By Phillip Jones, aka the Martini Whisperer.
While the world has been going crazy for gin, there has been a quiet revolution going on in the world of Rum.
A new generation of distilleries are looking at this classic, but often misunderstood spirit and creating new styles for the times.
Australia’s relationship with rum goes back to the first Sydney colony, and now there are over 30 distilleries in Australia that make a range of styles including spiced, white, dark that are perfect for mixing into exciting cocktails or sipping over ice.
There are distilleries in nearly every State, and some use the molasses they make from the sugar cane on their farms, whilst others are set up in the inner city.
Rum is made in over 80 countries like Barbados, Jamaica and Venezuela and in places you might not expect like Spain, the UK, USA and even Sweden!
Rums today come in a range of styles that reflect the way they are produced and aged, with some getting additional flavours or spices after distillation.
The main styles are:
- Dark: not quite the same as gold, they may be aged longer, or have some additional molasses added for richer flavours.
- Flavoured: as the name suggests, additional sweetness or some other additive has been blended to the rum.
- Gold: as the rum mellows in barrels, it takes on amber or golden hues.
- Navy: the Royal Navy and rum go back a long way, think Pirates of the Caribbean and then some! Once part of the daily ration for sailors, the rums were kept in barrels and hence they are usually dark and can be higher alcohol by volume (ABV) than the others.
- Overproof: Not for the faint hearted! If the average rum is 45%-45%ABV then these bad boys can be way above that for extra heat and punch.
- Premium Aged: these are the best of the best, like a fine single malt or Cognac, these rums can be aged in oak or sherry casks (or other variations) for over 20 years or more.
- Spiced: these rums have been enhanced and aged with fruit extracts, or botanicals, or spices.
- White or Silver: a lighter and milder style than the others.
A good rum should be luscious, clean on the finish, not boozy on the nose, and offer some lovely complex spice, with some residual sweetness. The rums today have much more finesse, complexity and smoothness compared to what you have had in the past.
Mixologists love the spirit for its versatility, depth and range of flavour that work in a wide range of cocktails. There are the classics like the Mojito, Daiquiri and the Hurricane, and house creations that you can enjoy around Canberra.
If you want to taste a curated range of rums from around the world, come along to a Mini Festival of Rum at Pialligo Estate on 13th July. Bring along a group of friends to enjoy games, prizes and live music after the event. Places are limited so book your place now.
About the Martini Whisperer
Phillip Jones, aka the Martini Whisperer, is an educator and expert in craft spirits and he frequently presents informative and fun experiences on gin, whisky, rum, and of course the Martini. For reviews, articles and more visit martiniwhisperer.com and tune into him on Instagram @themartiniwhisperer