Price: £22 / £23 / £33
Type of Rum: Uncategorisable
– M S * (See End)
“One of Asia’s best-kept secrets”, over 160 years old and described variously as “the world’s number one rum producer by volume” yet most of us rum lovers/drinkers have never heard of it.
Until now, that is!
The good people over at Emporia Brands have decided to add Tanduay to their UK portfolio of spirits (May 2022). Tanduay (pronounced Tan-duwhy) will be released in three varieties – “Silver”, “Gold” and “Double Rum”. All molasses-based (locally-sourced), bottled at 40% ABV with no specific age statements. They are officially described as:
Silver: Aged up to five years in ex-Bourbon barrels.
Gold: Aged up to seven years in ex-Bourbon barrels.
Double Rum: Blend of rums aged from five to 16 years and married in ex-Bourbon barrels for two years.
Some of the rums used are true age statements whereas other components are aged using a Solera method. So I do not necessarily read too much into the ages of these rums. Tanduay Distillers also produces gin, vodka, brandy, and whiskey and makes no reference to what type of distillation methods are used for its rum (batch or continuous). I suspect that the production of the other aforementioned spirits will likely mean most rum is multi-column/continuous distillation although I have read of a reference to a traditional copper pot (batch) distillation being used. Although much of their promotional material references the history, heritage, barrel-ageing and craft-nature and of its rums, there is no reference whatsoever to the actual fermentation or distillation processes. As always, this makes me somewhat wary, but of course, I remain open-minded ahead of tasting and indeed testing the rums with my hydrometer.
Tanduay’s rums are:
Due to the distillation method not being present.
The hydrometer tests started out well. Both the Silver and Gold Tanduay rums measured 40% at 20 degrees – the same as the label. But, the Double Rum came up short, measuring 35% implying added sugars of around 19g / litre.
Here is a link to all of my hydrometer tests:
RumShopBoy Hydrometer Tests
Officially described as “moderately filtered” Tanduay Silver is pale, transparent and off-white.
Caramel, tropical fruits, vanilla and citrus with hints of oak on the nose.
Smooth, dry and light entry with vanilla-esque cream soda and a touch of citrus. The mid-palate passes by relatively un-noticed as it is very easy going, leading to peppery spice, oak, more tropical fruits and vanilla at the rear. A surprisingly strong finish with a welcome touch of warmth joined with coconut, peppered spice and vanilla.
Total Mark: N/A (See Overall, below)
Tanduay Gold is presented as a light yellow to pale gold in colour.
Caramelised/honeyed fruits on the nose, burnt toffee and lightly oaked. Deep inhalations lead to vanilla, almonds and marzipan. Initially I missed the almonds/marzipan but once you notice them, the aromas tend to dominate somewhat albeit in a pleasant way.
Easy and light on entry, sweeter than the Silver with honey and marzipan. Coconut and more almonds on the mid-palate, which is quite sweet at first. Towards the rear of the mouth, the profile becomes drier, which is very welcome. Oak spice develops although I do notice with multiple sips that the sweetness returns. A sweet finish, light oak in the background joined by honey, becoming spicier with multiple tastings. Vanilla and almonds complete the finish.
Total Mark: N/A (See Overall, below)
Tanduay Double Rum is deep amber in colour, with heavy, sticky legs on the side of the glass.
Almonds, tropical fruits, honey and coconut on the nose.
The entry is quite heavy, it is very viscous and slightly sticky. Sweet toffee and vanilla initially. The mid-palate develops nutty notes of almonds and coconut, it is quite sweet. Towards the rear is more fruity – pineapple, flambéed bananas, joined by some oak and dried fruits. The finish is very sweet, leaving a sticky residue in the throat. But it is quite a long finish, improving the more you sip. Warmth from a touch of spice and a hint of oak, but it does leave a teeth grinding and cloying sensation.
Total Mark: 70 (Out of 100)
Tanduay Silver and Gold are very much aimed at the cocktail/mixing market rather than sipping, hence it is not fair for me to give them an overall mark.
The Silver surprised me greatly. It is rare to find plenty of body and flavour in a so-called “white/silver” rum. It mixes well with coke and is a good upgrade on Bacardi carta Blanca in terms of body and flavour. But, it is 50% more expensive, so it should be. I think I would tend to go towards Doorly’s 3yo in the aged “white/silver” rum category instead, but Tanduay Silver is a decent offering.
The Gold makes a passable frozen Daiquiri (my go-to cocktail). Whilst there is nothing wrong with it, I am always going to draw comparisons with Kingston 62 (Appleton) Gold, which offers more flavours at a lower price.
The Double Rum left me underwhelmed overall. I think the sweetness makes it feel a little closer to a rum liqueur than an aged rum. It reminds me of many Latin-style rums – think Abuelo or Brugal or maybe even Havana Club. If you like drinking those, then Tanduay Double Rum would be ideal for you.
Further to my introduction, having tasted them, I think the rums are a blend of multi-column (continuous) distillates blended with a little pot still (batch). This is just my opinion though! I think Tanduay offer some decent rums overall, aimed at those who like their rums a bit lighter in style.
The Silver is excellent value for the price, but I think the Gold is less so. The Double Rum is at a competitive price for the ages of rums it contains, but does have a sweet profile.
Links / Notes:
The word “Tanduay” originated from the word “tang-uay”, an old Tagalog term for “peninsula”. The word also meant “low-lying land” because the entire area, including Quiapo, was frequently flooded during the rainy season. In the Cebuano and Visayan dialect, “tanguay” meant a place where tuba (palm wine) is bought and sold.
For clarity: Emporia Brands provided three samples of rums for me to evaluate. My opinions on the rums are not influenced by this, but I am highlighting this in order to be honest and upfront, as always.
Thank you for reading and for your support.
Review No: 171
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.
3 thoughts on “Tanduay Silver / Gold / Double Rum”
Expats who’ve spent time in the Philippines will be familiar with their local releases, which are sold everywhere for absurdly cheap prices (about three euros for the 12 year-old, which is the pick of the lineup IMHO). The ones reviewed appear to have been specially developed for the export market, but I don’t understand why they felt this was necessary.
I think that generally, the Asian market like their rums on the lighter side as some of the Tanduay (and other Asian cane-based spirits) come in at under 40%. So, knowing we like our spirits to be [at least] 40%, and with the cocktail-sector in mind, they have developed these releases.