Achievement unlocked. We finished the “book” phase of the Rumbustion Society and have moved onto the “phone app” phase, in which you sample every rum on a dedicated website.
The conclusion of the book phase was a bit anti-climactic. There was a moment of tipsy anxiety, mostly because one of the rum tasting nights ended in the misplacement of both (mostly filled) stamp cards. Luckily, the situation was resolved and we sped through the last 4 chapters with triumphant and slurred yelps at the end. A bar back squeezed up behind us in the crowded space to hastily present us with two cards and two badge pins, with the cards declaring us once and for all official initiates of the vaunted society and containing instructions on how to log onto the phone app.
We ended the night by chatting with three of possibly the stupidest girls that we have ever met.
Since then, we have been religiously voyaging to the dark bowels of the bar with its gloriously kitschy vomit of multi-colored tiki lights and décor. We’re up to around 40 rums each, mostly keeping to the $9-11 section of the app.
At one point, we threw the rums into an excel to calculate how much it would actually cost to drink every rum on the list. We needed a drink after seeing the $16,000+ lump sum… so we returned to Smuggler’s Cove.
Giving a full exhaustive run-down of everything we have had would take a while, but here are the notable ones:
- Ron de Jeremy: This is memorable and hilarious. Rum from Spanish-speaking locals is called “ron” and some creative geniuses named the rum “Ron de Jeremy” for the famously endowed adult movie phenomenon. They went full-out with the concept: the tagline is “the adult rum”, the company is branded “One Eyed Spirits”, and the tasting notes on the back describe a “deeply satisfying finish” that is “long and smooth”. For such a man’s jokester type of rum, it was surprisingly smooth and almost feminine. The smells and tastes were delicate, with vanilla, floral, raspberry, and strawberry notes.
- RumFire: We both agreed we would have hated this rum if we hadn’t already sampled a lot of rums. It’s loud. It’s proud. It’s the stripped down essence of Jamaican rum without any subtle bullshit: ester, bananas, and heat.
- Old Monk (from India) – Very Old Vatted: Stephen Liles (recently named bartender of the year, congratulations Stephen!) our Rum Sherpa slash master bartender, called it a “strange rum” upon inquiry. So of course I had to try it. Apparently, it was the dominant player in the (surprisingly large) rum market in India but has since then been on the decline and there are now fears that it is closing down. The rum itself smelled like salt water taffy and tasted like butterscotch, astringent (light Jamaican-like funk), and nutty. I actually quite enjoyed it.
- Montanya Oro: One of Stephen's favorites and for good reason. It’s got a spicy coffee taste that almost is reminiscent of St. George’s NOLA liquor. Buttery whiskey type profile.
- Old New Orleans Cajun Spiced Rum: Sometimes you’re not above enjoying pumpkin spice lattes, as much of an alcohol snob as you pretend to be. This is the #basicbitch of rums that tastes like Christmas and Thanksgiving: gingerbread, cloves, evergreen, and nostalgia.
We also scouted out the local regional rums from Northern California (Do Good 3 Mile rum, Diablo’s Shadow, Humboldt Distillery), which were all tasty but unfortunately not as memorable. In particular, both Do Good 3 Mile rum (Modesto, CA) and Diablo’s Shadow (Livermore, CA) both seemed to suffer identity crises and wanted to be whiskeys instead.
Updates will be provided sporadically as we continue to drink a crew of pirates' share of rum. Yaaaargh!