Doorly’s Fine Old Barbados Rum Aged 5 Years

Doorly's Fine Old Barbados Rum 5 Years Aged review by the fat rum pirateToday I am reviewing an offering from the wonderful Foursquare Distillery, Barbados.  The island often cites itself as the birthplace of rum.  The oldest “official” (ie legal) rum distillery in the world is the Mount Gay Distillery, so its a fair enough claim to make.  They also have plenty of other facts to back up their claims if you look into rums rich history.

Doorly’s 5 (for short) is the least aged of the rums I have reviewed from Foursquare.  If we discount the Spiced which isn’t a regular rum.  After the 3 year old white, this is the companies entry level rum.

In the UK Doorly’s 5 is slightly more difficult to find than the XO but is usually priced around the £19-22 mark.  It is bottled at 40% ABV in a 70cl bottle.  The presentation in the Doorly’s line is consistent and can cause confusion particularly online as it is similar to the Doorly’s XO.  So be careful when looking around.

I like the look of the Doorly’s its clear and uncluttered and gives sufficient background information.  Overall its nice and clean.  I always prefer a stubby style rum bottle and whilst I would prefer a corked stopper at £20, a metal screw cap is not much of an issue.

For anyone not familiar with Foursquare or Richard Seale the distillery offers pot and column distilled rums, no addtiives just rum.  This rum is aged in used Jack Daniels casks.  Small white oak.

With so many rums vying for peoples attention it is easy to see how a newcomer could overlook a bottle of Doorly’s 5 Year Old.  It’s not flashy or expensive and is not promoted round the world on the back of numerous gold medals won from many “prestigious” competitions around the world.  As my Rum Styles page shows its really easy to get a very good appreciation of the world of rum without spending a fortune on the latest fad or fashion.  These rums have been around since 1908 for good reason!

In the bottle Doorly’s 5 shows itself as a lovely golden brown colour.  In the glass, a lovely golden orange.  The nose is classic Bajan.  Vanilla, a little citrus, some light oak ageing all nicely balanced.  It’s mellow and inviting. An easy going spirit.  A little hint of pepper spice.

Sipped the rum is surprisingly smooth for what is such a low priced rum.  When compared to the likes of the similarly priced Appleton V/X or Chairmans Reserve, it is a lot more refined and less edgy.  In terms of mellowness it reminds me more of Appleton Reserve 8.  It’s not the same taste wise but in terms of heat and spice.  It’s pretty sophisticated.  I’d say it has a lot more going on than the English Harbour 5 year old, for example.  It is certainly a step up from Mount Gay Eclipse and even Cockspur Fine Rum.

Doorly's Fine Old Barbados Rum 5 Years Aged review by the fat rum pirateYou could quite easily sip away with this rum.  The initial taste is honey and vanilla with a little oak.  It never quite explodes with tropical fruit flavours the way the XO does but it does leave a nice after taste. A nice warming oak spice and some toasted coconut.  A little nuttiness.  All round it is for £20 a good little sipper.  It’s not out of this world and doesn’t offer huge complexity or much of a challenge but its good.  You could spend a heck of a lot more for a lot worse.  Many rums in the £35-40 are trying to pass themselves off as premium rum.  Many are little more than column distillates aged for 4-6 years.  I know where the smart money would go.

When mixed Doorly’s 5 is one of those rums that seems to take away some of the fizz from drinks such as cola and lemonade.  They seem to smooth out the cola and make it easier to drink.  Easy sipping and easy drinking this is certainly what many would class as a “premium mixer”.  I’m not a huge fan of the term myself but at £20 a bottle you will certainly enjoy any cocktails or mixed drinks made with this rum.

With cola the rum is still able, despite its pretty mellow overall profile, to cut through the cola a little.  It’s smooth and adds a little oakiness and vanilla to the drink.  It gives the drink that classic Bajan taste that anyone who has experience of rum from Barbados will instantly recognise.

This is a serious contender for best rum in the £20 price bracket.  It really is a great introduction to Bajan style rums.  In fact its a good introduction to “real” rum in general.

4 stars








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3 comments on “Doorly’s Fine Old Barbados Rum Aged 5 Years

  1. In the USA a 1.75 liter of this is around $23. Impossible to beat. Maybe Old Brigand, which is 43% ABV, and only $16 for a 750ml.

  2. […] judging the rum alongside something like the 3 year old Neptune Rum and Doorly’s 5 Year Old. My initial impressions based on the price point and nose is that this is likely a blend of rums […]

  3. I used to have Chariman’s Reserve as my everyday “house” rum., but this 5yo has replaced it. Initially I was a bit cautious about a 5yo, preferring rums at 8yo+. But I needn’t have worried. Uncomplicated and very easy to drink. I get through a fair bit of it, always straight up. If one is looking for a really sophisticated rum, you might be disappointed. But an every day, much better than average and at a good price, its spot on.

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