Tradition Specially Spiced Rum

Tradition Specially Spiced

Product of:  Grenada
Aged:  NA
Price: $22 on Grenada
Alcohol: 69% ABV
Context: Flavored/Spiced Rum
RG Rating:  8.5

Tasting Notes 
Very Smooth.  Tradition Specially Spiced rum is similar in hue to the greenish gold of first press olive oil.  Spicy aromas abound without overwhelming your nose, and feature cinnamon, bay leaf, nutmeg, mace, refreshingly mild cedar essence, uplifting spearmint, sweet rainforest scents, somewhat restrained sugarcane juice and sugar aromas, with surprisingly little alcohol odor considering the 69% ABV.  Initial Tasting reveals summer flavors – pleasantly smooth and flavorful, a velvet hammer of alcohol, suitably spicy but not beastly so, delivered in an earthy vegetal liquid texture but (thankfully) not tasting like compost.  A small cube of ice enhances the aromas and flavors, and perhaps sweetens them too.  Heavy bodied, the rum is more viscous in the mouth than it appears when swirling on the glass, once again reminiscent of very light olive oil, leading to a rather quick finish (as you would prefer) that’s breathy warm and dry, concluding with a fading anise flavor.

Tradition Specially Spiced guts

Two versions of Tradition Specially Spiced rum are available, the spirit reviewed here boasts 138 Proof (69% ABV), whereas it’s weaker sibling delivers an 80 Proof (40% ABV) rum.  I opted for the higher proof version, since it sold at the same price ($22) and I figured the higher alcohol content would more effectively extract the spicy flavors of the various sticks, leaves, nuts, spices and assorted other bramble inside.  Besides, the Grenadian sales woman recommended it, explaining how I get more for my money with the higher proof.  Hey, when in the islands …  I expected to use Tradition in mixed drinks, thinking the higher alcohol would stretch my single bottle’s contents twice as far. 

Tradition Specialty Spiced rum is a curious spirit; unquestionably spicy, and similar to an individual homemade “Under the Counter” rum due to the cacophony of bramble, herbs, and spices in each bottle.  It is also uncharacteristically and highly overproof.  You might well be asking: “So how do you drink that rum, anyway?  Is it both too strong and too funky to sip neat, abut a shame to bury those spices in a fruity rum drink?”   My reply is:  After one sip, Tradition will seek its own level in your rum repertoire.  If you want a genuine connection to Grenada’s aromatic air, then sip it neat or on a single ice cube.  If you want to add unique flavor to cocktails, especially those using coconut or Coco Lopez, then add a float of Tradition to make any drink your signature concoction.  Either way, when visiting Grenada; try some Tradition Specially Spiced rum; you won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed: June 2010 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017