White Rum
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Best White Rum

Rum is a sugar cane distilled spirit that is directly influenced by terroir, tradition and technique. Sugar cane can be grown anywhere in the world that hosts a tropical climate. But the Caribbean is considered the predominant producer of rum.

White rum is also known as "silver" or "light" rum. It is light-bodied, light in color and lightly sweet in flavor. As is all rum, white rum is produced from sugarcane juice and molasses, and normally has a short distillation period. But unlike gold, dark and aged rums which are matured in charred oak casks, white rum is mellowed in plain oak casks or stainless steel tanks for about a year, then filtered. By aging the spirit in this way, the final product remains clear. Rhum Agricole is produced mainly in the French West Indies. The main ingredient in Rhum Agricole is sugarcane, with a tasting profile defined by dry, grassy notes. This differs from rums produced from molasses with sweeter, vanilla flavors.

During the 18th century, the 159 distilleries in New England produced huge quantities of quality rum from molasses shipped to the colonies from the islands. More rum was made in Colonial America than in the Caribbean, and rum became the colonists' most popular spirit. Twelve million gallons of rum were consumed annually by the early colonists. After the Revolution, as the trading of molasses was restricted by the British, Americans switched to home-grown products such as corn and grain. The American whiskey industry was born, and whiskey replaced rum as the tipple of choice. Most New England distillers closed shop, but rum production continued in the Caribbean, shipping most of the product to Europe.

George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, knew the value of supplying the public with a little rum. When running for a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1758, Washington gave out 28 gallons of rum and 50 gallons of rum punch, as well as wine, beer and cider — to 391 voters. It cost his campaign £50 (about $8,000 today), but he won his seat.
The strangest rum fact: When Admiral Nelson died in the Battle of Tralfager, his body was preserved during the voyage home in a cask of rum before it was laid to rest.

Following World War II, rum became hip in pre-Castro Cuba where luxury hotel bars in Havana became notorious for their rum-based cocktails. Then in the late 50s early 60s there was the Tiki Bar craze, such as Trader Vic's with its exotic rum cocktail concoctions.

And so the popularity of white rum continues . . . Production of American rum has seen a resurgence in the last few years, with over 60 distilleries currently producing rum in the U.S., seven in New England alone. Most people are drinking white rum without even knowing it. That Mojito, Daiquiri, Rum & Coke, and Piña Colada you're drinking? The traditional ingredient is white rum – because it doesn't change the color of the drink.

 

The Fifty Best White Rum Tasting

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 20 white rums (including 2 rhum agricoles) with 17 pre-qualified judges. The rhum agricoles were judged and scored separately. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the white rums were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded based on a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The countries and states of origin are identified for each brand.

 

WHITE RUM TASTING RESULTS:



Don Reyes



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Don Reyes
(Dominican Republic)

Nose: Chocolate, Graham cracker, praline, butterscotch, cotton candy, vanilla.
Palate: Cookie dough ice cream, vanilla extract, creamy, creme caramel, praline, toffee, nougat, bitter chocolate notes, chocolate Graham cracker, coconut, raisins, elegant, outstanding.
Finish: Praline, vanilla, molasses, buttery, delicate, short.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Vizcaya Cristal White
(Dominican Republic)

Nose: Hint of vanilla, butterscotch, subtle caramel, chocolate, dates, ginger.
Palate: Pineapple, apple, watermelon, coconut, dates, raisins, crème brûlée, caramel, creme caramel, nougat, vanilla, cane sugar, coffee, delicious.
Finish: Coffee notes, chocolate, honey, burnt sugar, mild spice, silky, lingering.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Vizcaya Cristal White



Atlantico Platino



Atlantico Platino
(Dominican Republic)

Nose: Subtle vanilla, cotton candy, cookie dough, nougat, coconut, lemon.
Palate: Vanilla, creme, clotted cream, creamy, custard, vanilla cake, Graham cracker, pear, peach, violet, nutmeg, spice, full bodied, balanced.
Finish: Chocolate almond, anise, gentle, lingering.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Bayou Silver
(Louisiana)

Nose: Banana, banana bread, passion fruit, guava, butterscotch, cola, walnut, floral.
Palate: Vanilla, coconut, orange, peach, cherry, brown sugar, molasses, toffee, whipped cream, honeysuckle, hints of cinnamon, banana bread, nutmeg, walnut, traces of kola nut, violet, cigar notes, oak wood.
Finish: Vanilla, maple syrup, biscuit, dark toast, allspice, short.


Double-Gold Medal
Double-Gold medal



Bayou Silver Rum



St. Nicholas Abbey white rum



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

St. Nicholas Abbey
(Barbados)

Nose: Vanilla, butterscotch, caramel, whipped cream, brown sugar, banana, fig, pear.
Palate: Butterscotch, caramel, buttery, vanilla, custard, toffee, brown sugar, burnt sugar, sugar cane, banana, bitter orange, biscuit, hazelnut, coffee, new wood.
Finish: Cinnamon, banana, nutty, spice, light pepper, very smooth, medium.


