Gold of Mauritius quite a grandiose title and one which certainly sets this rum up as one that really needs to impress! Mauritian rum has come to our attention before we have reviewed two Penny Blue expressions from the Medine Distillery.
Gold of Mauritus offers a slightly different take on rum – but lets not say too much at this point.
Gold of Mauritius is brought to the UK by the Trilogy Beverage Brand. Who also also import brands such as Schin (Brazilian lager) and O’Hara’s (Irish Ale). As well as importing Gold of Mauritius they also bring the newly released Mauritian Club Rum to our shores.
Gold of Mauritius is blended and bottled by a Frederic Bestel. Frederic buys in specific (but not named sadly) rums from various small distilleries on Mauritius such as La Bourdinaise (Bristol Classic Rum have bottled a couple of their rums). These rums are unaged, Frederic then conditions the rums in (wait for it) South African Port Casks. From what I gather the ageing process is around 12 to 15 months – so this is not a particularly long aged rum. Caramel colouring is added to give consistency to each batch and it is felt by Frederic that the rum gets 80% of its profile from the Port Cask ageing. It is noted here that Port Residue is still present in the casks.
Gold of Mauritius has picked up a couple of awards a Silver at the World Spirits Awards and a Top Rum at an Indian Ocean Rum Competition.
A bottle of Gold of Mauritius will set you back around £40-45 for a 70cl bottle with an ABV of 40%. The rum is presented simply but elegantly. I like the medium sized bottle and the presentation is classy, with a nice big cork stopper.
In the glass Gold of Mauritius is more a dark brown than gold. In the nose I’m hit by a young very sweet smelling spirit, alcohol fumes are present but not overpowering. The rum smells sweet and the Port Cask “finish” is very apparent. It also has a note which reminds me a little of English Harbour rums – a quite strong charred oak. I’m also detecting sweet Cashew nuts.
It’s really quite a nice nose all in all but not really anything (other than maybe the charred oak) that I would associate with rum. In that aspect it remind me of Mount Gay’s Black Barrel rum – it has a slightly sweet/sour kind of bourbon hint to the nose.
A tasting really does bring home the influence of the barrels used in the rums production. The taste is predominantly a very deep char which gives a sweet and sour type mouthfeel – again very similar to a Bourbon Whiskey. There is a sweetness running through it as well from the Port which gives it a slightly acidic red wine like note. There are flashes in the mouth of dark chocolate and again like the nose some nuttiness. As a sipper it is okay – it slightly rough and ready but it’s perhaps a little on the young side to really be seriously classed as a sipper.
As a mixed drink it fairs slightly better – mixed with Cola it reminds me very much of Papa’s Pilar 24 Dark rum. It has a lot of similarities to that rum in that it doesn’t really taste like rum at all! I’m told it makes a great Rum Old Fashion.
So where does this leave this rum. Well being honest as a rum it ticks no boxes whatsoever. It tastes pretty much like what it really is – a young unaged rum which has been basically masked with either wood chips or heavily charred barrels and port. A flavoured rum if you like. The sour mash Bourbon like notes I do actually quite enjoy and as a drink it isn’t bad as such. But its not rum and not £40-45 worth of Premium Sipping rum. Not by a long shot.
If I was offered this in a blind tasting I wouldn’t even guess it was rum. It’s interesting and unique (sort of) but its so far removed from rum that I can’t really score it very highly on the basis of a rum review and if I want Bourbon I can get Jim Beam for £15. It reminds me a little of the slightly synthetic doctored feel of Lost Spirits Navy Rum.
If you haven’t got aged rum don’t try and create it by nefarious methods its really quite insulting to rum drinkers. The fact that is made using rums from smaller distilleries such as La Bourdinise should gain it kudos but when its been “masked” in such a way any goodwill quickly went!