Relatively new to these shores, though released elsewhere in 2010, Wild Geese Rum is a range of three Rums, Golden, Premium and Caribbean Spiced. They are from the same stable as Wild Geese Irish Whiskey and I happened upon them whilst browsing for Rum online…..a pursuit that I often undertake. The marketing information spins a wonderful story………..
Voyages and Men
Ireland was torn by injustice and natural disaster. In the years leading up to the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, when The Exiles took the name the Wild Geese believing they would return, many had already been forced from their homes and transported to the Caribbean and Americas to work on plantations.
Sent into darkness and exile they did not flinch when faced with this unimaginable horror. Many rebellions were to follow. Their story and courage has been largely untold until now.
Determined to win freedom, those that escaped, blazed a trail across the endless blue as liberators and pirates of the Caribbean. Navigating their way across the featureless seas and against all odds their only option being to survive and succeed.
‘BY THE SWEAT OF OUR BROW AND THE STRENGTH OF OUR BACKS YOU WILL KNOW OUR COURAGE’
Wherever you are in the world, if you are of Irish descent you are part of this story and entitled to call yourself ‘Wild Geese’.
Wild Geese Golden Rum – 37.5% ABV
There is little to no information on the blend of Rums within Wild Geese Rum, therefore I decided to ask the question. I’ve been informed that Wild Geese Golden Rum is a blend of five Rums sourced from five distilleries. Again, similar to a recent post, the Rums are from Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana, Angostura in Trinidad, Hampden in Jamaica, St Lucia Distillers in St Lucia and the excellent Foursquare in Barbados. The Rum from Guyana, St Lucia and Jamaica is pot distilled and the Rum from Barbados and Trinidad is column distilled. The constituent Rums are a mix of ages with the Rum from Barbados being 5 years old and the remaining 80% between 3 and 5 years old. Again they are blended, reduced to the bottling strength of 37.5% ABV, batched with caramel for colour only and then bottled. The Rum has gathered a host of awards over the past few years winning Rum XP Gold in 2013, Silver at the WSWA 2013, Bronze at the ISC 2013, Silver at the IWSC 2013, Gold from the Beverage Tasting Institute in 2013 and was also rated 4.5/5 by Diffordsguide in 2013. Praise indeed but before moving onto my tasting notes, I have a few gripes. Firstly, the bottle label mentions that the Rum is ‘Part of the Internationally Acclaimed, Award Winning, Luxury Collection of Premium Spirits’…the term ‘Premium’ has lost its resonance with me now given it’s overuse of late. Is that where ‘Super Premium’ comes into play??? The ‘top of the range’ product from The Wild Geese Rum is actually called ‘Premium Rum’…..big shoes to fill. Secondly, the bottle label really confuses me. A Crystal Skull (we all know how that film turned out), a Pirate Ship against a moody moonlit backdrop and more text fonts and sizes than you can shake a stick at. I find it a little busy and confusing and quite unattractive. That aside, I’m not a treat for the eyes myself! I do like the bottle shape though. As I keep telling people, ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’. Wild Geese Golden Rum is priced at around £19 a bottle which is right in line with Bacardi, Havana Club, Mount Gay, Appleton and Cockspur, so these will be the direct competitors if it makes it onto supermarket shelves, online is a different story.
In the glass: The Rum is a pale golden straw colour in the glass. Caramel, butterscotch and fudge lead the way. Vanilla then creeps up along with a light apricot syrup, the kind left over if you buy canned fruit. This is all rounded out by a little funkiness from the pot still Rums. It’s pretty pleasant stuff and bodes well for the tasting.
In the mouth: What strikes you immediately is how light a body this Rum has. The pot still element is the first thing that greets you alongside a mild spice. Vanilla and butterscotch follow with a little marzipan edge. It is, so far, totally consistent with the nose. The finish is quite short and is full of buttery fudge and that apricot syrup.
Mixed drinks pose another issue as the light body of the Rum requires something not too overpowering. With Coke, the pot still element shows through, but it’s the only thing that does. In a daiquiri, it works quite well as it is not overpowered by the citrus. It did work well in a little punch that I concocted using fresh lime juice, a passion fruit syrup and sugar syrup 50/50 mix, a good 60ml of Wild Geese Golden Rum and all topped up with peach nectar. Tasty stuff. There are several suggested cocktails on the Wild Geese Website here but in some, such as the Mai Tai, the Rum is overwhelmed by the other ingredients. For me, stick to simple and you won’t go far wrong.
This Rum is a good example of something that I think, on the visual front, is trying way too hard to stand out. So much so that what it actually does is mask what is clearly a decent, flavourful blend of Rums. You can hide behind crystal skulls and a marketing fanfare but put simply, this is a tasty, relatively inexpensive Rum, that is interesting due to the blend of Rums and the quality of the ingredients. The beauty of this issue is that if required, the label can be amended, and this is no way affects the product contained within. This is just my opinion though, so if you’ve tried it, if you love the presentation or have any other opinions, it’d be good to hear what you think.
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