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By the Dutch Batavia Arrack (Indonesian Rum)

Review: By the Dutch Batavia Arrack (Rum) 84.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on December 7, 2019

By The Dutch is a spirits company formed in 2015 with the goal to broaden the international awareness of traditional handcrafted and premium spirits of Dutch heritage. Their Batavia Arrack is an Indonesian Rum distilled on Java Island. Their Bativia Arrack is a 100 % sugar-cane based spirit produced from of a range of Pot distilled spirits. Traditionally, Bativia Arrack uses a fermentation process includes the addition of local (red) rice. This sets it apart from traditional Rum, and some jurisdictions refuse to allow Bativia Arrack to be labeled as rum even though the spirit is derived from sugar-cane.

By The Dutch Bativia Arrack has been produced in the traditional method, however, for the purpose of this review, I may refer to the spirit as both Batavia Arrack and as Indonesian Rum.

At some point after distillation, this Indonesian spirit was stored and shipped to Amsterdam where it was matured in large oak casks. (I do not know if any aging occurred in Indonesia.) After aging for up to 8 years the Batavia Arrack was then blended and bottled at 48 % abv in Schiedem located in the Netherlands.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

By The Dutch Batavia Arrack is presented in the cool looking cylindrical bottle shown to the left. I really like what I see with one exception. If we look closely at the age statement we see that it says that the Indonesian Rum has been aged for up to 8 years. This means we have no idea at all how long the rum was actually aged, or whether the entire contents have been aged the same length of time.

In The Glass 8.5/10

Colour:  Pale straw

Legs: A reluctant crest releases mid size droplets

Initial Nose: Fine oak spice and straw with butterscotch orange peel and almond.

Decanted Aroma: A light undercurrent of vegetal aroma give the spirit a hint of Cachaca beside fine oak spice, almond, butterscotch, ginger, orange peel, banana, coconut and melon

In the Mouth 50.5/60

Alcohol push and Spice: Wood spice and heated alcohol swamp the palate

Initial Taste: Fine oak spice, butterscotch, vanilla and almond. And there is that light vegetal ribbon of Cachaca underneath

Follow up: More of the same, the spirit is complex with a light nuanced herbal flavour beginning to well up

With Ice: I added just a touch of ginger-ale with the ice and this tasted very nice indeed

In The Throat: 12.5/15

Body and Length: Full bodied with a long heated finish

Flavours during Swallow: Oak, light butterscotch, vanilla and almond with an herbal twist

Lingering Flavours: Oak spice glows with herbal camphor, cinnamon and mint lingering

The Afterburn  8.5/10

Final Thoughts: My first experience with Batavia Arrack has been quite eye-opening. That hint of vegetal Cachaca-like flavour works very well against the backdrop of a more traditional rum flavour.

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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