Review: Banks 5 Island Rum

Last year a survey named Banks 5 Island Rum as the best rum for that quintessential rum drink: The Daiquiri.

Only problem: Who’s ever heard of Banks 5 Island?

Well finally, we have.

It’s not called 5 Island for kicks: Banks 5 Island really is a blend of aged rums from five Caribbean islands: Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, and Barbados. The fifth island, oddly, is not named. It is only said that it is to the east of the area. Hmmm.

Filtered to clear, this barrel-aged rum has much more character than most white rums. It is sweet and engaging, lively on the palate. The nose is rich with sugar cane, filling the room when the bottlecap is unscrewed.

Banks 5 Island doesn’t have a lot of nuance to it, and the finish is a bit lacking: Things take a turn for the bitter as the rum lingers on the tongue, which leaves the spirit a bit out of balance. I am out of limes right now, but I can certainly imagine how this would fare in a Daiquiri, and it is an image that I find pleasing.

80 proof.

B+ / $50 /

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6 Responses

  1. Edoc February 27, 2011 / 7:11 am

    This is a white rum that definitely tastes like a dark rum. I think the distillers filtered out the rum so that it would be clear. The jamaican rum flavor dominates. I think this is a very good white rum for a daiquiri. It’s a bit pricey, though, in my neck of the woods ($35 for a white rum).

  2. Daniel March 1, 2011 / 7:25 pm

    You may also want to note that Guyana is not an island either. Therefore 3 islands + 1 country = 5 islands…

  3. Hal March 8, 2011 / 9:32 pm


    I believe the fifth is actually Batavia Arrack, which while isn’t exactly a rum, I’ve been told it’s a component in the final bottling.

  4. Scott T May 17, 2012 / 12:20 am

    Am I crazy or is the flavor very similar to Wray and nephew overproof after dilution?

    • Evan T February 20, 2018 / 11:40 am


      I just had some neat last night and was thinking the same thing! I don’t know what the reviewer was talking about with it lacking nuance. This is by far the best white rum I’ve had, and I’ve hit most of the top white rums out there these days (my #2 would have to be Plantation 3-star). I get a mixture of lime rind, tarragon, hogo, pineapple, and a finish that definitely lets you know that some Guyanese rum went in the blend. As for using this rum in a daiquiri, that’s where this rum kills it. It is hands down the best daiquiri you will ever have. I love using Jeff Berry’s Daiquiri recipe that you can find on PUNCH. If there is a better white rum out there, I’d love to try it.

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