St Aubin Reserve Rum from Mauritius

St Aubin Reserve rums

 

The name of St Aubin`s Reserve rums has been inspired by their oldest sugar cane field of the Saint Aubin plantation which produces a reddish sugarcane variety with distinctive flavours. The juice from the red cane is distilled in their copper column still and thus produces a lighter more delicate rum than the artisanal range of Saint Aubin 1819.

I find the difference between the Reserve rums and the artisanal rums to be huge. The Reserve rums are much more light and delicate with just a hint of that aromatic herbal grassiness you find typical in rhum agricole, while the artisanal 1819 range of rums are much more strong in flavor.

St Aubin Reserve White Rum

The nose is as expected very light, almost extremely light, there´s a very slight hint of sugarcane juice. The taste is very mild, aromatic and has a sparkling brilliance to it. It`s pleasant and easy to sip! I would describe the flavor as “light sugarcane juice”

St Aubin Reserve Rum Spiced

This is different…in the nose you get whiffs of orange peel and what i think it´s a hint of gingerbread cake. In the mouth the orange peel is there very strong with cinnamon and that hint of gingerbread as was in the nose. It`s a different spiced rum since it´s made with an agricole rum. I cannot detect much of the agricole grassy notes though.

Would be good in holiday drinks! but it can also be sipped with ice. I used a little bit of it in my Spiced Pago Pago and a small amount of this mixed with their white rum added a bit of spice to the drink.

St Aubin Reserve Rum Vanilla

I had to just compare this vanilla rum with the 1819 Artisanal vanilla rum. Starting with the nose, it`s very very light….just a whiff of vanilla and light caramel, fruity rather than spicy. In the mouth it becomes stronger but this one is much more light and delicate than it´s 1819 cousin and the grassy agricole flavors are toned down.

While the other one has an decidedly earthy character with strong notes of both vanilla, wood and grassiness this one is more fruity with caramel notes and just a slight hint of vanilla. It`s balanced and pleasant and can be used in a variety of cocktails or be enjoyed neat. Remember this rum is made with vanilla beans from their own plantation!

SPICED PAGO PAGO

Spiced Pago Pago 2

6-7 chunks of fresh pineapple, muddled

0.5 oz (15 ml) fresh lime juice

0.5 oz (15 ml) green Chartreuse

0.25 oz (7.5 ml) Creme de Cacao

1 oz (30 ml) St  Aubin Reserve White Rum

0.5 oz (15 ml)  St Aubin Reserve Rum Vanilla

0.5 oz (15 ml)  St Aubin Reserve Rum Spiced

Muddle the pineapple chunks in a shaker and add the rest of ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a tiki glass (or other fancy glass) filled with very cold cracked ice.

Garnish with pineapple slice, speared maraschino cherry and pineapple or other tropical leaf.

It´s a light and refreshing drink with herbal aromatics added from the Green Chartreuse.

If you would like this drink may also benefit from a float of overproof rum! (such as Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum which would go great with the St Aubin rums in this particular drink)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Overall i think St Aubin makes pleasant and flavorful rums, also they are very versatile, they greet you with some bright Mauritian sunshine! they make good quality rums. I also like the little square shaped bottles!

Here is their website.

If you live in Europe you can find St Aubin rums at La Gourmandine Rhumière´s online store. and at Christian de Montaguère in Paris.

See other St. Aubin Reserve Spiced rum reviews on RumRatings

See other St. Aubin Reserve White rum reviews on RumRatings

See other St. Aubin Reserve Vanilla rum reviews on RumRatings

Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum – Big Bold Flavors!

LSColonial rum bottle 3

COLONIAL AMERICAN INSPIRED RUM 

The Lost Spirits Distillery have made a new geeky rum and this time it`s  a 62 % ABV monster with espresso coffee and sarsaparilla notes…

I read Cocktailwonk`s post earlier on this rum where I read the flavor description by Bryan –  “chocolate-dipped plums rolled in espresso powder.”  That made my mouth water…. Now having tried it for myself i find that the description is quite on point.

This rum caught me by total surprise too… since I was expecting the Cuban Inspired Anejo Blanco rum to be launched and instead they launch this. It´s a collaboration with Bounty Hunter Wine and Spirits in a very small batch – 225 bottles – and only sold at the Bounty Hunter thus only being available to people in the US and during a short time. It does have a different price tag than the other Lost Spirit rums, (a whopping $100 instead of  $45) due to the tiny production.

I see this rum as an indication of what`s to come because they are continuously developing their rums, experimenting with ways to improve them and reach new levels and what they are doing is just total geekery. I wouldn`t be surprised if they come out with a couple more of these type of small batch rums and I`m curious to see where they will be going.

The dark coffee notes are subtle but noticeable. There`s also hints of wood, sarsaparilla  and vanilla in it. I like the fact that it`s made without any color or flavor additives, no extra sugar in this rum, just baking grade molasses, water and yeast culture.

The nose to me is tropical fruit, citrus peel and spices and in the mouth you get an initial burn, the rum packs a 62% punch after all, then mature tropical fruit notes, sugarcane, wood, sarsaparilla, dark plums and a hint of coffee.

As a strong flavorful rum it`s perfect for Tiki drinks…. just like the others they have made.

Also the label made by Bryan is truly stunning, and like the previous labels – really detailed and artistic, reflecting the flavor profile of the rum.

