2019: r/Rum XXX Series Single Cask Rum Update #1


Good morning r/rum, Happy Labor Day!

As 2019 is well underway, there are no doubt many exciting things going on in the Reddit Whiskey communities. I am happy to bring you an update regarding a follow up to r/rum’s XXX:One rum selection from earlier this year. 

Generally, the selection was well received. Personally, I loved it. It was a ton of fun to do, and many people requested we continue the project. I’m happy to let you know that has become a reality. In about 3 weeks, two more releases will arrive to accompany XXX:One. It’s with great excitement that today I get to reveal XXX:Two and XXX:Three to the r/rum community, and the internet abroad.

While we did XXX:One as a single cask, a single selection picked from a round of blinded samples from FineDrams, we decided to up the ante this time around. Working with the always awesome FineDrams, we got the authorization to pick two casks, provided they were liked enough. With this information, I gathered the tasting panel, but kept them in the dark. Pick the best rums, I told them. Alongside myself and Jonas from FineDrams, several people joined me.

  • /u/texacer : A Wisconsin native involved with XXX:one. He’s a standout member of the whiskey, rum and gin communities. Alongside him was
  • /u/rustypipes : a long time boozebag with years of industry experience. His rum collection makes me weep with joy. Also involved in XXX:One
  • /u/teejaydub : A member of the Reddit communities, and also a designer from XXX:One.
  • /u/g-list : Rum nerd of the highest degree (agave, too)
  • /u/xreekinghavocx : Another prolific member of the spirits communities with a passion for reviews
  • /u/scotch_fanatic : Jonas, owner of FineDrams. A passionate shop owner who loves the selection process and enables us to do cool shit like this, time and time again. 

While Reddit made XXX:one very tough as they rolled out their new TOS, it took some work to conduct all of this above the boards. Thankfully, we were able to make it work, and FineDrams will again be handling all ordering and fulfillment, as they are licensed to do so. 


The Tasting

So, with our panel set, it was time to taste. The panel received 10 samples of 10 different rums. It was a goal to not repeat XXX:One, so we deliberately excluded casks from Barbados. Other than that, the panel (myself included) was completely in the dark. Ten samples can take a bit of work to get through, so most tasters took several days to go through the set multiple times. They took great notes and turned them into me, and I did all of the analysis. Of the ten samples, there was a lot of great info collected. 

At the end of the day there were two standout samples. Nothing faired poorly, as this was a great sample set overall, but two samples almost unanimously stole away the show.

Samplet8ketexacerrustypipestjwg-listphillycesarthreejagscotch_fanatc
12nd1st
210th2nd3rd
3
42nd10th1st
52nd2nd2nd
63rd10th
72nd3rd1st
81st1st3rd1st3rd1st
93rd10th10th10th3rd
1010th

Overall, this looks like so when you sum the points (lower = better) and compare the sample deviations:

SampleSum PointsDeviation
1224
2368
3443
4448
5358
6476
7348
8143
9447
10545

In graph form, it looks like: 

And here are the word clouds for each sample to give you a feel of some of the most prominent notes that were taken down by tasters: 

So, this data pretty clearly illustrates how overwhelmingly two samples stood out. Sample 1 and Sample 8 were standouts, but we were dying to know what we had tasted. Therefore, it was time to get some reveals. 

The Reveals

After all of the notes were in, reveals were releases. They were SUPER interesting. Let’s take a look: 

Sample IDOriginMarkDistillation MonthDistillation YearDistilleryMaturationABVYield (700 ml bottle)Price Estimate (EUR)Price Estimate (USD)
1Dominican RepublicMDR5December2010Alcoholes Finos DominicanosBourbon6327241.647
2GuyanaMDS (Coloured)April2008DiamondBourbon652415258.8
3AustraliaMAIC10August2007N/A (Inner Circle Rum, based on the last two letters of the mark?)Bourbon6926961.669.6
4GuyanaMPMMay2005Diamond (Port Mourant)Bourbon5920563.271.4
5GuyanaMDSL (Coloured)December2003DiamondBourbon5920562.470.5
6TrinidadTMLJanuary2010Trinidad Distillers LimitedBourbon6625946.452.4
7TrinidadTMLFebruary2003Trinidad Distillers LimitedBourbon6130463.271.4
8VenezuelaMVCDFApril2005Corporacion Alcoholes Del Caribe S.A.Bourbon / French Oak6027356.864.2
9GuyanaMPMApril2008Diamond (Port Mourant)Bourbon6026148.855.1
10TrinidadTMLJanuary2007Trinidad Distillers LimitedBourbon6825255.262.4

Wow, lots of weird stuff in there. Sample 8, the most favored, is a Venezuelan rum. That’s something I never expected to pick, especially against contenders like Guyana and Trinidad, but that’s the asset of blind reviewing, and the other reviews experienced the same excitement. On Day 1, Jonas told me we should pick two casks if we found two we liked enough. I kept this between him and I until after reveals. I asked the others if they thought we should take two if we could, and it was unanimously a yes. There was some contention between 1 and 8, so it was a joy that we would get to have both. As such, I’m happy to officially announce that XXX:Two will be a Venezuelan Rum from Corporacion Alcoholes Del Caribe S.A. and XXX:Three will be a Dominican Rum from Alcoholes Finos Dominicanos. 

