By the Dutch White Batavia Arrack – Indonesian Rum

A recent release from By the Dutch and complimenting their aged Batavia Arrack, this is their “White Batavia Arrack”. But what is it and what the hell has it got to do with the Dutch?

Batavia was the name of the capital city of the Dutch East Indies, known in the present day as Jakarta. Established in 1619 at the site of the razed city of Jayakarta, Batavia became the epicentre of the Dutch East India Company’s Asia trading network. The trade of Batavia Arrack was handled exclusively by the Dutch. All Arrack exported to Europe arrived in either Amsterdam or Rotterdam.

In its most basic form, Batavia Arrack is similar to Rum. It is a sugar cane molasses distillate produced exclusively on the island of Java in Indonesia. It can trace its roots back to the 17th Century. Fermentation is very similar to that of Rum with the main difference being the addition of local wild yeast cultivated on top of red rice cakes. The fermentation is open and takes place in wooden vats taking the wash up to around 8% abv. This wash is then pot distilled to an abv of around 30%. A second pot distillation takes the distillate up to between 60-65% abv. It is at that point that the distillate is placed in large teak wood vats for between 8 to 12 months.

Specifically relating to the By the Dutch White Batavia Arrack, the 8 to 12 month rested distillate is shipped to Amsterdam in large steel containers. This is then blended and bottled at 48% abv. The product carries no age statement. Weirdly, due ‘religious legislation’ in Indonesia the arrack is marked as ‘Medicine’ when shipped.

By the Dutch White Batavia Arrack – 48%abv – Indonesian Rum

Tasting Notes

Nose: It’s tough to pin down straight away……the aromas seem to span a wide range of the familiar yet don’t seem to completely correlate with any. With time, there is definitely the initial fresh sugarcane familiarity of Cachaça, the grassy notes of Agricole, the brine notes of pot distilled Rum and the earthy notes of a Clairin. But it doesn’t comfortably adhere to any of these fully. There is a freshness to the nose accompanying an underlying vegetal note. Earthy fresh turmeric root sets a basis for light, fresh unripe tropical fruit….reminiscent of walking through the fruit aisle of a mini-mart somewhere in the Caribbean…Freshly picked bananas, green mango skin and the aroma of almost ripe papaya still on the tree. Familiar notes of black pepper, vanilla and light pimento punch through and I can’t quite shake the cinnamon notes of Amburana wood which I know isn’t there…..but the light cinnamon definitely is. Both familiar and unfamiliar in equal measures.

Mouth: Far brighter and fruitier on the palate. A real sweetness to the initial entry and a medium body to the experience. Mango. Papaya. Maybe a hint of banana. It’s also lightly floral. Definite agricole like sugarcane notes. It turns down the sweetness and brings forward a hint of coastal brine, cracked black pepper spice, cinnamon and a light herbal note. Something mildly spicy and ‘green’…..warm freshly charred and salted padron peppers. Sweetness lingers on your lips and a return of banana, papaya and vanilla accompany further visits to the glass. The finish is longer than expected and is all sweet fruit initially leading into the brine and spice notes that made the mid palate so pleasant with a hint of wood and molasses at the fade.

In Conclusion: It’s a bit of a strange one that doesn’t sit in any one camp. Shades of Cachaça, Rum, Agricole and Clairin but not fully giving the individual experience of any of them. Sweet. Vegetal. Spice. Brine. Cane. It could’ve been a bit of a non-committal mess but it really isn’t…..its actually quite a pleasant thing to drink neat even though that’s not the intended use…..it just makes me want to get my hands on the two aged releases to fully explore this spirit further. Its not Rum, its not Rhum, its not Clairin and its not Cachaca, but it is a good distillate presented at the right abv.

4 / 5

As cocktails seem to be the aim of this release, there are plenty of suggestions on the bottle. I went with a drink that has been a favourite recently…..a twist on the Saturn with the Gin replaced with By The Dutch White Batavia Arrack and with the passion fruit syrup dialed up by 5ml. Beautiful.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rumnaissance…..Rum Diaries Blog at Manchester Science Festival

msf-logoThis one is a little bit of a personal post asking (pleading) for your support as I take my first steps into talking to members of the public about the Rum in their glass.

