Yep….you read that right…..Ron Jeremy…..the larger than life character and famed star of many ‘artistic’ films best viewed with the curtains drawn…..apparently. Now you may be forgiven for wondering why on earth you’d be interested in purchasing something that some may see as purely a gimmick with more style over substance due to the famous figurehead…..indeed the general reaction within the office when the bottle arrived was one of mirth from the chaps that were familiar with Ron’s work and recognised his face on the quite magnificent logo. However, when you learn that the rum used to create Ron de Jeremy is distilled and blended in Panama by the legendary Cuban born master blender Francisco ‘Don Pancho’ Fernandez, who has worked with such rums as Ron Abuelo and Havana Club, you need to look past the innuendo and knob gags and investigate further.
The initial chaos and hype around the launch of Ron de Jeremy has now subsided and its possible to approach the rum as a drink rather than a celebrity fronted drink. The rum is distilled in a column still at Alcoholes y Rones de Panama in South Central Panama using molasses from their own sugarcane fields and it is then aged in ex-bourbon American Oak barrels for 7 years. Caramel colouring is added to return the rum back to the colour that it was within the barrel as diluting the rum to its 40% ABV changes the colour of the rum. The colouring also enables the distillery to stabilise the colour of the rum between batches.
A spiced rum is also produced and it unsurprisingly goes by the name of Ron de Jeremy Spiced. This is from the same base rum as the Ron de Jeremy but the rum is introduced to spices such as vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. It also boasts a higher 47% ABV.
I was initially supplied with a bottle of Ron de Jeremy by Olli Hietalahti at the aptly named One Eyed Spirits for inclusion in this article…..I clearly enjoyed it as I made short work of the liquid and that bottle didn’t last too long….I then purchased another two bottles and was lucky enough to get one of them personalised and signed….I also added the Ron de Jeremy Spiced to my line up!
But, enough rambling, as usual, you want to know how it tastes and if indeed it does have a ‘long smooth taste’…..
Tasting Notes – Ron de Jeremy
In the glass: The rum is a golden straw colour with darker amber flashes. It doesn’t offer much in the way of clues immediately and I have to leave the glass sitting for a while before any of the delicate aromas decide to show up. When they do, unlike their namesake, they are shy and restrained! There is a very light oakiness and a light fresh fruitiness that I can’t immediately call. An almost fresh sugarcane aroma is followed up closely by a light hit of vanilla and a slight sugar sweetness. A few glasses in and the fruit that I’m searching for may be pears.
In the mouth: The rum is a lot sweeter than expected but not in a cloying way. It still retains its freshness and is unbelievably smooth. The fruit to taste is definitely pear and it sits well alongside the vanilla and light oakiness. There is a slight peppery end to the rum and the finish is initially sweet but drying out quickly. It has a long finish with more oak and sweetness lingering. Very enjoyable.
Tasting Notes – Ron de Jeremy Spiced
In the glass: This is an entirely different beast. The rum is dark reddish-brown and reminiscent of a cup of black tea in the way that the colour disperses and lightens as you tilt the glass. The initial smell reminds me of the first time that I smelt The Kraken Rum. Straight away there is an overriding creaminess to the rum with hints of toffee, vanilla, light spice and custard. It’s almost like liquid crème brûlée. There is also a good dollop of custard with cinnamon. I can smell a familiar childhood aroma in there too and I think that it’s the smell of cola cubes!
In the mouth: Straight away there is the vanilla sweetness with the creaminess of a nutmeg topped custard tart. This is backed up with the cola cubes and more vanilla sweetness. I want to say chocolate but I’m not entirely sure on that one. The mouthfeel is very creamy and the finish is long, dry and has a bit of a kick…but not an unpleasant kick. This spiced rum is a bit of a revelation to me as previously, the only spiced rum that I have regularly drunk neat has been Foursquare Spiced but I have to say that I’m a little smitten with the flavours and feel of this rum…so much so that beyond mixing with coke (which worked very well) and trying out a spiced daiquiri (which didn’t), I have enjoyed this rum as a sipper! Probably not the intention of the producers but it really works for me.
There is a lot of information and opinion out there about Ron de Jeremy, both good and bad, but its haul of awards tell their own story. Gold and Silver Awards in Madrid and London along with numerous nominations, awards and listings in ‘best spirit’ categories. At the modest price of just over £30 for each expression, there really is no excuse not to try them. I saw fit to by multiple bottles.
As always, the choice is yours when it comes to spending your money on a bottle of rum but whilst it may not be the best sipping rum you’ll ever try, it just might be! After all, who am I to define what is, was and will be the best. I’ve not encountered ‘the best’ yet and probably never will, though I do have my personal favourites….though this changes frequently. One thing that trying these rums has made me want to do, is seek out more of the rums blended by Francisco ‘Don Pancho’ Fernandez. I have Ron Abuelo 7 and 12 which are both tasty rums but the holy grail would be the Origenes by Don Pancho range. A pair of 18 and 30 year old rums that represent a mans lifetime of experience and devotion to an art form that has shaped him and his life. One day……….
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I met Ron at the San Diego International Spirits Fest in 2013. I was standing in line for a food sampling when he tapped me on the shoulder and shoved his….bottle in my face. It felt very much like being South of the Border in the 90s – I was waiting for someone to blow a whistle as he poured his rum in my mouth. But alas, I had to go to the booth to taste it. His rum!! I will say it’s actually quite good. Check out the dates for the 2014 festival on my site http://www.LikeYourLiquor.com (no announcement on the celebs, but you can at least meet me!) Cheers!
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