Review: The Rum Cooperative Blended Rum Vol. 1
The Rum Cooperative isn’t really a cooperative but rather a bottled product from Bully Boy Distillers, the Boston based craft spirits distillery. The Rum Cooperative has just 10% of its own rum in this blend; the other 90% comes from Central American and the Caribbean. Officially denoted as Vol. 1, it remains to be seen whether this is a one-off or the first bottle in a series.
Here’s what the concept is all about:
Five rums. Five exotic flavor profiles. One unique spirit. The Rum Cooperative today announces the launch of their first blend featuring authentic, super–premium rums sourced from five distinct rum–making regions – Panama, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Boston – creating an alluring fusion of distinct yet complementary flavors. An extension of the Bully Boy Distillers portfolio, The Rum Cooperative is a compelling expression of co-founders Will and Dave Willis’ passion for exploring the unique flavors, makers and differences of rums across the globe.
“As makers, drinkers and lovers of rum, we have always been fascinated by the way flavors vary from one rum–making region to another,” said Will Willis, co-founder of Bully Boy Distillers. “The opportunity to buy barrels of our favorite twelve–year rums and blend them together was something too special for us to pass up. Rum is a universally–enjoyed spirit, which makes it even more exciting for us to create this beautiful composition that celebrates the different flavors, distilling techniques and influences from around the world.”
The carefully crafted blend features five different rums from around the world. Each are highlighted on the bottle with their distinct tasting notes to convey to rum lovers what each adds to the spirit’s diverse flavor profile. To serve as a foundation for the spirit, The Rum Cooperative begins with 45% Panamanian rum featuring lighter notes of fruit, oak and leather and 36% Dominican rum providing the delicate, light–bodied notes. The rich undercurrents of flavor come from 8.1% Trinidadian rum which imparts a smooth, silky finish while the funky notes of 0.9% Jamaican rum carry the perfect amount of mystique and depth. Lastly, the addition of 10% of the previously unreleased eight-year-old expression of Bully Boy’s flagship Boston Rum mellows the robust flavors and rounds out the blend with nuanced notes of toasted nuts and caramelized fruits.
“When we began the blending process, Will and I knew we wanted to highlight the distinct character of each rum,” said Dave Willis, co-founder and head distiller of Bully Boy Distillers. “We’ve crafted a complex patchwork of flavors and aromas that not only express the rum’s various origins, but work harmoniously with each other for a smooth, delicious spirit.”
To make that breakdown more readable and thorough, here’s the official proportion:
45% 12 year old rum from Panama
36% 12 year old rum from Dominican Republic
10% 8 year old rum from Bully Boy’s Boston distillery (an unreleased expression)
8.1% 12 year old rum from Trinidad
0.9% 12 year old rum from Jamaica
Got that memorized? Let’s taste.
Boom — that nose is immediately heavy with spices — almost to the point where it comes across like a spiced rum. Cloves, nutmeg, and ginger all mix with vanilla and baking chocolate to give this an instant aromatic pungency. The palate is familiar and definitely sweet. Lots of brown sugar sweetens up a somewhat winey body, pushing to a gingerbread-heavy body that finds room for notes of raisins, orange peel, and some marzipan. Sugar endures basically forever on the finish, with a cherry note lingering on the tongue.
I like a nicely sweet rum but I have to say The Rum Cooperative pushes it just a bit too far, dulling the natural fruit and wood influence of the spirit — and simply leaving too much sweetness on the tongue despite plenty of flavorful delights in the mix. Dial back the sugar in cocktails accordingly if using as a mixer.
B+ / $35 / therumcooperative.com
Sadly, most rum is doped with sugar. Readers interested in trying the good stuff should look into Foursquare, Hampden, Worthy Park or Rhum Agricole (AOC) from Martinique where additives are prohibited.