LSColonial rum drink label collage

LOST SPIRIT RUMS

There`s the Navy style with it`s rough smokiness, the Polynesian Inspired with it´s fruity pineapple notes and then the Grand Lady, the 151 Cuban which also had pineapple notes and rich vanilla. I personally find it to be very easy to sip… and that makes it a dangerous rum. I would suggest use 1 oz of it and 1 oz of another in a daiquiri for example and yeah occasionally go all 151 in and supercharge that lovely daiquiri bec they really gets good…

There was a post recently on the Tiki Central where the Lost Spirits rums were discussed and Bryan chimed in with an explanation about these rums and what he had in mind when creating them, a good read in my opinion and so therefore I forward it here for those who are interested:

To chime in and offer my own answer (which is actually a lot less important than yours). Most rum companies have been around for a long time. They don’t inherently create new products. They continue to make what they have always made and what their customers expect from them. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact when you have 100 employees to feed it’s essential to your survival and your community.

However, as a tiny new company (three people total) we have no such history. This freedom allows us to be super creative. Our engineering capability also lets us (to some extent) make what we can dream up. In fact we actually make the labels before we design the rum that goes in the bottle.

Short Summaries:

Navy Rum:
This was inspired by watching pirates of the Caribbean over and over again while asking ourselves the question: what would that rum in the movie taste like if it were a real thing. We engineered this one to have a significant wood smoke note to evoke the cannon fire and gun smoke with a tar esque quality reminiscent of wooden ships. Sort of an islay whiskey meets rum idea while still staying pretty close to classic navy rum.

Geeky summary: Phenolic & estery navy rum with the biggest semi-volatile (finish) profile in the industry – woot woot

Polynesian Rum:
Here we asked the question, if Tiki was an actual place what would the rum taste like? We tried to make the chemical profile of the rum as close to that of a pineapple as possible. Tricky because we make rum not pineapples so it kept wanting to taste like rum not a pineapple.

Geeky summary: Heavy pot still rum with a big mid palette of carboxylic esters (fruity flavors) and minimal phenolic & semi-volatile influence. Designed to float on Tiki drinks.

Cuban Inspired:
Here my dad was reminiscing about how good rum was when he was young (he is very old). So we wondered what the legendary cuban rum of 100 years ago was like. Since I don’t own any of that – I just let my imagination go. The idea here was to do a high rectification (read Spanish style rum) but in a pot still like they would have a LONG time ago. Then we designed the oak component to punch up the vanilla and accentuate the butterscotch notes of the white rum.

Geeky summary: Lighter base rum with a massive vanilla profile created from careful phenol management in the oak.

Colonial:
This one was a personal challenge. The commissioning party wanted a rum that could command the high price tag. For me this was the hardest project to date, because it meant it had to stand against my favorite rums (which are old).

So for this one I actually used a prototype of a set of new techniques that I have been working on in the shop for a long time. I actually had to file patents before I could sell the bottles or give the buyers samples. It was very kind of them to put that kind of faith in me.

Think of this one as a sneak preview of whats to come.

Geeky summary: Holy &@%t

Also here´s a link to a post by Cocktailwonk if you`re into the more technical details about this rum and I think it´s necessary to understand how this rum is made, so here is a link and one other to earlier posts and one new because this is not a rum made the conventional way, it´s just simply different and even though I`ve had no problems sipping their rums I do prefer to mix with them.

I made my version of two Tiki drinks with it which turned out really good:

Magic of the Lost Spell

LSColonial Magic of the Lost Spell

This is a drink obviously (if you`re into Tiki) inspired by the Black Magic and the Dark Magic drinks…the Dark Magic created by Colonel Tiki in 2010 was in turn inspired by by Jeff Berry’s Kiliki Cooler, which was inspired by the Mai Kai`s Black Magic.

1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
¼ oz dark muscovado syrup
¼ oz Passion Fruit Syrup
½ oz strong coffee like Kona, Blue Mountain or a Louisiana coffee like the Community Coffee dark roast (what i`m using)
2 oz Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
8 drops (1/8th oz) Herbsaint

Blend ingredients with 8oz ice and pour into a crushed ice filled snifter and garnish with tropical orchids and leaves and 3 speared maraschino cherries.

As this rum is hard to get and if you can`t find it, sub with the Lost Spirits Navy style rum. The taste of the drink Ii found to be spicy and strong and “Tiki” as in a dark mysterious Tiki bar.

Let`s escape! lower the lights and set that drink on fire…..

LSColonial Magic of the Lost Spell 2

Lost Pilot

The next drink is my version of the Jet Pilot (Sippin`Safari) which was inspired by Don the beachcomber`s “Test Pilot” which was created during the mid century “golden age” of exotic drinks. There has been a number of drinks evolving from the original Test Pilot, like the Space Pilot, Astronaut, the Ace pilot and the Auto pilot 🙂

With this Lost Spirits rum here it becomes the Lost Pilot!

The big difference from the Jet and Test Pilots is that while they use multiple rums this uses only the Colonial and the reason I only use one rum in this drink is that I wanted to see how this bold flavorful rum would do all by itself in this drink.

Since I haven`t yet experimented with blending it with other rums I cannot say if that would make a tastier drink – and I certainly don`t try to duplicate the Mai Kai version (which btw contains four rums and some other things) and of course using several rums brings more depth but I do think that the rum is doing really well and that this version is tasty.

LSColonial rum Lost Pilot

1/2oz fresh lime juice
1/2oz grapefruit juice (yellow)
1/2oz cinnamon syrup
1/2oz falernum
2 oz Lost Spirits Colonial American Inspired Rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Herbsaint or Pernod
4oz crushed ice

Throw everything into the blender, ice last. Flash-blend for less than 5 seconds. Pour into a glass or tiki mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a tropical orchid and leaf.