It is worthwhile pointing out that the evening will be in its most basic form, a Rum tasting, but with added information about production and categorization. The event title is Rumnaissance and I have pieced together a little look at the breakdown of how I plan to structure the night:

Rums classifications have become somewhat outdated. Location based style classification is difficult as many rums straddle a line between styles. Colour based classification along with such horrific terms such as ‘Premium’ and ‘Super Premium’ give no indicators of true intrinsic value.  A new classification system proposed by Velier’s Luca Gargano and backed by Foursquare Distillery’s Richard Seale highlights a category of identification based upon the method of distillation employed in the Rums production.

During the evening we will discuss the proposed categorisation which from the top down is split into the distillation categories of batch and continuous, and then into further categories. We will look at the basic principles behind each distillation method, how they are used in Rum production and further explore how this relates to the proposed categories. We will also look at the effects that contact with wood has on a new spirit and also how Tropical age delivers a different result to European age.

To help you along during all of this we will be tasting Rums that demonstrate these categories as we discuss them. You’ll get to try Rum-Bar Aged and unaged “Pure Single Rum” from Worthy Park in Jamaica, Doorly’s “Single Blended Rum” from Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, Admiral Rodney “Traditional Rum” from St Lucia Distillers, “Agricole Rhum” from Martinique, and Ron Cubay “Rum” from Cuba. You’ll also get to try Glorious Revolution, an Unaged 100% Pot Distilled Rum made here in the UK by Spirit Masters. A few nibbles will be provided during the break, but even then, you’ll be tasting at least 6 or 7 Rums so it is advisable to fill up before you arrive.

The link to purchase tickets is here and it would be great to have your support if you can make it.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

cropped-business-card-2016-front.jpg

Drinks by the Dram unveil the Whisky (and Rum) Advent Calendars for 2016

*Press Release*

Drinks by the Dram 2016

Drinks by the Dram unveil the 2016 Whisky Advent Calendar

  • Drinks by the Dram launch the 2016 Whisky Advent calendar containing drams aged for over 50 years, and worth up to £600 per bottle as part of a range of 23 unique spirit-filled calendars.
  • This year’s new additions to the range include Advent Calendars dedicated to Scotch, American, Irish and Japanese whiskies, as well as collaborations with Glenfarclas, That Boutique-y Whisky Company and Origin Gin.
  • Drinks by the Dram also unveil the Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar, with an RRP of £9,999.95 and boasting a bevy of extraordinarily rare whiskies.

For the fifth year running, the range of Drinks by the Dram Advent Calendars has returned. The selection once again features classics like Whisky, Ginvent and Rum, while exciting new additions include calendars dedicated to Scotch, American, Irish and Japanese whiskies along with calendars full of Glenfarclas Single Malt, independent whisky bottlings from That Boutique-y Whisky Company and Origin Single Estate Gins made with juniper sourced from specific regions all around the world.

The Whisky Advent Calendar was launched in 2012, and has since become a tradition among whisky enthusiasts, letting them count down to Christmas and explore the world’s best whiskies. Each handmade, wax-sealed dram allows whisky fans to sample a new expression, tasting everything from single grain and bourbon to rare Scotch worth up to £600 a bottle.

Drinks by the Dram 2016 Box Image

2016 marks the debut of the Drinks by the Dram Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar (RRP £9,999.95), developing on the concept introduced by the Old & Rare Advent Calendar launched in 2015. Each calendar is a bespoke wooden box built by hand by cabinet-maker Simon Jewell Designs in Kent, and is available in a walnut or Macassar ebony finish. Within every calendar sit 24 individually numbered 30ml drams of some of the world’s most sought-after whiskies, including expressions from long-closed distilleries, a 60-year-old single malt and a whisky worth up to £19,000 a bottle.

Drinks by the Dram’s 2016 Advent Calendar range also includes calendars filled with single cask whiskies, mezcal, gin and more. The full range of calendars (listed below) will be available later this month.

 

Very Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar
Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar
Premium Whisky Advent Calendar Craft
Premium Whisky Advent Calendar Red

Whisky Advent Calendar Craft
Whisky Advent Calendar Red
Glenfarclas Whisky Advent Calendar
That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s Advent Calendar
Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar
Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar
Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar
American Whiskey Advent Calendar
Bourbon Advent Calendar
Irish Whiskey Advent Calendar
Cognac Advent Calendar
Armagnac Advent Calendar
Rum Advent Calendar
Mezcal Advent Calendar
Tequila Advent Calendar
Absinthe Advent Calendar
Ginvent Calendar
Gin Advent Calendar
Vodka Advent Calendar
Origin Single Estate Gin Advent Calendar
Naga Chilli Vodka Escalation Advent Calendar

Drinks by the Dram’s 2016 Advent Calendar range will be widely available from leading retailers including Amazon, Master of Malt, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason, WaitroseGifts.com, Ocado, GinKiosk, Majestic Wines and Laithwaites, with more being announced when they launch at the end of the month.

