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I tasted this at Wilfred's Lounge in Napa, CA - my new favorite rum bar.
Batavia Arak is supposed to pre date other rums and is originally from Indonesia. It's especially unusual because it is matured in teak wood - no oak anywhere. Hard to come by so I was pleased to see it on the tasting menu. By the Dutch Batavia Arak is apparently very different than the Batavia Arak that comes in the green bottle. This is very young, clear in color, has a pleasant mild vodka like flavor with undertones of rice (think watered down Nigori Sake) and is smooth with a somewhat slightly "oily" mouth-feel.
Definitely worth trying.
аромат схожий на агріколь, хоч у декларують, що з меляси. при цьому смак не такий сухий, як в агріколів, а маслянистий та трішки солодкуватий. але не приторний. післясмак довгограючий, із димком, я б сказав. дуже приємний ром у чистому вигляді + прекрасно із колою, хоя як би крамольно це не звучало. безперечно при нагоді візьму ще пляшку.
the aroma is similar to agricole, although they declare that it is from molasses. at the same time, the taste is not as dry as that of agricols, but oily and a little sweet. but not syrupy. the aftertaste is long-lasting, with smoke, I would say. very nice rum in its pure form + great with cola, no matter how seditious it sounds. I will definitely take another bottle when I get the chance.
I only tried this in a daiquiri, not straight... Remarkably savory, the lime flavor disappeared behind chocolate, coffee, and tobacco. I'm not sure it's what I want from rum drinks usually, but, what a fascinating niche spirit.
Day 13 of my Rum Advent calendar. I have never heard of this rum which is bottled at 48% ABV. This rum from Indonesia really surprise$ me, it is dry and actually very good. It does not have a sweet taste like molasses rums, rather it is grassy like an Agricola rum. Not bad at all. If it were available locally I would definitely buy a bottle. Very good indeed.
Finding Batavia Arrack on the market is rare, as most of it gets blended into Swedish Flaggpunsch. I buy it whenever I see it, and couldn't believe my luck when I found a new brand at my local liquor store...
I study rum production and Batavia Arrack has been on my radar for a long time. It is like the Jamaican rums in that it is made from old traditional processes that harness wild yeast, namely the fission yeast S. pombe, which gives it a stronger "rum oil" aroma compared to most other rums. The old researchers obsessed over the quality of Batavia Arrack as it was once considered the best rum available, especially when punch was the sole means to imbibing (like in the 18th and 19th centuries).
However, make no mistake, this is not "Grand Arome" type like the Jamaican rums, it just has some really unique and valuable character. Look up my rating on the Van Oosten brand if you're interested in how Batavia Arrack is made and why I think it's special.
So far I had only been able to try the "Van Oosten" brand, which I like and appreciate contrary to most of the other opinions. This one is different and I think I like it even more.
The mineral and vegetal notes are enhanced as compared to Van Oosten, and so is the rum oil aroma. There is also a more intense stale note that I believe suggests furfural (stale, cardboard-like). It's weird but I like it. Some people draw parallels to Cachaca, Agricole, and even Tequila and I would say that's understandable.
I can smell the rum-oil fruitiness quite clearly without dilution, which suggests higher concentration than the Van Oosten brand. This would make outstanding rum punch, I'm sure of it. Since for the most part no-one makes old-fashioned punches anymore, I'd recommend a daiquiri. If you're a serious rum connoisseur I'd recommend picking up a bottle if you find it.
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