Banks 5 Island Rum Review











Banks 5 Island Rum

Banks 5 Island Rum

Sometime a product comes in that really grabs our attention. It draws us in and makes us want to spend some real time on it.  It lingers on our desks long after our group tastings and we keep revisiting it to get a deeper and deeper understanding of it. Banks Rum is one of these amazing spirits which impressed us from the very first sip, and has kept us engaged and interested for weeks.

Banks 5 Island Rum (43%, 86 proof, $29) is a blend of rums from five rum producing islands: Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, and Java. Much like a great blended scotch or cognac, Banks Rum brings together a symphony of diverse flavors into a cohesive and balanced spirit whose sum is just as strong as its greatest parts.  The nose on Banks 5 Island Rum is heavily influenced by the Jamaican rum. Banks uses a pot distilled black strap Jamaican rum made from molasses, which gives a toasted, funky, vegetal note to the nose that is distinctly Jamaican. What’s nice about the influence of the Jamaican rum is that it isn’t overpowering. You get the aromas but they aren’t impermeable. Underneath those funky Jamaican notes are the more tropical notes from the Guyana Rum combined with the citrus notes from Barbados Rum.  The Batavia Arack finishes it all up from Java with a fantastic spice.  All these notes are clearly and distinctly there in the nose, something that’s simply outstanding.

The entry of Banks 5 Island Rum is a true symphony.  All the aromas from the nose are present in the taste. The opening features toasted molasses with a nice vegetal funk, which quickly gives way to nice tropical banana combined with a light lime zest. In the midpalate we pick up a great black pepper spice with the slightest amount of heat that carries through a nice dry finish that sees a return of the toasted molasses notes. There’s so much going on here and the flavors are so well lined up that it’s almost impossible not to want to dive back in to explore this rum more.

Banks 5 Island Rum succeeds as both a sipping rum and a mixing rum.  We’ve enjoyed it neat, in a Rum Old Fashioned, and in a traditional Daiquiri.  In each space Banks 5 Island Rum has presented great character and flavor without taking over the drink.  It’s hard to think of a blended spirit whose elements are so clearly and individually delivered while maintaining a superb balance. Banks 5 Island Rum is like a love letter to the category of rum, and it’s one of the best rums we’ve tasted in a very long time.

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About the author: Geoff Kleinman

 

+Geoff Kleinman, is the founder, and managing editor of DrinkSpirits.com. He is a nationally recognized spirits columnist, and has contributed to Playboy Magazine, Black Book Magazine and Essential Homme. Geoff holds certification with Bar Smarts Advanced, has judged many major spirits and cocktail competitions and is a Kentucky Colonel.

Website: http://www.drinkspirits.com

 

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  • http://theventuremixologist.blogspot.com/ zach

    completely agree, this is a fantastic blend. you nailed with the comparison to a great blended scotch…all the characteristics come thru in the right proportions

  • http://www.opinionated-alchemist.com Dominik MJ • the opinionated alchemist

    Unfortunately I had never the chance to try Banks 5 Island Rum. But the character reminds me a bit on 10Cane.

    And while this is also a really great product, I am usually not preferring it, as it is too far away – too different from a light rum – so the cocktails are also have a completely different character. Though I usually rate authenticity [in taste] higher than the sheer quality.

    My pick for light rum drinks is usually Elements 8, which I think has a great aroma, but still is distinguishable as typical light rum…

 
 
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