This is another strong and spicy tiki drink to help you escape into the eternal bliss of tropical fantasy island….

LSColonial rum Lost Pilot collage

This cool Tiki mug is the result of a collaboration between the good folks at The Floating Rum Shack and Cheeky Tiki.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I wish there was more made of the Colonial American Inspired Rum. I like the full flavor, the in your face punch and the potent strength, coffee notes and all and wish it was more widely available. I count myself very lucky to have a bottle.  If you happen to live in the US and can order from the Bounty Hunters Wine and Spirits you have a chance to get a bottle before they gone, only 225 bottles were made.

Flavorful, strong, and quite a different animal, and so well suited for the type of drinks I love the most… this is all about big, bold flavours.

LSColonial label back

St Aubin Rum from Mauritius

St Aubun 1819 bottle

I`m a lover of agricole rums and St Aubin is new to me even though it`s not new on the market. Hailing from beautiful Mauritius it`s an exotic and exciting rum to review!

St Aubin plantation located on southern Mauritius has been cultivating sugarcane since 1890 and takes it´s name from one of it`s first owner Pierre de St Aubin. On the estate there`s both artisanal and a traditional rums made. And what more is, they also have a tea plantation, Bois Chéri and a vanilla plantation and that`s the vanilla they use in their vanilla flavored rums. The water used in the rum making comes from their own spring water from Bois Chéri. It`s all local produce here which is something i like.

Each rum has it´s specific terroir and on Mauritius there´s abundant sunshine and rich volcanic soil watered by tropical rains creating a micro climate perfect for growing good quality sugarcanes producing this rum made from pure sugar cane juice.

On Mauritius the first pressed sugar cane juice is called “fangourin” and it´s that what makes the artisanal rums at St Aubin. It is further fermented and distilled once in a copper alembic still before being bottled without ageing.

When you open the bottle the nose you get is mild, herbal, grassy, floral, hints of vanilla, crispy and that of green sugarcane. In the mouth it intensifies strongly and the herbal grassiness comes more upfront. It`s not too sweet and rather on the dry side, and it´s a very pleasant and flavorful rum.

I get a mental picture of me sipping on a ti punch….

St Aubin Ti Punch

St Aubin Ti Punch

2 oz St Aubin 50% White Rum

0.5 oz sugar cane syrup

A piece of lime, cut about 1/3 of a lime and squeeze the juice into the glass on top of the sugar, stir a little then add the rum and stir again. Adding ice or not is up to you…some people swear by no ice while others want some ice. I like it cold but you can also chill the glass, that way you don`t get any dilution from ice.

St Aubin 1819 white rum makes a very nice ti punch, flavorful, mild, crispy and refreshing! it´s a pleasure to sip on it. The daiquiri of the french islands! so simple and so tasty!

ST AUBIN FLAVORED RUMS

I also have three flavored rums here, coffee, vanilla and coconut. These flavored rums are made from fresh pressed sugar cane juice and they are flavored with natural ingredients. It`s tricky to make a good flavored rum, but these three here are all very well balanced and it tastes just natural.

COCONUT

Let`s start with the coconut…

It`s a very delightful coconut scent on the nose and the flavor is crispy brilliant with just a very slight hint of herbal grassiness and sugarcane. First you taste the coconut and then comes the sugarcane, it´s sweet but not overly-sweet. It sounds silly but i think it kinda transports you to a tropical beach…

The coconut rum is mild and caresses your palate like a soft tropical breeze…You can drink this on the rocks and also make nice cocktails with it as well as using it in tiki drinks.

VANILLA

Vanilla is my favorite spice and i have tried more than once to spice up rums with vanilla beans leaving the beans uncut in the bottle for various length of times but i have personally found it quite difficult to get it balanced and i don`t know how people manage to leave the beans in the bottle without the rum gets ruined by too much of the vanilla flavor. But this vanilla rum from St Aubin is excellent!

The nose is mild but deep and almost earthy.The herbal flavor is much more pronounced than i could feel in the coconut rum which to me tasted much lighter. This is spicy, with a deep vanilla flavor without being overpowering.

It`s a good vanilla rum and easy on the palate, good to drink as it is or in cocktails.

COFFEE

St Aubin coffee

Freshly ground coffee on the nose! with hints of sugarcane. In the mouth a vibrant coffee flavor, sugarcane and even a slight hint of vanilla. It`s mild and nice and easy to drink as well. This could be used on the rocks with ice, in cocktails and even as cocktail ingredient. Would be great in tiki drinks too especially paired with pineapple juice.

I find that all three of these flavored rums are very good! and i like that they are made from local ingredients.The coffee used is coming from the region Chamarel on Mauritius, the vanilla is from their own vanilla plantation and the coconuts are of course from the island.

COCKTAILS

I decided to make three cocktails all based on the daiquiri – which by the way is the drink that almost all tiki drinks are based on…rum, sugar and lime and then some 🙂

Mauritius Sunshine

St Aubin Mauritius Sunshine

2 oz/60 ml St Aubin Coconut Rum
1 oz/30 ml pineapple juice
0.5 oz/15 ml simple syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a tall glass and garnish with a pineapple leaf.

Coffee – Pineapple Daiquiri

St Aubin coffee pineaple daiquiri

2 oz/60 ml St Aubin Coffee Rum
1 oz/30 ml pineapple juice
0.25 oz/7.5 ml dark muscovado syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a fancy glass. Garnish with an orchid stem. I took a bit less sugar syrup in this one because i found the coffee rum to be a bit sweeter than the coconut.