*End*

Rum-Craft

We all know that THIS is the one that you’ll be after! Last year was great so with a bit of luck we hope to get our hands on another one this year to see what delights await within!

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Wray & Nephew Carnival After Party

*Press Release*

WRAY & NEPHEW PARTNERS WITH BOILER ROOM AND NTS RADIO FOR NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL AFTER PARTY  

Wray’s Rum Tings consumer summer events line-up comes to a close with Boiler Room and NTS Radio Carnival activity and music extravaganza

Wray Carnival

Wray & Nephew has announced a partnership with the world’s biggest online music broadcaster Boiler Room and NTS Radio, to entertain Carnival party-goers and music fans later this month. The Wray & Nephew Carnival after party is taking place on the last day of the Notting Hill Carnival, Monday 29th August, at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green.

The gig promises to be a night to remember with an amazing line up of the UK’s best underground acts. The full line up will be announced closer to the Carnival, although Boiler Room has revealed that top acts Grandmixxer, Neptizzle, Crazy Cousins, Siobhan Bell, Skinny, Daniel OG, A.G, Covco, Blaise Bellville, Nonsense, Lord Tusk and Dean Blunt will all be making appearances.

Eager gig-goers can apply for tickets via The Boiler Room (https://boilerroom.tv/session/wrayandnephew/) now, with tickets costing £15 each.

This is the first year that Boiler Room has officially partnered with the Notting Hill Carnival, so who better to drum up excitement alongside than Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum – as flavourful and full of character as Carnival itself!

It’s not just underground that Boiler Room and Wray & Nephew will be entertaining the masses however. The partnership also includes 3,000 exclusive, co branded free Carnival kits containing dual-branded flags and horns. These will be given away during the festivities on Monday 29th August while stocks last.

The Carnival kit giveaways and after party mark the last events in Wray and Nephew’s Rum Tings summer line up, which has seen sold out events in London and Birmingham.

*End*

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Emporia Christmas Cocktails

*Press Release*

Emporia

Emporia Brands HQ asked a number of their award-winning brands to send across their festive recipes, perfect to impress your friends and family with.

Ron Prohibido – ‘the forbidden rum’ – is a unique premium Latino rum from Mexico. Made in a traditional 12 year solera with a unique combination of column still rums, Ron Prohibido was, in the 17th century, shipped in used sweet wine barrels to Spain where the distinctive sweet and bitter taste it acquired during the voyage was much appreciated…so much so that local producers in Spain persuaded King Felipe V to ban it – hence “prohibido”, the forbidden rum. Now, over 300 years later, this delicious rum is available in the UK for the first time.

Try their simple ‘Prohibido’:

Glass: Mug

Ingredients:

60 ml Ron Prohibido

2 tsp caster sugar

½ cup hot fresh coffee

1 cinnamon stick

Orange zest

Method:

Stir the coffee and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stir in Ron Prohibido and add the cinnamon and the strip of orange zest. Garnish with whipped cream, grated chocolate and grated orange zest.

Prohibido

Osborne is one of the oldest and most prestigious wine and spirit producers in Spain. Founded in 1772 by Thomas Osborne Mann to supply sherry to the UK, it remains 100% family owned, and is now run by the seventh generation.

The brightest vinous jewels in Osborne’s considerable crown are the very old rare sherries (vors). these are exceptional sherries from very special soleras, all of which were established nearly two centuries ago, and the solera for Sibarita is in fact the oldest in Jerez, dating back well over 200 years to 1792. These precious sherries have found worldwide acclaim, and are found on the lists of top restaurants around the world.

Try out their ‘PX Reserve’ recipe:

Glass: Coupette

Ingredients:

40 ml Chairman’s Reserve

10 ml Osborne PX

2 dash Angostura

Method:

Stir all the ingredients within a mixing glass over ice, then strain into a coupette.

PX Reserve

*End*

Both cocktails look pretty tasty! Now we don’t have the Osborne PX here at Rum Diaries HQ but we do another bottle of PX and of course we have Chairman’s Reserve so we are odds on to fire one of those up at some point over the Christmas period!

