Tag Archives: rum quest

National Rum Day

Here are a few thoughts to celebrate  National Rum Day!

~ Lewis Grizzard

Rum is a staple here at Da’ Reef, it is the coin of the realm, often used to repay a debt or a thank you for a favor.

Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts, such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels.

Rum plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies as well as in The Maritimes and Newfoundland. This beverage has famous associations with the Royal Navy (where it was mixed with water or beer to make grog) and piracy (where it was consumed as bumbo). Rum has also served as a popular medium of economic trade, organized crime, and military insurgencies (e.g., the American Revolution and Australia’s Rum Rebellion).

For more on the history of rum click below

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rum

Rum has been described and celebrated in song and verse through the ages and I have included some of those words of wisdom for you all to ponder.

Pour a glass of your favorite sugar cane juice and toast the day.

“In light rum, there is freedom

in dark rum, there is wisdom

in water there is bacteria

Drink more rum.”

  • Ben Franklin

 

 

 

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Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest–
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest–
…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!”
Louis Stevenson

The Best ideas come while sipping Rum”
-Pavol Kazimir

“All roads lead to rum.”
-W. C. Fields

Why is the rum gone”

Jack Sparrow

 

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Rum Quest/Mekhong rum

I know it has been way too long between rum reviews and for that I can only beg your forgiveness.

Believe it or not…  tasting all that rum kind of dulls your senses. Soon everything tastes the same, hence a lack of rum reviews.

Then something new comes along and awakens your senses and tests your taste buds.

This, my friends, is the essence of Mekhong rum, th_51

the Spirit of Thailand.

This spirit is made from 95% sugar cane, (Thailand’s climate helps create some of the best sugar cane in the world) 5% rice and a secret mixture of herbs, spices and caramel.

The alcohol content 35% is low, which according to the distillers, should lead to making better mixed drinks.

The nose on this rum is rewarding and yet it does not yield the flavors hidden in the complex body of this fine spirit.

Now, you are wondering, just what does this  rum taste like?

It tastes like the far east, it tastes like The Smoking Budda, (all you locals know just what I mean!) it tastes like your favorite Thai restaurant, it tastes like this!thai%20%20jungle%20curry%20ii

There is ginger, toffee, citrus and vanilla on the tongue, a warm smooth finish. When I taste this rum I get a flavor I can only describe as green. Bamboo? Sprouts? Celery? Lemongrass? Who knows? But it sure is interesting.

Check Mekhong’s web site. It is full of information on this very different and tasty rum. Get some if you can, it was not very expensive and certainly worth a try.

DIPLOMATICO RESERVE BLANCO Review

Here is another great find, and surprisingly it’s a WHITE rum again. Diplomatico Blanco reserve comes from the great rum brand that we all like very much “Diplomatico” from venezula. Drinking this Rum “straight” it’s silky smooth, with a nice vanilla sweetness upfront that finishes dry and a little warm. When enjoying it on the rocks, it just seemed to get watered down and not open up any more flavor, and of course this would make for a top shelf mixing rum for all mixed rum drinks. End result this bottle gets emptied way too fast! Definitely grab this rum if you can find it!

Charbay vanilla bean rum

The Charbay Artisan Distillery and Winery is know as The Still on the Hill in the St. Helena area of the Napa Valley.

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Gail and I visited this winery during our trip to Napa Valley last April.
At this small winery which rests 2100 feet above sea level we found copper pot stills, where we received a short but informative lesson about the distillation process they use in the making of their spirits, which we could not taste due to California laws.

The triple distillation should leave the product very clean and crisp to the taste, none of the alcohol or oily taste that often lingers with many pot stilled rums.

While in Napa we tried in vain to find a bottle of Charbay rum to bring home with us. Our hotel bar did stock Charbay vodkas but not the rum.

I had all but forgotten about this rum, when, finally, the quest was over, a bottle of Charbay Vanilla Bean Rum appeared at our local liquor store.

A white rum with good rum legs and a vanilla nose this rum is quite tasty as a sipper. It should make a good rum and coke as well as a nice mojito.

The triple distilling process truly does present a smooth, clean, crisp finish.

The vanilla bean flavor is very up front but not overpowering.

A great bar shelf rum, a little pricey ( I paid $40ish for it), but certainly fun for me since I was at the distillery.

The Charbay story of a family owned distillery and one of only few in the U.S. to have pot stills, is very interesting and informative.

If you can find this rum give it a try, it is different enough to enjoy and you are buying American.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pot Stills and Paddleboards ; On the West Coast part 2

 

Exploring the Napa Valley area is tricky, so much to see and do, choosing which winery to start at, a difficult decision for most I am sure, but not for us. We found the only winery with the 200 yr old pot still that makes rum, and we found it at 2100 feet above sea level.

Pot stills
Pot stills

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unfortunately Cali laws would not allow us to taste or purchase this rum at the distillery (but I will find some rum and bring it back for a proper review) we got a great lesson on the stilling process and tasted the wines they had to offer.

Moving on we spent 2 full days taking photosIMG_3646 IMG_3666

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and enjoying many great wine and food experiences.

Finally Wednesday  afternoon we headed down to San Raphael, for a windy Wednesday paddle board trip.

We headed out from 101 Surfsports

http://www.101surfsports.com

down a waterway into the Oakland Bay. We had a nice scenic paddle to the Marin Islands.

 

 

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where we were greeted by Capt. Drew

Capt. Drew
Capt. Drew

and

Nicko
Nicko

Nicko

the skipper and 1st mate of the Barbary Ghost http://www.barbaryghost.com/Boat-in_Paddling.htmlIMG_3794

for a boat ride back to the surf shop.

This was supposed to be a “downwinder” riding chop and bump surfing for a mile or so but as you can see IMG_3788the bay was flat and calm. Capt. Drew tried his best to get everyone a ride as he drove around for a 1/2 hr or so creating some bumps.IMG_3779

riding the wake
riding the wake

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We got a good taste of the sup culture here learning about racing and bump and glide boards from our guide Derek and the rest of the paddlers on the trip. We also shared our stories of the reef and the  water culture we have on the Great Lakes.

 

Gidget tried out a Starboard touring board and a SIC Bullet.  Both stable boards that performed nicely in the light conditions we encountered. The Starboard just powered it way through the small waves while the Bullet glided right through them. None of that nose slap we get on our boards when the waves just start to pick up. I chose a trusty old Starboard Atlas, the big bro to the Big Easy.

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The nite ended with a sunset ride back to 101 sharing experiences and stories with our evening friends