As always, in search of the “Artisan” produced spirit to add to the collection in the Old Q bar, we recently had a tasting of rum from our great friend Bruce, at Eaux de Vie. Bruce, who is probably the most passionate advocate of the world of fine spirits that I have had the pleasure to know, has recently come back from his latest project to bottle his own label rum. Of course most people think of Rum as something to mix with ginger or coke. These Rums however could not be further from those mass produced and highly branded products and in many ways embody the idea of the Old Q Bar spirit collection more than any other spirit grouping.

So last Thursday with palate completely unprepared I met up with Bruce and James (Restaurant Manager) and had an enjoyable couple of hours talking and tasting these fine spirits. I had almost forgotten how incredibly well made and enjoyable these spirits can be. Good enough to rival our cognac and whisky collections, these rums are a match for any connoisseur to discover their value as either an aperitif or as a wonderful and rich digestif.

In total Bruce has a slightly wider collection of new Mezan labelled rums, seven in total, we settled on three rums to add to the bar. All three are distilled from molasses. Two are straight column still distillations whereas the Jamaican rum is distilled in heavy pot still. And of course the greatest element of differentiation comes in the addition of each distillery’s own deeply guarded secret “dunder” (the yeasty leftovers from one batch used to start the next batch’s yeast culture, and source of a rum’s authentic flavour).

With these three additions we now have a fantastic collection of five high quality rums. We still have our Plantation Barbados Rum, light and elegant with a wonderful sweetness. I kept this, as apart from being fantastic, it is always in our armoury to fight the person who declares that they hate all spirits. The gentle nature of this rum and its sweet overtones of coconut mean we often win more converts than we lose! We then have our new Mezan Grenada Rum, Mezan Panama Rum and the Mezan Jamaican Rum. Finally we kept an old favourite a Martinique Rum from Bally. This Martinique Rum remains a fantastic spirit and is the only rum distilled from sugar cane juice in our collection.

So we hope the next time you stop by you will try some of these amazing spirits, hopefully you will be as excited by them as we are!