Bourbon vs Rum: Technical Head to Head

To my great delight, interest in rum from bourbon enthusiasts has gathered steam recently. As a writer I’m keenly aware that many topics in the bourbon world are well-tread ground, while rum has far more undeveloped land, so to speak. Many of the recent stories here on Cocktail Wonk have focused on rum, but it... Continue Reading →

Is Rum Made From Sugar or Not?

A recently published “Rum 101” article caught my attention because it asserted rum can be made from sugar beets, as well as from sugar cane. This is simply not the case. While you can certainly make a distilled spirit using sugar beets, the end product is not a rum--just as a distilled spirit made from... Continue Reading →

Birth of a Sherry Cask

The screech of wood meeting an industrial planer blade pierces the air. One by one, rectangular boards a meter in length meet their fate, emerging from the machinery just a bit more trim and shapely. A few meters away around a corner, huge balls of fire burst to life and subside, leaving behind the evocative... Continue Reading →

Days of Dunder: Setting the Record Straight on Jamaican Rum’s Mystery Ingredient

Hogo. Funk. The smell of overripe banana. Jamaican rum is uniquely beloved in the spirits world for its powerful, easily identifiable pungent fruitiness. Connoisseurs of Jamaican funk utter phrases like “high ester count” and “long fermentation.” But nothing gets the rum nerd more enthused than talk of “dunder,” the mysterious ingredient that allegedly makes Jamaican... Continue Reading →

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