Ask most any gathering of spirits lovers to name their favorite rum and undoubtedly you’ll get this cheeky answer from more than a few of them. Yes, rum has long carried a fabulously fallacious reputation as the bargain-basement black sheep of the spirits world (a reputation that’s rapidly changing for the better, thank goodness). Cheap doesn’t always mean poor quality when it comes to rum, though. Among the best quality blends I’ve discovered recently in the budget bin at my local liquor store: The Cane Mill Rum.
I found this new-to-me product of Barbados last fall at Total Wine & More, my primary go-to liquor store in South Florida. To date, I haven’t seen it anywhere else, which has me thinking that it’s got an exclusive “direct-to-retail” deal along the lines of the one our friends at Foursquare Distillery struck with Total Wine recently.
At less than $20 a bottle, I found The Cane Mill impossible to resist in the store. I wondered, though, “Could the taste be as nice as the price?”
A quick whiff of this stuff didn’t yield much of any clues. Maybe a little banana and toffee, but very light aroma altogether. This was surprising considering the eight years of age she carried. Just not a lot happening on the nose.
On the lips, though, it was another story.
Smooth and rich with hearty, smoky notes of tobacco, honey, chocolate and molasses, The Cane Mill proved a winner for me enjoyed neat or with a couple rocks. There’s just a hint of burn at the onset, but the finish is nice and easy, lingering a little sweetness.
Is it all the more sweeter at that nice price?
Yes, and of course, there’s nothing wrong with that.