Gold Medal
Gold medal





Three Sheets
(California)

Nose: Dates, banana, mango, subtle vanilla, hints of butterscotch, coffee, licorice, peppery, marine notes.
Palate: Chocolate fudge, cocoa, cream, vanilla, molasses, butterscotch, crème brûlée, Graham cracker, biscuit, marzipan, amaretto, coffee bean, nutty, walnut, rich mouthfeel.
Finish: Vanilla, butterscotch, light clove, smooth, mellow, clean, medium.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Three Sheets white rum



Tortuga Light rum



Tortuga Light
(Cayman Islands)

Nose: Subtle vanilla, caramel, coconut, white grape, lime, citrus, grassy.
Palate: Crème brûlée, custard, vanilla, pineapple, coconut, tropical fruit, orange, lemon, lime, verbena, violet, cola notes, slight pistachio, silky, well-rounded, smooth, pleasant.
Finish: Nougat, Irish coffee, peppermint, soft, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



The Real McCoy
(Barbados)

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, caramel, buttery, banana.
Palate: Butter cream, crème brûlée, toffee, nougat, vanilla, banana, coconut, pecan, marzipan, toast, nutmeg, faint mint notes, spicy, sweet pepper, bright, crisp, lively.
Finish: Grassy, eucalyptus, clean, fresh, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



The Real McCoy white rum



Shellback Silver rum



Shellback Silver
(Barbados)

Nose: Mango, papaya, banana, guava, black cherry, nougat, vanilla, crème brûlée, candy apple, rose, spearmint.
Palate: Pineapple, mango, passion fruit, black cherry, strawberry, orange blossom, citrus fruit, maple syrup, butterscotch, creamy, fantastic for mixing in cocktails.
Finish: Figs, lilac, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Travellers Classic White
(Belize)

Nose: Banana, tropical fruit, apricot, elderflower, almond, subtle vegetal.
Palate: Vanilla, subtle cocoa, buttery, banana, fig, marzipan, nutty, toasty notes, flowery, cherry blossom, rose, charcoal.
Finish: Floral, clean, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Travellers Classic White rum



Treaty Oak Platinum rum



Treaty Oak Platinum
(Texas)

Nose: Chocolate fudge, cocoa, buttery, custard, maple, espresso, coffee bean, cantaloupe, ripe lime, tea leaves.
Palate: Milk chocolate, cocoa, creamy, vanilla, butterscotch, molasses, cola, espresso, roasted coffee, walnut, cashew, spice, eucalyptus, wood.
Finish: Cola notes, papaya, tea, tobacco, soft, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Old New Orleans Crystal
(Louisiana)

Nose: Chocolate mint, espresso, vanilla, honey, jasmine, clove, lilac, papaya.
Palate: Light espresso, hints of vanilla coffee, burnt sugar, custard, nougat, slight cocoa, herbal notes, rose water, rose petals, soft.
Finish: Elegant, floral, touch of honey & clove, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Old New Orleans Crystal rum



Privateer Silver rum



Privateer Silver
(Massachusetts)

Nose: Granny Smith apple, tangerine, cherry cola, minty, slight lemongrass.
Palate: Vanilla, banana, figs, green apple, herbal, jasmine, anise, slight mint, cashew.
Finish: Burnt sugar, caramel, nutmeg, subtle spice, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Blue Chair Bay
(Barbados)

Nose: Luxurious vanilla, grape, blueberry, lime, floral, eucalyptus.
Palate: Vanilla, cocoa, brown sugar, berry, pear, coconut milk, fig, lime, eucalyptus, orchid, fresh, bright.
Finish: Floral, grassy, mango, pineapple, cedar wood, silky, clean, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Blue Chair Bay rum



Miami Club rum



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS:


Miami Club
(Florida)

Nose: Vanilla, caramel, buttery, clotted cream, brown sugar, jack fruit, cashew, herbal, jasmine.
Palate: Vanilla, toffee, coconut, banana, peanut butter, cashew, walnut, roasted nuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, chicory, licorice.
Finish: Leather, tobacco, silky, medium.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Caña Brava
(Panama)

Nose: Crème brûlée, coconut, lime, jasmine, toast.
Palate: Mango, peach, pineapple, lemonade, lime, verbena, hints of cashew, wood notes.
Finish: Cinnamon, tarragon, white pepper, fresh, medium.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Caña Brava rum



Caliche rum



Caliche
(Puerto Rico)

Nose: Grassy, floral, slightly vegetal, yellow banana, jasmine.
Palate: Crème brûlée, pecan pie, whipped cream, nougat, brown sugar, coconut, dried fruit, honeysuckle, rose petals, spice.
Finish: Grassy, herbal, light, clean, medium.

Silver Medal
Silver medal





White Hat
(Texas)

Nose: Espresso, chocolate, Graham cracker, vanilla, molasses, lemon citrus, cedar.
Palate: Creamy, citrus, peppermint, red pepper, grassy.
Finish: Mild pepper, lemon, wood notes, short.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



White Hat rum



Rhum Clément Premiére Canne



RHUM AGRICOLE

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNER:

Rhum Clément Premiére Canne
(Martinique)

Nose: Orange peel citrus, peach, pear, molasses, sugar cane, honeysuckle, mint, jasmine, light cedar, subtle licorice, hints of grain, slight spice.
Palate: Dates, fig, prune, cranberry, pear, apricot, orange, clove, eucalyptus, tarragon, floral, grass, vegetal, wood, clean.
Finish: Citrus, grassy, cedar, allspice, mellow, lingering.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



GOLD MEDAL WINNER:

Damoiseau Virgin Cane
(Martinique)

Nose: Pineapple, slight peach, fig, hints of ripe banana, dried fruit, toast, butterscotch, creamy, grassy.
Palate: Honey, buttery, herbal notes, tropical fruit, guava, dates, figs, citrus, violet, grassy, vegetal, black pepper, sage, wood.
Finish: Rye, caraway, clean, bold, medium.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Damoiseau rhum

 

 

 

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