Written by Daniel Gonzales
Photography by John Connell
Evoking images of white sand beaches, palm trees, and calypso music in the background, rum may just be the ultimate summer liquor.
Join us as we discover the best of the best.
Rum has a great history with America, and has been woven in to the fabric of the flag since the inception of this country. The Caribbean islands were a lot closer than Europe, leading early Americans to start drinking rum, but its smooth flavor and expert distillers made Americans fall in love with the elixir. George Washington requested a case of Barbados rum at his inauguration. While the tea from the Boston Tea Party ended up in the harbor, it was the rum in the hull of the ship that was confiscated by the protesters, (without being taxed of course).
Ready to start sampling this historic liquor? These were the stand-outs at a recent rum tasting event held at Pecan Grill & Brewery.
FAVORITE OF THE NIGHT!
A Guatemalan beauty that has rums from six to 25 years old contained in the beautiful decanter, there is no wonder why this absolute work of art was the consensus favorite rum of the evening. Zacapa is an excellent and somewhat unknown rum by many consumers, but it has tremendous flavor and character because of the Solera process master distiller Lorena Vasquez uses in aging her beautiful expression of distilled sugar cane. The Solera process is best known in the making of sherry, in which many different ages of barrels are rotated in a very specific way to ensure a mixture of old and young rums come together for the perfect blend. Zacapa has various expressions of these aged rums, but in the case of Zacapa XO, the liquid gets an extra aging cycle in French Cognac barrels.
Bacardi Maestro de Ron
A little known version of the Bacardi rum line, Maestro de Ron (Master Blenders) is a double-aged in white oak expression that has a light tint of color, but a deep flavor profile of sweetness and nuts, along with notes of stone fruits.
Bacardi 8 Anos
This beautiful sipping rum is a blend of some of the oldest rums in the Bacardi house that, for a long time, was the family’s private reserve. Created in 1862, this specialty rum has a minimum age of eight years in its blend, with flavors of vanilla, caramel and toffee dominant, and apricot, white peach, and dried fruit as well.
Oakheart is Bacardi’s spiced rum. While it delivers on all the traditional notes of spiced rums—such as, vanilla, butterscotch, clove—it’s the taste of oak charcoal filtration that really separates Oakheart from other spiced rums. There is a distinct resemblance to bourbon or brandy, along with the obvious spice blend with this rum.
Meyers Dark Rum
By far the most popular “rhum industrial” in the United States, this Jamaican beauty seems to be on the back bar in every saloon you sit down in to enjoy a cocktail. Founded in 1879, Meyers has been used in some of the most popular cocktails in the world, as well as for cooking and baking because of its deep dark color and flavors of molasses, toasted marshmallow, and caramel.
Appleton Estate Signature Blend
This rum is a blend of 15 different styles and ages of rums, averaging four years of aging. This expression is a beautiful combination of surprising light fruit flavors of stone fruits and citrus, along with the light notes of caramel and vanilla from the oak.
Appleton Estate Reserve Blend
Although this version of Appleton is made in a similar fashion to the Signature Blend, it has a very distinct flavor difference. The Reserve Blend uses 20 different rums that average an age of six years. While the Signature Blend offers up the lighter side of aged rum, the Reserve Blend gives much deeper notes of spice and vanilla from the oak, with secondary flavors of fruit and citrus peel coming through. It is remarkable what influence extra aging and different blending can do to rum, even those that come from the same house.
Coconut is one of the oldest flavors of rum, and with good reason…..it’s fantastic! Cruzan rums have been distilled on the island of St. Croix since the 1800s. While Cruzan Coconut is a sweet
and tasty rum, it does not have that syrupy quality that other coconut rums have; it is definitely a rum with coconut flavoring as opposed to a coconut syrup with rum in it. (As a side note, while our guests picked the Zacapa XO as their favorite of the evening, the Cruzan Coconut bottle was the lightest bottle by the end of the night!)
There are two types of rum in the world: rhum agricole (made from squeezed sugarcane juice) and rhum industrial (made from molasses). It can be made anywhere sugarcane is grown, which is almost every corner of the globe, but the Caribbean is by far the most popular area of quality rum.