Bayou Select Rum

Bayou Select Rum Review by the fat rum pirateBayou Select Rum. Bayou are a rum brand that hail from Louisiana in the US of A. I have been aware of the brand for a number of years now. They have displayed their Select and Spiced Rum at the London Rumfest the past couple of years. The stand is always pretty busy and one year I struggled to get a taste of their rums as I couldn’t get near the stand.

Bayou do have a really strong branding and their website is very slick. Bayou Select Rum is made at the largest privately owned Rum Distillery in the US – Louisiana Spirits.

In the UK a bottle of Bayou Select Rum will set you back around £25 for a 70cl. It is bottled at 40% ABV and comes in three quarter sized angular bottlee. A synthetic cork stopper tops of the presentation. I like the stong branding and whilst the bottle maybe a little too busy it does stand out on the shelf.

The distillery in Lacassine, Louisiana offers tours, rum tasting bar and a gift shop. Bayou have only been producing since 2013. Bayou Select is a blend of their rums aged up to 3 years. It is produced in Copper Pot Stills. On the website they speak of “Solera” systems. If I was being asked to pay £50 for this rum I might be more inclined to question such claims. As it stands at £25 I don’t think I need to be worrying to much. It’s a blend of rums aged up to 3 years – I can live with that at the £25 price point.

They use a  “signature” ‘sugarhouse’ recipe which uses a blend of 100% natural, unrefined Louisiana sugarcane and molasses. Using actual Sugar to produce rum, technically means it cannot be classed as a rum in the EU. Quite how a mix of refined sugar and molasses is classified – I have no idea. Once again, I’m not going to worry to much about it. Bayou Select Rum is aged in ex-Bourbon Barrels. They claim there is no added sugar (which is probably true but the Hydrometer is showing something in there). This may be due to the way it is produced partly from sugar. Though this may be unlikely. I am not an expert on distillation. Nor do I make such claims.

InBayou Select Rum Review by the fat rum pirate the UK Bayou have two of their range available – Select and Spiced. The US also get a Silver and a Satsuma flavoured rum.

I am not sure if Bayou have a bigger producer behind them in some way. They do seem to have quite a reach for a such a young brand. They don’t seem short of a bob or two either. Lets see how the rum shapes up though. That’s the important thing.

Bayou Select Rum is a fairly standard dark/golden brown colour with orange/reddish flashes. Coloured? Yes without doubt.

Nosing Bayou Select Rum is quite a surprise. Some of this rum is up to 3 years old but I suspect a lot will be much younger. Even if it were a 3 year old rum I wouldn’t expect a nose quite as rich and “aged” as this one. It has a really warming, sweet chocolate like theme running through it. Spicy yet comforting tones of oak from the ex-bourbon casks give it an extra layer of complexity. There is a slight briny/herbal note similar to Chairman’s Reserve – but a touch sweeter, with less vegetal notes.

It has a really nice balance – chocolate, oak, plump raisins, some banana cake and just enough of a herbal note and a touch of spice to make things more interesting. More complex and rewarding. It has interacted with the casks really well and has nose way beyond its relatively young years.

Sipped, Bayou Select Rum isn’t as impressive as the nose. Having said that it is not a disappointing experience. It is still more than decent for such a young blend. It’s drier though and has a lot more oak. The sweet chocolate notes are now more of a bitter burnt caramel or unsweetened cocoa. It is also slightly “odd” – in that it has a kind of sweet note to it which I can’t quite place. Again this may have something to do with using sugar in the distillation rather than purely molasses.

Bayou Select Rum Review by the fat rum pirateDue to the oaky nature of Bayou Select Rum I find it makes a really good rum and coke. Mixed with cola it seems to bring back out the fruity notes of raisin and banana to make a real winner of a drink.

Mixed with Lemonade or tonic it is perhaps slightly less convincing but it does add a very distinctive flavour to your drinks.

A longer aged Bayou could certainly make a really decent sipper – even at this age the blend isn’t bad. I would imagine given time they will put out more aged rums.

As a mixer it can be a bit hitty miss but with cola (as I prefer my long drinks) it works really well. It also works nicely in a Bloody Mary. To be honest Bayou Select Rum is much better than I was expecting. For £25 it isn’t a bad purchase at all. It is certainly quite distinctive and different enough to at least take a stab at.

At the £25 price point you are really looking at “high end” mixers rather than sippers. Bayou is very much its own man. I can’t really think of many rums it compares to. It’s probably closest to a Demerara such as Woods or OVD but it has a very distinctive profile which means you wouldn’t mistake it for such a rum.

A rum which you would have to try. A bit of an outlier.

 

 

 

 

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