Rum

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Rum

Unread postby Vital » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:24 am

Felt the urge to try something new and different and was recommended rum.
Never tried one before I got a bottle of Pyrat Reserve (10 yo rum) and Appleton 12 yo. Both are sipping rums (exactly what I want) and both have great reviews on them.
Not yet sure which one tastes better for me but I do like both. Pretty different in comparison to bourbon or scotch indeed, in a good way let ma add.

Are there any rum drinkers in here?
What would you recommend to try and why?
Do you drink it neat or with a cube or two of ice like bourbon or do you add lime/lemon for that citrus-y flavor that compliments rum according to some?
Any other tricks to get the best of rum drinking experience?
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Re: Rum

Unread postby Bourbon HQ » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:56 am

I always liked Don Q rum with club soda, a couple ice cubes and a twist of lime. It's a drink that's real popular in Puerto Rico in the summertime.
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Re: Rum

Unread postby Wasatch » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:10 pm

I like Goslings Black Seal, Appleton Estate, and Sailor Jerry. Bacardi 151 also holds a dear spot.

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Re: Rum

Unread postby Landrum » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:21 pm

My two favs are Mount Gay Extra Old and El Dorado 15 y.o. I've got a bottle of Appleton Extra 12 y.o. just waiting to be opened. I have high hopes for it.
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Re: Rum

Unread postby EllenJ » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:07 pm

If one wants to understand the background of American whiskey, one NEEDS to understand rum and the relationship between those two spirits. The Beer/Ale discussion is really wrong for this; I hope the moderator(s) will take this opportunity to add a RUM discussion.

In the meantime, Mt. Gay in Barbados is arguably the oldest rum distillery in continuous operation (since 1703), and one which provided rum to the American colonists before (and eventually after) the Revolution. George Washington had a barrel shipped in for his innaugural celebration. That may be because he once lived briefly in Barbados (the only American president KNOWN to have lived in a foreign country - despite occasional Fox News birther Obama rumors). His brother Lawrence suffered from tuberculosis and in 1751 they both traveled to Bridgetown in hopes that Lawrence might recuperate in the tropical climate. George was 19 at the time and he acquired two important things in the two months they were there: (1) a slight case of smallpox, which brought him an immunity that came in very handy years later at Valley Forge, and (2) a taste for Bajan rum. Of course Mt.Gay rum isn't made the same way today as it was then (as if anything else is), but one can sip a glass of Extra Old or even Special Reserve and let one's imagination take you back to those days of yore.

Rum was also instrumental in POST-revolutionary America. Literally hundreds of rum distilleries in New England fed the notorious triangle slave trade. It was the collapse of that "industry" that ended rum's reign... and ushered in the age of aged rye whiskey (Monongahela Rum).

The rum industry in New England never recovered from that, let alone Prohibition. It never even TRIED to start up again until the recent growth in micro distilleries. Now there are several sources of really good rum in New England. Two that I've tried and enjoy very much are Thomas Tew out of Newport, Rhode Island and Hurricane from Triple-Eight on Nantuckett. Triple-Eight also has a pretty nice four-year-old bourbon (produced and bottled by).
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Re: Rum

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:21 am

I certainly agree with the rum angle and perhaps letters or diaries exist or will emerge to testify more closely to the desire to find a substitute for the disappearing rum in the Monongahela whiskey.

However, aged brandy was always known in America - it is mentioned in M'Harry's book and other early sources - and the development of aged whiskey in the Northeast was in my view partly intended to provide a similar drink to that. Indeed brandy was the first spirit the Colonists in the New World would have known and rum as a spirit is itself a way surely to provide a similar drink.

Some countries in South American still make a white brandy, i.e., from grapes, in Peru for example.

So you have a grapes/sugar/grains alternative and it must have depended on what grew best in areas where they could produce alcohol.

The white drinks went well and still do with lime and sugar and that early way to drink spirits kind of survives in the whiskey world too, e.g. punches, whiskey sour., even the mint julep in a way. Except here they ended by using aged whiskey (brown spirit not white).

The operative rule was probably: what was available at the least cost? What is interesting is each of these liquors has a white and a dark side and different ways to drink it associated to each. White whiskey drinking kind of died out there, except to be sure for the moonshine tradition, and perhaps this is because amongst the white spirits it is least appropriate to mixing with fruit and sugar. It kind of contracted to its original area of production (the Appalachian area mostly).

