RumFest Blend 2015
ABV Hydrometer Test: 40% ABV @ 20°
So, with Rumfest 2016 just around the corner, it seems appropriate to visit RumFest 2015’s “rum of the show” to enjoy a tasting, remember the fun from 2015 and look forward to 2016’s RumFest.
The rum in question is a new concept that was launched at RumFest 2015 and comes from Rumblender. This is an online virtual blending lab where the customer can decide how much of Rumblender’s seven different styles of rums and flavour profiles you would like in your own rum and in what proportions. Quite literally, you can just add as little as 10ml of each flavour, provided when you have finished, you reach a total of 700ml. Once you have selected your chosen proportions, you select the name of your blend and then the rums will be “married” by the rum technicians/blenders and sent to you in a decanter-style bottle, complete with label declaring you as the blender and the name of your new rum. This is accompanied by a “Certificate of Blending” giving you more info on what you have created and a unique blend code, should you wish to recreate it, or even if someone else wants to.
It all sounds very interesting and before you question how many possibilities there could be with just seven flavour styles to choose, Rumblender claims that there are 218,618,933 different combinations. All of the rums are described as being of “high-quality West Indian” origin but where the actual rums come from, which distillery and how long they have been aged remain a secret. This is so that your choice will not “taint your judgement” regarding favouring one particular distillery or region over another – you are just choosing the flavour profile of the rum you want to create.
The flavours available are Buttered Strumpet, Fruit Salad, Caramel Log, Old Spice, Rum Raisin, Candy Cane and Smoke & A Pancake – each comes with its own description to aid your blending choice.
Given the secret nature of the rums in the blend, I cannot confirm the profile for the rum according to Richard Seale’s / Luca Gargano’s re-categorisation of rums. I suspect it is likely to be in the “Rum – rum from a traditional column still” category with various different sources and styles of rums used.
Background aside…..onto tasting it!
It’s unique! A custom-labelled bottle, showing the blender’s name and the rum’s title. In this case, it is “Ian A V Burrell” and the “RumFest Blend 2015” bottled on “9.10.15.” The bottle itself is a dumpy decanter with an oversized sturdy cork closure that gives a very satisfying ‘pop’ when you open it. As previously mentioned, the bottle has a certificate showing the rum’s ID, which in this case is RB47371.
If you go to RumBlender’s web site, you can find this blend and see exactly what Mr. Rum Burrell decided to add.
It is a golden caramel-amber colour, a little paler than golden syrup. There are nice legs on the glass.
My first nosing impression is that I am sniffing a sumptuous bowl of rum and raisin ice cream. I love rum and raisin…in the glass though, it smells like that fake kind of rum and raisin rather than a well-aged rum. Further nosing after leaving it to settle for a few minutes reveal some hints of vanilla and subtle oak.
Taste, Initial-middle 34/40
Initial tasting and this is full of raisins, other dried fruits and vanilla – the nosing and first tasting are very similar. It is very smooth and soft, but is dominated by the dried fruits. I could well be tasting a Jamaican influenced rum here, which is very much to my own personal palate.
Taste, Middle/Throat 31/40
Swill this around the mouth and some roughness appears along with some fire. Not a problem as I like rum with a bit of a punch in its belly and this has just that. The raisin flavour is far less prominent, replaced by more oak, some spice and a bit of dryness underlying the overall profile, almost like an aged Cuban-style rum.
The rum continues to impress with a lovely glowing feeling as it slips down. It feels a little like Christmas with the raisin returning, accompanied by some warming spice. The finish is quite long. It is very much like putting the central heating on when it suddenly gets cold, as this rum has that lovely warmth from within feeling.
Morning After Aroma
It still has an aroma of rum and raising with a hint of vanilla left over from the day before.
As a lover of Jamaican rums, this really appeals. Despite not knowing the origin of the contents, this could easily pass off as being something from Appleton’s range or maybe a blend of various similar distilleries. There is however that little hint of Cuban dryness that throws you into a different direction, which does make this rum quite an interesting combination. At £50, on its own it would need to be better than it is to justify the price, but if you consider the unique concept of being your own Master Blender, then the added cost probably makes this rum worth the price. It certainly opens up the concept of what type of rum profile ONE would choose and then actually creating it to see if the taste profile matches your desire. I might just have to create my own – I will let you know if this happens as I am sure it will lead to a favourable review – 100 out of 100? LoL!
Find out more at RumBlender’s web site.
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7