Review: Pink Pigeon Spiced Rum
Should you find yourself on the tropical island of Mauritius, you might be lucky enough to see one of the rarest birds in the world, the pink pigeon. It’s a rather pretty specimen by all accounts, and although intensive management conservation efforts have improved the numbers of wild birds in recent years, it remains one the worlds most endangered species.
The rum itself is distilled in Mauritius by the Medine distillery. Hand-picked vanilla from Madagascar and Reunion Island are then added together with nutmeg and other unspecified spices to create the final product.
Nose: An aroma of vanilla so intense that it almost ceases to smell of vanilla. The intensity is both sweet and savoury, with a hint of smoke, like a creme brûlée that has caught. The rum is totally overpowered and whilst obviously alcoholic, the base spirit is barely identifiable as rum.
Neat: Akin to being assaulted by a giant vanilla pod. Sweet vanilla so intense it leaves you reeling. Not even the merest hint of an attempt at subtlety, this is vanilla carried on alcohol, and quite frankly little else. There is a moderately spicy character to it coming through on the mid-palate which may well be a contribution of the nutmeg and other ‘natural flavourings’ but the vanilla so dominates that it leads one to call into question the quality of the base spirit. Regrettably the finish is relatively long, with the cloying vanilla refusing to leave quietly. Steer clear.
Despite a disastrous performance upon neat tasting, this rum was given a thorough opportunity to redeem itself in mixed drinks. Unfortunately it blew this chance and continued on its mission to offend the senses. The vanilla is so overpowering that absolutely everything it was mixed with was dominated by this single flavour. Whilst I love a bit of vanilla as much as the next man, this is just ridiculous. Only when mixed very long, and very fruity did the vanilla start to subside but even then the absence of any character from the base spirit meant that it felt like a futile exercise. This is a shame as the concept of a spiced rum with an approachable vanilla taste is actually a good one. Unfortunately the heavy-handed approach used here has resulted in a product that for me at least, is undrinkable.
Signature Cocktail – The Pink Peck
1 large red chilli, 1 large strawberry, 1 teaspoon Rose’s Lemon and Lime Marmalde, 37.5ml Pink Pigeon Rum, 25ml Martini Rosso sweet vermouth
Muddle 1 inch section from the base of the chilli with the strawberry. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake with ice. Fine strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the remainder of the chill and a lime spiral.
Pink Pigeon Spiced Rum is a good idea, poorly executed. An unnecessarily heavy-handed use of vanilla has resulted in a product that is not to be recommended.
Pink Pigeon Spiced Rum is available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.