I`m on a demerara rum journey.
One of my aims in this life is to try as many demerara rums i can find, but so far i haven`t been able to try that many. Not all from the El Dorado range are yet tasted for instance. But the Lemon Hart 151 I`ve had of course, and Banks XM 10 and 12 year old Millenium. The XM rums are now going to be sold in the US.
El Dorado rums has its own blog post here.
But there are also many other interesting demerara rums, most often private labels, some are shipped to Scotland for continental aging. These demeraras are in the higher price range and depending on where you live, they can be hard to find. It was my friend Paul from London who first told me about these wonderful rums.
At that time the Silver Seal brand ( an Italian company better known for their frequently stunning and highly collectable whisky bottlings) was only as far as i could see, available from Pedrelli in Italy who does not ship internationally.
Silver Seal – 92 bottle.
So it was not until Roberto added Silver Seal to his R2Mshop that i could lay my hands on a Silver Seal bottle which really are beautifully shaped bottles with stunning labels.
I bought the 15 year old Silver Seal -92 demerara (110 proof) and the first thing i did after tasting it neat was to make a Mai Tai. And then i too was blown away.. and made Mai Tais during 2 weeks. Really, this rum is a sipping rum, but who can resist making perfect Mai Tais?
It must be something special with this rum, the Mai Tais really becomes very very tasty.
Now i`m a lucky owner of a new bottle of that wonderful rum plus 2 others that i hadn`t tried before. Uitvlugt 1990 full proof (132 proof) from Velier and Port Royal (92 proof, selected and bottled for Sarzi Amadé , Milano, Italy). These are all heavy and strong demeraras.
I didn´t think about how strong the Uitvlugt was until i took a good sip and was punched back right in the face. These 3 rums are very flavorful, strong and tasty.
To start with from the first 3 rums i got – Port Royal which comes in a very attractive bottle, its a bit sweeter and a bit lighter than the other two, but it does have a heavy demerara flavor and is quite woody, and it also has a strong kick. The taste stays long with you as well. Its not in the same class as the 15yo Silver Seal rum and the Uitvlugt from Velier – far from it – but its perfectly both sippable and mixable. This rum is aged for 14 years.
This selection comes from a 1991 alembic distillation (distilled using a copper still) and is aged in small barrels until the bottling in sept 2004. Only 370 bottles were made. The nose and the flavor is that of a deep demerara and its a heavy rum but not as fully and complete tasting as Silver Seal-92.
The next to taste, the Silver Seal 15 year also has this deep demarara flavor, deeper and rounder and fuller than Port Royal and it packs a punch as well. Its the only demerara rum from the Silver Seal range i`ve yet tasted. Unfortunately the 28 year old (120 proof and said to have extremely aromatic, round flavor, is most likely no longer available.
The four sides of the Silver Seal box showing the wildlife series.
But there`s a few others (Enmore 1975 – 32 yo, 136 proof – 60 bottles made, (I`ve heard its a bit overaged and tastes too strong of wood. What turns me off is the exceptionally high price of this one) Enmore 1996, Enmore 1988, (20 year old, 92 proof) Some of these i hope to try as well.
This – 92 Silver Seal is excellent to sip and wonderful to mix, what more can i say?
And so the third, Uitvlugt full proof, old demerara rum (132 proof) from Velier, owned by Luca Gargano, a legend in the rum world. 4 barrels distilled in double pot still in december 1990. Marks on the barrels, MPM. Bottled in march 2008, – 881 bottles were produced. Its this one that kicked me unawares. It has a deep woody demerara flavor and packs a real punch.
Good to sip, float and mix with even though it is not a mixing rum…..not really… One must mind what one mixes with if one mixes… Don`t let this wonderful rum get lost by a whole phlethora of mixers, but simple drinks is ok I think, as long as they are rum forward. The nose is amazing, strong, with a slight medical hint to it due to the strong proof.
Uitvlugt is the name of the famous distillery of Dutch origin situated west of the river, on the Atlantic coast in Guyana. Using the famous Port Morant still, (the barrels are marked MPM ) the last vat still in the demerara area distilling full-bodied and intense rums.
I´m not a rum reviewer and don`t know so good how to put flavors in words, so this is as good as I can describe these rums. Rums with great body and intensity. Totally demerara rum heaven.
When leaning the glass on the side and then back up again, the rum forms legs on the side of the glass. Light-bodied rums will have thin “legs” that move quickly, while medium and full-bodied rums will have thick “legs” moving slowly. One of the ways you can evaluate the body of a rum.
In part three (to be posted in about 4 days) i`m going to write about Banks XM, OVD – Old Vatted Demerara and Samaroli Port Morant 1990.
Any rum that is refered to as Demerara rum must be distilled in Guyana in the county of Demerara.
DEMERARA BOMB WHITE ZOMBIE
This recipe is based on Robert Burr`s (Gifted rums guide) White zombie. The original recipe is:
Rob’s White Zombie
4 oz Cruzan Rum Cream
1.5 oz Cruzan Black Strap
1.5 oz Voodoo Spiced Rum
1.5 oz Redrum
1.5 oz Bruddah Kimio’s Da Bomb 155 Overproof (em-bombing fluid)
Fill a big shaker with ice, add rums, and shake ’til yer hand damn-near freezes. Pour into a tall glass, add a straw and a garnish of small pineapple wedge. Find a good place to relax.
10 ounces of rum that tastes like a milkshake, named for the famous movie starring Bela Lugosi — White Zombie — the first zombie movie ever made.
The White Zombie rum cocktail was developed and tested by Rob V. Burr, the Cane Spirit Guide.
I would really like to try the white zombie but don`t have access to those rums so i made my own version with my dem rums which is this:
DEMERARA BOMB WHITE ZOMBIE
3 oz El Dorado Rum Cream
1 oz Amarula Cream
2 oz Port Royal demerara (92 proof)
2 oz Banks XM demerara
And a dollop of Fernet Branca ( about 1/2 barspoon)
Shake and strain..pour into a yummy glass and throw in a fragrant mexican cinnamon stick.
You may sub the demeraras in the recipe with El Dorado 12, 15 and/or Lemon Hart 151.
From this version of the White Zombie i made a drink for the TDN which was themed float, (every cocktail had to have a float) which i called “Demerara Bomb #2″ and it happened to win that TDN. So to not forget from where the inspiration to that cocktail came from, it was all originated in the White Zombie by Rob V. Burr – named for the first zombie movie ever made — White Zombie
1 oz demerara rum
1 oz aged rhum agricole
Chunks of fresh pineapple
Cane cola to top
1 oz Honey-cream-mix
Float overproof demerara rum
Muddle 5-6 chunks of fresh pineapple with 0.5 lime juice and 0.5 vanilla syrup
Add 1 oz aged agricole, 1 oz demerara rum (I used St James 12 and Port Royal)
Add 1 oz honey-cream-mix (1:1:1 honey-butter-sugar-above roomtemp)
Fill glass with crushed ice
Shake hard and fast with ice and strain.
Top with a little sugarcane cola and float overproof dark demerara rum
Fill up with more crushed ice if needed.
Garnish baby pineapple.
THE HONEY CREAM MIX:
The honey-cream-mix, with its problem of butter solids separation, there are different ways to try to solve it, i do like this:
Warm the honey, sugar, butter to very warm, then let it cool a little but stay above room temp and dry shake first (without ice) and then add ice and shake real hard and fast and hope for the best. And serve in a Tiki mug and not a glass.