• Ivar

The Big Daiquiri Challenge - Chapter 2

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

Back in June we had an evening of daiquiri tastings and it was tons of fun. We named it the big daiquiri challenge chapter 1. We enjoyed it so much, we knew there had to be a second chapter….and probably a third. If you haven’t read it already, click here to read the story on chapter 1.


We kept the format and recipe the same. Rum A vs Rum B, single knockout. The recipe being two rum, one lime, half sweet. We did cheat a bit though by bringing back Rum Bar Overproof, even though it was one of the losers in chapter 1. I was recently given a bottle of Rum Fire and I felt Rum Bar Overproof would be the ultimate opponent.


There was one roster change, Matthew Wise stepped in to replace Hamish, who couldn’t make it unfortunately. Making a reappearance are Mariangela, Andrew Toplack and myself.


This time we didn’t bother to dress up our living room table, like we did before. We figured we’d be “camping” in our kitchen again, so we setup the daiquiri ingredients, all the snacks, a candle or two, a lava lamp (got to create the right mood!) and four chairs in our kitchen, where Andrew went to work as a bartender extraordinaire once again.


As a reminder, the winners from last time were Probitas, Clairin Casimir, Rhum Rhum PMG, Mhoba French Cask, Dr Bird and Foursquare Dominus.



The Cast


· Rum Bar Overproof, Worthy Park, Jamaica, 63%

· Grander 8, Panama, 54,6%

· Probitas, Hampden/Foursquare, Jamaica/Barbados, 47%

· Dr Bird, Worthy Park, Jamaica, 50%

· Rhum Rhum PMG, Bielle, Marie Galante, 56%

· Mhoba French Cask, Mhoba, South Africa, 65%

· Rum Fire, Hampden, Jamaica, 63%

· Foursquare White, Foursquare, Barbados, 59%

· William George, Jamaica & Trinidad Blend, 43%

· Clairin Casimir, Casimir, Haiti, 50.2%

· Clairin Sajous, Sajous, Haiti, 54,3%

· Dominus, Foursquare, Barbados, 56%


The Tasting















William George vs Probitas


William George

Toplack: It’s ok. Light, thin. I want to taste rum and I’m not tasting much

Mariangela: It’s got some bitterness to it

Ivar: Refreshing, light, decent balance

Matt: Overpowered. Lime juice with a bit of alcohol


Probitas

Matt: Goes toe to toe with the lime. It’s silky and actually has a finish

Ma: You can taste all 3 components

Iv: It’s got a fruity bite to it, must be the Hampdenness! I can actually taste rum

Top: Very balanced daiquiri. Don’t want to be repetitive, but I can taste rum


Vote:

Iv: Probitas

Ma: Probitas

Matt: Probitas

Top: Probitas


Conclusion

This wasn’t much of a contest. The William George made for a nice and refreshing light daiquiri, but everyone of us was craving more rum flavour. Probitas delivered that and more. The Hampden component shines especially. Good stuff, which really should be available in Canada! William George clearly needed a larger rum measure, but we had to stick to the same recipe for all.


Winner: Probitas















Clairin Sajous vs Clairin Casimir


Clairin Sajous

Ma: Love the grassy smell

Top: Best so far. Balanced and can taste the rum so well

Matt: I’m picturing the sugar cane swaying in the wind

Iv: Grassy, fruity sugar cane cocktail

Matt: Reminds me of a cachaca

Ma: It’s a bit salty. I love it!

Iv: My throat is coated with it for a long time. That’s a good thing by the way


Clairin Casimir

Iv: Ham sandwich!

Top: Ham sandwich with spicy chorizo!

Ma: It’s quite spicy

Matt: Doesn’t peak as much

Iv: Not as lime forward as Sajous, which is good for me

Top: Sajous is better balanced


Vote

Iv: Casimir

Ma: Sajous

Matt: Sajous

Top: Sajous


Conclusion

A win for Sajous. Such an incredible and powerful rum for a daiquiri. I was the only one who disagreed when it came to picking a winner. I like more character and less lime, which the Casimir delivers. I can live with this result though as Sajous makes an amazingly flavourful and balanced daiquiri.


Winner: Clairin Sajous















Grander 8 vs Foursquare Dominus


Grander 8

Iv: Oranges!!!!

Matt: The sweetness level is up, my teeth are singing

Top: This tastes deeper with low barrel notes but none of the higher ones

Ma: I taste pineapple. It’s extremely sweet

Iv: Ready to call the dentist. Extremely sweet and one dimensional

Matt: I won’t finish it, too sweet


Foursquare Dominus

Iv: Despite it being in a daiquiri, it still clearly smells like Foursquare

Ma: This is why I like daiquiris with aged rum! It’s like a dessert daiquiri

Top: No question! Lots of low and high barrel notes

Iv: Creamy!

Matt: You get notes from the 2 different casks that have been used

Ma: Can still taste lime and rum

Iv: It’s nutty and complex

Matt: Some amaretto notes and a touch of banana. The green ones that are still on the tree

Top: Costa Rican bananas!

