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Tasty, but not quite great
One of the more expensive whites I've had ($30), but worth it. Remarkably smooth for a white rum, on the sweet side but also flavorful with just a hint of funk and grass to give it some depth.
Came across this rum at a little place called The Haughty Heron in Port St. Joe, Florida. You never know when and where you'll find something out of the ordinary. This is one of those instances.
Visually speaking this is a very elegant bottle. A bit unusual for what appears to be a white rum. It has a typical aroma which stings the nostrils a bit. But doesn't seem overly harsh. It is a crystal clear rum. It says it is a "5-island rum" but only 3 islands are listed: Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados. Guyana is listed but it's not an island. Apparently the folks at Banks aren't so hot with their geography. The last time I checked, Guyana was a country in South America. Did someone cut the country loose and set it out to sea while no one was looking?
Their website describes the rum thusly:
"A unique blend of 21 rums from 6 distilleries from 5 islands
Trinidad: Hints of Black Strap Molasses give the blend backbone
Jamaica: Pot-stilled rums provide exceptional aromatics
Guyana: Earthy and tropical fruit notes deliver depth
Barbados: Character-filled golden rums add zest
Java: Batavia Arrack, lends a touch of spice"
Uh, folks...GUAYANA AIN'T AN ISLAND!!!!
The blending does give it a unique flavor. Although the aroma does sting the nostrils some it doesn't taste harsh. Granted, I think most rum drinkers, other than the truly adventurous, would not consider this a sipping rum but it definitely would be an excellent mixing rum. Greatly suited for fruit-based drinks. It is rather complex but one flavor I kept detecting...and I could be way off on this...is a lime flavor. Almost a key lime. There is a hint of sweetness...just a little hint and there is a nice warmth to it. 43% ABV (86 proof) gives it a little more of a kick than typical rums but you wouldn't detect it from the flavor alone. According to what I read the rums used in this blend range from 3 to 12 years. But apparently it's charcoal-filtered to remove all color. It has some spiciness to it as well. This is a unique white rum that I recommend adding to your cabinet if you come across a bottle.
The nose is amazing sweet, but the taste is nuanced, delicate and well balanced. It's an ideal mixer for delicate cocktails, where the rum is not being overwhelmed with tons of citrus. The higher price ensures I only use it to its best advantage.
Hätte nie gedacht, dass ein weißer Rum so gut schmecken kann. Zum Mixen eigentlich schon viel zu schade. Kann man wirklich selbst bei Zimmertemperatur schnabulieren...
I am really impressed with Banks rums. They offer amazing flavor for the money.
The 5-Island light rum is no exception. Only $32.99 at K&L Wines (2017 price). Much more sophisticated than any other light rum I've tried. To me this comes closer to an aged rum than a light rum. I really like it straight, even at 43%abv.
Smells and tastes of sugarcane, spice, and a very light citrus (probably lime). Has a complexity I've never experienced in a light rum.
A great light rum; in fact it's my new favorite light rum.
I’m very fond of this white rum as it brings the hogo it also a wide array of complex rum notes that totally surprised me for a white! Sippable on its own which is kind of crazy, but it’s punchy depth shines in cocktails, though oddly as a daiquiri its a bit underwhelming... requires a complex drink to truly shine
Ok. Rating this an 8 is perhaps unfair to a good, single pot still rum with the same rating. But I try to follow a principle where the scale is subdivided into the specific style or category the rum belongs in, and in the category “decently priced, white blended rums” this is my new favourite. My only objection is that filtering brown/golden rum to make it white takes away some of its character, and that is exactly what has been done here. On the other hand, this is only a valid objection when you know what you lose — which I don’t, of course.
Nose: A hint of funky wild yeast; overripe banana and floral cane. Also a hint of boiling rice that remains pleasant — not metallic or chemical.
Palate: An unexpected fruit explosion of banana , pineapple and green apple distinguished with some mint and caramel. There is also a faint taste of fresh oak, quite subdued by filtration I expect.
Aftertaste: At first disappointing but a return of estery fruit and oak is revealed after a few seconds.
This is certainly my new first choice of staple rum for daiquiris, punch and mojitos.
Not a big fan of your average, vodka-like white rum. That said, I'm a new fan of this one. It's full-bodied and chock full of flavor, with a natural, semi-sweet finish which quickly dissolves into gentle spice. Can't wait to make a batch of daiquiris with this because they will be amazing. BTW, it's great straight up as well.
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