Cane & Bean 1870 Rum
Barbados / England
“Unclassifiable” – Due to the addition of cacao.
The rum itself is a Single Blended Rum though.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 40% ABV @ 20°
I always enjoy rum events – festivals, tastings, trade events as you get to try things you do not know about or before they are released etc. You also encounter drinks that completely alter your mindset about certain subjects.
One recent example of both of these things happening was at the recent Manchester Rum Festival (@McrRumFestival), organised by Dave Marsland aka @DrinksEnthusist where I discovered the intriguing Cane & Bean 1870.
This is rum from Foursquare distillery aged for five years in ex-Bourbon barrels before being infused with organic Criollo cacao, from the Theobroma Tree (meaning “Food of the Gods”) in Peru.
Usually this is the type of thing that makes me run a mile as generally these types of products are sugar-laden abominations bearing no resemblance in flavour nor style to rum at all. As an aside, isn’t it about time we had a rum liqueur category for spiced/sweetened “rums?”
But, when I was told that “there is no sugar, caramel, glycerol or additional flavourings added” to the rum and by a fellow Liverpool fan as well, I simply had to try some and I am so glad I did as it really was a game changing tasting. Instead of being sweet and sickly or full of artificial flavours, this actually tastes like rum but with an amazingly genuine and authentic cacao flavour – it is great to taste something that does exactly what it says on the side of the bottle, as the saying goes. With the no additives statement in mind, I tested this with my hydrometer and am pleased to report that I measured 40%, which is what the label states.
Due to the addition of cacao, this rum is unclassifiable under the proposed Gargano system. This does not mean it is not good quality rum of course – the classification system is not a judgement on other rums and products, merely a way of identifying what kind of distillate is in a bottle. The rum itself is a Single Blended rum of the highest quality!
A slightly squat-shaped bottle with an oversized artificial cork stopper with a simple but succinct label. There is an image from a Peruvian tapestry artist as well as info about the rum itself and the natural organic cacao.
Andrew has informed me that there is a typo on the first edition of the label. As he has adopted the Gargano classification for his rum, it should say “Single Blended Rum” as opposed to “Single Traditional Rum.” He has told me that the second batch will rectify this error.
In the glass, the rum is quite an orangey, almost coppery colour. With no added caramel colouring, the natural colour is coming from the five years of barrel ageing as well (of course) as the cacao.
Predictably, the nose is full on cacao. And I do mean cacao, not the kind of sweet, sugary aromas from the likes of Cadbury and Galaxy, but real proper cacao. There are some vanilla and toffee notes coming from the Bajan rum, but cacao dominates.
Taste, Initial-middle 33/40
Silky smooth and light on entry with familiar Foursquare toffee and vanilla. At this stage, the cacao is not really noticeable on the palate.
This is very approachable, but not sweet as one might expect. On the contrary the real cacao imparts natural bitterness that works in harmony with the slightly sweet notes of the rum.
Taste, Middle/Throat 37/40
This is where this drink gets really interesting. The cacao starts to interact with your tastebuds, but as I have already said, as it is real cacao, it is intense and slightly bitter chocolate, not sweet or cloying. Continue to sip and you can almost separate the rum notes from the cacao. At one moment, I am savouring the familiar Foursquare rum I love so much but then the next moment has an intensely pleasant taste of cacao. Then as you swallow they come together beautifully along with a touch of rum fire from that young Bajan rum.
There is a soft burn as you swallow the rum but what is so remarkable is the lingering aftertaste. Intense cacao, slightly sweet Bajan rum and an occasional burn at the back of the palate.
This is sure to create an interesting debate over additives in rums. This has real and natural cacao added and nothing else. So, although we cannot describe it as pure rum, as the label itself says, it is a rum spirit drink. But rather than taint the rum or as is the case with sugars and other spices that disguise poor quality distillate, this works in tandem, almost perfect harmony with the rum.
Cane & Bean have created a really fantastic product here. All natural ingredients, no additives and a great rum at the heart of it.
I think this rum will pair very well with desserts – inevitably, something with orange is going to be great, maybe a Cane & Bean Old Fashioned cocktail could become their signature drink with some orange bitters (I want accreditation if you use this, lol). This also works well on its own though.
Speaking as someone who usually dislikes ‘flavoured’ rums, especially when they are described as ‘rum’ this is an eye-opening game changer. The fact that they have described it as a “Rum Spirit Drink” is really amazing as they are not trying to pretend it is something that it is not. What it is, is one of the best (if not the best) flavoured rum I have tasted…..because it still tastes like rum!
My advice…? Go and buy a bottle, you will love it, as I do!
Review No. 104
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