Last night, I got to attend a wonderful rum tasting at Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits in Doraville. This event was held in their tasting room, which is a pretty snazzy little place right behind the store. They put on a really good show that featured (in addition to the rum) nice seating, a welcome cocktail, substantial snacks and water to keep us hydrated. I’m happy to say that there were very generous pours of the five rums we were tasting, even though there was no way I could or should have finished them all (it was pretty much five shots of rum in about an hour – I would have been sleeping under a table).
The rums that we sampled included three by Atlantico, an 8-year rum by Bacardi and the Santa Teresa 1796. Here’s what we had, in the order we tried them:
Ron Atlantico Platino (Dominican Republic): Did you know that Enrique Inglesias is a part owner of this company? Now, you do. This was a very nice white rum. It smelled and tasted like vanilla and had a creamy texture. I think it would be a very good mixer. $17.99 at Tower
Ron Atlantico Reserva (Dominican Republic): This is a nice amber rum that was pretty smooth. It had fruit and then spice and would also be lovely in any rum cocktail. $22.99 at Tower
Bacardi 8 (Puerto Rico): This is an amber rum that was darker than the Atlantico Reserva but was a bit harsher and not as smooth. It did have spice and some body but I smelled and tasted the alcohol a lot. Still, I would use this in cocktails in a pinch, especially for the price. $19.29 at Tower
Ron Atlantico Private Cask (Dominican Republic): Now we’re getting to the really good stuff. This amber rum uses the solera process for aging so you never really know how old it is. The solera process is like a giant pyramid scheme except that everything flows (in part) to the bottom where the funds (rum) are removed every year for bottling, but part of the rum stays in the container to get mixed with the next oldest stuff on top of it so that some part of the bottom container is always super ancient. Or, something like that. Anyway,this is rum is delicious. I found it to be very smooth with lots of spice up front and a nice finish. It could definitely be a sipper (even for someone like me) but could shine in a cocktail that really focuses on the rum. The price on this seems really low for how good it is. $34.99 at Tower
Santa Teresa “1796″ Venezuelan Rum: Yum, yum, yum. This one was really good, too. It had a lighter and sort of fruity taste at first and then it totally changed flavors and became full and spicy. It was really nice and just as good for sipping (if not better) than the Atlantico Private Cask. The price on this also seems fantastic. $33.99 at Tower
Everyone running the tasting was so nice and helpful and interested in what we thought – the distributor, the representative from Atlantico, and Gregg from Tower. They made the tasting enjoyable. There were a few smartypants-types there who were participating, including one guy who kept telling me to try things because “girls like it” or because “it’s good for people who don’t like rum”. I was tempted to start discussing MMA and ask him which rum goes best with legally sanctioned violence, but I refrained because that would be mean and saying things like that is probably why I’m still single. I certainly am no rum expert and definitely not a rum snob but I do like to try lots of things and this was a great opportunity to do just that. And, I now have some seriously good rum residing in my house so be nice to me and I might let you try some. I’m looking forward to the next tasting!