Yes, I'm cheering for the USA soccer team in the World Cup. I DID watch the game and it was very exciting once the USA team got into gear. But I confess that I had dozed off when the tying goal was scored. I woke up right away and saw the replay over & over. How reminiscent of Bill Buckner's misplay of a routine ground ball to cost the Red Sox the World Series ! I suppose England's goalie was thinking about where to play the ball "after" he caught it. After that blunder, the suspense in the game was huge. England obviously had better players, but the US team and its goalie were a strong fighting unit. Teamwork pays off in soccer. Yeaaaaaaa USA !
Now I'll turn to another product of the USA - a fine rum made in FLORIDA. An friend gave me a bottle of Siesta Key rum - the light, clear variety. Siesta Key rum is made in Sarasota, Florida in small batches; it's a premium rum made from the finest ingredients and in a fine copper still. That is, so the label says. Being a natural skeptic, I did my own scientific taste test.
Many rum cocktails have sugar and other flavorings. How should one drink rum to assess its own quality ?
Here's what I did - it's my own style for drinking rum. I fill a small "Old Fashioned" glass with ice, squeeze a wedge of lime into it, then wipe the lime around the lip of the glass, and then fill the glass to about 1/2 full with rum. The result is a simple, pure rum drink - very cold. I let the ice melt a bit before sipping; this brings out the flavor better and cuts the bite of the alcohol just enough.
The Data Sample Set:
Siesta Key light rum from batch #2 - cost unknown (a gift).
Rhum J. M. - a rhum vieux agricole distilled in 1997 and aged over 10 years - over $50/bottle.
Mount Gay Eclipse golden rum from Barbados - about $18/bottle.
Pusser's Rum (original British Navy formula for grog) - about $23/bottle.
I lined up the bottles and glasses and made the cocktails. First, however, I sniffed each bottle over & over to compare the pure aroma. After that, I did many, many sipping tests comparing one to another over & over. Of ourse I had to be certain, so took even more sips.
First, let me say that ALL were very good rums. Second, they formed a sequence of flavor and aroma strength. The US entry - Siesta Key rum - had a fine, delicate flavor and an intriguing mouthfeel. My rum cocktail with it was exceptionally smooth and easy to drink and had that cool, clean taste of a fine rum with no harshness or aftertaste. The color is crystal clear, indicating that it's been charcoal filtered to remove impurities and congeries. A very pleasant rum.
Next up the sequence was Rhum J. M. from Martinique. The Siesta Key rum and it shared the pleasant aroma of fine rum. Rhum J. M., being aged and not subsequently cut with water, comes in at 104 proof, so you'll want to let the ice melt a bit more. The color is light gold. It's very, very good - a bit more taste than Siesta Key, and again with no harshness or unpleasant aftertaste.
Third in the aroma-flavor sequence was the Mount Gay Eclipse from Barbados. In the bottle, it's a goldish brown color, but in the glass with ice, it become a pure gold color. The aroma is a bit stronger as is the flavor. ALL these rums have similar flavors, it's just the strength that varies. I did notice the aroma was a wee bit harsher and the flavor had a bit less depth. Only a simultaneous taste test with many, many sample sips can pick this out. Mount Gay makes a fine golden rum.
Strongest flavor came from the Pusser's Rum, which is a blend of four Caribbean rums mixed in the British Virgin Islands. This rum has superb flavor and aroma - not too strong - and its color in the glass is a golden brown. A very, very good rum - a staple in my bar.
So what do I conclude from this very enjoyable scientific test ? All these rums were excellent and they fall neatly onto a sequence of strength of flavor and aroma. That's intentional, of course. The makers are striving to hit certain intensity levels and they succeed. BUT the US entry, Siesta Key rum, proves that a US maker can produce a rum of the finest quality. If you can get it, try it.
Next, I'm trying to obtain a bottle of the Siesta Key dark rum. I'll then be able to do a cross-sectional scientific study, comparing four dark rums for the depth and qualities of their flavor.
Word of the Day
"Provenience" - noun [$10]
Provenience means origin, source.
Sentence: The provenience of rum is not longer controlling for determining whether a rum is fine; fine rum IS made in the USA in Florida as Siesta Key rum proves.