Review: Daily Ration Rum (Compass Distillers) / by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Compass Distillers

Image courtesy of Compass Distillers

~1.5 years, new or second use barrels
Crosby Molasses
Distiller Compass (Halifax, NS)

Rum can be challenging to make, since it is made from sugar products which often don’t contain a lot of inherent complexity. This has inspired rum producers to find different ways to develop flavour for rums. A traditional Jamaican approach uses dunder (or “muck”) which takes the stillage (the liquid left in the still after distillation) and leaves it out for months at a time to interact with the active elements in the atmosphere - bacteria, yeasts, etc. Incredibly complex character is created in the process, and this can get transferred to the rums.

Compass explored using this approach, and found that while the dunder added loads of complexity to the rums, the character kept evolving so it was difficult to keep a consistent character. Alex Wrathell, the head distiller, described the character as ranging from “unbearable” to “artificial cherry flavour”.

Compass found easier, and more consistent ways to ladder up the flavour of their rum. They increased the intensity of the molasses character and use multiple yeasts in fermentation to create interesting character during fermentation. Once distilled, the rum is aged for 1-1.5 years in full size new or second use barrels.

Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2020

  • Bottling Code: N/A

The nose is crisp, with an intriguing marine character, cacao, a touch of rubber, cherry, vanilla, cacao, coffee beans, almonds, and candied fruit. The palate brings in nutty and toasted characters, as well as a bit of a salty edge and tropical fruit. There is a very light sweetness which keeps everything in balance. The finish leaves you with a nutty, sweet, and marine character. Interesting stuff!

Assessment: Recommended.