Review: Bumbu Rum - Drinkhacker

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Review: Bumbu Rum

Spiced rum tends to follow a pretty well-worn path. But Bumbu is something quite different, and well worth exploring.

The rum starts with sugarcane sourced from all over Latin America: Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guyana, and Honduras. The cane is taken back to the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados where it is column-distilled and aged in first-fill Kentucky bourbon casks for up to 15 years (though much of the rum is surely considerably younger). Even the yeast is artisan: As the distillery notes, “The yeast used during fermentation is a distillery secret that dates back as far as 1840, when some of our original iron pot stills were cast.”

What Bumbu doesn’t tell us is what spices are used to flavor the rum. Only this is known: “Using the same all-natural native spices and no artificial colors or flavors, our rum is an authentic revival of this piece of Caribbean history, distilled in small batches and blended by hand.”

But if you’re expecting another fistful of cloves and cinnamon, think again. Here’s how Bumbu actually comes across.

The nose is immediately unusual, with overtones of banana, caramel sauce, vanilla, and almonds — all the makings of a lovely banana split. That banana is particularly present on the palate, where it finds a complement in chocolate, more almond, some light coconut milk notes, and lengthy, lingering, creamy vanilla with just a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg on it.

As spiced rums go, it’s one of the most unique expressions I’ve ever encountered — decidedly light on the “spice” notes, which results in a softer, more thoughtful rendition of the classic spirit. Ultimately, it feels like it is built to drink more like a dessert, and less like a rough-and-tumble pirate grog. Without those harsh notes of dried spices, Bumbu lets a more natural, sweeter, fruitier, and elegant spirit to emerge. Who knew?

Lovely stuff.

70 proof.

A / $35 / bumbu.com [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS] [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

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Bumbu Rum

$35
8.5

Rating

8.5/10
Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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6 Comments

  1. Justin July 3, 2020

    I took a chance on this rum and I honesty have to say I have never experienced anything like it. I guess I expected the same old spiced rum flavors and was happily surprised by the different spices and flavors I came across. Very good and would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a great sipping rum.

    Reply
  2. Capt. George Symes September 19, 2020

    I received this rum as a birthday gift and was pleasantly surprised with the flavors and smooth
    tasting my wife doesnt like rum and i convinced her to sip a shot and she believe she loved the
    taste my mistake lrss for me now

    Reply
  3. Toyia December 27, 2020

    I’m a big fan. I’ve bought four bottles of Bumbu in the last month. It is the best holiday gift. Every household that I’ve taken it to, whether you are a connoisseur of rum or not a big fan, the consensus is it’s lovely. Yes, I agree it’s not your normal rum. It’s complex. There are a variety of notes- vanilla, banana, almond, some would even say molasses. Depending on the bottle there’s even an aftertaste of oak or my opinion tobacco. Whatever your opinion, We can all agree, this is not your traditional Rum. It is complex. Sweet, smooth and overall a beautiful experience. For those who are rum connoisseurs, Bumbu may not be your thing, but for the individual who wants a drink that is going to go with any moment and any crowd, this is it!

    Reply
  4. Cory January 26, 2021

    I admit I don’t love most commercially spiced “rums,” but this stuff is vile. Incredibly saccharine. An onslaught of artificial banana, vanilla, and mystery fruit flavors that attack your taste buds with malice. Worse, it markets itself as premium, craft rum from Barbados, creating market confusion as to what rum actually is and tastes like. This ain’t it. Just another (albeit unique) spiced rum liqueur made of cheap ingredients presented in an expensive (and rather attractive) bottle. As they say in rum circles, drink what you like, but know what you’re drinking.

    Reply
    1. Zig February 6, 2021

      Cory- Your comments read like you were actually at the plant that produces this Rum. Vile and attacks taste buds with malice ? Really? Do your taste buds have emotional nerve endings? You have no clue about what makes a quality Rum. Must be a Trumpster.

      Reply
    2. Starman May 7, 2021

      Trump lives in your head rent free……This blog is about Rum A$$ho….

      Reply

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