Tuesday, 26 August 2014


I’m still mainly staying clear of rum and gin, on the basis that I don’t need another spirit obsession.  If you saw the shelves in my study where the books used to be, you’d agree!  And it’s not all Kindle’s fault. 

These are spiced rums, and are a cut above Sailor Jerry with lots more orange and clove to the fore rather than massive belts of vanillin, although the genre itself is a little too sickly sweet for my palate. 

The standard Rumbullion has been around since 2011, and the newly released XO 15 year old is claiming to be the world’s first “super-premium spiced rum”.  It is significantly better than the standard release and worth the premium, and in a different class to Sailor Jerry.  Thanks to Maverick drinks for the samples!

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Rumbullion!, 42.6%

rumbullion-spiced-rumNose - Cloves, honey, nutmeg, pomanders (orange with cloves stuck in it), beeswax polish, orange juice, orange blossom? Raisins soaked in rum, sandalwood and hot cross bun.  There is vanilla but it’s hidden behind all that orange.  There is some wood...

Body - Sweet, orange, ginger, cardamom, cointreau, a bit like Kings Ginger to drink neat, but not as nice.  

Finish - Cloyingly, saccharin sweet, quite long, boiled sweets, the citrus bitterness almost balances it out but doesn’t quite.

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Rumbullion! XO 15 years old, 42.6%

RumbullionXO-bigNose - Sweeter, brighter wax, less overtly sweet.  Marzipan, creamily floral, some kind of white blossom, kumquats. Baked apple and cinnamon.  Wood varnish (freshly painted), shoe polish.  Much better integration and balance.

Body - Something Asian, a slight note of durian, more joss stick, mango and loads of Barfi (Indian sweets made of condensed milk, thanks Google).  An appealing rotten note.

Finish - Clean, not too sweet although still very sweet, much better balance.  Very long and descends into Indian sweets rather than saccharin.  Rather good.

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