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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!
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.
So I had read about this rum a while back and recently sought out a new white mixing rum for my cabinet as I had finished my bottle of Probitas. I had initially shied away from Banks 5 Island because I had been under the mistaken impression that it was a sweetened gimmick rum. The bottle’s appearance only fueled that further. But I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Banks 5 Island is an unadulterated blend of 21 rums from 5 rum producing countries (really, it’s right there in the name): Jamaica, Guyana, Indonesia, Trinidad & Tobago, and Barbados. It was named after noted botanist and explorer Joseph Banks who sailed with Captain Cook in the 1700s.
Even though it was designed predominately for mixing I am curious what it is like on its own. Then I will mix with it and try it in its intended purpose.
Taking a whiff from the snifter I get light Green Apple, Peach, Guava, a mix of Strawberry, Raspberry, and Blueberry, crisp Honey, and light coconut. Official reviews describe it as super funky, and it is indeed funky, but having experienced my share of deep funk, this is what I would call lightly funky. It’s just a touch less funky than Probitas by comparison.
The palate is slightly less expressive than the nose but still expressive and enjoyable. Here I mainly get Green Apple and Apricot accompanied by a sweet Demerara note followed by Lime. The Apricot and Green Apple notes play quite well together even if I wish they were a bit more expressive.
The finish is short and light but here I get light Peach, light Green Apple, and Lime.
Overall this is a pleasant funky mix, even if slightly muted. You can tell it is meant for mixing. It’s ok to sip on but doesn’t really check any of the “this should be sipped slowly” boxes. It’s a pretty decent rum but nothing that will especially blow you away when sipped by itself.
Now, as a mixing rum, this is dynamite. It makes one hell of a Daiquiri, second only to Clairin Le Rocher to my tastes. It provides that perfect balance of slight funk to accentuate the notes in a cocktail without overpowering the same. As a cocktail rum, this is even better than Probitas to my tastes.
Short Description: Not especially amazing on its own, but absolutely fantastic as a mixer.
Nose: Green Apple, Peach, Guava, Raspberry-Strawberry-Blueberry mix, honey, light coconut
Palate: Green Apple, Apricot, Demerara syrup, Lime
Finish: short light Peach, light Green Apple, Lime
Countries of Origin: Jamaica, Guyana, Indonesia, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados
I mostly drink dark rums, and this white does not make me change my mind. This is an average rum, nothing special. Not as nice as for example Michler's Artisanal white rum.
Tasted at Laka Lono 4/3/22
This "international blend" is delicious! It smells hot but ends well. The full flavor lingers.
Good thing: the alcohol taste is not very strong, the taste itself is mild and pleasant. Nothing groundbreaking, but just good enough. You do not feel the urge to put it in drink immediately. Although, I would not enjoy sipping more that one portion. The bad side: the scent feels a bit artificial, it was something like "cheap candy" feeling.
Tasted at Laka Lono on 2/20/22. Pours clear. The aroma is the best part. The best of this is demerara and agricole character to the profile. Flavor leaves a bit to be desired. Cardamon and sweet cane.
Best white rum to add character to daiquiris. A fresh aroma of fruit and spice paired with a nice earthiness. Finish is surprisingly long. I rarely sip white rums but my dad loves to drink Banks 5 neat.
"When sipped the rum is quite sharp. It’s not rough as such but as the rum is pretty much clear."
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