Denizen Rum Review

…..Though the Summer has almost passed us by, we’re still not putting away the rum. This week we popped open a bottle of white rum we’ve been anticipating for a few weeks. Denizen rum comes to us courtesy of Citizen Spirits, and is probably one of the more interesting spirits we’ve come across over the past two years. For one it’s an aged rum, but it’s a crystal clear white rum. Secondly, it’s a blend of several quality Caribbean rums, but it’s blended in Europe. Manufactured quality rum? Why not?

“Denizen is a rebellious blend of the finest small batch rums sourced from the renowned rum producing islands of Trinidad and Jamaica. Our rum is then sent to Amsterdam where it is hand crafted by master blenders who free the flavor of the white rum long distilled out by mass producers, the rums used in the final blend include charcoal filtered aged rums from Trinidad that have been distilled in continuous column stills and aged for a minimum of three years in small American oak barrells to impart a rich and refined flavor. A Small component of fresh un-aged Trinidadian rum has been combined with trace amounts of Jamaican pot still rum, giving the finished product three dimensions of flavor uncommon in most mixing rums.

If you’re a bit worried about the idea of a rum blended in Europe, don’t be. It’s been a tradition since the 1700’s when travelers from the Netherlands settled in much of the Caribbean and would bring back rums to blend from their travels. But enough of the history lesson, let’s pour something…


First Impression: Denizen comes in a clear standard shaped bottle with simple, yet classy gold/brown/burgandy labeling featuring their logo. The simple design keeps the focus on the clarity of the clear rum. When we popped this one open we were greeted with some very pleasant floral aromas. Floral aromas are sometimes associated with younger rums, though this one is aged a minimum of 3 years. In addition there is a hint of fruit and vanilla in the nose as well with oak-like undertones. If I didn’t know what this was, from the scent my first guess would be a cachaca or even rhum agricole.

Taste: As usual we sampled this neat first to bring out it’s character, and it has plenty. There is a oak-like undertone and after taste, but vanilla bean is probably the most notable flavor that comes out. Mango aromas that we initially missed begin to come out when allowed to sit. Nice, and not to overwhelming is a fruitiness matching up with its initial floral aromas. Something a little different in this one that I actually enjoyed was the fuller taste, and underlying molasses notes that are commonly associated with dark Jamaican rums. Not what you would expect when pouring a white rum, but this isn’t your typical white rum now is it? Obviously that blend of 15 Jamaican rums served it’s purpose. If you aren’t a fan of Jamaican style rum, that would probably alter your opinion on this one but it’s a win win for me. As far as mixing goes, the label itself implies this was intended to be a mixing rum, but our best explanation of it would be it’s smooth enough to sip on its own, yet complex enough for mixing in some amazing cocktails. Try mixing this with some OJ or Pineapple juice for breakfast or balanced punch for lunch and you’ll be very happy. I re-created the classic mojito myself, and the added flavor coming from it’s blend of aged rums is awesome and just enhancing enough without completely changing/ruining the drink.

Grade: B+

Overall: So to sum things up, this is a white rum that happens to be aged, a caribbean rum that happens to be blended in europe, and a high quality white rum that happens to be available at a price cheaper than several mid-grade “commercial” brands out there right now. That’s the definition of irony, but more importantly that adds up to a “must try” for us. If you’re interested in giving this one a try, its mostly available in New York, but you can grab yourself a bottle through a few online retailers accessible through Denizenrum.com . We doubt this one will stay in our cabinet much longer, we’ll find some fun recipes to use this in over the upcoming holidays. Check out a few recipes below.

Dutch Punch

  • 2 oz Denizen Rum
  • 1 oz Aperol
  • 1½ oz pink grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Pour all of these ingredients in a shaker, shake briefly and strain over fresh ice in a tall glass or punch cup. Top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with seasonal fruit (berries, pineapple pieces) a citrus wheel and a sprig of mint. 

Rebel with a Cause

  • 2 oz Denizen Rum
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz agave nectar
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 4 mint leaves

Add all ingredients together in a shaker, shake well and strain over fresh ice in a
rocks glass. Garnish with a nice sprig of fresh mint.

Phoenix Daiquiri 

  • 1½ oz Denizen Rum
  • ½ oz St. Germain
  • 1 oz apple juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice

Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker, shake and
serve up in a cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with
a thinly cut lime wheel floating in the drink.

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Denizen Rum sample, photo, and recipes provided courtesy of representatives of the brand and DenizenRum.com. 

 



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