One Barrel Refined Old Rum

1 BARREL Rum Review Belize TravellersI purchased this rum mainly due to  the demography.  I hadn’t tried a rum from Belize, simple really.  One Barrel also boasted of a number of gold medal awards, in major spirit competitions. A Gold Medal in the Dark Rum category at the second International Cane Spirits Competition in 2007. In 2007 and 2008 Gold Medals at the International Rum Festival.

In 1953, Jaime Omario Perdomo Sr., began a venture by opening a bar in Belize City which he called Travellers Bar.  It was a logical name since most of his clientele were traveling either into or out of the city.

Travellers Bar initially sold only imported liquor and beers and only a few home made efforts.  It was the practice of local bars to make their own rum blends for exclusive sale and Omario Perdono soon began his own blending.  He started to create unique blends for his bar.

As Travellers Bar’s rums grew in popularity, Omario Perdono searched for a way to provide consistency to his blends. During this time the recipe for the award winning One Barrel aged rum was developed. Travellers Liquors Ltd was also formed.

One Barrel rum is exported to Europe, Canada and the United States.   The bottle of One Barrel Rum I obtained online via the Whiskey Exchange came surprisingly in a 750ml bottle. This is a standard bottle size in the US but not the UK (700ml).  Upon closer analysis of the bottle it became apparent the bottle had originally been exported to the US by Bluefield Productions, Los Angeles.  So clearly my rum had indeed done a bit of Travelling before it arrived!  This might go someway to explain the price of this rum.  It is Travellers Liquors Ltd entry level rum.  However, this UK duty paid bottle from Belize via the US of A cost me £30.  Probably 3 times the price the rum retails at in the USA and Belize.

The presentation of the rum (like most entry level efforts) is pretty uninspiring.  In fact its pretty awful really.  I think the barrel on the front is really amateurish and in all honesty I find the rum to have a very cheap and nasty appearance.  The closure is a plastic screw top.  I really don’t like the presentation of the rum. The gold and black writing is difficult to read, looks cluttered and very unprofessional.  It’s not a rum that jumps out at you on the shelf, well it does but only in a DON’T BUY ME! kind of way.  It says Cheap, cheap, cheap all the way.

We all know that the packaging of a rum isn’t always a guarantee of it’s credentials.  So on, with an open mind to the tasting.

The One Barrel Rum is a young rum – the rums in the blend are aged for a maximum of two years.  The rum is finished in Kentucky White Oak Barrels (bourbon) for 12 months.  It is unlikely that (despite a £30 price tag for me!) I’m faced with a sophisticated sipping drink.  If I am then they really need to up their presentation.

Pouring the rum into my glass it is an attractive golden colour.  I’m a little miffed how this has one awards in the dark rum category.  It isn’t what I would class as a dark rum at all.  Its golden for gods sake!!  On the nose the rum is very sweet.  It smells of toffee, caramel and a little maple syrup.  It is a little on the sickly side.

When sipped the rum really displays its youthfulness.  It’s really rather short and very rough.  The sickly sweet smell transfers into the flavour.  The taste is short and quickly gives way to a strong alcohol burn which is spicy and lingers for longer than you would want.  It still lurks at the next sip.  An ice cube helps things but its not really something that can be sipped in my opinion.  I add a little cola and to be honest it doesn’t really help matters.  The alcohol burn and the very short burst of sweet caramel and toffee still remain.  Mixed more liberally with cola it does improve.  Whilst it is now a lot more drinkable (especially if you are already half cut) it is very, very sweet.  Initially, I really enjoyed the One Barrel in a long rum and cola but it does become cloying and sickly after a few, even if you are drunk.  If anything its the smell of the rum as much as the taste which put’s you off.  It’s just so sickly sweet its like childrens cough medicine.  This is a definitely a rum which I am pleased I  had re-visited prior to reviewing.

This isn’t a complex or sophisticated rum.  To me it tastes like a young rum which has been heavily altered by flavourings and colourings.  It probably rides very closely to being a flavoured rum.  I’ve not tasted anything even close to this level of sweet sickliness in any regular rum before.  In that respect its more in keeping with a Spiced Rum like Bacardi Oakheart or Morgans Spiced.  There is something about this rum which makes it feel very artificial.  Their isn’t a lot of rum flavour to this.

If there is such a thing as a dessert rum then this could be it.  However, if I was going to have a dessert rum I would choose either the El Dorado 12 Year Old or even Old Monk 7 Year Old Vatted (both reviewed on this site).  I’d rather have a nice gelato than a blob of vanilla soft scoop.

I don’t really understand how this rum has won so many awards as a Dark Rum.  It certainly isn’t that.  Whilst I could understand it winning an award in a category with other young rums, I think it call’s into doubt some of the views and opinions of some so called experts.  This rum certainly wouldn’t win any awards from me.  Its far too sickly and artificial.  I don’t even really feel like I’m drinking rum.

1 stars



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5 comments on “One Barrel Refined Old Rum

  1. Of the many British Army personnel I have met who had served in Belize , the standard drink was “one barrel ( a bottle) 4 bottles of Coke, the small bottles and an ice bucket!
    Traditional drinking vessels are plastic cups. An excellent drink to watch the sunset.

  2. Purchased this rum for the first time in 2000 in a dusty large plastic bottle in placentia in southern Belize. It’s price 8 belizian dollars for a sailboat full of hockey playing crew it hit the spot. Imported rum is pricey in the tropics. Four years later, as the boat was being moved to Cozumel. We packed it with 40 cases.this lasted one year. Mixed with local pineapple juice and a dash of clear Vanilla makes a fluid that with fish and plantains can sustain life for extended periods. Sconce then we have flown the plane to pick up cases as they are located here and there. Although not a sipping rum it has provided more good memories than all other rums combined. Ps no fine rum has gone unsampled during this period. And some are quite good.

  3. […] “standard” Travellers range due to an early (and very confected) disappointment with One Barrel Rum. An early and at the time for me, costly […]

  4. […] 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 […]

  5. […] is not readily available in the UK. I have previously tried only one of Traveller’s offerings One Barrel Rum. Which despite favourable reviews from other sites and a few “awards” was not appraised […]

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