Matt: I wouldn’t want this as a daiquiri. Too decadent.


Vote

Iv: Dominus

Ma: Dominus

Matt: Dominus

Top: Dominus


Conclusion

The Grander really didn’t work in a daiquiri. Very sweet and one dimensional. It was probably the worst daiquiri of the night. The Dominus was very nice. Very Foursquare, even in a cocktail. Clear winner. Too decadent for Matt though. :)


Winner: Foursquare Dominus















Rhum Rhum PMG vs Foursquare White


Rhum Rhum PMG

Matt: Gorgeous! Refreshing

Ma: Wow! Tastes vintage

Iv: Fantastic. Cardboard surfing on a bed of limes

Top: This is really good

Ma: Fizzy!

Iv: First daiquiri I’m finishing


Foursquare White

Matt: Sour cream and lots of almonds

Ma: Grassy, weird for Foursquare

Iv: Very dry, kind of one dimensional

Top: Lovely, but there is something missing in the middle

Ma: Turpentine and new leather


Vote

Iv: Rhum Rhum PMG

Ma: Foursquare White

Matt: Rhum Rhum PMG

Top: Rhum Rhum PMG


Conclusion

The Rhum Rhum works incredibly well in a daiquiri. It was one of the favourites of the first challenge and it delivered again. It outshined the young Foursquare in most departments. Not in the turpentine and new leather department though, according to Mariangela.


Winner: Rhum Rhum PMG















Mhoba French Cask vs Dr Bird


Mhoba

Top: Still remarkably good. Touches all the notes you want it to touch

Iv: Smells so good. I get chocolate and mint. After eight!!

Ma: Delicious turpentine

Matt: I really like it. Just don’t know if I’d want it as a daiquiri

Iv: Funky mint choco

Top: It’s like a Christmas tree, hitting all the right notes


Dr Bird

Top: I know who wins. Dr Bird would beat many, but Mhoba has so much character

Iv: Refreshing fireworks in my mouth, aka sulfur

Matt: Sucking on aluminum. It’s metallic

Ma: Very nice and fruity, but losing the competition by a mile


Vote

Iv: Mhoba

Ma: Mhoba

Matt: Mhoba

Top: Mhoba


Conclusion

I was really looking forward to this pairing. In my mind, the Dr Bird was probably the best daiquiri of the first challenge and I thought it would be the same this time. Nothing was further from the truth. Mhoba completely outclassed it. The intense flavour experience it provides makes Dr Bird look like a boring cocktail, even though it would give any of the others a run for their money. It’s another example of how good Mhoba rum is.


Winner: Mhoba French Cask















Rum Bar Overproof vs Rum Fire


Rum Bar Overproof

Top: Perfectly balanced, relatively normal daiquiri. And yet it has that heavy alcohol we love

Iv: Very nice, not super funky

Ma: A little more subtle than Rum Fire. More lime forward

Matt: My favourite daiquiri so far. Flavour, balance and I’m getting extra drunk by it

Iv: More balanced than expected

Top: If you made daiquiris with this all your life, all your customers would be happy. Iv: Agreed!


Rum Fire

Top: Great daiquiri. Has more character

Iv: Oh my, much more character

Ma: Coconut daiquiri!

Matt: Too much going on. Great drink but not a typical daiquiri. I prefer Rum Bar

Ma: Very fascinating


Vote

Iv: Rum Fire

Ma: Rum Bar

Matt: Rum Bar

Top: Rum Fire


Conclusion

A stalemate! These two Jamaican rums with the same abv are so different in character. It showed in the votes, they are divisive. Rum Bar is a bit more subtle and puts the lime more at the forefront. Rum Fire trumps it in character, which overpowers the lime somewhat. More balance with Rum Bar, more adventure with Rum Fire.


Winner: Both


Andrew Toplack: the bartender

Final notes


After two rounds it becomes a bit more clear what we are all looking for in a daiquiri. For Mariangela it seems a combination of stronger lime, fruitiness and rum flavour is ideal. Toplack is looking for balance and character. To me it has to be refreshing but I’d take character over balance. I have to be able to taste the rum. Also, less lime is more to me. It was Matt’s first round, but going by first impressions it seems he prefers the more classic daiquiri over a lot of character.


It shows how we are all looking for something slightly different, which makes this exercise even more interesting.


The winners of chapter 2: Probitas, Clairin Sajous, Foursquare Dominus, Rhum Rhum PMG, Mhoba French Cask and a stalemate between Rum Bar Overproof and Rum Fire.


After we finished the tasting I asked everyone for their top 2 daiquiris of the night. These were the tipsy answers:

Ma: Sajous and Mhoba

Iv: Mhoba and Rhum Rhum

Matt: Rum Bar and Rhum Rhum

Top: Sajous and Rhum Rhum…..but Mhoba was spectacular!



Oh what a night….

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