Originally Posted by Girardian
I'm a big rum fan and have an extensive collection, and participate regularly in rum tastings (with friends who are also interested in this spirit).
El Dorado rums are great.
The Aniversario is a good rum but the *prior* releases were much better than the current offering. I did a side by side this past Sunday and the latest bottles are thinner and hotter than the older ones.
Inconsistency is a common problem in the rum industry where many labels are purchased rums from stocks of existing distilleries and where the brands to not distill their own rums.
A surprise stand out at this last tasting was Ron Botran Soleara -- inexpensive, rich, sweet but with some spice. All around, very nice.
The tasting included about 35 rums, among them were many "usual suspects" present for comparison. Rums included:
- The old Zaya (a favorite)
- old versions of the Zacapa 23 and new versions of it
- El Dorado 12, 15 and 21
- Diplomatico Exclusivo (a favorite)
- various Plantation rum offerings back into the 1980s
- Sea Wynde
- Neisson Rhum Agricole 'Reserve Speciale'
- Flor de Cana 'Centenario Gold'
- Several Murray McDavid bottlings
- etc. etc. etc.
For those buyers on the fence about trying a good rum, the Ron Botran Solera may be a good place to start. (Botran makes Zacapa.)
Personally, I'm not sensitive to whether one spirit costs $10 or $20 dollars more than another (on a by the glass average, that's not significant to me), but if you aren't ready to spring for the Zacapa Centenario (the so-called "23" ... no longer, regrettably, 23 years old -- if it ever truly was), which costs about $40, this $25 or so rum is a great option -- harder to find than Zacapa, but a good option.
I love the Plantation series, especially the old Jamaican 8yr (not the current 1998 vintage) and the Nicaragua. The rums I have open now are (there are more in storage):
El Dorado 15
Zacapa 23 (new version)
Zaya (new version)
Sea Wynde (ugh...)
Appleton Estate Rum 12
Mt. Gay Extra Old (found it for $26, bought half a case)
Barbancourt 8 (like more than 15)
Plantation Jamaica 1998
Plantation Jamaica 8yr
My favorites are the El Dorado 15, Zacapa, Jamaica 8yr and Barbancourt 8.
I have not tried the Murray McDavid as their price rivals or tops a good bottle of scotch and I have heard mixed things. I can be swayed though. What are your impressions of them Girardian?