Cor Cor Red – Okinawan Rum

Cor Cor Red Rum Review by the fat rum pirateCor Cor Red Okinawan Rum.  Cor Cor Red and Green first seriously caught my eye at London Rumfest 2017.  They were displaying at the Boutique Rumfest on the Friday afternoon.  A show which is designed for new rums to display their wares to the “trade”. Its the part of the weekend I personally enjoy the most. The atmosphere is a little more restrained and you get to try a lot of new rums.

Grace Rum is the name of the company which oversees production of Cor Cor rum.  From looking through their website it appears that they used to have three expressions Cor Cor Green, Cor Cor Red and a luxury version Cor Cor Premium which seems to have disappeared from the line up.

Cor Cor Red is a molasses based rum as opposed to Cor Cor Green which is a sugar cane juice or agricole style rum.  Grace Rum do have a website (which may be a little out of date).  It seems from reading their website that both their existing expressions are unaged white rums.  No mention is made anywhere regarding the ageing of the rums.

Cor Cor benefit from producing their own sugar cane and molasses.  You might be quite surprised to learn that a lot of existing rum producers no longer use molasses from their own islands.  Cor Cor are also quite upfront about the type of rum they produce.  I have never seen a rum producer openly admit “not everyone will like our rum” in quite such an honest and straightforward way.

Cor Cor Red and Green seem to be aimed very much at rum enthusiasts seeking out a new experience.  Japanese rum is still uncommon I can only think of Ryoma as another example. They also focus on their rums being a limited edition dependant on the amount of sugar cane they can harvest.  A sugar can harvest takes place only once a year.

As a result the rums do seem quite expensive for an unaged white rum bottled at 40% ABV.  In the UK a bottle will set you back around £80.  For this you do get a quite unusual and distinctive bottle and card sleeve which does give a more “premium” feel to this rum.

Interest in unaged white rum has piqued recently thanks mainly to the likes of Velier.  Not only has Luca Gargano opened the worlds eyes to the Clairin’s of Haiti (very rudimentary agricole style distillates) but Velier have also released several unaged white rums in their Habitation Velier line up.  Examples from Worthy Park, Marie-Galante and DDL to date.Cor Cor Red Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

Sugar production has taken place on the island since the late 18th to early 19th century.  At one point there was a sugar cane railway which encircled the island transporting sugar cane all around the island.  The distillery was set up in 2004 at the site of the former Airport on Minomataido Island.  The site states they have a master distiller with over 20 years experience (that will now be over 30) but they do not name this person.

Well that is as much information as I have been able to gather for these expressions.  So without further ado lets move onto reviewing the molasses side of production………

Cor Cor Red in the glass is a completely clear spirit. As to be expected from an unaged spirit.

The nose is interesting. The initial aroma is sawdust or pencil shavings. It’s very different to the Cor Cor Green. It has a strong medicinal aroma and a slight fruitiness – maybe a touch of banana and pineapple.

In time the nose becomes less alcohol forward and you get more aroma’s. It is slightly vegetal  but the sawdust is quite dominant. Like the Cor Cor Green there is a slightly tart aroma of goosberries or very sharp raspberries. Again its quite pungent and clearly an unaged spirit.

Sipped the rum has an all spice note to it. Mixed with the woodiness of the pencil shavings. Again much like Cor Cor Green the rum initially bursts with flavour but quickly settles into a very long and very spicy mid palate and finish. It’s fiery and a little smoky – almost tequila like in places.

It’s a curious spirit. At the London Rumfest where a group of us tried these there was quite a lot of debate as to which one was the best. Initially I was more in favour of this one. Having tried them both alongside each other I’m not so sure now. Both are interesting. This is a slightly less sweet, less grassy spirit. More smoke and I would say slightly more fiery overall. In the end I think I will go for a tie.

I enjoyed trying them both and have continued to enjoy them both at thome. They are very interesting spirits. I’d be very keen to see what they can do with an aged spirit. Theres is a lot of flavour to be had in these distillates and they are quite distinctive.

As even they say though – not very everyone.





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One comment on “Cor Cor Red – Okinawan Rum

  1. […] Cor Cor duo raised its head in the 2017 and 2018 rum festival circuit, and aside from a quick review by Wes in the UK – he commented that it was a pair of rums that engendered quite some discussion – it […]

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