Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blue Mauritius Gold Rum 83 Points

Mauritius have a long history in producing rums, growing up on the island, up until 11 years ago (2003) as far as I can remember the majority if not the total production of was based on the distillation of molasses (Industrial Rum) rather than sugar cane juice (Agricultural Rum) , which is two distinct categories where the one produced from juice are far more superior, nuanced and elegant.
Most of the production back then was white rum from molasses, your typical engine cleaner! Good with Coke or fruit juice for the brave one, relatively cheap, two tots and you are in heaven, but watch the next day!!!
It is good to see in recent years the emergence of more refined rum, in large part contributed by more and more being produced from sugar cane juice distillation rather than molasses, perhaps due to the falling sugar cane / sugar industry, and not benefitting preferential prices from the UK and Europe, hence the guys have to re-invent their source of income!
Still it puzzle me why Mauritius has taken so long, in fact decades, considering neighbouring Reunion Island have a long history of producing agricultural rum! Which is amongst the best in the world alongside the top Caribbean drops.
Earlier this year I was sent a bottle of Blue Mauritius Gold, currently available in South Africa via VDP Prestige Distributors and Liquidity, it is a fancy heavy bottle with a price tag to support!
Amber gold in color, bright, fruity, lots of dried dark fruits, spicy, alcohol is not integrated though, for what can be expected from a “Gold / aged” offerings, with a prominent coffee undertones, vanillin, it’s kind of a disjointed offering closer to being confected in profile as tasting it side by side with “aged” rum from around the world, it shows an element of being adorned with too much make up, i.e your slutty type of spirits, the palate was another revelation it was sweet and partially viscous! Unusual.
A sweetness derived from residual sugar rather than oak sweetness, like American oak, in fact there is a lot of similarity of it being a cross of Bourbon spirits as there is some charry elements as well as the sweetness akind to Frangelico liqueurs, I am puzzle.
I think the guys crafting this rum are trying way too hard, it is a kind of luxury “Rhum arranger”, which cost peanuts! but the packaging give the impression of luxury!
I had a look at their website, initially, not much relevant information available, regarding productions, ageing, barrels used, besides their awards, so I am not sure if this is an agricultural rum or a molasses based rum, however I am more inclined to believe there might be a large portion of molasses distillate, because of the unintegrated alcohol and the high RS have been used to masked the faults, however we all know sugar in booze make them sells, so they might get lucky in selling this product to the uninitiated, but then again rum market at the top end, is compressed, and no more than 3% of the market share, and declining of all alcohol combined
I know I am not doing my contacts in Mauritius a favor with this review, it's all about selling potential and market acceptance, but we have to call an apple an apple, in a world where transparency is crucial, especially more so in the beverage industry and when playing at a certain price points, where the market potential is significantly reduced, it has to show and reflect the aim, concept and terroir as well as the upbringing / ageing one can expect, it is highly possible the color has been corrected with caramel, as the sucrosity on the texture is a give away, but I might be wrong.
Nevertheless it is a product to discover or keep on your bar shelves, for a taste of island sunshine or mixed with bitters and crushed ice for a soothing after meal drink.

Alcohol: normal | 43 %abv
Origin: Mauritius

Notes: vanilla | raisin | prune | dates | coffee| spicy

Ideal drinking occasions: digestif best served with dessert

Serve with: flambee banana with bourbon vanilla ice cream or crepe Suzette

Drink: now