Tasting Report: Ministry of Rum Festival 2010
With the popularity (and quality) of rum rising, the Ministry of Rum continues its mission of exposing the world to great rums and rum cocktails. Recently I had the opportunity to sample numerous hard-to-find, new, and very old rums at the Ministry’s event in Alameda. Ratings and some brief thoughts on everything tasted follow.
Bear in mind notes are based on only a couple of sips and should not be considered on par with our usual canonical, full reviews.
Ministry of Rum Festival – San Francisco Bay Area – August 2010
Cruzan Blackstrap Rum / A- / extremely intense molasses character; easy to see why this is so beloved
Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum / B- / funky finish
Cruzan Aged Dark Rum / B+
Cruzan Single Barrel Rum / B+ / tough woodsy finish
Don Q Anejo Rum / B / good cocktail rum choice
Don Q Gran Anejo Rum / B+
Bacardi Solera 1893 Rum / C / off, rubber character
Bacardi 8 Rum / B- / better, but quite green
Diplomatico Reserva Rum / B / on the harsh side
Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum / A / rich and lush, night and day vs. the standard Reserva, a special rum
El Dorado 5 Year Old Cask Aged Demerara Rum / A- / long finish, great value, nice herbs and flowers character
El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Demerara Rum / A / sweeter but not overly complex; lovely
Flor de Cana Grand Reserve 7 Year Old Rum / B+ / oaky
Santa Teresa 1796 Rum / A+ / a Venezuelan rarity, amazing rich caramel notes, gorgeous and hard to put down; perfect
Smith & Cross Rum / B- / overproof, tough and green
The Scarlet Ibis Rum / B- / hard edged
Black Tot Rum / ??? / this ultra-rarity, an old “discovered” rum that sells for $1,000 a bottle, was served in half-an-eyedropper portions so absurdly small I couldn’t taste much of anything except alcohol… a pity!
Coeur de Rhum La Favorite Vieux / A-
Duquesne Eleve Sous Bois Rum / B+
Neisson Eleve Sous Bois Rhum / B+ / herbal, quite strong (100 proof)
Neisson Reserve Speciale Rhum / A- / easier and sweeter, better balance
Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum / B / so clove-heavy it burned my eyes
Zacapa XO Rum / A- / intense, sweet tea notes; more tart than other XO rums here
Many thanks to Barrie Lynn of The Cheese Impresario for extending the invitation and pairing cheeses with the rums on offer!