After having a run of underrated bargain basement beauties with Lidl’s Liberté Rum & Dunnes’ JG Kinsey Whisky – I suppose a disappointment was inevitable.
Aldi’s Old Hopking White Rum is presented with a rather plain white label that gives little away.
‘Bottled In Germany’ it says. A common practice using ‘Imported Rum’ from undisclosed sources. Where the sugarcane or molasses came from is not stated – nor method of distillation. At this price point – that information is a bonus.
So onto a taster.
A perfumed floral aroma greeted me.
More reminiscent of my wife’s gin rather than a rum!
This followed through in the palate – which was smooth & mellow – with a mild heat to keep it real – but otherwise no defining character.
Old Hopking is a simple easy sipper – but I wasn’t expecting a rose garden in my rum!
I don’t know if Lidl are ahead of the posse predicting a Rum revival – but they have another miniature selection I couldn’t resist.
Comprising of 4 x 40ml servings under the Ron Rumbero label – courtesy of Bimmerle KG, a German spirits producer & importer – with Cuban Rum being the source.
Ron Rumbero, Spiced Spirit, 37.5%
An attractively well balanced spiced rum offering. A bit too sweet for my liking – but a dark chocolate start contrasts with a gentle chilli led spicy finish.
Ron Rumbero, Cream Liqueur with Rum, 15%
An easy going creamy liqueur that provides an entertaining alternative to the whiskey derived offerings. Sweet, thick & creamy with a decent hit of rum on the finish too!
Ron Rumbero, 3 Años, 38%
Now this one surprised me! A definite vegetal funk on the nose. Slightly sweet yet smooth palate with a lovely flourish of spice on the finish. A great combination.
Ron Rumbero, 7 Años, 38%
Rich, warm & inviting. Slightly oaky. Smooth delivery. The dry oaky tannins are reminiscent of a good whiskey. Not bad.
A lovely little quartet of rums to whet your appetite.
When choosing my favourite I had a little surprise. Normally I’d go for the aged version – but with these – the wonderful balance of the funky start & gorgeously spicy finish of the 3 Años won out in this instance.
If only I could get a full size bottle for the shelf!
The opportunity to taste and sample a variety of styles & flavours before committing to a large bottle.
Lidl are currently showcasing The World Of Rums – including offerings from;
Panama – La Réunion – Cuba and Jamaica.
Rums are often categorised into styles based on their former colonial occupiers. It’s not particularly scientific or pretty – but neither is the use of Scottish Regions to define the flavour of whisky.
Being Lidl – it’s likely to be sourced private label brands too. As confirmed by ‘Imported & bottled by: ‘Pabst & Richarz Vertiebs GmbH‘ on the outer packaging.
But what interested me were the differences of flavours showcased by the individual rums themselves.
Panama. Sir Francis Drake. 6 Years Old. 40%
Spanish style. Light, buttery & sweet.
Pale straw. Vanilla sweetness followed by darker molasses & treacle notes. Soft & sweet palate – a bit too sweet for my liking – but develops a pleasant oaky spice from the cask ageing.
Easy & enjoyable.
La Réunion. Coeur Du Soleil. White Rum. 37.5%
French style. Rich , fruity & complex.
Clear spirit. Pungent vegetal nose – reminds me of Mezcal. Palate was smooth & characterful. The earthy herbaceous notes give a slightly savoury yet sweet appeal that slowly fades.
Cuba. Ron Santero. 3 Year Old. 38%
Spanish style. Lean & clean.
Clear spirit. Soft subtle & sweet. After the other 2 rums, Santero’s delicateness just merged into a bland neutrality for me. Cries out for mixing.
Jamaica. Caribica. Brown Rum. 40%
British style. Funky, heavy & bold.
Light brown. Noticeable funkiness on the nose – reminds me of burnt rubber. Syrupy palate. The funk is lost a little to a treacly dark sweetness, but re-emerges on the finish.
Is Jamaican funk the Islay peat of the rum world? Finding it challenging.
An interesting & entertaining taste experience.
I’d have thought there’d be a rum here to please every palate.
La Réunion’s Coeur Du Soleil was the one for me. The powerful mix of sweet, sour & savoury notes demonstrated the full bodied style of ‘Rhum Agricole’ using freshly pressed sugarcane juice bottled straight off the stills.
C’est très bonne.
What is your style?
A brief guide to styles of rum can be found at the handy Tenzing blog here.
I gotta hand it to Lidl for expanding my spirit drinking range.
This bottle of rum from Réunion – hence the French connection – emanates from the Indian Ocean via a Parisienne suburb.
There is no Riviére Saint-Jean distillery on the island – but a Riviére du Mat distillery founded in 1886 – appears to be the source of this offering.
There’s also a ‘Saga du Rhum‘ museum on Réunion to further explore the rich history of distillation – including the sorry tale of sugar, slavery and colonial exploitation. Hopefully those days are long gone. Meanwhile – the rum is still here to enjoy.
A deep ruby brown colour greets you – followed by an attractive oaky tannic nose on a dark molassey underbelly.
The palate was quite delicious.
The smooth warming sweetness morphed into a gorgeously drying spicy explosion. Very reminiscent of some rye whiskeys I enjoy.
Not had a rum like this before!
I’m feeling Riviére Saint-Jean accentuates the cask influence with it’s 6 years in wood.