Fiery Sunset

St Aubin Fiery Sunset

1 oz/30 ml St Aubin Vanilla Rum
1 oz/30 ml St Aubin 50% White Rum
1.5 oz/45 ml pineapple juice
0.25 oz/7.5 ml sugarcane syrup
0.5 oz/15 ml fresh lime juice
Barspoon grenadine (preferably home/house made)

Shake everything except grenadine with ice and strain into a tall glass with ice cubes. Add the grenadine and garnish with vanilla beans.

My final conclusion: These are great rums! all of them, if  i shall pick a favorite or two it has to be the 50% white and the coconut but they are all good rums and made with local and natural ingredients. I`d say St Aubin rums is a pleasant surprise!

Here is St Aubin`s website.

See other St. Aubin White rum reviews on RumRatings

UK Rumfest 2014 – Let there be RUM!!! (part two)

Sugarcane Mount Gay stand

Exciting rums…interesting (and tasty) seminars, good rum friends, carnival music and good food – that`s the UK Rumfest!(and in England good food to me spells either Caribbean food or Fish and Chips (with extra hotsauce) and there was Caribbean food in the venue and upstairs in the pub they had the most delicious and crispy fish and chips! oh how i miss that one now!

Here`s the second post about this years UK Rumfest! (the first part is here) I liked it a lot this year, the venue was very good and more intimate than last year which allowed rum lovers and producers to have better and easier discussions, likewise the rum selection was good – but i do have a wish though…i`d love to see Velier rums and more french style rhum agricoles…

Combined with main stage presentations featuring Chef Hasan De Four on cooking with rum, London auction house Christie’s hosted The RumFest’s first ever auction for charity including £5,200 on the hammer for one of the oldest bottles of rum in the world, dating back to 1780 from the recently discovered Harewood House collection. The auction had over 20 precious and rare rum lots sold to the highest bidder, for prices that stretched into the thousands.

Ian Burrell was on hand to take spectators and bidders through the history of each of the rums, while Christie’s auctioneer David Elswood hosted the Saturday highlight and a grand total of £10,670 to be donated to the WaterAid Charity Fund and the Geraldine Connor Foundation in Leeds.

On Friday the trade-only Boutique RumFest returned in association with the Cork Supply company (which btw had an interesting short seminar about cork) and allowed buyers, distributors, distillers, press and industry figures from as far as Fiji and India to come together and discuss and sample rum.

So let there be rum…

OVD and Wood´s 100

OVD collage

That was the first stand i stumbled into on the saturday when the rumfest started, first thing i saw was the OVD bottle …

OVD is a demerara rum from Guyana and OVD stands for Old Vatted Demerara, a rum i know since a long time and also wrote about long ago on this blog. OVD was first imported in Scotland in 1838 and is a blend of demerara rums that is aged for seven years in oak casks and it´s the best selling dark rum in Scotland.

But there was also Wood`s 100 which i also have known about for long but had never tried so now i had my chance and disappointed i was NOT! this rum is bursting with good flavors! and a plus in my book – it´s a bit stronger, i have a special love for full proof rums. This is a perfect rum for tots and tiki drinks.

Wood`s 100 is an excellent overproof navy rum also from Guyana and distilled at the diamond distillery using a combination of  spirits made in pot and column stills from sugarcane growing on the banks of the river Demerara. The appearance is dark and syrupy and the flavor is unrefined rich demerara with kick and depth.

OVD Woods collage

Ron Cubay

Next stop was Ron Cubay, i wrote a little about them last year and remember i said i need to re-visit them. This year they had a new rum there, Ron Cubay Extra Viejo – a light gold colored rum which is mix of white rum and extra aged rum reserves. That is old Cuban rums that are aged for an average of seven years and then some of the best whites that are aged for nearly 13 years in white American oak barrels. From what i remember of the taste of this rum, it had a quite intense fruity flavor, balanced and no harshness at all which was expected. The bottles are individually numbered and comes in a velvet leather effect gift box.

Cubay collage

Rum Punch!

Oh how i love these Caribbean rum punches! they serve them and sell them ready made at every UK Rumfest, some are small batch brands. Really, nothing is so Caribbean to me as a rum punch and i love their appetizing colors, usually red and the two i tried at this stand were all that.

The first i tried was the rum punch from River`s Rum from the River Antoine distillery in Grenada, and oh so tasty! after that i tasted W&D`s Caribbean Rum Punch, as tasty as as can be! it`s actually really nice to break off from all the neat rum sampling with a cold Rum Punch, it sort of clear the palate a bit too.

W&D Rum Punch also have a website where you can order both rum punches and Caribbean cakes for all occasions, they also offer non alcoholic punches! You can order from the website and also book them for catering at your events if you live in the UK. You can also check out their Facebook page and get the Party started with W&D’s Caribbean Punches!

More on rum punch later on this blog.

Rum punch collage

Excellent taste and so refreshing….

Foursquare

This distillery and it`s excellent rums and Richard Seale need no presentation. I spent a great deal of time here talking rum at this this stand. I tried a special one that was very interesting and oh so good…. not out for sale yet though. And luckily and finally the Doorly`s XO will soon be launched in the cold country where i happen to live…so a new Doorly`s XO will soon be comfortably installed in my home bar.

Here is a link to a video about the Foursquare rum distillery.

