Review: The Legendary Alnwick Rum

Legendary or not, I haven’t heard about this rum until now when I stumbled upon it on Amazon offers and just went with it. The brand itself is from Northumberland, England and was established in 1914. In time the rum went out of circulation and the recipe was lost until the 1980s when the original Alnwick Brewery was demolished and the recipe was rediscovered. The brand was acquired by Harry Hotspur Holdings in 2013 who reinvented the brand and relaunched it in 2015 – according to their website.

The recipe story is quite romantic, but according to thefatrumpirate, they changed the blend at least once, with the latest update supposedly being closer to the old school recipe. Old labels of the Alnwick bottling refer to it as Vatted Rum, a term that’s usually associated with Navy (style) rums, although there’s no “Gunpowder” proof going on.

The current label it’s a reference to Sir Henry Perci, also known “Harry Hotspur” (hence the company name), who has been knighted and had lead an army into battle by his teens. Using one of England’s most famous knights as the branding for your company and rum is pretty neat.

The rum is molasses based, a blend of pot and column stills distillates from Guyana and Jamaica aged up to 3 years in ex-Bourbon casks. There are 8 rums that make-up this blend, with the Guyanese one/s being aged 2-3 years in ex-Bourbon casks. No information regarding the age of the Jamaican components are given which suggests some of the rums might be unaged. Blended in Holland and bottled in Scotland, no chill filtering, with a generous amount of caramel colouring (judging by its dark colour) and bottled at a decent 43% ABV.

On the nose there’s plenty of Demerara influence. Brown sugar, caramel, molasses, toffee, sweetened black tea and cola. Orange peel, candied bananas, dark chocolate and cinnamon. It smells fairly weak considering the provenance of the rums in the blend. Toasted oak, coconut cream and walnuts.

On the palate it does taste sweetened, but not too much. Maple syrup, coffee, pineapple juice, liquorice and dusty cardboard. A little bit spicy with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper. It’s very easy to drink, too easy if anything. Cola, caramel and vanilla. The finish is short with a burnt sugar aroma.

Pretty underwhelming, unexciting and pretty overpriced at £30 for a bottle – I’d rather have Wood’s for less money and more bite. It’s not terrible, the best term would be just “meh”.

The Legendary Alnwick Rum score:
Flavour/taste: 38/70
Value for money: 9/15
Transparency/purity: 8/15
Overall: 55/100


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