[Review] Outlaw Rum 40% + Special Release Bourbon Cask and Islay #5 43%

No whisky today but some rum instead, courtesy of Jim from Outlaw Rum Company. He reached out to me a few weeks again and offered to send me some of the rum he releases. I am no rum expert but I feel like most new rum brands tend to focus on cocktails, spiced rums..., not that many on good quality sipping rums that could potentially compete with single malts, whcih is what Jim wants for his rums.

So how is he doing that? Well, he selects some quality rum casks straight from Trinidad and Tobago (Angostura) and finishes their ageing in ex-whisky casks in his warehouse in Scotland.

The result is a Flagship Blend bottling "aged Rum of minimum 3 years, but has a mix of 5, 7 and 10 year rum to give the richness and outstanding taste profile", as well as some Limited releases (single bourbon casks, ex-Islay casks...)

Today, I can actually try and compare 3 of Outlaw's releases, the Flagship Blend, a Bourbon cask limited releases and the Islay batch 5 limited releases. So let's dig in!

The Flagship Blend 40%


It is definitely a rum but not as intense burnt caramel and rubber notes as I’d normally get. It’s a little more delicate with more vanilla, oak and fruit (orange, cherry) caramel, hints of cinnamons and clove, and a little cedar wood. A pretty good start!

Quite creamy, vanilla, wood spice, baking spice, cedar wood again, caramel, fruity, tangerine, hints of raisins and hints of burnt rubber but again, way softer than many rums I’ve tried before. It’s actually very moreish…

Warning spice, cinnamon, orange and tangerine, slightly oaky, drying, still some vanilla and a bit of toffee. Definitely a very decent sipper!

With water:
The nose gets fresher and fruitier with more tangerine and blood orange. The palate loses the hints of burnt rubber and gets sweeter and creamier. The finish is creamier too with less citrus and more vanilla.

The Bourbon Cask Limited Release 43%

Not as sweet and fruity as the Flagship. More oak, spice and some fresh vanilla pods. Still creamy, slight orange blossom.

Quite spicy with some wood spice, vanilla agin, some underripe banana and hints of blood orange.

Fresh oak and again som efresh vanilla pods, spices and slight sugar cane.

With water:
The Rum become way more expressive with a lot more fruity sweetness, more caramel and cinnamon. Definitely worth a few drops!

The Islay Cask #5 Limited Release 43%

Sweet smoke, ashy, slight burnt caramel and some toffee sweetness. There is also a maritime vibe quicking about and some oak wood notes. Very intriguing and interesting!

Sweet and smoky again, with some gentian notes, dry ash, angelica and hints of lemon. There is also some slight farm vibes around...

Some sweetness but some maritime smoke too, rather drying and some citrus.

With water:
The water hasn't altered the rum that much with this one. I would say it has replaced some of the smoke with some sweetness (even if this is far from being overly sweet!) and has brought out a little more citrus. Not sure I would bother with water for this one!

Overall, this is a fantastic little line up, definitely one I’d be happy to reach for as a whisky alternative. I love the fact none of these three rums are overly sweet and they each present flavours I never encountered in a rum before. So Jim, I think your hope of releasing sipping rums that could compete with single malts is a definite success. Now which one out of the three would I reach for first...? For an easy sip, the Flagship Blend, for a longer rum session either of the Limited releases, the Bourbon cask with a few drops of water for a sweet mood or the Islay cask without water for a smoky mood!

Slàinte all!

Thanks again to Jim and Outlaw Rum Company for sending me these three!
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