Dead Man’s Fingers is a Spiced Rum. First released in 2015 by The Rum and Crab Shack, St Ives, Cornwall. Initially the rum was only available in the bar/restaurant (which has since expanded to another branch in Exeter). It is now pushing for a national release and is already available from a number of UK online retailers.
Dead Man’s Fingers can relate to a number of “things” in the natural world such as coral and seaweed. In this instance its a homage to the amount of Crab sold at the Crab Shack. Dead Man’s Fingers can refer to Crab’s gills.
As you might guess from the leading photograph they have focused upon strong branding and you can already purchase branded T-Shirts and other merchandise online. Sailor Jerry has built its success on a strong brand identity and as was evidenced at the recent UK Rumfest in London Dead Man’s Fingers also know how to get a buzz going surrounding their product. Their stand was very popular and their representatives very helpful and very fun. Their website whilst brief also keeps up the presentation and branding
The rum is noted as “small batch” this is likely more down to the overall production of the spiced rum as a whole rather than the distilled product at the base of this rum. A 70cl bottle of Dead Man’s Fingers will set you back around £25 it clocks in at 37.5% ABV. The rum comes in a standard bar bottle with a metal screw cap.
In the glass Dead Man’s Fingers is a typical Spiced/Gold Rum colour. Nice golden/reddish brown. A kind of standard “rum” colour which many producers seem to adopt.
It doesn’t cling to the glass when swirled and but you do get a good nose of spices before you even start nosing properly.
Which is a slight concern. On the nose I’m initially struck by a very familiar smell. Vanilla and I’m getting waft after waft of it. Reminiscent of old style UK Sailor Jerry, Old J Spiced, RedLeg and even Rumbullion. My initial thoughts are not that profile all over again………..sweet vanilla and caramel.
It’s not that I don’t like Vanilla nor do I have aversion to it per se. It’s just that with years of trying Spiced Rums and reviewing a good number it becomes a little predictable and safe. Personally, I see little point in producing something so similar to a number of brands already out there.
It’s not all vanilla but the other notes are equally safe and equally popular. Cinnamon, citrus peel and some very sweet caramel. If you like this kind of thing or aren’t bored of it- great. Unfortunately I’m left non-plussed up to now.
I’ll try sipping to start with. I fully expect to mix though and any half decent spiced rum should make a decent rum and coke!
Sipping offers my first real surprise. It is nowhere near as sweet as the nose implies. In actual fact the orange peel/marmalade notes really shine through. It’s reasonably complex – some nice more natural tasting notes of cinnamon, brown sugar and a little saffron spice. The vanilla has become much more muted, having all but disappeared. If you wanted an after dinner drink this wouldn’t be terrible with a chunk of ice and a squeeze of lime (or maybe orange?).
Mixing with a little cola again it works. The cola also tempers the nose down a notch or two. There’s a nice balance to this and a nice mix of spices working in the mix. I couldn’t drink a lot of this though. It is still quite big on the sicklier caramel/brown sugar notes but its nowhere near as full on as the likes of the atrocious Old J Spiced Gold.
It’s not the best spiced rum I have ever had but its far from the worst. Slightly above average and at £25 probably well worth a punt if you are a bit of Spiced rum fan. I’d arguably choose a bottle of this over Sailor Jerrys if I had to buy one of them again.