Reading’s Milk Bar Named Winners Of The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign

*Press Release*

Reading’s Milk Bar Named Winners Of The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign

Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum of St Lucia Distillers, are proud to announce the winning venue for the 2017 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign.

Milk Bar from Reading were announced on Tuesday 26th September winners at The Magic Roundabout, one of London iconic pop-up sites. The final saw five venues from across the UK recreate their Chairman’s Mai Tai’s to the public and VIP judges, hoping to win a trip for two to St Lucia as part of the prestige Chairman’s XI programme.

Joining Milk at the final were last year’s winners Alvino’s of Newcastle upon Tyne, Colonel Porter’s, also of Newcastle upon Tyne, Ten Mill Lane from Cardiff and wild card entry of Panda & Sons from Edinburgh.

With a secret panel of judges on hand to test out each cocktail, Milk were deemed worthy winners for 2017 and earnt their place on the plane to St Lucia.

Winning Recipe (pictured above)

Pearl of the Caribbean

35ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced

20ml Chairman’s Reserve Gold

15ml fresh lime juice

35ml milk shrub no.2*

3 dash angostura bitters

Shake and strain over crushed ice in up-cycled food tin. Garnish with a thyme sprig, dehydrated lime and desiccated coconut.

*Shrub Recipe

200ml caster sugar

175ml cold water

Whole fig, in 8ths

2 big lime peels

50ml crushed almonds

25ml chairman spiced

15ml orange flower water

50ml red wine vinegar

Method –

Bring sugar and water to boil, dissolve sugar fully. Add figs and lime peel and simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat and add crushed almonds. Bring back to boil and simmer for 2 min. Add Chairman’s and orange flower water. Simmer for 1 min. Add red wine vinegar. Simmer for 1 min, let cool slightly and filter through coffee filter

*End*

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2017. 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

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Gunroom Navy Rum

Gunroom Navy Spirits as a line up comprises a Navy Gin, a London Dry Gin and this, a Navy Rum. As a product line they are owned by (Lars) Renbjer and (Martin) Magnusson AB over in Sweden and I’ll cut to the chase…..you’ll need to purchase this particular bottle from Europe as it is not on general sale here. In fact it’ll be hitting the states before we get a look in. Fortunately there are several online French retailers that carry Gunroom Navy Rum…..but purchase it you should.

Gunroom Navy Rum – 65% abv

2016-05-17 19.28.35This Rum, as clearly stated on the label is a blend of Rums from Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana and is issued at 65% abv…..the label states Gunpowder Proof but to my understanding that is 57.15% abv….but then again Pussers Gunpowder Proof is issued at 54.5% abv…..anyhow…I exchanged a few emails with Lars Renbjer a while back and essentially the desire of Lars and Martin was to create an older style Navy Rum inspired by and harking back to the earlier style of Navy Rums of 1800-1820, prior to them becoming standardised by the Admiralty. The Rum is a blend of aged Rums from both pot and column distillation and this gives a lot of character to what should just be a huge powerhouse.

2016-05-17 19.28.47The blend comprises the following components:

  • A blend of 2 to 5-year-old tropically aged Rums from Barbados
  • A blend of 2 to 5-year-old tropically aged Rums from Trinidad
  • A young Demerara Rum from Guyana
  • A large percentage of 3-year-old tropically aged light pot still Rum from Jamaica
  • The last element accounting for about 1% of the product is a ‘top dresser’ of an undisclosed Rum that Lars believes gives a lot of character to the final blend

These components are then blended at their original proof in Europe and allowed to marry prior to bottling…..no reduction in abv takes place and therefore the 65% is reflective of the %abv of the constituent parts.

 

Tasting Notes

2016-05-17 19.29.38

In the glass: The Rum displays itself as a brilliant straw gold, almost like apple juice. I used my NEAT glass for taking the majority of my notes but either way, the first thing that hits you is a really heavy hit of alcohol vapours given the abv of this blend. The NEAT glass does a really good job of dissipating those vapours and allowing everything else to come through. Straight away the initial notes are very Jamaican. Pot still is apparent along with overripe bananas and a light but definitely present astringent nail polish. Oak is apparent but not dominant on the nose and that leads into a calm, warming toffee/vanilla note. I’d also say that there seems to be something decidedly Cuban about the nose as there is a little bit of a light oaky leather present (top dresser maybe?). It does seem to display its youth in the nose and there is a raw Guyanan quality to it.

In the mouth: It is a bit of a beast initially. There is an oiliness to it but a lighter body to the Rum than I anticipated. The peppery alcohol kicks like a mule and the Rum initially feels entirely Guyanan as the pungent oak and lightly bittersweet treacle starts to dominate. A fruitiness is present but it carries itself as a dark spiced fruitcake full of raisins and stewed plums rather than a light fruitiness which I would’ve expected given the Barbados component. It all feels very youthful and there is a lot fighting for your attention….its like a puppy dog, constantly pawing at your legs for you to notice it. Further sips reveal the light cooked banana fruitiness of the Jamaican component but the drying oak ushers that out-of-the-way and walks off into the sunset as the Rum slowly, very slowly, fades with a final hint of that tobacco and a whiff of smoke.

