Screech Honey Flavoured Rum
Review: Screech Honey Flavoured Rum 76.5/100
A Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published May 28, 2013
Famous Newfoundland Screech can trace its ancestry back over 300 years to a time when fishing fleets from Newfoundland, with their cargo of Northern Cod and North Atlantic tuna, traveled south and established a tradition of trade with Jamaica for that elixir of the Caribbean, known as rum. This trade established Newfoundland as one of the major portals for the legal import (and of course a little illegal smuggling) of rum into Canada. There have always been a good variety of rum brands on the shelves of my local liquor store which began their journey westward across Canada from the easternmost Province of Newfoundland and Labrador; the most famous of these brands is certainly the Screech Rum.
Recently Screech has added two new members to it family, a spiced rum (which will be the subject of another review) and the subject of this review, Screech Honey Flavoured Rum. The flavoured rum is made from the same marques of Jamaican Rum which are used to produce Screech. This is (of course) a honey flavoured rum (bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume), and so the treatment of these marques will necessarily be slightly different.
I was provided samples of the Flavoured Rum by Rocks Spirits (a division of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation) such that I could provide a review here on my website.
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 Honey Rum. The new label features a 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. 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. 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 8/10
I poured the spirit into my glass and gave this new flavoured rum a good look. It is slightly paler than the regular Screech Rum and has a slightly thickened appearance. Along with a firm indication of honey in the air above the glass we also notice a stronger than usual orange peel aroma rising from the glass. The honey and the orange peel do a bit of a duet in the breezes melding together to give me an image of sticky marmalade. The longer the glass sits, the stronger the marmalade impression grows, and I find it hard to receive anything but faint wisps of molasses, baking spices and tobacco.
In the Mouth 46/60
There is a light bitterness which accompanies the overt flavours of honey and orange peel. The orange peel flavour is in fact, is much stronger than I anticipated, and it rather than the honey seems to dominate. The honey flavour seems a bit odd. I taste the raw honey flavour; but not the sweetness which normally accompanies this flavour. I suspect that rather than real honey being used in the formulation, instead the flavour is some sort of extract. Along with the flavours of honey and orange peel, I also taste burnt caramel (treacle), banana peel, tobacco and vanilla extract. There are some light indications of dry fruit as well.
The light bitterness I taste (which seems related to the honey flavour) prevents me from enjoying the rum as a sipper. Mixing with cola provides some solace; but the resulting bar drink still carries more bitterness than I personally prefer. Reaching into my memory banks, I realized that Jamaican rums usually mix very well with fruit juice, and so my next attempt was a Honey Rum Darby (see recipe below). I found I was on the right track as indeed, this is a pleasant way to enjoy the Screech Honey Flavoured Rum.
In the Throat 11.5/15
The light bitterness and the spicy orange peel flavours extend to the through the finish, and only the spirit’s appeal in fruity cocktails can save the score (somewhat).
The Afterburn 7.5/10
I was not enthusiastic about sipping the Screech Honey Flavoured Rum; however, I did find a path that led to enjoyment. That path (mixing with fresh fruit and a sweetener) yields very good results for the cocktail enthusiast.
When I tallied everything up I found my final score was 76.5/100. This score is near the middle of my range for mixing rums which have no appeal as sippers. And I guess that sums up my feelings towards the Screech Honey Flavoured Rum quite honestly.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
Honey Rum Darby
2 oz Famous Screech Honey Flavoured Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
Slice of Lemon for Garnish
Add the first four Ingredients into a cocktail Shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Complete with a splash of Soda (optional)
Garnish with a slice of lemon (or Lime)
Please Remember to enjoy my Cocktails Responsibly!
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)