This year's California Rum Festival had a changing impact on how I view rum and greatly expanded my exposure to labels that are not in my collection or on my tiki drink palate. The seminars were quite informative. In a pattern from my school days, I found the information presented but not discussed peaked my interest the greatest. The last session on Saturday was titled The Multi-Origin Rum Category. It was a great primer and overview aimed at those slinging drinks and so I was most taken by a label on the last slide.
Denizen's Merchants Reserve 3 Aged White Rum. I have heard of this. It is the subject of a 5 Minutes of Rum. Cocktail Wonk has covered it. Next is Compagnie des Indes Tricorne Blended White rum. Why is there a pirate skeleton laughing at me!?!? Then, OFTD. It lives up to its name. Plenty have written about it; few can buy it. And finally, Black Tot. Not in my price range.
Idea | Tricorne
Tricorne is French for Tricorner; the hat of 18th century fame. A fitting metaphor for the drink leg of Triangular Trade...and for the three styles of rum that make up the blend: cane juice, molasses, and batavia arrack. I think this is a great idea and to paraphrase a Don quote, why use one rum when you can use three [styles].
Compagnie des Indes is not found very often in the US of A. The bottle of Trincone will set you back less than $40 but it will cost more than $40 to ship it from Europe. $80 is a lot for 700 ml of mixing rum even with an awesome AF label. A quick look at the websites of K&L and Beverage Warehouse gives me an idea. I can buy three 750ml bottles and come up with my own blend! Appleton White ($16), Batavia Arrack ($30 ), and Damoiseau ($34). All three are pot distallate. They add up to $80 w/o tax and 3.21428571 times more rum! I decided to add a fourth variable as a statistical check of sorts. Flor de Càna Extra Secco to replace the Appleton from the not fancy rum reserve.
I began to experiment armed with a mixing glass along with the bottles of Appleton White, Batavia Arrack, Damoiseau, and Flor de Càna Extra Secco.
Base | Rum Tasting Notes
Nose: Vanilla, orange
Taste: Buttery, smooth
Finish: Citrus, light sweetness
Color: Clear with a slight touch of red
Nose: Red Rice like Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale, grains, vegetal, slight tropical fruit
Taste: Spices, grain, earth, heat
Finish: Long on the grain with lingering spice
Color: Clear with a slight touch of yellow
Nose: Banana, hogo funk, vegetal
Taste: Heat, fruits, vegetal
Finish: Citrus pith
Flor de Càna Extra Secco
Nose: Citrus, sweetness
Taste: Sweetness, light oak
Finish: Dry, lime zest
Blends | Triptych
A part is 1/2 oz for this experiment. I understand that a few drops can change a blend but the three rums used are bold alone and expect the smaller ratios to get subsumed. Plus, I have no clue how this is going to turn out. All compositions are WAGs about what might be good ratios.
Triptych No. 1
Composition: 1 part Appleton, 1 part Batvia Arrack, 1 part Damoiseau
Nose: Vanilla, orange, tropical fruits, little hogo, slight red rice
Taste: Buttery and still slight astringent, citrus
Finish: Cloves, zest
Notes: Appleton takes the lead with a big support from the Damoiseau. The Arrack is present but at the edges. This is a really great combination. I am surprised that the Arrack was not pulling an equal share.
Triptych No. 2
Composition: 1 part Flor de Càna Extra Secco, 1 part Batvia Arrack, 1 part Damoiseau
Nose: Banana, hogo funk, oak, lime
Taste: Grains, tropical fruits, citrus, red rice
Finish: Orange, vanilla
Notes: Wow. I did not expect the FdC to show up at all. The absence of the Appleton allowed the Arrack to step out and around the Damoiseau. Again, this is a great combination. Not for a drink with a lot of other ingredients but this would make an excellent daiquiri - frozen even. The FdC brings a dryness would be well suited to lime and sugar while the others bring complexity and depth. I added in the FdC as a check element not thinking it would add as much value as it did.
Triptych No. 3
Composition: 2 part Appleton, 1 part Batvia Arrack, 1 part Damoiseau
Nose: Vanilla, tropical fruits, spice citrus, earth
Taste: Earth, grains, citrus
Finish: spice, heat, lime, vegetal
Notes: Appleton provided most of the first aromas and flavors but they quickly melted into a bouquet of flavors that pulled in the agricole and arrack notes.
Triptych No. 4
Composition: 2 part Appleton, .5 part Batvia Arrack, 1.5 part Damoiseau
Nose: Tropical fruits, orange, astringent, grains
Taste: Banana, grass, earth
Finish: Spice, red rice, citrus
Notes: Damoiseau takes the reins. Batvia is close behind. Appleton is present but tamed by the agricole into a back seat.
I was most impressed by No. 2 and No. 3. I am really interested in a daiquiri using No. 2. I remain most puzzled by the mix of No. 1. The equal footing should have been the most balanced right?
A master blender I am not.
A master taster I am not.
I can make a good cocktail and this blend is not a sipper. I am thinking punch inspired swizzle.
Test | Triptych Swizzle
Triptych Swizzle is a drink based on punch: 1 of sour, 2 of sweet, 3 of strong, 4 of weak.
- 2 ounces Triptych No. 3
- 1/2 ounce Swedish Punsch
- 1/2 ounce cane syrup
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 2 dash tiki bitters on top
- Mint bouquet garnish, slapped
- Lime wheel with cloves garnish
- Crushed ice
Build in a tall highball glass. Stir. Fill glass 3/4 full of crushed ice. Swizzle. Fill glass with ice. Add bitters and garnish.
I think I will try this one again with an oleo saccharum. I paid attention in class despite the rum.