Baron Samedi is one of the loa (spirits) of the dead in Haitian Voodoo. He occupies the spirit crossroads between the living and dead, guiding the newly buried to the underworld and is responsible for handling resurrection and healing those close to death. The Baron is well known for his raucous behavior, enjoyment of the obscene and the attention of women. He is traditionally depicted in his top hat and tail coat with a skull - like visage smoking a cigar with a glass of rum in his hand.
When Campari announced that they were releasing new spiced rum under the good Baron’s name, it gave me pause and made me hope that it would not be something that attracted his wrath. He is a loa known for his unexpected and outrageous behavior after all, who it is best not to of fend. The rum is a combination of Column still rum with a small amount of Jamaican Pot still rums blended with spices and delivered at 90 proof.
This 750 ml bottle successfully captures the look and feel of a 19th (Ilooked) century medicine bottle. The front label wraps the right side of the bottle with a brief description of the Baron on the back label. The artwork on the front label has a unique interpretation of Baron Samedi’s visage that is worth taking a moment to appreciate and interpret. The bottle is sealed with a metal screw top with serpentine design that matches the left side of the bottle. The rum holds a dark mahogany color in the bottle and lightens slightly when poured in the glass. When I swirled the liquid it created a razor thin line that slowly released fast moving legs leaving behind a ring of residue and beads.
The rum provides a very strong vanilla and cinnamon aroma that slowly lightens as I let the glass breathe. When I revisit the glass I detect a bit of cocoa, a hint of nutmeg with hazelnut forming the under tone.
Sipping the rum delivers the expected rush of cinnamon and vanilla laden alcohol. As these flavors subside I discovered unsweetened cocoa, a pop of clove and a tweak of pepper with the ear thy smokiness of the vetiver spice coming in at the finish. As I sampled the rum the vetiver note carries through adding an interesting augmentation to the other notes.
I found my time with this spiced rum interesting. The 90 proof alcohol really manifests alongside the cinnamon and vanilla notes as its heat fades the coinciding flavors relent allowing for the rest of the flavor profile to manifest. I have had limited experience with vetiver being used and found the smoke and earthiness of the Haitian grass spice to be a nice element of the profile. Campari mentioned that the rum was designed to go well with cola and while it held up nicely in that, I still want to experiment with it in other spiced rum cocktails and see how it per forms.