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Neptune Barbados Gold Rum

Review: Neptune Barbados Gold Rum   (83.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka the Rum Howler)
Published December 06, 2020

Neptune Rum is a British company was founded in 2017 in Cheltenham, UK.  It was  inspired by the Roman God Neptune, god of water and seas. Neptune Barbados Gold Rum is apparently a blend of 3, 5 and 8 year old molasses based rums from Barbados distilled at the family owned Four Square Distillery (This distillery is located at a former 17th-century sugarcane plantation at the southern end of Barbados). The blended spirit were aged in Amercan Oak barrels with the final rum bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

The rum advertises that it is created without the addition of any extra ingredients or chemicals. This would include no added sugars or other sweeteners and no artificial flavourings or colourings.

In the Bottle 4/5

The bottle presentation for Neptune Rum Barbados Gold was recently updated. However the bottle which I am tasting is the one shown to the left. If you would like to see the more current bottle it can be found on the company’s retail website (here).This review is for the older bottling which I believe is (other than the bottle) the same spirit as the newer bottling.

As you can see this is a tall cylindrical bottle with a wood topped cork. The label features a picture of The God of the Sea, Neptune at the top and an illustration of a large octapod under a sailing ship on the bottom with the advice that one should Drink to Neptune’s Better Nature so as not to incur his wrath. The bottle has a nice mid-sized neck and a wide mouthed opening making pouring very easy. If I have a quibble, it is that the cork on my bottle is rather spongy and after being in my rum cupboard for about a year and a half is beginning to show signs of deterioration. My suggestion would be that a synthetic cork might be a better alternative. (I should note that I like the new bottle just a little better.)

In the Glass  8.5/10

Colour: Pale Gold consistent with a rum of this age

Legs: Slender legs which amble at a moderate pace down the side of the glass

Nose: Subtle and nuanced with a nice melding of vanilla, butterscotch and almond accented by fine oak spice. The fine oak spices build, bringing dusty impressions of sandalwood, ginger and light fruity citrus zest forward. There are hints of cinnamon as well. Hints of tropical fruit (banana and coconut) add to the nuanced aroma. After a few minutes I notice that the impressions vanilla, almond and butterscotch had almost melded completely bring a nice impression of marzipan to the fore.

The rum is moderately complex, yet it has a light beguiling quality that I appreciate.

In The Mouth 50/60

The rum at first seems simplistic. All of the impressions on the nose come forward as we sip with the only significant addition being that the fine oak spices seem elevated giving the rum a lively spiciness. the rum has a light fruity quality coupled with this spiciness which give it an exuberance which bodes well for cocktails. I say this because it is my impression that the rum seems almost designed to be an elite mixer, rather than a sipping rum. The light nature of the rum with its subtle flavours see to indicate to me that it could be paired with all manner of citrus in daiquiri styled cocktails.

Here is a cocktail of mine which I feel works very well with Neptune Rum:

11 A.M. Daiquiri

2 1/2 oz Neptune Rum
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Orange Juice
3/8 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1)
Lemon Peel

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Pour into a crushed ice-filled hurricane glass
Garnish with orange and cherry.

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


In The Throat 12.5/15

One quality I did not mention earlier was that the rum seems to have a soft mouth feel, not oily soft, rather soft as in the way soft water feels like. The exit is crisp and smooth as a result. Fine oak spice and citrus zest linger which again gives me the impression that fine cocktails is desired destination for the Neptune rum.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The Neptune Rum was extremely difficult to score. I wanted to add marks where I could to emphasize how highly I think of this spirit as a high end cocktail mixer. I did not however want to give the impression which my score that I was recommending the spirit as a sipper. As much as I love the subtle nuances of flavour that I can find within the rum, it just doesn’t have the depth of character that i look for in a sipping rum.

My final score is 83.5/100 which if you look at the guide below represents a rum can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, but one which I personally would mix in cocktails.


I am always asked what my numbers actually mean. In order to provide clarification, 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 and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

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