Monday, June 27, 2016

When is "Rum Not Rum"?

     An article in Liquor .Com that really bothered me.   It claims that there is a distillery in Colorado asking if you would you drink "rum" made from beets? Not from sugar cane. Not from molasses. Beets. Now you can. "Stoneyard Colorado Rum" is billed as the state’s first “farm to flask” rum."
They built their still from pieces from the old Florida Hostess Cake Company plant and is producing "Rum" from sugar beets.  Read More at   "

     What really bothers me is the fact that people don't understand that "Rum" only has one basic rule, it must be produced from a direct derivative of the sugarcane.  That means sugarcane itself, molasses or a blend of products made from sugar cane.   Beet Sugar is no more cane syrup than is high fruitose corn syrup.  There are sugars that come from most any plant, but when you make alcohol from them they are not all "rum".   Corn sugars make bourbon; rye makes whiskey; potatoes and other sugars combined make vodka and grapes make wine.   We don't call any of these "rum", even if beet sugar spirits are aged in bourbon barrels, they are a spirit with no name.

     The raw materials are what give rum its flavor and it will not be the same if it is made with anything other than sugarcane.  Richard Seale of Foursquare Distillery in Barbados makes it perfectly clear.   "The raw material is what makes the wine (or beer) and gives the wine/beer its flavor and the distilled spirit must retain the character of the wine (or beer) to have an identity (no flavor = alcohol aka vodka). Distilling wine made from sugar cane is what makes it rum. It is the flavor that decided it. Distilling beer from cereal is what makes it whisky. Again it is the flavor that decides it and the flavor is derived from the raw material."

       Let's keep "Rum" clearly "Rum" and not a hybrid or something that because it is made from some other variety of table sugar we can call it "Rum".  This also applies to those companies that are using neutral spirits from other materials blended with the cane distillate and calling it "Rum".