MY ROAD TO EL DORARDO

El Dorado Rum is pretty much the only rum that everyone raves about. Whenever I am asked about my rum quest, people stress that I need to try out as many El Dorado Rums as possible. Luckily, I was sent a box of El Dorado Super Premium Rum Collection recently, which consists of years 12, 15 and 21.

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So, thinking strategically, I started with the youngest rum of the bunch, 12 year. I poured half the bottle in to an empty crystal glass, and the other half in to a crystal glass with ice- the reason I gave myself two options is because I am still getting my head around drinking rums at room temperature.

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Straight away, I am hit with the sweet smell of brown sugar, sweet spices like cinnamon and to top it off, dried orange. My taste buds went crazy and began to rev up with interest. I decided to let my rum breath for a while, as I wanted to take some photos of the bottle for my blog. Within minutes my apartment smelt like Christmas! Honestly, that is literally the only way I can explain how this rum smells without sounding like a dick!

The smell was driving me a little bit crazy, so I put the camera down, cupped my glass of rum like it was a hot chocolate and took my first sip. Oh. My. Jebus! What an amazingly smooth rum we have here! Brown sugar, chocolate and orange flavours grab hold of my taste buds and do not let go. This rum has little to no burn at all and has a lovely soothing warmth to it. Just perfect!

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Half way through my glass of 12 year, I began to eye up the bottle of 15 year – this is either a good sign due to the rum being THAT tasty… or the fact that I may be a borderline alcoholic? Alas, I managed to keep myself together and save it for a later date 😉

In regards to adding ice, I personally feel that it did not benefit the rum at all. Some rums have too much bite in the first few sips, and it is known that adding a bit of ice makes it a little more palatable. Amazingly enough, this rum was best left alone.

El Dorado Rum 12 year is one of the most enjoyable aged rums I have had so far on this quest. In no way is it too heavy or too harsh like a few I have tried before. When Christmas rolls round, I know which tipple I will be gravitating towards.

 

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A LITTLE BIT OF CUBA HERE IN OZ

My husband surprised me recently with a bottle of Ron Santiago de Cuba Extra Añejo 12 Años. Al came across this rum whilst watching an episode of, “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” Cuba, where he was enjoying it straight, in a plastic cup, on a beach… and Al rightly thought, what’s good enough for Anthony Bourdain, is good enough for me 😉

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Looks: this rum looks stunning. Rich red oak tones, which are accentuated by the gold-rimmed label, this rum looks like it means business.

Smell: it smells like treacle. Rich, sweet and may even be perfect to pour over your pancakes… okay, well maybe not as it would not have the consistency, but if it did, it would be replacing my Nutella on pancakes every morning J This smells like something I would like.

Taste: Woah! I was not expecting that! It hits you hard, real hard, right in the back of your throat. But after the initial shock of the first sip, I then begin to pick up the subtle flavours it has to offer. Chocolate, caramel… maybe even some hazelnut (which is probably why I thought of Nutella earlier), all of the things I love!

I really like this rum! It’s one I would not mix; although I bet it would not be terrible if it was served with an ice cold Coca Cola OR a bomb ass Cuba Libre! I loved the layers it has and I love how quickly the initial burn dispersed- always a good thing. This is a very exciting rum to have in your collection and it would be a rum I’d probably be talking about for a while.

Looking more in to this rum, I found that this rum is very common in Cuba- even a favoured tipple of Fidel Castro. Retailed at $80 here in Oz, I will be filling up my suitcase with a few bottles of these to bring back home if I ever go to Cuba.

 

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BIG POPPA’S HOUSE!

Since Hello Sailor closed at the beginning of the year, I have been super keen to visit Lewis Jaffrey ( The Baxter Inn, Frankie’s Pizza and Shady Pines) and Jared Merlino’s (The Lobo Plantation) newest venue, ‘Big Poppa’s’. Sadly, every time I have attempted to get in, the line has either been super long or it has been heaving with people. On this occasion though, I wondered over around 5pm on a Friday after work with a good friend and managed to grab a seat as soon as we got there- happy days.

Upstairs of this venue is an Italian restaurant. Beautifully decked out with white brick walls, deep blue leather seats, marble topped tables hosting an array of flickering candles and last but not least, a very delectable looking sharing menu. Nom nom nom.

Downstairs is a pretty well stocked cocktail bar. As you walk down to winding staircase, you are greeted by an incredible mosaic of The Notorious B.I.G gazing up at your from the middle of the floor. Word is, that once the night draws in, this area turns in to quite a decent dance spot- I like the sound of this muchly.

