I have to admit I wasn’t fully onboard with the concept of “Ron de Jeremy Rum” (see previous post). I assumed the marketing was a gimmick, and it was hard to have expectations for the product. Plus which, I really didn’t want to taste anything named after Ron Jeremy.
I smirked as much on this blog, and was contacted by a distributor for Ron de Jeremy rum, offering to “make sure [I] get a sample”. I thought that was cool, and generous, and took him up on it. It’s only fair to report my impressions, and to admit where I was wrong.
My first mistake was underestimating Ron and his company. When I was offered a “sample,” I expected a little airline bottle or something. Two days later, I checked my mail to find a full 750ml bottle of Ron de Jeremy Spiced Rum as a gift from the “Ron de Jeremy rum crew”! Yep – they sent me a full fifth of rum for free, just to let me make up my mind about a product I had already joked about! Class move, guys.
It showed a lot of confidence, too, and I soon realized they had earned it. As Robert German, of the “crew,” pointed out, the rum has done better than well in competitive tastings against other quality rums, and has won good reviews and a number of awards. It’s a serious product. And apparently Ron Jeremy is serious about marketing it. They don’t downplay that his name brings it a kind of titillating brand recognition, but at bottom it’s a good product and he can be proud of being associated with it.
Another thing I misunderstood is the name. Ron Jeremy (the man, not the rum) proudly proclaims that “Ron means rum!,” which at first I thought was a schlocky advertising slogan. Not only was I being ungenerous, I was being ignorant, too. “Ron” is in fact the Spanish word for “rum,” which I did not know. “Ron de Jeremy” not only incorporates Ron’s name, but it literally means “rum of Jeremy” – which it is! That’s clever, and I was an idiot.
So I owe Ron and the crew an apology for being snobby. They’re serious about their rum and they have a real rum to be serious about. How could I have ever doubted them (other than the fact that it has a porn star’s face on the bottle – which, in Ron’s world, is not a drawback)? I’m sorry to have talked down your product, and thanks to you all for being cool about it.
But how good is the rum? That’s the real question. And when Ron and the crew find out that they express-shipped an expensive bottle of quality rum for evaluation by a non-drinker, they’re going to be pissed. But I felt I owed it to them – and to you, our loyal readers – to get around enough of the bottle to be able to offer an informed opinion. Conscious of my duty, I bit the bullet and have been drinking as much award-winning rum as I could, for free, for you. You’re welcome.
And the bottom line is – it’s good! I’m no expert on this, but real experts have given it awards, which is a good clue. As to my own impression, I liked it more than I expected, and more in fact than I normally like flavored drinks.
Ron de Jeremy Spiced Rum is smooth and tasty. It has a pronounced vanilla odor and flavor, with a spicy aftertaste. At 94 Proof, it’s got enough of a bite to make itself known, but it’s a mild sipping rum, not in the least harsh, complex enough to be interesting. Other than the vanilla, the spices are clearly evident but not aggressive; I don’t know enough to identify them by name. Let’s say a sharp cinnamony taste and a tiny kick that stays on the tongue but no real fire. It goes down very smoothly when drunk neat, and is pleasant and tasty with mixers.
Oh, hell, if you like spiced rum, or mixed drinks of whatever kind, just wrap your lips around The Hedgehog’s best and settle in for a good time. I can guarantee satisfaction!
(By the way, they’re also marketing an aged “Ron de Jeremy Adult Rum” – not spiced. I’m sure it’s just as high quality, but I can’t really know without having tasted it . . .)
Special Note: Just today news came through that Ron Jeremy was hospitalized with a serious aneurysm. Reportedly he came through surgery and was in an ICU. Best wishes to him and those close to him.