Lamb’s Blacksheep Spiced Rum
Review: Lamb’s Blacksheep Spiced Rum (80/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published June 12, 2016
Lamb’s Blacksheep Spiced Rum was recently dropped from the Corby Brands website which lists their entire stable of North American Brands. hopefully this is only temporary as the brand featured a very unique take on the spiced rum category. When the brand was listed, they offered this description of the spiced rum:
“…Lamb’s® Black Sheep Spiced Rum is produced and blended in small batches to ensure consistency of the complex flavour profile that is unique to the rum category. Our ingredients – the finest cinnamon from Korintje, Madagascar-bourbon vanilla and lime essence from Mexico have been carefully selected from around the world to ensure optimal enjoyment on the palate…”
My bottle of the Blacksheep rum is bottled at 37.5 % alcohol by volume, and even though it has disappeared from Corby’s website it is still available in my locale in the attractive 750 ml bottle shown to the left.
In the Bottle: (4/5)
As you can see, the hexagonal Lamb’s bottle is attractive as is the professional label with the strong fonts and colors which hint at the cinnamon flavours found inside. The presentation is quite satisfactory, especially the plastic screw cap which is much preferred over those pressed on metal caps I still see on most spiced rums.
In the Glass: (8/10)
The rum has displays a nice amber colour in the glass and when I tilted my glass and swirled it I noted that the rum seemed slightly thickened. The legs which formed were slender but they ambled down the inside of the glass at a leisurely pace. This light thickness is almost certainly a product of added sugar which (given that the rum is spiced with cinnamon) is to be completely expected.
Speaking of the cinnamon, its imprint is felt firmly in the breezes above the glass as is a healthy dose of vanilla. The combination of sugar sweetener, cinnamon, and vanilla reminds me of those tiny red heart-shaped candies I used to buy as a kid. Behind the cinnamon and the vanilla is the mild caramel scent of a young rum; but I detect very little if any the lime essence which was mentioned upon the Corby website, nor any appreciable oak spice. I suspect the overt aroma of cinnamon is overpowering my ability to recognize the lighter nuances.
In the Mouth (48/60)
I would classify this rum as a mixer rather than a sipper. It’s not that I can’t sip Lamb’s Blacksheep, I can and occasionally I do; but, the flavour profile is like a sweet cinnamon candy. I like the overcharge of cinnamon, and the inviting vanilla underneath, but drinking the rum neat is kind of like nibbling that sweet candy. You like it, but if you do it too often or too quickly, the flavour becomes cloying. Mixed with cola is a whole other matter, the Blacksheep is delicious mixed. In fact, Lamb’s Blacksheep rum does not need to be mixed with cola, it is very versatile. I made a great spiced peach punch for a Superbowl party back in 2012 using the Lamb’s Blacksheep as the base spirit, and earlier in my explorations I made some wicked spiced rum balls (see recipes below). Black sheep and ginger-ale is a great mixed drink as well.
In the Throat (12/15)
The finish is all cinnamon and vanilla, with a nice kick that stems from the spice rather than the alcohol. This is a 75 proof spirit, which is slightly higher than most spiced rums in the market place; but I wish it had more alcohol push to go with the cinnamon kick.
The Afterburn (8/10)
When I first tried this rum, I was delighted by the unique flavor profile. Over time I have found that this flavour profile can become cloying if I return too often. However, I still love using this rum for mixed cocktails where the unique spicy attitude works extremely well.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
Here is the recipe:
1 cup Lamb’s Blacksheep Spiced Rum
1/2 cup Lamb’s Palm Breeze
1/4 cup Triple Sec
2 cups Peach Juice
3 cups Orange Juice
1/4 cup Lime Juice
3 tbsp Simple Syrup
Garnish Punch Bowl with slices of peach fruit
Finish with Large Ice Cubes
I find this to be a very refreshing drink and as you can see I fill my glass to the brim!
Blacksheep Rum Balls
1 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (A mixture of walnuts, pecans, and almonds)
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
4 oz grated dark bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup Lamb’s Blacksheep Rum
1 tsp Real Vanilla Extract
1 or 2 Dairy Milk chocolate bars
Here’s how to make them:
Place the Dairy Milk bars in the refrigerator to keep them hard so they are easy to grate later.
Make sure the nuts and the first amount of chocolate is very finely chopped and grated.
Mix the first five ingredients together and form into a small ball.
Refrigerate the mixture for 1/2 hour.
When you take the mix from the refrigerator, Take about a tablespoon at a time and roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls.
Cover the balls with the second amount of finely grated Dairy Milk bars.
Place back on the wax paper in the flat Tupperware and seal, refrigerate until you are ready to eat them. Yumm!
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)