Red Leg Spiced Rum

Red Leg Spiced Rum reivew by the fat rum pirateIn 2012 following the loss of the rights for Cockspur Rum back in 2010, Blavod Wines and Spirits introduced a new spiced rum to the market – Red Leg Spiced Rum.  Please note at this stage the official way to title this rum is to keep the Red and the Leg together (But with the L still capitalised) – RedLeg.  However for purposes of people searching the web for this I figured it best to keep it separate on the title etc.

In the UK the rum is bottled for the RedLeg Rum Company Ltd and is part of the Hi Spirits Group.  Who as you can see from the link have quite a few unit shifters and recognisable brands in their portfolio.

RedLeg has been available online and in more specialist retailers for some time but recently it  began to be stocked in Sainsbury’s Supermarkets  To be fair to Sainsbury’s they have arguably the most impressive selection of rums of all the major Supermarkets.  Even if they are mainly mixers.

As part of this release RedLeg was available briefly for £17 a bottle.  Always on the look out for new rum to review I quickly picked up a bottle.  The rum usually retails at £19 in Sainsburys.

The presentation of the RedLeg and creates a very strong brand identity.  The website is also attractive and user friendly.  The Red Leg is actually a small algae loving crab which is commonly found in the Caribbean and is prominent on the front of the bottle in its shell.  I like the hand drawn effect on the bottle and the slightly messy appearance.  The stubby bottle also gets the thumbs up from me and for a rum under £20 and a Spiced one at that you will also be surprised to find a synthetic cork enclosure.

Whilst the website is fun it didn’t give me all the information I know some of you will want.  So I fired off an email to Tom Hodgkiss at Hi Spirits and he very kindly sent me some Press Release and promotional material.  More importantly he also answered the two questions I had posed

1.  What are the base rums in the blend and how old are they?

 It’s a 3 year old blend that we get from the Caribbean, most of it comes from the Appleton Estate (Jamaica) but it’s a blend of a few different islands. 

 2.  How is the rum spiced/infused?

In terms of the infusion we use natural vanilla and ginger, no essence chemicals or anything like that.

I couldn’t get all the information on the blend as they like to keep it a secret as they think it makes a pretty good base and don’t want copycats.

Red Leg Spiced Rum Review by the fat rum pirateRight so that’s all the information done lets get on with the show and start reviewing this Spiced Rum.

When poured in the glass RedLeg is actually quite a darkish brown colour.  The nose is nice.  It’s not cloying and you can definitely pick out the Vanilla and Ginger with little difficulty.  The Vanilla is slightly more dominant and the sweetness of the vanilla definitely stands out.  This is pretty sweet smelling stuff.

Sipping is quite a surprise.  You can actually quite comfortable sip RedLeg.  The Vanilla and sugar added to the rum definitely smooth out the rough edges of the 3 year old blend.  A 3 year old Appleton would certainly be a less pleasant sipping experience without these additions.  It isn’t as sweet as I had expected and the rum still displays a lot of its rummy character.  Appleton Estate rums are quite refined by Jamaican standards and this certainly shows that.  As a sipper its smooth and easy going enough to slide down nicely but surprisingly rummy enough to satisfy a seasoned rum drinker.  It’s not quite as spicy as I had hoped – the Ginger is quite subtle in the mix.

I’m actually quite shocked at how much I have actually enjoyed sipping a Spiced Rum.  Not because I haven’t had some very good Spiced Rum in the past but because this one is infused with Vanilla.  I have nothing against Vanilla flavour but it does seem to have been used in the extreme in several of my worst Spiced Rum experiences.

Some have noted that RedLeg tastes like the old UK recipe Sailor Jerry.  To be honest it actually reminds me very much of the current Sailor Jerry.  It’s certainly a million miles from Old J which is supposed to re-create the old formula Sailor Jerry.

As part of the promotional material Tom sent me were a few cocktails.  Being a lazy bastard I’m pleased to see that a simple Cuba Libre has been re-named to a RedLeg Libre.  Easy Peasy to make so lets give it a whirl.

Red Leg Spiced Rum Review by the fat rum pirateIt’s good it makes a pretty nice, if a tiny bit too sweet mixed drink.  The Vanilla is dominant but it never becomes too much or cloying.  It’s sweet but not sickly sweet.  The Ginger comes alive a little bit more and along with some of the other spices it does offer a little kick to the drink.  Personally I would have enjoyed the RedLeg with a little more fiery Ginger in the blend and a little less of the Vanilla. That is just preference though.  In terms of sales I’m confident most people whom these Spiced Rums are aimed at would disagree!  This is pretty well balanced.

At the pricepoint of £20 I can only think of Foursquare, Pusser’s Spiced and Sailor Jerry as alternatives.  In terms of availability I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to get the others over this.  This has got a solid rum base and has been authentically spiced or infused.  It even works surprisingly well as a sipper or over ice!

I doubt this will be my last bottle this is very easy drinking.

3 stars

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