Denizen white rum

Denizen rum

Product of:  Distilled in Trinidad, Blended in Holland
2-7 years 
Price: $15
Alcohol: 40% ABV
Context:  Premium White Rum
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
Denizen is clear as a bell; all color has been removed by charcoal filtering.  For a white rum, the aromas are pleasant and surprising soft.  Sweet floral and peach, slight oak and a little white pepper are most prevalent.  A subtle, musty vegetal characteristic closer to an unaged white rhum agricole with nice alcohol edginess adds interest.  The initial taste delivers more flavor than most white rums, with a new oak woodiness and traces of vanilla, while an alcohol texture adds a balance in contrast with the smooth overall flavor.  The body is appropriately thin and light, leading to a short finish that is bright and dry.  The residual vegetal/ethanol flavor will stand up well in cocktails.

Denizen is composed mostly of continuous column-distilled Angostura rum from Trinidad, aged for five-years in small American oak barrels then charcoal filtered to remove color and impurities, but also containing unaged Angostura rum and “trace amounts” of 15 different Jamaican pot distilled rum.  OK, Denizen’s pedigree and handling gets my attention.

For blending expertise, Denizen went First Cabin.  Employing the services and 300-year old expertise of E&A Scheer in the Netherlands was a stroke of genius, and contribute in no small measure to their excellent, smooth and distinctive white rum.  View their story at:  E&A Scheer. 

Finally, a white rum that tries to be Rum!  Kudos to Denizen for producing one of only a handful of real flavorful white rums, and making it smooth to boot.  Thankfully they’re not afraid to show their considerable pedigree (Angostura) and have avoided being another neutral spirit, ho-hum, Vodka replacement.  

Denizen-Rebel with a Cause-Use

Denizen claims their rum is designed for mixing in “bright cocktails”.   It doesn’t posses the fruitiness typical of many uaged white rums, instead focusing on delivering clean, aged depth appropriate for more sophisticated custom cocktails.  I prepared a simple Daiquiri with it and felt the rum overpowered such a simple drink.  Denizen worked better in the sweeter Hemingway Daiquiri version, and their Phoenix Daiquiri is delicious.  Next up was a cocktail they call “Rebel with a Cause.”  Cause enough to pause and enjoy, this drink is ideal on a hot summer day; refreshing, light, with a fine balance of citrus, sweet and bitters.  [insert image] 

Admittedly, most rum is consumed in mixed drinks.  To prosper, distiller’s need to sell in volume, and that means cocktails and bars.  So it behooves Denizen to suggest tasty cocktails that are easy for bartenders and consumers to make, and they offer several twists on old favorites as well as custom new drinks on their website at denizen rum.  In my opinion, the folks at Denizen have exceeded their goal.  Sure, it’s fantastic in mixed rinks, but it is also among the very few aged white rums that stand up equally well on their own, sipped neat.

I’m pleasantly surprised to see Denizen priced at $15 per 750cl bottle.  It is a bargain at that price.

Reviewed: June 2011 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017