West Indies Rum and Cane Merchants – Central American XO

What is it? Rum produced in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Crafted from molasses and distilled using column stills then aged in ex bourbon casks. A limited release of 2,000 bottles worldwide. This was bottled by West Indies Rum & Cane Merchants (a brand of Crucial Drinks). I have no idea where the rum came from, I’ve contacted Cruical Drinks about the distillery information and rum ages but I’ve not had a reply.

My bottle is from Batch number 1 and is bottle number 560.

Not chill filtered, not coloured and bottled at 43% abv.

Sugar? No information on this at the moment. The bottle states “natural rum” and I’m not finding any evidence of tampering during tasting, so I don’t think there is any added sugar in here.

Nose: Quite aromatic and almost agricole like with fresh flowers (Lilly of the Valley, Sweet Pea), Lavender, limes and cane juice. There is a little orange rind in there too. Behind the citrus and florals there is a warm oak, actually quite a bit of oak, incense, a little tobacco leaf, spent coffee grounds and menthol. Fairly complex with some lovely mixing of smells.

Palate: Medium mouth feel, quite spicy at first. Some of those cane’y notes from the nose with the flowers and lime but then quite quickly to richer flavours; dark chocolate, choc-chip brioche buns, some cinnamon, vanilla – gets a bit Bourbon’y; a few cashew nuts here and there, honey, coconut and a little mint.

Finish: Short, not it’s best bit I’m afraid. Spearmint, spices (generic heat), some honey and a little bitter coffee. It just kinda falls off a cliff at the end.

Thoughts? Very pleasant and a great surprise; I was expecting trouble given the countries this is from, and whilst it does get a bit flabby near the end of the palate and finish, overall it was interesting. The nose is the best bit, really quite a bit going on. I think it’s a decent rum and worth the price I paid, which was £34.

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