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Closing Off - Rum To Whisky

Author: Matt Wooler - Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Thanks for attending

Wow what an amazing experience we have just concluded being Rum To Whisky. The first of our cross over events we featured Rum Cask Finished Whiskies and Cognac Finished Rums. This was also the first of our events held with The Lane Wine Bar in Castle Hill. The Lane is a small bar with a focus on wines and spirits. In recent time a small additional bar was opened up out the back of the venue more ideal for spirits appreciation and a bit of party behaviour.

So why the cross over at all with spirits? For us whisky appreciation is also the concept of spirits appreciation. All too often the categories merge and twist the longer you go on educating yourself about spirits. Most whiskies owe their flavours to barrels that have held other spirits, beers or wines. Many spirits are also distilled the same way but through various tweaks in the process and maturation will create very different products we all enjoy.

Whisky is a very proper straight down the line kind of spirit in a modern sense. It has rules that govern how it is made, what ingredients can be included, how it must be aged and even the minimum strength it can be bottled at. Rum on the other hand is the bad boy of spirits with very little rules that define what can happen to it at any stage of the production processes. So let us work these two parties together. Yes this tasting was saw a focus on finishing but it was also about mutual spirits appreciation.

We kicked off our tasting with a happy accident of a cocktail. When we were initially meeting with Plantation Rum about the collaboration I wanted to ensure we had a bit more of a party cocktail that combined the best of both whisky and rum. As we went through the combinations of blending rum and whisky it was clear rum was the party boy while the whisky sat in the corner. Not so once we hit the Plantation Stiggins' Pineapple Rum with the Teeling Small Batch. What came of it was a glass exploding with coconut profiles hidden within the Teeling Small Batch. Naturally we decided an Old Fashioned would be best to enhance these amazing profiles. Garnishing with some candied orange peel and a fast baked orange round set off the cocktail with a slice of the Caribbean.

Soon we moved to the rear bar of The Lane to have our guests seated. It was going to be a round afternoon as we were already effectively 2 spirits in with the cocktail. Dramnation curator Matt lead the charge and discussed the profiles characteristics and nuances of the Teeling Small Batch, The Balvenie 14yo Caribbean Cask and the finely tuned Glenfiddich 21 Gran Reserva. Following on Mitch from Plantation Rum took our guests on a voyage of discovering with 3 Plantation Rum's and a rich discussion from where rum originated from, how it was made, the rules it certainly breaks to the delicious profiles that make Plantation Rum such a crowd pleaser.

To keep with the party theme we had one primary giveaway and 2 runners up. Guests had to Tiki For A Chance to win our awesome prizes. Yes it was just not the presenters dressed in their best tiki ware but tithe guests as well. One lucky guest received top prize which was a copy of the Explore Whisky and Explore Rum compendiums from Explore Drinks and a bottle of Plantation Barbados 5yr. Runners up received copies of Explore Rum or Explore Whisky.

As usual snacks and palate cleanser platters were shared amongst the tables but we had to do something extra special for this experience. So closing was a food compliment was jerked chicken and grilled pineapple toasties.

As the toasties were consumed and the crowd enjoyed their last dram we had a standing applause as guests were lead through a comforting sea shanty:

There are tall ships,
And there are small ships,
And there are ships that sail the seas,
But the best ships
Are friendships,
So here's to you and me

A huge thanks to Miles and The Lane Wine Bar for getting involved and we hope to be back there again soon. Thanks to Explore Drinks Magazine for supporting us in our quest to educate on spirits. Naturally we could not have done this without the continued support of Teeling, The Balvenie and Glenfiddich and of course thanks to Mitch and Plantation Rum for quite literally coming to the party.

To get the full visual experience of the evening we have an album over on our facebook page.

See you at our next event.


Spirits Tasted

Following are Dramnation's personal notes we supply at our tastings. We want to emphasis that we have listed, in many cases, ages for these whiskies even though they do not carry an age statement. This indication is an average only as a means to show how youthful whiskies display strengths and characteristics longer aged whiskies cannot. It is to be expected that these average ages will vary from batch to batch and year to year.

Teeling Small Batch, Blended Whiskey – Teeling Distillery

Region: Dublin, Ireland
ABV: 46%
Wood: Ex-bourbon Casks
Finished: Flor de Cana Rum Casks
Nose: Apple pie, dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar and vanilla oaks wrapped in mild tobacco leaf.
Taste: Bright woody spice muddled with vanilla & coffee notes. Creamy, spicy with a good dash of residual molasses and mildly oily.
Finish: Long and woody with a spice prickle to the lips and a drying palate.
Other: Double distilled blended whisky of vatted malted barley and corn grain in a reported ratio of 35% malt whiskey to 65% grain whiskey. Spanish word “Flor de Cana” loosely translates to “Sugarcane Flour” and is also a brand of Rum from Nicaragua.


