2020: XXX r/Rum Series: XXX/Four, XXX/Five and XXX/Six Release

Greetings, r/rum and happy almost friday!

Last week I announced that the XXX Rum Series for r/Rum would be continuing in 2020. Everyone has been pretty pumped, which is great to see, especially as we all still recover from the holidays.

I won’t waste time getting to the good stuff. XXX/Four is here. But, along for the ride are also XXX/Five and XXX/Six. That’s right – the series is growing by 3 this time around. Would you like to know what they are?

The Panel

The panel this time through was made up of 15 notable individuals, active on Reddit, Discord and in the Rum community. As a panel, we had 11 samples of rum to choose from, thanks to the hard work of Jonas over at Fine Drams.. That generated quite a lot of data.

The panel was comprised of:

  • /u/anxst
  • /u/cojirob
  • /u/g-list
  • /u/homebargirl
  • /u/pwnedpanda
  • /u/rustypipes
  • /u/stormstatic
  • /u/scotch_fanatic
  • /u/t8ke
  • /u/tarquin_underspoon
  • /u/theagavefairy
  • /u/teejaydub
  • /u/texacer
  • whiskeycurator
  • /u/xreekinghavocx

Normally, I give little blurbs for everyone, but the vast majority here are familiar faces. Thanks to everyone on the panel who gave their time for this!

Over the course of two weeks, everyone tried their samples. Most people did this over several nights, comparing some to others and shuffling around the next night, along with some other permutations. 11 samples of cask strength rum is just too much to taste all at once in a single evening since palate fatigue is very real.

Everyone submitted notes from each of their tastings to me, and I compiled the data for analysis. In order to preserve the blindness and remove possible suggestion from others as they submitted their notes to me, I built an automated collection system at t8ke.review to handle the ingest and submission of everyones data, so that I would not have to see it until I was done with my notes, which was super handy. Thus, you can be sure that every effort was taken to ensure the best results possible were achieved – not an easy feat with a panel this large.

After a week of analysis, the discussion embargo was lifted, allowing panel members to discuss among themselves their thoughts on the samples.

Here is the panel member preferences – noting their top three samples, and the one they picked to be last place.

anxstcojirobG-Listtjwwhiskeycuratorjodgey4Homebargirlxreekinghavocxrustypipesscotch_fanaticstormtarquin_underspoontexacert8kepwnedpanda
Sample 1
Sample 22nd3rd3rd
Sample 33rdLast3rd1st3rd3rd
Sample 43rd1st1st3rd3rd2nd1st1st1st
Sample 52nd3rd
Sample 61stLastLast2nd2ndLast3rd
Sample 71st2ndLastLastLast2nd
Sample 8LastLast2nd2nd1stLastLast1stLast
Sample 92ndLast1st3rd2nd1st1st1st
Sample 103rd3rd1st2nd2nd2ndLast
Sample 112ndLast3rd

Lots of really interesting information here. Two very clear preferences and then a lot of noise.

Comparison of ranking and deltas for each sample

Based on this information, we were pretty sure that we knew what two we’d want. Like all previous rounds, other than myself and Jonas, the panel doesn’t know how many casks we can buy, which I think is important. When all data was in, we initially planned to take two casks, but in the end, we took three. I think you’ll all approve.

Several samples were intensely polarizing, as you can see.

The Reveals

Here are the reveals we were given:

Sample #OriginMarkDistillation MonthDistillation YearDistilleryMaturationABVYieldPrice EURPrice USD
Sample 1JamaicaJMWBDecember2007N/A (Worthy Park?)Bourbon552205549
Sample 2JamaicaJMWPMay2007N/A (Worthy Park)Bourbon602386356
Sample 3JamaicaJMWPJuly2009N/A (Worthy Park)Bourbon642455952
Sample 4FijiSMFDecember2004South PacificBourbon6824110291
Sample 5FijiFSPDSptember2009South PacificBourbon612345952
Sample 6BelizeMBTFebruary2006TravellersBourbon692588273
Sample 7BrazilBEBCMay2011EprisBourbon552855246
Sample 8MauritiusMLMW7December2010N/ABourbon682736860
Sample 9Jamaica2017Worthy ParkBourbon654003834
Sample 10Jamaica2016Worthy ParkBourbon654004036
Sample 11Jamaica2015Worthy ParkBourbon654004237

Dang. Jonas did it again – look at that spread. It’s worth noting that 7 and 8 were agricoles – cane juice. That explains some of the polarization.

As I mentioned above, it was clear that Sample 4 and Sample 9 were clear favorites. After a couple days of discussion, and being pleased with the pricing and yield, we decided to make those our two selection.

But, there was something else. None of us could shake how interesting the cane juice samples were. Loved, hated, everyone found them interesting overall. Jonas announced to us that he purchased the cask of Sample 8, the Mauritius as well, to bring us to three casks total. The panel agreed that while some were in love, and some didn’t enjoy it as much (many rated it last) that it was interesting, and would find great appeal in the large audience that is r/rum.

So, we got three casks. What a rollercoaster. As I always do, here is a wordcloud made up of the panel notes for each sample.

Tomorrow, I will publish a followup post that also includes tables for each sample, with the unedited notes from panel members. This post, and the digest tomorrow should hopefully give everyone the information they seek when choosing which of, or all of, the bottles they’d like to buy.


The Official Bits:

Therefore, officially:

  • XXX/Four will be a single cask rum from Fiji, distilled in 2004 and bottled at 66.8% ABV. It was distilled using a pot still at South Pacific from molasses, aged in the Philippines until 2016, finished in American oak cask #3 in England and bottled on 8th of January 2020. The yield is 214 bottles, and there is no filtering, coloring or additives of any kind. No bullshit as always.
  • XXX/Five will be a bottling of rum from Jamaica that is two years old and bottled at 65% ABV. It was distilled from molasses in Saint Catherine, Jamaica using a pot still, aged for 2 years in Jamaica and bottled on 1.9.2020. Chemical analysis reveals ester counts at 67.7 g/hLAA, and total volatile substance counts of 529.8 g/hLAA. The yield is 400 bottles, and there is no filtering, coloring or additives of any kind. No bullshit as always.
  • XXX/Six will be a bottling of rum from Mauritius, distilled in 2010 and bottled at 67.2% ABV. It was distilled from cane juice, using a column still in Mauritius, aged in oak casks in Mauritius until the start of 2018 and finished in first-fill Bourbon cask #2 in England. The yield is 260 bottles, and there is no filtering, coloring or additives of any kind. No bullshit as always.

These bottlings will go on sale at the end of this month. As usual, you can combine these bottles together, and with other products from Fine Drams inventory as well. Many of you are aware, but if you’re not, Fine Drams carries an extensive sample selection as well, where you can buy 3cl from any number of bottles.

On Friday, January 31st, the bottles will be available for sale. Pricing structure is as follows:

  • XXX/Four: Fiji 2004: 99 EUR / 79.2 EUR (ex. VAT) / $88 USD
  • XXX/Five: Jamaican 2yr: 39 EUR / 31.2 EUR (ex. VAT) / $35 USD
  • XXX/Six: Mauritius 2010: 69 EUR / 55.2 EUR (ex. VAT) / $60 USD

As usual, I will be active in the comments, alongside Jonas from Fine Drams if you have any questions. I am beyond excited to unveil the next chapter(s) in the XXX Rum Series to you all today, and hope that you will enjoy them as much as we all did.

Thanks,

–t8ke

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