Saturday, February 2, 2013

Drink it up!

Last week, we built a bottle of infused rum that is native to the Dominican Republic, called Mamajuana. But as you know, we didn't build it to look at, we built it to drink! So let's do this thing! 

Beautifully ruby red and hazy, this is a little strange as I usually look for a spirit to be star bright and as clear as Swarovski Crystal.  But given the amount of spices and herbs and wood packed into the bottle, it certainly isn’t surprising.

The nose is of mixed spice and fruit. There is a prominent anise and clove aroma, some chamomile and perhaps a little woody cinnamon. There is an old leather and tobacco character that cannot be missed.

The mouthfeel is thick (For a spirit) and hot! No question that there is 151 in this bottle. The anise and clove are fairly predominant, hitting mid palate and hanging on through the finish. I think that the alcohol burn is really doing something to ramp up the cinnamon perception.

Bay leaves and a herbal (like St. John’s Wort Tea) flavor come through in followup sips.

The honey and wine have been completely absorbed and covered. I don’t know where they went, but I suspect that had I used a normal proof rum, they would have stuck around a little more.

I wish I could download a plugin so you could smell this amazing concoction.
There is still a noticeable level of tannic bitterness to the finish.  I suspect that this will wash out with the first batch and I suspect that had I followed the directions and let the wine sit on the blend for a few extra days, it would have soaked out in the first place.

I don’t necessarily think that this batch qualifies as a “sipper” because it’s a little raw and harsh. I think that this batch may end up in the freezer for chilled shots. But the beauty of these types of infused liquors is that they evolve and change over time. When the bottle is empty, or nearing empty, I will refill it and we will have a slightly different version of the same product. I will refill this bottle of herbs several times until the flavor starts to diminish or it becomes unpleasant.
As an interesting go beside, let us talk pairing.

Usually, we pair drinks with an Hors d'oeuvre or a meal, but I want to talk drink pairing. I can’t help, as I sip along on this unique, herbal and bitter spirit, that it would be a great sipper to go along with a pint of sweet stout. The woody herbs could be quite a nice accouterment to the sweet roasted flavors of a stout. I would suggest that a very bitter beer would be a bad choice due to the tannin level in the Mamajuana at this point. But if the tannins tame down and the honey starts to shine through, perhaps a ESB would be just the ticket.

I certainly have had a lot of fun playing with this concoction, and look forward to sharing it with friends and family. I suppose that the myth and legend lends about 40% of the allure, it’s tasty enough to break out on occasion.

Check back in Next week as we jump back into sharing a few beers that are LONG over due! Beers that I had intended to share with you months ago.  We also need to look at ordering some ingredients and breaking out the ‘ol Mr. Beer. Spring is on it’s way, and we can’t be left without a solid homebrew to sip as the evenings begin to get longer!

Have a great weekend!

~Cheers!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big Kahuna, do you have email I can contact you at? This is KeyLime Ryan, I had a reply on rumshopryan.com about st. Pete beach and I wanted to talk to you about st. Pete beach. Thanks

Charles Hoffman said...

Key Lime Ryan. For sure. You can hit me up at BigKahunaBrew@gmail.com.
Love to discuss St. Pete Beach with you!
~Cheers

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