Review: Ten To One White Rum and Dark Rum
What do you get when you take a Starbucks VP and drop him in the Caribbean? A new rum line called Ten To One. Details:
Ten To One, a new range of ultra-premium Caribbean rums is launching in New York in Summer 2019. The brainchild of Marc Farrell, a proud Trinidadian and formerly Starbucks’ youngest Vice President, Ten To One brings world-class quality rum to the market and unlocks a contemporary view of the Caribbean and its celebratory culture. The range includes an extra proof white rum, as well as a dark rum, both of which contain no added sugar, flavorings or colors. Ten To One is available at top bars, retail shops and online.
Born and raised in the Caribbean, Ten To One’s Founder & CEO, Marc Farrell, has long been a student of rum, its heritage, and the broader role it plays in Caribbean culture. As a result, Farrell believes there is an enormous opportunity to further uplift the conversation around rum – not only by introducing a high quality spirit to market, but by broadening both the current narrative around rum, and the occasions for which it might be considered the spirit of choice for today’s consumer.
“We wanted to create a contemporary and elevated blend, designed to challenge expectations and reinvigorate the way people taste, experience and talk about rum,” says Farrell. “The inspiration for creating blends comes from our desire to tell a story that reflects the different cultures, communities and perspectives celebrated by Ten To One.”
The brand takes its name from a phrase by Dr. Eric Williams, Trinidad and Tobago’s legendary first Prime Minister. When rallying to preserve the first Caribbean federation of 10 countries, he famously said, “One from 10 leaves zero,” the idea being that we are stronger together than apart. The name also speaks to overcoming great odds.
Two expressions are in the mix. A white rum and an aged dark rum. We tried them both. Thoughts follow.
Ten To One Caribbean White Rum – This is a blend of Dominican column still rum with Jamaican pot still rum, finished in bourbon casks and filtered to clear. Plenty funky, the pot still is heavy on this expression, imbuing the nose with hogo, overripe fruit, mushroom, and notes of wet earth. The palate follows suit, though here the proportions begin with the fruit — lots of banana — then fades into pepper, spice, and a hint of sandalwood. Surprisingly hot at 45% abv, but still wholly manageable. Versatile as a cocktail ingredient, those overripe banana notes are what linger the longest and make the most significant impact on the finish — alongside that unmistakable hogo pungency. 90 proof. B+ / $29
Ten To One Caribbean Dark Rum – This is the same base distillate, but aged in bourbon casks for an unstated length of time and, obviously, unfiltered. The dark rum version of Ten To One tempers the hogo of the white rum, offering a very ripe, fruit-forward aroma redolent with banana, caramel, and a moderated sweetness. The palate follows suit, offering plenty of fruit in the form of (again) banana, pineapple, and a surprisingly clear coconut character. Notes of graham crackers and a touch of spice emerge on the finish, giving it a festive composition, while lingering caramel notes endure on the back end. Hints of toasted coconut give the denouement further nuance. Note the lower abv: 80 proof. A- / $42