When using the right glass to allow the vapours to dissipate or using a good few drops of water, this Rum really opens up and displays a lot of character. This opens up the fruitiness slightly and allows a more mellow experience to be had. It certainly makes it more approachable but a less is more approach to the water is better as I found that it got quite heated initially before it calmed down.

Gunroom Mai TaiWhilst it is a massively drinkable Rum that is enjoyable neat and with a little water, where I believe it really shines though is as a component of a Mai Tai. I love playing about with the Rums in a Mai Tai and this Rum really has enough going on to provide a hugely entertaining experience. Its interesting enough to really add character to one of my favourite drinks with its differing components whilst still being powerful enough to provide the backbone to hang the other flavours onto. It’s a winner with me.

3-5-star

© 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.

Rum Nation Jamaica 8 Year

Rum Nation Logo

I’m quite excited about this post as it represents two stages of the same product. You see I had previously written about the Rum Nation Jamaica White Pot Still which is an unaged 100% pot distilled Rum. This expression is also from the same distillery (Worthy Park) in St. Catherine, Jamaica but unlike its younger sibling, this Rum has been matured……twice.

You can read up about the younger sibling and also get a little background on Rum Nation and Fabio Rossi by clicking here

Rum Nation Jamaica 8 Year Old Pot Still – 50% abv

Rum Nation Jamaica 8The Rum was distilled in 2006 and bottled in 2015. It was aged in ex-bourbon barrels in Jamaica for a period of 7 years before being shipped over to Piedmont, Italy, for a second maturation period of 1 year in first fill ex-Oloroso Sherry barrels. The Rum belongs to batch number L 15/020 with 5436 bottles being produced from this batch. I have a lab report in my possession that lists a figure of 1.67 g/l of ‘inverted’ sugar in the Rum. This bottling is not the biggest offender by a long shot and this specific topic in relation to this Rum has been discussed to death on other sites. Rum Nation have been honest enough to share the lab information with me and others and that displays a level of honesty in relation to this Rum……so I’m going to leave this information as just that…..information. Information allows you to make your own informed choices. Back then to the Rum…..

Rum Nation Jamaica 8 StampThe Rum is presented in the same stumpy bottle which all of the latest releases have been. I love the bottle size and shape as my shelves are governed by headroom not width therefore a shorter and wider bottle helps me greatly! That chunky timber topped cork is present along with the postage stamp that has become a sign of a Rum Nation bottling. The same label style as the unaged expression but this time it is presented in a striking gold to compliment the black which also works against the burnished red / mahogany of the liquid in the bottle. As presentation goes its pretty classy stuff. I’ve also been told that the Rum will come in at around £40 a bottle.

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The Rum displays itself as a dark gold with burnished orange flashes. A swirl of the rum in the glass shows an oily slab of liquid that releases reluctant droplets. A pot still character is immediately evident but it is slightly masked by tropical fruits and a subtle oaky undertone. There is a slight sting of astringency initially and a little of the heat from that 50% gives your nose a little bite. Raisins are definitely in there alongside a kind of solvent aroma reminiscent of glue. Once the alcohol dissipates and the Rum warms you are left with a very pleasant fruity and oaky aroma with the slightest whiff of cigar tobacco. Not the beast that I expected, more of a refined prospect than its younger sibling.

In the mouth: Straight out of the gate this Rum is very warming with a pepperiness at the front on your tongue and a slight but not dominant sweetness helps temper this. The pepper is accompanied by a clove like taste before raisins and prunes start to make you salivate………then the oak comes into play and starts to dry the Rum out. It’s not heavy oak but it is apparent. There is also a little burnt sugar in there and you can really sense dark stone fruits. The finish starts with cheek tingling raisins and soon dries into a medium length finish resplendent with pepper, cloves, dried prunes and oak. There is still that feeling of cigar tobacco but not overly so. The whole experience is very pleasant and very approachable given its 50% abv. It in no way feels like it is this strong and can catch you unawares after a few glasses (dependent upon how heavy-handed your pours are). Right at the back of the finish there is a really pleasing liquorice taste that clings on for dear life. It really is a flavourful Rum that always carries with it that strong pot still backbone to which all of the other character traits cling to.

I put this Rum into the obligatory Mai Tai along with its younger counterpart. I had never previously used a sherry finished Rum in this drink but it made for a tasty proposition. Again, the abv of 50% along with the 57% of the unaged expression is apparent but never too dominant….very powerful and very tasty as you’d expect. Very moreish! I would also bet that the facets of this Rum would pair well with a cigar as it carries just a hint of cigar tobacco on the nose. Versatile in cocktails, not overly dominated by the Oloroso finish and more than pleasant to sip neat, this Rum should be a big hit…..if only it were more readily available here in the UK. France is our nearest option for purchase.

As with all of these matters, feel free to pop in if you’re passing by and share a glass with us…

© 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.