Spiced Rum Round 4 – Whaler’s (Champ) VS Elements Eight (Challenger)


1) Whaler’s Spiced Rum – Bishop Wines & Spirits (Mira Loma, CA, USA), 35% ABV – 750ml$39.50 CAD @ Liquor Depot Dilworth in Edmonton, AB (7/2010 price)

  • “Made from Hawaii’s legendary recipe”

VS

2) Elements Eight Spiced Rum – Elements Eight Rum Company Ltd. (London, England, UK), 40% ABV – 700ml$59 CAD (after 10% off) @ Sherbrooke Liquor in Edmonton, AB (3/2011 price)

(left)(right)

  • 8 step process: 1) Terroir (St. Lucia climate) -> 2) Cane -> 3) Water (tropical water) -> 4) Fermentation (3 strains of yeast) -> 5) Distillation (Kentucky Bourbon Vendome pot still, using “heart only) -> 6) Tropical Ageing (American oak Bourbon barrels) -> 7) Blending (10+ single rums) -> 8) Filtration
  • 2x the price point of “standard” rums ($60 vs $30)
  • Fancy and classy bottle

Criteria

Nose:

  • Whaler’s (WH): 50/50 blend of vanilla-molasses & alcohol detection
  • Elements Eight (E8): nutmeg, orange, coffee nib, biscuity liquid toffee
  • E8 is much cleaner and more enticing

Taste & Texture:

  • WH: thinnish, a mix of cinnamon/nutmeg with vanilla and alcohol at the start, medium-high heat with dryness as the finish
  • E8: explicitly full-bodied. Slick, big orange coffee up front (much like Pyrat Rum Cast 1623), clove, cascading waves of controlled molasses sweetness, cocoa, subdued medium alcoholic heat. Finally a good sipping spiced rum.
  • WH: watery feel, vanilla, dull. E8: oily, big orange coffee bean, smooth rounded sipper. E8 is FAR superior.

In a Rum & Coke

  • Whaler’s & Coke is cola-caramel forward with dry lime juice and oils in the mids to finish.
  • Elements Eight & Coke is aggressively sweet sticky-tart with a incompatible cloying orange flavour in the mids, finishing unclean with cocoa-cola.
  • Whaler’s is more enjoyable in a cola mixer.

Final Notes:

  • Whaler’s has a decent of mix of cinnamon/nutmeg, toffee and vanilla but is thin and has harsher detectable alcohol.
  • Elements Eight has a luscious rush of orange nutty coffee bean, tanginess, and toffee-cocoa.

WINNER = the challenger Elements Eight. You can taste the rich difference in quality. Finally, a tasty sipping spiced rum that has left the rest behind (Sailor Jerry’s, Devil’s Triangle, Captain Morgan’s, Whaler’s), but less than perfect in a Rum & Coke.

Malibu Sundae and Berrylicious flavoured Rums (ON, Canada)

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Malibu flavoured Rum – Hiram Walker (Ontario, Canada)

  1. Sundae – Chocolate Ice Cream (and the base coconut): Rating: C
  2. Berrylicious – Strawberries & Whipped Cream (and coconut): Rating: D+

1.) Sundae – Chocolate Ice Cream (LEFT), 21% ABV, 750ml

Ingredients: rum, sugar/glucose-fructose, water, VODKA, IMITATION CHOCOLATE FLAVOUR, IMITATION CREAM FLAVOUR, coconut flavour, sodium citrate, citric acid, WINE, colour, gum arabic.

  • Taste Profile: rum sweetness -> nutty chocolate/cacao -> alcohol warmth/cloying/cacao exhale finish.
  • Where I got it: Port Moody Liq Store
  • How much: $30, August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to buy it again: nope
  • Would I recommend this to mixologists: maybe as a substitute for creme de cacao

Visual: Rum+vodka+wine?? plus 2 imitation flavours… Also, really crap quality screw cap. Pours clear light brown, not really chocolate colour at all.

Nose: Very nutty (peanut-coconut), sugary sweet. Subsequent nosings detect waffle cone and creme de cacao, in an artificial way.

Attack: watery viscosity, 9/10-rum sweetness

Mid-palate: half-bitter almost chocolate, fake (thin-bodied) cacao with coconut, hints of sourness

Finish: alcohol warmth, artificial cacao exhale, light-medium cloying finish with medium length.

Summary: It’s all artificial but not necessarily bad. There’s some shades of chocolate there but not a whole lot of ice cream. It’s not offensive by any means and is quite drinkable by itself. It’ll probably work okay as a mixer too, but don’t expect top tier cocktails. I find it tastes similar to a creme de cacao but not as sweet.

2.) Berrylicious – Strawberries & Whipped Cream (RIGHT), 21% ABV, 750ml

Ingredients: rum, sugar/glucose-fructose, water, VODKA, IMITATION CREAM FLAVOUR, NATURAL STRAWBERRY FLAVOUR, coconut flavour, sodium citrate, citric acid, WINE, malic acid, colour.

  • Taste Profile: sweet cherry -> fake strawberry/nasal tingly -> coconut nuttiness/warmth/long warm finish.
  • Where I got it: Port Moody Liq Store
  • How much: $30, August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to buy it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to mixologists: no

Visual: Same deal but “natural” instead of imitation strawberry flavour, plus malic acid and no gum arabic. Pours candy reddish-orange, more appealing than the chocolate.

Nose: strawberry candy, same nutty coconut, but with some astringent alcohol + minor nasal burn in there

Attack: 9/10-candied sweetness, CHERRY

Mid-palate: gets progressively sweeter, fake candied strawberry, nasal tingliness

Finish: coconut nuttiness, deepthroat alcohol warmth, PLASTIC, long warm finish.

Summary: The flavours here are all over the place. There is fake strawberry, ZERO whipped cream, and some coconut. It’s okay as a shot, and possibly as a mixer if you are okay with artificial flavours.

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Flor de Cana Extra Dry White Rum (Nicaragua)

Flor de Cana Extra Dry, 40% ABV – 750ml, (Nicaragua)

  • Style: White Rum (slow-aged 4 years)
  • Best in Class 2009 Int’l Wine & Spirits London
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Caramel/plastic -> vanilla/coconut -> alcohol burn/funk -> spiciness
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores (no longer available since 2012)
  • How much: $22, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: only if cocktail specific
  • Would I recommend this to rum aficionados: not quite

Tasting notes: pours clear as water. Cane sugar mixed with a medium heavy ethyl alcohol burning presence. Medium sweetness (5/10) with a caramel yet somewhat unpleasant plasticky taste, traces of vanilla and coconut (as advertised) with a hint of spiciness at the finish. Lots of alcohol burn and funk in the mids and finish. Medium complexity, averaqe smoothness, average sippability. Not exactly smooth but does have interesting flavours.

Appleton Estate White Rum (Jamaica)

Appleton Estate White Rum, 40% ABV – 1.14L, (Jamaica)

  • Style: White Rum (aged in SS or plain oak casks for a short while)
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile:
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $36, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe/mixer
  • Would I recommend this to rum aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours crystal clear. Brown sugar, sugar cane and light molasses on the nose. Burst of caramel sweetness (6/10), hints of chocolate & cinnamon, transitioning into a burst of warmth, and medium tingly alcohol burn. Medium complexity, good smoothness, good sippability. Quite nice for their cheapest rum.