December 3rd 2011 we had a small gathering to test rum. The rules were simple every participant bring one bottle each. Since we were six participants, for the cost of one bottle we could try six. A nice way of trying rum without having to buy them all yourself. We started with a light meal and some socialising and moved on to the testing afterwards.For practical reasons we did the testing one at a time with the option of going back and re-test afterwards.
From left to right: Håkan, Magnus, Jimmy, Mikael & Mikael
The rums we tried were:
Bristol - Classic Reserve 1998 (Bottled 2009) Nicaragua
Dillon - Tres Vieux
Plantation - Guyana 1999
Havana Club - Seleccion de Maestros
Ron Zacapa - Centenario Gran Reserva
Diplomatico - Reserva Exclusiva 12 años
Bristol Nicaragua '98 was very whiskeylike in character and reminded me about a bourbon.
Dillon Tres Vieux is the only cane juice rum I have tried except for Barbancourt 5 Star. It had more of a cognac character with long after taste. It was together with the Havana Club my favourites of the evening.
Plantation Guyana '99 was interesting to try as I like the blended El Dorado 12. This was less sweet but still very nice. Powerful taste with hints of banana.
Havana Club S. de M. is the first rum I have tried from them that works as a sipper. The Havana Club 7 yo have never really impressed me. Their white rums are delicious for mixing and beats the similarly priced Bacardi offerings with a very wide margin. The Seleccion de Maestros was mild in taste with a long after taste. A bit spicy or peppery and had still some alcoholic bite left in it.
The Zacapa is a long time favourite but as the fifth rum of the evening it seemed a bit character less and anonymous with no flavours coming forward. I got surprised since I had put this one as a likely favourite but most people thought it was too bland.
Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva was sweet, very sweet. Very easy to drink but the sweetness was too much for me.This was the favourite among several of the evenings participants.Hints of processed almonds or marzipan in the flavour.
Dillon won on getting high average ratings while the one that seemed most popular was the Diplomatico. The Diplomatico got more diverse ratings due to it's sweetness. A more of a love it or hate it rum while the Dillon was not a real favourite with anybody but considered among the best by all.
The final ratings were:
1 Dillon - Tres Vieux
2 Diplomatico - Reserva Exclusiva 12 años
3 Havana Club - Seleccion de Maestros
4 Plantation - Guyana 1999
5 Ron Zacapa - Centenario Gran Reserva
6 Bristol - Classic Reserve 1998 (Bottled 2009) Nicaragua
Afterwards we retried rums we were curious about or tried some that I had at home and had not been part of the test. It was a very nice evening and I hope we can repeat it a few times every year.