George Street Spiced Rum
Review: George Street Spiced Rum 86.5/100
A Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted On July 5, 2011
(revised August 24, 2016 as part of my 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown)
There is a place where they believe they know rum better than anywhere else. And it’s hard to ague with those folk because not only have they been buying (and smuggling) their rum from the Caribbean for over three hundred years, they also happen to drink more of the stuff per capita than anyone else in North America. Where is this great rum haven, you might ask? Well, it’s not anywhere in the good old U.S. of A., and it’s not some tropical haven in Latin America or the Caribbean Islands. Nope, these people who drink more rum than anyone else live on a rock they call Newfoundland, which is part of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Great White North of Canada.
The capital of Newfoundland and Labrador is a city called St. John’s, and there they have a place where the rum consumption reaches its apex. That place is George Street! A street full of music and revelry, lined from top to bottom with Pubs and Restaurants, where almost everyone’s drink of choice seems to be rum! And it is for that place that the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission (NLC) have named their spiced rum, George Street Spiced Rum.
This isn’t an ordinary spiced rum. The rum itself is from Guyana, the home of the world-famous Demerara Rum, and that rum has been well aged blended from marques which are two, five , and seven years old. This blended aged rum is then spiced using both extractions and distillations of real spices. The product is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume and is sold across Canada.
In The Bottle 4/5
George Street Spiced Rum arrives in two configurations, a flask style plastic (PET) bottle with a plastic topper and easy pour spout, and a glass bar room style bottle pictured to the right. The label does a good job highlighting the revelry of St. John’s famous George Street. In fact the label kind of ‘pops’ if you know what I mean. It will certainly catch my eye when I see it on a store shelf, and the back label tells just enough of the story of George Street and Newfoundland Rum to intrigue me. The only drawback is the metal topper, but as I have said before, my battle against pressed on metal caps is a battle that I seem to be loosing.
In the Glass 8.5/10
When poured into my glencairn glass, the rum has a nice amber colour with firm hints of red and orange indicating that it has begun that turn towards a copper hue. When I tilt and twirl the rum in the glass I see a thin film on the inside, the crest of which gives up somewhat thick droopy legs which run back into the bottom of the glass. Although the rum is aged, the droplets are somewhat thicker than we would expect indicating to me that the rum will carry additional sweetness to go along with its spices.
Caramelized brown sugar and vanilla each jumped into the breezes as I poured the rum into my glass. After I poured a dram, I allowed it to breathe for just a little while. After a few minutes, rich baking spices joined in, and I received an impression of fresh cinnamon rolls rising into the air complete with treacle and rich dark brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon as well as roasted walnuts and pecans. There is also a light indication of oak spice and orange peel as well as hints of bittersweet chocolate.
The aroma is very inviting and displays some of the complexity which only comes from an oaked spirit.
In the Mouth 52/60
When I sip the spiced rum, it is the flavours of caramelized brown sugar and treacle which lead out with vanilla and baking spice playing a complementary role. I spices I taste are vanilla, cinnamon, a little nutmeg as well as hints of spicy cloves. There is a light bitterness winding throughout the spirit which reminds me of walnut and pecan. Additional impressions of tobacco, cola and bittersweet chocolate can all be found if one takes the time to look for them.
As indicated in my first review for the George Street Spiced Rum, spiced rum and coke cocktail is a natural combination for this spirit as the sweetness of the cola works beautifully with the dryer, more bittersweet elements of the rum. However, I also made a splendid short cocktail mixing the spiced rum with lemon and grapefruit juice (see recipe below).
In the Throat 13/15
The rums exits with flavours of treacle and roasted walnuts providing a light dry bitterness. Little pockets of cinnamon and a rush of vanilla provide the finale. Although the finish is somewhat short, I find the complementary flavours pleasing and have no trouble taking another sip (or two).
The Afterburn 9/10
George Street Spiced Rum is a very good spirit. I love that the folks at the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission had the good sense to use an aged Guyanese rum as the base spirit for this spiced expression, and the only flaw I can really point to is that the spirit was bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume (abv) instead of at 40 % or even better at 45 % abv. At a higher proof, all of the rich flavours aged rum would really shine. But even at 35 % this just might be the nicest spiced rum I have tasted yet.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
Of course George Street Spiced Rum and Cola is at the top of my recommendations, and I have a nice of Rum and Cola recipe that works really well with Spiced Rum.
Sparkling Cola Cocktail
1 1/2 oz George Street Spiced Rum
1 1/2 oz Sparkling White Wine
a slice of Lemon or Lime
Add the Spiced rum and Sparkling wine to a tumbler half full of cracked ice
Complete with cola
Garnish with a slice of Lemon or Lime
Enjoy this when a simple Rum and coke just will not do!
Here is a tasty recipe which pays homage to Ray Bradbury’s tale of where television entertainment has become so ubiquitous that a lone person who enjoys an evening stroll arouses the suspicions of the city robot police car.
1 3/4 oz George Street Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
3 drops Fees Cocktail Bitters
Twist of Lemon
Place the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of lemon peel
If you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
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)