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Drinks By The Dram Advent Calendars Released

The occasion is nearly upon us where we need to, in the words of Sir Cliff Richard lifted from his modern Christmas classic Mistletoe and Wine, ‘rejoice in the good that we see’…………..Now we’re no popular music experts, but we have it on good authority that the ‘good’ that he is singing about is the now yearly release of the ever-expanding range of Drinks By The Dram Advent Calendars!*

DBTD FrontWe wrote about the upcoming releases earlier in September and now they are on general sale!

The Drinks by the Dram’s range of (Christmas) spirit-filled Advent calendars include such delectable treats as Rum, Whisky and Gin and are this year joined by new additions including Tequila, Absinthe and Vodka (you won’t be needing this one).

The Whisky Advent Calendar (£149.95) was launched in 2012 to help whisky lovers explore the world’s best whiskies.  Highlights among this year’s 24 drams include a rare 50-year-old Scotch, an award-winning Japanese whisky and the World’s Best Blended Whisky. Each handmade, wax-sealed dram allows whisky fans to sample a new whisky, tasting everything from single grain whisky to rare Scotch worth up to £350 a bottle.

Each calendar in the range takes the explorer on a different journey of discovery through the fascinating world of their favourite spirit, introducing them to rare and unusual expressions they may never have tried.

Whisky connoisseurs (or those with expensive tastes) can also enjoy the Premium Whisky Advent Calendar (£249.95), which contains rare single casks and whiskies worth up to £500 a bottle. This year also sees the launch of The Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar (£999.95) (for those with VERY expensive tastes) that contains whiskies worth up to £2,000 a bottle, including a 60-year-old Single Malt – one of the oldest whiskies in the world.

Drinks by the Dram’s 2015 Advent Calendar range also includes calendars filled with Armagnac, Vodka, Mezcal and horrible, horrible, you’ll regret it immediately and pay for it in the morning Chilli Vodka.  The full range of calendars is available now and is as follows:

DBTD Close UpWhisky Advent Calendar (Craft Edition)
Premium Whisky Calendar (Craft Edition)
Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar
Bourbon Advent Calendar
Ginvent Calendar
Botanical Ginvent Calendar
Rum Advent Calendar
Cognac Advent Calendar
Tequila Advent Calendar
Mezcal Advent Calendar
Armagnac Advent Calendar
Absinthe Advent Calendar
Vodka Advent Calendar
Naga Chilli Vodka Escalation Calendar

DBTD RearThe good news is that we have now got our wooly mittened fingers on a Rum Advent Calendar and it is a thing of beauty! 24 x 3cl wax sealed bottles of delightful Rum sitting there waiting for you……….Now I’m usually a really, really good boy (which is why Santa Claus is usually so nice to me) but even I had to have a little peep behind the first window………..I won’t give the game away just yet but to give a little clue….December will start off with a bang………….

We’ll look to upload each Rum revealed on a day by day basis as we progress through December so as not to ruin it for any of you that have also picked up a calendar!

If you are looking to buy one then the main selection is here with the best one (in our opinion) found here, though we do quite fancy getting our heads around Mezcal. Now you can reveal the Rums inside on the Master Of Malt Website, but we haven’t…..and if you want to impress Santa with your patience we’d suggest that you restrain yourselves and check back here every day through December! Ho ho ho and all that.

The 1st December is upon us and so #Rumvent begins…

Starting proceedings with a BANG is the quite epic Pussers Gunpowder Proof...Your tot for the 1st December

Starting proceedings with a BANG is the quite epic Pussers Gunpowder Proof…Your tot for the 1st December

The 2nd December reveals a very nice white Rum that has been covered on these very pages...Botran Reserva Blanca

The 2nd December reveals a very nice white Rum that has been covered on these very pages…Botran Reserva Blanca

Click here for our write up of the Ron Botran Range

So here we are at the 3rd December already and todays delight is a new one on me! Bristol Spirits Sancti Spiritus Fine Cuban Rum 2003...bottled in 2013 giving it 10 long years to mature...

So here we are at the 3rd December already and todays delight is a new one on me! Bristol Spirits Sancti Spiritus Fine Cuban Rum 2003…bottled in 2013 giving it 10 long years to mature…

The bottle of joy for the 4th December is Mezan Jamaica Barrique XO and its a really solid blend that we are more than familiar with...

