Thanks so much for submitting a report. It has been emailed to the Rum Captain and will be actioned shortly.
On the nose, noticabley hotter than comparable bottles (Doorlys 8, etc) and less complex. Some caramel and vanilla up front, oaky almost bitter on the tail. Lacks the depth and fruity richness you'd expect from an 8yr Barbados rum.
I admit right up front that I am a fan of Barbados rums.
This rum has a nice rich amber hue that borders on mahogany. It has a very nice aroma. Swirling it in my snifter reveals long, slender legs. A subtle aroma with hints of sweetness.
The flavor is surprisingly mild. Smooth enough for sipping but rather plain. Some initial sweetness at the outset and some oak undertones but mild. It's the best word I can come up with: mild. Not much of a burn for an 80 proof rum. It does have some butteriness to it and noticeable vanilla undertones. Could be sugared a bit. I am not sure. Doesn't seem to be much, if any.
This rum is kind of an enigma...sort of tasty but something is lacking. Can't quite put my finger on it. I may have to revisit this review sometime down the road.
I originally bought this to be a gold mixing rum as I was getting low. The reviews were pretty good, so I bought the rum. Did a taste testing with my other mixing golds, and this is far superior to them. I also did a taste testing to my sipping rums. While it was not a smooth, it was one I could do an evening supping over ice.
Total Wine and Spirits had this rum available for $21.99. Advertised with a 93 rating from the Beverage Testing Institute and 4.5 stars from customers. As a fan of Barbados rums I thought I'd give 896 a try. It's very good for the price, but as others have said here it's more of a mixer than a sipper. Expected a little more complexity for an 8 year rum.
Too strong for 8-year aging, but 896 has a nice flavor once you can feel your tongue again.
After having just tried Old Brigand Black Label, also from Barbados, this one falls several rankings below. It still rates as a 7, but is in a crowded field in my rankings with Don Q Anejo and Flor de Cana 5 Year Anejo. It is a mixer, but can marginally pass as a sipper. Nothing offensive, but nothing memorable either. I don't regret buying this one, but probably not again, with too much competition and others being much more readily available. It also has no added sugar.
Update 02 SEP 2020: This rum has finally passed up my former cheap favorite of Old Brigand, which has also really sunk down in my ratings. This one is still a very good budget rum. It has now risen about Doorly's XO as my favorite Bajan rum that is still readily available. This is one of the very few rums that have improved in my likings over the years.
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