Banks 5 Island Blend Rum

Banks 5 Island Blend Rum review by the fat rum pirateBanks 5 Island Blend Rum hails from the hotbed of rum producers – Singapore.  It is bottled by the Joseph Banks Rums Corporation PTE, Ltd.  I’m not sure who Joseph Banks is but I bet there is a story behind him somewhere…….

Strangely the website does not have a story relating to some swashbuckling pirate or buccaneer from centuries ago.  It merely states that the rum is produced as a labour of love by the Joseph Banks Rum Company.  Further reading reveals that Joseph Banks was an 18th century explorer and botanist.

The website is well worth a look and is nicely presented and modern, much like the brand it supports.

Banks 5 Island Blend is not just a mix of 5 rums from 5 islands.  No it is actually a mixture of 21 yes 21 rums!  The mix is as follows and features rums from 6 different distilleries

Trinidad: Hints of Black Strap Molasses

Jamaica: Pot stilled rum

Guyana: Earthy and tropical fruit notes

Barbados: Character filled golden rums

Java: Batavia Arrack for a touch of spice

So all in all quite a mixture by anyones standards.  The rum is noted as being dry on the bottle which seems to be something of a trend amongst white mixing rums such as this and Brugal.

The rum is bottled at 43% ABV and comes in a very thin long bar style bottle with purple and blue presentation.  The rum looks quite stylish overall but once you get the bottle in your hand the presentation isn’t 100% the sticker on the rear of the bottle with health warnings and the address printed in black looks a little cheap.  Considering the rum costs between £35-40 it is perhaps fair to expect a little better.  The rum also comes with a screw top cap rather than a cork.  This just re-inforces it is a mixing rum rather than a sipper.  For many the price alone will put be off putting.

The rum when nosed is very, very pungent.  Not just elements of the Jamaican pot still rum which is to be expected but also intense sweetness and also a kind of almost sour smell.  It is pretty jarring and to be honest not all inviting.  The nosing does improve slightly but initially your nostrils definitely take a double take.  It isn’t a pleasant nose but does suggest the rum will be interesting at least.

Banks 5 Island Blend Rum Review by the fat rum pirateWith so many marques of rum in this blend I haven’t even attempted to guess at the overall age of the rums involved at the nosing stage.  With so much going on I doubt there will be a great deal of benefit to it.  If younger Jamaican rum is involved it is likely it will dominate the profile.

When sipped the rum is quite sharp.  It’s not rough as such but as the rum is pretty much clear it is likely not a lot of the rum in the blend is aged beyond 3 years. A lot of it is probably a lot younger.  Overall this rum is likely to be around the 2 year mark at best.  It isn’t quite as flavourful as the nose suggested.  I’m quite disappointed that some of the pot stilled Jamaican rum and the Trinidad Blackstrap molasses aren’t shining in the mix.  The rum does just strike me as a young white mixing rum.

The website does suggest mixing the rum so we’ll give it a go in one of my signature drinks.  Yes that’s right.  Its a rum and cola.

Mixed you get back some of the “flavour” that you expected in the nose.  Unfortunately it is a slightly sickly almost Cachaca like flavour mixed with a little Jamaican pot stilled rum.  Some of the marques within the blend are pretty much non-existent.

All in all this all just seems a little over-cooked and the end result is a bit of a sickly sweet mess.  It’s definitely not great.  It might give certain cocktails a little extra depth etc but bartenders and mixologists aside I can’t really see how a sipper or a rum and cola kind of person is going to get much out of paying £40 for a bottle of this as opposed to a cheaper white mixing rum?

At the price especially, this is not something I will be buying again.

1.5 stars





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2 comments on “Banks 5 Island Blend Rum

  1. While I can agree the price is somewhat high for a white rum it is not a rum that should be rated this low. You are most likely getting the Arrack notes that are turning you off this rum. The Arrack in this is very pungent and clearly noted by myself. This is a dry and powerful and complex rum that I enjoy sipping straight. It is very smooth overall. This is better mixed in a punch that calls for Arrack or even just grapefruit juice. I was able to get this rum in mass on close out at 9.99 though. The Arrack is more of an acquired taste and is cachaca-like note you have picked out. At the price you paid though I may agree for sipping or cola mixing not worth it.

    • The rum isn’t scored low because of the price. It is because it is poorly blended and not very well put together. From your comment I’m not sure whether you note this as a sipper or not. You say one thing then change your mind. This isn’t a particularly good example of a white rum.

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