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Re: Rum

Unread postby Landrum » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:30 pm

Gary

Pisco is the Peruvian brandy. My wife is Peruana and I have 5 or so examples of nice Piscos in the house. I am planning a trip down to Lima for the beginning of next year and look forward to purchasing a few more. I may even try to visit a distillery.

By the way, Chile offers a Pisco but I believe they have to print Chilean Pisco on their labels because it is recognized that Pisco is an appelation de origin for Peru. This is a hot button topic with Peruanos. Interestingly, Peru also claims Ceviche as a native Peruvian dish and they seem to have a good case. Chile making and marketing Pisco would be like Mexico claiming Bourbon as its own or the USA marketing single malt whisky as Scotch.
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Re: Rum

Unread postby EllenJ » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:03 pm

Landrum - If I'm not mistaken, the Peru/Chile disagreement has its roots in the fact that what are now two countries were once part of the same Spanish viceroyalty. Pisco (and the grapes grown for making it) continue to be produced in both countries, although there are differences in the process. Think of Kentucky and Tennessee. Or Cognac and anywhere else.

Gary - Aged brandy (speaking of Cognac) was indeed very popular in the American colonies, but it didn't lose that position suddenly, as rum did. The rise of aged whiskey would probably not have occurred (at least as radically as it did) had it been a replacement for brandy. In fact, rum itself was considered a potential replacement (and therefore a threat) to brandy in Europe, and was mainly a product consumed by western hemisphere colonists in its early days. I'm sure it would have quickly replaced New England rum after the slave-trade collapse, if it weren't for that pesky little set of political situations in and after the 1770's that made trade with British, French, Spanish, and Dutch West Indies colonies somewhat troublesome.

I'm not sure about the regional differences in Pisco, because the only ones I've tried are all Peruvian, but maybe the most fascinating thing to me about rum is that no two islands or countries seem to produce rum that tastes exactly alike. Most are very different from one another. Far more so than different brands of bourbon. And every country has its own unique "house style", no matter how many distilleries on the island. That's probably due to the fact that rums from different distilleries (in the same country) are often blended together, but even a single-distiller rum like Barrelito, from Puerto Rico, has a definite "Puerto Rican rum" quality (just more of it). And then again, Gosling's in Bermuda is just a blender - it distills nothing - but there is no other rum in the Caribbean that tastes like Black Seal.

In many ways, discovering and tasting different expressions of rum is even more fun than bourbon. OMG! I didn't say that, did I?
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Re: Rum

Unread postby Landrum » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:57 pm

Chile occupied part of southern Peru in the late 1800s but the boundaries of the two countries pre-dates (I could be wrong here......I'm certainly no expert on the subject) the first records of Pisco. Not that you were saying this but I don't think that Spain had anything to do with the production of pisco other than the introduciton of the grape.

Records of pisco, the drink, in Peru pre-date records of Chilean pisco by almost 200 years. I remember reading several articles about the origins of the word "pisco". The thrust of the articles was that the word is from the Quechua which somehow showed that it was most likely one of the indiginous groups from Peru. I'll have to look that one up again. I believe the language of Quechua is spoken across several South American countries. And, of course, the town of Pisco itself is in Peru. Anyway, the points all seen to align in the direction of, as the Peruanos would say, "Pisco es Peruano!"

I've dug around a little over the years (again, I'm no expert) but it really does seem that Peru can rightly claim pisco as their own and that Chile is an interloper in the production of pisco by several centuries. Rulings can be overturned but as far as I know, Chile must print "Chilean Pisco" on their bottles to differentiate their pisco from the original.

Either way, it's interesting.
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Re: Rum

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:02 pm

Very interesting indeed.

I make a Pisco Sour in what I believe is the Chile way, except using Peruvian pisco: I omit the egg white. I do add sugar but just a bit. It is a superb drink.

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Re: Rum

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:15 pm

The Pisco I have (only one) is called Campo de Encanto, 42.5% ABV from the Ica valley apparently. It's good. My sour is: two ounces Pisco, half a lime squeezed well (stab fork in the flesh repeatedly and squeeze tightly- old tip from Julia Child), throw in shell, tablespoon white sugar syrup or less, swirl very well on two rocks in a deep tumbler.

