“…Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest, Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of Rum.”

When drinking rum, the only thing a pirate adds to the rum is more rum.”

Have you ever noticed how as soon as man discovered something to eat or drink the second thought that entered his mind (sex naturally being the first) was how to convert it into alcohol? Sugar cane and Rum like drinks can be traced back in antiquity to India and from there spread rapidly to the rest of the civilized world. Marco Polo mentioned them back in the 14th century. Christopher Columbus brought sugar cane to the New World and by the 17th century the stuff was all over the Caribbean.

Pirates of the Caribbean were famous for hanging out at their favorite Tippling House and creating a rumbullion and rumbustion (tumult and uproar) and that might go a ways in explaining where the name “Rum” came. Other names for rum were Nelson’s Blood, Kill-Devil, Demon Water, Pirate’s Drink, Navy Neaters, and Barbados water.

The first ever written review of rum read:  “The chief fuddling they make in the island is Rumbullion, alias Kill-Divil, and this is made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor”. Apparently, it could have used a bit of tender loving care and aging!

I have to believe that the Flor De Cana 7 year old Grand Reserve Rum I received will taste much better than that swill of old. After all, the 115 year old family-owned Flor de Caña, is the only rum produced in Nicaragua and the most-awarded rum in the world. Flor de Caña premium and super premium rums are the only rums that are “slow-aged,” guaranteeing each age stated on the bottle is the actual age of the rum. The family owns the largest stock of aged rums in the world and offers a diverse selection of aged products including; 4-year-old White and Gold; 5-year-old; 7-year-old (around $25.00 750ml).; 12-year-old (around $35.00 750ml).; and 18-year-old (around $40.00 750ml). I guess the only question, is why didn’t they send any of the 12 and 18 year old bottles for us to test drive?

This 7 year old produces a deep complex yet sweet nose with hints of molasses, vanilla bean, burnt oak and a slight suggestion of bourbon. It reminds me of sun swept Mexican beaches, hammocks and ladies with long legs and begs for a splash of coke and a touch of lime to complete that particular memory.

It appears auburn brown like diluted coke or iced bourbon in the glass yet is more substantial and viscous looking.

It surprises the palate by not fulfilling its sweet promise but instead lining the mouth with a desire to pair it with something sweet or tart or both. It waits patiently, standing beautifully and demurely alone at the party waiting to see who it will pair up with, if anyone at all.

The oak is front and center in this orchestra accompanied by the rest of the instruments in a rising crescendo of flavors accompanied by a tingle on the tongue that is pleasant and not obtrusive. The finish is smooth with a taste of pepper and charcoal leaving a desire to taste it again. It’s like standing on a balcony in the dark watching the last guests leave, after the party is over, and reflecting on the pleasures that were and might have been and fighting the urge to yell out and have them turn and return. But in this case it is much simpler since I can just pour another glass.

I can only hope someone introduces me to her two older sisters. 

By George Brozowski

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