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.
I have a few sample jars that go back & forth among some fellow whiskey fans.
It’s a handy way for all to try out unknown bottles before committing to buying – or not as the case may be!
Going blind – in this instance with samples A and C – adds to the fun.
There are no preconceived ideas based on distillery, country, whether caramel has been added or not, or even if it’s a blend, a grain or a single malt offering.
It’s simply 2 measures of whiskey – and your palate.
How much more honest can that be?
I found this nice, clean & fresh. A little paler than sample C but an inviting nose with summer fruits tempted me in.
The palate was quite light, reminiscent of sherry cask influence, with a touch of spice & an enjoyably prickly finish which lasted a long time.
A straight down the line decent dram.
Darker. Both in terms of colour as well as nose. More stone fruits than summer orchard with a slight funkiness I couldn’t pin down.
The taste was mellower. Charred cask influence perhaps, with a dark sweetness suggestive of rum or port cask maturation.
The finish faded rather quickly. Possibly a more youthful expression.
Of the 2, Sample C was more intriguing. It suited my palate better & I was keen to find out what it was.
Sample A – Chivas Regal 18 Year Old Blend, 40%
Sample C – Abrachan Blended Malt, 42%
The Abrachan from Lidl at €25 had me better entertained as to what was going on than the more cultured Chivas 18yo at €80!
For further info – the Chivas 18 is a blend of up to 20 different malt & grain whiskies.
The Abrachan is a blended malt aged in charred American oak barrels, sherry casks & port casks. As a non aged statement (NAS) whisky it’s undoubtedly a lot younger than 18 – but for a blind taste comparison it had me hooked.
It’s been well over a year since I first went out to purchase this whisky.
The idea of a budget supermarket branded single malt appealed to me. I had to find out for myself what it tasted like.
Inadvertently I walked into the wrong German supermarket store and came out with Aldi’s Glen Marnoch instead.
Now in this segment of the market you have to accept chill filtering & added caramel. There is no provenance – nor terroir. There isn’t even a Glen Marnoch or Ben Bracken distillery – let alone an actual physical Ben or Glen of the same name to visit. You get what you pay for – entry level single malt.
The Glen Marnoch Islay was fine – a decent hit of peat over a rather hefty dose of caramel.
I’d actually stopped looking for Ben Bracken.
It’s reach didn’t seem to make it across the Irish Sea – and there were far more entertaining bottles to bring back from the UK.
But when it appeared in my local Lidl store in Athlone – I couldn’t really give it a miss. If only to show no favouritism towards either store.
To kick off with there’s that dark ruby mahogany shade of added caramel – but on nosing – a refreshingly clean & clear smack of peat smoke greeted me.
I found it very inviting.
The initial taste was rather soft, watery & almost insipid – but then a big waft of peat just blows in and makes it sort of alright!
My peat baby is coming back to me!
The experience left a softly drying ashiness. Like a warm & cosy seaside fire rolling around on my palate.
I’d rate this higher than Glen Marnoch.
The caramel quota isn’t as pronounced – which allows a more powerful & peaty punch to shine through.
There isn’t much else.
It’s rather one dimensional.
But if like me you enjoy a smack of smoke in your glass.