Good friend Warren Bobrow recently took part in a Rum Tasting Competetion in San Francisco. Read up on his exploits here. Ministry of Rum!
How do you taste rum in a competition? Good Question. First, hold the glass up to the light. Swirl it to release the aromas. What do you smell? Roasted nuts? Caramel? Vanilla? Stone fruits? Earth? It’s all subjective. Some Agricole Rhum like the J. Bally is aged in both Bourbon and Scotch Whiskey oak barrels. Brown rhum agricole distilled from fermented fresh sugar cane. This is my favorite style of dark rum. You taste a very specific Terroir in this rum. How do you know? Intuition I think plays a big role in tasting rum. And after tasting through fifty over two days- I know my way around a liquor store a bit better.
What about palate fatigue? Another good question. We spaced out the tasting over two days. Two sessions each day. Twelve Rums per session. Six dark rums, six light rums. Light doesn’t necessarily mean light in flavor. Some of the light rums were every bit as complex as the darker varieties. You don’t EVER want to mix the light rums with anything but a splash of coconut water or in a pinch, a few drops of spring water.