William George

Afternoon all. Today’s dram is another blend, this time from a company called William George Rum, founded by two brothers- Andrew and Richard Nicholls – who named their product after their grandfathers; William Simpson and George Nicholls. From the website: “This exceptional white rum honours the memories of William and George whose love, commitment and sacrifice was unquestionable.” As far as reasons for naming your product go, it’s definitely a power move and (hopefully) speaks to the noble intentions when it comes to producing the finished product.

As does the pedigree of one of its co-creators, the previously mentioned Andrew Nicholls. Previously he was a full time bartender for 18 years, is the rum educator for the Dutch arm of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, a judge for World’s 50 Best Bars and a member of one of the committee’s for Tales of The Cocktail, a leading US based Foundation aiming to educate, advance and support the global drinks industry. So yeah, pedigree.

The rums in this blend (there are 6) are from the following distilleries:

Worthy Park
Hampden Estate
New Yarmouth
Monymusk
Angostura x 2

All of the Jamaican rums are solely pot still distillates and are unaged, as is one of the Trinidadian components. The final Angostura portion is aged between 2-5 years in ex-bourbon barrels and then carbon-filtered.

The end product is then bottled at 43% in a very smart bit of packaging. Look at that seamless segue….

Presentation – An unusual, slender bottle with a synthetic cork stopper, the packaging is top notch. Clean lines and a minimalist label with copper embossing and lots of little touches, such as the elephant skin print on the inner aspect of the label, make this an eye-catching product. I’d recommend watching Andrew’s recent presentation at the European Online Rum Festival for an explanation about how they chose the designs for this, it’s a view into just how much thought has gone into this product.

Nose – The volatility/ester count of rums is still something I’m trying to get my head around. Not the concept; I understand that the higher the count, the more aroma’s you are potentially able to pick up. But I’m not there yet with appreciating how it affects my decision to buy one product over another (beyond the obvious that if a producer has taken the time to make this information known, they’re probably conscientious enough to have put some thought into the finished product).
At any rate, this has an ester count of 317.1gr/hlaa (grams per hectoliter of absolute alcohol), which is pretty respectable. For more information about this, I’ve got a good paper from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry written in 2008 looking at esters in various cachaca’s versus mass produced rums that I’d be happy to share to anyone who enjoys this stuff. Is that tumbleweed?
AAANNYWAY…. the nose. Pot still dominates (unsurprisingly and pleasingly) with a whiff of nail varnish and bananas (really need to find some different descriptors!) followed by glace cherries without the overwhelming sweetness if that makes any sense and some almond.

Palate – Light banana and peach on the front, it’s not as fruity as I thought it would be beyond that. Some blanched almonds follow with white pepper and grassiness before tailing off with a pleasant dry bitterness at the back, like a 90% dark chocolate.

Finish – Medium length, that aged aspect hangs around for while and invites a second sip…then a third…oh. I’ve finished my glass!

Scores on the door:

Presentation: 5/5
Nose: 8/10
Taste: 14/20
Finish: 8/10
Value for money: 5/5

Total: 40/50

This is a really good rum. Don’t let the lack of an age statement or the fact that it’s clear put you off. My first tasting of this was in a daiquiri where it complemented, rather than overwhelmed the mix – in fact, it’s my go-to rum for daiquiris since I used it that time.

For this tasting, I had it neat and it was great – a far cry from Havana and Bacardi blanca and (potentially controversial statement here) more flavourful than the excellent Doorly’s 3yr old white rum.

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