Lamb’s Palm Breeze (AmberRum)
Review: Lamb’s Palm Breeze (Amber Rum) 81/100
a review by Chip Dykstra(AKA Arctic Wolf)
Published July 12, 2014
In my part of Canada, Lamb’s is one of the most popular rum brands. The brand is owned by Corby Brand, and they the rum’s history all the way to 1849 when Alfred Lamb opened his wine and spirits business in London, England. Apparently Alfred stored his rum barrels (which had been imported from the Caribbean) in his underground cellars which were directly beneath the Thames River. The cool underground air which did not experience large seasonal fluctuations in temperature nor large fluctuations from day to night is reckoned to be one of the secrets behind the unexpectedly smooth taste of his rum.
Of course the rum no longer is aged under the Thames River in Britain; but it does maintain its Caribbean heritage as the Lamb’s blend is sourced from a variety of Caribbean rums which have been aged for a minimum of one year in oak casks. The final rum is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume and sold as Lamb’s Palm Breeze.
In the Bottle 4/5
As you can see, the tall hexagonal Lamb’s bottle is attractive, as is the professional label with the strong fonts and colors which are easy to read. The bottle holds true to the bartender’s creed being easy to store on the bar shelf, easy to grab and hold, and most importantly easy to pour. All in all the presentation is quite nice. The plastic screw cap on the bottle is much preferred over those pressed on metal caps I still see on many other bottles; however, a nice satisfying cork would have been grand.
In the Glass 8/10
The Palm Breeze displays itself as a light straw/yellow coloured spirit showing a trace of its barrel aging in the glass. When I tilted and twirled that glass, I saw that the spirit deposited only a light sheen on liquid on the inside, the crest of which released slender legs which dropped back like water back into the rum. (There is very little oiliness apparent to the eye.)
When I bring the glass to my nose, I notice light smells of butterscotch, sandalwood and spice. It is the sandalwood and spice (rather than the butterscotch) which grows in the breezes as I let the glass breathe. I soon notice traces of white pepper and cinnamon as well as building citrus zest and banana peel. Interestingly, a plastic-like scent reminiscent of faux leather seems to be entwined within the spiciness. Hints of vanilla and almond round out the aroma, which if I had encountered it in a blind format, I might just have mistaken it for a light Canadian whisky.
In the Mouth 49/60
When I took my first sip of the Palm Breeze, my impulse was to grab a bottle of ginger-ale and mix myself a nice Horse’s Neck cocktail. The rum not only smells similar to a light Canadian Whisky, it has a similar tastes profile too. I taste sandalwood and rye-like spices mingling with butterscotch, lime zest and ripe autumn grain. Some bits of almond and orange peel are mixed in, and I find the flavour very interesting!
Keeping the score down is my recognition that while the rum is interesting it is not extremely complex. As well a light alcohol astringency reflecting the youth of this amber rum is very apparent. I decided to mix that Horses Neck (actually a Rum and Ginger) cocktail and settled down on the deck for the evening listening to my tunes and enjoying the warm weather.
In the Throat 12/15
The finish is clean and crisp, albeit with a light burn which you can feel in the throat. The palate is left heated with little balls of cinnamon spice and white pepper; however, fleeting images of caramel and honey are left behind as well, and even a few hints of wet gravel. (It’s better than it sounds.)
The Afterburn 8/10
Lamb’s Palm Breeze is an amber rum which features clean crisp whisky-like flavours. I found I kept returning to the bottle and mixing the amber rum with ginger-ale just as if it were a nice Canadian Whisky. When I reflect on this I realize that maybe I am not so far off the mark. This is a rum produced by Corby primarily for a Canadian market. Perhaps it is not so strange that a blend meant for the Canadian Palate would offer me something familiar. Although I would be hard pressed to call the Lamb’s Palm Breeze a sipping rum, as a mixing rum it offers a unique whisky-like flavour profile which I personally find very appealing.
Having said that, I should also point out that mixing an amber rum with ginger ale is not so strange. In fact in most Caribbean countries they are much more likely to mix their gold rum with ginger ale than they are to mix with cola.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
The Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum shared her favourite cocktail with me during an interview I conducted a few years ago (See interview here). I found it nice to know that those who make great rum, also agree with me that it is more than acceptable to mix great rum with ginger-ale.
The Spence Cocktail
2 oz Aged Rum
1 orange slice
1 drop Angostura bitters
Muddle 1 slice of orange with 1 drop of Angostura Bitters in a rocks glass
Add 2 oz Aged Rum
Top up with ginger ale and ice
And of course enjoy responsibly!
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
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: