EL DORADO 3 YEAR CASK AGED WHITE DEMERARA RUM

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When i first heard about this rum I got really excited, it took long though before i finally got the chance to try it myself and in the meantime i heard only good about it so expectations were high.

The 3 year old cask aged came to be when the DDL were asked if they could produce an aged white rum as opposed to their unaged white.

I  can safely say that this ED rum places itself among the better white rums. The nose has hints of sugarcane and vanilla, its very inviting.  It`s a rum of sweet complexity, raining notes of vanilla, chocolate, toasted coconut, cane sugar and buttery caramel. This rum is a bit sweet but not bad, flavourful, and aromatic.

It sips easy and it mixes well in cocktails that does not have too much other ingredients to kill the delicate flavor. Maybe it could have a bit more bite so it would stand up better against mixers in rum cocktails so the rum is dominating ingredient. This one is just a tad too delicate and therefore needs to be mixed in such cocktails as a classic daiquiri for example. In a tiki drink i`m afraid it would almost disappear.

But its a good rum and it has been aged for a minimum of 3 years in oak casks and then double-filtered through charcoal and distilled by Demerara Distillers Ltd – Guyana.

The Chicago Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) have in their latest release of the 2009 International Review of Spirits awarded this El Dorado product a Gold Medal (and Best Buy) with a rating of 93 points bringing it to the top in the White rums category with the 4 Year Old Flor de Cana and Rhum Clement Premiere Canne Rum.

In the last century, the remaining Guyanese distilleries were consolidated by Demerara Distillers Limited on the site of the Diamond Plantation, and today operates as the sole rum producer in Guyana. With a production capacity of more than 26M liters of pure alcohol annually, DDL sell bulk rum to a number of international blenders and bottlers and bottles rum under their own El Dorado and other labels.

Today, DDL operates a number of stills used to make their typical light and heavy type rums. DDL also operates the last remaining wooden stills in the Caribbean.

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This is their EHP wooden coffey still in all its  awesome glory.

The old wooden coffey still is the last operating still of its kind in the world today and is made of rectangular frames stacked on top of each other with metal perforated trays in between. The rectifier has cooling coils passing through some of the sections.These wooden stills are made of local hard wood. I really want to go and visit the DDL to see these old stills and also their heritage center.

As for how they maintain these old stills they do it by changing the wood in a very clever way. They do of course not change all the wood at the same time – that would ruin the unique flavour as the wood soaks up some of what is being distilled in it as well as giving flavours & complexity to what is being distilled.

So instead they change it in small sections so there´s always some old and some new wood mixed in the still. On average each section is changed every 15-20 years and once they finish all the sections they just start again at the other end. There are in operation 4 column Savalle stills, 2 wooden pots, 1 wooden coffey and 2 metal columns. ( as far as i know)

Here (below) you can see the double wooden pot still. El Dorado 12 contains predominantly copper coffey still rum from Diamond blended with this double wooden pot still at Port Mourant and also marques from the Enmore wooden Coffey which you see above in the big picture.

The 15 year old (my fav rum) contains equally double wooden pot from Port Mourant and metal coffey from Diamond, blended with single wooden pot still (Versailles) and marques from the Enmore wooden coffey still.

Its a lot of stills..!

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The double wooden pot still.

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El Dorado VSG pot still.

I´m a bit of a geek when it comes to these unique stills. I really need to go and visit the DDL distillery some day, i hope it can be possible.

And there´s another El Dorado on the horizon…an 8 year old, stay tuned.

For full disclosure picture courtesy and sample was provided by DDL – Read more on El Dorado rums here.

TDN Tiki sure was a blast

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There´s a demand for more posts from the TDNs that includes some of the comments and i do agree, its fun reading – especially if you`ve been there for a while and gotten to know the wonderful people who populate the mixoloseum chat room, but a few comments cannot really give a true picture of how it is to take part of this online cocktail party, so if you haven´t been there yet – please stop by, we don´t bite and you don´t must mix a drink or even talk, but i`m quite sure you would want to once you`re in!

And besides all the fun and all the crazy jokes, there´s some serious discussions going on about how to mix good drinks and everything from making ingredients to the quality of spirits – the wealth of knowledge that springs forth outta this chatroom is immense.

The TDNs are every thursday from 7 pm EST in the Mixoloseum chatroom – http://bar.mixoloseum.com/

I think this by far must have been the funniest of the TDN´s i`ve taking part in but there has been many…50 TDN´s since the first to be exact (not counting the one this last thursday which was sponsored by Kahlùa coffee cream) and i have missed only a few so i`m not sure. But one thing i know and that is that we broke the record this time. I`m not sure how many we were at the most but before i had to leave we were 43 happy imbibers in there.

