Aikman’s Bar~Bistro
&
The Cellar Bar
Rums
It's been a while now, but finally the "sugar cane" curtain has finally come down, Cuba is beinghavanaclub3.jpg allowed to
participate in the rest of the world - presumably Dr. Strangelove has passed on - and Havana Club is no longer as rare a budgie's teeth. The Three year old is here, the Five can be found and the 7 is on its way. I haven't tasted 7 year old Havana Club for a good few years now but if memory serves - and it was a good party, evidently- it is (probably) the sweetest, smoothest dark rum you are ever likely to get your hands on. Interesting, too, that one of the spin-off effects of the growing availability of Club is that Bacardi is now back to labelling itself as being Cuban.
Island Rums still dominate the notion of rum drinking and you seriously cannot go wrong, opting for rums such as MouMountGay.jpgnt Gay, Appletons or Gosling's. Mount Gay remains one of my favourites - it is a sweet, crisp rum that tends not to cloy as you drink it. Too often, heavy rums can stay with you too long for comfort. Not so with Mount Gay Yellow Label. Recently had experience of the Green - over 100% and guaranteed to leave a mark on the consciousness (eventually) Appletons Estate is an "old" rum - 5 years old at least and again a Gold rather than dark rum. Four Bells also remains an old favourite. Formerly a Navy rum, Four Bells remains a well-rounded, rich dark rum. As with most rums, don't insult it with Coke. A douse of water is usually enough to round it out. Another rum which I saw again for the first time in a long time is the Gosling's Black Seal. Beautifully rich and full, dark rum with a background of spices and vanilla.
 
 
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Someone was good enough to bring me some Venezuelan rum recently. Beautiful stuff - rounder, with more caramel and vanilla than your island rums and well worth seeking out. Ocumare is one that we've been able to try and the hunt is on for the Santa Teresa. Said to be one of the classic rums but still really difficult to get hold of. It's probably one of the best kept secrets in the world that Venezuela produces (probably) the best rum in the world - it has a quality of its own - slightly more spicy than others and distinctively from another area beyond the Islands.
 
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Another recent highlight has been the - fleeting - appearance of Barbancourt 5-Star. Barbancourt is from Haiti and is relatively unheard of.
Which is a pity because Barbancourt is a stunning rum - full-flavoured and full bodied, and as a former French colony, it owes a great deal of its character to the influence of the French wine making tradition which plays such a part in its production.
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