Kirk and Sweeney Dominican Rum 12 Year

Kirk and Sweeney 12 year old rum review by the fat rum pirate Kirk and Sweeney Dominican Rum 12 Year. Kirk and Sweeney is an American rum “brand”. As well as having this rum their range also consists of a 18 year and 23 year old rum.

The company behind Kirk and Sweeney are 3 Badge Beverage Company from California. Kirk and Sweeney is named after a wooden schooner. This schooner, Kirk and Sweeney, was a rum running vessel which brought rum from the Caribbean to the Northeast Coast during Prohibition. The ship was captured off the coast of New York in 1924. An enormous cargo of rum was found aboard.

Kirk and Sweeney is a popular brand in the US. Indeed the bottles I have seen in the UK have been 750ml US bottles. As is the one being reviewed today. The 12 Year Old is quite readily available at the moment and retails at around the £40-45 mark. For this you are getting a rum from the Dominican Republic (distillery Santiago De Las Caballeros?) that has been aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon barrels.

The 18 year and 23-year-old rums are priced at around £50-60 and £60-70. The word “solera” is nowhere to be seen on this bottles nor is their anything which leads me to believe that the 12 indicates something other than years aged. I am a little skeptical due to the low price of such old rums – and the volume of Kirk and Sweeney rum available on the market. My bottle is batch 19 bottle number 28369! It is a column distilled rum bottled at 40% ABV.

Kirk and Sweeney Dominican Rum 12 Year does not contain any additives, well none that the Hydrometer can pick up. I am pretty much where I am with the age statements on that – very sceptical.

Kirk and Sweeney 12 year Old Rum Review by the fat rum piratePresentation wise it ticks all the boxes for “Premium” rum. I like the stubby bottle and you get a decent quality and all cork stopper – it has no topper though so can get a bit tricky. You get a detachable label and some unnecessary string and other effects around the bottle. Surprisingly no card sleeve. There is a bit of marketing on the bottle and not really any facts about how the rum is produced etc (beyond the ageing) or anything really all that useful. The shape of the bottle can make it a bit tricky to pour but it’s not as bad as the ludicrous Papa’s Pilar “bottle”. Which is about as much use a chocolate tea pot.

There is a lot of this kind of rum about. Dominican Rum producers such as Brugal, Bermudez and Barceló all output a lot of product as do the bottler Oliver&Oliver under various different brands names.

Dominican rum is a light Spanish style of rum – they are usually “sweetened” in some way and are presented and marketed as smooth and easy drinking or as premium rum to be paired with a cigar.

So here goes lets step aboard the Kirk and Sweeney.

Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Old Rum review by the fat rum pirateIn the glass Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year is a mahogany coloured spirit – as it is made in such volume I have no doubt it will be coloured to remain consistent.

The nose is familiar. Light notes of toffee, caramel and some faint spice and maybe a the tiniest hint of oak. What I am getting a lot of though is vanilla and a tobacco/fusel like note. It’s very sweet and the vanilla does smell very syrupy. I don’t think all of the vanilla notes are coming from the ex-bourbon barrels. It’s bordering on cloying and it is pretty artificial or concocted.

It’s pretty simple all told and doesn’t really give me a great deal of excitement. Sipped Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year continues in the same vein. It’s slightly thin and lacks any real serious body. There is more of the spices and oak from the barrels but the mouthfeel throughout is just to smooth, to light and it does taste as if a few Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Old rum Revew by the fat rum pirateconcentrated drops of something has been added to this rum.

To a beginner this rum may appeal. It has that confected sweet note that is so popular in cheap Spiced Rum. Someone with little experience may also equate very smooth delivery of this rum to be something to be heralded. It is a rum with next to no burn at any point. I’ve had liqueur’s at 20% with more of a kick than this.

Finish wise we are left with just a touch of spice but its all very muted. All to light and bordering on insipid. This doesn’t even feel 40% ABV. Suspiciously easy to drink and knock back. The finish is pretty much non existent. To be honest even the mid palate is pretty short. When you sip this you get a lot of vanilla and toffee mixed with some slight spiciness but it all quickly fades into something which is just to weak.





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3 comments on “Kirk and Sweeney Dominican Rum 12 Year

  1. […] Dominican Rum such as Kirk and Sweeney and Relicario offer a lot more than this, to be fair. I don’t particularly rate those two […]

  2. Sounds like a contender for the rum of the year award! 😉

    • Not here maybe over on Reddit/Rum

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