And that of course makes up for many drinks and the theme this time when we celebrated our one year anniversary was a theme well worthy our one year celebration –  Tiki. Both Jeff ”Beachbum” Berry and Martin Cate stopped by and the prizes were also many and fine – and now and then enlightening and informative or just plain funny announcements ”by Stan” popped up to help keep things in order.

“Stan Jones Announcement to all:

Junkhauler!  I approve of your use of an ingredient no one has ever heard of, yet you claim you can “find it at your local grocery store Perhaps you’ve died and are actually visiting SJ Mart, where we do indeed have the juice of every nut. For your Holmes-like efforts, you have won your book of choice from the Mud Puddle collection!”

Prizes included the new series of Mud Puddle Books’ cocktail guides, a gold barspoon provided by Cocktail Kingdom, booze provided by the CSOWG, tiki mugs and ingredients from Cass (junkhauler) and the CSOWG.

Yes this was the happy imbibers night..

Dr. Bamboo : I need a t-shirt with “it’s getting all drunk in here” on it.

Camper : Dont forget to put people’s names nerd- we’ll never remember.

JenTiki : It’s past my dinner time gang. Might drop in later. Bye for now.

Camper : It must be weird to eat dinner somewhere other than in front of the computer.

Deviator : In honor of TDN – Tiki Drink Night – I will be selecting recipes at random from Sippin’ Safari

Martincate : Stand by for action!  Any thing can happen in the next half hour!

Kaiserpenguin: I am not passing out until 3am EST

And people were anxious to get their drinks up, the queue was long…i`ll forever admire Rick `s patience with and ability to keep the infamous queue in order through the night.

Marshall to Kaiserpenguin (22:08:48):
I have 296.7 drinks to add to the queue. Please place them in alphabetical order by number.  😛

Bonzo Gal: Put me in the queueueue, please

Tiare : Dont forget i`m in the queue..

Rumdood: I wish to be in the queue

JohnTheBastard: Stick me in the queue, please

Ryan : Please queue me, Rick.  Mine has fernet.

Dbeach :What’s the state of the queue?

Kaiserpenguin: Yeah, you want in?  It’s long.

RumScout : /me has modified the Scorpion with Elad…. we’re calling it the Stingray. AM I IN THE QUEUE YET?

Tony_harion : We might need a second chat room just for this queue

Dr. Bamboo: I will have that engraved on my tombstone:  “There is always a queue.”

Drink-well :What’s the queue?

ColTIki: who is up?

Dr. Bamboo: Someone wave an open bottle of Fernet under Rick’s nose.

Dr. Bamboo: What is the queue?

Frederic: The queue is chaos

Ryan: The queue is thunderdome

Tony_harion: I´m beginning to think there´s no such a thing as a queue.

DPlanner: Queue is on hold for a bit, per the queuemaster

And so it went on..

One of the other announcements encouraged us to find our Stan T-shirts – ”First person to post a picture of themselves in their Stan Jones t-shirt on Facebook and in here gets a muthaboudreauing prize”

(unf mine was in the laundry)

Who won the prize? John or Blair? that remains a mystery.

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Later in the night there was a communal fernet shot – i bet it was the first global communal online fernet branca shot ever made:

Stan Jones Announcement to all:
Everyone go get a shot of Fernet now. Do not hesitate!  We will do it like the A-Team.

Drink-well: do a countdown…

cocktailnerd :10
kaiserpenguin:5
kaiserpenguin:3
BonzoGal:4
kaiserpenguin:7
cocktailnerd:1
cocktailnerd :!
tony_harion:15
kaiserpenguin:0

shot!

”mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!”
”That was awesome”
”hic”

BAM!

I managed to create two tiki drinks for this TDN and they were, even if not my best totally drinkable.

PO´AHA PUNCH (meaning Thursday Punch)

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1oz Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum
1oz El Dorado 15yo
1 oz Clemènt VSOP
0.5 oz fresh lime
¼ oz simple syrup
0.5 oz coffee liqueur
1t cream of coconut,
Fresh pineapple juice to top.

Run in blender until smooth with crushed ice. Pour in tall glass, top with fresh pineapple juice and more crushed ice to fill,dust nutmeg on top and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

TIKI CELEBRATION

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1oz LH 151 rum
1oz Scarlet Ibis rum
0.5 oz fresh lime
¼ oz simple syrup
1t absinthe
Top with Rootbeer.

Shake and strain into glass filled with ice. Garnish lime.You can actually sub the rootbeer with some Root and canesugar coke.

TDN CELEBRATES 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! And its TIKI!

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TDN TIKI-TIME! THE WORLDS BIGGEST ONLINE COCKTAIL PARTY – ONE YEAR CELEBRATION!

I can´t believe how fast time has flied, its time for our 1 year anniversary of the Mixoloseum’s weekly online cocktail party – Thursday Drink Night aka TDN!

