Blending | Idea, Base, and Blends

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. 

slide from The Multi-Origin Rum Category by Jim Meehan

slide from The Multi-Origin Rum Category by Jim Meehan

Denizen's Merchants Reserve 3 Aged White Rum.  I have heard of this. It is the subject of a 5 Minutes of RumCocktail 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

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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

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Appleton White

Color:  Clear

Proof: 80

Nose: Vanilla, orange

Taste: Buttery, smooth

Finish: Citrus, light sweetness

 

Batavia Arrack

Color: Clear with a slight touch of red

Proof: 50

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

 

Damoiseau

Color: Clear with a slight touch of yellow

Proof: 110

Nose:  Banana, hogo funk, vegetal 

Taste: Heat, fruits, vegetal

Finish: Citrus pith

 

Flor de Càna Extra Secco

Color: Clear

Proof: 80

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

Color: White

Proof: 51.67

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

Color: White

Proof: 51.67

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

Color: White

Proof: 45.83

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

Color: White

Proof: 46.67

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.

 

Conclusion

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

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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. 

Carpe Drinkum!

 

Links

http://www.alpenz.com/images/poftfolio/bataviafacts.htm

http://www.bythedutch.com/batavia-arrack/