přísad.
Počet vyrobených lahví by měl být 2000 kusů.
Aroma: Zasmrádlé (technické), mediciální, ale zároveň jemně nasládlé
Chuť: Jemná, bylinková, příjemná
Dozvuk: Medově bylinkový, mediciální, dlouhý
Vzorek #5 na RumFest Praha 2020
Veliké překvapení festivalu. Tento rum z Okinawy se přesně trefil do mého vkusu! Vynikající zemědělský rum v hávu nemocničního smrádku.
Edit: Přechutnávka 13.11.2020 (lahev): Ve vůni je silně cítit, guma, jód, odlakovač a shnilé banány
Chuť je medově bylinková a v dozvuku opět med, míza (tráva) a sušené ovoce
Na hodnocení se nic nemění: tento rum je opravdu skvělý