BrewDog Distilling Co. Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum

Brewdog Distilling Co. Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum Review by the fat rum pirateBrewDog Distilling Co. Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum. Those of you outside of the UK might not be familiar with BrewDog. Those from the UK will probably not be all that surprised to seeing me reviewing this “Botanical Rum”.

BrewDog was originally formed in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie in Ellon, Scotland. Whilst the company has grown into a multinational company over the years its largest operation of bars is here in the UK.

They also produce cans and bottles of their own beers, ales and ciders for sales in shops and supermarkets. They have encountered (and arguably encouraged) a fair amount of controversy over the years. Most of which you can read about online – their wikipedia page notes most of the highlights. Further information can also be found on their own website.

For the purposes of this review we will stick to discussing this “Botanical Rum”. As unsurprisingly I have a fair amount to say about it. To be fair to BrewDog they have been pretty open about what is in this rum.

So lets see what the Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum is all about. As with all good (and bad) Spiced/Flavoured/Botanical rums we have a story behind this particular brand.

Five Hundred Cuts pays tribute to “the unbreakable spirit of Aberdonian heroine Elizabeth Blackwell. In 1734 with her husband in a debtor’s prison, she used her knowledge of botanicals and herbs to write the pioneering guide to herbal medicine ‘A Curious Herbal’. Despite being crippled by debt and with a family to feed, she illustrated and engraved the 500 botanicals (known as ‘cuts’) herself, and used the success of the book to free her husband from prison.

BrewDog Distilling Co. Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum starts with a white base rum. This is actually distilled here in the UK by BrewDog on the worlds first triple-bubble still, after a five-day fermentation it is then double pot distilled to produce the white rum.

Part of the rum is then infused with Tonka Beans,Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and spices. The remainder is then Pot Distilled again with a mixture of fresh orange peel, Schezuan peppercorn, green cardamom and cloves.

So far, this is reminding me very much of Dark Matter Spiced Rum. Which like Five Hundred Cuts uses only fresh spices – no artificial essences etc. More than can be said for a lot of Spiced Rums on the market.

That said with all these botanicals we are still getting a lot of additives. Not something that concerns me with a Spiced Rum but we have around 50g/L of additives.

Such is the strength of the BrewDog name this Botanical Rum is already on Supermarket shelves. You can find it at Asda. Coming in a 70cl bottle (I’ve noticed a trend of some “Premium Spiced Rums” now coming in 50cl bottles) it retails at around £25. It is bottled at a very respectable 40% ABV. Presentation wise you get a sturdy rounded stubby style bottle with a plastic topped synthetic cork screw. The design is bold and modern. It is quite appealling on the shelf. The rear label outlines the rums production and the fairy tale behind it. All pretty standard stuff.

Now cleaBrewdog Distilling Co. Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum Review by the fat rum piraterly the use of “Botanical Rum” is a bit of a gimmick designed to try and capture some of the gin market. Or rather some of the flavoured gin market. Just like “rum” before it when Sailor Jerry and The Kraken first gained popularity we now have a new generation of gin drinkers who don’t actually like gin……….They like the flavoured stuff that tastes nothing like gin.

To be honest the sheer amount of spiced, flavoured and botanical rum currently being pumped out in the UK alone is frightening. Just look here at a recent screen shot of a new rum search on Master of Malt. Worrying just read some of the bullshit coming out of the some of those companies.

Zymurgorium Cane Toad Ruby Chocolate Rum really? You would think I was making that up.

Anyway lets move on before I give myself an aneurysm….

In the glass BrewDog Distilling Co. Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum, is a dark brown liquid with an orange hue around the edges.

Nosed it isn’t overly sweet and doesn’t smell of fake vanilla. The sweetness imparted by the Tonka Beans (similar profile to vanilla) isn’t overpowering. I’m getting a lot of ginger, orange peel and spicy szchezuan. Very much like Dark Matter this is going to be a real marmite kind of experience.

Sipped neat is is surprisingly tasty with a nice kick of licorice as well. It’s very cough medicine like. I like the ginger and the spicier notes being delivered particularly on the mid palate and the finish.

Pretty much all the “botanicals” noted in the rum can be tasted and the orange peel really tempers the sweetness of the clove and the tonka beans. Making it much more balanced.Brewdog Distilling Co. Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

It’s not at all bad, though I must say it does taste like it would benefit from just a bit of sugar to maybe brighten some of the spices up a little. Some seem a little washed out. Almost as if there is too much going on at times.

As a mixer it makes a pretty heavy Rum and Coke and one which can be a little difficult – theres too much going on. With lemonade or tonic it fairs a bit better. In some ways the lemonade adds a touch of sweetness. Ginger Beer/Ale is a no-no it just ends up far too spicy. Again like Dark Matter this perhaps shines best in a Bloody Mary. That is a very tasty mix.

All in all this is a very different spiced….sorry “Botanical Rum”. I’m not totally sure who it might appeal too – I can’t see those who love Old J enjoying this. It has also not tried to charge a Premium price. Spiced Rum is now creeping up in price into the £40 price bracket on a more regular basis.

This is different for sure. It’s grown on me but I doubt I would buy another bottle. That said I don’t buy much Botanical Rum………





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One comment on “BrewDog Distilling Co. Five Hundred Cuts Botanical Rum

  1. Is this supposed to have lots of sediment settled in the bottom of the bottle?

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