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So, the main reason why I’m here is to drink some rum. As I only have time for one drink, I have to chose carefully. Casting my eyes over their cocktail menu, I spotted a cocktail called ‘Winter solace’. A splash of Bacardi 8 aged rum, spiced apple and bitters just screams ‘DRINK ME!’ all over it. So I ordered and waited in anticipation. What turned up was a beautiful peach coloured cocktail that was garnished with a dehydrated slice of apple- love at first sight. Taste wise, it was indeed very yummy, but I felt like it was missing something? This cocktail was very nicely balanced, not too sweet and not too spicy, but I just couldn’t help but feel that they could have topped it off nicely with something else.

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On my way back home, I was still trying to figure out what would have taken this cocktail from being a nice cocktail to an incredible cocktail and I think I figured it out. What would have been amazing (and feel free to correct me if I am wrong), would be to have a cinnamon and sugar crust around the rim of the glass, just to add some jazz to it! The cocktail itself does not need to be changed, but adding a sweet layer to the glass would have added another layer to it which would have blown my socks off!

Either way, it was still a yummy drink that I would order again.

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ISSAN RUM REVIEW

Every now and then I am lucky enough to be sent rums from around the world to taste and review. Recently, ISSAN Rum sent me a sample of their award winning ISSAN light rum. Sadly, when the rum arrived, the lid on the bottle had actually managed to become loose during transit and leaked some of the rum throughout the package. Thankfully it was only a little spillage so there was plenty left for me to have a taste of.

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Smell wise, a little harsh on the nose, alas, once the initial ‘whoa’ subsides, you can catch the scent of mango and possibly pineapple.

On the tongue, I found this rum pretty harsh (wait, hear me out!). I find most rum has an initial heat/burn that lingers for a while. Not always pleasant. ISSAN Rum has a quick punch (burn), which actually disperses really quickly allowing your senses to be opened, giving way for all the fruity, citrus tones to slip on through.

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With that being said, I didn’t really enjoy this as a sipping rum. Hearing my cries, my husband ran to the shops in his PJ’s, grabbed me a mango and banana juice. He whizzed up some ice to a slushy consistency, and served up an amazingly fresh cocktail. THIS is what this rum is made for: a fresh, light, tropical summer cocktail. So good! I didn’t want it to end 🙂

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In my opinion this is a rum made for mixing. I am so used to rums that are of a rich, oaky, caramel nature, so this rum was a welcome change. Light, fruity, and refreshing, I think this rum would be a handy addition to any cocktail makers collection.

ISSAN Rum is located in the heart of Nong Khai , an area of Thailand that I would love to visit. So my aim is to go and visit their distillery next year. It would be great to cut a little video for my blog that details the process of getting this fine drink from the sugar cane fields to the bottle on the shelf.

 

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Thanks to ISSAN for sending through my first rum to review. I really enjoyed tasting what you have on offer!

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT…

If it was not so debilitating for ones health, I could eat salted caramel anything all day every day. Honestly, the combination of salt, sugar and fat is what I would consider the real Holy Trinity of which I would happily be forever devoted. Alas, it is, so I have to enjoy such a treat sparingly 🙁  So when I was given to chance to try out Bundaberg’s newest release, ‘Bundaberg Royal Liqueur Salted Caramel’ I couldn’t pass up the opportunity- cos’ surely if it is liquified salted caramel, it is not as bad for you 😉

Now, as most of you know, I am not the biggest fan of Bundy Rum yet I am always open to a brand branching out with new ideas and expanding their produce range… and what a way to expand indeed. On looks alone, the bottle is pretty bloody baller! It reminds me of a crystal decanter which gives an element of richness and glamour to the drink before you even have a taste- which I love!


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Smell wise, it smells like a sweet dessert. A sweet, salty, rummy dessert… what is not to love about that.

Now for the taste. Well, it knocked my socks off for sure. I poured a little bit over some ice and waiting for it to cool a little. Upon my first sip, I was instantly hit with the sweet and salty tones of the salted caramel. Then the heat of the rum comes on a few seconds later. Although I could see a lot of people loving this drink, I personally found it way too sweet, which was pretty disappointing as the first few sips were really nice. I found the after taste a little to artificial, which is what put me off in the end. This could say more about me then the drink itself though, so I would recommend you all to try it yourself as an after dinner drink. It is not one to just throw back and have another, it is a sip and savour sort of tipple after a heavy dinner where dessert is out of the question.

I think this would be amazing poured over a milky base, like ice-cream, the liquor element in a tiramisu or a rum version of the White Russian- oh my god that would be amazing!!!

I am really excited about what is in store for Bundaberg Rum, they have released some really nice tipples lately that I have enjoyed tasting. I can’t wait to see what else is in store.

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