Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rum Fire, "Flavor on full"! or "Taste the Base!"



Rum Fire, to talk about it I'm going to go back a few years and tell you how I found it. Sitting on the patio outside of the Broken Shaker, I was sitting with a bunch of friends that were all in Miami for the Rum

Renaissance Festival and somebody pulled out a flask of Rum Fire and we all took a sip. Every one of us was impressed, amazed and intrigued. We wondered why this wasn't available in America and how beautiful Rum Fire was; it's huge Jamaican style rum, pungent aromatics. amazing structure, elegant depth and lovely warmth, or the best of everything you expect an excellent Jamaican overproof rum.

So that was a few years ago and every chance I've had since then, I've enjoyed Rum Fire. Usually neat, maybe with some ice, but that's how I am. Fortunately, I recently received a bottle from a friend and I was at home, so I made some cocktails and of course, Rum Fire held up brilliantly. Obviously, it blends perfectly with fruit juices because of the nature of it higher-proof, its intricate aromas, and its lovely full body; it stands up to sugar for the very same reasons. Because of how Rum Fire melds with juices and sugars it makes it an obvious addition to a variety of tiki drinks. Wild, fragrant, beautiful, ornate, elaborate drinks are no problem, Rum Fire will shine through.


Photo by Nicholas Feris

Jamaican Valet

1 oz. Rum Fire Overproof Rum
1 oz. Amargo-Vallet
1 oz. Lime juice
1 oz. simple, or gum syrup (optional/ adjust)

Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass, top with soda (or tonic)
Garnish with lime









The surprise was making 'traditional' style cocktails using rum a bitter modifier maybe a little sweetener or sweetening modifier, chilled and served in a classic glassware. I love those kinds of drinks, and my goodness I was floored immediately; I could see Rum Fire substituting for any huge gin immediately, I could see it marrying with vermouth's, amaro's, bitters, Sherry, or Port. All these things that are components to classically structured vintage cocktails--the kind of drinks not normally associated with an unaged, over-proof rum. Discussing this with my friend who gave me the bottle of Rum Fire, he coined the phrase "Taste the base".
Photo by Nicholas Feris




Heated Conversation

1 ½ oz. Rum Fire Overproof Rum
1 oz. Fino sherry
1 ½ oz. Amaro Montenegro

Stir with ice
strain into a cocktail glass
garnish with orange zest





That is -to me- the foundation of an elegantly structured classic cocktail; a cocktail that's built around a foundation spirit and augmented to amplifies the depth and breadth of the flavors without diminishing, or clashing with, the beauty of the base. Rum Fire is a perfect way to make these incredibly complex cocktails because of the immensity of the flavors in the foundation spirit. Anyways, here are a couple of cocktails that I came up with using fairly simple ratios that had fantastic results. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

While I was getting this ready to post, I noticed that Mixology Monday coming up and that this went perfectly with the subject that was presented by Stacy Markow at http://www.stacymarkow.com/.
Both of these drink utilize and could be utilized as a digestif
 Here is the link to the recap: http://www.stacymarkow.com/2016/12/27/mixology-monday-digestif-roundup/

Fantastic tour/history: http://www.therumcollective.com/2012/01/past-and-present-tour-of-hampden-estate.html
Their Website: http://www.h
ampdenrumcompany.com/products.html
Here is a great piece by my buddy Steve: https://www.uncommoncaribbean.com/2016/08/26/friday-happy-hour-the-tempestuous-trelawny-daiquiri/
Here another nice bit about the distillery that Rum Fire comes from http://rumconnection.com/hampden-estate/

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

BARRELL RUM Batch #001

WHAT? Barrell RUM? I know, I have been looking forward to this since I mentioned the idea to Joe and he said; "He's already working on it". Needless to say, when I saw this I was excited. When I saw what it was . . . I was giddy. I love big Jamaican Rum and, well let's just go into the details before I get all goofy.
A reminder, all Barrell offerings are limited and I've already mentioned in previous reviews how much I love this company's concept and selections, so click this link if you want to read those, let's move on!
Yes, I stole this from their website!
Basics on this RUM:
~ It was distilled and aged in Jamaica
~ It is made from fermented molasses
~ It was distilled in a pot still
~ It was aged 7 years in ex-Bourbon Barrels
~ It has been bottled at 134.73 proof
~ I is uncut, uncolored and is not chill-filtered

