Elements Eight – for so long the brand was identifiable by its very tall, sleek bottles and distinctive framed logo.
Moving with the times Elements Eight CEO Carl Stephenson decided to celebrate their 10th Anniversary with a re-boot. Hence the re-designed “dumpy” bottles. The logo remains but these newly designed bottles are much easier to store.
I like the re-design and each bottle in the range comes with a very nice chunky cork stopper. Branding is consistent across the range.
Elements Eight Spiced Rum was originally introduced to the market in 2010. Hailed as the first “Super Premium” Spiced Rum. It certainly garnered a lot of attention and praise in the media. I had been meaning to publish a review much earlier but I was tipped off about a re-design so I held firm. In the end this meant getting another bottle.
A bottle will set you back around £30. Refreshingly for a Spiced Rum is comes in at a very welcome 40% ABV. Making it qualify as a Spiced Rum, rather than a Spiced Spirit Drink. Which is how Morgan’s Spiced Gold and Bacardi Oakheart must be labelled as they are only 35% ABV. In the UK a rum must be 37.5% ABV minimum.
The website is currently under maintenance no doubt due to the re-branding. The following information is readily available on the newly designed bottle
“10 spices married with fine aged rum: Clove, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Ginger, Nutmeg, Star Anise, Coconut, Orange, Lemon and Honey”
Something which isn’t noted on the bottle but is another key feature of this rum is that is an aged blend of rums. The rum in this blend is up to 3 years old. The brand are also very clear when you speak to them that there are no artificial essences used in the production of this Spiced Rum.
In the glass you may get your first surprise. This Spiced Rum has not been given the typical “golden brown” makeover so many Sailor Jerry copycats get. It’s more of a straw/yellow colour than shimmering bronze. It hasn’t went down the “Black Spiced” route either.
The nose immediately lets you know that this is a Spiced Rum. Honey is the most noticeable forthcoming “spice” in the mix. The rum is sweet smelling – honey and brown sugar. Beneath this sweetness is a tangy zesty and spicy marmalade – predominantly orange but with just a touch of bitter lemon. The spices such as Star Anise and clove give an almost festive note to the nose. Like with Bristol’s Spiced Rum I am thinking of Mince Pies and Christmas Pudding.
However, unlike Bristol’s Spiced Rum there is a more summery note to the rum as well – a touch of coconut, ginger and vanilla make this slightly lighter in profile than Bristol’s effort.
It is rare that so much is at play with a Spiced Rum. Many cheap spiced rums rely heavily on vanilla essence and not much else for their nose and flavour.
Combining aged rum with natural spicing has certainly produced a very complex and inviting nose.
Now very few Spiced Rums make for good sippers. Many just aren’t palatable neat. Elements Eight Exotic Spices is wonderful either on its own or even with an ice cube.
Despite having a honeyed smoothness the rum is nowhere near as sweet and cloying as many spiced rum. The vanilla and cinnamon – two notes which often ruin spiced rums are evident but not overpowering. All the spiced noted on the bottle can be tasted and carry through from the nose. It has a great sweet entry followed by some spice and lemon zest and it has a wonderful long finish which allows you to savour the slightly bitter Star Anise and take in the ginger and coconut before reaching for another sip.
To be honest I don’t mix this a great deal. That’s not to say it doesn’t mix well – it does and it stands up in most drinks (except maybe Ginger Beer). Thing is it such good quality that it is very enjoyable on its own. It’s quite versatile as well – no ice in the winter and a chunk of ice in the summer. Two drinks in one…..
A Spiced Rum and Cola is also a really great drink but I find I mix it roughly 50/50.
A grown up Spiced Rum which will be appreciated by even by Rum Snobs…….