Kwèyòl Spiced Rum

Kwèyòl Spiced Rum

Product of:  St. Lucia
Aged:  3-4 years
Price: $EC18 ($US6.75)
Alcohol: 40% ABV
Context:  Flavored/Spiced Rum
RG Rating: 8.5

Tasting Notes 
Very Smooth.  Kwèyòl shows a deep reddish mahogany hue, no doubt colored as much from the spices as any time aging in the barrels.  Aromas are moderately complex, with cinnamon, vanilla, mild bois bandé, some nutmeg and caramel sweetness.  The spices all work together in nice proportions, with no singular element overbearing, unlike so many artificial-tasting spiced rums.  The initial taste is spicy and warm with cinnamon, and the mild vanilla flavor has a welcome mellowing affect on the bois bandé in particular, and the rum overall.  A medium body is what you’d expect from St.Lucia Distillers; but it’s more than you’ll often receive from other spiced rums.  During the finish, delightful flavors of vanilla, cinnamon and nuts linger with a rum-smack on the lips, less sweet than you expect. 

A vanilla bean pod and tiny bits of sediment twist around inside the Kwèyòl bottle, evidence that this is truly a spiced rum.  Under the none-too-subtle image of a naked woman in silhouette, reaching for red, dangling forbidden fruit, the label proudly proclaims with “Bois Bandé”, indicating that the aphrodisiacal roots and bark of the tree are included in the exotic spice blend.  I guess that means Kwèyòl is a bedtime rum.

I’ve tasted my share of rums infused with Bois Bandé, even made some myself a few times.  It can be so bitter and unctuous as to be downright unapproachable, much less drinkable.  Kwèyòl exhibits none of that offensive character.  Indeed, Kwèyòl is a delicious, genuine spiced rum aged in American oak casks.  It is based on St. Lucia Distillers' Bounty, and excellent mixing rum.

Kwèyòl won a Silver Medal - second only to Chairman’s Reserve Spiced rum from the same distillery - at the The Caribbean Alcohol Beverage Tasting Competition, held in conjunction with the first annual Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival on Barbados.

Kwèyòl is a well balanced, genuine, island sipping rum, at ease on its own, on the rocks, or adding some mild spice to cocktails that reward its quality.  As I sit on the deck of my catamaran, enjoying the full moon rising between the Pitons - St. Lucia’s twin iconic volcanic peaks - I feel perfectly at home sipping Kwèyòl.  Back home in the States, I know which rum to pull off the shelf when I want to magically transport myself back to this enchanting island.

 Reviewed:  February 2011 aboard a sailboat anchored in the lee of the Pitons, St. Lucia, West Indies.

© Dave Russell 2017