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Enjoying scent and flavors of this spirit

By Kitty Go | China Daily | Updated: 2014-03-23 11:22

Enjoying scent and flavors of this spirit

Pot stills, a metal kettle with a long spout, are used in premium distilleries. [Photo/China Daily]

Ideally, rum should be drunk neat with no water or with just an ice ball that will melt slowly, cooling the rum, opening it up and releasing its flavors. For those new to the spirit, Caripelago Trading's Shane Stuart recommends a blend of equal parts rum and water to allow the alcohol to dissipate and let various scents and flavors develop gradually.

Enjoying the scent and flavors of rum is very much like trying perfume where there are different levels of notes which change with time.

"It is difficult for the uninitiated to pick up all the flavor profiles if they smell the alcohol first. The water and ice allow alcohol to evaporate," Stuart says. It would not be uncommon to detect traces of vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, citrus and tropical fruits including coconut and even smoke at various intervals from a single shot of premium rum.

Caripelago introduces restaurateurs, bartenders and gourmet trendsetters with the joys of rum through informal bar tastings and through word-of-mouth.

There are two other effective vehicles Caripelago relies on for individual, in-depth education where their rums come up trumps. The first is cigar pairings, which they do with Pacific cigars in Hong Kong, and the second is with eating and dining clubs, such as Asia Circle and the Stockton in Hong Kong.

For cigar pairings, they match taste profiles of cigars with their rums. For whiskey lovers, there are 10-, 15- or 25-year-olds from St. Nicholas Abbey, which has operated in Barbados for about 350 years.

The 10-year-old St. Nicholas Abbey is the only rum from a British colony that is a single cask (not blended) and behaves like a rum agricole, which whiskey lovers appreciate.

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