One of the fun things about traveling the Caribbean and Central America is that each of the countries have different products that they specialize in.
When we were preparing for our first visit to Belize I looked into what items were recommended souvenirs. Travellers One Barrel rum, carved wood, and Kuknat Coconut rum were the three most mentioned items, so when we visited the Travellers Distillery we made sure to pick a bottle up to take home.
The frosted white 750ml bottle is the only bottle in the Travellers line to have this treatment. The label is colorful and stands out against the white bottle. The bottle's gold screw cap is secured by a white security strip with the word "Travellers" on it. The back label provides a marketing statement for the company and the rum.
The liquid is crystal clear that produced really thick legs after I swirled the rum. These legs zip down the glass leaving an equally thick ring clinging to the side of the glass.
When I first poured the rum it initially released a burst of higher alcohol vapors that carried a pleasant earthy oak note. I let the glass breathe and coconut aroma really came out to play. It balances nicely in counterpoint with the oaky base and left me intrigued to try my first sip.
That sip was actually full of surprises. The character of this 70 proof rum is really allowed to come out and play. Like the aroma the smoky, cinnamon laden oak takes the baseline, while the coconut takes the high. The rum is also a bit thicker on the tongue than expected. Doing a little research I discovered they use essence of Coconut to flavor the rum. This may be the reason for the thicker slightly oily mouth feel, it in no way detracts from the flavor, just provides another level to the experience.
As I took additional sips a nutty toasted almond note joins the base oak flavor. Toward the finish I experienced a quick bite of alcohol playing across the back of the tongue. As it fades so does the flavor of the rum in a short, coconut sweet finish.
I now understand why this rum made so many "must purchase" lists for Belize souvenirs. There is currently nothing quite like it in the North American market which makes it a fun and unique experience for me. So if you find yourself enjoying the beautiful country of Belize and want to take some of their rums home; I to would recommend picking up a bottle of One Barrel and a bottle of Kuknat as remembrances of your travels.
Review originally appeared in Got Rum? Magazine.