Review: Rum & Cane XO Rums – Asia Pacific, British West Indies, and French Overseas

Review: Rum & Cane XO Rums – Asia Pacific, British West Indies, and French Overseas

Rum & Cane is a new line of rums sourced from all over the world and imported by our friends at ImpEx. Three are ongoing vattings, while two single cask offerings are available. We look at the former trio here today, which are all vattings of two different distilleries (often undisclosed in name) from a single region. They’re all designed to showcase the local production style and terrior, each 100% natural color with no chill filtration and no added sugar. Each batch is a vatting of only two casks — one from each distillery — so this is pretty unusual, uncommon stuff, though no ages are stated.

Let’s dig into the full lineup. All three are 92 proof.

Rum & Cane XO Rum Asia Pacific – A pair of rums from unnamed distilleries in Fiji and Indonesia, both column and pot distilled and matured in oak barrels and Djati wood vats. Quite soft, quite pretty. The gentle amber rum has a curious spice to the nose — not baking spice, not pepper, but somewhere in between, vaguely Asian in design. Lemongrass? Basil? Fresh ginger? The palate is again soft and evocative, gently fruity but showing ample wood — oak, for sure, and perhaps Djati wood, too, who knows? — with a finish that evokes dried banana, then some traditional notes of clove and dried ginger. Never pushy, the column still is doing all the work here, and that’s fine. On its own the rum is so quiet and bashful that it tends to fade into the wallpaper, but I’d mix with this any day. A-

Rum & Cane XO Rum French Overseas – A blend of two barrels from Rivière du Mât Distillery in Reunion & Le Galion Distillery in Martinique. Column distilled and matured in both French and American oak barrels. A husky, clearly agricole-driven rum, this has a huge spice and wood punch on the nose, evoking notes of cinnamon spiced raisins, then ample dried pineapple elements. A tropical influence keeps rolling into the palate, dusky but clearly tropical, with oxidized notes and a bold barrel influence. There’s a funk here, to the point where I would have assumed some pot distillate was in the mix. Alas, it’s not the case, though that agricole base helps to plump things up and punch up the body. Dusky and immersive on the finish, it’s a bit too heavy and one-sided for straight sipping, but it could clearly make for an outstanding mai tai base. A-

Rum & Cane XO Rum British West Indies – A blend from Trinidad Distillers and Foursquare Distillery in Barbados. Column and pot distillate, matured in ex-bourbon barrels. The sole miss in this collection — and a massive surprise — here we have a rum with a nose that’s overtly beefy and peppery, quite sharp with a dunder pit funk that never really loses its grip. I was hoping for some bright fruit to cut through on the palate, but it was not to be, the sweetness taking a rather saccharine turn and giving the body a elements of lemon curd, fruit chews, and old, gummy apples. The rum feels surprisingly chewy — like an underbaked pie — the finish clinging to the palate without much ultimate direction. I went back to the Asia Pacific expression as a palate cleanser to recover from this scattered experience. B-

each $50 /

Rum & Cane XO Rum British West Indies




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

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