What's a Good Gift Rum?
July 02, 2010
A friend asks:
A buddy of mine helped another of mine get a job and now he'd like to buy her a nice bottle of somethin' somethin' as a thank you.
She's alllllllll about rum as long as it's not spiced and she *probably* has a bottle of Jamaican something or other at home as they go to Jamaica every year.
I know that you love the stuff so i was wondering if you have any good recommendations?
Why as a matter of fact I do! This is what I'm feeling at the moment. (It could change in a minute.)
For sipping rum you can't go wrong with Zacapa. It's friendly and delicious. People into weird wild rums might find it overly soft-and-easy but I don't know of anyone who wouldn't happily drink it.
If they're cocktail freaks and might like challenging flavors try Smith&Cross- the new favorite of top bartenders. Funky, musty, stanky rums like this one (and most rums from Guyana you can find) are sort of like the Islays of scotch, or the mezcals of tequila. Also it's relatively inexpensive compared to these others.
For something really special, dark, and a little funky seek out Rhum J.M. and get the oldest (most expensive) one you want to pay for. It's like rum trapped in a grass prison in a way that tastes delicious.
[Disclaimer: I've been to two of these distilleries on press trips, but I've also been to many other rum distilleries not mentioned here.]
Might I add to this?
Mt. Gay Extra Old
Appleton Estate 12-year-old (and beyond if you've got the $)
El Dorado 15-year-old
(I haven't been to any of these distilleries ;->)
Posted by: Mr Manhattan | July 02, 2010 at 09:12 AM
I haven't tried the El Dorado but I certainly agree with your other selections.
Posted by: Camper English | July 02, 2010 at 09:18 AM
Martin Cate turned me onto the El Dorado line. I highly recommend taking a 'tour' next time you are at Smuggler's Cove.
Posted by: Mr Manhattan | July 02, 2010 at 04:29 PM
El Dorado 12 is a good choice for rum lovers. The 15 is a classic as well. Zafra 21 from Panama is turning heads these days, as are Atlantico and Diplomatico Exclusiva. Mount Gay 1703 is a standout, Dos Maderas PX is other-worldly. Plantation XO rests in cognac barrels for a killer finish. Catavio XO, if you can find it, is delightful. If it's the ultimate gift you seek, the new Black Tot Last Consignment Royal Navy Rum is a steal at $1000 a bottle.
Posted by: Rob Burr | July 03, 2010 at 12:40 PM
Camper, you've never had El Dorado? You should sue Martin for negligence.
Honestly I can't disagree with your suggestions at all. I do echo the others here in recommending Appleton Estate 12 Year Old and El Dorado 15.
I was going to recommend the Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva and the Dos Maderas PX, but I see Robert has beaten me to it.
I'm not as much of a fan of the Mount Gay 1703 - I find it to be overoaked.
Posted by: Matt R. | July 06, 2010 at 08:38 AM