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Cristal Parrot Lite Rum

Review: Cristal Parrot Lite Rum 78.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on December 20, 2011

Cristal Parrot Lite Rum is a product of Belize, the northern-most 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. Traveller’s Liquors Limited has been involved in the production of rum in Belize since the early 1960s originally working with independent distillers. In 1989 Travellers acquired full control of their own distillery and has remained in full control of their own brands ever since.

According to the Traveller’ website,

Cristal Lite is a clean spirit distilled to create a light-bodied blend. The spirit is blended to create a well-harmonized aroma that sooths and refreshes the nose, and the rounded flavor of Crystal Lite cools the palate perfectly to fuse superbly with popular mixers.

I was given a bottle of  Cristal Parrot Lhite Rum by Blake Christensson of Travellers’ Liquor Canada for the purpose of this review. It is a 750 ml bottle which is bottled at 40 % abv.

In the Bottle 4/5

The Cristal Parrot Lite Rum is presented in the 750 ml ‘bar room’ bottle style pictured to the left. The label features a colourful parrot, logo which serves to attract attention  The bottle and labeling are satisfactory, and I have no real quibbles with what I see.

What I do have a bit of a quibble with is the overall branding of the Traveller’s Rums. I had a hard time figuring out just where this product fits in the overall line-up. Is this an extension of the One Barrel brand or is this a new style of rum from Traveller’s which is using Parrot as its brand name? The term ‘Lite’ is also rather confusing as in my locale that term is more often associated with calorie reduced ‘diet’ products. (Apparently the Cristal Parrot Lite is not a diet rum for rum drinkers concerned about their waistlines.)

In the Glass 8/10

As far as I can tell the Cristal Lite Rum is clear with no tinctures of colour and no cloudiness or haze in the glass. The aroma from the glass carries a soft rummy caramel accented by cotton candy and perhaps a hint of mint. It is lightly vegetal indicating to me that very little if any aging has occurred. If you give the glass a little time to decant, the aroma turns slightly grassy and the caramel notes build up slightly.  Things are pleasant although perhaps mildly astringent.

In the Mouth 46.5/60

The Cristal Lite carries those mild rummy caramel flavours through to the palate complete with that nice hint of cotton candy. There is a firm vegetal or grassy quality and perhaps a touch of immaturity. This has that kind of “fresh from the still’ flavour similar to the taste one finds in Cachaca. My overall impression of the flavour is that I should treat this strictly as a mixing rum.

I decided I should  mix a few cocktails to test the flavour of the rum in the format for which it was meant, and I so I started with a Daiquiri. I consider the daiquiri to be one of the quintessential rum cocktails and in my opinion every good white rum should make a nice tart delicious daiquiri cocktail. The Cristal Lite did not disappoint as the resulting cocktail was indeed tart and delicious. However, I did notice that some of those vegetal flavours of the rum were being carried through the cocktail to the palate. This made me wonder if mixing the cocktail in more of a Caipirinha style might be more enjoyable. (A Caipirinha is a Cachaca cocktail.)

So I mixed a the next Daiquiri as though it were a Caipirinha and I discovered I was not on the wrong track. In fact this tasted kinda funky in a good way.  I also mixed a Mojito and a Cuba Libre to round out my cocktail explorations. The mojito in particular was solid, although those youngish vegetal flavours were still being carried through the cocktail.

After all of that mixing, I came to the conclusion that the Cristal lite was a nice mixing rum. Some, like me will find those young vegetal flavours appealing in the rum, some will want a rum which has been aged a little more with those vegetal qualities smoothed away.

In the Throat 12/15

That young, grassy, vegetal quality I noticed in the rum follows it right through to the finish. I found that once I had noticed this feature of the rum, that it seemed to follow the Cristal Parrot Lite in all of my subsequent tasting sessions. It seeped through to the finish in my cocktails as well. I found that this feature gave the rum a little ‘funk‘ that I quite enjoyed.

The Afterburn 8/10

I enjoyed my tasting sessions with the Cristal Parrot Lite Rum. It is not by any means a sipping rum, rather it is a pretty good mixing rum which has found a place in my bar when I want to add that little ‘funk‘ to my cocktails.

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

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Suggested Recipe

About a month ago I constructed a nice Tequila recipe I called, The Quick Red Fox which was a modified Cosmopolitan with a Tequila-Raspberry twist. To my delight the recipe works just as well with a Rum-Raspberry twist.  Of course with a new base ingredient the cocktail deserves a new name, I call it Red Sky Morning.

Red Sky Morning

2 oz Cristal Parrot Lite Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Lime Juice
1 barspoon Raspberry Syrup
ice

Place the Cristal Rum, the Triple Sec, the Cranberry and Lime Juice, and the Raspberry Syrup into a metal shaker
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into another glass filled with ice

Garnish with a lime slice or frozen raspberry if desired
Enjoy!

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I am also going to suggest that you cannot go wrong treating this rum as though it were Cachaca and mixing a Caipirinha style cocktail.

Caipirinha
Photo Courtesy of Rum Connection

1 1/2 oz  Cachaca (Replace with Cristal Parrot Lite Rum)
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 teaspoons crystal sugar

In an old-fashioned glass place the 1/2 lime cut into four wedges and the sugar.
Muddle (mash the two ingredients together using a muddler or a wooden spoon).
Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the Rum

Note: This is particularly refreshing on a hot day and it is the National Drink of Brazil.

And of course, I want everyone to remember that the aim of my blog is not to encourage you to drink more…

It is to encourage you to drink better.

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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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