Bumbu XO Rum

Bumbu XO Rum Review by the fat rum pirateBumbu XO Rum. Probably the most criticised “rum” over the past couple of years amongst more “serious” rum enthusiasts, has been Bumbu The Original.

However, amongst less serious rum imbibers, Bumbu The Original is hugely popular. Any drink which is stocked by supermarkets, for any length of time will be selling a fair few units. Bumbu The Original, I dare say is selling more than most.

So it is no surprise that the company behind Bumbu The Original (which has been around since 1893, according to their marketing) have moved quickly to produce a more “Premium” XO version of Bumbu. Surely that is only right for a rum which markets itself as the G.O.A.T (Greatest of all Time) on Twitter. F.F.S.

Bumbu XO Rum, is an eighteen year old rum from Panama. Or it is a blend aged up to eighteen years. Depending on which line of bollocks you read. In all fairness it is a completely different product to Bumbu The Original.  It is widely available in the UK, Europe and the USA. I have every confidence that it will be selling very well in time for Christmas, as relatives and friends buy something a bit more Premium for the average Bumbu drinker. Personally I would suggest Cyanide or maybe Arsenic.

Retailing at around £40 Bumbu XO Rum, is certainly very competitively priced for an eighteen year old rum (or blend aged upto eighteen years). There is no mention of a Solera System, so we must take it at face value that they can produce and widely market an “eighteen year old rum” at £40. Much like the likes of Kirk and Sweeney the age, the price point and sheer volume of product available, doesn’t really add up.

As mentioned Bumbu XO Rum hails from Panama and was distilled at the Don Jose Distillery. It was distilled on Column Stills and aged in ex-bourbon casks for the majority of its eighteen years. It is then finished in Spanish White Oak Sherry Casks. There is little additional information available. They have their own very fancy website here.

Presentation wise Bumbu Rum Co. know exactly what they are doing with this. A more Premium update on their standard bottling. The only difference is the colour of the bottle and the metal X on the front of the bottle. Everything else – bottle shape, cork stopper is as can be found on Bumbu The Original.Bumbu XO Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

Unlike Bumbu The Original Bumbu XO Rum is actually legally a “rum” in the UK and the EU. It is bottled at over 37%. It comes in at 40% ABV. When ran through the Hydrometer it bobs at 35% ABV which suggests around 19 g/L of additives. Much less than The Original which had around 40g/L of additives.

So lets give this a whirl and see exactly what we are getting for our £40.

In the glass we are presented with a pretty dark brown spirit with a nice reddish/orange hue. On the initial nose you get a lot of Orange Peel – marmalade like and some spices that are a bit like Christmas Pudding (very apt at this time of year).

Notes of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg also come into play. There is little by way of oak or wood that you might expect from an eighteen year old spirit. It has little burn to no burn. Whilst it doesn’t smell synthetic or unpleasant it doesn’t really smell all that much like rum.

Running alongside the orange and marmalade notes is a layer of sugary sweetness. This isn’t hugely cloying or again unpleasant, but it’s not all that “rum” like though.

Sipped, it is a fair bit drier and not as sweet as I was expecting. I tried this a while back at a Rum Festival, so I already knew ahead of this review that it didn’t have a similar flavour profile to the banana heavy mess that is Bumbu The Original.

There is a touch of oak and a little bit of spice. Traces of ginger and little cinnamon. It does unfortunately have a layer of faux sweetness. This is slightly synthetic and it tends to dull and flatten out the spicier notes fairly quickly. Flavour wise it is quick to disappear.

The more you sip the more you notice a saccharin like note. This pretty much kills any kind of flavour that you might have experience within the first sip or two.

On the mid palate you do get a touch of coffee and again some Christmas Pudding like spices and a fairly big hit of orange zest.

Finish wise – there pretty much isn’t one. There is a slight note of marmalade and a little light cinnamon but little else. It’s very very short finish wise.

Bumbu XO Rum Review by the fat rum pirateIIn all honesty it’s a step up from Bumbu The Original. I dare say a lot of people who get this for Christmas, will probably wish they had got the regular version. Despite the fact that this is “better”. Still to a fairly experience spirits drinker, it’s completely insipid. That said it will still be too much for many Bumbu drinkers. Some may get more curious and might levitate towards better rum (or just rum full stop) in the future but that is up for debate.

Some people will refer to this as a kind of entry level spirit. The additives help smooth it out and make it more palatable.

Bumbu The Original’s base spirit is made at WIRD (West Indies Rum Distillery). WIRD is now part owned by Cognac Ferrand. Who in turn own Plantation Rum. This is similar to something Plantation might put out. I do think they would have made a better job of it though.

From my perspective this is just so boring.






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2 comments on “Bumbu XO Rum

  1. When I got to work this morning and saw your email with Bumbu XO rum in the subject line I started snickering a little. Having followed you for some time now I’ve started to form the opinion that you’re not a fan of Spanish rons or anything with even a microgram of sugar added to it so I was expecting a review full of words like ‘shite’, ‘crap’, ‘rubbish’ etc. I’m a little disappointed, the expected savaging never eventuated although the GOAT comment elicited more snickering. In all seriousness I love these reviews. Are you planning any best of/worst of lists for 2019 ?

    • I’ve got a fair amount of crap to review…..

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