Lost Spirits Rum

A review from guest author @DangerWill42
Some time back @bfbcping suggested I should start reviewing the higher octane spirits available.  Mostly because I prefer them over the various beers, and he vice versa.

As this is my first foray into this venture it’s apposite that I set expectations for you constant reader.  First off: I am not a professional. As such when you read the various critics you will invariably encounter verbiage like “has notes of” “hint of” “tastes of rich caramel, earthy peat, and sea air” whilst I have a decent vocabulary my palate is not quite…urbane.  What I can offer is at the very least a level set so that if you try something I like, and you like it as well you’ll know the other things I like will be similar in nature.  On the other hand, if you don’t agree with me you’ll have a list of things to save your money on.

Sound fair?  Ok, let’s get started!

For my first review I’ve chosen rum.  Lost Spirits Distillery takes distilling rum to a high level of detail.  These are handmade batches that until recently were crafted in a wooden pot still.  Since these are hand crafted, and relatively small batches you can expect some variations between batches.  There are two claims to fame: The distillery is in California, and they use a high grade of molasses, bananas, and water…nothing else. Between that, and the label artwork, they had my attention.

As I’m sure you noticed the label shows that this is a 68% alcohol (136 Proof) rum.  I’ve heard it called an ‘Over proof’ rum.  I didn’t realize rum had standards like Scotch for what proof the product should be bottled at, but you learn something new all the time. They do go on to clarify this is “Cask Strength” so I guess we’ve been warned.

I don’t typically drink rum ‘neat’ but for the sake of objectivity I did.  First impression upon uncorking:  “WTF is that smell!?”  See, I like rum.  I like rum because it’s sweet and usually has a hint of molasses smell to it.  This had the undeniable aroma of wine vinegar.  I’ve been back several times to verify, because I just can’t believe it.  Yup, wine vinegar.  Despite that, I took a drink.  It tasted like I’d just lost a good portion of my taste buds as they died screaming in a fire.  Like I said, I don’t typically drink rum by itself, and certainly not at such a high proof.

So I tried to dilute it to a less fiery death strength with some distilled water.  OK, that’s better.  It doesn’t taste any better mind you; it just didn’t burn as much.  This reminds me of Bacardi 151 actually.  Something I drank when I was 20+ years younger and dumber.

At $45/750ml bottle I’d have to recommend saving your money and go get a pint of 151.  I’ll probably try to mix this into some ginger beer (never ginger ale people) and try for a high octane Dark and Stormy later.  
Otherwise I have a bottle of expensive paint remover with a cool label, memorable name, and a bad aroma.

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