Top shelf rum tasting

Posted by TraderTiki on May 1st, 2008 — Posted in Events, Galley, Rum, Tasting


Bottles line the shelves in my basement, a great source of insulation in the summer heat, or in winter’s cool. At times though, the collection can be a touch overwhelming, like a library bookshelf of half-read books, dog-eared pages and slightly bent spines, waiting for a bit of time and patience. Sometimes, though I appreciate their presence, I see the bottles for what could be there.

My day-to-day mixing rums and other liquors get replaced on about a monthly basis, but my sippers and “this and thats” tend to stay quite awhile, sometimes years, before they make any movement. So, what better way to make some headway and share some fine fun with folks than hosting a rum tasting!

Last Friday was the first in what should be a bi-monthly or so event, with a rum tasting at the Reynoles Galley. The theme this month, Top Shelf Rums! A fine selection of rums from Guatemala, Venezuela, Cuba, Antigua, Jamaica, and two blended Naval rums. Here’s a link to the tasting notes PDF that was used for the event. Use it, find the rums, and taste for yourself!

Here is some info on the rums tasted, along with tasting notes from a few of the local liquorati.

Sea Wynde - Light Vanilla and butterscotch nose, sweet and smooth body with a bit of fire. Smokey finish. Did not stand above the crowd, but generally smooth.

English Harbour - Gentle honey notes, but very light nose. Very vanilla body with no burn on the finish.

Havana Club Barrel Proof - Floral nose, surprisingly smooth all over for a barrel proof rum. Complex with lots of floral and maple notes, and extremely well-balanced.

Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserve - Sweet vanilla, some citrus on the nose. The body is like pure maple syrup, with no burn on the finish. Fantastic sipper, though a bit one-noted.

Zaya - Almost no nose, strong brown sugar and maple body, with an almost bourbon-like finish. A fantastic top shelf rum.

Pusser’s 15 year old, in the Trafalgar-edition bottle. - Fantastic bottle Sweet, fruit and grassy nose. Complex but balanced body, with some strange copper notes, but mostly honey and a bit of woodiness to it. Sugary finish with a bit of pleasant burn. An outstanding rum.

Appleton 21 - Citrusy, cinnamon nose. Nose follows into the body, with the same flavors, along with some honey. Smooth, sugary finish. Top of the Appleton line (until we see the 30 year, maybe).

Ron Zacapa XO - Sweet and smokey nose. Subtle and smooth body, with light tastes of apricot and honey, and a hint towards salt. The finish is strongly maple. Fantastic, but maybe not worth the jump in price from the Centennario.

I’ll have to put up a template for those tasting notes. Ed Hamilton also has a great post to read at the Cocktail Times on Rum Tasting, which I passed out to attendees. Grab some bottles and invite some friends over, it’s a guaranteed good time.

Update: Here’s a blank rum tasting PDF.  Enjoy!

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Comment by Tikimama

I’m disappointed you didn’t post some of my more insightful tasting notes, such as “tastes like burning” (how often do I make a Simpsons reference!). It was great to taste all those rums, though.

Posted on May 1, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Comment by Rum Balls

For a true “tastes like burning” session, maybe there should be “bottom shelf” rum tasting! (Next up, we have Potter’s…)

Posted on May 2, 2008 at 10:35 am

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