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10 Cane

Category: Cane, White
Country: Trinidad & Tobago
Aged: 6 months
Alcohol: 40% (80 proof)
Availability: Almost Everywhere
Price: $30-$38 (750 mL)
Rating: Three Stars

The Review:
10 Cane lauds itself as "rum's redemption," as its creators at Moet Hennessey have taken a brave step and crafted this luxury rum from the first pressing of virgin Trinidadian sugar cane, not molasses.

Most rums use molasses, a by-product of sugar manufacturing. 10 Cane's distillation process is overseen by Jean Pineau, the Master Distiller of Mot Hennessy. Pineau employs what has been described as an "artisanal" approach to rum making, particularly through small batch production process and high ingredient quality standards.

10 Cane rum is slowly fermented for five days at a low temperature, double-distilled in small batches in French pot stills, and finally aged in French oak barrels for ten months. This aging process gives 10 Cane its light golden color. 10 Cane Rum is one of the few rums focused on ingredients and primary production stages rather than maturation.  To top itoff, they ship the finished product on a bottle that is both a classy combination of vintage and modern styling.

A slim square body with a long, gripped neck is designed for premium shelf placement and suited for bar handling. Its plastic-topped cork assures us that this is a high-end spirit. The color is an interesting light straw yellow (though it's still really a white rum), and from the open bottle, the aroma is of alcohol and sugar cane with a hint of vanilla. Poured into a glass, the color becomes much clearer and the smell of alcohol becomes particularly pungent.

Allowed to breathe, the aroma is reminiscent of whiskey. Flavor is fairly clean and smoky-sweet with a medium burn on the tongue and young rum harshness on the throat. The heat is too much to enjoy neat and carries with it a faint bitter aftertaste. On the rocks, the cooled liquid releases subtle tastes of earthy wood with a honey and mild fruit aftertaste. A little lime and some club soda (or ginger ale, or coke), and 10 Cane will slowly start to grow on you. It's great in simple mixed drinks like classic Daiquiris, but it's best not to dilute it with a multitude of spirits and other ingredients. Makes incredible Mojitos and Caipirinhas.

In all, the highlight of 10 Cane might be the bottle, but what's inside is still pretty good. Though for over $30, most might find it a bit steep for a mixing rum.

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