Let’s flip the script.
If you’ve been round whisk(e)y lengthy sufficient, you should have tried your share of cask finishes. Lengthy recognized to Scotch drinkers, they’ve these days popped up on the radar screens of American malt, bourbon, and rye whiskey followers. Cask ending has been embraced by craft distillers, particularly, who’re extra usually at a loss for a novel promoting proposition to distinguish themselves. Have a look again by means of our archives of American whiskey opinions, and also you’ll discover a current improve in each the quantity and the sorts of cask finishes.
A concurrent however unrelated pattern is the migration of whisky and whiskey drinkers away from these specific potables and towards solely totally different classes of spirits. Malt’s personal library of “malternative” opinions expands at the very least weekly, and our writers have relished the possibility to often stray off the well-worn paths. It’s secure to say that, given the lately introduced worth will increase coming from the likes of Diageo and others, the whisky shopper will solely really feel extra strain to hunt out extra wallet-friendly choices sooner or later.
Taking these two threads and braiding them collectively: as an alternative of a whiskey completed in a rum cask, what if we had a rum completed in a whiskey cask? That’s precisely what I’ve in my fingers at this time, as a result of impulse buy of a Myers’s Rum single barrel choice from one among my native retailers.
Myers’s hasn’t but garnered any protection on Malt, so I’ll present a brief introduction to the model earlier than entering into the specifics of this particular person barrel.
Myers’s (the pointless second possessive “s” is vexatious to me each time I’ve to sort it) was began in 1879 by Frederick Louis Myers, himself born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1853. Mr. Myers handed in 1915, although the Myers household retained possession of the model till it was acquired by Seagram in 1954. The failure of Seagram noticed the manufacturers bought to Diageo in 2000. Present house owners Sazerac acquired from Diageo Myers’s in 2018, together with 18 different legacy Seagram manufacturers.
However what in regards to the rum itself? Myers’s personal website offers this small nugget of manufacturing info: “Utilizing solely pure Jamaican molasses, Myers’s Rum is comprised of steady and pot nonetheless distillation and matured in white oak barrels.”
Myers’s is finest recognized for its mainstay 40% ABV “Unique Darkish” rum. To provide you a sign of the regard wherein that rum is held: a 1.75l “deal with” retails for $43 at my native (equal to $18 for a 750 ml). Clearly, it’s the type of spirit extra possible for use because the effectively spine for a Mai Tai or dumped right into a trough of “jungle juice” than it’s to warrant the eye of significant rum of us.
How, then, did a bottle from this unassuming model entice the eye of a distilled spirits snob like myself? As hinted at earlier than, there’s a little bit of a twist to this one. Myers’s, as I stated, is owned by Sazerac. Sazerac has a functionally limitless provide of used Sazerac rye barrels. See the place that is going? This specific barrel was completed for an undisclosed period of time in “Sazerac Rye Oak Casks,” per the label.
The ploy is an apparent one and, primarily based on the truth that I purchased a bottle, clearly efficient. Take an under-loved rum with a popularity for amount over high quality and spruce it up with a barrel end from an more and more coveted whiskey model. Why did I suppress my cynicism to make this buy? Value positively was an element; on the just below $30 I paid for the bottle, I figured that I might use the rest for liberal mixing into easy-sipping cocktails (that is bottled at 86 proof/43% ABV), a 3 share level bump up from the usual Myers’s rum), presuming this finally ends up being a dud. As at all times, there’s just one approach to discover out.
Myers’s Rum Single Barrel Sazerac Rye End – Evaluate
Coloration: Medium-dark brown with orange glints
On the nostril: This presents a pleasant marriage of candy and citric notes, with a salutary trace of funk. Caramelized brown sugar meets piquant key lime zest in a manner that strongly suggests a correct Daiquiri cocktail. There’s a deeper, extra sticky-sweet molasses aspect to this, which melds seamlessly with a refined, low-key funkiness. I’m undecided I sense a lot affect from the rye cask; maybe if I focus actually exhausting (or persuade myself) I can tease out somewhat rye grain or a touch of black pepper.
Within the mouth: This begins pretty sedately. There’s a watery texture and a few nondescript wealthy sweetness on the very entrance of the mouth. This evolves a extra meaty taste profile towards the center of the tongue, the place that funk-accented wealthy sweetness meets with a tannic woodiness that’s the strongest suggestion but of the ex-Sazerac barrel. The burnt sugar notes reemerge proper earlier than the end, turning barely chemical tasting and bitter, although this fades quick right into a rapidly disappearing end.
I used to be pleasantly stunned by the nostril, which had some actually scrumptious smelling notes together with a properly built-in funkiness of the kind sought out by rum aficionados. The palate, by comparability, was a little bit of a letdown. There have been some first rate flavors, significantly towards the midpalate, however typically I discovered this alternately underpowered and overwhelmed by an excessive amount of bitterness from the wooden.
Is it nice rum? No. Has the Sazerac rye end added something in the best way of noticeable enhancements to the presentation? Not particularly. Nevertheless, this performs decently for a relatively modest monetary outlay, so I’m awarding it a rating in the midst of the vary.
Although I gained’t be urging rum curious mates to run proper out and safe a bottle of this, I’m more and more openminded about improvements round ending, each inside whiskey and elsewhere. As this can be a pattern that exhibits no indicators of shedding momentum, I’m assured that there will probably be one other evaluate of a completed spirit on this house very quickly.
Frederick Louis Myers picture courtesy of Geni.