Foursquare collage

St Nicholas Abbey

Here comes the next absolut top quality rum, also from Barbados, i wrote about this distillery and their rums last year and this year they are launching their very own 5 year old, made at the distillery from start to end. A very exciting new rum from St Nicholas Abbey! more on this rum and the white one later.

Real Mc Coy

Another good one, i tried their rum the first time last year, it´s really good stuff and the Real Mc Coy rum has an interesting history that i wrote about when i reviewed their 5 year old rum. I`m gonna write about the 12 year old soon, which is my favorite of the three. But i recommend trying them all.

Pusser`s

This year there are two new rums arriving from Pusser`s to the UK, a 40.5 abv version of the current gunpowder proof rum (54.5%) and also a 100% natural spiced rum which is steeped for up to ten days with stem ginger, cinnamon, clove and vanilla.

Rhum Clemènt and Rhum JM

I wish there was more french caribbean rhum agricole at the rumfest! but at least there was Clemènt and Rhum JM both solid and good agricoles. I made sure i tried them all even though i`ve tried many of them before 🙂 Also on display they had the 25 year anniversary bottle from Rhum Clemènt made in collaboration with artist JonOne which i think is really really pretty! i want one! the glass too! and the content of the bottle is pure good rhum agricole…Clemènt V.S.O.P

Plantation

Plantation had a hut this year with all kinds of rum suspects walking in and out…They had the whole range to try on the stand, well almost…including their famous Stiggin`s Fancy Pineapple rum and the new Jamaican -98 Tokai which was very good.

Angostura

Angostura rum is always around, anywhere i go they are there and they are good, i like all of their rums and the bitters plus their amaro that was launched in the summer and which i`m gonna write about later. Angostura is always solid and consistent.

Angostura

El Dorado

The flagship of demerara rum, they went big this year and had pop up bars and masterclasses around London, they even made a El Dorado pop-up bar which was built like a replica of the Golden City.I will always love their rums, especially my “first love” the 15 year old.

Bacardi

Unsuspecting i passed by their hut…and was gently dragged in with the words, “do you want to try a few cocktails”? then seated at a table and a wooden tray appeared with 3 cocktails that were each made with a different Bacardi rums. One was smoking, the next was blackish and the third was served in a egg shell. Interesting. I looked at the tray, tried them and was caught by surprise…they were amazing! especially the one in the egg cup.

Bacardi cocktails

Taking a look at the menu on the tray revealed the cocktail recipes and which rums they were made with. The first one on the left with smoke in a mini bottle was the Phoenix Daiquiri – made by Rob Libecans – Bacardi Gold rum (stone washed) smoked barrel stave pomegranate oil, citric acid, mineral sugar)

The second in the middle was the Black Butter – made by Rich Woods – Bacardi Black rum, cherry bark, cola and toffee popcorn reduction. The third one in the egg cup (my fav) was the Bacardi 8 PJB – made by Monica Berg – Bacardi 8 year old rum (peanut infused) fresh lime, Norfolk raspberry cordial. A sort of variety on the daiquiri with the raspberry cordial as a sweetener. All three of them were really tasty cocktails! they are welcome to “kidnap” me into that hut again if they want…anytime!

Don Q

Over at the Don Q stand there were fantastic cocktails galore!

Made with the good Don Q Rums by Alexx Mouzouris – Don Q Brand Ambassador in Europe and bartender extraordinaire! I sampled one cocktail that was especially good, it was some kind of punch infused with chile peppers. He also decorated the booth with cymbidium orchids making it look tropical and almost tiki-ish…

The Don Q rums have recently redesigned their bottles honoring it`s heritage as one of America’s oldest family-owned and operated businesses. Destilería Serrallés has for over 149 years been producing many good rums .

Don Q collage

Don Q Cristal, one of  the classic rums from Don Q.

Alexx burning it

Alexx creating good flavors…

Sunset Rums

Genuinely Caribbean…rums, rum punches and hotsauces at this stand. I tried all the rums and punches and also bought a hotsauce and a green seasoning for my cooking at home – you can never have too many rums or hotsauces! Sunset strong rum is probably one of the strongest overproof rums there is (84.5% or 169 proof) and nah i didn`t try it neat but i had it in a rum punch.

Chocka´s Coconut Hub

Fresh coconuts with coconut water at Chocka`s Coconut Hub, freshly chopped in front of you. This is one of these things that i really like…and coconuts makes life go around….drink them fresh as is or pour some rum in it.

Chocka coconut collage

And there`s more….Mount Gay, Ron Botran, Havana Club, Gosling`s, Diplomatico, Mezan…there was over 400 rums at the rumfest and i cannot cover them all….and then we have the masterclasses/seminars and they were good!

MASTERCLASSES

Naval Style Rums Black Tot and Pusser`s with Martin Cate

Black tot seminar MC

This seminar about navy rum, the British Royal Navy and the black tot turned out to be a memorable one when sailors from the Royal British Navy took part in our sampling of the Black Tot Last Consignment Rum, telling their stories about how it was at the time and on that day. The so called Black Tot Day was the last day they could have their daily rum ration called a “tot”

It ended at precisely 6 bells in the forenoon watch (11am) when the last rum ration was issued aboard ships of the British Royal Navy. One of the sailors told me that he cried that day. The last tot was served on july 31 1970 and since then the Black Tot Day is celebrated every year in memory a 300 year old Royal Naval tradition.

