Banditti Club is a brand of spiced rum that is part of the Glasgow Distillery portofolio. It was launched in 2018 and since then it already gathered a couple of awards. If you know me, then you know I’m not too excited about spiced rums, but I’ll never dismiss them completely, I am a bartender after all – so I’d lie if I said I wasn’t intrigued about these releases.
According to their website, the name Banditti Club is inspired by a company of rogues from back in the days who would meet up in Glasgow’s public houses sharing music, food and laughter late into the night.
Despite it coming from a Scottish distillery, the rum is not made by Glasgow Distillery – it’s imported cane juice rum from Madeira which once in Glasgow it has been aged for 1 year and spiced with a combination of tropical fruits and spices such as pineapple, orange, cacao and allspice.
This is all for their standard Banditti Club, their Smoky Rogues is a limited edition single cask which took the regular spiced rum and secondary aged it in a Glasgow 1770 Peated Single Malt Whisky cask for approximately 18 months. They also have a sherry finish cask.
Banditti Club Spiced Rum
Cane juice based, column still distilled and aged for 1 year in (I assume) ex-Bourbon casks. Bottled at 44% ABV and, according to them, naturally flavoured and no additional sugar added.
On the nose it seems like it has a lot going on. Coca-cola, toffee and mints. Single malt, guava juice, black pepper and cinnamon. It has some interesting notes. Aloe vera, lime leaves, red grapes, burnt range zest and Fernet.
On the palate the spiciness is quite intense. Cayenne pepper, cinnamon and cola. Ginger, lime leaves, cloves and black pepper. It has a lot of flavours with none of the sugar and I’m enjoying it. Unripe plums, tangerines, sour cherries, cardamom and cacao nibs. There’s a bit of sea salt as well. The finish is medium to long with cinnamon and sharp notes.
This is actually really interesting. A spiced rum that is complex and not one-dimensional or drowned by the spices or sugar – I can actually feel the base distillate which works very well with the added flavours to deliver a spicy and fairly intense final product. I’d be curious to pair it with various mixers like tonic or cola to see how it works.
Banditti Club Smoky Rogues Rum Batch 01
Same as their continuous release, cane juice based, column still distilled and aged for 1 year in ex-Bourbon casks before being moved in a former peated scotch cask for roughly another 18 months. Bottled at 52.2% ABV, naturally flavoured and no sugar added – only 390 bottles available, mine being number 70.
On the nose it’s quite similar with their standard spiced rum – which is expected. Cola, lime leaves, shoe polish and mints. Cinnamon, toffee, ginger and cloves. It has a warm and herbaceous profile. Grapes, burnt tobacco, moth balls and sandalwood.
On the palate it seems to set itself apart more from the original. Lime leaves, cola, cinnamon and allspice. Pink pepper, tobacco smoke and marmalade. The whisky cask adds a very medicinal layer to it. Sandalwood, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Cardamom, cough syrup and ginger. A dash of mezcal and maple syrup. The finish is long with cinnamon and peat smoke.
I will be honest, I didn’t see the point of making a limited edition spiced rum, I’m not trying to be a snob, but I have a hard time taking spiced rum seriously – but then we have barrel aged gin and other gimmicks like that, so why not? It works! It’s complex with plenty of layers, it’s not just your usual vanilla bomb, or Christmas spice bundle. I generally do not enjoy peat smoke to begin with, but the flavours pair very well together here and gives the rum a very interesting profile. Definitely a step up from the standard Banditti Club Spiced as well.
Banditti Club Spiced rums are definitely not a joke, probably the best spiced rums I’ve had in a while. They are priced at £25 for the standard and £28 for the limited edition peat cask finish – both come in 50cl bottles. This is definitely not the price of a supermarket spiced rum, but given the liquid inside I believe it’s worth it for any spiced rum connoisseur (if that’s a thing).
Banditti Club Spiced Rum score:
Value for money: 14/15
Banditti Club Smoky Rogues Rum Batch 01 score:
Value for money: 15/15