I don’t naturally drink rum. The clear brews are too forgettable to really bring me back to them, and most of the aged mashes fuck up my stomach to the point that I can never return. If I’m going to drink rum, I’m going to drink a rum I can’t afford that’s dark in color and I won’t like it. I went to school in Mississippi, after all.
I say that, and a wonderful woman walked into Cutty’s the other day offering up a bottle of Mountain Peak espresso rum out of Hilton Head, S.C. for us to taste-test, and this stuff is downright perfect. I know nothing about rum, but now I know everything about rum.
The only rum that should be produced by distillers is dark, or aged, rum. You have to take your time with certain things, especially with spirits distilled from sugarcane and molasses, both of which are fantastic. Certainly flavored rum — specifically coconut flavored rum — should be exiled to Mars. Don’t ever drink that swill unless you’re in your teens and still learning about the world. Learn your way out of it. Clear, good rums are tolerable as far as they go, because the mojito, which is great, still qualifies as an acceptable adult cocktail in polite society.
You don’t walk into a bar and order a straight-up rum neat. There’s no reason to do this. Because most bars don’t carry rums that drink well as neat. Rum is an afterthought. Rum is but one of like five ingredients in a drink called a hand grenade that makes me want to vomit just looking at the ingredients. GOOD rum should be enjoyed for what it is, in a warm, humid locale, away from the pressures of Chad over there screaming about doing another fucking Irish car bomb.
I enjoy espresso infused alcohols, as I’ve written about in this space before. So that this charming woman walked into Cutty’s the other day and gave four of us a blind and free taste-test of Mountain Peak’s espresso rum, a decidedly superior spirit to Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka, but for decidedly different reasons I had anticipated.
I’ll first say that after trying Mountain Peak, drinking Van Gogh makes one feel like a 20-year old. Van Gogh contains too much sugar to really qualify as an espresso spirit. Van Gogh goes down too easy and too often to warn you off of itself. It in fact brings you in, like the Event Horizon, but you somehow enjoy it more but feel somehow worse the next day. We all did just step into Hell, after all.
Mountain Peak espresso rum will whisper into your throat and esophagus and abdomen in ways you never thought possible. Good whiskey can do this, but Mountain Peak does so more poignantly. Mountain Peak stings you on the tip of your tongue — but with a touch of sugar — and continues the rollercoaster down into your heels. This is spicy rum we’re dealing with, but it’s also overladen with espresso, and as an avid coffee drinker, I can get behind this stuff.
You may not be into the flavored liqueurs, and that’s fine. If you’re a coffee-cum-liquor drinker, though, I can’t recommend this stuff enough. It’s bitter and bitey enough to remind you that you’re drinking alcohol, but it’s also flavorful enough to reinforce your Saturday morning homebrew. And it’ll bite you in the ass.