Review: Tiki Lovers Rum – White, Dark, and Pineapple
Any guesses who the new line of rums, called Tiki Lovers Rum, is geared towards? Designed with tropical cocktails in mind, these are all blends of various Caribbean rums, with pot still rum a common denominator in all three.
We tasted the whole lot. Thoughts follow.
Tiki Lovers White Rum – A blended rum that includes pot still from Jamaika’s Monymusk and Worthy Park distilleries, plus 5 year old pot still rum from Trinidad, filtered to remove all color. Clearly pot still from the nose, with its intense hogo character balanced lots of fruit — lemon, coconut, and some spice. Let it settle down and some of the funkier elements mellow, letting this rum showcase its depth. That’s particularly evident on the palate, which sees big tropical notes, heavy on the coconut, with some petrol and a little more lemon thrown in in time for the finish. It’s a real surprise that a somewhat gimmicky bottle offers such a degree of flavor and intensity — yet should prove quite versatile in rum-forward cocktails. 100 proof. A- / $30
Tiki Lovers Dark Rum – A blend of aged and unaged rums from Jamaica’s Hampton Estate distillery, Barbados’ Foursquare distillery, and rums from Trinidad and Guyana. As is typical of overproof pot still rum, this is heavy on the booze, with a hogo character that rules the roost. Big spice, coffee grounds, and some clove notes temper the beast, but you can tell just from cracking the bottle open that a powerhouse lies ahead. The palate is again typical of this style, with lots of coffee, dark chocolate, cola, and notes of very strong brewed tea heavy on the tongue. The finish is bold with heat, as expected, with many of the above elements lingering — spice and cola, plus toasted coconut, burnt caramel, and an over-fruited, prune juice chaser. 114 proof. B+ / $30
Tiki Lovers Pineapple Flavored Rum – This rum is billed as a blend of aged and unaged spirit from Jamaica (Hampton Estate and Worthy Park), Barbados (Foursquare), Trinidad, and Guyana, all flavored with natural South American pineapple extract. The nose is overwhelming with the tropical notes, coming across as candied and, at times, a bit artificial. The palate is equally aggressive, but the sweet fruit again doesn’t quite come across as fresh due to its interactions with the pot still spirit, which continues to pour on the funk. The finish is sweet and almost syrupy, with some chocolate notes and a hint of coffee. Interesting stuff — and purely a mixer — but you’ll have to be prepared for the impact of the pot still and how that might impact your cocktail. 90 proof. B / $30