Old New Orleans 3 Year Old Amber Rum

Last year I when I first began doing this, I planned on only doing whiskey and selecting the different whiskey regions with each season (summer/bourbon, winter/Islay scotch, ect ect). But that changed quickly into trying to incorporate craft beers and cigars as well. Then it dawned on me; what spirit would best suit one’s palate during those long hot, humid, sticky days/nights of summer? Well rum of course! Rum is a perfect spirit for summer, its mellow sweetness can be enjoyed in various ways and truth be told (at least from personal experience), rum pairs way better with a fine cigar than any bourbon or scotch ever could. Now I’m sure someone is get butthurt; “Oh well you have never had a good scotch then – blah, blah, blah”. Shut up and look at my previous reviews, I have had plenty of quality scotches. Rum goes better with cigars since both the sugarcane that is fermented for rum and tobacco plants for the cigars are coming from the same soil. I digress though; BACK TO THE RUM!!!

The first rum that I have decided to review comes is an American rum coming from the Big Easy; New Orleans, La. If you are looking for any rum spirit that embodies the culture that it comes from, Old New Orleans Rum is it. ONOR was founded in 1995 by a local artist James Michalopoulos and a bunch ragtag musicians. And you have an operation ran by a bunch of people who already put their heart and souls into their craft, you can be damn sure they are going to do the same for their business. The process for their Amber Rum begins with using one of the most plentiful local resources that Louisiana has to offer, sugarcane. From there the sugar is boiled down into Blackstrap Molasses and is fermented in small batches. When the product is ready to be barreled, distillers stir in actual caramel (that they also make by hand in the distillery) and then seal it in used bourbon casks for 3 years before being bottled at a surprising 43%ABV.  This labor intensive process has earned the ONOR Line plenty of awards. Their 3yo Amber Rum alone has won the following:

  • 2000: USA Today – Top Five Spirits of the Year.
  • 2001: Ministry of Rum Competition – Bronze Medal.
  • 2004: International Review of Spirits: Bronze Medal.
  • 2007: American Distilling Institute – Gold Medal.
  • 2007/2008: Ministry of Rum Competition – Silver Medal.
  • 2008: International Rum Festival – Silver Medal.
  • 2010: International Review of Spirits – “Best Buy” 90/100.

Now on to the tasting…

COLOR: What you would expect from Amber Rum; a deep rich amber hue.

NOSE: Right away you get the get hit by the sickly sweet smell of molasses and caramel that is in the rum. Beneath that you get some creamy vanilla and hints of banana. There is a bit of alcohol too.

BODY: Medium-Full body feels oily on the tongue.

PALATE: Exactly the same thing you get on the nose. The caramel and molasses give way to a more prominent vanilla. I’m not really finding the banana that I was getting on the nose…tragedy.

FINISH: There is a bit of a bite from this guy, I have to be honest. It starts off as a nice woodsy/oaky flavor but then gets a peppery/alcohol bite too it. Maybe that’s good thing; you know, to keep those rowdy kids from drinking too fast.

Overall this is really good rum and like anything else from New Orleans I fully endorse it (because my endorsements are worth oh so much). Now, if you are looking for sipping rum, this probably is not the guy for you. This fella has a bit roughness around the edge, and honestly I am pretty sure I know the reason why (tune in July 17-22!!!). However, with that being said, you would be hard pressed to find a better mixing rum that has a solid depth of flavor to it. Me personally, I enjoy it mixed with either Dr. Pepper or Curiosity Cola; both compliment the rum nicely (rum runners too!). With my second bottle of this I did decided to get a little creative. Try infusing with a banana or two for about 24 hours, it will help mellow the alcohol tinge and adds a nice flavor to coffee drinks.