So when the tot was not done anymore the British navy had no more use of those rum barrels they had stored in warehouses and so they emptied the barrels into wicker clad stone flagons which were sealed under HM Customs and Excise Supervision and were then transferred to Government bonded warehouses where they did sit for 40 years (!) and the rum was only used for state occasions and royal weddings.

Until when the stocks were acquired and bottled by Speciality Drinks who bottled them under the name Black Tot Last Consignment. When the flagons were opened there were three original solera rums there and these three were blended together to create the Black Tot rum. Original naval records states that the naval rums were rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad.

Black tot collage 1

Black Tot rum and story telling, cheers!

The Black Tot rum is the last that exists today from the barrels they used to have on the British Royal Navy ships and this rum fetch a price of 610 British pounds per bottle, or 76 pounds for 5 cl and in the US around USD 1000. This rum is literally a piece of history in a glass and that`s what you pay for, is precious not only because of it´s history but also because this is the last that remain from the original barrels and when it´s gone it´s gone.

The Black Tot rum is a very good rum, containing 54% strong navy rum and one of the rums in the blend is demerara rum from Port Morant Guyana and it really does have a very deep, very woody demerara flavor with a long finish. It tastes old….but in a good way, with hints of very dark coffee, leather, smoke and tar. Not everybody likes the flavor, but i doIt`s believed that these rums were distilled in the 1940s.

We also sampled Pusser’s and their Blue Label which is a classic British Navy style rum, and needs no presentation….it`s inspired by the recipe used to produce the tot and using the same four rums required to make a real navy rum, rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad. And as most of you know it`s a great fullbodied rum as well.

Black tot collage 2

Happiness and history in a glass…and yours truly enjoying a precious and memorable moment of tot cheering with the Royal Navy sailors.

Mahiki Cocktail Masterclass by Georgi Radew

mahiki seminar georgi

This seminar followed the Navy rum seminar…so from navy rum straight to tiki drinks! not bad at all…i could spend every day like this…

Georgi spoke about the history of the tiki cocktails from the old favorites to the new twists that are made at Mahiki with demonstrations of a couple of those cocktails including their Treasure Chest, which was tastier than i expected. Overall, the seminar was very good and entertaining, the Mahiki cocktails were all well made and very tasty!

The seminar was sponsored by Duppy Share so we got a presentation of the Duppy by the founder George Frost and of course we got to drink Duppy Share both neat and in the cocktails.

Tiki drinks + Duppy Share, yes i totally enjoyed this seminar!

Mahiki mugs

Awesome mugs made by Cheeky Tiki! i especially like that Zombie mug.

Mahiki session

And the tiki drinks all made with fresh fruits and good rum were all well made! 

mahiki treasure chest

The Mahiki Treasure Chest, it´s really tasty.

Plantation Rum

It´s always a pleasure to listen to Alexandre Gabriel and Paul McFadyen when they tell you about Plantation rums, it´s both interesting and entertaining. And of course we got to sample the star of the show the Stiggin`s Fancy pineapple rum, i consider myself  lucky to get a chance to do that for the third time now since last summer and then their new rum the 98 Jamaican tokai and single cask rums which of course, like the rest of the rums from the Plantation range, was nothing but excellent.

btw i love that Stiggin`s Fancy bottle… i wish i had one, full or empty to beautify my home bar…

Plantation collage

There were many more great seminars i`d liked to attended but you know, you need to be out there in the big room too meeting the people and sampling the rums! and when you do….time flies! And that is all for this year, hopefully i`m back again the next!

RUMFEST PICTURE PARADE!

Chef Hassan

Chef Hassan de Four cooking with rum….

Ian at auction

Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell at Christie´s rum auction

Duppy Share

 The lovely Duppy Share Rum, what a beautiful display!

Real Mc Coy12

The Real Mc Coy 12 Year Old Rum and their other rums as well are excellent! more on this 12 year old gem later!

There were not many agricoles from the french caribbean around for some reason but i did find Rhum Clemènt and Rhum JM….both brands makes excellent rhums.

Rhum Clement collage

Rhum Clemènt VSOP in the beautiful 25 Year Anniversary bottle. And yes indeed i do love me some Ti Punch!

ED rums

Amazing expressions from El Dorado, i like all their single barrel rums a lot! they had all their rums up for sampling, some in exchange for golden tot tokens. There were also of course the 5, 8, 12, 15 and 21 to sample.

The single barrel rums are more for the rum connoisseurs as they are not blended and as sweet or “smooth” as the others since they are straight from the barrels.

Rhum JM collage

Rhum JM, one of the classic good rhum agricoles from Martinique. 

Pussers collage

Only good things can come out from Pusser`s rums and fresh pineapples!  

Colorful caribbean rums

I love these colorful Caribbean rums with the sunshine vibe! and they really do have some interesting strong rums! one of my favorites is the Rivers…it tastes like a smoky JWray. Worthy Park Rum Bar is another good overproof, it actually won the best overproof at the Showrum 2014 in Italy, the Italy Rumfest.

atlas du rhum

I also got a chance to take a look in Luca Gargano`s (Velier Rum) new book “Atlas du Rhum” which is about rum and rum distilleries in the Caribbean. There´s only the french version out for now, it has recently been launched but the english version is on the way.

Mount Gay2

 Beautiful display and another solid rum, Mount Gay from Barbados. I love their XO and the Black Barrel! 

TIKI, TIKI, TIKI………….!

Trailer collage

A collage from Trailer Happiness…excellent tiki bar! i really wish i had been able to visit more of London`s tiki bars but hopefully the next time! I wish i could spend all my time just visiting tiki bars….

bar signs

Sign at the Pub “The George and Dragon”upstairs at the Ibis Hotel.

