Denizen Vatted Dark Rum
This summer while working on a project about Private Blended Rums I was notified that Denizen was releasing a new Vatted Dark Rum unlike anything else in the market. Comprised of a blend of rums from Guyana and Martinique they had created a new flavor experience they were keen to share with the public. Of the rum blend, 80% of it is from Guyana- 25% of the Guyana blend is aged 4 to 5 years in used Bourbon casks and is from a rare four column French Savalle still and Wooden Coffey still. 25% is unaged Rum distilled from a Double Wood Pot Still and finally 50% of the dark unaged Pot Still Rum from a Double Wood Pot Still. The remaining 20% is Rhum Agricole sourced from Martinique and together they are all blended in Amsterdam to 50% ABV.
The 750 ml bottle has a metal screw cap with a front and back label loaded with information.
The dark chestnut caramel color and Jade label distinguish themselves from the other two Denizen products on the shelf.
Pouring the liquid in the glass I noticed the color lightened slightly compared to the bottle. Swirling the liquid produced a medium ring that slowly thickens and reluctantly dropped only a few legs before taking several minutes to bead-up and evaporate.
The aroma of the rum leads with a rush of caramel laden alcohol vapor, followed by notes of molasses, with an undertone of fresh cut sugarcane, cinnamon and charred oak. This is quite the juxtaposition and a tad odd (in a good way). I let the rum rest for a few minutes and when I revisited it I was pleased to discover blackberries and bread pudding, with a lush vanilla undertone.
Much like the aroma, the first sip delivers a powerful hit of caramel and alcohol. The subsequent sips deliver a complex profile of oak tannins-charred wood, cinnamon, allspice, walnut and iron. Along with the flavors from the oak, I discovered sweet blackberries, chewy sugarcane, honeyed plantain, rounded out by Madagascar vanilla. As the rum begins to fade, the wood tannins take over with a mineral rich push as the alcohol lights up the mouth in a nice long finish.
When Denizen decided to create this rum, they wanted to create something in line with the classic rums that the British Navy blended and used for their beloved Rum Ration. Saying that with the higher alcohol and intricate profile this Rum is an interesting sipper and at its core much like the Navy Rums of old is made for being mixed with other ingredients. With that in mind, I have sampled the rum in a few different cocktails, and it did well in all of them. One cocktail that had a heavy berry juice component was quite good and it also did well in a classic grog cocktail recipe. Overall knowing, what they were trying to achieve and judging it by that metric I was pleased with the product. Along with the lines Aged White Rum, and Merchants Reserve, this rum does a good job of taking its place in the center of the portfolio.
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