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Highwood Imported White Rum

Review: Highwood Imported White Rum 83.5/100
A review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on November 14, 2009

Highwood White Rum

In the Bottle 3.5/5

We have a very simple presentation in a clear white bottle. The front label is simple and does little to instill confidence in the rum’s character. The back label gives a little history of rum (but not of this particular rum) and provides a Pina Colada recipe.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The Highwood Imported Rum is a blend of aged Caribbean white rums and is apparently a predominantly Demerara blend. The rum is a clear spirit with a nice fragrant nose. The first sniff revealed a light cotton candy with mild undertones of fruit and brown sugar. In the cotton candied fruit I catch a touch of that signature Demerara sweetness with mildly minty tones. There is also a very slight medicinal tinge in the air.

In the Mouth 51/60

This has a pleasant soft texture with light oil in the mouth. There is no bitterness; the caramel flavour of the rum is firm. A tingle of alcohol bite tastes slightly sharp, but we also taste the light candy flavours I noticed in the nose and an every so light progression of mint. Flashes of vanilla present themselves, but I catch no nutty flavours at all. Although the bottle says aged, I would think we are talking no more than two or three years. What we have here is a nice mixer. In fact the addition of only a few drops of cola completely dissipates the slightly sharp alcohol bite and provides a nice smooth flavour profile which begs to be mixed with cola.

In the Throat 12.5/15

This is smoother than a typical white rum and sweeter too. While I do not believe this is intended as a sipping rum, the buttery texture does provide length for the finish. Although we have a little sharpness on the exit, I am left with a sweetened palate, and a clean fresh mouth finish.

The Afterburn 8/10

I tasted this rum about two years ago and was not impressed. This time however the flavour was smoother, sweeter, and more to my liking. It is hard to know whether this impression is consistent from batch to batch. With no information provided on the label as origin of the rum, we are left to speculate whether Highwood has consistently used the same blend or whether it is a matter of convenience which dictates their rum preference. I am hoping that future iterations of the spirit maintain the quality I note in this review.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


Suggested Cocktail:

I’m going to suggest the Pina Colada recipe that Highwood prints on the back of the bottle. I will point out that a good old fashioned Rum and Coke or Cuba Libre’ are fine as well.

The Highwood Rum Pina Colada

In a mixing glass:

3 Oz Highwood Rum
3 Tbsp Coconut Milk
3 Tbsp Crushed Pineapple
2 cups of crushed Ice

Mix and Serve



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)

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