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Rhythm and Booze Records #2 Feli y Los Malos Rum

One of the things that made me fall in love with whisky was its ability to transport you to another time.

We look at age statements and think about when the liquid was distilled. Or, if we have an older bottle we think back to when we got it, first tasted it or (if we are sober enough) the extra math, in addition to the age statement, to think about where we were and where we are going.

Music has an ability to transport me to another place. It allows me to relive moments in my life even if the song wasn’t the exact one I experienced at that time.

Sultry horns on Clara Se Cayo take me to another place from my midwestern winter. The liquid I am tasting is a four-year-old rum. The slightly uptempo guitar plucks away, and I imagine a brisk walk in a seaside town. The music and liquid are both courtesy of endeavors involving Felipe Schrieberg and Paul Archibald. The liquid is brough to us by way of Rhythm and Booze Records, their endeavor to merge music with alcohol releases.

Their first release was a sherry aged scotch that was married to a blue album that yours truly enjoyed and reviewed here. The drink tonight is a single cask four-year-old rum bottled at 100 proof. The music is exclusive to the bottle release via a Latin quartet, Feli y Los Malos, which has two members named Felipe Shrieberg and Paul Archibald.

If you read my first article about this dynamic duo, you wouldn’t be surprised that they are able to switch genres in both music and adult beverages. The rest of the quartet is Edinburgh based musicians Rob Harrison on keyboards and Jonny White on saxophone. Perhaps they thought of me, as I mentioned my failed grade school side gig of sidewalk saxophonist in my first article.

OK, so it wasn’t that big a failure. For my 6th grade Christmas show, I donned sunglasses, put out my saxophone case in the middle of the stage and did a jazzy silver bells solo, as the theme was Christmas in Chicago. My classmates walked by and pretended to drop change into my case and the sunglasses were so dark that I couldn’t really tell how the crowd was reacting. In my mind I crushed it, and somewhere in my parents’ home a VHS tape exists that proves what happened. It’s true folks, I hit my peak in the 6th grade. Still, I write on, and enjoy Felipe delivering lyrics in Spanish.

Rum and I have had a mixed relationship over the years. Early on in my drinking days I loved to mix clear rum into other liquors to create shots that would please my drinking companions. Those were my younger years, where it was more about consumption than evaluation.

As I began my love of whiskey and collecting, I desperately wanted to create a blend of bourbon and rum that would combine my love of the two categories. You all probably know what would happen: a 50/50 mix proved to taste just like rum. Not a hint of bourbon to be found. I tried all the ratios, even going so far as using a dropper of Papa’s Pilar in my Knob Creek. hoping to just give it a hint of rum sweetness. But, as we all know, rum is overpowering. Even whiskey finished in rum quite often just tastes like rum to me.

For someone with a sweet tooth like mine, you might wonder why that was a problem. I’ve always liked sweet bourbon, but rum by itself always seems to be just way too sweet. It’s true. I come from that generation that thinks the perfect way to compliment a meal-ending dessert is to say, “That’s not too sweet! It’s perfect!”

El Pulgar begins with a singer’s voice and tempo setting clapping that gives way to a fast-paced beat. I nose the rum and try to put my thumb on its notes (pun intended), but the beat compels me to go back and type out my silly story about a 6th grade Christmas show and old glory.

I sip the rum and it takes me somewhere. It’s not quite Mai Tai sweet, but it’s got a punchier Pina Colada vibe to it. Can you tell I’m longing a for a vacation somewhere warm?
It’s past midnight and I’m searching nearby indoor water parks I can take my children during this winter. The rum takes me to places that have sunlight! My neck of the woods has just had the winter solistice. The days are getting longer. This rum is brightening my evening and I have hope… or is that the 100 proof talking?

As I evaluate this rum, I ponder how to score it. I’m a music lover. The recordings are fantastic. When I drink a whiskey, I think about the marketing ideas behind it and the stories that are told. I also consider the price for the whiskies I review here on Malt. I think it’s one of the things that make this site special.

At Malt we allow for a point addition or reduction based on price. Am I allowed a point addition for the musical experience?

Rhythm and Booze Records #2 Feli y Los Malos – Review

4 year old Trinidad Rum. Single Cask. 50% ABV. £66.00 ($83.74 as of 12/22/2023)

Color: Clear gold.

On the nose: Sea salt and pineapple give way to a creamy rich vanilla custard.

On the palate: A tropical punch of juicy fruit and coconut hit up front. It’s as though a pina colada is transforming into a rum-soaked upside-down cake. The boozy coconut blasts upfront with a light secondary rush in the form of tropical citrus. The proof keeps the sweetness at bay in a good way as it blunts any sugary overdose. The waves of flavor wash down in the form of honey dew and guava.

Score: 7/10

Conclusions:

The premise and execution are fantastic. It’s a whiskey-drinkers rum and it’s as wonderful to sip as the music is to listen to. If I’m allowed to add a point (or two) for the music quality, then let’s bump this experience to a score of 8/10.

US Customers can purchase this rum at The Spirit Co.

Matt

Born and raised in Chicago Matt spent the last decade hunting the unattainable only to find the beauty in the everyday affordable Bourbons you can readily find. An avid shoe collector whose early 90’s reissue of Jordan III’s disintegrated in storage; he believes shoes should be worn and whiskey consumed not stored. Whiskey elitists can keep it moving, spirits are a journey for everyone. Whether it’s the first sip of the night or another addition to their top-shelf at home.

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