Saturday, May 17, 2014

Snuff the Rooster: A Cocktail and Closer Look at Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum

Snuff the Rooster
The recently released Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum will not only capture your attention, but may ruffle a few feathers. Distilled on the isle of Barbados, it's the prodigy of good rum genes and the only other Bajan overproof rum contestant in the US. Considering the number of great overproof rums in the Caribbean, it's exciting and quite refreshing to see another one enter a category of rather scant selection. Oh yeah! Cockspur Rum has always had great brand appeal, from its uber fun logo and catchy marketing lines to those who have simply tasted and enjoy the Bajan style of rum. This isn't the first time mentioning this exciting brand here, for an article on touring the West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD), where their rums are born and raised, can be found by clicking here. In Washington State, where Cockspur Rums have had patchy availability during the transition from a state controlled to a privatized system, the news of its release was right on time. To celebrate its arrival, a cocktail was in order. Although simple mixers, such as coconut water work well and are delicious, something with more local appeal was desired. Seattle's burgeoning interest in r(h)um and focus on quality cocktails and ingredients encouraged my underlying interest; celebrate the cock on its label. Make it about the rooster! So, using egg was a must, certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO of course. This rum's forthcoming pot still aromas and flavors hold up nicely and are fully appreciated through the smooth merengue-like texture achieved by using an egg white. Having been attacked by a rooster as a young child (then seeing it put to death) and later witnessing cockfights in Mexico, I wanted the cocktail to be pleasantly intense; packing a bit of spicy heat for a memorable experience. Sriracha hot sauce, boasting a rooster on the front of its bottle was perfect. The spicy note would contrast well with chocolate. What chocolate you say? Aztec Chocolate Bitters!! Keeping with quality ingredients, Giffard makes a delicious grapefruit liqueur (nothing in their line is bad) and its recommendation by Andrew Bohrer (Vinum) was spot on, pairing nicely with the chocolate. Working and reworking the ratios amidst rounding out the flavors with Benedictine DOM and Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters completed the idea. Who doesn't like more bitters, right? But what about a name? If you know Seattle, then you know it has seen some talented musicians. Alice In Chains helped out with that one. If you're a fan, then Layne Staley's voice should be sounding inside your head right now. Please let me introduce...

Snuff the Rooster

1 1/2 oz Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum
1 egg white*
1/2 oz lemon juice* (fresh pressed)
Place 3 lines of Sriracha solution on top (1 part Sriracha: 3 parts water)

Preparation: Dry shake egg white only, then add all ingredients with ice (except Sriracha) and shake well. Strain into martini glass. Place 3 drops of Sriracha onto surface and make a rooster footprint (I used a toothpick).
*Organic and non-GMO 

Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum


Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum: A Closer Look

Bottle - Reminiscent of the Cockspur Fine Rum in its shape, its sets itself apart by an eye opening red banner across the label. This Rum's proof isn't hiding here folks and it's underlined in black in case you missed it: 130 proof = 65% ABV! The design is simple, easily recognizable and filled with a "Product of Barbados" that we all love called Rum!

Appearance - Transparent clarity. After swirling in the glass, many very tiny droplets bead up, coalescing and escaping downward into thin, little chicken legs.

Aroma - Mildly sweet without overtly noxious alcohol aromas. Subtle notes of ripe banana, tropical fruits (guava and passion fruit), vanilla and anise are appreciated. A notable pot still aromatic "hogo" with hints of fresh marshmallows are also pleasant and become more noticeable as it opens up over time in the snifter.

Taste - It's entry into the mouth is heated up to mid-palate; no surprise here. The taste confirms the aromas detected earlier with less distinction. Notably, it still maintains the backbone flavor found in the rest of the line. It's light bodied with a pronounced astringent effect. Again, no surprises.  

Finish - Short and concise. The re-surfacing of that earlier heat in the mouth is noticed in the back of the throat as the dominant flavors fade from the palate.

Overall, the Cockspur 130 Overproof Rum has a surprisingly pleasant bouquet for its proof with flavors that hold up well in a cocktail. Its potential as a mixer is significant and it is a welcome addition to the Cockspur Rum line.



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