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Rums


Myers’s Original Dark Rum PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Rums

Myers's Original Dark Rum
Monymusk Distillery
Southern Jamaica
80 Proof

By Gerard Heidgerken of Bilgemunky.com

Perhaps no rum better captures the qualities of "true" dark rum more than Myers's Original Dark. Since first entering the US market in 1934, this classic Jamaican rum has been a kitchen staple in everything from rum balls to pumpkin pie, but its value as a mixer shouldn’t be overlooked. Its dark brown color and smoky caramel nose can add a depth to cocktails that would be impossible with most amber or gold rums. The savory qualities can mingle particularly well with citrus-y drinks, adding some unexpected contrast to Piña Coladas, Sunsets or even a traditional Planter’s Punch.

When enjoyed straight, Myers’s is alive and tingly across the tongue, with a rich warmth complimented by oak and bananas. The sensation softens as it warms in the mouth, thickening and taking on a hint of old leather. The finish sees a strong but brief return of the tingle across the tongue and roof, leaving you with a warm comfy feeling.

In addition to Myers’s Original Dark, Myers’s also offers a higher end—but still true to form—rum called Myers’s Legend. It’s tricky to find, but well worth the effort for those seeking a top shelf Jamaican dark rum.

 
Coruba Dark Rum PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Rums

Coruba Dark Rum
The Rum Company
Kingston, Jamaica
80 Proof

By Gerard Heidgerken of Bilgemunky.com

Also hailing from Jamaica is Coruba, another traditional-style dark rum featuring a blend of pot-stilled and column-stilled production. While not as recognized in the States as other brands, Coruba has enjoyed huge success in New Zealand, where it’s been the #2 top-selling spirit since the ‘80s.

In the glass, Coruba is an extremely dark amber with a surprisingly timid nose. The signature molasses and oak aromas are present, but strangely distant in a fashion I’d almost call nostalgic if it didn’t sound so pretentious. So instead I’ll settle for “restrained” and move along.

In stark contrast to its “restrained” nose, in the mouth Coruba Dark is a sharp wake-up call. Hot and thick, this is more a rum of physical sensation than actual flavor. Unlike Myers’s tingly comfort, Coruba is a slow burn that could nicely serve in place of a host of energy drinks to get the blood flowing. The burn returns in gradually-receding waves along the finish, leaving you with a feeling not unlike the after-effects of tasting a particularly potent salsa.

Coruba isn’t a rum I’d recommend straight up, but it could indeed add a wild spark to an otherwise tame cocktail.

 
Black Seal Rum PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Rums

Gosling's Black Seal Rum
Gosling Brothers
Hamilton, Bermuda
80 Proof

By Gerard Heidgerken of Bilgemunky.com

Departing Jamaica, we now move on to Bermuda, an island known in the US primarily for its shorts, vicious ship-consuming triangles and (if you have any class) Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Not only boasting the world’s greatest non-pirate rum logo, Black Seal is also well-recognized as one half of the increasingly popular Dark ‘n Stormy, the other half being ginger beer. (Note: I use the term “half” loosely, as most bars don’t actually do a 50/50 mix for their Dark ‘n Stormys. You’ll have to ask VERY nicely, tip well and make sure you aren’t the one driving home.)

Where many dark rums have a caramelized quality to their nose, Black Seal is more akin to toasted. It eschews the usual molasses-forward notes, instead displaying qualities reminiscent of old-school Cherry Coke, with just a touch of cinnamon. Of traditional dark rums, this is definitely one of the spiciest. On the tongue, Black Seal starts warm and only gets warmer. Raisins and dried fruit complement undercurrents of molasses and brown sugar. The finish, like its nose, is warm and toasty. The heat of the alcohol certainly makes a strong showing, but it’s handily offset by a comfortably candy-like sweetness.

Gosling’s Black Seal is one of the cheapest, darkest rums that can be enjoyed straight up, but if you want something a bit more refined they also offer Gosling’s Old Rum—being their “private reserve” answer to Gosling’s Black Seal. The Old Rum is well worth trying and is actually available in the Milwaukee area if you look around.

 
Brugal Extra Viejo PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Rums

Brugal Extra Viejo Rum
Brugal & Co, SA
Puerto Plata, DR
80 Proof

By Gerard Heidgerken of Bilgemunky.com

I’ll level with you. Contrary to plan, upon pouring my sample of Brugal Extra Viejo into my tasting glass I was surprised to see a spirit of rich amber spring forth. Nope, not very dark at all. Being as this is my first experience with Brugal, I can only plead ignorance and offer this piece of time-tested advice: When life hands you lemons (or rather, amber rum), make lemonade (or rather, wear sunglasses).

With dark enough shades, Brugal Extra Viejo is indeed a dark, rich mahogany. But to the nose, it still doesn’t smell remotely like a dark rum, which it’s not, so let’s just remove the glasses, take it in stride, and revel in this unexpected departure from our theme. By reducing the roles of oak and molasses we’re freed to explore some of Brugal’s more delicate aromas. Bananas and butterscotch take a clear center stage, while notes of sugarcane, and even a touch of fresh-cut grass, are also present.

The experience of tasting Brugal is a multi-stage process. It hits the mouth cool and sharp, with its alcohol burn subsiding as it warms and thickens on the tongue. Let it linger further and the burn gradually—and then not so gradually—returns, building steam like a chicken race to see who swallows first. It then leaves a surprisingly gentle finish complemented by hints of cream and vanilla.

Even without delving into flavored rums, rum proper is a surprisingly diverse beverage and Brugal is a clear example of this fact. If dark rum isn’t to your liking, you may well find a home in ambers.

 
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