Review: Retribution White Rum

Retribution White Rum came out last year and I had the opportunity to sample it first at the UK RumFest 2021. Retribution is made at Retribution Distilling Co, in Frome, Somerset, UK, so this is another British rum to add to the growing list of “locally” produced cane distillates.

Retribution Distilling Co started as a marathon accident… I know, but stay with me. Richard Lock, the owner and maker of Retribution, had a trip and fall during the 2011 Plymouth half marathon and realised he could not do another marathon so he decided on a new hobby – brewing. So Retribution Distilling started as Retribution Brewing and it was out of the desire of a new side activity, and later on, a career direction change – spirits distilling. You can read the whole story on their blog.

Retribution Distilling makes gin, rum and new make spirit – later to become whisky, with most of the rum distilled being put away to age in ex-Bourbon barrels and a small amount of unaged rum being available to purchase. Their unaged rum was shortlisted in the Whisky Exchange Rum of the year 2022 awards and recently received a bronze medal at the IWSC as well so let’s score it.

Retribution White Rum is molasses based, pot still distilled and bottled at 44% ABV without any adulteration.

On the nose feels quite dessertish. Toffee, Raffaello sweets, vanilla, printer ink and white chocolate. White cacao liqueur, double cream, white pepper and carton. The aroma is familiar, very similar with other UK distilled rums which is interesting to see as it’s becoming its own style. Hints of juniper and corriander.

On the palate it’s what you would expect from nosing it. Cappuccino, coconut cream, white chocolate, almonds, whipped cream and a touch of salt. The mouthfeel is nice and oily. Some cardamom and camomile. Pink grapefruit zest, strawberry candies, white pepper and iron (think how blood tastes like – don’t judge me!). The finish is medium with double cream and vanilla.

Yep, I like this, it has body, great mouthfeel and flavour as well – I feel like the higher 44% ABV definitely helps with all of that. Can be bought from their website for £36 which is the price range you would expect from a unaged rum made in the UK at a small distillery.

They are also running something called Cask 001 Rum Club where you can pre-purchase a bottle of their aged rum which will be delivered to you when the maturation ends around 2023, among other things – seems quite tempting, I might get involved. I’m looking forward to see how the aged releases will taste like.

Retribution White Rum score:
Flavour/taste: 53/70
Value for money: 14/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 82/100


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