That Boutique-y Rum Company were always the odd ones (in a good way), with their limited releases and cute 50cl bottles – I have to say I’ve enjoyed more than one of their offerings. Lately they have decided to be a bit more “mainstream” and created two constant and continuous releases in… are you ready… 70cl bottles. Both of these Signature Blends were made in collaboration with Peter Holland, who has a very decent palate and knows a thing or two about rums.
You can read my review of the Signature Blend #2 here.
Signature Blend #1 has the descriptor Bright – Grass on the label which makes sense given that some of the blend comes from Martinique in the form of an unaged rhum agricole. Agricole rhum from Martinique is well regulated to the point it has its own AOC (think Champagne) which, long story short, allows only distillates that follow certain parameters to be called “Martinique Agricole Rhum”. Some of those parameters include distilling from sugar cane juice using a creole still (a modified column still) at between 65% and 75% ABV which allows the flavours of the cane to pass through in the final distillate. The profile is usually vegetal, grassy and bright.
The other component is an unaged pot still rum from Jamaica, which while Boutique-y can’t name, a little bit of research (and perhaps sampling) can tell us it comes from Worthy Park. Worthy Park is known for it’s complex, flavoursome rums which feature a fair amount of Jamaican funk due to longer fermentation and the masterful use of their pot still.
A third component that would comprise approximately 5% of the whole blend is a 4 year old Jamaican pot still rum, most likely also from Worthy Park, in order to give the rum a slight “sweetness” and round it. This is where the slight golden hue of the liquid comes from.
So we have rums coming from 2 islands that are known for their flavoursome and full bodied juice, even when unaged. I’m definitely excited, especially as I’ve seen a steady rise in the number of complex white rums available on the market lately. Hmm… I see an idea for a list coming to life…
Cane juice and molasses based, distilled in a creole and pot still and aged from 0 to 4 years in ex-Bourbon casks. Bottled at 42% ABV without any additions.
On the nose it feels mostly Jamaican. Ripe bananas, kiwi, mango and passion fruit. Pretty tropical so far. Damp cardboard, white pepper, violette liqueur and a touch of vinegar. A few grassy notes in the back along with some saffron.
On the palate it’s similar with the nose, still mostly about the Jamaican component upfront. Banana bread, melon, pear, kiwi and passion fruit. Caramel, black tea, walnuts and pistachios. Some black olives and lemon zest. Feels like the agricole influence is beneath the first layer, mid to end palate with grassy cane and broccoli. Agave syrup and ginger ale. The finish is medium with fresh cane juice and black pepper.
The balance of the rum is great… maybe too good if anything. I guess I was ready for a little more out there given the origins of the rums in the blend. For some reason I was expecting 5+5 to equal 10 here, but that’s not how blending works and it was 7 instead. It has more body than most of the white rums (and not only) out there for sure, I was just hoping I’d experience more of that agricole flavour working together with the Jamaican hogo, but I reckon it would be hard to balance if they were to add more – and to be fair, most of the rum drinkers are used to the molasses based ones and would have a hard time getting around a more extreme profile.
I would recommend this as a great white rum overall, but also as a stepping stone for anyone that is not particularly familiar with agricole rhums. It can be found for £26 on Master of Malt which is a more than a fair price for the complexity and even the extra 2 points in the ABV you don’t usually find in white rums.
That Boutique-y Rum Company Signature Blend #1 score:
Value for money: 15/15