Tomahawk Maple Cream is a rum cream. Many cheaper “Irish Cream” type drinks are mixtures of cream, sugar neutral spirits or even wine in some instances.
Tomahawk Maple Cream hails from Quebec, Canada and is a blend of cream, sugar, spices, the very best (of course) Maple Syrup and rum.
Legend has it that ancient Native American warriors would participate in games of skill before battle. One of these games consisted of throwing Tomahawks with precision and might against surrounding trees. The winner would relinquish his Tomahawk within the tree as a sign of respect. Maple sap was later discovered dripping from the Tomahawk blade. That moment began the great tradition of Maple Syrup and helped shape Canada’s identity as a nation.
Which is a nice little marketing story and explains the identity of this particular drink which is just starting to make some waves in the UK. It is available at both The Whisky Exchange and Gerry’s. Priced at around £20 it comes in a sleek black slightly wide bottomed almost champagne like bottle. The presentation is uncluttered and unfussy. It is bottled at 15% ABV putting it very much in liqueur territory. For those who enjoy Maple Syrup there is also a more potent 32% Maple Whisky available from the same brand.
I personally don’t have a lot of experience of Canada’s breakfast favourite, Maple Syrup – the idea of eating (or is it drinking?) such sickly sweet fayre at such an early hour makes me feel slightly queasy! I went into this review with memories from a time I cannot quite recollect which meant my brain was telling me I don’t like Maple Syrup.
So I approached this particular offering with trepidation.
Which in all fairness and as this review will show – was unfair. I have reviewed a couple of rum creams lately. I feel that they are “different” enough to give a little variety to my “straight” rum reviews but still maintain the whole “rum” ethos. I certainly won’t be venturing into other spirits as some have. I could do an occasional whiskey or even vodka but I see little point.
In theory making a basic rum cream should be very fairly easy – rum, cream, sugar and some spices. I’ve enjoyed a glass or twenty two of Bailey’s over the years but in all honesty I have took just as much pleasure from much cheaper “Irish Creams”. Sweet, sickly and viscous they all hit the spot when that’s what you fancy. However, with rum creams and liqueurs I have found greater disparity. Efforts such as Rum Chata have been given a very big thumbs down. Cinnamon – no thanks.
So here goes – first up is the appearance. Light greyish, brown typical of a rum or Irish cream. Viscous a quick swirl saw it really stick to the glass and run back down very slowly. All pretty much in order and what I was expecting.
The nose on Tomahwak also didn’t offer any great surprises – I expected it to be sicklier like Maple Syrup, it was sweet but not quite as sweet as I had envisaged. It reminds me very much of the Worthy Park Rum Cream. Despite all the sweet sugary notes and nice balanced spices you can still taste a nice, almost Demerara rum note. Big brown sugar notes and some nice sweet spices.
Unsurprisingly at 15% it is very easy to drink and slips down far too easily. It’s very sweet, viscous and it is what it is. If its a fine rum you are after – this is not for you. If like me you enjoy an occasional sweet treat with a bit of rummy hit – this is the drink for you. The Maple Syrup element seems to give the rum cream a lot of its sweetness but it works with the rum rather than overpowering, it with sickly, cloying sugary notes. It adds a nice depth of flavour giving you lots of Demerara sugar, a little honey, nice vanilla and caramel notes.
I haven’t had a lot of rum cream but this is up there with those sampled so far. It turns out that at the base of this rum cream is a 3 year old white rum. The Maple Syrup used is also decent quality – Grade A ranking (the highest available). As a result it is much better than I was expecting. If you are concerned about the Maple Syrup – don’t be it really doesn’t make the drink too sickly sweet at all.
A tasty sweet treat and a nice change of pace.