With this information, it was time to make the order. Jonas asked that we make a public release when the casks were confirmed and delivered, as sometimes brokers can be flaky. Our rums were brokered from E & A Scheer BV to FineDrams, and recently arrived:

where they will be bottled by Jonas. In keeping with the design of XXX:One, the labels for XXX:Two will look like:

with the colors being dictated by the major color of each country’s flag. 

Final Details

I asked FineDrams to go ahead and confirm the pricing for each of these. 

  • XXX/TWO: 73 EUR (inclusive of VAT) / 65 USD (exclusive of VAT)
  • XXX/THREE: 54 EUR (inclusive of VAT) / 48 USD (exclusive of VAT)
  • DOK: 57 EUR (inclusive of VAT) / 51 USD (exclusive of VAT)

Wait a second. The fuck is DOK? Oh yeah, DOK. We should talk about DOK. 

Protect Your Chikken from Dokken

Funk is in and funk is fun. In XXX:One, there wasn’t a ton of funk. After trying a variety of super funk rums, we got to chatting. What if we could import our own DOK? Was it possible? Would anyone sell it to us? Most DOK, and similar, mark rum ends up in other products, like food or perfume, due to its aggressively pungent qualities. We wanted some. 

I wouldn’t be writing this blurb if it weren’t successful, so here we are. Yes, in addition to XXX:Two and XXX:Three, we have also been blessed with the opportunity to buy a vat of DOK mark rum distilled at Hampden estate and have it bottled at FineDrams. 

We said hell yeah, and it came a little while ago. It came, Jonas came, we all came. It comes in a huge plastic vat, because it is flammable and arrived at a whopping 86% ABV. The ABV and funk will both melt your face off. 

This isn’t an official r/rum bottling, as it was conceived as a group effort of the Aficionados Discord server, where we talk about all things booze and also arrange single casks, but I knew it would be a perfect companion to the XXX Series bottlings.

DOK Details

The cool thing about also selecting a DOK was that we were given the opportunity to have chemical analysis conducted on it. Here are the details:

General Analysis:

TypeUnitResult
Alcoholic Strength%Vol85.76
Obscuration%<0.1
Density0.8441
TurbidityFTU<0.1
Totalg/hlAA2.8
Methanolg/hlAA1.7
Furfuralg/hlAA10.5
pH4.67

Volatile Substances:

TypeUnitResult
VolatileAcids(as acetic)g/hlAA24.6
Aldehydes(as ethanal)g/hlAA188.1
Esters(as ethyl acetate)g/hlAA1488.8
Propan-1-o1g/hlAA1258.6
Butan-1-o1g/hlAA19.1
Butan-2-o1g/hlAA127.6
2-methylpropan-1-o1g/hlAA18.7
2&3-methylbutan-1-o1g/hlAA68.1
Total Volatile Substancesg/hlAA3193.6

So, this is a screaming rum. 1489 ester count is insane. We also got a chance to try some samples of two other marks, but DOK was the clear winner. 

Front Label
Back Label

Logistically, there are a couple of issues, though. 86% ABV is far too high to legally ship from one place, to just about any other place, via an airplane. So, DOK will be available via FineDrams in the US and abroad at 69% ABV, in order to comply with international shipping laws. I tried the 69% ABV DOK and it was still raw, powerful and intoxicating (literally). At this ABV, it was entirely improved. While it was fun to drink something at that 86% ABV, it was closed off, punishing and a chore. Down to the legal 69%, the spirit opened up incredibly, and released an array of flavors not found at nuclear ABV levels.

Right now, the DOK is bottled at FineDrams and awaiting labeling. I can show you what the labels will look like, though. It’s pretty sweet. 

Here are some pictures of DOK through its life cycle so far: 

DOK’s arrival to FineDrams
Look at all of those little DOKlings

Overall

So, in conclusions, there are a lot of really cool things happening in the r/rum community and for the internet rum scene. In sum, we have XXX:Two and XXX:Three currently being bottled, and DOK currently being labeled. I will post updates as we hit milestones each on XXX:Two, XXX:Three, and DOK. 

What do you think? Are you as excited as I am? Let me know in the comments. Please sign up using this interest check link, in order to mark your place in line when bottles release. Once you sign up, you can also elect to receive email blasts, instead of having to check reddit, via a MailChimp distribution list.