Marks & Spencer Guyanese Rum Single Estate XO

M&S Guyana Rum Marks and Spencer Guyaneses Single Estate Rum XO review by the fat rum piratMarks & Spencer Guyanese Rum Single Estate XO. As those who know me personally and perhaps as regular readers will agree I am proper posh. As a result I have reviewed rums from “supermarket” Marks & Spencer before. It is of course worth remembering that M&S is not just any supermarket….

Whether M&S qualifies as a Supermarket is up for argument. I think it’s more of ganny’s clothes shop with a rather well stocked and tasty foodhall tagged on the back.

Anyway M&S have stepped up the “supermarket” standard rums in recent years. We’ve had their Bajan and Guatemalan efforts which (in all but name) were Plantation rums.

In late 2017 I noticed a few more “own brand” rums in their selection. These Guyanese rum was amongst them. A 10 year old Pot Still rum instantly appealed. The Marks & Spencer Guyanese Rum Single Estate XO comes in a 3/4 almost stubby style bottle. It has similarities in presentation to Plantation and does have quite a lot of detail about the rum in the bottle. It is sealed with a plastic topped real cork stopper and bottled at 40% ABV. A bottle will set you back £40.

It has been aged in American Oak for 10 years and is a 100% Pot Still Rum. Though I cannot find any details on the exact still – there are 3 Pot Still at DDL at present. I would discount Port Mourant for this rum (on taste) and plump for either the Enmore or Versailles still.

In the glass Marks and Spencer Guyanese Rum Single Estate XO is a light to golden brown.

It’s interesting because on other M&S bottlings if sugar has been added it has been noted on the ingredients list on the back of the bottle. This doesn’t mention any additives Marks & Spencer Guyanese Rum Single Estate XO Rum Review by the fat rum pirateother than Caramel Colouring and water.

It’s interesting because this rum has the strangest of noses. Similar to the Rum Nation Demerara No14. I have  my suspicions that the rum may be sourced from there or one of their “chemists” may have helped with the overall flavour.

It is strange that a 10 year old Pot Still Demerara rum should have a nose which smells of Candy Rock and Werthers Originals. No don’t get me wrong it’s not an unpleasant nose. If it were a liqueur or another spirit I wasn’t familiar with I would think it was very nice. But it doesn’t smell like a rum and it doesn’t smell like a Demerara rum. Not even close.

Caramel, pear drops, vanilla and sweet sugary toffee. It all smells very artificial and just a bit over the top. There are no notes which indicate the 10 years of ageing – no oak or spice just a lot of – pear drops!

Sipped its thankfully not as sweet. A lot of the sweet notes on the nose disappear. You get some nice spicy interaction with the oak and a good weight of oak and wood on the mid palate. It’s pleasantly spicy and has little real burn. It’s very easy to drink and has next to no finish at all. You get a bit of a tingle on the tongue but nothing much else.

In terms of taste you get some nice green apples, a touch of citrus and some light spiciness (for once the tasting notes on the bottle are pretty accurate – aside from the finish)

I’m pleased M&S are bottling more interesting rums but I’m disappointed. I spoke with Peter of the Floating Rum Shack about this rum online and he M&S Guyana Rum Marks and Spencer Guyaneses Single Estate Rum XO review by the fat rum piratgot it right when he said it just wasn’t what he was expecting from a 100% Pot Still Demerara. Which is spot on as its just a bit weird and there is “something” added to this rum to make it this strange.

Aside from the weak finish its actually not bad in terms of a very easy sipper and mixer. Its not overly exciting though and it all just feels like its been knocked down to about 60% of its potential.

A missed opportunity – a 10 year old Pot Still rum, even in the Supermarket should have been much more exciting.



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3 comments on “Marks & Spencer Guyanese Rum Single Estate XO

  1. I’m glad you reviewed this one because I have an M&S near my workplace and it’s caught my eye. Personally, the colour and the 40% put me off buying it. I don’t think the price is very good either. It costs more than Appleton 12 which is a solid inexpensive rum. Your notes kind of confirm what I suspected flavour wise. Cheers

  2. With 20% off recently I thought it was a reasonable buy for those with a limited budget. Possible it would have had the illusion of more depth if it had been bottled at a higher ABV.

    • The additives just make it completely different to what it could have been. You get more of a true Demerara taste with something like Woods.

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