Technically, everyday is Rumday (at least in spirit and pun apparently) and if you’ve been following the United States election, a number of drinks are in order. This week hasn’t been particularly celebratory because for anyone that knows me well, they know disappointment and sadness is how I’m feeling. I’m not one that enjoys arguing and while an intelligent discussion is good for the soul and broadens perspective, I’m all tapped out (or typed out) when it comes to standing on my humanitarian soapbox. So after reading a short but encouraging comment on my blog, here I am ready to drink some rum and write about something that makes me happy. Yes, this weekend will be filled with my favorite brown drink and I’ll be doing quite a bit of sampling because I have some catch up to do!
I previously mentioned I was attending Rob Burr’s rum sampling event for Ron Abuelo which was featuring three cask finishes: Oloroso (Sherry Cask Finish), Napoleon (Cognac Cask Finish), and Tawny (Port Cask Finish). Sampling all three, I found them all to be quite nice. I listened to a number of the attendees and I gathered that while some had a stronger preference, most of the rum was gone by the end of the evening as everyone chose their favorites first, finishing the rest along the way. In other words, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. I first tried the Port and Sherry Cask options, purposely wanting the Cognac last. Starting with the Tawny Port Cask, this one had identifiable features for me. I could pick up smells of currants, dates, and the cask itself. The taste had more of the berry flavors one would expect with the use of the port cask and somewhat reminiscent of the aftertaste one might get from an Ethiopian coffee. For me that means chocolate meets raspberry. The tasting notes we were provided mentioned notes of a woody ending and mature fig which I completely agreed with with a second sampling. Sometimes one get’s excited to try new rums and forgets to really enjoy the flavors means to take your time. Oops.
Onto the Oloroso: Sherry Cask. I quickly identified almond and while the card I read said I may get citrus in both nose and taste, I don’t know if I could really identify them. I did get something of a raisin or dried fruit flavor. Not exceptionally identifiable but a nice not-too-sweet taste that I quite enjoyed. The rum was smooth, balanced, and I have absolutely no complaints. I preferred it over the Tawny but I will admit I went for third “samplings” on both.
Last but not least was the Napoleon: Cognac Cask Finish. In the nose, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this one much. Remember I said I’m not into cognacs but perhaps I need to get a proper introduction as I really enjoyed this particular rum. I could identify the sweetness of banana and mocha but it wasn’t overpowering. I’m a fan of rums from Barbados and Ron Abuelo was a welcomed rum when I visited Panama some years ago. It’s like meeting a distant but welcoming cousin that you don’t know, but relate to so well. Perhaps the most balanced of the three, it was my choice to take home at a nicely discounted rate under $70 USD.
By the way, the event itself was welcoming and I appreciated the opportunity to speak about rums with the Burr family from Rob’s Rum Guide. Rum people truly as fun people and in this post-election time of the year where feelings and fears are so strong, it’s nice to come across people that share a common interest. Life can be short and to be able to look beyond our world’s problems and share a smile with the clinking of glasses (or tapping of plastic cups) can help at least for an evening, embracing our commonalities and understanding peace, love, and rum always feels better. Cheers.