If I could I would replace my blood with this.
May have to settle for one of the spirits I would have as my last taste on earth if I could plan such things.
Rum has almost always been a complex subject.It has been the stuff of stories and legends, of adventures, tragedies, and celebrations. It was also the fuel for many fights, battles and outright wars, and this particular rum may be right in the middle of the next one.
Much has been said lately of the origins of rum, , the origins, where it can come from, the many types and styles, and the naming of many of the worlds rum.There is also much concern over the sourcing of rum, and who can call what rum a particular style or type.
It makes the tobacco and cigar controversies look simple. They both have the same origins , or I should say that they have the same champion on one side of the argument – Cuba.
Cuba has always been very rightly proud and protective of its rum and cigars and defends it products and traditions aggressively . In recent years it has ratcheted up its pride and public relations on a major public relations offensive to claim that Cuban Rum is unique to Cuba with its soil , methods , and soul uniquely Cuban – and that anything else is an imitation. A Cuban style that does not come from Cuba itself is anathema to them. Unfortunately for U.S. Citizens Cuban rum is the forbidden fruit which few have tasted , even with the thaw in US – Cuban relations , which are about to refreeze soon in any case. The good news is this rum is available , and it is a singular accomplishment of rum in the Cuban style. The bad news is it is limited to a run of 500 750 ML bottles for the entire world – so it makes Pappy look common and hard to get by comparison.
Made by a master distiller with over 50 years of experience studying, creating, maintaining, and defining Cuban style rum this rum sets a new standard for others to emulate. Made in Panama from hand cut sugarcane, proprietary molasses and yeast, and distilled in the last surviving sister still of the Michters copper still that produced the fabled A.H. Hirsch Bourbon this rum was fermented and distilled to be a traditional orthodox Cuban Style rum .
Notes: This rum is will change a number of preconceptions most people have about rum and also about aging characteristics of spirits.
First off it is not overly sweet – so many rums especially popular brand of older aged rum – tend to be overly sweet , usually sweetened with cane juice or similar. Another is that you can age rum for more than 15 years without it being overly woody and tired ( Like Pappy Van Winkle 23 and other older bourbons can be ) . Somehow through the art of the Master the careful control and selection this rum has culminated in something very rare and special, a rum far more subtle and older than most you will ever find .
Appearance: Clear as a bell with a lovely deep red gold coloration that is achieved by a spirit aging for 20 plus years in oak. Looks like a venerable Scotch single malt in the bottle. This rum tells you by just its color and luster that you are in for a treat.
First Impression: Cocoa, molasses, vanilla, ghee (clarified butter), caramel, sweet wood aromas and touches of maple and grassy cane notes
Taste: Notes of grass/cane, chlorophyll, and Yenedjie tobacco , persimmon , leather , slight cinnamon tinge and a toasted oak and vanilla with traces of char in the charmingly almost off dry molasses. Exhibits a great subtlety and harmony on the palette, and is not overly sweet.The finish is long, to use s Japanese term – Shiripin – it has a tail -. The finish is long with notes of Vietnamese cinnamon, Madagascar vanilla slight citrus, and a gentle fade to toasted oak and maple. A nice afterglow of flavor and reminiscence to a remarkable rum that lingers delicately on your tongue.
Drinks: Yes, it can make heavenly drinks but the hardest part is finding worthy mixers – only the freshest and best will do
Bottle: Actually I am going to cover both the bottle and the presentation in this section. One of the more overlooked parts about a spirit, especially some of the more premium ones were you would expect better, is the outer packaging or presentation.
The Presentation : A cardboard box or a tube is a poor way to package a worth while spirit. If you are buying or receiving a premium spirit I feel it should come in a worthy box as part of the overall thoughtfulness as to production. ARÔME does a beautiful job of packaging with their hand made and hand stitched box with a magnetic closure, gold stamping and stamped and embossed leather labels, The interior has a small pocket on the front cover that holds the individual documentation for each bottle and the painstaking detail of the origins of the rum, the bottle and many other aspects so one can fully appreciate the depth thought and painstaking detail that was brought to bear on the birthing of this rum.
The bottle itself sets a new standard for the under $1000 a bottle category for thoughtful design, quality and beauty of packaging . The bottle itself is a one off custom design. The closures hand made in the Haute-Normandie region of France with Portuguese cork and the bottle is made in Spain in the Girona province of Spain and is serially numbered on the back label with a matching certificate in the presentation box pocket.The bottle is a curved square shape with a heavy glass decanter bottom and a beautiful example of high quality glass that shows the color of the rum to good effect . The proportions are lovely to look at but the actually handling really requires you to pick up the bottle by the neck then grip it by its curved bottom to pour ( which actually works nicely – but be sure to have dry hands – you do not want to drop this).
Other: First, buy a decent tasting glass to enjoy this rum. A decent glass will ensure you get the maximum appreciation and enjoyment of this rum. I would recommend the following glasses: The Caribbean Cocktail Glass and The NEAT Glass both of which seriously heighten the qualities of a rum and this one of course in particular doe to its nuance and overall quality.
Second, this is definite splurge for most people, but in the context of what hard to find bottles of bourbon are going for it is not that much as to price and it delivers a LOT more quality and enjoyment. It also has a lot more cool factor as it were as you are not following the crowd and chasing something everyone and their brother is going after – this is not a well known product and quite a gem – it shows you have done more research than most of the bottle chasing crowd has.
The only other rums that might be comparable to ARÔME actually cost more and have many more bottles available is the Havana Club Maximo which also costs about three times as much as much – but to be fair is considerably older – however being Cuban Maximo is not available to anyone in the US without taking a flight to Cuba and even then you must check the bottle – good luck with your baggage and seeing that bottle back in the US – and the 30 year old Appleton Rum which runs anywhere from $700 to $1500 per bottle
Final Thoughts: If you want to splurge on a bottle for yourself or a friend for a truly memorable spirit. This would be one of my go to suggestions. Unlike a bottle of wine this ill last for a while and you can share it with far more friends to show them how much you value their friendship too. What could be better ?