Ron Jeremy

Last time i saw this Ron Jeremy figure was in San Diego this summer at the Tiki Oasis at one of the room parties…..Ron Jeremy is everywhere…..here adorned with a colorful lei!

guiness cert 2

Guiness World Record Certificate, Largest Rum tasting in the world! well done Ian!

And at last….

Drink more rum

 

Check out my previous post about the Guiness World Record for the World`s Largest Rum Tasting and the Boutique Rumfest!

Deep down from Louisiana – Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum

Rougaroux bottle

This rum surprises me… it´s that good…and it makes one hell of a “Corn `n`Oil!

Rougaroux Rum is made by Donner-Peltier Distillers located in the middle of the cane fields in Thibodaux, Louisiana using pure black strap molasses and raw sugar grown and milled from a family owned farm just down the road from the distillery. They also produce a gin, a vodka and a whiskey called LA1 Whiskey because it´s Louisiana`s first aged whiskey since prohibition.

The name Rougaroux comes from french and cajun folklore legends:

“Deep in the heart of Southern Louisiana Cajun Country lurks a mysterious creature known as the Rougarou, (Roo ga roo). It lingers in the sugarcane fields and swamps, emerging only during a full moon to exact justice on the wicked”

– Because of their monster flavor, we chose this name for our rums”

And flavorful this rum sure is…

I have only tried this dark one and so i have yet to try the white rum which i have heard is also very good having a thick molasses and brown sugar character)

I had heard about Rougaroux rum but never yet tried it when i one day was sitting at the Carousel bar at the Monteleone in New Orleans with a few friends during the Tales of the Cocktail this past summer. One of them suggested i try a rum Alexander with Rougaroux dark which i did and i found it so good i felt i just had to review this rum, here we had something really interesting!

This is a blackstrap rum – but it´s quite different from the other two blackstrap rums i have. They do of course have similarities, like that typical “yummy” blackstrap/molasses flavor but Rougaroux has also an almost demerara-like flavor profile to it with a bold, mysterious, thick and full bodied flavor – and it is (of course) also perfect for tiki drinks…( a big plus in my book…)

But Rougaroux is not as black-ish in color as the others, instead it has a very dark brown color with beautiful almost”reddish” mahogany hues. The label is also really cool i think and so fitting for this rum.

Using Louisiana raw sugar cane and blackstrap molasses they create a white rum which is further aged in white oak barrels (for how long is not known) There is no caramel or other additives in this rum.

Nose: The nose gets me directly to think about a blackstrap with demerara aromas…Deep wood and sugarcane, mash of ripe tropical fruits, a hint of crispy citrus and fresh sugarcane. It`s big on the nose.

In the Mouth: Here comes some vanilla notes along with the wood, it`s deep and oaky with hints of orange peel, sugarcane and molasses. It`s rather balanced and pleasant to sip on and the flavor stays with you for quite some time.

What i find interesting is that it reminds me of  El Dorado 12 year old…and i`m kinda puzzled by that – but i love it! I really like those dark, thick, flavorful rums that got “punch” (and can stand up in tiki cocktails) Also a white rum can have that same character – which i suspect their white “Sugarshine” rum may have…since it´s said to have thick molasses and brown sugar  flavors – a tasting is required! and i can`t wait to try that one as well.

Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum won in 2013, bronze at the San Francisco World Spirits and gold
at the World Spirits Award and in 2014 it won silver at the World Spirits Award and gold at the Beverage Tasting Institute.

If i would pick three words to describe this rum it would be dark, deep and balanced…they call it a whiskey sipper´s rum.

Well, after trying this i can safely say that i prefer to not be without it and that is despite i already have other blackstrap rums, but this one is more than just a blackstrap rum, it´s different. And it does go very well in tiki cocktails.

Dark Puka Punch

Rougaroux Dark Puka Punch

1 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
1 oz aged Rhum Agricole
1 oz fresh lime juice
0.75 oz orange júice
0.75 oz pineapple juice
0.75 z passionfruit syrup (lilikoi)
2 tsp honey-mix (equal parts honey and water, mixed and heated to dissolve the honey, then cooled to room temp)
0.25 oz * falernum

Float a little bit of 151 rum on top and finish with a couple dashes angostura bitters.

Classic tiki drink, tasty and rummy! the Rougaroux plays well here.

* Falernum – you can read about what it is here and how to make your own if you wish (it´s brighter and tastier) here and here.

And on to the next….did i say Rougaroux Full Moon Dark makes a mean Corn ´n`Oil? here it is:

Full Moon Corn ´n´ Oil

Rougaroux Full Moon Corn n Oil 1

2 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
0.5 oz Falernum
And just a little squeeze of fresh lime…

Build in a rocks glass with crushed or cracked ice.
Squeeze a lime wedge over the top, stir, and throw in the spent lime wedge in the glass.

Sip and enjoy!

Three Dots and a Dash

Three Dots and a Dash with Rougaroux rum and Clement VSOP

Here´s one of my favorite tiki drinks, it´s a Don the Beachcomber drink and that`s quite appropriate here in this post since Donn Beach was a Louisiana native just like the Rougaroux rum is. He made this drink to commemorate the Allied victory and the name of the drink comes from the Morse Code for the letter “V.” Hence the garnish of the three cherries and either a pineapple leaf/spear or a long chunk representing the three dots and the dash for the Morse Code.

I have only switched the original recipe`s demerara rum for the Rougaroux.

