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XM Royal 10 Years Rum (DIH Banks)

Review: XM Royal 10 Years Rum (DIH Banks)   82/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on Decembr 15, 2019

XM Royal 10 Years Rum is produced by DIH Banks who are located in Georgetown, Guyana. DIH Banks are better known within Guyana for their beer than their rum, and part of the reason for this is that as a company they are dwarfed by the Guyanese rum giant, Demerara Distillers Limited DDL makers of El Dorado Rum. Another part of the reason is that DIH does not actually produce their own rum. Instead they source all of their spirit from third party Caribbean suppliers.

When I was sent a sample of the XM Royal 10 Years Rum by 1423 World Class Spirits as part of their 24 Days of Rum advent calendar, the information presented to me was that the rum was ultimately produced in Trinidad; however further research indicates that while Trinidad may be DIH Banks main source for rum, spirits from other localities (Barbados in particular) may also be within their rum blends.

According to the producers website (here):

The rums used to make XM Royal Gold are first aged to perfection in bourbon casks for over 10 years before being subject to a very demanding selection process. Only rums of the highest quality are selected for blending. Once blended, the rum is then filled into Sherry wine casks for a further 6 months.

In the Bottle 4/5

The presentation for the XM Royal Rum is shown to the left. The bottle and the label imply more of a lower shelf rum than a premium sipping spirit, although the cardboard box the rum is housed in does elevate this perception.

In The Glass 8/10

Colour:  Amber

Legs: Mid-sized droplets leaving slender legs as they fall.

Initial Nose: Light oak spice, vanilla, orange peel and light coconut, with almond and hints of cinnamon.

Decanted Aroma: Things do not change very much as the rum breathes. The oak spice gains a little strength but that is all. (The spirit reminds me strongly of Angostura Royal Oak Rum which is also a Trinidadian Rum.)

In the Mouth 50/60

Alcohol push and Spice: Smooth entry with a build up of oak spice after the swallow

Initial Taste: Fine oak spice, butterscotch, vanilla and almond

Follow up: The rum remains consistent with primary flavours of oak spice, butterscotch, vanilla and almond although perhaps I taste a hint of mustiness as the spirit breathes

With Ice: I added just a touch of cola with the ice which tastes very nice

In The Throat: 12/15

Body and Length: Medium bodied with a heated finish of fine oak spice

Flavours during Swallow: Oak, light butterscotch, vanilla and almond

Lingering Flavours: Oak spice glows with a touch of cinnamon and vanilla lingering.

The Afterburn  8/10

Final Thoughts: I am sort of on the fence with respect to the XM Royal 10 year Rum. It seems more like a cocktail mixer, than a true sipping rum, and as I am typing this I am beginning to notice a little burn in the throat as I take my last sip. I guess I just expect more from a rum which proudly states ’10 Years’ on the label.

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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