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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
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.
This isn't bad, but I'd prefer to try other rums of similar aging/distilling process before purchasing again.
Has a nice amount of funk about it, not too crazy but enough to notice. Makes a fabulous daiquri!! May revisit my score with further tastings
as a cheap white blend for cocktails, this is really great and up there with Plantation 3 stats. More Jamaican influence, very delicious
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.
"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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