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Old 05-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #1
Arctic Wolf
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Default Tanduay Rums

I had the opportunity, (thanks Lance) to review a twelve year old rum from the Philippines. Tanduay Rum is one of the best selling rum brands in the entire world, however almost all of those sales occur in Asia rather than North America.

Here is my review of their 12 Year Old Offering:

Review: Tanduay Superior Rum

Enjoy!
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Last edited by Arctic Wolf; 05-11-2012 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:38 AM   #2
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Other ingredients?
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:12 PM   #3
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No dice on other ingredients: I asked a whole raft of people, from within Asia and without, and none knew...maybe I need a spy in the factory
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:25 PM   #4
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The 'other ingredients' is consistent with the current US legislation pertaining to rum production. According to § 5.23 2 of the Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms regulations:

There may be added to any class or type of distilled spirits, without changing the class or type thereof, (i) such harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials as are an essential component part of the particular class or type of distilled spirits to which added, and (ii) harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials such as caramel, straight malt or straight rye malt whiskies, fruit juices, sugar, infusion of oak chips when approved by the Administrator, or wine, which are not an essential component part of the particular distilled spirits to which added, but which are customarily employed therein in accordance with established trade usage, if such coloring, flavoring, or blending materials do not total more than 2 1/2 percent by volume of the finished product.

Basically the regulation says that 2 1/2 percent of the volume of rum can be sugar and "other ingredients".

Tanduay, in my mind anyway is just honestly telling us that this is what they are doing. I do not blame them for being rather nebulous about it. If I had the best selling rum brand in the world, I wouldn't spill any trade secrets either. (I suspect the other ingredient is processed caramel but I could be wrong.)

Tanduay is not the only one who adds other ingredients. Legendario (according to their website) adds muscatel wine to their rum, and Diplomatico (again according to their website) adds "rich aromas and flavours". My discussions with Koloa Rum and Montanya lead me to believe both companies add caramel for colour and for flavour. Contrary to what is commonly believed about caramel colouring, every time I speak to a rum manufacturer who uses caramel they tell me it adds flavour as well as colour. (I have spoken to more than a few.)
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:06 AM   #5
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Honestly telling us? If they were honest they would tell us exactly what is in the bottle...trade secrets? That is a poor excuse. In my opinion, if you are adding anything to the rum besides caramel for color, it is merely a flavored or spiced rum.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie76 View Post
Honestly telling us? If they were honest they would tell us exactly what is in the bottle...trade secrets? That is a poor excuse. In my opinion, if you are adding anything to the rum besides caramel for color, it is merely a flavored or spiced rum.
Not according to the regulations that govern what is called rum in the United States (and Canada too). The regulations recognize that the tradition of rum manufacture has always included the addition of sugar, the addition of caramel and the addition of 'other ingredients' which contribute to giving rums from various different regions their own taste and character. It is a fact that this tradition of adding 'other ingredients' to rum has existed ever since rum was was first created.

Now I am not suggesting that all rum manufacturers add 'other ingredients'. Some do and some do not. But I am not going to criticize a tradition that stretches back in time to the very beginning of rum manufacture. I appreciate the companies who honestly tell us about this process. And, I prefer to judge all spirits rum or otherwise based upon what I see, smell and taste, and not upon some preconceived notion I have about how it should be made. I accept that companies who have been at this for over 100 years have got a better idea about rum manufacture than I do.

And for the record .... Colonel Saunders never told us what his 7 secret herbs and spices were, but I never considered his company dishonest, just smart. Keeping secret how you do something whether it is by process or ingredient can be worth worth millions (perhaps even billions).
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:11 AM   #7
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If there are any flavourings used in any rum the manufacturer should bloody well mention it in the label especially if they are charging a premium price for it.
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:47 PM   #8
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I agree with you only partially, Count. The only obligation rum manufacturers (and importers) have, is to follow the rules and guidelines as set out in the regulations governing the sale of alcohol products in whichever jurisdiction they are selling it. Tanduay, appears to be doing just that, so does Legendario, Diplomatico, and the other companies I have mentioned.

The problem I have with what I will call the 'purist' argument is that it assumes that the only definition of Rum that is proper, is the one that they (the purists) have come up with, and it ignores all of the history and traditions of rum manufacture. It also ignores that rum is a multinational beverage which has historically been made in many different ways in many different jurisdictions.

What I like about the US Regulations (and the Canadian Regs too) is that the regulators appear to have recognized that they must define rum in the context of its history and its wide range of traditions. The regulations actually walk a pretty decent balance in this respect. The additional ingredients the regulations allow fall into two categories: ingredients which "are an essential component part of the particular class or type of distilled spirits to which added" and ingredients which "are customarily employed therein in accordance with established trade usage". In other words ingredients which are necessary, and those with an established tradition of being there.

There is no wiggle room for artificial flavours or anything at all that is not consistent with the traditions of rum production.

So if those 'other ingredients' fall outside the wiggle room of those two categories, I would agree with you that they should be on the label, and in fact I would go further and state that the liquid in the bottle should not even be called rum.

But, it is too big of a leap to assume that this is the case with Tandauy or any of the other examples I have cited, and in fact, on both sides of the border, (in Canada and in the US) there are agencies whose job it is to test the products before they are allowed to enter the marketplace. These agencies are not perfect; but they do try to do their jobs. (Recently in Canada the Yamazaki 18 year Old Single Malt Whisky was pulled from all the shelves as it contained a substance not consistent with Canadian regulations. I know of no recent examples of a Rum being pulled from the shelves in Canada although many are not allowed entry because they do not abide with Canada's aging requirements.)

So I guess in my long winded way I am saying that I do not need to know if Muscatel Wine has been used to enhance the flavour of rum, nor if Caramel has been added to enhance the flavour or the colour. I understand that these things are allowed, and in my mind, it would be a terrible thing if we were to redefine rum to suit our preconceptions of what it should be and ignored the way rum has been made for hundreds of years.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:12 AM   #9
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This is just me, however, I don't buy it. If you want to add things to your product, fine...no problem, but then call it what it is...a flavored or spiced rum. It has nothing to do with the "purist argument."

Perhaps being exposed to bourbon and Scotch has left me spoiled. However, at least I know what I am getting.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:54 AM   #10
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First time I read nebulous and rum in the same sentence!

Starting to read your review, I thought you were going to rip this rum. I'd be curious to try it, the only rum from Phillipines I had was Tondena that I bought in BC (it's still there I think) and by Gawd it was vile.
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