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Why are some Spiced Rums Darker than Others?!

Coming up in this Blog, I'm gonna be answering the question, why are some Spiced Rums lighter, and why are some Spiced Rums darker? So, if you want to know what the reason is behind that, stay tuned.

Right then, Spiced Rum fans, this is to answer that question, why are some Spiced Rums lighter? Why are some Spiced Rums darker? How do they become dark? So, I'm just gonna kind of explain, take you right back to bare basics.

So, Spiced Rum obviously starts its life as Rum. Now, probably not the greatest example to use is Havana 3-Year old. This has been aged obviously, for three years. However, all Rum when it's distilled from sugarcane, sugar molasses, anything like that, sugar beet. In the UK, it's distilled a lot from sugar beet now in the UK, is obviously going to be a clear liquid. Alcohol is a clear liquid. Now to get the colours, especially in proper Rums, before we get into the spicing or anything like that, it's all done through the ageing process.

Now, I've got a Havana 3-Year old here just to kinda give you that base clear liquid. This, I don't know whether you'll see it quite clearly on now. I'll try to get out of the way so you can see it on the white background that it has got a very sort of slight tint to it. It's not crystal clear white. It has been aged for three years, but that is it. It comes out and that's kind of your base sort of Rum liquid. And then from there, it kinda goes on a little journey.

I've got some, I think I've got these in sort of colour order here, kind of the Spiced Rums that I've featured so far in this channel and you can see, they're very, very different in colour some of these. We go from Kraken, which is kind of jet black, and actually the BrewDog, the Five Hundred Cuts is kind of a murky kind of black. Black Tears is a crystal clear liquid, kind of sort of very, very dark brown, nothing compared to Kraken at all. And then we've got these two, we've got Worlds End and Bounty.

To get the ageing, Rums are aged in wooden barrels, oak, charred oak, anything like that. The level of charredness inside will give you a different colour as well. If those barrels have been pre-used in other things, bourbon, other whiskies, anything like that, again, you'll get the sort of colours, and the flavour profiles to some extent of the base Rums that will all change. So, the darker or the more charred inside the barrel, in a sense, the more it's been used, the darker the Rum is gonna be, but obviously the Rum needs to age for a decent amount of time.

There is another part of this as well, because actually with Spiced Rums, and actually a couple of major brands, take Lamb's, take Captain Morgan's, and things like that, their colouring actually doesn't come from the ageing process at all. The colouring comes from added sort of caramel sugar syrup or burnt sugar, or anything like that to give it that dark colour. So when you get to the cheaper sort of Rums, Spiced Rums, the cheaper end of the spectrum, they are obviously not going to be aged that much at all. I have no idea how long Captain Morgan ages their Rums for, very, very minimal. All that colouring, all that flavour comes from colour additives.

When it comes to proper sort of authentic Rums, I'm gonna pick on the St. Lucia Distillers here. The Bounty, these two Rums, the Chairman's Reserve and the Bounty are St. Lucia Distillers same. Their colouring, yes, there's a tiny hint of sort of colour, and a tiny, tiny amount of colouring coming from the spice in them, but the colouring comes from the ageing process. So the longer that Rum is aged, the darker the colour's gonna be, the richer the colour's gonna be, but the bolder the kind of flavour's gonna be as well. You're kinda gonna get those woody notes coming through to the Rum, the oaky notes, things like that. So that is all just proper sort of barrel aged Rum.

When we get to something like the Black Tears, Black Tears, let's come out to one side so you can see that, is a very, very dark Rum. Again, I have it on good authority that there's no colourings gone into that at all, but the spices they use to flavour that is sort of cacao and coffee and things like that, so you've got those colours that are going to slightly infuse their way into the Rum, so that's where that kind of comes from. Now, we're going for another kind of very, very sort of dark. You can't even see through this. This is a murky, murky Rum. This is BrewDog Five Hundred Cuts. Now the colour of that purely and utterly comes through. They've done this is a gin way, so the botanicals. There's lots of cloves, lots of cinnamon, very kind of rich like that. You can see sort of all the botanicals that they've used on the front there, but that colour is just come through everything that they've used to get the flavour of the Rum. The actual Rum is a very clear liquid, because they distil it themselves up in Scotland.

When it comes to things like Kraken, and as I previously mentioned, Captain Morgan's, Lamb's, those kind of Rums, the more mass produced Rums, yes, it is predominantly. Yes, Kraken is the better end of that scale where they do use proper Rums in there, however, this still will be some sort of colouring added to that to give it that sort of deeper dark colour. If you kinda hold it up, it's not jet black. It's a lot darker. It's a lot darker than the Black Tears, but that is purely coming through colouring. That's all it is, is the colouring added.

So, I hope that's answered your question. Very, very simply, how do we get from that to that? Two processes, ageing if we've got a proper expensive Rum, or colour additives being answered. So I hope you enjoyed that. That is my last video of 2019. Coming up in 2020, the very first one, we are getting back to Rum reviews. I'll see you soon!


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