The bottle of joy for the 4th December is Mezan Jamaica Barrique XO and its a really solid blend that we are more than familiar with…

Click here for our write up of Mezan Jamaica XO

December 5th gives us a drop of Admiral Rodney....some consider this to be one of the finest examples of column distilled Rum available...We are quite fond of it...

December 5th gives us a drop of Admiral Rodney….some consider this to be one of the finest examples of column distilled Rum available…We are quite fond of it…

Click here for our write up of Admiral Rodney

December 6th reveals this rather tasty little drop....Plantation 5 Barbados Grande Reserve....

December 6th reveals this rather tasty little drop….Plantation 5 Barbados Grande Reserve….

December 7th sees a drop of Flor de Cana 12 uncovered!

December 7th sees a drop of Flor de Cana 12 uncovered!

December 8th sees one for the sweet toothed amongst you...Ron Zacapa!

December 8th sees one for the sweet toothed amongst you…Ron Zacapa Centenario!

December 9th revealed the corking Angostura 1919..

December 9th revealed the corking Angostura 1919..

December 10th sees Santa Teresa 1796 revealed....we've drunk our fair share of this in the past

December 10th sees Santa Teresa 1796 revealed….we’ve drunk our fair share of this in the past

December 11th sees a spicy one show up....Rumbullion! We'll be submerging this one in some coke later today!

December 11th sees a spicy one show up….Rumbullion! We’ll be submerging this one in some coke later today!

The 12th December has given us El Dorado 25!

The 12th December has given us El Dorado 25!

The 13th....unlucky for some...but not with the amazing Doorlys XO being revealed!

The 13th….unlucky for some…but not with the amazing Doorlys XO being revealed!

A drop of the sweeter stuff for the 14th...Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva..

A drop of the sweeter stuff for the 14th…Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva..

The 15th has revealed a drop of the excellent Pussers 15!

The 15th has revealed a drop of the excellent Pussers 15!

*May or may not be true

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2015 Drinks By The Dram Advent Calendars Announced

*Press Release*

DBTD

Drinks by the Dram unveil the 2015 Whisky Advent Calendar as part of a range of 14 unique spirit-filled calendars.

Drinks by the Dram’s range of spirit-filled Advent calendar returns for a fourth year.  Old favourites like Whisky, Gin and Rum are joined by new additions including Tequila, Absinthe and Vodka.

The Whisky Advent Calendar (RRP £149.95) was launched in 2012 to help whisky lovers explore the world’s best whiskies.  Highlights among this year’s 24 drams include a rare 50-year-old Scotch, an award-winning Japanese whisky and the World’s Best Blended Whisky*. Each handmade, wax-sealed dram allows whisky fans to sample a new whisky, tasting everything from single grain whisky to rare Scotch worth up to £350 a bottle.

DBTD Whisky Advent

Each calendar in the range takes the explorer on a different journey of discovery through the fascinating world of their favourite spirit, introducing them to rare and unusual expressions they may never have tried.

Whisky connoisseurs can also enjoy the Premium Whisky Advent Calendar (RRP £249.95), which contains rare single casks and whiskies worth up to £500 a bottle. This year also sees the launch of The Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar (RRP £999.95), containing whiskies worth up to £2,000 a bottle, including a 60-year-old Single Malt – one of the oldest whiskies in the world.

Drinks by the Dram’s 2015 Advent Calendar range also includes calendars filled with Armagnac, Vodka, Mezcal and horrible, horrible Chilli Vodka.  The full range of calendars is available now (shipping in October) and is as follows:

Whisky Advent Calendar (Craft Edition)
Premium Whisky Calendar (Craft Edition)
Old & Rare Whisky Advent Calendar
Bourbon Advent Calendar
Ginvent Calendar
Botanical Ginvent Calendar
Rum Advent Calendar
Cognac Advent Calendar
Tequila Advent Calendar
Mezcal Advent Calendar
Armagnac Advent Calendar
Absinthe Advent Calendar
Vodka Advent Calendar
Naga Chilli Vodka Escalation Calendar

*End*

Click on the link on the side banner to take yourselves directly to Master of Malt to reserve your calendar!

I’ve often looked on from afar at the images of other people’s Rum Advent Calendars……there are some cracking spirits to be had in all of them….well nearly all of them! Maybe this year will be my year…Fingers crossed.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.