Well… maybe not everyone gets to take a little spring break, but if you do manage to take some time off or escape to a warmer climate for a getaway, there is a good chance rum is (or should be) on the agenda.
Whether a mojito, a daiquiri, or a piña colada appears in your sunscreen-laden hands or not, rum evokes warm weather like no other spirit. I loved these ones neat, but that isn’t to say they couldn’t find a nice home in a good glass with a little mix.
Zaya Gran Reserva Rum
Easily recognized for its imposing bottle, Zaya is a blend of 12 different rum stocks and made entirely from cane syrup (rather than molasses); aromatic and tropical on the nose, with banana bread, roasted nuts, toffee, and butterscotch. A bit spicy on the palate to go with those tropical flavours, and a little heat feels apparent (though only 40 percent ABV) before finishing on a sweet note. Delicious for sure…
CSPC +710296 $56-$60
Ron Abuelo 12 Year Old Gran Reserva
I first discovered this rum during my honeymoon to Panama, and can certainly attest to its mixability, but also its bright citrusy characters, brown sugar, and spicy nose, while on the palate, rich and caramel-laden, evoking just a smidge of molasses, candy and smoke. Great neat, but perfect for some cola too.
CSPC +238584 $33-$37
St. Lucia Chairman’s Reserve “The Forgotten Casks” Rum
Deeply evocative of cigar boxes and tropical wood, this is a rum for the senses. Lemons, clove, oranges, toffee, and honeycomb, dominate the remainder of the nose. Running hot in the mouth with molasses flavours lending smokiness and earthiness before finishing on something akin to liquorice allsorts. Fine stuff, but best for mixed drinks that need the rum to still be apparent.
CSPC +749269 $54-$56
Appleton Estate Anniversary Blend “Joy” Rare Jamaican Rum
“Joy” is a tribute to master blender, Joy Spence, celebrating her 20 years at Appleton. With a minimum age of 25 years in the bottle, many of the stocks that comprise the blend are much older. It’s a little earthy and there are some leather tones, but oranges and butter ripple come right to mind. Overall, the nose is ever evolving and each sniff (of which I’ve enjoyed about 30 so far) is a little different. Spicy, rich, and even a little potent, brown sugar comes to mind on the palate, but the buttery warmth of the rum is so much more.
CSPC +1141027 about $300
El Dorado 21 Year Old Demerara Rum
A wonderfully aged, smoky and rich rum – alive with nuance and flavour. While showing the age statement of 21 years on the label, the blend is built around several casks with a minimum age of 21. Honey and cooked sugar flavours are well balanced by citrus and spice. Wonderfully smooth, with a fine, sweeter finish.
CSPC +730868 $81-$85