It is interesting how rum comes my way once in a while. Sometimes I buy a bottle that piques my interest, sometimes I’m being sent stuff and sometimes, just sometimes, I find a sealed bottle behind the microwave of the flat I moved in. That was last year, but I finally ran out of stuff to review (for now), so I dug this dodgy looking 250ml plastic bottle that was conveniently left behind for me by this building’s Rum Gods.
Soca Light Rum comes from Belfast Estate Limited in Dominica and it’s available only on the island. Belfast Estate was purchased in the 1940s by Mr. Ellias Nassief who reactivated the abandoned sugar estate and started producing rum. According to their (outdated looking) website they were making rum from sugar cane juice at the beginning and later they started using molasses and even fermented sugar – interesting. Today they are Dominica’s leading rum company.
While Belfast Estate Limited used to distill rum and now they seem to imply they still make it themselves, I can’t find anything about any distillation operations happening on their estate. I found an article on the Ministry Of Rum forum that claims their pot and column stills were shut down in the late 1980s and that they now blend rums from countries such as Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados under their own label – the said article is from 2008 so I assume some things might’ve changed. It all kind of makes sense as they use the word “blended” a lot when talking about their products.
If someone knows more please message me!
Edit: I’ve been told by Richard Seale that nowadays Belfast Estate Ltd. imports rum from WIRD in Barbados.
The Soca brand was launched in 1980 (same year they apparently stopped distilling) and was marketed as “the Spirit of Celebration”. Can’t find too much about the production process.
Soca Light Rum could be molasses, sugar cane based or a blend of both. No idea about the distillation process either, but they mention the rums in the blend are aged and then charcoal filtered. Bottled at 40% ABV with no information about adultering.
On the nose there is a sweet smell. Vanilla, biscuits, coconut cream and ethanol. Hints of liquorice and ginger as well. White pepper, whipped cream and faint bananas. Not a lot jumping out.
On the palate it starts quite sweet upfront. Coconut cream, biscuits, cappuccino and vanilla. Cacao nibs, sandalwood and a touch of charred wood. I suspect it’s slightly sweetened, but it’s quite subtle. A bit of quince along with some grapefruit peel. The finish is short with coconut and ethanol.
What can I say, it isn’t too bad nor too interesting – I would easily use it in a simple punch or any other kind of mixed drink. This is only available in the Dominica, but we’re not missing out on anything, plenty of better white rums on the UK market. As I said it does have a hint of sweetness which I doubt it’s coming from their blending skills, but it kinda works.
Soca Light Rum score:
Value for money: 15/15