Understanding The Uniqueness Of Rum

Rum oak barrels for agingThere is no standard for understanding what really constitutes rum and this makes it a complicated task when trying to divide it into groups. On the contrary, rum is known by the various laws and rules of the countries producing this spirit. Differences such as minimum aging, spirit proof and standards for naming the rum all vary. For example, in Colombia, in the process of producing rum, it is required to contain a minimum of 50 ABV, alcohol by volume, while Venezuela and Chile need only a 40 ABV minimum.  In Mexico, the rum must be aged in oak barrels at least eight months and for one year in the Dominican Republic, while Venezuela requires a two year minimum. The standards for naming the rum also vary. Argentina defines rum as gold, white, extra light and light. In Barbados, the terms over proof, matured and white are the norm. The United States classifies the variations as rum liqueur, flavored rum and  rum.

Although the differences in nomenclature and standards vary, the style of producing the rum can normally be categorized aligning the country with their language. Traditionally, islands of Spanish speaking people are known for producing a lighter rum with a clean taste. This includes rums from Puerto Rico and Cuba.

In English speaking islands, darker, more fuller flavored rums retaining a larger quantity of a slightly molasses flavor are produced. This type of rum is exclusively produced with the juice of sugarcane, leaving it with a stronger amount of flavor from the sugarcane. Rum made in Guadeloupe and Martinique are typically this type of rum.

Other countries produce alcohol closely resembling rum. Cachaca from Brazil is one example of this fact. Batavia Arrack otherwise known as Arrak is a spirit produced in Indonesia and it includes rice in the making of this beverage. Aguardiente is a spirit distilled with the use of molasses which has been infused with anise and additional sugarcane juice which is added after the distillation process and is made in North, South and Central America.

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