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Rum tasting: a voyage of discovery

The craft cocktail movement has led to a renewed appreciation for quality spirits and creative mixology, with rum taking centre stage in innovative libations.

The craft cocktail movement has led to a renewed appreciation for quality spirits and creative mixology, with rum taking centre stage in innovative libations. The recent rise of artisanal distilleries has brought a wave of small-batch rums to the market, each with its own unique character and provenance. At the same time, the desire for authentic and exotic experiences has led consumers to seek out rums from around the world, immersing themselves in the cultures and traditions that produce this liquid gold.

So let’s explore the provocative world of rum, where every sip is a voyage to exotic destinations, brimming with rich flavours and centuries-old traditions. Whether you’re a seasoned rum connoisseur or a novice exploring this delightful spirit for the first time, rum tasting is quite distinctive from wine or whisky tastings.

Dark Rum: A Toast to Complexity

Dark rums are known for their deep, robust flavours and complex profiles. They often hail from the Caribbean, where the humid climate and centuries of craftsmanship create the perfect conditions for ageing in oak barrels. The result is a rich, mahogany elixir that tantalizes the senses with notes of molasses, toffee, and a hint of spice.

When savouring a fine dark rum, consider the region it hails from. For example, Jamaican dark rum is celebrated for its bold, funky character, while Cuban dark rum leans towards a drier, more elegant profile. Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, brings us dark rums with a sweet, smoky twist. Exploring these regional differences is like a treasure hunt for your taste buds.

Let us not forget, however, about the exciting new trend of British craft rum, that’s offering a delightful alternative to traditional Caribbean sources. Whilst celebrating the rich history of rum, UK distillers are fearless in pushing the boundaries by infusing it with the distinctive character of the British Isles.

White Rum: The Versatile Voyager

White rum, often referred to as silver or light rum, is the playful and versatile sibling of the rum family. Made from molasses or sugarcane juice, it’s typically aged for a shorter period or not at all, resulting in a crystal-clear liquid that’s perfect for mixing cocktails. White rum forms the backbone of classic cocktails like the Daiquiri and Mojito, where its smooth and slightly sweet character shines.

Different regions give birth to unique white rums. Puerto Rico produces a clean, crisp option, while Cuban white rum boasts a subtle sweetness and a hint of vanilla. Brazilian cachaça, a close relative of white rum, adds a zesty, vegetal flair to your cocktails. With white rum, the world is your cocktail shaker – mix, match, and explore the endless possibilities.

Here, too, some British rum distillers are producing super-premium white rum with delicate and complex flavour profiles. As a result, there is most definitely a trend developing towards giving white rum its rightful place amongst the other trendy white sipping spirits such as Tequila and Vodka.

Spiced Rum: A Symphony of Flavours

Let us venture into the world of spiced rum, where every bottle tells a story. Crafted by infusing a blend of spices and botanicals, spiced rum takes us on a culinary journey that’s as varied as the spices themselves. The warmth of cinnamon, the zing of ginger, and the allure of vanilla: blended together, they create a delicate balance of flavours and aromas.

Caribbean spiced rums often incorporate tropical spices like allspice and nutmeg, while American varieties may take on a more pronounced vanilla and caramel profile. What’s truly exciting about spiced rum is its versatility. It can be sipped neat, served over ice, or mixed into your favourite cocktails. And let’s not forget its role in the revival of the classic Tiki cocktail movement – a true testament to its enduring appeal.

British spiced rum distillers have been experimenting with a wide range of botanicals and ageing techniques. They often introduce local plants along with tropical fruits combined with interesting blends of spices such as coffee, nutmeg, cassia, etc.

Whether you prefer dark, white or spiced rum – it is more than just a drink: it’s an adventure waiting to happen. From the dark and mysterious depths to the light and carefree shores, there’s a rum for every occasion and palate. So let us raise a glass and a toast to the world’s finest rums, and let your taste buds set sail to discover new and exciting flavours.

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