The Balvenie Caribbean Cask Aged 14 Years, Single Malt Whisky – The Balvenie Distillery

Region: Dufftown, Speyside, Scotland
ABV: 43%
Wood: Ex-Bourbon
Finished: Caribbean Rum Seasoned Balvenie Casks
Nose: Red toffee apples and warm toasted fruit pie crusted with raw sugar & cream followed by classic honey, toasted oak and malt.
Taste: Bright, vibrant & smooth with a silken effect expanding to warm spicy vanilla oaks.
Finish: Long & high as certain sugary rum effects continue to linger well after the last sip is taken.
Other: David Stewart imports a special blend of rum used to season casks for 6 to 8 months before dumping to refill with 14yo whisky.


Glenfiddich Gran Reserva 21yo, Single Malt Whisky – Glenfiddich Distillery

Region: Speyside, Scotland
ABV: 40%
Wood: Ex-Bourbon
Finished: Caribbean Rum Seasoned Casks
Nose: Light and fruity with elements of white sugar, red apple flesh, new leather, caramel and fine oak.
Taste: Gentle and soft at first a burst of oak spices crystallised ginger erupt.
Finish: Long, soft and very spicy.
Other: This whisky sees ex-bourbon casks seasoned with a special blend of rum before refilling with 21 year aged whisky for 3 to 4 months.


Plantation Barbados 5 Years – Plantation Rum

Region: Barbados, Caribbean
ABV: 40%
Raw Ingredient: Molasses
Wood: Ex-Bourbon
Finished: Ex-Cognac
Nose: A light fragrance that is slight peachy with a good vanilla caramel body.
Taste: Rich warming candied fruits, vanilla and caramel.
Finish: Lengthy in the body that is mildly spicy and tobacco drying.
Other: Aged in the Caribbean for 3 to 4 years in ex-bourbon then 1 to 2 years in France in small ex-cognac casks.


Plantation Jamaica 2002 Vintage – Plantation Rum

Region: Jamaica, Caribbean
ABV: 42%
Raw Ingredient: Molasses
Wood: Ex-Bourbon
Finished: Ex-Cognac
Nose: Big and voluptuous with sweet ripe fruits, plums, vanilla and creme brûlée.
Taste: Sweet leather, dry oak, chocolate, earthy spices, toasted almonds and walnuts.
Finish: At first it is all saturated sweetness that then yields to waxy peppery notes with perfume dryness and spice tingles.
Other: Aged for 10 years in the Caribbean before an additional 3 years in France in ex-cognac casks.


20th Anniversary XO, Blended Rum – Plantation Rum

Region: Barbados, Caribbean
ABV: 40%
Raw Ingredient: Molasses
Wood: Ex-Bourbon
Finished: Ex-Cognac
Nose: Floral heated butter, jammy jelly beans, marshmallows, coconut, cocoa.
Taste: Delicate spiced syrup, coconut marshmallows, sugar coated tea biscuits and baked egg tarts that caresses the mouth.
Finish: Long, gentle and mouth warming the sweetness sits lightly in the mouth.
Other: Created to mark the 20th anniversary of Maison Ferrand. A blending of Barbados rums from 12 - 20 years old. Aged for 8 to 10 years in the Caribbean before an additional 2 to 10 years in a variation of casks including new white oak to extra toasted ex-cognac casks.


Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Rum - Plantation Rum

Region: Blended Caribbean
ABV: 40%
Raw Ingredient: Molasses
Wood: Ex-Bourbon
Finished: Ex-Cognac
Nose: A extremely sweet profile of tropical fleshy fruits, grilled pineapple and dark brown sugars.
Taste: Smooth and creamy with layers of spiced fruit cake, baked pineapple upside down cake, coffee, dark chocolate and alcohol soaked fruits.
Finish: Rich and spicy that lingers forever.
Other: The Stiggins' Pineapple Rum is a tribute to the esteemed Reverend Stiggins whose favourite drink was the “pineapple rum” in the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Originally created as a one off for Tales Of The Cocktail 2011, it soon was requested as a standard line. The Pineapple profile is created through the infusion of pineapple rinds rested in barrels filled Plantaion 3 Stars Rum. This rum is then re-distilled. At the same time in separated casks of Original Plantation Dark Rum the rich pineapple flesh is also suspended for 3 months to infuse with the spirit. Finally both the redistilled rum and the dark rums are combined and then rested a further 3 months in casks until ready.

Introduction Beverage

RTW Old Fashioned

Spirits: Teeling Small Batch / Plantation Stiggins' Pineapple Fancy Rum
Ingredients: 30ml Teeling Small Batch, 30ml Stiggins' Pineapple Fancy Rum, 1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar Syrup (2 Parts Brown Sugar To 1 Part Water), Dash Bitters, 1 Baked Orange Round, 1 Candied Orange Peel, Block Ice.
Combine whisky, rum, sugar syrup and dashed bitters into a rocks glass and combine. Load with ice block and stir to dilute briefly. Garnish with baked orange round and candied orange peal.
Glass: Rocks Glass.

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