Project #173 is a brand of flavoured rums launched by Atom Brands (who also own Master Of Malt) back in 2020. The 173 moniker comes from alcohol’s boiling point which is 173.1 degrees fahrenheit. The idea behind it is to experiment and create unique single flavoured rums such as their Banana Rum, Smoked Chilli Rum, Ginger Bread Rum and more.
Earlier this year, on March 29th, the Master of Malt Trade Instagram advertised a competition where bartenders were encouraged to come up with a new flavour to add to the range.
Yours truly won this competition with the idea of creating an Earl Grey Rum – the reasoning behind this was that it would be the perfect rum for a punch drink, as punches have historically used tea for its taste. Also it does seem to be a bit of a gap on the market regarding tea forward rums, which is surprising, given the large selection of spiced rums on the market and the fact that we are in England – the land of a cuppa.
This expression is made using a Caribbean rum blend (of various ages) as a base which is simply cold infused with Earl Grey tea. I’ve been told it contains around 70 grams of sugar per litre – I assume the tea infusion has some bitter/astringent notes that had to be balanced with a hefty amount of sugar. Personally I would’ve never guessed it contains that much as it isn’t sweet per se, but if you have to look after your sugar/calories intake, then this is probably not for you.
Now for some Rum Barrel tasting notes:
On the nose it feels quite herbaceous. Bergamot, saffron, liquorice and Fernet Branca. Black tea (duh!), juniper and raw cacao nibs. Obviously it smells like you’d expect from a good Earl Grey blend. Caramel, aromatic oak and allspice.
On the palate it’s incredibly aromatic. Walnuts, orange peel, raisins and raw cacao nibs. Allspice, cardamom and dried plums. It genuinely tastes like a cold brew tea. Pine tree and liquorice too. The finish is medium to long with herbaceous notes and roasted nuts.
Don’t worry, as a blogger and rum enthusiast I still prefer pure rums, but as a bartender I have to say this is delicious and it has a lot of potential for mixing and elevating cocktails. It’s very easy to use it in recipes that ask for a “dark” rum or a Navy Style one – and it’s absolutely delicious with coke.
The Earl Grey Rum was launched at Trailer Happiness on Monday 18th of September and it got nothing but positive reviews, by itself, or in cocktails. My perfect serve for the evening was a classic Planter’s Punch – lime, brown sugar syrup, Earl Grey rum and Angostura bitters. It is now available to buy from Master Of Malt for £20 for a 50cl bottle, which is a decent price in my opinion – I am biased though, it has my name on the back label after all.
It might sound like I’m singing my own praises and perhaps that’s partially true, but I own a blog, so it only makes sense that I would record my own rum related achievements here – hence the “My News” category. For obvious reasons this is not an objective review, therefore there will be no scoring.