FAIR 10 Year Old Rum

FAIR 10 Year Old Rum Review by the fat rum pirateFAIR Spirits are the first line of socially responsible spirits, so the tagline on their website goes.

This 10 year old rum hails from Belize a Central American country which shares it eastern shoreline with the Caribbean sea.  I have reviewed a couple of rums previously from Belize.  One bottled directly by their largest rum operation Travellers and one which was produced for a third party – much like this FAIR rum.

The 5 year old FAIR Belize rum is still widely available but this 10 year old is not part of their usual line up and cannot be found on their website at present.

So what is it exactly that makes this rum FAIR? Well it is produced using Fair Trade Certified Sugar Cane.  Hence making it socially if not environmentally responsible.  It is transported from Belize to France for bottling and further distribution.  Like most rum it has a huge global footprint!

If you can still find this rum (it is still stocked in the UK by Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange) it will set you back around £45-55.  It comes in an attractive stubby bottle with clean sloped edges.  For your money you get 70cl at an ABV of 40%

The 5 year old has gained quite a bit of attention and is widely seen as being pretty decent (I take more notice of feedback from key people on Social Media than Awards).  Personally I was quite surprised by this as I’ve been very disappointed with the rums of Belize so far.  Both products I have tried were altered one to the point where it really was pushing it to describe it as rum.  For anyone who hasn’t read my review of 1 Barrel – please do before you consider buying that particular “rum”.

The rum has been aged for 10 years in ex-Bourbon barrels – I have no details on how the rum has been distilled (pot/column) unfortunately.

fair-10-year-old-rumSo moving on to the nosing and tasting.  FAIR Belize 10 Year Old has a very familiar nose.  It’s around about 90% Bajan with nice light notes of vanilla and toffee, a little spiced oak.  The remaining 10% is more a slight added sweetness when compared to drier Bajan rums.  This made me think that it could be sugared as it reminded me most of English Harbour 1981. (I originally nosed this completely blind and came to the conclusion that it could be English Harbour 10 as it didn’t seem as oaky as the 1981)

Bearing in mind this blind nosing was done without ANY options whatsoever – my wife had acquired the rum for me with no input from myself (I’ve never even spoke about this rum before) I was pretty pleased with my guess and I don’t think I was far off in terms of profile at all.  Though I concede I was very surprised to learn this was something from Travellers.  Just goes to show what good rum they have their on the island and have no need to go down the 1 Barrel route or trot out the Small Batch Claims of Tiburon.

As awful as this may sound the nose was so familiar that you could almost say it is a little safe.  Slightly boring,  I’ve been here before with a good few rums.  Having said that this rum does appear to have been made the right way.  It’s not Bajan but its as close as you will get.

A quick sip, the FAIR rum is nice – it’s pretty dry and very oaked.  It doesn’t burst with fruit flavours and the taste is actually quite “boozy” and a little young. On the tongue it still hold the vanilla but once sipped the throat is coated with spicy oak flavour and little else.  It has a nice tingly warming finish with not much burn but it doesn’t offer a great deal.

To me this rum seems to have been “watered down” too low.  At 40% it seems a little thin and insipid.  It doesn’t do a great wrong and you feel you are drinking “proper” rum, problem is I could do the same for £20 with a bottle of Doorlys 5 Year Old.  I can get Cockspur Fine Rum for £11.50.  Both do pretty much the same job as this 10 year old FAIR rum.  At £45-55 it is really lacking, its flat and just not at all exciting.

I would imagine this would make a perfectly competent mixer but at this price you would regret doing that.  As a sipper I doubt it will inspire.  It is more of a palate cleanser than a complex sipping rum.  In many ways it suffers in the same way Cruzan Single Barrel rum does.  It’s just not all that exciting or different.

Everything seems to be in order with this rum but ultimately it falls way short of greatness and the price due to the Fair Trade side of things means you are likely to be left disappointed.

2.5 stars





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