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Old 01-14-2008, 08:11 PM   #1
RumBarPhilly
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Default Why 151?

I asked this in the "Best 151" thread, maybe somebody could shed some light. Why not 150 proof? Why not 155 proof? 151 is an odd number...
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:22 PM   #2
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Default Why 151

It might be that the recipe delivers that 151 proof (give or take a little range) and there is no effort to dilute it.

Why is St. Vincent Very Strong Rum 169 proof? My guess is the process used produces that high octane result, and no effort is made to dilute.

I think many rums are distilled and aged at 140-190 proof. Some are diluted before aging, like Prichard's fine rum. The idea is that the water in the rum takes on the flavor of the barrel, rather than watering down barrel-proof rum to weaken it.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:21 PM   #3
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Default

I can't tell you why 151 is the magic number, however 75.5% alcohol is about the distillation proof of old pot stills. But today most of the molasses rum we drink is distilled to more than 90% alcohol. A relatively small amount of rum is distilled to a lower proof for aging and then blending.

St Vincent Strong rum is distilled to about 92% abv and then diluted to the strength at which they age their rum, 80% abv.

I don't know of distillers that age their rum above 80% alcohol citing that the higher alcohol content would result in higher losses.
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:22 AM   #4
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Perhaps its just a throwback to the old pot stills then? How is it that most pot still would all distill to the same strength back then? Wouldnt different island's climate, latitude, and elevation effect it?
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:42 AM   #5
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Was it not in part a move to stick with states like CA that have restrictions in that general range? I've wondered the same but just assumed...
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:47 AM   #6
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Default federal restrictions

there are some federal restrictions on rums above 153 proof.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:59 AM   #7
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I have always thought that the number 151 comes from that the 75.5% ABV makes 151 proof.
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