XM Royal 10 Years Finest Caribbean Rum

XM Royal Rum Caribbean Guyana Demerara ReviewXM are the signature rums for Guyanese master blenders Banks DIH (Demerara Ice House).  Despite hailing from Guyana the rum’s are not Demerara rums.  With only one distillery in Guyana (Demerara Distillers Limited) it is easy to think that Banks DIH obtain their rum’s ready for blending from there.  However, research has found that they no longer obtain any rums from DDL and consequently the rum cannot be classed as Demerara rum.

This is something which I hadn’t noticed until it was pointed out to me  At no point do they proclaim their rum is Demerara.  However, it is wrongly labelled Demerara on numerous websites.  This as my review will attest is not solely due to geography.

The presentation of the XM Royal is a little cheap, whilst the rum comes with a sturdy protective cardboard sleeve it is let down by the slightly dated label (particularly the XM Royal 10 on the neck) and the metallic screw cap.  At £30 it is not unreasonable to expect a synthetic or corked enclosure.

 

I originally bought both this and the 7 Year Old in the belief I was getting a Demerara rum similar to the El Dorado range.  As mentioned earlier the geography suggests this is not the case.  However, the appearance of the rum in the glass does nothing to suggest this isn’t a Demerara rum.  Upon nosing the rum it gives that familiar El Dorado almost flowery burst of rich caramel and dried tropical fruits.

I have found a lot of satisfaction in rums from the likes of Barbados and St Lucia that are aged between 8 and 12 years and this is no exception.  The appearance of the rum is slightly lighter than the aged El Dorado rum’s I have tried (12 and 15 year old).  The XM Royal does not smell quite as sweet as the 12 year old and is slightly oaky a little like the 15 year old.  I would say that the Banks XM rum’s would definitely be enjoyed by an El Dorado aficionado.  As a lot of the rum’s are slightly different age variations to the El Dorado’s (7 and 10 years for example) they could compliment an El Dorado collection.  I have certainly not tasted anything as close to an El Dorado Demerara as the XM rum’s.  the XM’s are slightly thinner than the El Dorado’s in terms of consistency and the overall smell isn’t quite the same but not far off.

Anyway, that is quite enough talk of El Dorado rum’s.  We know how good they are but how good is the XM Royal?  Well as with the 7 year old I have found that this bottle has went down very quickly.  At £29.95 it was only slightly more expensive than the 7 year old XM XVO.  It isn’t quite as sweet and has a little more oakiness in the profile.  It leaves quite a dry aftertaste when sipped.

The rum tastes of caramel and raisins and dried fruits, with a little spice and smokiness on the afterburn.  It is pleasantly smooth and has a lot of complexity which makes it a very rewarding sipping rum. It is a rum for someone with a bit of a sweet tooth (not as much as the VXO though in my opinion).  I really enjoy these XM rum’s and can even forgive the fact it isn’t Demerara and that the packaging isn’t quite as good as it could be.

As anyone who has read my reviews, I do love a cuba libre.  Call me what you like but I do enjoy a rum which can stand up to a bit of diet cola.  The XM Royal just like the XM VXO is excellent when mixed with a little cola. In this instance, whilst the VXO’s sweetness seems to magnify when mixed the Royal seems to become more oaky with a little bit of smokiness in the profile.

I doubt anyone who enjoys El Dorado’s offerings would be disappointed with XM’s rum, it does have a lot of similarities.  I’d be interested to try the two brand’s 15 year old’s in a blind tasting session.  That could be very interesting.  The one thing that puzzles me is how they get it like this when it isn’t from Guyana?  You know what I think I might have to ask them!

4 stars

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