Bambarra 8 Year Old Reserve Rum
Objective Notes: Extremely Smooth (on the RnD scale of Harsh-Smooth-Very Smooth-Extremely Smooth). Bambarra 8 Year Old Reserve Rum is medium amber to copper in color. Delicate, complex, and very inviting aromas of sweet vanilla, brown sugar, oak, light smoke, and just a hint of alcohol lure you in for your first taste. Initial taste reveals a full body and silky smoothness with just a hint of warmth. Flavors are muted and slightly sweet keeping true to the aromas. The finish is sweet & spicy, long, and very pleasing. Anecdotal Notes : Bambarra was launched late in 2008 and is available mainly in the the Turks and Caicos islands. The bulk rum is produced by a large distiller in the southern Caribbean, and shipped to the Turks and Caicos in plastic barrels, basically halting the aging process to maintain batch consistency. The art of blending and marrying the rum to obtain the flavor profile desired, prior to bottling, occurs in the Turks and Caicos. I was fortunate to pick up the 8 Year Old Reserve rum in Miami at the Rum Renaissance Festival event during May 2009 in Miami. The bottle is unique and handsome. It’s made in France and is short and heavy. It has a nice colorful black label with native dancers and musicians in costume. It has a silver screw cap topper. Bambarra was inspired by one of the original settlements in striking Middle Caicos, it takes its name from the home of the African settlers who were delivered, by destiny, to the Turks and Caicos aboard the wrecked slave trader Trouvadore in 1841. Taster's Opinion: Bambarra 8 Year Old Reserve is an outstanding rum and amazing value. Extremely smooth and favorful rum like this is only meant to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. The downside is its only available in the Turks and Caicos. If you find yourself in the islands there be sure to acquire a few bottles of this nectar to bring back home with you. It will be your favorite souvenir from an amazingly beautiful chain of islands.
I was the fortunate one this past February when I a received bottle of Bambarra 8 Year Reserve Rum. Bob Davies, the mastermind behind the aging, bottling, and distribution was kind enough to allow me a chance to enjoy and review this wonderful rum. Nose: First impression is decidedly vanilla giving way to faint hints of cinnamon and coconut. What really strikes me is the soft friendly aroma which invites me in and begs me to spend some more time. Taste: The promise of vanilla upon nosing is emphatically rewarded upon the first sip. Now, this is a rum where the vanilla essence is in perfect balance with the softer undercurrents of cinnamon, oak, nutmeg, and coconut oil. Bambarra is light to medium on the palate. After successive samplings, I was awed by the intricate dance between the delicate sweetness of this rum and a contradictory dryness. Finish: The finish is a long lingering taste of spiciness, honey, and oak melding into a solitary comfortable glow. Overall: This a gem of a rum! It is impossible for me to overstate the perfect balance exhibited between all of the competing aspects of Bambarra Reserve. An example of this is the fact that the sweetness of the this rum never fatigues the tongue because the reciprocal dryness is always present to rein it in. The Turks and Caicos Islands have a first class sipper on their shores.
In 1841, on the way to Cuba (South East of Barbados) the Trouvadore, a Spanish slave trading ship, crashed on a reef just off East Caicos. One hundred and ninety-two survivors made it to the shore of this tropical island to find that under British rule, the slave trade was illegal and they were to be liberated. Hailing from Africa, they began a new life on the Turks & Caicos as free people and named the settlement 'Bambarra' which refers not only to the Bamberra people of Africa, and the Bambarra Empire that they were been stolen from, but also 'Bambarra' can be translated to mean: 'accepting of no master'. Captured from a war torn homeland, sold into slavery, and shipwrecked on a foreign island to find freedom and hope in a tropical paradise with possibilities beyond all of their experience; from the chaotic winds of fate opportunity emerges from tribulation and Bambarra the settlement was created on Caicos. Bambarra the rum is offered to celebrate the spirit of these 'settlers', to commemorate their settlement, and honor the influence I am looking at the Bambarra 8 year old, and it is good, another gift from a kind friend (who also took the picture of the Bottle for me!!)! Aromas: An aromatic bouquet of vanilla steeped in cane/ corn syrup is backed up by notes of cola and honeyed lime zest with an undercurrent of fresh split oak, toasty cedar and cigar box. So soft and supple an invitation with the earthy must of oxidized fruit dominated by wonderful vanilla (creme brulee after a lot of air) and hinting at tobacco, new leather and gunpowder tea. Palate: The first approach of Bambarra 8 follows the hints given by the nosing, but shift quickly in mid palate through burnt spice, chicory, quince, rhubarb, deep extracted gunpowder tea with honey and damp wood while maintaining its brisk pace it crosses the back palate with a bright burst of dried ginger, cinnamon and toasty bitter almond. Finish: Starts with a surprising burst of alcohol and a nice fade of treacle, rich cinnamon, and spice that lingers while pleasantly enlivening your palate with subtle reminders that reveals each flavor in turn. Aftertaste: Is soft vanilla washed cut wood, brown bread crust and baking spice. This is a tasty rum that has been a pleasure to drink neat, but with an ice cube it gets even lovelier, and in an drink that demands a strong rum presence this is perfect.