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Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum

Review: Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum  84/100 
A Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published June 30, 2013

Famous Newfoundland Screech has recently added two new members to it family, a honey flavouerd rum (which was the subject of a previous review), and the subject of this review,Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum. The new spiced rum is made from the same 4 marques of Jamaican Rum which are used to produce Screech. However, because this is a spiced rum (bottled at 50 % alcohol by volume), the treatment of these marques will necessarily be slightly different. The new family members are just now hitting the store shelves in Newfoundland and Labrador, and will soon be making their way across Canada and into parts of the USA.

I was provided samples of the Spiced Rum by Rocks Spirits (a division of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation) such that I could provide a review here on my website.

Spiced Screech

In the Bottle 3.5/5

Screech Rum is in the midst of a redesign with respect to their label, and this new look is reflected in the Spiced Rum. The bottom of the new label features a graphic of fisherman fighting the waves of the North Atlantic Ocean as he is reeling in a large fish, (a codfish no doubt). While I applaud the idea of a redesign to give the Screech line-up new life, I cannot really say that I like what I see. The new label lacks ‘pop’ with a colour scheme that melds into rather than contrasts with the colour of the brown bottle. The new look is kind of drab next to the other bottles on my rum shelf, and the metallic screw cap topper is as flimsy as ever. It would be a simple thing, but a dark black border around the label would improve the look dramatically.

I was very undecided whether to score the presentation 4/5 meaning it was acceptable but not inspiring, or to actually lower the score to 3.5/5 to show my displeasure. When I reviewed the Honey Flavoured Rum, I tossed a coin, and let the Rum Gods decide the fate of the presentation score. It seems they were as unimpressed as I was.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The Screech Spiced 100 looks dark and rich in the glass with a colour which could easily be mistaken for cola. The initial scents in the breezes are sweet and spicy with an unmistakable accent of baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves). As the glass sits the baking spices seem to take over the glass giving the rum a rich scent similar to my mom’s cinnamon buns taken fresh from the oven. There are aromas of roasted pecans and walnuts and a little touch of baked caramel, and a nice meandering scent of marmalade making my mouth water.

In the Glass 51/60

The entry onto the palate is heated with both high alcohol strength and a nice spicy thrust of cloves, cinnamon and white pepper. Wandering through that spicy thrust of heat are nice flavours of butterscotch, dark caramel, orange peel and marmalade. I also notice a light bitterness suggesting flavours that remind me of roasted walnuts, vanilla and treacle. I find the light bitterness is welcome within the spirit as it seems to provide a nice counterbalance to the sweet caramel and the hot spices.

Although the rum is perhaps a bit more heated than I would prefer in a sipping rum, I understand that the spirit was probably designed to be a  to be more of a mixer than a sipper. To the end, I mixed a nice spiced rum and cola, and found the result very satisfying. To test the spiced rum’s versatility, I mixed next with ginger-ale and was surprised at the tasty result (see recipe and picture below). The final cocktail I mixed prior to writing the review was an Orange Push-up  just to see if the rum held true to its Jamaican roots (Jamaican rums are great mixers with fresh fruit juice). Again the rum performed admirably in the bar drink, and I found myself almost halfway through the bottle after several days of tasting sessions. I guess that means I like it just fine!

In the Throat 12.5/15

Because of the obvious heat from the high-proof, (as well as from the spices) I cannot claim the spiced rum has a smooth lingering finish. It is in fact, more of a rough and tumble exit where perhaps a person should brace their tonsils before having a swallow of the spirit in its raw format. If you brace your tonsils and have a nice firm swallow, the rum will surprise you. Although you might have to reach down your throat and pull your tonsils back up, you will also find your palate will be lightly toasted by a nice yummy cinnamon and vanilla which have been left behind. The cinnamon glows and the vanilla lingers, and as those flavours ebb, a touch of nutty bitterness will be all that remains. With a little soda added the finish is very appealing.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

I think Rocks Spirits have a winner with their Screech Spiced 100 Rum. The decision to go with a higher proof offering resulted in a bold, heated flavour which is very appealing in a wide variety of mixed drinks and cocktails. This is definitely a spiced rum to be on the look out for as it makes its way across Canada and into the United States.

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

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Suggested Recipe:

SAM_0824 Spiced Rum and GingerWhen I was in Miami a few years ago discussing rum with some of the industry’s major producers, I was told that 40 % of the rum sold in Canada and the USA is mixed with cola. However, in the Caribbean where most of this rum is made, you are more apt to see rum mixed with  ginger ale. I follow that lead in making this suggestion.

Spiced Rum & Ginger on Ice

1 part Screech Spiced 100 (Proof) Rum
3 parts Ginger Ale

ice

Pour the Spiced Rum over Ice in an Old Fashioned Glass
Complete with Ginger Ale
Cheers!

And of course, Please enjoy Responsibly!

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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)

 
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