Review: That Boutique-y Rum Company – Haiti 18 Years Old (Batch 4)

It’s that spooky time of the year when people like to outdo each other with scary outfits and daring make-up, but what’s more scary than not having some rum to drink? Well, thankfully, I don’t have that issue so I’m here to potentially suggest you to try this Boutique-y rum with both a Halloween and Hollywood twist.

This 18 year old rum from Haiti bottled by That Boutique-y Rum Company (TBRC) is part of the Cinema Series in which That Boutique-y Whisky Company also takes part. All the products in this collection have their labels re-imagined as classic movie posters which would fit the product’s origin story – they certainly had fun with this one!

I chose to review this bottle for Halloween because its label inspiration comes from a 1988 horror film called “The Serpent and the Rainbow” directed by Wes Craven, quite the horror genre legend, and it’s starring Bill Pullman and Cathy Tyson. Shamefully I haven’t seen the movie myself, but according to Google the synopsis goes like this:

In a time of social and political unrest in Haiti, anthropologist Dennis Alan (Bill Pullman) travels to the torn country to study a Voodoo drug used in religious practices to turn victims into living zombies. With the help of a witch doctor (Brent Jennings) and a fellow researcher (Cathy Tyson), Dennis pieces together the deadly mystery. But as Dennis uncovers the secrets behind the mysterious powder, he must evade the Haitian authorities who view his research as a potential threat.

There’s the Haiti connection, which I find it to be a really nice touch. Apparently, the film also touches on Haiti’s political turmoil that was going through at the time – and, unfortunately, that is still reflected on the country nowadays. I need to watch this!

Now onto the rum – while no distillery is mentioned, it’s definitely made by Barbancourt, the country’s most well known exported rum brand. Is has been aged in Haiti for 6 years before being moved to the UK where the additional 12 years have been spent for its total 18 years of ageing.

TBRC Haiti 18 Years Old is cane juice based, column still distilled and aged for 18 years in, most likely, ex-Bourbon casks. Bottled at 57.2% ABV without any additives, with batch 4 being comprised of a total of 451 bottles.

On the nose it feels quite elegant. Toasted almonds, burnt orange oils, grapefruit and unripe banana. Biscuits, Golden Syrup, ginger and some sawdust. It smells more like a molasses rum with a twist. Coconut flakes, red apples, ground coffee and a touch of liquorice. Dusty cardboard and nutmeg.

On the palate the profile is more reminiscent of an actual cane juice rum. Red apples, pears, cacao nibs, floral honey and ginger. Mandarines, cardamom and angelica root. It’s fruity and aromatic with hints of herbal notes. Earl Grey tea, black peppercorns, stone fruits and banana. The finish is long with tropical fruits and ground coffee.

This is interesting, not too intense, yet pretty layered. Feels like a combination between a light molasses rum and an agricole rhum, yet that’s clearly not the case. One could say it’s scary how well it balances both a light and a full body profile. The only thing that might be a minus it’s the slight earthy bitterness that comes onto the finish, but it can be easily overlooked.

A 50cl bottle of the That Boutique-y Rum Company Haiti 18 Years Old can be bought for £100 which is perfect… well only if this was a 70cl bottle, but it’s still intriguing enough to be decent value for money.

That Boutique-y Rum Company – Haiti 18 Years Old (Batch 4):
Flavour/taste: 56/70
Value for money: 13/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 84/100


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