Sunday, July 14, 2024

Review: Denizen Rum

April 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Bottle Reviews


What newcomers to rum often don’t understand is that clear doesn’t always mean faux vodka, and dark doesn’t always mean funky and strong. There are several different paths from the cane field to the bottle, and whether a spirit is made from the sugar, or the molasses, or the juice, or all of the above, varies with local tradition, and wildly changes the flavor and nose and feel of the rum.

You can probably guess with that preamble, that this is probably not going to be one of those clear, almost flavorless faux vodka rums, but instead be funky and strong. You would be correct with that guess. The component rums are distilled in Trinidad and Tobago, and carried to the Netherlands for blending and ageing. The result: Denizen has a ton of personality, if a bit of an odd path from still to bottle.

Nose: Molasses, grassy, vegetal, pungent, sulfur, funky. Somewhat flowery, with sweet, sugary scents mixed with unripe plantains, green papaya, tamarind, and vanilla.

Taste: Has an initial bite, but quickly mellows out to full flavors of dark brown sugar flavor with vanilla and light wood notes. Fairly chewy feeling, with light white pepper, red and green bell pepper, and Vidalia onion, mango, and unripe plantain. Minerals and salts round out the flavors.

Finish: Fairly short finish for the full flavors, with the very sweet notes fading first, followed by the more earthy brown sugar, leaving a woodiness, chewiness, and lingering minerals. Slightly sour, mildly bitter, and slightly warm.

A interesting rum, which I’ve incorporated in some Tiki-style drinks with good effect. Works well also with vermouth, such as in an El Presidente.

Denizen Rum, (Amsterdam (blending), Trinidad, Tobago, and Jamaica (sources) ) $19

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