1.5 oz amber Martinican Rhum
0.5 oz Rougaroux Full Moon Dark Rum
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz orange juice
0.5 oz honey mix*
0.25 oz falernum
0.25 oz pimento Dram
6 oz crushed Ice

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend at high speed for about 5 seconds. Pour into an appropriate glass and garnish with 3 cherries and a pineapple leaf spear or a long shaped chunk.

*Honey Mix

1 part Honey and 1 part Water, gently heated so the honey dissolves and then cooled to room temp.

Here`s some info on where to buy (only in the US and Louisiana for now)

Rougaroux Dark Rum

 

Rougaroux Dark Puka Punch collage

 

See other Rougaroux Full Moon Dark rum reviews on RumRatings

Selvarey Rum from Panama

Selvarey Rums

Hailing from Panama – Selvarey Rum comes in two different expressions – Selvarey White and Selvarey Cacao. It`s distilled in Panama by master blender Don “Pancho” Francisco Fernandez. The name Selvarey means “Jungle King”

Don Pancho was born in Cuba in 1938 and he first began working with cutting sugarcane in the fields with his father. He worked his way up and became the Cuban Minister of Rum. He spent 35 years running the famous Havana Club brand in Cuba before moving to Panama and opening his own distillery.

And he built his own distillery from scratch in a small town called Pesé in the Herrera Province– Panama’s premier sugarcane region and bought a warehouse on the outskirts of Panama City and began stocking it with barrels of rum and out of there i now have these two expressions here to try out and make a few cocktails with.

Selvarey rum is distilled in four copper column stills built in 1922 by American Copper & Brass Works. The rum is then aged in American white oak ex bourbon barrels imparting notes of vanilla and caramel. Water is added to bring Selvarey White down to 40% ABV and Selvarey Cacao to 35% ABV.

Selvarey rums are lush tropical rums, sweet and flavorful and you may sip on it´s own or mix with in various cocktails. The bottles are really beautiful, they look very exotic! they are also sturdy and quite heavy with a thick bottom.

Selvarey White

Selvarey Rum White

The white rum is a blend of three and five-year-old rums, distilled in 1922 copper column stills, aged in bourbon casks and carbon filtered to remove the color while keeping most of the flavors and it is made up of more than a single batch of rum adding to it`s complexity.

From his warehouse, Don Pancho chooses a 3 year-old for its youth and vibrancy of fresh-cut sugarcane, and then combines it with a rich, full bodied, more mature 5 year-old.

The nose is mild and sweet with hints of vanilla and fresh sugarcane plus a little bit of toffee and butterscotch.The mouth is quite viscous and the same notes comes through in the flavor along with creamy butterscotch. It`s designed to be a sipping rum enjoyed with some ice but it mixes well in cocktails like the daiquiri or mojito for example or any that contains citrus which it plays very well with plus the citrus cuts the sweetness a bit and adds that vibrant aromatic flavor.

Selvarey Cacao

Selvarey Rum Cacao

The cacao rum is made from five-year-old rum infused with locally sourced chocolate which doesn`t give the “chocolate bar” flavor but rather a fine flavor of the cocoa bean. Less sweet than the white rum and here you get vanilla notes plus some oak with a mild spice along with the flavor of  natural chocolate.

The color is dark amber/copper and when opening the bottle you immediately get the aroma of chocolate in the air. Selvarey Cacao won the gold medal at the 2014 Miami Rum Fest and was the first flavored rum ever to win the coveted Chairman’s Trophy at the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York City.

I decided to first make two cocktails found on the website for a change instead of making my usual tiki drinks and the Rey Cafè catched my attention, a cocktail made with the Cacao rum, coffee and unsweetened coconut milk but i switched the espresso coffee for what i have on hand (and prefer) which is New Orleans Community coffee dark roast – which is strong and flavorful in the same way as Hawaiian Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffees.

Rey Cafè

Selvarey Rey Cafè

1.5oz Selvarey Cacao
1oz strong coffee (cold)
1oz unsweetened coconut milk
0.25 oz -0.5 oz simple syrup or sugar (taste your way)

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and grate some cinnamon and nutmeg on top.

A very nice cocktail indeed! here you get cacao, sugarcane, coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg wrapped up in creamy unsweetened coconut milk…This cocktail can also be made warm for those stormy fall or cold winter nights.

The next cocktail is a daiquiri for which, the Selvarey white rum is perfect:

Selvarey Jungle Daiquiri

Selvarey Jungle Daiquiri

2 oz of  Selvarey White Rum
0.75 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz dark sugar syrup

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lime.

And here is another type of daiquiri, with grilled fruit, this is for the white rum:

Grilled Fruit Daiquiri

Selvarey rum Grilled-fruit-daiquiri

2-3 Pieces of Grilled Fruit (Mango, Pineapple, or Cantaloupe)

2 oz. Selvarey White Rum

1 oz. Simple Syrup (1 part superfine sugar to 1 part water, stir till dissolved)

3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Muddle the grilled fruit with the simple syrup and lime juice in a shaker. Add Selvarey White Rum and ice. Shake vigorously and fine strain into a cocktail coupe or other glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Grilled Fruit: De-core or de-seed fruit first and cut, so as to expose a large area of fruit flesh. Grill, flesh side down, until grill marks are present (about 2 minutes). Cut chunks of fruit from grilled flesh and use to muddle in cocktail.

You can check to see where to find Selvarey rums here.

See other Selvarey Cacao rum reviews on RumRatings

See other Selvarey White Rum reviews on RumRatings