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Pumpkin Face White Rum

Review: Pumpkin Face White Rum   86.5/100
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published October 04, 2013

Pumpkin Face Rum is a new brand of rum being distributed in Canada by Pure Global Imports. The rum inside the cool looking pumpkin shaped bottles is apparently a blend of selected rums from the Dominican Republic. I was curious about those pumpkin faced bottles, and found this statement on the Pumpkin Face Rum website:

“The pumpkin is a symbol of celebration to people around the world. The origin of the pumpkin can be traced to North American seeds dating back to 7000 BC. The word pumpkin comes from the word “pepon”, which is Greek for “large melon” and later changed by American colonists to “pumpkin”. Colonists would often slice off the pumpkin top, remove the seeds, and fill it with cream, honey, eggs and spices. They cooked the pumpkin in hot ashes until blackened then enjoyed its contents.”

pumpkin line-up

I was able (through my friends at Pure Global Imports) to secure samples of all three Pumpkin Face Rums. I decided to begin my review series with the Pumpkin Face White Rum. According to the labeling, this is an ‘ultra premium’ Dominican Rum, bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. The brand is owned by, Itsko Imports Inc of Beverly Hills, California.

Pumpkin Face WhiteIn the Bottle 5/5

The rum is in a clear bottle showcasing the clarity of the spirit, and the topper is a quality synthetic cork closure which gives the product added ambiance and a touch of class. How could I score this bottle presentation with anything but a perfect score. When this bottle is empty, I will be saving it on my shelf and perhaps even re-filling it with another spirit just so that I bring it out again. I love the Jack-o-lantern bottle.

In the Glass 8.5/10

When I poured the Pumpkin Face White Rum into my glass, I noticed the spirit carried a light butterscotch scent into the air. As I nosed the rum, mild impressions of banana, orange zest, and faint grassy vegetal notes rose into the breezes. There were also a few light traces of cotton candy, wisps of mint, and hints of anise-like licorice scents. Only very mild traces of astringency were present, and in my estimation, the breezes above the glass represent a classic aromatic profile for white rum. This promises to be a very likable spirit.

In The Mouth  51.5/60

Rather than beginning my tasting sessions with a shot of the white rum neat, I decided to build a few classic cocktails as a means of introducing myself to the Pumpkin Face Rum. I began with a Daiquiri (see recipe and photo below), and I was impressed enough to build another. The lightly sweet characteristic of the rum melded beautifully with the lime resulting in a cocktail which contained whispers of butterscotch sweetness within a tart citric spiciness. I moved on to a Cuba Libre’ next, and was similarly impressed. Again it was that faint butterscotch flavour which seemed to allow the rum to meld with the cola bringing great enjoyment to the bar drink.

Later I tasted the white rum neat and found it quite sippable. It was smooth (for a white rum) with a taste profile that matched up well with the impressions I wrote down while nosing the glass. I tasted a light butterscotch sweetness which was accented by flavours of banana, a lightly spicy citrus zest, and hints of licorice and mint. Everything about the Pumpkin Face White Rum is on target.

In the Throat 13/15

The finish is smooth with trailing flavours of light butterscotch and a gentle spiciness that warms the palate and throat. The consistency of impressions from nose, to mouth, to throat is impressive.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

I was not quite sure what to expect when I first noticed the Pumpkin Face Rums in a retail setting. The look of the bottles is outstanding, and I suspect many people will purchase the rum just because the bottles are so cool. However, the pricing (that I saw at least) was so reasonable, that I was actually suspicious that an inferior rum may have been used to keep the costs down. Now that I have tasted the White Rum, (and the others which I will also review in the next few weeks), I can assure you that inferior rum was not used in any of the bottles. The Pumpkin Face Rums are not only the coolest looking rums in the market, they are also an outstanding value.

My score of 86.5/100 reflects that the Pumpkin Face White Rum is not only a very good cocktail rum, it is also quite enjoyable as a sipper. If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


Suggested Recipe

As mentioned above, a quality white rum is a nice starting point for a Daiquiri.

SAM_0980 Pumpkin Face DaiquiriPumpkin Face Daiquiri

1 1/2 oz. Pumpkin Face White Rum
1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 tsp. Simple Syrup
Slice of Lime for Garnish

Combine the first three ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker chills.
Strain into a chilled  glass.
Garnish with the lime slice

This simple yet elegant cocktail originated in Cuba in the 1800s.  It was popularized in North America by tourists who traveled to Cuba especially during prohibition.  Many forms of the Daiquiri exist today, and I consider it one of the quintessential rum cocktails. As such it is a perfect way to enjoy a quality white rum such as Pumpkin Face White.


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)


2 Responses to “Pumpkin Face White Rum”

  1. Jack said

    So glad you reviewed this rum, and as usual – excellently done. I’m going to need to make a drive to a state where I can buy it, either the white or the reserve. Probably the coolest bottle I’ve seen. Thanks for the review.

  2. matt said

    Not available in my area yet, (western maine) heres hoping it will come here!

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