Originally Posted by Kwoksun
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I had visited that site as part of my research.
The "23" you mentioned I believed you referred to Zacapa 23 Solera. It actually means the oldest age. Some people are concerned with NAS particularly in the world of Scotch and Bourbon. But I care less of the numbers on the label, I prefer to judge by the quality of the liquid inside the bottle. It's true that many Spanish style rums have sugar added but I don't mind as long as I like the taste and smoothness. In fact, it's the style.
If you prefer drier style, there are other distillers that don't add much sugar, e.g. Appleton, Mount Gay etc and other British style rums. Like Scotch, there are a variety of choices, one of them may suit your taste.
Yup, there are rums that suit my taste. And really that's what it boils down to for anyone - what you like and if you're happy paying the price for what you get. I do have a number of rums in my collection, some of them purchased prior to knowing about additional sugar but predominantly Appleton which I liked already before I knew much. Seems my palate aligns reasonably well with my sensibilities. No, my wife wouldn't believe that either.
In my case I like old school Caribbean rum that tastes like rum used to taste in the 1970s. My personal opinions line up along with those at the site I linked. I'm not a fan of adulteration of rum to make it sweeter and smoother by addition of sugar and other additives. That's just me though.
I'm the same way more or less with Scotch. I like to know what I'm drinking is more or less what came out of the cask. I know there are good whiskies out there without age statements that are flavorful and enjoyable. But to me I can't accept a reason to discontinue an age statement whisky to come out with a whisky reputedly based on "color" as the sudden new indicator of quality substituting as a masquerade for age (throw a 10 year old Glendronach single cask beside a 16 year old Glenlivet Nadurra and tell me age is related to color). If you can make a whisky that I enjoy that has a younger age, why not simply state it (hello, Lagavulin 8)? If your product is worth what you're charging you shouldn't need to hide information. So for me with Scotch I'm pretty much age statement only unless it's a gift and that would be rude not to drink it, correct?
That said anyone drinking single malt Scotch is in the distinct minority of scotch drinkers worldwide anyway. But if I'm parting with my hard earned dollars it's because I enjoy something, not because it's trendy or fancy or marketable. With rum I find the lack of clarity about what the numbers mean to be somewhat frustrating. Flor de Cana used to actually have the number and the word "years" on the bottle and it was relative to the minimum age in the bottle. Now however the word "years" has disappeared and the number, according to distillery representatives, is the "average" age of the rum in the bottle. Yeah, maybe. The change is offputting to me. Won't matter to someone else though. I'm not wealthy enough to buy a whisky because it's in a lalique decanter and supposedly out of this world. So if I'm spending upwards of $100 on something, I want as much knowledge on it as I can. Many of the rum distillers, like the whisky distillers, changed the rules. I don't support that.
As said above, anyone drinks what they want because they find the price:taste ratio acceptable to their palate and that's exactly how it should be. I've posted multiple pictures of Standard Lager in this thread and it's far from the tastiest beer or really unique in any way other than nostalgia to me personally but I still have it in the fridge at all times. I say that with part of my job being a beer taster (for real). It's pale, yellow lager. Nothing more and replaceable by multitudes of multinational brands. But I drink it.