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Old 05-19-2008, 04:28 PM   #1
Milicent
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Default Flor de Cana 18: the barrels leave their mark

I have been a fan of FDC 18 for some time, but it was only a few months ago that I began tasting hints of bourbon. Since that realization, I cannot drink this rum without tasting bourbon front and center. I still like the rum, but it has since become a bourbon-rum for me. Anytime I introduce someone to rum, I will always bring this one out first if they are bourbon drinkers.

It shouldn't be surprising. After all, 18 years is a long time spent in a barrel previously used to age bourbon. One would expect a certain amount of crossover.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with FDC 18 or another rum?
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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It isn't unusual for rum to take on flavors that we associate with bourbon or whisky. The question I end up asking is does this rum taste like bourbon or does this bourbon taste like rum. The taste of smoky oak, vanilla and wood are tastes found in almost all aged spirits whether it's rum, whisky or cognac.

The flavors found in oak aged spirits are more prominent in American whisky or bourbon since these spirits are aged in new barrels. As the barrels age they give up these flavors so a rum aged 18 years in a used barrel will have much less of these flavors than a bourbon aged the same 18 years in a new barrel.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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Bourbon is aged in heavily charred barrels as opposed to Cognac, which is generally aged in un-charred barrels.

Ed's point is well taken that newer barrels have more influence on the end taste than older Barrels, presuming that the barrels have not been scraped clean of charr..or charred to a heavier level when they arrive at the next destination.

As an example, Ron Barcelo Imperial shows a lot of new Bourbon barrel up front in the aroma and taste, whereas their previous Emperador had a more old barrel taste profile.

Just my take..And to paraphrase RumDude..

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Old 05-19-2008, 10:42 PM   #4
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From time to time I mention in my tasting notes that a rum has a whiskey or bourbon consistency or note in the taste. My last notes on the Flor 18 said
it could be compared to an aged whiskey. I tasted a little more tonight and found that still to be true. One thing I must mention, is that I find the nose to really carry a hint of bourbon, almost more so that the taste.
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:16 PM   #5
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I like the Flor de Cana 18 year old but their 12 year old is more inviting to my palate for a sipping rum that I'm going to enjoy over the course of an evening with a cigar. But for the last glass of the night the Flor de Cana 18 is high on the list.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:01 AM   #6
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What I taste in the La Flor line that isn't uncommon in many bourbons is charcoal. Not sure but would bet like many American whiskies, on top of the charred barrel maturation, La Flor might be using charcoal to filter their spirit somewhere in the process prior to bottling.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:23 AM   #7
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From our recent tasting of Gifted Rums of Nicaragua, about 20 percent of our participants preferred the FDC 12 ($30), another 15 percent liked the Centenario 21 Limited Edition 15 year old ($65) best, while most others chose the Centenario 18 ($39) as their favorite.

Interestingly, many found the FDC 7 Grand Reserve ($20) and the FDC 5 Black Label ($16) on ice to be surprisingly mature and a great value.

The FDC 4 Extra Dry is considered quite mature and quite dry, excellent for mixing a mojito.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:23 PM   #8
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FDC 7 and Santa Teresa Gran Reserva on ice are standards when I am looking for a cold drink. These two are great examples of affordable rums that exceed (at least my) expectations.
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Hamilton View Post
It isn't unusual for rum to take on flavors that we associate with bourbon or whisky. The question I end up asking is does this rum taste like bourbon or does this bourbon taste like rum. The taste of smoky oak, vanilla and wood are tastes found in almost all aged spirits whether it's rum, whisky or cognac.
Along a similar train of thought....When i first opened my Mount Gay XO, I mixed a drink for my wife (with coke) and she didnt believe me that it was even rum. She had thought it was Rye (Crown Royal specifically). I am not a huge Rye drinker either, but it does have a similar taste (at least to me). Maybe my palate is not as refined as it needs to be, who knows.

Based on what I have heard other say about MG XO, it seems to be at one extreme of the taste profile spectrum (the dry and not sweet side). Perhaps this is not typically where rum normally goes with their flavours, but I still like the XO nonetheless. I still have not gotten to the point where I can start "sipping" yet though...I will start when I have something sufficiently sweet to begin with.

Any further thoughts on this comparison with rye?
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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I find Crown Royal quite different to most american rye whiskies, (sweeter and less complex), however as the raw ingredient is so different, I think that any similarities are probably due to the oak, which can add dryness as well as sweetness to the end result depending on how the spirit is matured.
Although I haven't tasted Mount Gay XO for a while, I generally find Mount Gay Eclipse to be quite sweet and fruity (they actually add fruit to the spirit during the aging process).
So I think any similarities are due to length of age.
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