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Borgoe 12 Reserve Collection

Review: Borgoe 12 Reserve Collection Rum   (86.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on December 17, 2019

Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V.  (SAB) was established in 1966, however the company links it heritage all the way back to 1882 when sugar company Marienburg was founded. Today SAB is one of the leading spirits production companies in Suriname. In fact the rum they produce, Borgoe Rum derives its famous name from the Marienburg plantation.

Suriname Alcohol Beverages uses two different stills to produce their rum. A three column still is used to produce a light rum distillate suitable for aging in oak barrels. When a heavier more flavourful distillate is desired the company may instead use their handmade copper distillation kettle.

Suriname’s most celebrated dark rum Borgoe was introduced in 1982 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sugar plantation Mariënburg. Borgoe 12 is well up the ladder in the Borgoe family of rums and according to the company website:

Borgoe 12 is a blend of carefully selected rums, blended to perfection and aged in authentic oak barrels. When creating this impressive rum, our Master Blender was inspired by the iconic flavors of the other ripened rums from the Borgoe Reserve Collection, resulting in a blend of unparalleled intensity.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

To the left is a bottle shot of the Borgoe 12 decanter. I like the stylish decanter and believe it elevates the presentation of the spirit.

I would like it if the lable on the bottle displayed a proper age statement. Although the number 12 is found in the bottle right corner of the label, It is as presented just a number. Nowhere does the label say that the number represents an age statement, although I have found many retailers on-line who present it as such.

I should point out that the company website also does not claim that any of the contents of this product are aged for 12 years. It is strongly implied by the label; but my instinct is to believe that if it is not explicated stated, we should not take a number on a label to be an statement of age.

In The Glass 8.5/10

Colour:  Bronze

Legs: A reluctant crest finally drops fat droplets

Initial Nose: Caramel, oak spice, vanilla, baking spice and orange peel

Decanted Aroma: Melded aroma of caramel, oak spices, vanilla and baking spice with walnuts, nougat and marmalade

In the Mouth 52/60

Alcohol push and Spice: Smooth entry but heat builds with each sip

Initial Taste: Melding of oak, caramel and baking spices with a light leathery bitterness and a touch of orange peel spiciness

Follow up: More of the same, with added notes of cocoa and cola

With Ice: Perhaps a touch too bitter with ice, coca and coffee flavours appear

In The Throat: 13/15

Body and Length: Medium bodied rum, with orange peel heat building up and perhaps just a hint of alcohol burn.

Flavours during Swallow: coffee and cocoa wrapped around baking spice

Lingering Flavours: Oak spice lingers with cocoa fade

The Afterburn  8.5/10

Final Thoughts: A very nice rum which I would probably serve in an Old Fashioned Cocktail.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping



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