As the conversation went along, I dropped, that I actually like Old Monk rum [to the great shock of the others].
For my uninitiated friends in the US and Europe: Old Monk 7 years old is a dark rum from India - and it is dirt cheap here in the Middle East [not to speak of India - where it can be procured for a fraction of it]. It is also No.3 selling rum world wide [but only, because the Indians are drinking it like water ;-) ].
If normal "imported" [yeah - everything is imported] rum will be around AED 80 [which is around $20] Old Monk cost you a cool AED 20 [$5.50].
And you know what - in my opinion it beats the more expensive Caribbean cousins hands down. But lets face it - it is not as good as Gosling [which is here even more expensive, though], but against Myers, Captain Morgan or Coruba it is not only keeping up - it displaces the competition!
It has very strong dark roast aromas: vanilla, caramel, toffee... is even quite sweet - perfect in a Dark Rum & Coke, an Indian Dark & Stormy or a Hot Buttered Rum.
If you are living in the region and you are boozing from time to time [or even use rum for cooking] - it is an offer, you cannot dismiss. The value for money is just unbelievable.
But there is another warning [besides of the unspoken: drink responsible etc. pp.]: just go for the cheap 7 years old. I tried to be a smart ass last time I went shopping and bought the 12 years old Gold Reserve - it is dryer, woodsier but just doesn't have any of the charm as the normal version!
For my friends who are not living in the region: Old Monk costs considerably more in Europe and the US - so it doesn't make any sense to buy it. Just check out Gosling - or if you are looking for a value check out Cruzan Black Strap; the Gosling is one of the best dark rums I know [not to be confused with aged rums!] and the Cruzan is an amazing value....
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