Alcometer Testing

Testing the Alcohol by Volume (abv) can be a contentious issue. Usually it is a very basic way to tell if a particular bottling has had anything added to it post distillation. This could be anything really but usually the additives are along the lines of sugars, syrups, puree’s, liquid glucose, or even where barrels used for ageing may still be “wet” ie. possibly still some sherry, muscat etc left in the barrel.

There are many reasons why a producer might do this. Sometimes to ‘Smooth” out the profile of the rum or sweeten it. It could also be that it has additives to make a poor distillate more palatable.

Talking about additives is a whole subject in itself. Personally I prefer unadulterated rums and will always research whether a particular rum that I’m about to purchase is unadulterated or not.

Some people are quite happy with sweetened or adulterated rums which is fine if that is their preference, however there is a movement in rum circles that argues that producers should at least be honest about the practice and declare what is in the bottle on the label.

So, by using an alcometer you can get an indication as to whether anything has been added. This is done by comparing the declared abv on the bottle’s label with the reading on the alcometer.

Additives will generally be indicated if the alcometer reading is lower than that on the label. As a disclaimer, I am not a scientist and my testing does not take place in laboratory conditions. The optimum temperature when testing is 20 degrees C. Any wild variations to this can make a difference to the readings. When testing I try to control the conditions with air conditioning but I can’t guarantee that my results are 100% accurate and they should be taken with a pinch of salt and for interest only.

Having said that, when I do my testing I “calibrate” with a rum that I know is accurate to start with.

So far I have tested all the rums currently in my collection. It’s a relatively meagre amount and you can find some much larger and more comprehensive result lists either at The Fat Rum Pirate or at Drecon

#Rum Bottle ABVMy ABV
1Adelphi Single Estate Hampden 15 54.355
2Appleton Rare Blend 12 4343
3Appleton Signature Blend 4040
4Appleton Joy 25yr4545
5Arcane Extraroma 4035
6Archie Rose Virgin Cane Spirit5050
7Barbancourt Reserve de Domaine 15yr 4343
8Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 4040
9Bacardi Carta Blanca 37.537.5
10Baker Williams Single Barrel 65.365.5
11Baldwin Distilling Co. Rum 4549
12Beenleigh 5yr old Double Barrel 4035
13Black Gate Single Cask rum. Cask #0175151
14Black Gate Single Cask rum. Cask #0194040
15Black Gate Port Cask #0234040
16Black Gate Ranga Rum 5151
17Bristol Classic Rockley Still 1986 Sherry Finish 4643
18Brix Distillers White4040
19Bundaberg Blenders Edition 2015 4040
20Bundaberg Blenders Award Winning Edition4040
21Cadenhead Cask Strength Foursquare 11yr6062
22Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 198958.458.5
23Depaz VSOP Reserve Speciale 4545
24Diplolmatico Reserva Exclusiva 4032
25Doorly’s 8yr4040
26Doorly’s 12yr4040
27Doorly’s XO4040
28El Dorado 8yr4037
29El Dorado Single Barrel PM 4040
30Far North Queensland Rum Co Iridium 4038
31Flor de Cana 18 4040
32Foursquare ECS Port Cask Finish 4040
33Foursquare ECS Zinfandel 4343
34Foursquare ECS Dominus 5656
35Foursquare ECS Premise 4646
36Foursquare ECS 20045959
37Foursquare ECS 20055959
38Foursquare- Velier Triptych5656
39Foursquare- Velier Principia6262
40Foursquare- Velier Destino 6161
41Goslings Black Seal OP 15175.575
42Habitation Saint Etienne Tres Vieux Rhum VSOP4545
43Havana Club Anejo 3 Anos4040
44Hoochery Distillery Ord River Rum Premium 4036
45Hoochery Distillery Ord River Rum Straight Barrel Proof64.969
46Hoochery Distillery Ord River Rum OP 3yrs56.457
47Husk Distillers Pure Cane (2016 Harvest)4040
48Husk Distillers Pure Cane 505050
49Husk Distillers 1866 Tumbulgum Rum 42.542.5
50Husk Distillers Spiced Bam Bam 4038
51Husk Distillers Triple Oak4444
52Illegal Tender Distillers Cut 4545
53Inner Circle Premium Rum OP75.977
54La Maison & Velier Long Pond 2003 6365
55La Maison & Velier Hampden Estate Pure Single  Rum OP6060
56La Maison du Whisky Caroni 17 yr5555.5
57Lord Byron Distillery Silver Rhum40.340.5
58Lord Byron Distillery Silver Rhum OP 6363
59Lord Byron Distillery Promise Aged Rum 4038.5
60Kirk and Sweeney 234040
61Lark Distillery Quiet Cannon 5050
62Matusalem Gran Reserva 15 Solera 4040
63Milton Rum Distillery Spiced Cane Spirit 4226
64Mount Gay Eclipse37.537.5
65Mount Gay Black Barrel 4344
66Mount Gay Extra Old (Older version)4343
67Mount Gay XO 4343
68Mount Gay 17034343
69Pampero Aniversario 4038
70Penny Blue XO Batch #0044343
71Pere Labat 8 ans4242
72Phantom Spirits Vanilla Shake Cask4338
73Pirates Grog No 13 4038
74Plantation Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple 4034
75Pussers 15 yr Navy Rum (Nelsons Blood)4034
76Pussers British Navy Rum 4040
77Ratu 5yr Dark 4040
78Rhum J.M XO4545.5
79Rhum J.M 2002 46.346.5
80Rhum J.M Cognac Cask Finish Serie No 241.241
81Riverbourne Distillery 1st Release 4848
82R.L Seale’s Finest Barbados Rum 10yr4343
83Ron Abuelo Centuria4035
84Saint James 12 Ans4343.5
85Sansibar Premium Panamanian Rum 20 yr5151
86Silver Seal Whisky Company Uitvlught Demerara 18 yr 5050
87Smith and Cross Jamaican 5757
88St Lucia Distillers Admiral Rodney 4040
89St Lucia Distillers Chairmans Reserve Forgotten Casks 4040
90St Lucia Distillers 1931 1st Edition 4344
91St Lucia Distillers 1931 2nd Edition 4343.5
92St Lucia Distillers 1931 3rd Edition 4338.5
93St Lucia Distillers 1931 4th Edition 4343
94St Lucia Distillers 1931 5th Edition 4646
95St Lucia Distillers 1931 6th Edition 4646
96Stone Pine Barrique Rum 4040
97Tamborine Mountain Distillery Gold Rum 4040
98Tamborine Mountain Distillery Sugar Cane Spirit 4040
99Tamborine Mountain Distillery Spiced Gold Rum  4040
100The Grove Dark Rum 4039.5
101The Kimberley Rum Company Canefire No54040
102The Kimberley Rum Company Canefire No94039
103The Kimberley Rum Company Canefire No144040
104The Real McCoy 12 yr 4040
105The Real McCoy 12yr Ltd Madeira & Bourbon Cask Aged4646
106Transcontinental Barbados 2012 4646
107Turquoise Bay Amber Rum 4038
108Velier The Antigua Distillery Heavy Traditional Rum 6666.5
109Velier Clairin Communal 4343
110Velier Clairin Casimir 48.348.5
111Velier Clairin Sajous54.354.5
112Velier Clairin Le Rocher46.546.5
113Velier Diamond H (Hampden Estate) 6263
114Velier Last Ward 2009 Barbados Pure Single Rum5959
115Velier Mount Gilboa 20086666
116Velier Forsyths WP 200557.858
117Velier Foursquare 20136464
118Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum 57.1857
119Velier Foursquare/ Hampden Veritas4747