Thursday, May 8, 2008

Scarlet Ibis Rum

Not too long ago I stopped by one of the local "upscale" liquor stores in town to inquire if they knew anything about a possible release date for the much anticipated (at least by me) release of Plymouth Sloe Gin here in the states. The results were fairly disappointing, not because I didn't like the answer, but that's another story. Anyway, as I was walking out I eyed the bottles along their shelves looking for anything that I hadn't seen the last time I was there. As I passed by the rum section, a bottle with the name Scarlet Ibis caught my attention.

I paused to examine the bottle a bit more, and noticed that it had the Death and Company name on it. That, along with the name of the spirit, triggered vague and intriguing memories. I quickly stuffed them back in the closet as my drink budget (along with most of my other budgets) was currently depleted. When next I was near a comp-u-terminal, I decided to fully refresh my memory as to where I had heard of this rum.

Turned out that Scarlet Ibis is a rum which was specifically imported by the good folks at Haus Alpenz when Death and Company came asking around for a higher proof rum that would suit their specific cocktail needs. Unfortunately I also found that it is available in very limited quantities. Unfortunate for me as I have a bit of a problem when it comes to passing up anything that is limited in quantity. I can't remember the childhood trauma that surely was the root of this issue, but its strength has never slowed.

The next day I was back in the store, holding a bottle of Scarlet Ibis Rum, and thinking to myself I really shouldn't be buying this. It was a thought that echoed in my head all the through its purchase.

Anticipation was at a fairly high level by the time I got home and cracked the bottle. I poured a little sample, and took it for a test sniff. Clocking in at 98 proof, it didn't have as much of kick on the nose that I thought it would. A good omen for sure - Good enough for me to get to sippin'! OH GOD THE BURNING! Really, it was right off the bat, fire in my mouth. Given that I'm a regular drinker of such high proof beauties as Rittenhouse Bonded, and George T. Stagg's barrel strength powerhouse I didn't expect such a punch in the throat. The burning subsided, and I finally got a hint of the rum itself, but just as I was wrapping my taste buds around it - the burning came back and never went away.

Needless to say, I was feeling pretty disappointed in my purchase, but I trust the folks at Death and Co. to know much more what they are doing than I, so I decided to give it a try in a cocktail - The classic Daiquiri.

I'm sorry I ever doubted you Death and Co., the Daiquiri was fantastic. The edge I got cut by in the straight tasting was magnificently smoothed out by the other ingredients, leaving just the molasses and spice notes standing up exceptionally to the tart of the lime.

Now I just have to get over the terror of drinking it all and being left bereft of deliciousness. Yeah, I'm kind of weird.

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Kate Black said...

I have to say, I had a similar reaction when sampling my recent purchase of Scarlet Ibis. Rather than finish the drink neat, I splashed a bit of Fee Brothers' rhubarb bitters and soda with it. Delicious

So many of the recent Haus Alpenz offerings are low-proof, Scarlet Ibis is going to keep those cocktails from becoming too cloying. I can't wait to get some friends together and experiment a little with the Taylor falernum and some homemade orgeat.

drinkaweek said...

The Falernum is fantastic! You and your friends are going to have a fine time with those experiments.