M&S Gingerbread Rum

M&S Gingerbread Rum review by the fat rum pirateMost supermarkets in the UK have their own brand spirits.  Marks and Spencer (or M&S for short), however do not do anything by halves.

So rather than trot out just a standard white and dark Caribbean rum, they have actually got some pretty interesting rums on their shelves.

The M&S Bajan Estate XO and Guatemalan Plantation rums have both been uncovered as being supplied by Cognac Ferrand’s rum blending wing Plantation Rum.  The information on this bottle which states the rum is produced and bottled in France leads me to believe that this Gingerbread flavoured offering is also from Plantation Rum.  NB – Since writing this review I have been informed by Nick Rodgers who works alongside Cognac Ferrand and Plantation Rum that is not a product produced by Plantation.

This rum is widely available in most M&S supermarkets and comes in a 50cl bottle, no other bottle sizes are available.  It retails at around £14 per bottle and the ABV is 37.5% which is pretty respectable for a Spiced Rum.  The Gingerbread Rum is a blend of rums from Guyana and Trinidad.  It states it is made “with Ginger flavouring”.  Other than that there is little else to be gleaned from the bottle.

Initially I thought the black seal meant that a corked enclosure lurked beneath, unfortunately this is not the case and instead it is a good quality screw cap.  The bottle itself is halfway to being a normal bar bottle and stubby bottle.  It slightly squat and rectangular almost in shape.  The presentation is a little lazy, a Pirate Ship sailing on the sea and all in all the presentation is pretty unremarkable.

I’m struck by how light the rum is.  Whilst Trinidad rum is now mostly quite golden the guyanan rum in the is blend must also be pretty light.  This suggests to me that the rum base is pretty young.  Which is no great problem – I see little to be gained from Spicing well aged rums.  In the glass the Gingerbread rum is almost straw in colour.  It is very thin and not at all gloopy or viscous like some Spiced Rums can be.

M&S Gingerbread Rum review by the fat rum pirateThe nose of this rum is a bit of a surprise.  It smells very much of young alcohol rather than the Gingerbread notes I was logically expecting.  It dies down after a little time in the glass, it’s a kind of Spiced Steeped Ginger like note.  I’m not really getting any bread or baking like notes with this one.  It’s not buttery or anything like that.  Just a bit boozy and quite fiery.  Alcoholic Ginger Beer like almost.

A sip goes down okay but boy does this burn once it hits the pit of your stomach.  It does taste pretty rough but it actually goes down reasonably okay and doesn’t leave much of a alcohol burn in the mouth.  It saves it for the stomach though.  Ouch.

It tastes a little strange.  It’s not synthetic but the Ginger flavouring does seem to be losing the battle with the young rum that forms its base.  As a sipper this is just to young to enjoy and for me it is just too sweet.  Rather than the Ginger flavour all I’m getting is young alcohol and some burnt sugar.  Sweet but with a little bitterness beneath.

Mixed, which to be fair if it wasn’t for review purposes is how I would always drink this its better.  With cola it works well giving a nice smooth mixed drink which goes down a little too easily.  It’s still a little fiery but its definitely better and more easily enjoyed this way.  Upto now I’ve been referring to this as a Spiced Rum – I should change that it is actually a Flavoured Rum really.  It is supposed to taste like Gingerbread not be a rum that is Spiced with Ginger.  It’s not much of a difference but I think it is an important thing to consider when evaluating this rum.

M&S Gingerbread Rum review by the fat rum pirateOverall this isn’t a bad flavoured rum.  It’s not particularly expensive and its not laced with vanilla like many of the cheaper Spiced rums are.  As a flavoured rum does it really taste or remind me of Gingerbread.  Well the Gingerbread I’ve enjoyed (and I do like Gingerbread) isn’t really like this.  It’s okay but it reminds me more of Ginger Beer than Ginger Bread.

After more challenging or complex drinks (okay when you’re a bit tiddly) this makes a very passable “rum” and cola.  For my tastes its slightly too sweet and not really complex enough to hold my attention.  It does, however go down easily and is not something I would turn my nose up at.  It is still much better than some of the Vanilla laden spiced atrocities I have encountered and is certainly better than Bacardi’s Dingleberry Guava Fruit concoctions.

You’d drink it and quite enjoy it at a party but you wouldn’t take it to a Rum Club meeting.  Little tip if you are in M&S looking for rum……avoid the own label Dark Rum.  One of the worst rums I have ever encountered!

2 stars






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