Denizen is a rum brand that’s been around for awhile — the premise surrounding a Dutch company that imports a variety of barrels from throughout the Caribbean and bottles them in various expression. The latest in the lineup is Denizen Dark Vatted Rum, a 50% abv rum that offers a nod to the British navy style and which “celebrates the influence of Guyana.” It’s a blend of rum from Guyana as well as Martinique-distilled rhum agricole — though there could well be other rums in the mix here.
Beautifully dark in color, there’s a real savory note on the nose that cuts immediately through the typical brown sugar and vanilla base. Well-torched pineapple, toasted allspice, and licorice make for an engaging aromatic profile. The palate offers even more to grab on to: Maraska cherries, more licorice candy, a layer of wood, and a thick layer of ash. Intense with savory notes, anise, bittersweet chocolate, and an edge of hogo, it is absolutely perfect for tiki drinks, where the toastiness and density helps to offset all that fruit juice and sugar. The finish sees just the right amount of sweetness returning — banana, more of a fresh pineapple juice note, and some citrus.
Great stuff for cocktails, and it drinks well on its own, too.