It started so small and it has grown more than i could imagine during this year that has gone. There has been many nice cocktails made – no less than 500 original cocktails – and that during 50 TDNs and every time its fun to be there chatting and mixing the night away. I have lost count on how many beautiful sunrises i´ve seen during aTDN night.

To quote Rick over at Kaiserpenguin who is the founder of this tremendously fun event:

“When Thursday Drink Night began as a small gathering of booze nerds who just wanted another excuse to hang out and mix cocktails, I had no idea we’d be looking back a year later at 500 original cocktails and a mountain of prestige.

Brands are now building TDN into their marketing budgets, and it has become the “cool thing to do” as word continues to spread.  And not little brands, but huge marketing behemoths like Diageo. Live events are no longer a special treat, but built into nearly all upcoming sponsored nights.”

“The Mixoloseum has hosted 50 Thursday Drink Nights since the first mixological day. In that time, cocktail enthusiasts, writers, and bartenders have created over 500 original cocktails using everything from Fernet Branca to buttermilk.

Guests who once came in fear of all the homemade syrups and bitters being slung about like fool’s gold in the chat room now make their own cinnamon syrup, have two local sources for Ting (in case one runs out), and don’t bat an eye when someone calls yellow Chartreuse instead of green.”

So arm yourself with your rums, other spirits, fruit juices, syrups, bitters and tinctures, crazy garnishes plus your tikimugs and glasses and join the fun together with our beloved Guest Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, and the whole array of cocktail enthusiasts, bartenders and cocktail bloggers and if you submit a drink you have the chance of winning premium prizes.

Here are the details:

The Prizes

Best Original Tiki Drink – 50cm gold Japanese bar spoon
Best Gin Cocktail – Bottle of Port of Barcelona gin signed by the distiller.
Best Absinthe Cocktail – Bottle of Obsello absinthe signed by the distiller.
Best Spiced Rum Cocktail – Bottle of Old New Orleans Cajun spiced rum
Last One Standing – If you close the doors on our party, you will get yourself a pick of one of Mud Puddle’s six new cocktail book releases.
First two newcomers who submit a drink – More books! Pick from Mud Puddle’s line-up.

We’ll also be giving out Annual Awards throughout the night (e.g. Person who consistently submits the worst drinks).

To join TDN Tiki – sign in to the Mixoloseum Chat Room this thursday sept 3rd at 7pm Eastern and join the TDN which will go on until last man standing to blow out the tiki torch or we all get moemoe.

Okole maluna!

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RON LOS VALIENTES – A Mexican Rum

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This is a Mexican rum, yes it is – and in fact its the first Mexican rum i try.

This rum is produced by the Villanueva family who since three generations back has hand produced fine spirits in the town of Cordoba in the province of Veracruz in eastern Mexico. This province has for 500 years now been famous for their sugarcane.

Rum was in the 16th century actually one of the most popular beverages consumed in Mexico, but the Spanish during their dominion made sure rum was prohibited. But luckily for us today there was a few still that secretly continued producing rum –  and the name ‘Los Valientes’ (it means the Valiant Ones) is in honour of the brave fighters of the Mexican Revolution. I had no idea about this, so interesting to learn!

This rum is a rare cat…they use not only the molasses in this small batched rum but also the sugarcane juice – which is  fermented with natural yeasts and then double distilled in pot-stills followed by charcoal filtering. I`ve not heard of a rum using both molasses and sugarcane juice before.

The molasess is distilled in column stills and its the heart of this distillation together with the sugarcane juice – in a ratio of 70:30 juice to molasses – that goes into this rum.The rum is aged in used American white oak barrels producing a light and refined flavour to the finsihed product.

This is a very interesting rum indeed! The 10 and 15 year rums are made at 40% abv while the 20 is 43% abv.

When you know the history of a rum and where it comes from it`s even more interesting to sample it, to try to pick up all the flavours in the nose and mouth and get a picture of the whole. It cannot compare of course with visiting the distillery but knowing a rums history and how its made takes your experience to a higher level, making it more complete.Rum tasting is an ever-learning experience and an art in itself which can only be perfected by training. Gaining experience and training your palate is a long process that takes time and i`m only at the beginning of what i consider a long pleasant journey.

So here we go with these three very intriguing rums – and indeed these are good rums:

Ron Los Valientes 10 year Old

In the nose i find a hint of plums, then oak and sugarcane.The flavour has a slight balanced fire and its molasses, dried tropical fruits, a slight hint of the sugarcane juice but not grassy and herbal – actually i expected more of that but its very light and balanced. And its definetily flavours from the oak there and is there a slight hint of dark chocolate? yes it is.

Its not a heavy rum, its rather light in character and it goes down very easily. 

