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Tasty, but not quite great
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.
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.
A balanced, flavorful and complex rum. Good for both sipping and mixing. At the UK Rumfest in 2012 they mixed it with Ting (Jamaican grapefruit beverage) and it was 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.
Not fit to clean your toilet with. Tastes like fragrance, and there is a strong burn. Upsets the stomach... was it drinking neat, but regardless of how, keep your glass away from this stuff.
In the nose I instantly get a little Jamaican character, just a light funky nose of overripe fruit. Alcohol prominent in the nose. Lightly sweet molasses
The flavor is masked at first by some heat from the alcohol, this one is a little warm for 43%. Maybe some hints of smoke and spice. Some solvent like character in the nose and flavor.
Not what I would call a great rum straight. It has some complexity and some different things going on but perhaps a bit rough.
Made a great Daiquiri but at about $32 for a 750 in Ohio there are better rums for the money to use in cocktails. Overall not bad but not stellar.
If you closed your eyes you may not realize this is a white rum. Excellent mojito rum. Could make an interesting daiquiri. If l had to sip a white rum this would be the one.
Compare and contrast with Cana Brava, another excellent white rum. Banks has lighter fruit notes, more sweet apple and pear. A delight to sip or mix.
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