Alcometer Testing

Testing the Alcohol by Volume (abv) can be a contentious issue. Usually it is a very basic way to tell if a particular bottling has had anything added to it post distillation. This could be anything really but usually the additives are along the lines of sugars, syrups, puree’s, liquid glucose, or even where barrels used for ageing may still be “wet” ie. possibly still some sherry, muscat etc left in the barrel.

There are many reasons why a producer might do this. Sometimes to ‘Smooth” out the profile of the rum or sweeten it. It could also be that it has additives to make a poor distillate more palatable.

Talking about additives is a whole subject in itself. Personally I prefer unadulterated rums and will always research whether a particular rum that I’m about to purchase is unadulterated or not.

Some people are quite happy with sweetened or adulterated rums which is fine if that is their preference, however there is a movement in rum circles that argues that producers should at least be honest about the practice and declare what is in the bottle on the label.

So, by using an alcometer you can get an indication as to whether anything has been added. This is done by comparing the declared abv on the bottle’s label with the reading on the alcometer.

Additives will generally be indicated if the alcometer reading is lower than that on the label. As a disclaimer, I am not a scientist and my testing does not take place in laboratory conditions. The optimum temperature when testing is 20 degrees C. Any wild variations to this can make a difference to the readings. When testing I try to control the conditions with air conditioning but I can’t guarantee that my results are 100% accurate and they should be taken with a pinch of salt and for interest only.

Having said that, when I do my testing I “calibrate” with a rum that I know is accurate to start with.

So far I have tested all the rums currently in my collection. It’s a relatively meagre amount and you can find some much larger and more comprehensive result lists either at The Fat Rum Pirate or at Drecon

 Rum Bottle ABVMy ABV
1Adelphi Single Estate Hampden 15 54.355
2Appleton Rare Blend 12 4343
3Appleton Signature Blend 4040
4Appleton Joy 25yr4545
5Arcane Extraroma 4035
6Archie Rose Virgin Cane Spirit5050
7Barbancourt Reserve de Domaine 15yr 4343
8Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 4040
9Bacardi Carta Blanca 37.537.5
10Baker Williams Single Barrel 65.365.5
11Baldwin Distilling Co. Rum 4549
12Beenleigh 5yr old Double Barrel 4035
13Black Gate Single Cask rum. Cask #0175151
14Black Gate Ranga Rum 5151
15Bristol Classic Rockley Still 1986 Sherry Finish 4643
16Bundaberg Blenders Edition 2015 4040
17Bundaberg Blenders Award Winning Edition4040
18Cadenhead Cask Strength Foursquare 11yr6062
19Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 198958.458.5
20Depaz VSOP Reserve Speciale 4545
21Diplolmatico Reserva Exclusiva 4032
22Doorly’s 8yr4040
23Doorly’s 12yr4040
24Doorly’s XO4040
25El Dorado 8yr4037
26El Dorado Single Barrel PM 4040
27Far North Queensland Rum Co Iridium 4038
28Flor de Cana 18 4040
29Foursquare ECS Port Cask Finish 4040
30Foursquare ECS Zinfandel 4343
31Foursquare ECS Dominus 5656
32Foursquare ECS Premise 4646
33Foursquare ECS 20045959
34Foursquare ECS 20055959
35Foursquare- Velier Triptych5656
36Foursquare- Velier Principia6262
37Foursquare- Velier Destino 6161
38Goslings Black Seal OP 15175.575
39Havana Club Anejo 3 Anos4040
40Hoochery Distillery Ord River Rum Premium 4036
41Hoochery Distillery Ord River Rum Straight Barrel Proof64.969
42Hoochery Distillery Ord River Rum OP 3yrs56.457
43Husk Distillers Pure Cane (2016 Harvest)4040
44Husk Distillers 1866 Tumbulgum Rum 42.542.5
45Husk Distillers Spiced Bam Bam 4038
46Illegal Tender Distillers Cut 4545
47Inner Circle Premium Rum OP75.977
48La Maison & Velier Long Pond 2003 6365
49La Maison & Velier Hampden Estate Pure Single  Rum OP6060
50La Maison du Whisky Caroni 17 yr5555.5
51Lord Byron Distillery Silver Rhum40.340.5
52Lord Byron Distillery Silver Rhum OP 6363
53Lord Byron Distillery Promise Aged Rum 4038.5
54Kirk and Sweeney 234040
55Lark Distillery Quiet Cannon 5050
56Matusalem Gran Reserva 15 Solera 4040
57Mount Gay Eclipse37.537.5
58Mount Gay Black Barrel 4344
59Mount Gay Extra Old (Older version)4343
60Mount Gay XO 4343
61Mount Gay 17034343
62Pampero Aniversario 4038
63Penny Blue XO Batch #0044343
64Pere Labat 8 ans4242
65Phantom Spirits Vanilla Shake Cask4338
66Pirates Grog No 13 4038
67Plantation Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple 4034
68Pussers 15 yr Navy Rum (Nelsons Blood)4034
69Pussers British Navy Rum 4040
70Ratu 5yr Dark 4040
71Rhum J.M XO4545.5
72Rhum J.M 2002 46.346.5
73Riverbourne Distillery 1st Release 4848
74R.L Seale’s Finest Barbados Rum 10yr4343
75Ron Abuelo Centuria4035
76Saint James 12 Ans4343.5
77Sansibar Premium Panamanian Rum 20 yr5151
78Silver Seal Whisky Company Uitvlught Demerara 18 yr 5050
79Smith and Cross Jamaican 5757
80St Lucia Distillers Admiral Rodney 4040
81St Lucia Distillers Chairmans Reserve Forgotten Casks 4040
82St Lucia Distillers 1931 1st Edition 4344
83St Lucia Distillers 1931 2nd Edition 4343.5
84St Lucia Distillers 1931 3rd Edition 4338.5
85St Lucia Distillers 1931 4th Edition 4343
86St Lucia Distillers 1931 5th Edition 4646
87St Lucia Distillers 1931 6th Edition 4646
88Stone Pine Barrique Rum 4040
89Tamborine Mountain Distillery Gold Rum 4040
90Tamborine Mountain Distillery Sugar Cane Spirit 4040
91Tamborine Mountain Distillery Spiced Gold Rum  4040
92The Grove Dark Rum 4039.5
93The Kimberley Rum Company Canefire No54040
94The Kimberley Rum Company Canefire No94039
95The Kimberley Rum Company Canefire No144040
96The Real McCoy 12 yr 4040
97The Real McCoy 12yr Ltd Madeira & Bourbon Cask Aged4646
98Transcontinental Barbados 2012 4646
99Turquoise Bay Amber Rum 4038
100Velier The Antigua Distillery Heavy Traditional Rum 6666.5
101Velier Clairin Communal 4343
102Velier Clairin Casimir 48.348.5
103Velier Clairin Sajous54.354.5
104Velier Clairin Le Rocher46.546.5
105Velier Diamond H (Hampden Estate) 6263
106Velier Last Ward 2009 Barbados Pure Single Rum5959
107Velier Mount Gilboa 20086666
108Velier Forsyths WP 200557.858
109Velier Foursquare 20136464
110Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum 57.1857