We tasted the original expressions of Belize’s Copalli rum back in 2020. The brand is now expanding, with a chocolate-flavored (white) rum now available.
Copalli Cacao is sustainably produced at the Copal Tree Distillery, situated in the heart of the tropical rainforest in Southern Belize. It uses only four ingredients –organic, heirloom sugar cane, yeast, cacao nibs grown, dried & roasted at the distillery, and pure water collected from the canopy of the Belizean Rainforest.
Chocolate-flavored rum usually means something brown, low-proof, and super-sweet. Copalli Cacao is none of those, a clear spirit that is sharp on the nose with the petrol-laced pungency of a classic white rum — green herbs, underbrush, with a buttery sweetness that doesn’t quite telegraph chocolate. Those notes are reserved for the palate, which melds a bittersweet, cocoa-nib-like character with that fuel-heavy pungency paired with a light, brown-sugared sweetness. Hints of butterscotch and vanilla cake frosting give the finish a bit of a lift, but it never quite melds into the rich, chocolate-laden experience I really wanted.
Update: Copalli notes correctly that this is not a “chocolate-flavored” rum but is rather rested on cacao nibs, which have a far milder flavor than processed chocolate. Point taken.