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Old 12-10-2007, 02:49 PM   #1
KINGSTON
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Default Aged Rum? Real or Fake?

This brings us to the touchy subject of the aging statements on bottles of rum. Because of the Caribbean heat, an unusually high proportion of the rum evaporates from the barrel every year. As Nelthropp says: "In two years, we lose 15% to 17% of what we started with, thanks to the extreme heat. In 12 years, we have less than five gallons left in a 52-gallon barrel. We are still trying to figure out how some of our competitors are aging their rums for 24 years!"
http://www.forbes.com/wineandfood/20...02feat_ls.html
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What do you think of Rum that is aged for 15, 20 or even 25+ Years? I ran across this article on line. The Master Distiller (Nelthropp) for Cruzan Rum makes a fine point. I work in Premium Cigar Industry and we have some of the same issues. Some Companies claim to be using 10 or 12 year old Tobacco. One company even claims to be using 30 year old Wrapper or Pre-Embargo leaf from Cuba. Most Serious Cigar Makers and Connoisseurs can’t seem to take these claims seriously (sice they seem to never run out of this rare tobacco). Why any company would hold on to great tobacco for that length of time- event through the “Boom” in the nineties doesn’t make sense. Some even claim to have found miss placed bales of tobacco (if you have never seen a bale of tobacco it’s not like loosing a needle in a hay stack). Unfortunately we do not have a Governing Body that regulates claims made about cigars or the tobacco used in them. Any body can say what they want. Many People are fooled and buy in to these outrages claims.

Does the RUM INDUSTRY suffer from the same problem? Some one told me that a 10 year Rum is like a 20 year old Cognac. So does that mean 25 year old rum is like a 50 year old Cognac? Like tobacco I would think that not all rum benefits from such extreme aging. Who would of thought 20 or 25 years ago that aged Rum would be in such Vogue?

The main question is, "Should I spend the $ to to try these Rums or is it a waste of time?"

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Old 12-10-2007, 03:02 PM   #2
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I'm nowhere near the expert that Ed or Daniel are here, but it really depends on the rum.

Most of the "25 Year Old" rums you see are blends that INCLUDE rum that is 25 years old.

Some distilleries also use the solera approach often used in making brandy, in which a batch that is casked one year will have it's evaporated quantities replaced each year by rum from a batch that is casked the following year (e.g. rum casked in 1999 will be replenished with rum casked in 2000, etc.).

Of course there's also the option of finding a cooler place to age your rum (a dark cellar in a basement or at the top of a mountain in Guatemala).

Based on my own perceived quality of the aged rums, there are MANY rums out there that are well worth the money.

I'll defer to the actual experts on how the industry deals with the evaporation issues.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:58 PM   #3
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The US law regarding age statements is that the number of years must refer to the YOUNGEST spirits used. Many avoid this by making no age statements. Viscaya VXOP comes to mind.
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:52 PM   #4
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I find Rum is unique in that one needn't spend a whole lot of money to taste a world-class product. For $40, I can buy and taste a bottle of some of the finest rum in the world. Heck, when I visited the Cayman Islands recently, a typical restaurant meal for my family ran over $100, yet that same amount could buy an assortment of 4-5 bottles of rums, many unavailable in the States. Sure, I've dumped a couple bottles down the drain (Sea Wynde comes to mind, and 10 Cane, which immediately and unfortunately repulsed me) yet Tortuga 5 year old and Ron Zacapa 23 met my taste buds like long-lost friends.

So my thought is ..... spend a little money to sample some aged rums, compare them in a "flight" against your unaged favorites, and make the decision for yourself if its worth the price to buy again.

Mike
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:02 PM   #5
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Ed's article might help...
http://ministryofrum.com/articles.php#age


Personally, I drink what I like. I've had older rums that taste harsher than younger rums. The age statement may be some type of indicator but in the end it's the rum that counts.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:58 PM   #6
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Unlike bourbon or cognac regulations, rum production is not tied to a specific country or precise or limited region with-in a country. That fact alone is one draw to agricole under French guidelines.

Because of this, I find wording such as age statements and other technical aspects involved in defining what is in a rum bottle, not to be centralized or consistent and not necessarily applicable across the board.
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:50 PM   #7
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All my friends have provided the info. It is my understanding that mostly the oldest rum in the blend is stated on the label, but I am sure the truth is stretched quite nicely. Rhum Agricole is aged and bottled under much more stringent standards.
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:56 PM   #8
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A bit of a "Stickey Wickett" isn't it? A number of different countries producing rum..Some with regulations regarding production and aging...Others not. A plethora of label hyperbole..Along with a consumer whom in a niche market is looking to upgrade and often equates price with quality. I think Ed has illuminated to some extent on the anomolies of some aging statements brought by some producers. The point of where the spirit is aged as regards to the angel share is relevant. The ambient temperature and humidity will affect the ratio of alcohol to water lost. One can only hope that the rum producing countries will follow the lead of Martinque in their battle to establish a provenance to quality. If the consumer is willing to become educated and make demands, then there may be hope. It's all market driven to some extent. As the saying goes...Caveat Emptor!
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KINGSTON View Post
What do you think of Rum that is aged for 15, 20 or even 25+ Years?

Does the RUM INDUSTRY suffer from the same problem? Some one told me that a 10 year Rum is like a 20 year old Cognac. So does that mean 25 year old rum is like a 50 year old Cognac? Like tobacco I would think that not all rum benefits from such extreme aging. Who would of thought 20 or 25 years ago that aged Rum would be in such Vogue?

Kingston
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While I wouldn't say that a 25 year old rum is like a 50 year old cognac, there are similarities depending on where the spirit was aged. In the Caribbean it is generally agreed that when you are aging anything over about 12 years that you must be very careful or you'll end up with a spirit that is dominated by dry smoky wood flavors.

Most of the rum I drink is in the less than 8 year old group. But the fact that a rum is aged 10 years doesn't begin to tell the story. What kind of rum is it? Heavy or light? What kind of wood was used? How old were the barrels when the rum went into them? I have only seen a couple of distillers who are actually using a Solera method and both were based on aging rum then introducing that blend to the Solera barrels.

I've drunk a few rums which were aged in the UK and they didn't compare to Caribbean aged rums. Though there was a bottle of cask strength 30 year old Cadenheads that was one of the best rums I've tasted. Here's another comment on this subject.

Nick Passmore makes a good point, but the high elevation of the Zacapa warehouse accounts for the low evaporation, and lack of overwhelming oak flavor, of their rum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KINGSTON View Post
The main question is, "Should I spend the $ to to try these Rums or is it a waste of time?"

Kingston
Long Ashes and Tall Glasses!
I would suggest reading some of the suggestions on this forum. I think you'll find that the most suggested rums aren't the most expensive. Just as I wouldn't start smoking cigars by burning an expensive pre-embargo cigar recently discovered aging in a hidden in a humidor in a Palm Beach estate house that was being remodeled I wouldn't go out and buy the most expensive rum on the shelf at the liquor store.

This morning the Today Show showcased two top rated wines for Christmas gifts, one was $45 and the other $16. Like rum you don't have to start at the top of the price range to find good spirits, but you do need to educate yourself. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:24 PM   #10
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I just want to say, All of your comments are great. Thank you for the info. It's wonderful to hear from educated and open minded people who share the same intrest. I write this as I sip on Flor de Cana Blk Label 5Yr.
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