In the past year overproof rums have started to move back to the forefront and are providing a wonderful alternative to some of the tamer 80 proof rums and the gasoline stile overproofs in the recent past. The "new breed" of overproof rums seem to have some smoothness and flavor to them that has been lacking for some time in the genera. There has been a need for more aging of these high potency rums that has been ignored for quite some time.
Plantation introduced their overproof last year and it took many of us by surprise because you could actually sip this rum with a cube of ice or two. There are a few others that have been around for a while like Smith and Cross and the Scarlet Ibis that also have shown some quality in flavor and smoothness in an overproof rum.
This year we gained the wonderful new Panama Red from the master blender Don Pancho Fernandez. This is another example of a new fine overproof that can be used to bring your "Tiki" cocktails to life. Panama is famous for quality rum, and this is no exception to the rule.
Another on that has appeared on the scene in the past month or so is the revival of the legendary Lemon Hart 151 from the Demerera Valley of Guyana. This is a revival of the rum that made all the "Don the Beachcomber" and "Trader Vic" cocktails the wonderfully strong cocktails that made them famous.
If you have the desire to trace back into the "Tiki" era, then one of these wonderful overproofs will be an important part of your mixology. This was a fun era and one that I also enjoy exploring every now and again. Join me in the fun, who knows, we might even run a rum lab that explores these fabulous rums. ;o)