Back on the 26th I mentioned that there was a new spiced rum called The Lash being reviewed and that I wanted to try it. Well, shortly thereafter I was the grateful recipient of a bottle. I’ve been slowly working my way through it and sitting on this review for a while, though I’ve put out some of my opinions of it elsewhere… and since I’ll be in Los Angeles tomorrow (so maybe no update) I figured today should be the day to review it here.
First I’d like to point out that the creator of The Lash has been especially vocal in regards to the product. It’s been a pleasure reading his words over at the Ministry of Rum forum and the comments left on the Drinkhacker post.
The Lash is made in the Netherlands with the rum coming from Trinidad & Tobago. It’s a 4-year aged rum with no additives or added caramel color. It’s named after that wonderful Churchill quotation:
Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
The name amuses me… though others, with more uptight sensibilities, might not appreciate it. Fuck ‘em. And, while the lash is only 35% abv, it shouldn’t be dismissed.
It has a pretty good bottle, The Lash. The weight is nice. It feels solid in the hand. The label is easy on the eyes. A simple design that’s straightforward and clean, while looking slightly aged and ragged. The cork is synthetic, which doesn’t turn me off, but may well dissuade those same folks who don’t like the name. My only real complaint about the bottle is that it’s prone to too much spillage during pouring.
Inside the bottle the rum is a dark, reddish, caramel color with small bits of sediment floating around (or settled on the bottom, depending on how carefully you jostle it). The creator addressed the sediment in the discussion of the Lash over at the Ministry of Rum:
You will see two types of sediments on the bottom of the bottle. (a) real spices and (b) some fatty acids (flocculation) from the aging of the Rum as we do not chill filter the product.
Most of the sediment I’ve noticed is smallish flakes… for some reason, when I think “sediment” I always think along the lines of fine silt. Anyway… I’m almost at the end of my bottle and haven’t noticed any reach my glass yet. Not that I’m worried about it… just an observation. I’ve tried to include a photo of the sediment in my bottle as proof of it. You probably need to view the larger version to appreciate it. There are some specks that are probably tiny bubbles from excessive jostling (ok I shook it up, kill me), but you should get the picture. Sediment = present.
Opening the bottle I was struck with a feeling of Holiday Season nostalgia. My first thoughts are of mulled cider. Lots of spice and no punch in the face from the alcohol. It’s got a lot of cinnamon in the nose although this, like the flavor, changes as my tasting continues.
In the glass the rum is a bit more golden in color and slowly forms drops on the sides of the glass that fall into some nice legs. I’m not enough of a rum snob to know if the legs affect the flavor in one way or another, but it’s interesting to look at.
The flavor reinforces my association with mulled cider. It reminds me of ciders that I make with rum in the winter. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, maybe some cloves. And, to me anyway, it actually tastes faintly of apple along with a citrusy-orange hint. It’s not overly sweet, but at the same time there’s no real burn to it, though there’s definitely a bite. As my drinking progressed over the days the flavors I picked up would shift. One day it would seem like much more cinnamon, the next more cloves. The other day it actually reminded me of cherries.
I’ve tried drinking this a number of different ways other than neat. With chilled water I noticed a subtle vanilla flavor which is otherwise almost non-present in this rum. With ice I lost the flavor. I drank The Lash with cola, and it took a great deal of cola to overpower the spice. I took the bottle down to my local bar where the bartender made up some drinks. The Lash made a tasty Ron Collins, Cable Car (no Gin vs. Rum debate, please), Suffering Bastard, and a very girly drink I can’t remember the name of.
The bartender said:
Wow, this is the first spiced rum I didn’t want a back for… comparing this to the Captain is like comparing Pellegrino to toilet water.
Overall it went over well.
With the exception of the spillage issue, the only gripes I have are that occasionally the rum flavor got lost in the spice and sometimes the cinnamon-y aspect was a bit overwhelming. Sometimes it felt like I stepped away from vanilla-flavored spiced rums only to walk towards a cinnamon flavored spiced rum. but the intention was to make a SPICED rum and that’s exactly what this is. A rum that actually tastes like spices.
So, well done.
The Rating – based on the New Rating System
Overall: 4.6 out of 5