The Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum
Review: The Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum 78/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on February 18, 2014
The Flight of the Wild Geese is a reference to a regimental force which traveled from Ireland to France under the command of Patrick Sarsfield, as stipulated in the Treaty of Limerick on October 3, 1691. The western counties of Clare, Limerick, Cork, Kerry and Galway provided most of these recruits as French ships would arrive on the west of Ireland with cargoes of smuggled brandy or wine and would depart with troops for the Irish Brigade. Although the term “Wild Geese” is usually reserved for these men of the France’s Irish Brigade, it is true that France was not the only destination for these recruits. Many “Wild Geese” went to Spain forming a number of regiments in the Spanish army, and also to the armies of Austria, Russian, Poland and various German Kingdoms.
Note: Those ships which carried the recruits apparently listed the smuggled troops as “Wild Geese,” in the ship’s records which of course is the genesis of the name given to these Irish Soldiers. The tradition of the Wild Geese Soldiers all but ended in 1745 when Irish recruitment for continental armies was made illegal.
The Wild Geese Rum Collection is the companion to the Wild Geese Irish Whisky Collection. While the Wild Geese Irish Whisky collection sought to bring the Story of the Wild Geese and their struggles in European Armies to light, the Wild Geese Rum Collection continues the saga bringing to light the story of some of these Wild Geese who after service in the continental armies of Europe found themselves transported to America and the Caribbean where many worked upon the Rum Plantations in the new world.
The Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum has been aged for up to five years and has been blended with tropical fruits and spice.
In the Bottle 3.5/5
The bottle which houses the Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced is shown to the left. This is the version of the rum bottled for the United Kingdom (from which my sample came), and it is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. As indicated in my previous review for The Wild Geese Golden Rum, I find the imagery on the front label perplexing. The crystal skull with the sunglasses is apparently a modern pirate motif representing the idea that at least some of the Wild Geese Soldiers wound up in the Caribbean working on rum plantations and perhaps even serving on the odd pirate ship.
I’ll be honest and say I find the stylized skull (especially with the sunglasses) is a rather odd caricature of the “Wild Geese” (Irish Soldiers) who I believe deserve a more fitting tribute. The label seems to imply they all became renegades and criminals who sailed the high seas looking for plunder. As I said, I find the metaphoric tribute represented on the label rather odd.
However, I admit the bottle is eye-catching, and if your real motivation is to sell rum (rather than to honor the history of the Wild Geese Irish Soldiers) then the imagery upon the label will probably serve its purpose well.
In the Glass 8/10
The rum displays as a light amber coloured liquid in the glass, and when I tilt that glass and give it a slow twirl I see that it drops slender legs back into the rum. Rising from the glass to greet my nose are impressions of cherry licorice (Turkish Delight), grilled pineapple and sweet fruity mango all lifting into the breezes alongside some gentle vanilla.There is perhaps some astringency as well, indicating to me that perhaps the rums from which Soldiers and Heroes Caribbean Spiced was crafted had seen only a little time in the aging barrels.
In the Mouth 47/60
The combination of flavours in the mouth is very reminiscent of a North American rum I have previously reviewed called Redrum, and just as was the case with that flavoured rum, the possibilities for mixing the Caribbean Spiced Rum seems to be opening up in front of me as I sip. The initial flavour impressions I receive across my palate are similar to what I experienced as I nosed the glass. I sense a trio of fruitiness which resembles cherry licorice, fresh mango and sliced pineapple. There is also a welcome spiciness which runs through the rum with suggestions of coriander and ginger implied by my taste buds. Rounding out the flavour is an impression of vanilla with hints of butterscotch sweetness.
I decided to experiment a little with the spiced rum and mixed a highball with cola. The resulting bar drink tastes similar to cherry cola with an added bit of unexpected (but welcome) spicy attitude. Next, I mixed a cocktail with fresh fruit juice (see recipe below), and again that welcome spiciness was apparent in the mixed drink with impressions of ginger and coriander pushing through the cocktail. As a mixer, the Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum is very promising.
What does not seem all that promising is sipping the spiced rum either neat or on the rocks. I do not mean this to a criticism, rather this is just the reality of a spirit that shows little age in the glass. Any rum which displays little evidence of aging, no matter how well it is spiced or flavoured, rarely appeals to me as a sipper.
In the Throat 11.5/15
The finish is perhaps a touch rough with tropical flavours of mango and pineapple having the first word in the exit, and the spicy push of ginger and coriander having the last. It is exactly this spicy ‘roughness’ at the end which makes this spirit so nice in cocktails.
The Afterburn 8/10
You should not take my final score of 78/100 as an indication that I think this spiced rum is wanting. Quite the opposite, I think the The Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum is a fun mixer, and it is versatile enough to find its way into all manner of cocktails (see below). My overall score recognizes the mixing potential of the spiced rum in cocktails; but also recognizes that this spiced rum is not necessarily meant to be a sipper.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Spiced Rum Reviews.
2 oz Spiced Rum (Light)
1/2 oz Triple Sec
3/4 oz Lime juice
1/4 oz Grapefruit juice
1 Barspoon Sugar syrup
Lime slice for garnish
Shake all the ingredients over ice
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a small slice of Lime
Please remember to drink responsibly, the aim of my blog is to help you drink better spirits…not more spirits!
a cocktail by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
2 oz Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine
Shake the first four ingredients over ice
Strain into a tumbler half full of cracked ice
Stir until the glass frosts
Complete with Ginger-ale
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!
My Scores are out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret them 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 spirit. 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)