How authentic it is I don't know but it tastes great.

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Re: Rum

Unread postby EllenJ » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:47 pm

Landrum wrote:... I don't think that Spain had anything to do with the production of pisco other than the introduciton of the grape.

I dunno, that seems like a pretty significant part, considering that grapes were totally unknown in South America until then.

I also think Quechua was the native language of an large area which has been thought of as separate countries since the Spanish, French, British, and Portuguese divvy-ed up the continent into separate colonies. I agree with you that the name "Pisco" probably is derived from the shipping port located in what is now Peru, but the actual grape-based liquor probably existed all over the place; at least the Spanish part of the place. Again, getting back to the relationship to bourbon, the term "Bourbon" is often believed (erroneously, in my opinion) to have derived from the county in Kentucky from which it was shipped downriver to New Orleans. Others believe that the name came from the DESTINATION, not the source, and was named for the French Quarter district where it was served -- possibly as ersatz Cognac -- when real French brandy became unavailable after 1803. Without a doubt, the spirit most of the world thinks of as Pisco is that produced in what is now Peru. Of course, most of what the world thinks of as Tequila comes from Jalisco, Mexico -- on account of that's the only source that can legally use the name. But many expressions of Mezcal, which is the same spirt made anywhere else in Mexico, are every bit as delicious as the one with the legally-protected name. I suspect that "Chilean Pisco", like "Tennessee Whiskey" or "Armanac" may be equally as interesting, only just slightly different. Having said that, I have to agree with you that the definitive "Pisco" would be the Peruvian version.

And all this because I'm SUCH AN EXPERT on South American spirits... NOT!!! :D
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Re: Rum

Unread postby EllenJ » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:52 pm

Gary,
You need fresh egg white to do justice to a Pisco Sour. And it HAS to be "shaken, not stirred"
Add all the ingredient you mentioned, plus the white of one egg, to a shaker WITHOUT ICE.
Then shake it for a little bit until everything is mixed together.
THEN add ice, re-cover the shaker, and shake the living sh!t out of it until the shaker is frosty.
Strain into a glass (dunno and don' care what kind), and let the resulting egg froth rise to the surface.
Sprinkle with Angostura bitters and swirl like they do for latte coffee.
Bingo! A Pisco Sour you will love!

P.S. for those who are hesitant to use raw egg white: Salmonella is a bacteria, and as such cannot survive an alcohol environment.
Raw eggs may not be good for you to EAT, but are totally safe in an alcohol cocktail.
The alcohol itself is more dangerous, for whatever that's worth. :roll:
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Re: Rum

Unread postby Landrum » Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:40 pm

You have to understand, my wife is from Lima and, well, it's a matter of pride for them. Naturally I take their side! :mrgreen:
I think that I will delve into this Pisco war a little deeper. Not to prove a point but to enrich my knowledge on the subject. I do hope that information continues to support my beliefs. If not, let the chips fall where they may.
You know, the history of world spirits is fascinating and a large part of why I enjoy them so much. Without all these historical tidbits and fights across boarders it wouldn't be near as much fun.
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Re: Rum

Unread postby EllenJ » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:10 pm

Landrum wrote:... I think that I will delve into this Pisco war a little deeper. Not to prove a point but to enrich my knowledge on the subject... You know, the history of world spirits is fascinating and a large part of why I enjoy them so much. Without all these historical tidbits and fights across boarders it wouldn't be near as much fun.

Yup! I feel the same way, too.

And I'll bet you'll find that the deeper you delve the more conflicting the stories become. And then you find out it originated in Zimbabwe, and it was distilled from a mash of yams and rare African cranberries, along with goat's milk, and it was called something like mzrubiamdu, but other than that it was the same exact spirit. Oh, and a recipe using it was published by Vic Morris and Elliot Stubb in the 1800s and early 1900s, each of whom claim the other stole it. Oh wait! That was Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber, and it was the Mai Tai. No, it WAS Pisco, or at least the Pisco Sour.

The WHOLE D@MN FIELD of distilled spirits is full of these sorts of things ("Less Filling!" "More Flavor!" -- "Tennessee Whiskey CAN'T be Bourbon!" -- "Cognac is just brandy from the Cognac region!" "No, it's not!" -- Yuh-HUH! Nuh-UH!)

And you're absolutely right... THAT's really the fun of it all.
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