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Rum tasting: Eight to try

By — J.W.,

I’m not going to offer tasting notes; that’s for you and your friends. Instead, here are a few facts on production and location of origin. The descriptions, the opinions and the judgments are all up to you.

FLIGHT 1

The two “white” rums selected are actually both lightly aged, then charcoal-filtered to remove the brown barrel color.

1. El Dorado, 3 year old. ($20). Demerara rum from Guyana that has become a bartender favorite for rum cocktails.

2. Banks 5 Island ($26). A blend of 20 or more rums from Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana; contains bit of Batavia arrack, a wild rum from the island of Java made from fermented red rice.

FLIGHT 2

These two rums hail from French-speaking islands and are medium aged.

3. Rhum Clement V.S.O.P. ($39). A rhum agricole from Martinique distilled from fresh-pressed sugar cane juice rather than molasses, as are most other rums.

4. Rhum Barbancourt, 8 year old ($25). Classic rum from Haiti, also made from fresh pressed sugar cane juice.

FLIGHT 3

These two rums approach late middle age. Consider the effect that more than a decade of barrel contact has on the spirit.

5. El Dorado, 12 year old ($30). The older brother of the 3 year old. See what nine more years of aging in whiskey barrels does to this Guyanese favorite.

6. Appleton Estate, 12 year old ($35). From the famed Jamaican distiller, aged in used Jack Daniels barrels.

FLIGHT 4

These rums push the top end of aging. Both are classics — not just in the rum category, but among spirits in general.

7. Rhum Barbancourt Reserve, 15 year old ($37). Compare the difference in this Haitian rum with its eight-year-old little brother from Flight 2.

8. Flor de Cana Centenario, 18 year old ($40). This, from Nicaragua, might be Central America’s finest rum.

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