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Okay, that’s not technically true.
The Caribbean tends to get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to rum. I mean really, it does make quite a bit of sense if you take the time to really dig down in and look at it. The Caribbean is the fertile crescent of rum. Much like man is thought to have drug himself into being in eastern Africa, so rum heaved itself out of the hodgepodge of cultures that had poured into the “New World.”
It’s only logical that it would as well. Sugar cane grows plentiful and rum (and it’s close cousin cachaça) are based on either cane juice or molasses. The Caribbean and Latin America produce by the largest number (and quantities) of rum in the world.
However, there’s a growing movement on the international cocktail scene that eschews the standard and looks towards something a little more exotic.
We’ve talked about Phraya in the past; an outstanding Asian rum that offers really powerful florals and complexity. Today we’re looking at one of the newer ones to tip their hat into the ring: Tanduay Silver and Gold Asian rums.
Some background on Tanduay from their website:
The allure of Tanduay begins in the tropical climate of the negros region of the Philippines, with the spring planting of sugarcane. The fragrant rains that nourish the young plants begin to fall in late may and continue until december, when the mature cane is harvested and brought to Tanduay owned Victoria’s Milling, where it begins its slow and careful transformation into world-class rum. – See more at: http://www.tanduayusa.com/discover.aspx?id=23#sthash.cnE4jwq0.dpuf
Tanduay has received quite a bit of pleasant buzz, including a very nice write-up by Anthony Dias Blue. But can it hold up to the much-less well-developed palate of Cocktails, 365?
Let’s…. FIND OUT!
Tanduay Silver Asian Rum
Nose: Crisp, clean sugary smell. Not harsh afterwhiff of alcohol.
Neat: Pleasantly sugary and sweet. Nice bit of spice and bite right up front. Coconut on the end. Really, really nice.
On the Rocks: A bit of bitterness comes forward on the front. Velvety lingering. Actually much better served neat without ice. Mixes well and that bitterness that showed up goes away once again.
Verdict: This is probably the most pleasant white rum I’ve ever had. It has a stronger body than Bacardi Silver, but is still light enough that it can stand up both on its own or in a cocktail. This is going to replace Bacardi in the Cocktails, 365 test (and host) bar. And for only $20 a bottle, you really can’t afford to pass this one up.
Tanduay Gold Asian Rum
Nose: Smells of caramel and butterscotch. Heavier sweet smell, but not overpowering. More noticeable spice as well.
Neat: Pleasant burn. Notes of butterscotch and vanilla. Spicier finish than the Silver.
On the Rocks: The sweetness comes out much more pronounce with the addition of ice with the Gold. The spiciness also picks up a spell. Nice and velvety finish.
Verdict: This borders on a spiced rum without actually being one. There’s something about the Asian rums that give them that extra bit of “oomph” on the front and back ends. This may be our new favorite Gold rum.