For their 1st batch of rum, BARRELL wanted to make an impact and they have certainly done that. Big, lovely, pungent aromas and flavors beautifully express the perfection of well-aged Jamaican Rum. It is warmly inviting and a perfect introduction to excellent rum --especially for lovers of high proof bourbon. This gem has, sadly, already let my house, I hope you can find some for your house.

Aromas of plantains baked with fresh grated ginger, lemon zest, nutmeg and almond with a dash of salt and drizzled with molasses are just the beginning. Like all well-aged Jamaican rums, there is a complexity that belies the idea of structure (which is deeply articulate on inspection). The barrel does its dance too, with familiar cinnamon, vanilla, coconut and a hint of char, but the rum stands tall. The flavors begin at the toasty nuances from the barrel and begin to spread with lime, grapefruit, and some oily pecan. The finish actually seems to start at the very first sip and build throughout the tasting experience, lingering to the finally that we will call the finish and hang on even longer for the after taste.

The company was founded by Joe Beatrice and Barrell Bourbon is committed to unique offerings with exceptional quality as the consistent bridge that connects each BatchThe whole website is fantastic. You can check out reviews (or post your own) and there some details on every offering that they have released and how / where to find them: As always, the Tasting Notes by Warren Bobrow are here and will definitely entice you,

Monday, December 12, 2016

Barrell Bourbon Batch 010

It's the holiday's so I wanted to be quick with this Barrell Bourbon review because they are so limited, and excellent.I'll mention again how much I love this concept and each selection has been fantastic, so click this link if you want to read some of the other reviews and let's move on! It is wonderfully expectable that each offering will show up and be delicious, during doing my due diligence in this review this Batch 010 hit my bourbon magic spot! Now this will make 8 (or more, I tasted a couple out in the wild and didn't get proper notes) different offerings from the team at BARRELL and each one has been great whiskey. Let's get the basics out of the way first:


Basics on this bourbon:
~ Straight Bourbon
~ Distilled in Indiana
~ Aged in Michigan
~ Crafted in Kentucky
~ 122 proof {uncut, un-colored, non-chill-filtered}
~ 8 years {new American Oak}
~ 75% corn, 21% rye & 4% malted barley

So from the last offering I wrote up, this from a different state, aged in a different state, a little younger, a different mash bill and ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. Again, I am not saying this offering is a better bourbon than the others, it just hits my sweet spot.

Aromas of citrus, roasted corn, vanilla, caramel, quince, steamy wood, sunflower seed, and fresh honey are supple and intrigue.
The flavor takes off from there building with cocoa nib, stewed stone fruits, fresh citrus, oily nuts, wonderful spice and impeccable balance. These daedal intricacies are like gossamer rather than layers--as you focus on one thing another is obscured but the memory draws you back to reexamine.
The finish is really the only hope of clarity; it finishes forever and instead of intensifying as the aromas and flavors did, it SLOWLY fades so you can try to observe the excellence included in this whiskey.

This is excellent Bourbon! An absolute treat to taste.

Check out Batch 010 on their website: http://www.barrellbourbon.com/batch10
I am going to quote my friend Warren Bobrow from his synopsis on the site: "Batch #10 is a revelation. Bursts of slowly roasted fruits enrobed in dark cocoa and touched with wood smoke abound. Swirls of wildflower honey and crushed walnuts come and go with every single sip rewarding attention and focus. Grits topped with long-simmering stew with undercurrents of saline, quince, and Meyer lemon".

Warren nailed it, you grab this one before it is gone!

Background info on the company: it was founded by Joe Beatrice and as Barrell Bourbon (and other Barrell offerings) they are committed to unique bottling's of exceptional quality as the consistent bridge that connects each BatchHere is their website and it is fantastic. You can check out reviews (or post your own) and there some details on every offering that they have released and how / where to find them.