Blind Taste Testing

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So I’ve just spent a very pleasant evening conducting a personal experiment which revealed some interesting things. I thought I’d share them here.
I chose 8 molasses based rums from various locations, various prices and various reputations. All of them are readily available (I purposely missed out the Aussies amongst my collection).
Anyway, I asked my wife to pour a sip from each bottle and number them and the corresponding bottle but not to tell me which bottle was which number. So effectively she set up a blind taste test. I then worked my way through them from 1-8 (hick!) and made notes on each and rated them 1 to 10. The trickiest part was to then try and guess which rum was which. I tried to cover the whole spectrum so there’s everything from the sweeter Diplomatico and Zacapa to robust and complex Caroni 17 and Appleton 21. This could be embarrassing if I get them wrong.
Anyway here are the results and notes that I took. I apologies for the long post.

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1. Caramelised sugar aroma. A very sweet smell. No Alcohol burn. Hint of banana. Very smooth mouth feel. Sweet flavours but not unpleasant. Rich caramel flavours not very complex.
I guessed – Zacapa 23, possibly Pussers 15. Actual rum was Diplomatico reserva exclusive. My score 5/10

2. Warm Oaky aroma. No alcohol burn. A smokey sweetness. Very oily mouth feel. Hints of petrol with lots of burn across the palette and down the throat. A very complex sip. I guessed -Caroni 17. Actual rum was Caroni 17. My score 7/10.

3. Floral, pineapple, citrus aromas. Smooth mouth feel with no burn. A pleasant tongue tingle but a bit “watery”.
My guess – Doorley’s 12. Actual rum was Pussers 15. My score 6/10

4. Neutral aromas, quite soapy with a hint of honey. Very soft mouthfeel. Oaky and earthy flavours with a slight tingle.
My guess – Diplomatico. Actual rum was Mount Gay XO. My score 3/10.

5. No burn to the aroma. Warm rubbery smell but pleasant. Slightly funky with a pleasant pepper, spice and hotness.
My guess Appleton 21. Actual rum was St Lucia 1931. My score 6/10.

6. Spicy aromas with a little nose burn. Nice sweet oaky flavours. Lovely mouth feel. Quite complex.
My guess – either St Lucia 1931 or Mt Gay XO. Actual rum was Doorley’s 12. My score 8/10

7. Very funky aroma. Slight cheese aroma but in a pleasant way. The most interesting aromas so far. Sweet caramel flavours coming through but very funky. Lovely and complex. The nicest sip so far. Long and lingering and not overly hot.
My guess- Appleton 21. Actual rum was Appleton 21. My score 9/10.

8. The darkest colour. No real aromas but could be alcohol fatigue. Doesn’t smell sweet but very sweet flavours. Bitter chocolate too with lingering earthy tobacco.
My guess – Mt Gay XO. Actual rum was Zacapa 23. My score 6/10.

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So there you go. A couple of embarrassing moments there, most notably thinking the Mt Gay XO was Diplomatico and giving it 3/10 when I’ve always complemented it and then thinking the Zacapa 23 was the XO.

Interestingly though I guess was the fact that I placed the cheapest rum (XO) With the lowest score and the most expensive (Appleton 21) I gave the highest. So at least there’s some truth (for me anyway) that expensive is better and I can justify paying the higher prices.

Next time I might do an Agricole comparison.

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