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Cane Island Nicaragua Rum (12 Years Old)

Review: Cane Island Nicaragua Rum (12 Years Old)   93.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published December 17, 2020

Cane Island is a rum brand owned by Infinity Spirits, who appear to be based in Amsterdam. The purpose of the Cane Island Brand appears to be to showcase Rums which are sourced from a single distillery from iconic Island rum nations in the Caribbean and elsewhere in the world. Each one of these countries has a long history of rum production with their own styles and traditions.

Cane Island Nicaragua Rum was distilled at an undisclosed distillery in Nicaragua. The spirit was column distilled from molasses and tropically aged for 12 years in ex bourbon barrels. The spirit is bottled at 43 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Cane Island Australian Rum is sold in the short stubby bottle shown to the left. Positives are the medium long neck which makes pouring easy, the attractive label which is easy on the eyes, and the definitive age statement.

I would prefer a heavier glass base for stability; but otherwise this appears to be a very nice presentation.

In The Glass 9.5/10

Colour: Copper/Bronze

Legs: Medium sized droplets form slender legs

Nose: Oak sap, butterscotch, brown sugar, and spicy tobacco. Orange peel zest with vanilla and baking spices (cinnamon with light impressions of cloves and nutmeg). Almond, apricots jam, hints of raisin and bits of dry fruit (apricot and dates).

Over time all of the scents merge into a wonderful marmalade with spicy accents of oak and baking spice. This is going to be yummy!

In The Mouth 56/60

The rum is smooth, and I taste a delicious mixture of vanilla, oak spice, butterscotch and orange peel. Some grassy tobacco is apparent, as is an underlying nuttiness that reminds me of almonds. Baking spices (cinnamon and hint of nutmeg) and a fruity impression of canned apricots mixed with spiced raisins are apparent as well. Oak and dark brown sugar emerge as I sip as does a lovely winding grassiness which heats the palate.

In The Throat 14/15

This is a heated rum which finishes with a little rush of oak sap and spice. Some soothing menthol coupled with rich vanilla and baking spice complete the exit which has me reaching for another sip.

The Afterburn  9.5/10

My sampling sessions with Cane Island Nicaragua Rum (12 Years Old)  went very well. I found the rum smooth, incredibly complex and balanced. I would recommend sipping the spirit neat or over ice, although I would not want to dissuade anyone from enjoying an Old Fashions Cocktail or serving of their choice.

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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