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Old 02-03-2008, 11:50 PM   #1
stockdoct
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Default vanilla?

I found a specialty food store selling whole vanilla beans. Of course I bought a few (thinking of "improving" a rum or two) and when I arrived home I scanned my new rum collection with curiosity. English Harbor ..... Zaya ..... Zacapa ........ Tortuga........Montecristo........Brugal .........Botran ......

I'll skip to the chase. I put a vanilla bean into my 5 year old English Harbor two weeks ago and opened the bottle tonight (Giants win!). I was a little disappointed. It was good, the same way a Snickers bar or a Twinkie is good, sweet with a vanilla flavor not-quite-as-overpowering as Captain Morgan Special Reserve. But it tastes fake. Too vanilla-ly. Where I hoped for a delicate improvement, with a hint of vanilla that might make one wonder what type of barrell was used to age the rum over many years, I succeeded only in making a god rum taste like someone put a vanilla bean in a bottle two weeks ago.

What rums have you guys used for a "delicate" vanilla infusion, where it improved,but did not overpower, the original taste?


P.S. My wife loved the EH 5 with vanilla and tonic water; she said it tastes like an A&W cream soda, which is exactly the taste I DIDN'T want .........

Mike
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:36 AM   #2
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Maybe you added too much vanilla? what sort of bean did you use? the Bourbon and the Tahitian are quite different in flavor, where the Tahitian is very floral.
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:16 PM   #3
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What I've absorbed from reading the experiments here by Dood and others is
that a vigil needs to be kept over any new infusion. You probably need to sample it every day and pull the bean(s) at the moment of perfection. Pretty intuitive, but as I've yet to have had the courage to commit any of my stash to these efforts, I suppose it's easy for me to say.
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:23 PM   #4
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I've had similar problems with vanilla, i.e. the "fake" taste. I think this comes from too much time in the rum - even though other sites I've seen suggest infusion of vanilla lasting as long as 3 or 4 weeks!

In the end, with my vanilla experiments, I've come to the conclusion that bourbon vanilla is not the right vanilla to use for an infusion. I currently have some Madagascar vanilla waiting for me to start my next experiment, but I'm going to wait until after I've finished my blackberry.

Last edited by Dood; 02-04-2008 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:55 PM   #5
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The rhum arrangи which is made in La Rиunion for instance is mostly made with 1-3 months infusions..i have not tried the infusion with the Bourbon bean just because i like the Tahitian so much. I`ve had those beans in rum for months and still like the flavor. I even have a bottle of Tahitian Noa Noa rum which still has its beans in it after 2 years.

The "Bourbon" Vanilla and the Madagascar vanilla is the same, its vanilla planifolia grown in the former Bourbon islands Madagascar, la Rиunion and the Comoros.
Vanilla from vanilla planifolia are also grown in Uganda, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) ..these are also called "Bourbon" by some traders but not the Mexican even if its the same planifolia plant..but different soils and etc gives a bit different flavors.

For infusion i would recommend the Tahitian vanilla.
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:29 PM   #6
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Biggest problem I saw, is that you had the bean in for 2 weeks. I leave my vanilla beans in for 2-4 days, then I pull them. I have had tremendous success with vanilla infusions with... Ill say it again... Bacardi.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:26 AM   #7
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How about infusing a minimal amount of rum in a small jar with vanilla, then mixing it back into unflavored rum until you get a pleasing level of flavor?
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RumBarPhilly View Post
Biggest problem I saw, is that you had the bean in for 2 weeks. I leave my vanilla beans in for 2-4 days, then I pull them. I have had tremendous success with vanilla infusions with... Ill say it again... Bacardi.
I've been following this thread with interest as I have never made my own infused rum.

RumBarPhilly....instead of Bacardi how would Havana Club white or Matusalem Platino fair as a substitute?

Some other whites available here in BC are Potter's White, Captain Morgan, Ron Rico, Tommy Bahama, Bacardi. Would these suffice??
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMac View Post
I've been following this thread with interest as I have never made my own infused rum.

RumBarPhilly....instead of Bacardi how would Havana Club white or Matusalem Platino fair as a substitute?

Some other whites available here in BC are Potter's White, Captain Morgan, Ron Rico, Tommy Bahama, Bacardi. Would these suffice??
Matusalem Platino would work great, never had HC, but Im sure any white cuban-style rum would work. They have the perfect dryness for taking only the flavor of what sits in them. Im scared to try anything with two more flavor or sweetness.

Dont use Ron Rico, unless you want a harsh finish. Tommy Bahama would work, but its very pricey and not worth it. Captain Morgan wont do... its already got hints of vanilla in it, I bet you can make a better rum than Captain with the perfect vanilla mix!
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertBurr View Post
How about infusing a minimal amount of rum in a small jar with vanilla, then mixing it back into unflavored rum until you get a pleasing level of flavor?
Youve always got the most novel suggestions...

I probably would have tossed it and started again! haha
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