Not many spiced rums reviewed on my blog, but I found this one odd enough to give it a try. Three Tides Smoked Demerara Rum is a spiced rum from Beaufort Spirit, a “spin off” from their main company, Beaufort London, that deals with producing perfumes and fragrances.
The company’s name comes from the Royal Navy Officer Sir Francis Beaufort (1774 – 1857), who’s contributions at the time brought many improvements in nautical charting and he also introduced a scale for estimating wind strengths without the use of instruments – known today as the Beaufort wind scale. The inspiration becomes more obvious as you visit their website, having a pretty much an on the nose nautical theme. There you can find their portofolio which so far is comprised of a Smoked Gin and a Smoked Demerara Rum which is what I’m having in my glass today.
Three Tides is a 40% ABV spiced rum that has its base juice made in Guyana at Diamond Distillery, therefore the “Demerara Rum” moniker. Some of the spices are scorched gorse, wild elderflower and oats. And yes, I had to google gorse, and apparently is kind of a yellow edible shrub that is very flammable.
Update: I just got an email back from Leo Crabtree, director at Beaufort, regarding production methods and inspiration – see the quote bellow:
In terms of the botanicals, we create a distillate with the oats, gorse, elderflower and cacao and add this to the rum. We chose these because firstly, they were readily available to our distiller on his farm and we wanted to use ingredients that had a bit of ’terroir’ (not the cacao obviously) but they were also a little different from the ‘usual’ spices you find in rums due to their aromatic profile. Gorse, particularly is an interesting scent, not a million miles from coconut. The smoke aspect is I guess the key ‘point of difference’. We work with a smokery in Anglesea (Halen Mon) to achieve this… they originally made a smoked water for Heston Blumenthal for one of his dishes, which I really liked. But we needed something a bit ‘more’, so we worked with them to create a whiskey smoke water, which is achieved by smoking water with retired whisky oak. The method is a trade secret, but the water is smoked for 3 weeks (three tides) and then we use this to dilute the rum from cask strength.
With that said, let’s dive in.
On the nose… well it is smoky. Feels quite savory and “greasy” like smoked pork meat/bacon. A bit of pine smell, camp fire, salted caramel, rose water and a bit of dusty old books. No idea how “scorched gorse” is supposed to smell like, but this doesn’t feel vegan at all… not that it would bother me.
On the palate the smoke becomes even more intense, it’s like I just bit into a well done burger with extra smoked bacon. There’s a bit of brown sugar aroma from the Demerara along with some menthol. Hints of vanilla, orange peel, nutmeg and coffee. It’s hard to find anything under all the burnt wood flavour. The finish is quite short with the aforementioned smokiness and ethanol.
I’ll say it now and I’ll keep saying it, I’m not a fan of spiced/flavoured rums overall. With that in mind I will give this rum credit for two things – it isn’t cloyingly sweet, actually it’s quite dry, not sure if any sugar went into this; and it is unique. This is not your usual spiced rum, it’s a fairly niche product that can definitely work its way into some concoctions, although I don’t think it can stand on its own, it misses something.
Can be found for £35 on Master of Malt which is a bit more than what I would pay for it.
Three Tides Smoked Demerara Rum score:
Value for money: 10/15