I was in sort of uncharted territory here today. Uncharted by me, that is. And I say sort of because although I had never tasted the Old Port, I did try the precursor to the Pyrat, the Planter’s Gold, a long time ago… and I remembered liking it. However, a lot of people kept saying this one was not nearly as good as that one and that it is way too sweet and orange-flavored. I guess I would find out for myself today.
The Old Port was quite intriguing to me too. I never had any Indian rum, and I had been debating whether to include the Old Port or the much more widely available Old Monk in the World Cup. In the end I went with the advice of an Indian friend of mine who claimed to like the Old Port better. Now our friendship hung in the balance.
I poured the rums into their respective glasses and had them do the usual shuffle to create my super fool-proof blind tasting, the room literally filled up with smells of candy… this was definitely going to be one sweet battle. I moved them around while watching youtube videos for a bit until I was sure I couldn’t tell which glass was which (don’t worry, I had marked it on the bottom, where I couldn’t see it while I tasted them). I put the bottles away and now I was ready to begin.
The first glass had a very distinct smell of something like a Creamsicle… oranges and vanilla. Which was pretty much what a lot of people had complained about the new Pyrat, so I guessed that’s what I was drinking. It wasn’t really an unpleasant smell at all, though, and it did have a nice caramel base to it. As I took a sip, I was actually a little surprised by the initial wave of warmth that hit my tongue. It wasn’t overwhelming in any way, but it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting from that initial smell. Then came the Creamsicle. Ha, actually the taste wasn’t as one dimensional as that, there were definitely hints of other flavors at play. Cinnamon and caramel for sure, others I couldn’t quite place. It wasn’t bad… just not sure it would be what I would want when i felt I wanted a glass of rum. It was more of a dessert drink. It would probably go really well on top of some pancakes.
The second glass had a smell no less reminiscent of my childhood, it smelled like bubble gum, Like that pink square one with the juicy center. Freshen Up? Bubblicious? It also had some strong hints of cinnamon and licorice. The taste in this one was also a bit more subdued than the smell would have me believe, but there was still plenty of that fake cherry bubble gum flavor to it. I really wasn’t a fan, but I figured it might be an acquired taste so I took another sip… and then I gave up. I would have to try to acquire it some other day. Probably in a cocktail of some sort. A tiki one. Right then I was thinking maybe I should have picked up the Old Monk instead. I will have to have words with my friend.
The first glass had this win. Although both “rums” were a bit too sweet and almost artificial-tasting to fit what I think of as a rum flavor profile, the first one at least had a flavor that I could see myself enjoying by itself in certain occasions. It had a feel and taste of a well-made rum, just one that catered to a different palate. Creamsicle beats cherry bubble gum. The winner is Pyrat XO Reserve.
Next up: Group D Battle – Flor de Caña Centenario Gold 18 vs. Viejo de Caldas 8 Year Old