George Street Spiced Rum
Review: George Street Spiced Rum 86.5/100
A Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted On July 5, 2011
There is a place where they believe they know rum better than anywhere else. And it’s hard to ague with those folk because not only have they been smuggling and buying their rum for over three hundred years, they also happen to drink more of the stuff per capita than anyone else in North America. Where is this great rum haven, you might ask? Well, it’s not anywhere in the good old U.S. of A., and it’s not some tropical haven in Latin America or the Caribbean Islands. Nope, these people who drink more rum than anyone else live on a rock they call Newfoundland, which is part of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Great White North of Canada.
On that rock called Newfoundland is a city called St. John’s where they have a place where the rum consumption reaches its apex. That place is George Street! A street full of music and revelry, lined from top to bottom with Pubs and Restaurants, where almost everyone’s drink of choice seems to be rum! And it is for that place that the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission (NLC) have named their new rum, George Street Spiced Rum.
This isn’t an ordinary spiced rum. For starters, the rum itself is from Guyana, the home of the world famous Demerara Rum. Some of the rum in the blend is two years old, some of the rum in the blend is 5 years old, and some of the rum in the blend is 7 years old. And finally, this aged Guyanan Rum has been painstakingly crafted into an aged, spiced rum using extractions and distillations of real spices. I was sent a sample of the George Street Spiced Rum by Gregg Kerr, of the NLC and after much labour I have completed my review.
In The Bottle 4.5/5
The George Street Spiced Rum arrives in two configurations, a flask style plastic (PET) bottle with a plastic topper and easy pour spout, and a glass bar room style bottle pictured to the right. The label does a good job highlighting the revelry of St. John’s famous George Street. In fact the label kind of ‘pops’ if you know what I mean. It will certainly catch my eye when I see it on a store shelf, and the back label tells just enough of the story of George Street and Newfoundland Rum to intrigue me. The only drawback is the metal topper, but as I have said before, my battle against pressed on metal caps is a battle that I seem to be loosing.
In the Glass 8.5/10
The spiced rum certainly has a nice sweet spice-filled nose. Dark, caramelized brown sugar and vanilla jump out of the bottle as soon as it is opened. I poured a dram into my glass, and let it sit while I wrote my introduction to this review so as to allow the glass to breathe before I examined it further.
After a few minutes rich baking spices have built up, and I imagine that I can smell sweet cinnamon rolls in that glass. Rich brown sugars pour out with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and pecans. This is probably the one of the nicest noses I have encountered in a spiced rum. But my feeling is that the spices are only part of the story. It is the aged Guyanan Rum under the spices which is giving the nose depth and character. I have a strong urge to steal a sip before I am finished nosing the glass.
In the Mouth 52/60
When I sip on the George Street Spiced Rum, all of the elements which my nose identified were easily identified by my palate. Caramelized brown sugar leads out with vanilla, although the rum is not as sweet as I would have suspected from the nose. Nutmeg brings a nice complementary flavour forward and I also notice a nice toffee flavour. Hints of spicy cinnamon and cloves arrive as if on cue, and some roasted pecans lie underneath providing a hint of nutty bitterness. The only flavour impression I am catching on my palate that my nose missed is a wonderful undercurrent of coffee, which once you notice it becomes more obvious with each taste.
As wonderful as all of this sounds, it is when the spiced rum is introduced to cola that I really began to get excited. The spiced rum and coke cocktail is a natural for the George Street Spiced Rum as the sweetness of the cola works beautifully with the dryer elements of the rum. Persons who have read my blog from the beginning understand that I love rum and cola. I even mix some of my most prized rums with cola, and I consider this spiced rum to be an extraordinary mixer with that cola!
In the Throat 12.5/15
The rums exits with a dry finish which seems to accentuate burnt caramel and roasted pecans. The other spices linger more softly on the palate, a touch of cinnamon and a phantom trail of vanilla. I like that I have not been clobbered by any particular spice too hard.
The Afterburn 9/10
George Street Spiced Rum and cola is perhaps a little too easy to like. My first sample bottle is almost gone, and it will be hard to resist opening the second. The only flaw I can really point to is the 35 % alcohol by volume (abv) which the spirit is bottled at. I would love to taste the spirit at 40 % or even better at 45 % abv. Then all those rich flavours and the depth from the aged Guyanan rum would really shine. But even at 35 % abv this just might be the nicest Spiced Rum Mixer I have tasted yet.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
Of course George Street Spiced Rum and Cola is at the top of my recommendations, and I have a nice of Rum and Cola recipe that works really well with Spiced Rum.
Sparkling Cola Cocktail
1 1/2 oz George Street Spiced Rum
1 1/2 oz Sparkling White Wine
a slice of Lemon or Lime
Add the Spiced rum and Sparkling wine to a tumbler half full of cracked ice
Complete with cola
Garnish with a slice of Lemon or Lime
Enjoy this when a simple Rum and coke just will not do!
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)