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Rum Ruminations

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@RianC
RianC started a discussion

For those into rum I thought this chart from the Fatrumpirate might be of interest. It shows hydrometer tests from a wide range of rums that go a good way to showing which brands and bottles are using additives, and how much! During my digging around (for buried treasure) I also found out that some additives are added to the cask before maturation, rather than at the blending stage - apparently at least one of the sources for the Pusser's blend does this so they can, legitimately, state they do not add anything to their rums. One way this is done is by coating the inside of the cask with molasses prior to filling. This doesnt feel as 'dishonest' as simply tipping sugar into a batch pre-bottling but, as ever, more transparency would be nice.

thefatrumpirate.com/hydrometer-tests-2

At a glance it would seem Foursquare and Appleton (in fact most, if not all Jamaican rums) are two big names that dont add anything; which is reassuring and hopefully a sign that the industry is moving way from such practices ...

3 months ago

8 replies

@Victor
Victor replied

@RianC rum was my first alcoholic beverage love, but it disappoints me 80% of the time as a sipper. I'd love to see purity of the product without additives, but failing that, transparency of information as to what was put into the bottle. I see little, if any, incentive for the rum industry to provide either purity of the product, or transparency of information, going forward. The mass market rules the commercial world, not the 1% of connoisseur neat sippers. I think the best we can expect is for some special products to be made for the connoisseurs, at a premium price, I would expect.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

I’m delving more and more into the rum world, and it seems that duplicitous practices are just as prevalent there as they are in the whisky world. I wouldn’t necessarily say I am against “dosing”, I would just like transparency. I feel the same way about whisky. Bearface One Eleven is quite open about the “mezcal-type additive from Oaxaca” in their whisky.

I believe that Jamaica and Barbados prohibit the use of sugar additives in their rums, but I’m not 100% sure. So that would make Appleton, Foursquare, J Wray & Nephew, and Mount Gay (among others) safe bets for purity.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@RianC

Very useful chart, if accurate.

Very surprised that Flor de Cana, which is the furthest from artisanal that you can get, appears to be relatively additive free. Surprised, but pleasantly so, as that is the first rum I really ever explored... in Nicaragua. Of course, there, it was 35%.

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@Nozinan I believe the “no additives” for Flor de Caña has been confirmed by multiple sources. The sneaky and less than honest practice on their part is the big number on the bottle, which isn’t actually an age statement. Sources are incredibly vague and often disagree with one another about what the numbers actually mean. I had the FdC 12 at a wedding and I didn’t care for it as a neat sipper. Decent for a Cuba (or Nicaragua) Libre though.

3 months ago 0

@RianC
RianC replied

@Victor - Good points and you're most probably bang on about the industry keeping the status quo. PErsonally, I have no problem with spiced rums using additives, which I guess is the point, right? But do think that, like whisky, aiming for more transparency on the bottles designed for sipping would be welcome.

Re the chart - I was surprised at how much additives El Dorado seemingly use. I've had the 12 and liked it, but it was definitely very sweet, from memory. Hey, if you like that style, fine, but it would be nice for them to at least have to state somewhere on the bottle that 'additives' have been used. I'm not even sure that such an admission would put that many off buying a bottle, especially if they enjoy it!?

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@RianC I've known several people who were big fans of El Dorado 12 yo Rum. It is not for me. Thin texture, and fakey sweetness. I am VERY relieved that I never bought a bottle on the recommendation of others. Looking at that list of testing for additives, all of the rums I like but one, Lemon Hart 151, are in the "0-5" additives category. Lemon Hart 151 is like fission in your mouth. The effect is so intense, it is kind of hard to try to ferret out whether there is anything artificial in there.

AND, everybody seems to be talking about "additives" as though that is one specific thing, sugar/caramel related, apparently. It could be anything! You don't know what you are drinking if undeclared and unspecified additives are allowed at all.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Victor - Aye, very true! Considering most countries have to state exactly what goes into food and (non alcoholic) drinks I think it's a bit 'rum' that spirits in general, but especially rum, aren't held to the same standards. It all goes into our bodies, does it not?

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@Victor I’m surprised that Havana Club Anejo 7 Year is in the 0-5 range. Interesting. I did enjoy it, and now I may become a repeat buyer.

3 months ago 0

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@MadSingleMalt@OdysseusUnbound

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