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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)
Refreshed March, 2020

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

By The Dutch Batavia Arrack is a pale straw colour in the glass which when tilted and twirled reveals a thickened crest which only reluctantly drops mid sized leglets.

The nose is filled with oak spice and straw mingling with butterscotch, orange peel, and almond. I sense a light wisp of something vegetal which reminds me of cachaca. Ginger, banana coconut and melon all seemed to have joined in and the result is quite pleasing.

Note: we will have to see how that Cachaca-like aroma plays out, but so far, so good.

In the Mouth 50.5/60

When I sip the spirit I notice immediately that wood spice and heated alcohol are swamping my palate. This is not not surprising in a spirit bottled at 48 % alcohol by volume. But I did find I had to step back for a few moments and then approach the spirit with more caution. Once the bite of the alcohol and spice have been weathered. I notice more clearly fine oak spice, butterscotch, vanilla and almond all appearing just as they did on the nose. And again,  there is that light vegetal ribbon of Cachaca underneath …

As the glass breathes, the spirit seems to grow more complex with a light nuanced herbal flavour beginning to well up. Everything seems to work quite nicely, and even that light vegetal quality of Cachaca seems to have found a positive place within the dram. I added a spalsh of ginger-ale with the ice to my serving glass and decided that this was a decent way to finish the sample.

In The Throat: 12.5/15

By The Dutch Batavia Arrack is full bodied with a long heated finish. We taste oak, mild butterscotch, vanilla and almond as we swallow the spirit albeit everything has a light herbal twist. After the swallow oak spice glows with herbal camphor, cinnamon, and mint lingering.

The Afterburn  8.5/10

My first experience with Batavia Arrack has been quite eye-opening. The spirit features hint of vegetal Cachaca-like flavour which works very well against the backdrop of a more traditional rum flavour. I was hoping the spirit would grow more in the glass as I allowed it to breathe, If we had had more flavour development, my score would have been much higher.

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

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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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