I’ve been reviewing rums for some years now, but tonight we’ve hit a first for me – a rum from the land down under. I’ve heard legends that such rums exist – even stories of one with a polar bear on its label, which makes no sense whatsoever. This is not the polar bear rum – this is another rum. One with a spot on its label. A red spot.
Inner Circle Rum is bottled and labeled in an understated, classy manner. Its website boasts that this is a rum not created for the likes of us – the bourgeois, pedestrian sorts – but was rather developed for the upper, snobby crust of society (and yet the website also boasts a skull&crossbones pattern in the background. Go figure.) It also boasts many awards – a factor that means increasingly less to me the more I learn that the folks who bestow such awards have entirely different expectations of rum from myself.
So enough prattling – let’s discuss the rum. It’s a slightly subdued amber, not quite as rich or red as it appears in the photo I took. To the nose, it immediately indicates the flavor profile I’m finding more and more in premium rums, and so much the shame. Light, with a strong overcurrent of over-ripe fruit. The taste is much the same, hitting the back of the mouth much harder than the front, with a dominating finish that borders on overbearing.
I don’t much like this rum. Perhaps I’m a poor judge, as I’ve clearly found that I prefer rum that tastes like, well, rum. True rum in the British or Spanish traditions. Not the strange perversions that are the French, Indian, or – I now find – Australian rum. These strange, alien flavor profiles just don’t seem to be what rum should be, and while I’ve found exceptions now and then where a “non-rummy” rum is still a thing of beauty, this time around just doesn’t strike home.