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Avast, ye hearties!
Lean in close, for the Rum Triangle is a cautionary tale. Drawing in unsuspecting imbibers with an irresistible magnetism, the Rum Triangle makes the fabled Devil’s Triangle quake in its soggy-bottomed boots. For once a wandering soul finds itself in the Triangle’s clutches, it’s destined to a Rum-soaked existence from which it can never willingly escape.
With the Dominican Republic due north, El Salvador to the east and Barbados to the west, the fated coordinates of this Triangle produce some of the world’s most intoxicating Rums.
Word to the wise, Mateys: Sip at ye own risk, as you may fall under the triangle’s boozy spell and never return. Arrrr!
It’s no surprise that some of the world’s best Rums come from this Caribbean vortex of spiritual greatness. After all, the Domincan Republic, El Salvador and Barbados are sugar cane powerhouses, producing and exporting much of the world’s supply of this sweet, perennial grass.
As you probably know, sugar cane is at the very heart of your favorite bottle of Rum. Sugar cane molasses or sugar cane juice is fermented, then distilled, before it makes its way into a barrel and then into your glass. It just so happens that this tall, reedy plant thrives off the bright sunny climes of the Caribbean, making it ground zero for producing… craft Beer (kidding, it’s Rum. Definitely Rum).
And so it goes with this Tasting Box. Three irresistibly divine examples of the power emanating from the Rum Triangle, starting with Mount Gay Black Barrel, a smooth drinking Barbados Rum hailing from the oldest Rum distillery in the world and aged in American Whiskey barrels; Cihuatan 12 Year Old, a rich, citrusy sipper from El Salvador’s very first Rum distillery; and the Dominican Republic’s Brugal 1888 — just dry, bold, full-bodied greatness.
Time to explore what the triangle has to offer. Drop your anchors and settle in for the Rumventure you’ve been waiting for — cheers!
1) Rum originated in the 17th century Caribbean, although today it’s produced all around the world using a variety of different methods. However, the idea of a ‘good’ Rum still hails from the Caribbean islands.
2) Depending on the duration of the ageing process, there are three different kinds of Rum: light Rum, which is usually aged for around a year; gold (pale, amber) Rum, aged for at least three years; and, dark Rum, which will have gone through at five year of the ageing process.
3) The story of Mount Gay Rum begins in the year 1703 on the Caribbean island of Barbados, where John Sober (yes… Sober) inherited a distillery and invited Sir John Gay to help manage it.
4) Rum is why we measure alcohol proof. To make sure Rum wasn’t watered down, it had to be “proven” by soaking gunpowder with it. If it was “overproof” (higher than 57.15% volume), then the gunpowder would ignite. But if it wasn't, it was “underproof.”
5) Ron Cihuatan is named after a fabled ancient Mayan city that was blessed with riches and fertility by a Goddess who also watched over its sugarcane fields. In Nahuat, “Cihuatan” translates to “the land beside the sleeping woman.”
6) Back in the 18th century, Rum was so valuable that it was used as a form of currency. Sailors would be paid in Rum as part of their benefits package — today’s companies might want to take note.
7) Unlike most Rums, every single drop of Brugal is cask-aged like a Single Malt Whisky — the distillery also removes many of the heavy alcohols other Rums leave in, resulting in a cleaner, drier spirit that’s less sweet than most.