Custom Aged Rum

Mrs. Mai Tai got me this little aging barrel for Christmas and after three months I thought it was aged well enough to bottle. The blend is about two thirds Rum Fire from Jamaica, an overproof rum at 63% ABV with overripe fruit notes, and a third Saint Benevolence Rum Clairin from Haiti, an olive/brine forward rum at 50% ABV. Both pot-still rums are unaged and will put the aging process to the test.

After three months, you can see the rum has turned very dark. I estimate the “angel’s share” loss to be at least 40%, perhaps due to the barrel not exactly being made to distiller’s quality. In fact, the fragrant blend of rum is still present on the barrel today.

In this glass, this is like nothing I’ve ever tasted thanks to the blend of two flavor bombs blended together. Yet this definitely isn’t the same as the two rums together if poured straight out of the bottle. There’s a lot of traditional flavors that you’d expect from barrel aging, but still a lot of the acetone flavor you sometimes get from overproof Jamaican rums. In the Mai Tai, this potent rum made itself known immediately but the cocktail format rounded off some of the hard edges. It is delightful if you really like to chew on your rums in a Mai Tai.

The experiment isn’t over. I’ve refilled the barrel with some Puerto Rican light rum to see how the barrel and any residual flavors from the Rum Fire and Saint Benevolence affect the flavor. We’ll have an update in three months.

Next Up: the barrel was used a second time with a light Puerto Rican rum

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