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Rum Reviews

Cor Cor Premium, Grace Rum


We don’t often speak enough about Japanese rums, and even less so for those from Okinawa, which is perhaps a pity given its rich history of sugarcane cultivation, along with the many micro distilleries dotted across the prefecture. One of those is @gracerum.corcor, founded in 2004 on Minamidaito, the largest island of the Daito islands group. It produces both molasses and sugarcane juice rums through its steel pot still, which are then stored in steel tanks and laid to rest before bottling.

The rum I have from Grace Rum today is a rather rare one, even for those who know of brand. The Cor Cor Premium, as it is known, was first released in 2008 to commemorate the third anniversary of the brand itself. Made from sugarcane juice distillate, it was left to mature in handmade clay jars for another three years, a practice borrowed from the production of aged awamori, a Thai-rice-based spirit that is unique to Okinawan culture. That first release was extremely limited, numbering at only 20 jars. But there was eventually a larger release of 300 jars, although I could not find any further details, and in particular its date of distillation.

On the nose, it was unlike any new make sugarcane spirit that I had tasted previously, and possibly the closest to fresh sugarcane juice that one could get. It nosed exactly like freshly squeezed sugarcane, that unique grassiness and sweetness that came with it. On top of that, it carried a very slight hint of savouriness, almost maritime-like, parmesan cheese even, and a little tinge of plastics.

At 40% abv, the dilution was quite evident bringing about a texture that was rather thin and watery. The tasting notes were simple, but undoubtedly unique, being sweet and grassy, exactly as I’d imagine fresh sugarcane juice to be, coupled with a hint of sweet corn on the side. The finish was a tad short, with slight vinegars, and even reminded me of an agave-based spirit, except it was rounder, fuller-bodied, and probably not as spicy, and layered with creamy notes of milk coffee right at the end.

This was undoubtedly a unique tasting experience, having for the first time an Okinawan rum. What was most surprising to me was how well it worked in a daiquiri, with those grassy notes cutting through the sugar and lime, resulting in a cocktail that was certainly more rum-forward yet balanced too. Its a pity its rums were all diluted down to 40%, and hopefully we’d see a full proof bottling in the near future.


Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu


Your occasional rum addict!