Ron Los Valientes 15 year Old

The first thought that crossed my mind when sampling the nose of this 15 year rum was “old pirate times”, i could almost mentally see the ships… Note i said the “feeling” because that´s what the aroma gives you as well – a feel. The aroma itself is to me molasses, sugarcane and old oak followed by burnt caramel. Its heavier on the nose than the 10 year old and the taste is more spicy and has more woody depth while the 10 year has more caramel.

Ron Los Valientes 20 year Old

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The oldest of the three brave rums. The nose is so pleasant…with caramel notes. Nice notes of oak paired with dried fruits and molasses. It has the most depth of the three and some fire too as it should. The 20 year old rums are numbered and hand signed. I like the 20 year the most, i find it to be the most complete of them.Then very closely comes the 10 year old, it has a great flavor, is smooth and then there´s something more in its flavour..

Its followed by the 15 year old with its spicier and oaky flavour – a “happy” rum.They are available in the UK but i don´t know about the US.

Do we need a cocktail here as well? – yeah i think we do..a little rum old fashioned.

TRINITY RUM OLD FASHIONED

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1 oz Ron Los Valientes 10 year Old
0.5 oz Ron Los Valientes 15 year Old
0.5 oz Ron Los Valientes 20 year Old
1 tsp raw cane sugar syrup
2 dashes Adam`s Boker´s bitters or Angostura

Add syrup and bitters to a small Old Fashioned glass. Add ice and stir. Add the rums and stir again. Drop a piece of lime and a good quality cocktail cherry in the glass.

You could use an orange peel here and spray some oil over the surface of the drink, but i preferred to simply drop a lime today.

Enjoy!

For full disclosure picture courtesy and samples of Ron Los Valientes was provided by Wine and Spirit International Ltd – http://www.ronlosvalientes.com/

Picture courtesy also of IPBartenders London.

Sugarcane bar

EVER HEARD ABOUT STAN JONES?

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In 1977 a book was written by a man named Stan Jones.

He was a bar manager in California (he lived in the San Fernando Valley) with a great experience from both the restaurant and beverage industry. What sets him apart is that he wrote the first book for professional bartenders in some 30 years and that he did during a time that is likened to the dark ages of cocktail mixology as the art of mixing drinks was almost lost and replaced with a phletora of crappy drinks made from canned juices, cloingly-sweet liqueurs, instant powder-mixers and cheap vodka.

It was a time when real crafted cocktails was more or less forgotten and most people didn´t like the flavour of the spirits because their palates wasn´t used to it and preferred drinks where the taste of alcohol was either non-existant or thoroughly masked by a curtain of bad mixers.

And from there we have gone quite a long way until where we are now.

The book is called Jones’ Complete Bar Guide and contains no less than 4000 cocktail recipes plus in-depth history of cocktails including detailed notes on all the major and also many minor spirits categories. According to what i`ve heard Jones’ source for classic recipes was some edition of Patrick Gavin Duffy’s Mixer’s Manual and the 4th update of Mr Boston among others but i can`t confirm that.

Of course with that amount of recipes – all can´t be good and isn`t but you`ll definetily have a hefty treasure chest to dig into. You`ll also find many variations of the same drinks which can be quite interesting.

Anyway, the point is – he is much responsible for where we are today when we see a new renaissance of the classic cocktails. Important to note is that the CocktailDB uses recipes from his book and at the beginning of the cocktail renaissance that website was (and is) important and that has had an impact as well.

Today Jones’ book is a collector’s item and i think we owe this man a great deal of respect and honor. At the CSOWG Stan has been adopted our patron saint for the Mixoloseum and his stern look is always there to make  sure we don´t screw up our cocktails.

The awesome drawing of Stan for Mixoloseum was made by Dr Bamboo.

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Dr Bamboo wrote: “Waving a giant banner bearing Stan Jones likeness, they invaded a fairly sedate stretch of Rampart street and set up a base of operations from which both cocktails and cocktail knowledge would issue forth.”

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Pictures of Stan in the year 1976 and the book courtesy of Greg Boehm at Mud Puddle Books.

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A SUMMER TIKI DRINK WITH ROOT – NEW BLOG POST ON MIXOLOSEUM

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After all the heat in New Orleans and the summer isn´t over yet even though much cooler here than say +37 –  its always welcome with a tikidrink. This post´s theme is a Summer Tiki Drink containing a new product – Root.

Root is spicy and deep and has its origins in root tea which was before the root beer. Its a new pre-prohibition liqueur with deep american roots dubbed “the first true American liqueur since the pre-Prohibition era.” Its made by Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction in partnership with the folks behind Hendrick’s Gin.

Welcome to read my post on a summer tiki drink with Root and sample my recipe over at the Mixoloseum blog.

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