Very Smooth. A bright mahogany amber belies this rum’s age, I suspect it might possibly be colored with additional caramel. The thick legs running down my tasting glass also indicate the presence of sugar. No matter, Sparrow’s is pretty in the glass. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, oaken vanilla, mild nutmeg and paraffin are well blended. The initial taste is full of light milk chocolate and caramel, a little waxy even. Sparrow’s is not complex tasting, but it’s pleasant enough, and the surprisingly heavy body adds substance to the otherwise simple flavors. The caramel lingers for awhile in your throat before ending slightly dry on your tongue.
I believe the rum’s name is borrowed from the Disney character Captain Jack Sparrow, since much of the first movie, Pirates of the Caribbean - Curse of the Black Pearl was filmed on location in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The name fits the rum - its likeable and easy to drink. The movie set is located at Wallilabou Bay, and nearby Cumberland Bay also has some Pirate’s movie artifacts. It’s well worth a visit if you are vacationing on St. Vincent or touring the islands by boat. You can actually feel the set come to life with a little imagination. And a little rum helps too.
Sparrow’s is distilled in a two-column still from a wash of Guyanese molasses fermented for about 36 hours, then aged for a small number of years in used Kentucky bourbon oak barrels.
At $10 a pop, you can’t pass by Sparrow’s without buying a bottle. It’s pleasing enough to sip neat or with ice, and flavorful enough to mix in popular drinks that don’t require any great complexity. Sparrow’s hit’s a sweet spot. I’ve heard rustling in the hills of St. Vincent that SVDL is considering exporting Sparrow’s to the US market. If they can keep the price low, it is a sure winner among the rum and cola crowd, and it makes for an easy entry point rum for those beginning their um sipping adventures. Note to SVDL: Bring It!
Reviewed: At various locations in the Windward Island chain known as St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In June 2012 my crew and I sampled Sparrow’s while anchored in Wallilabou Bay, then my next crew of miscreants sampled Sparrow’s in February, 2013 at Black Baron’s in Cumberland Bay – both locations where treasures from the movie set “Pirates of the Caribbean - Curse of the Black Pearl” are on display. Lastly, but not finally, we drank ample quantities of Sparrows in February, 2013 at The Last Bar Before the Jungle on Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau, which is perhaps the prettiest island in the entire Grenadines. Arrrgh.
Credit: Photo of Black Baron, Cumberland Bay, St. Vincent courtesy of Rum Gallery's executive chef M1.
Photo of Richard and Mina at The Last Bar Before the Jungle on Mayreau, courtesy of Rum Gallery's foredeck mate and internet marketing guru Scott Rewick.