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Easily consumable in a bind
When you first hear of a rum produced in Northumberland it does make you wonder. The bottle is plain, but the dark content alluring. Initially the aroma was harsh, but after breathing and mellowing on some ice a strong caramel, vanilla and almost chocolate aroma comes to life. The taste is more subtle than the smell and can also be harsh at first, but becomes more smooth, woody and molasses finishing of dry and sweet. Be patient and this turns quite pleasant actually.
This looks and smells better than it tastes. What a great looking rum in the glass - dark, dusky and tempting - almost seductive. The smell is of a typical dark rum as you'd expect - think Myers, maybe. The first taste is fine - quite dark, molasses, a vague hint of spice (very vague), alcohol, weak stewed fruit, a touch of treacle. So far, so good. It ought to be at least a seven, right? Well, here's the problem - it fades very quickly and has very little complexity. Two minutes after you have drank it there is not much left on the tongue - a watery rumminess, perhaps - a fleeting pleasure but not much satisfaction.
I'm stuck between a 5 and a 6, but I'll be generous and give it a 6 simply because it is a pleasant experience and I'm allowing for the enjoyment of the smell and appearance.
Alnwick Dark rum has a pretty cheap looking bottle, zero clues how old the rum actually is, but the color is mesmerizing. So dark its almost black. Unfortunately there is strong alcohol to the nose revealing a very young rum indeed. Taste test is like an overnight stale coffee. Luckily no one had dumped a cigarette into the coffee cup.
This would be a nice substitution for Coruba or Myers rum in your tiki cocktails. Too many unanswered questions, however, keep this from being a rum to take too seriously. No age statement, no acknowledgment of coloring and spices (although they've surely been added), and no hint of what the "other aged rums" might be that are mentioned on the website. Oh, and no clue what the "secret recipe" is all about, but it gives one pause. The taste is okay, molasses and allspice being predominant. Thin mouthfeel, quick finish of liquorice and tar. Come to think of it, stick with the Coruba.
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