Review – Skipper Rum
“The Best In This Rum World” is quite a claim, and perhaps back in 1930 when the label it still bears was first produced it was correct. Today, with a frankly glorious selection of rums to chose from, some in fact from the very same distillery in Guyana from which this rum hails, it must be assumed this is just a cheeky marketing strap-line. Produced by the distillery responsible for the El Dorado range, Skipper rum is a is a blend of seven Demerara rums from Guyana aged for at least three years which are then blended in Holland of all places.
Nose: As is expected with a dark rum molasses dominates, but that’s not all that is going on in the glass. A pleasing lightness comes courtesy of a touch of lime oil, whilst caramel, stewed apples, booze-soaked raisins, burnt coffee and vanilla are all present somewhere along the line. The result isn’t quite anything you’d be tempted to dabble in place of cologne, but it promises much.
Neat: The molasses again dominate proceedings, and in fact the palate is heavier than the nose by some margin. Burnt coffee notes are more prominent, and combine with a moderate oak influence to create an almost smoky character to this rum. Liquorice root is a dominant third flavour, with the result being a very full-bodied rum indeed. Despite the molasses character, the sweetness is relatively restrained and, whilst the entrance and mid-palate are perhaps a bit too much, the finish is much more enjoyable as things linger for some time. Sipping neat dark rums is a bit of a niche market, but from a complexity perspective at least, this rum is a solid offering.
Mixing: Such full-bodied rums beg to be mixed, and indeed in many respects this rum gives the industry-leaders a run for their money. With the dilution that cocktails bring however, it is revealed that aside from a hint of cinnamon, this rum does lack a little depth in the spice department and this is worth bearing in mind when mixing. Unbittered sour drinks such as the Daiquiri therefore don’t show this spirit off to its best potential. They do however reveal an intriguing cola flavour that was on neat-tasting hidden away. The addition therefore of a couple of dashes of Old Fashioned Bitters from Fee Brothers for example transforms this drink into something more like a concentrated Cuba Libre and iswell worth exploring. Similarly, an Old Fashioned works well as long as you’re not shy with the bitters, creating a drink that makes good use of the signature dark rum profile, but which also is complex enough to satisfy most palates. The addition of fruit in drinks such as the Planter’s Punch tempers the burnt notes and shows the versatility of this product, as does a very enjoyable Dark and Stormy. Whilst we are on the subject of hijacking the signature drinks of competitor brands, a Treacle also slips down very nicely, and both offer a more chewy, toffee-esque note to enjoy.
Signature Cocktail – Rum ‘n’ Coke
2oz Skipper Rum, Lime Wedge, Cola
Pour rum over ice into highball glass. Squeeze in lime wedge and add to glass. Top with cola.
Skipper Rum is a very enjoyable dark rum with a complex flavour profile that makes for some flavoursome cocktails, particularly when mixed in longer cocktails. It benefits from the addition of some bitters and its claim to the best in this rum world isn’t totally ridiculous.
Skipper 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.