1 Barrel Rum
Review: 1 Barrel Rum (82/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on September 15, 2011
1 Barrel Rum is a product of Belize, the northernmost mainland country of Central America. A former British Colony, Belize lies just south of Mexico with the Caribbean Sea to the east and Guatemala to the west and south. Travellers Liquors Limited has been involved in the production of 1 Barrel Rum in Belize since the early 1960s originally working with independent distillers. In 1989, Tavellers acquired full control of their own distillery and has remained in full control of the brand ever since.
Recently, I was given a bottle of 1 Barrel Rum by a representative of Travellers Liquor Canada for the purpose of this review:
In the Bottle 4/5
The 1 Barrel Rum is presented in the 750 ml ‘bar room’ bottle style pictured to the right. The label features an oak barrel, and the name ’1 Barrel’ highlights the fact that this rum has been aged in Kentucky oak barrels for one year. The bottle and labeling are satisfactory for a moderately priced rum and I have no quibbles with what I see. In fact I think the label has a nice ‘funky’ charm.
In the Glass 8/10
Once poured into the glass the rum is the colour of golden brown sugar. I gave my glass a quick tilt and a slow swirl and I noticed very skinny legs which moved slowly down the sides of the glass. The aroma from the glass is not overly complex; but it is nice with what I will call a laid back, lightly sweet quality. The initial scents and aromas I receive are very reminiscent of butterscotch and caramel, and I notice some subtle baking spices and a touch of tobacco appearing after I allow the glass to decant.
In the Mouth 50/60
That laid back quality I sensed on the nose continues into the mouth with a rum which has a few rough spots but has a flavour which is easy to enjoy. Caramel and toffee lead out with a light spiciness that heats up the mouth just a little. I taste a light almond flavour, some orange peel spiciness, hints of coconut, and hidden away underneath is a light fruity quality that is reminiscent of canned apricots. Everything rides on the lightly sweet side of the fence in a rum that seems to me to be begging to be mixed in a cocktail or two.
Since the 1 Barrel Rum seems to be begging me to mix a few cocktails, I acquiesce, and try some rum and cola at a fifty-fifty ratio. the result is pleasing, and I have similar luck with ginger ale. I then decided to make a Sloe Lime Daiquiri, and I am impressed enough to make another. This rum mixes very easily and seems to be very versatile in a wider array of bar drinks than I was expecting.
In the Throat 12/15
As I stated earlier, the 1 Barrel Rum does have a few rough spots, and these become more apparent in the exit if you sip the 1 Barrel neat. However a simple cube of ice is sufficient to mellow the experience in a finish with is relatively short but does feature nice lingering flavours of caramel.
The Afterburn 8/10
1 Barrel Rum is a pleasant mixing rum. As it is a relatively young rum, being aged for only one year in oak barrels it does have a slight astringency which prevents me from recommending it as a sipper. However it is very good in bar drinks and demonstrated great versatility in my tasting sessions. I find myself heartily impressed with the first rum I have tasted from the Country of Belize.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
I could go a variety of directions with the 1 Barrel Rum as it seems to mix seamlessly in many cocktail styles. I did however find myself mixing with ginger-ale more often than with cola, and so I thought a cocktail based upon Rum and Ginger-ale would be a nice change of pace.
2 oz 1 Barrel Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
1 teaspoon Agave Syrup
a dash or two of Angostura Bitters
Chunks of Ice
Shake the first five ingredients over ice
Strain into a tumbler half full of ice chunks
Stir until the glass frosts
Finish with Ginger Ale
* Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss, more commonly known as Baron Bliss, was a British-born traveller who willed approximately two million dollars ($US) to a trust fund for the benefit of the citizens of what was then (March 9, 1926) the colony of British Honduras. That colony of course is now known as Belize. (Source: Wikipedia)
You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)