Elements Eight Rum Company was founded back in 2006. We recently conducted an interview with Carl Stephenson the owner of Elements Eight. As a result of this we have been able to gain a lot of insight and information on Elements Eights rums.
Early in my own “Rum Journey” my wife bought me a bottle of Elements Eight Gold Rum. I actually reviewed it a couple of years ago for the site. As part of a re-branding Elements Eight have opted to rename their Gold Rum to something more distinctive and meaningful. So it has been re-named Vendome. I’m re-reviewing this as I’m curious to see if my opinion has changed much. I’m assured by Carl that the rum is the same now as it was then. I do know that my taste had changed slightly and my awareness has improved vastly since those days!
Vendome is the name of a Copper and Brass Works in Louisville Kentucky. I’m sure from this introduction many will guess then what Vendome may relate to.
Vendome is a Pot Still which is more often used in the production of Bourbon and American Whiskey. St Lucia Distillers have a Vendome Pot Still. This Vendome Pot Still is used to produce Elements Eight Vendome.
Elements Eight Vendome is a blend of eight rums from St Lucia Distillers. The rums are small batch and chill fermented using three unique yeast strains. Like all the rums in the Elements Eight range it is three times distilled in Pot Still, Column Still and finally the Kentucky Vendome Pot Still. The rums in this particular blend are aged up to six years. The Vendome is aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels.
Elements Eight are very proud of the rums they produce and on the rear label state that this is “unadulterated, pure” rum. The Hydrometer confirms such claims and the taste test gives me no reason at all for any suspicions.
A bottle of Elements Eight Vendome rum will set you back around £30 in the UK. Bottled at 40% they now come in very attractive stubby 70cl bottles. To be fair Elements Eights presentation was never a problem. Storing the huge bottles was though…….
In the bottle the rum is a dark brown/gold but when poured in the glass it is a very nice golden to straw colour.
Nosing the rum is a familiar experience. Like Bajan and Jamaican rums – the rums from St Lucia Distillers have a very distinctive nose. Instantly recognisable once you have become acquainted with them. In many ways St Lucian rums offers many facets of both those styles.
With the Elements Eight Vendome, you get a very clean balanced nose. Vanilla is prominent along with light caramel and a little toffee. You then get that St Lucian “twang”. The rum is very much influenced by the Vendome still and the bourbon barrel ageing. You get an almost salty herbal hit of Pot Still rum. It is this element which gives the rum its extra depth and complexity. Despite this hit of Pot Still action the rum is still quite light in its overall profile. It’s not an overpowering nose.
Moving onto sipping. The rum is initially quite herbal – pine and some nice notes of oak and that sour/mash bourbon feel. This isa pretty dry rum. I mentioned earlier that it is unadulterated. It is clear that a lot of the rums character comes from the ageing and interaction with the oak – not additives!
Luckily this works really well and the rum is very smooth despite being relatively young. Further sips reveal more flavour, more sweetness coming through a little dark chocolate. Nice spicy notes of Ginger which make the rum very refreshing and clean tasting.
I’m a big fan of complex, clean tasting St Lucia rums. This is fresh and vibrant. The balance is nigh on perfect. You might think that the distinctive Pot Still notes might overpower but the blending is spot on.
It’s clear from really sitting down with this rum just how much more I appreciate these styles of rums than when I first tried this around 4 years ago.
In mixed drinks a rum of this quality works really nicely. A Rum and Cola is a very smooth but very tasty experience. Very little of the flavour when sipped is lost in the mix. It’s depth of flavour will ensure it shines in most cocktails.
Another great St Lucia rum!