Phraya

Phraya RG3

Product of:  Thailand
Aged:
  blend of rums aged a minimum of 7 years
Price:
 $40
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 

Context:
 Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 7.5

Tasting Notes 
Very Smooth.   Phraya rum shows a golden amber color almost as shiny as the gold-colored patterned metal cover that surrounds the bottle.  A reasonable number of legs develop slowly on the inside of my tasting glass after swirling, running thin, long and slowly.  On the eyes, the packaging works and in-the-glass works.  Let's have a go at the aromas …

An enticing bouquet of caramel and milk chocolate greet your senses as you pour Phraya into your favorite tasting glass.  The rum smells quite pleasant, with customary caramel, light milk chocolate and soft oaken vanillans presented, followed by nutmeg, tanned thin leather, and a whiff of dates and tropical fruit.

Initial Tasting delivers flavors is consistent with the aromas, with a more sweet caramel/milk chocolate on the tongue, some mild nuts and a medium-heavy body, perhaps from the sweetness.  The rum has a sensory texture not unlike moist pumpkin pie, with the crust flavor appearing dusring the moderately sweet finish.  In the context of rums styles, Phraya gold rum is close to some nicely aged Panamanian and Costa Rican rums.  It bears very little resemblance to other Thai rums, even those produced at the same distillery.

Anecdotes 
First things first; The “H” in Phraya is silent.  At least that will get you in the ballpark of how Thai’s pronounce the name of this rum.  Second, the word Phraya loosely translates to 'high status'.   Third, It would be easy to pass this rum off as another cheap shiny object, a mediocre rum dressed up in a bottle sheathed in pattern-stamped gilt sheet metal.  Except it isn’t.  Phraya gold rum is the best tasting of the three gold rums I found on Thailand.  The others were
SangSom and Mekhong.  Look beyond your reflection in the bottle, this is good rum.

Like the majority of rum made in Thailand, Phraya is produced at the Sang Som distillery.  The molasses is derived from sugarcane grown in Kakhon Pathom province and aged in charred barrels for 7-to-12 years before bottling.  Besides the shiny bottle treatment, the cap is nice as well.  It’s wood and the stopper is made of composite natural cork - always a nice touch.

I visited Thailand in early 2014 to sail throughout the Andaman Sea, always on the lookout for traces fo Phraya rum at every island anchorage.  I searched in vain until I prepared to leave the country by air and found Phraye in the duty free shops at the Phuket International airport.  I wish I’d been able to purchase Phraya while traveling around Thailand.  It would have taken many edges off my troubled sailing adventure.  Alas, I conclude that Phraya is an export-only product, and one of Thailand’s two best rums at that (top honors shared with Chalong Bay agricole rum from Phuket).

Opinion
Much ballyhoo is made about the packaging of Phraya Gold rum, with internet shills laying undue accolades on the gold-colored, perforated sheet metal sheath that surrounds the bottle.  Words such as “Opulent” and “Gold” have been used.  Those uninformed compliments are about as valuable as a flashy ring bought from a gumball machine. 

Phraya's bottle is just another shiny object with a modern Thai twist.  It might look good on your shelf.  But buy Phraya for the good flavor – it's nice rum. 

© Dave Russell 2017