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Angostura Royal Oak Select Rum

Review: Angostura Royal Oak Select Rum 84.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted October, 2009

More than twenty years ago, my wife and I spent three weeks in Tobago at the Turtle Beach Resort. At the time, I was a whisky drinker, and not a fan of rum at all. However, as the saying goes, when in Rome…

So at the hotel and on the beach I drank rum. I liked it. What they were serving me was a locally produced rum, and although more than 20 years have passed, I do believe it was a product which was very reminiscent of Angostura Royal Oak Select. I went back to Canada with two 40 ounce bottles; but alas, they are long gone. I went back to drinking whisky, as the rums available in my locale just did not measure up. It was not until the recent rum explosion that my palate for rum was rekindled. Flor de Cana, Ron Matusalem, and El Dorado rums have helped to bring me back in the fold.

But recently, I found 3 bottles of Royal Oak Select covered in dust in a local liquor store. The proprietor said they were new stock, the dust said otherwise, but I bought all three to see if that rum still tasted as good as 20 years ago.
Angostura Golden Oak

In the Bottle (4.0/5)

The rum is presented in a kind of late 70′s – early 80′s style glass bottle, with a metal screw top cap, and clear glass. It’s nothing fancy, but the rum is economical, and so I do not expect much more.

In the Glass (8.5/10)

The rum is aptly named as it has a nice golden colour, but it is a little darker than I would expect for a 3 to 6 yr old rum. I smell lots of caramel as well as a light smell of coconut. It’s a nice aroma,  but I wonder if caramel has been added to achieve the colour.

In the Mouth (51/60)

The Royal Oak Rum has a nice sweet caramel flavour. If indeed caramel has been added, it does not bother me. Taste is what counts and this tastes nice. I can taste that hint of coconut I smelled in the glass and a mellow spiciness. Everything is light, relaxed and this is an easy-going rum.

In the Throat (12/15)

The finish is light caramel with just a  little oiliness to lengthen the experience. I receive a nice gentle burn, as things are a little rough on the way down.  Sometimes these younger spirits have their way in the throat.

The Afterburn (9/10)

Going through my scores I was surprised that each part of the drink experience had not scored higher. I like this rum. It’s not outstanding, but it is a very pleasant diversion. I have tried it in a few cocktails and the results have been stellar. Mixed with coke, it is outstanding. I guess that is why I like it so much. I like to mix and this rum has been great in every type of rum drink I tried. I even prefer it to the Flor de Cana 7-year-old in my Sloe Lime Daiquiri. So I am bumping up the score in the Afterburn because the rum is more than the sum of its experiences.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


Sloe Lime DaiquiriSuggested Recipe:

Sloe Lime Daiquiri
(a modern daiquiri style cocktail)
by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)

A wonderfully cold daiquiri style cocktail to sip in the sun on a hot day.

1 1/2  Ounce Angostura Royal Oak Rum
1/2 Ounce Fresh Lime juice or Roses Lime Cordial
1 tsp Roses Grenadine
4 Large Ice Cubes
1 Chilled Glencairn Glass
1/2 Ounce Sloe Gin

Place the first 4 Ingredients in a Metal Martini Shaker.
Shake until the shaker chills.
Strain into a chilled Glencairn Glass.
Add the Ice from the Martini Shaker.
Float the Sloe Gin on the top and let everything sit for one minute.
Garnish with Lime Slice if desired….. Enjoy!!


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score 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)

One Response to “Angostura Royal Oak Select Rum”

  1. Kyle said

    Great work. I agree 100%!


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