Spiced rum were, for a long time, a way for manufacturers to sell cheap, crappy spirit by lobbing in a boatload of spices that would hide the flavour and help pad their bottom line. After all, you wouldn't use a nice rioja to make mulled wine so why use a good rum to make spiced rum?
Thankfully over the years this viewpoint had changed (mostly) and the spiced rum market is growing at a rapid rate, most bars you visit will have at least a few of the usual suspects behind the bar, even if they have damn all else in the way of rum.
This particular rum is bottled at 40% ABV and uses local spices such as coconut, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla (of course), lemon, orange, all spice and a local tree bark, Richeria grandis which is allegedly an aphrodisiac. St Lucia Distillers add their spices at various stages during maturation and blending, with some getting up to a year to marry with the spirit.
Having drunk this it feels like the base rum for this is the same as the Chairman's Reserve, a mix of copper pot and continuous stills that gives a lightness to the rum while still having a depth of flavour.
Picking up this bottle you're struck immediately by the colour of the spirit, a deep mahogany with red tinges
|Seriously, it's really red|
|Really, really red|
A sip follows the same profile, a cinnamon hit that warms you up for a wave of different flavours to wash over your palate, all the notes from the nose come though in turn with a little bit of the vanilla, giving you the feeling of being sat in a bakery at Christmas, feeling warm and content.
On the way down this is remarkably smooth, the finish is lingering and warm with a dryness that creeps up on you from the ageing in ex-bourbon casks.
I'll freely admit to being very surprised by how sippable this is, a £24 bottle of spiced rum that doesn't need to be drowned in coke? Bargain.
Now, most people will mix this so here's a few suggestions
- Mix with cloudy apple juice and a squeeze of lime, in winter time try warming the apple juice first and this will be a lovely winter warmer after a bracing walk in the snow
- Cranberry juice brings out the dryness more and makes for a very refreshing, and very tart, summer drink
So, will this convert me to the cause of spiced rums? perhaps not fully but this is definitely a welcome addition to the Nerd's booze cabinet
- 40% ABV
- £24 a bottle
- Nose - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange peel
- Flavour - cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, cloves, hint of vanilla
- Finish - very smooth with a lingering dryness
- Mixing - Good with cranberry juice or cloudy apple juice