Review: William George

William George is a rum I wanted to get around to write about for a while now, so here we go. The name honours William Simpson and George Nicholls, who were grandfathers to Andrew Nicholls and Richard Nicholls, two of the founders of William George Rum.

Andrew Nicholls was a bartender for over 18 years, time in which he won a number of cocktail competitions and received quite a few awards. He is now is the the Netherlands Rum Educator for WSET, a member of the seminar selection committee for Tales of the Cocktail, a judge for World’s 50 Best Bars and the mastermind behind the William George blend. I’ve met Andrew in real life and attended a couple of online tastings featuring him and his rum and I can say that he is, at the very least, extremely passionate about rum.

The label design on the bottle is one of my favourites and it has various nods to rum and the grandfathers William and George. To cover all of them here would be quite a lot, but my favourite is the handwriting on the label that comes from a letter George Nicholls wrote to his wife decades ago and it reads “blissful happiness for decades of time”. You can read about the heritage of their two grandfathers and all the label features that hint to it on their website.

There are 6 rums making up the blend, 4 of them being completely unaged pot still Jamaican rums, 1 of them is an unaged multi-column still Trinidadian rum and the last one is a blend of 2 to 5 year multi-column still Trinidadian rums that has been carbon filtered to remove the colour. Steven from the Rum Diaries Blog goes a bit more in detail about the blend in his review, complete with percentages and ester count – I’ll just mention the distilleries:

  • from Jamaica: Hampden, Worthy Park, New Yarmouth and Clarendon;
  • from Trinidad: Angostura.

So William George is molasses based, pot still and multi-column distilled and aged for 0 to 5 years in ex-Bourbon casks. Carbon filtered to remove the colour imparted by the maturation, blended in the Netherlands and bottled at 43% ABV and unmeddled with.

On the nose there’s a decent amount of Jamaican funk. Candied banana, nail varnish, white vinegar, raspberry jam and canned pineapple. Crystalized ginger, mango, lime zest and white pepper. Cane juice and bell pepper. Pretty intense!

On the palate it feel layered and complex. Overripe bananas, sweet raspberries, green chilli, stone fruits, pen ink, damp cardboard and ginger. A little bit buttery too! Single cream, vanilla and orgeat. Once again this is funky, the Jamaican rums in the blend are flexing their muscles. Nail varnish, grapefruit zest, green olives, coriander and canned mushrooms. The finish is medium with olive brine and toffee.

A superb blend that works very well in cocktails (of course a Daquiri!), with tonic, Ting or just by itself. Well balanced and full of flavour, definitely up there with the likes of Veritas, although a bit more pricey. Can be bought for £43.50 from Master of Malt – or cheaper when is on offer… like it is right now! A tad outside of my “weekly restock” price, but worth getting one whenever you feel like having a good Daquiri… or Snaquiri!

William George score:
Flavour/taste: 54/70
Value for money: 13/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 82/100


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