Ratu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years

Ratu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateRatu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years. It is perhaps a reflection of just how competitive (and cut throat) the Drinks Industry is, that a rum produced in conjunction with Coca-Cola has made next to no real impact upon the Rum World.

Ratu Dark Rum is produced by the Rum Co. of Fiji who distil all their products at the South Pacific Rum Distillery in Lautoka, Fiji. The distillery is best known to most Rum Geeks as the South Pacific Distillery. It is the only rum distillery on Fiji. It has been active since 1980. As well as the Ratu and Bati branded rums they also produce Bounty Rum. Which should not be confused with the Mars confectionery bar, or the rum range from Saint Lucia Distillers. I reviewed the Fiji Overproof Bounty rum a while back.

Ratu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years first came to my attention at London Rumfest a couple of years back. To be honest I was far from blown away. That said I was keen to learn more about Fijian rum so I waited it’s distribution in the UK. I can’t say I went out of my way to find this brand in terms of searching but I can only really recalling Beers of Europe stocking this brand. They have had this particular rum on sale for around 3 years. It is shown as being the old packaging as well. It is priced at £49.99, I found this a bit steep for a 5 year old rum. Especially one I had little recollection of.

Rum Co. of Fiji have a website but its not exactly full of information on the make up of this rum. It’s all pretty basic and for me, aimed at the more casual consumer. From what I can gather Ratu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years is distilled from local sugar cane molasses. Likely a blend of Pot and Column distilled rum. It is then aged for 5 years in rred oak ex-bourbon barrels. Ratu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years is then carbon filtered through coconut shell, before bottling, it is then reduced to 40% ABV, using local natural spring water.

Going back to the Coca Cola link. Both Ratu and Bati rums are marketed by Coca Cola Amatil, who are the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific branch of Coca Cola. They are the biggest seller of bottled soft drinks in the region. They also distribute alcohol. Ratu and Bati are noted as being their brands on their website.

Ratu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateAlthough Ratu rum has only been available since 2016 it has already appeared to have a change in appearance. From what I can gather the picture to the left is the old presentation.

The term Ratu means Chief, whilst the term Bati means Warrior. This caused a bit of stir and an online petition was set up calling Ratu Rum disrespectful by a native of Fiji, Shiri Ram.

So thats as much information as I could find on this product so lets get on with the fun part.

In the glass Ratu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years is a dark to golden brown appearance. Rather than the “black” colour Dark Rums are often given courtesy of some Caramel Colouring. Ratu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years is a similar age to the recently released Plantation Isle of Fiji. Unlike the Plantation effort this is undosed, according to the hydrometer.

The nose is not as harsh as someone Fijian rums in fact it does have something a little artificial about it. It is quite pungent when it is first poured into the glass. Quite heavy on the molasses and caramel. It has a slightly vegetal note to it as well. A little bit of astringency, some burnt tyres and a bit menthol.

It’s quite an unusual nose. It’s not entirely typical of what I have exeperienced so far with Fijian rum. That said the rums can run quite a wide spectrum so this being unusual is perhaps not a surprise!

Sipped it’s smooth and more easy going than the nose suggested. It does have a fair bit of flavour – particularly molasses and some almost funky notes of pineapple, banana and some more vegetal elements. It does however seem to fade out quite quickly. Again like the nose I get the feeling it’s been smoothed out somehow. Maybe there are some additives in it. It feels much like the Plantation Isle of Fiji that it has had it’s wings clipped a little.

Ratu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateThe mid palate doesn’t really evolve. It’s smooth and quite tasty to begin with. It’s easy sipping and quite easy going. It just seems to disappear quickly and it does taste a bit watery. Finish wise it’s just a very gentle burn but there is no real mid palate that progresses you to the finish. You get a burst of flavour which quickly dies down followed by a very muted and again too smooth and gentle finish.

As a mixer it fares a little better as the flavour goes well with cola or ginger beer. However at £50 it’s a bit pricy for that. If distribution over here was a bit better than I would expect this to sell for around £35-40 mark.

Maybe the Isle of Fiji from Plantation will expose more people to Fijian rum. Much like that bottling this shows some promise but again it seems a bit muted. I quite like this rum there just needs to be more to it because the nose and initial flavour are very enjoyable.

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments on “Ratu Dark Rum Aged 5 Years

  1. I am surprised you didn’t find any additives; the sweetness of this rum doesn’t feel at all natural to me.

  2. The European pricing is crazy. It sells in Australia for $A60 – about 32 British pounds.

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