The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • Copyright

    Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. Thus, all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.
  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Industry Interviews


    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Rum Reviews

  • Whisky Reviews

  • Gin Reviews

  • Tequila Reviews

  • Vodka Reviews

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,066 other subscribers
  • Subscribe

  • Visitors

    • 14,379,046 pageviews since inception
  • Archives

  • Follow The Rum Howler Blog on

Rum Nation British Guyana 10 Year Old (Cask Strength)

Review: Rum Nation British Guyana  (92.5/100)
10 Year Old (Cask Strength)
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted on January 28, 2020

Rum Nation is an Italian company created by Fabio Rossi, who began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied winemaking). After his studies, Mr. Rossi left the wine business and started up a whisky company in Edinburgh (Wilson and Morgan) acting as an independent bottler of Single Malt Scotch Whisky. His interest turned to rum and in 1999 Fabio Rossi founded Rum Nation. His company is headquartered in Italy; but Fabio purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas. As a result Rum Nation provides a rather unique assortment of rare limited edition rum bottlings.

One such bottling is Rum Nation British Guyana 10 Year Old (Cask Strength) bottled at 56.5 % alcohol by Volume.

The producer of this rum is of course, the Diamond Distillery which sits on the East Bank of the Demerara River near Georgetown, Guyana. The Distillery, originally attached to the now closed Diamond Sugar Estate, is home to Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL).

DDL is popular across the world for its rich, three hundred year history of rum production. Using a combination of old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL) has built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. In fact, Demerara Distillers is the currently the largest supplier of bulk Caribbean rums to Europe and North America.

The Rum Nation British Guyana 10 Year Old (Cask Strength) rum is a blend of distillates from three different or the historic stills from the original DDL old distillation plant, the French Savalle still, the wooden Coffey still, and the double wooden pot still. Several years ago I had the opportunity to visit The DDL facilities in Guyana and you can read more about what I learned regarding these ancient stills here.

In the Bottle 5/5

As you can see the bottle which houses the Rum Nation British Guyana 10 Year Old (Cask Strength) rum is solid. The short squat bottle has a look and feel which implies ‘substance’. I like the postage stamp label which brings the spirit’s heritage to the presentation. A glass stopper seals the bottle which really pleases me. In the past I have criticized the low quality cork stoppers used previously by Rum Nation (on their premium products). This is because in my somewhat dry climate, low quality stoppers tend to become brittle quickly, and when they do they break rather easily. This is especially the case with high strength offerings where the high alcohol content speeds up the process of cork deterioration. It is very refreshing to me that Fabio has taken steps to improve the seal allowing the consumer to enjoy the benefits of cask strength offerings without the problem of deteriorating corkage.

In the Glass 9.5/10

Colour: Copper/bronze

The initial aroma is wonderful with firm alcohol scents pushing rich impressions of brown sugar, and baking spice into the breezes. There is a light herbal note hinting at the double pot still distillate, and permeating everything is a light backdrop of oak and oak spice.

As the glass breathes, I begin to notice oak sap melded with molasses, hints of tar, and spicy toffee. There is orange peel moving to marmalade and the baking spices have become more defined bringing me impression of vanilla, cinnamon and spicy cloves. The breezes also bring herbal grassy smells reminiscent of fresh tobacco. I am not sure, but there appears to be a raisin-like note indicating a sherry cask finish for this particular rum. Dry fruit, espresso coffee and some pungent leather rounds out the aroma which has me whetting my lips.

In the Mouth 55/60

Wow! The rum kicks you in the tonsils and then makes a fair attempt to sear the throat. This is not a smooth easy going dram. This is a mouth clobbering rum!  But man oh man, does it pack in a lot of flavour! Molasses, licorice and treacle, heated orange peel, astringent oak sap even a bit of acidic bite. I taste sherry-like flavours of raisins and dates, with coffee and dark bitter cocoa. Vanilla and baking spice (cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon in that order) as well as some winding grassy tobacco and roasted walnuts. Iodine and a touch of saltiness are implied, as is a sort of dark smokiness which give the rum a foreboding character. The rum is drier than the nose predicted and this dryness puckers the palate giving the alcohol even more sting, and the flavour more punch.

I had to add an ice cube after the second sip as the alcohol heat was overwhelming me. When I did the sweetness implied by the nose seemed to break free bringing me flavours of butterscotch and crème brûlée where the treacle and molasses had been. Despite the battle I am having with the Guyanese Rum, I find myself loving it.

In the Throat 13.5/15

The rum is medium to full bodied, with heated exit flavours of molasses, dark brown sugar and licorice. After the swallow, treacle settles in with pepper baking spice. Adding ice helps to tame the heat and allows a little sweetness though to act as a counterbalance against the dark dry flavours.

The Afterburn 9.5/10

My belief is that this is a rum that you will either love like I do, or you will dislike it immensely. This is because the rum must be wrestled with, and its flavours and heat tamed, else it will consume you rather than you consuming it. The Demerara rum clubs you in the mouth, and then it scalds your throat; but if you gain the advantage, then this new rum from Rum Nation (Rum Nation British Guyana 10 Year Old Cask Strength) is one fantastic dram!

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


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score 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)

%d bloggers like this: