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The Book Shelf

Books of interest to Rum Lovers

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Old 07-25-2017, 01:10 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,161
Default The Curious Bartender's Rum Revolution by Tristan Stephenson

I've just finished reading this wonderful book. It was published in early 2017 and I recommend it wholeheartedly to everybody who has an interest in rum, from absolute beginners to complete experts.

It is divided into four parts: The History Of Rum, How Rum Is Made, The Rum Tour and Rum Cocktails. The first two are self-explanatory, but the third part (The Rum Tour) is definitely the highlight of the book. It consists of a comprehensive account of all the Caribbean countries where rum is made including all of Central America, Venezuela and Guyana. There is an analysis of the history of rum production in each country followed by full details of every distillery still operating in that country.

Stephenson's prose is - at all times - easy to read, yet packed full of useful information - the chapters on Guadeloupe and Martinique are outstanding. At the end of "The Rum Tour" there is also a section on blenders and bottlers such as Lamb's and Wood's.

The most memorable parts of the book are the tasting notes for each rum. Where the author doesn't like a particular rum, he says so in no uncertain terms. For example, Clarke's Court 5-year-old is described as tasting of "Banana milkshake and sweet nutmeg on the nose. Simple and confected. Artificial banana, flabby, sickly and boring." Pusser's Gunpowder Strength - on the other hand - is "Restrained, yet potent on the nose - like licks of a hot, sulphurous flame. After a while, solvent notes permeate to the surface, along with hot metal, soggy wood and engine grease. On the palate, there is hard-working steel, burnt treacle and a numbness that conceals the possible taste of blood."

The book costs £16.99 in the UK or US$24.95 in the US and would make a good Christmas present for the rum lover in your life.
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