In 2011 I discovered Denizen Rum and tried a sample. It immediately went into the mental Rolodex of rums to keep an eye out for as they gained distribution across the states. Denizen is a combination of three year old rum from Trinidad and Tobago and a combination of 15 pot stilled rums from Jamaica. These rums are gathered in Amsterdam and blended to create a distinctive product with the goal of standing out among other white rums.
Denizen Rum is packaged in a tall wine bottle sealed with a brass and black screw top. The rum is crystal clear in the bottle and glass. The front label presents the Denizen crest and uses a font that reminds me of those commonly used in the 1920's. Under it on a gold ribbon the note "Handcrafted Noble Blend" appears followed by the information about the rum. The back label tells the story of the rum and company in a tiny scrawl that is well worth the read
The liquid was clear in the bottle and glass. Swirling the glass slowly formed long legs that left large beads in their wake.
Pouring the rum in the glass released a lovely aroma of fruit, molasses, and vanilla. The aroma actually reminded me of a good quality cachaça. I let the glass breathe and picked up oak, char, lime and just the slightest hint of spice.
First sip revealed and confirmed a lot of what I had picked up in the aroma. Vanilla forms and holds the baseline, charred oak and citrus fills the middle. Followed by subtle nutmeg, flowers, finishing with tobacco and solid pepper pop. The alcohol burn is present around the edge of the tongue and lingers into the finish.
Knowing the background and blending of the rum, its complexity is not a surprise. When I review a rum, I usually do so over a series of three or more tastings. Normally the last tasting is when I start experimenting with a rum in cocktails. However with Denizen, I sipped my second sample and had to try it in a Classic Daiquiri. This inspiration paid off and led to other inspirations. This is a rum crafted for building cocktails around. The complexity of the notes makes me think of a Swiss army knife. Depending on the cocktail, the flavor pops were impressive and added dynamics to the experience.