Grander Rum got its start back in 2015, kicking its brand off with an outstanding 8 year old expression. Now the brand is launching its first limited edition series, called the Barrel Series. Entry number one is this bottling, a blend of Panama-distilled stock, 65% 12 years old and 35% 15 years old, then finished for 8 months in used Kentucky rye whiskey barrels.
It’s a nice start to the line, though the nose is on the quiet side. A bit raw and heavy with alcohol, the rum’s aroma is restrained, with hints of cooked fruit and a barnyard note. I waited for the rum to evolve on the nose, but it never got much further than a blunt molasses character. On the palate, though, the rum explodes. First is the rush of dense chocolate, vanilla, and baking spice one would expect, again with an edge of slightly funky molasses character. It takes only a second for the rye to make its presence known. Big and peppery, with a sharpness that immediately evokes whiskey more than rum, the spice slowly fades into a brown butter note that melds both the whiskey and rum worlds.
The balance feels a little off here, and the nose remains elusive, but for the most part, rum lovers should give this exotic twist on the formula a try.
100 proof. 1680 bottles produced.
B+ / $65 / granderrum.com