imageWell, Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Rumbullion! to give it its full name.  Rumbullion is a Spiced Rum made exclusively for Master of Malt as part of their Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s range of spirits and pre-mixed cocktails.

Rumbullion! has been so popular with Master of Malt punters that it is also now available in an XO (15 year old) and Navy Strength variation.  This review focuses on the “traditional” standard Rumbullion.

I contacted Master of Malt about the base rum used for the their rum and how it was spiced etc.

“A blend of the very finest high proof Caribbean rum, to which was added creamy Madagascan vanilla and a generous helping of zesty orange peel. A secret recipe was followed, and the Professor finished his hearty tipple with a handful of cinnamon and cloves and just a hint of cardamom.”

I didn’t find out what the base rum so I’m none the wiser.  The information on the Spicing was interesting though.  I didn’t pursue it any further as to be honest I can probably guess that it will be a fairly young Trini rum.

The popularity of Rumbullion! is not hard to identify.  It is always at the top of a search on Master of Malt and its presentation is quirky and eye catching.  Rumbullion! comes in a faux brown paper bag wrapped bottle, with string around the neck and wax dribbles from the black topped cork stopper.  Originally I thought I would have to lift some of the wax to open but I found that the cap does actually twist round – the wax doesn’t really cover the bottle from the top down it just looks that way.  The bottle has a handdrawn rum barrel with God Save the Queen on it and there is a bit of jackanory story on the front of the bottle.  The name Rumbullion! is also a very rabble rousing, very British name.  They know the British market do Master of Malt!

A 70cl bottle of Rumbullion! costs around £35 and is bottled at a cockle warming 42.6%Rumbullion! rum review by the fat rum pirate ABV.  Making it very definitely a Spiced Rum rather than a Spirit Drink (less than 37.5% ABV)

In the glass (its impossible to see the rum in the bottle) the rum pours a very vivid reddish brown.  The nose is very strong with wafts of orange zest – almost marmalade like.  Vanilla is also present but is not the dominant note.  Mixed Peel and a little Ginger and Cinnamon are also present.

It’s a very big nose but to be honest, for me a little bit too big.  There’s a lot going on but all together it smells a little too sickly sweet for my liking.

Spiced Rum’s that are suitable for sipping are few and far between.  Sipping Rumbullion! is a very, very spicy experience.  I have no doubt that this Spiced Rum has been produced from more authentic spices and flavourings than many commercially available Spiced Rums.  Synthetic vanilla essence is miles away from this rums taste.  It is very much like a very spicy orange drink – almost mulled in many ways.  Spiced Ginger Orange is how it tastes. Cardamon is also present giving a slight “Indian Cuisine” type curried note.  Despite all this, taken neat Rumbullion! does reveal the youthfulness of its base rum.  There’s quite a lot of alcohol burn as well as intense spicing.  I wouldn’t choose to drink this neat, maybe over ice at a push.  The extra ABV in comparison to other Spiced Rums is very evident.  Perhaps too much for a sipper.

By Spiced Rum standards, you have none of the usual sickly sweet vanilla and/or lime which spoils so many Spiced Rums and so many copycats are keen to mimic.  Old J or Captain Morgan Spiced Gold take note.

Rumbullion! Review by the fat rum pirateMixed initially Rumbullion again seems quite sweet but that quickly fades and leads to a dry almost bitter finish.  The Ginger and Cinnamon still shine.  In some ways it becomes medicinal again its very much mulled in flavour.  This is a winter time Spiced Rum rather than a Summer one.  It’s very British and warming.

For me I appreciate the authentic flavour of the spicings used but I have found myself only really able to mix this and when I do that I find the Cinnamon a little off putting.  I think this is actually a pretty decent Spiced Rum but like Chairman’s Reserve Spiced it is perhaps just not to my own personal tastes.  Fortunately it has quite a lot going on in the mix so unlike the Chairman’s it doesn’t dominate and take over the drink.

This is well crafted and presented and whilst not my all time favourite spiced rum, its still a lot better than most.  Undoubtedly a few of you will find a bottle of this under the Christmas tree this year.  Ideal in a hot toddy.

3 stars





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