What do you get when you take away all the nautical connotations of rum, the fancy branding and the tiki maddness? Take away the pirates, sea monsters, pin-up girls? You get just rum. And that rum has to be shit hot.
Doing exactly that is Cut Rum, the latest addition to the molasses market from three drinks-industry stalwarts, including brand ambassador Chris Hare.
The three wanted to create a rum that, not to mince words, cuts out the crap – a 'real rum for real people', if you will. The brand has launched three variants, spiced, smoked and a seriously overproof. Sourcing the best location for creation and ageing, each Cut Rum product combines blends of rum from Trinidad and Jamaica, with the Jamaican liquid coming from the world-famous Worthy Park.
After distillation in copper-pot stills, the rum is then infused with natural ingredients, including aniseed, nutmeg, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, coriander seed, lemon and vanilla.
The first variant in the Cut Rum mix is spiced (37.5% abv). Strong, sweet aromas of campfires, toasted marshmallows, smores, orange and vanilla envelop the nose, before leading onto a creamy palate full of texture and mouthfeel. Strong vanilla bean flavours, toasted caramel, crème brûlée and pepper instantly transport the drinker to hot climates, and, we have to admit, we'd die to try this in a Spiced Pina Colada.
The second variant is where things get serious – the trio's proudest achievement taking two year's to develop.
'Cut comes from cutting out all the nonsense,' said co-founder Hare. 'We were set for launch in 2016, but we wanted to create the first smoked run that's completely natural, no carcinogens or nasties.'
Smoked is made using three-year-old Jamaican rum, infused with arabica coffee beans, oak chip smoke and tobacco. The liquid is smoked through an innovative process of condensing smoke from oak chips, using a mix of water and rum to create a condensate that is filtered and blended with the rum.
This intricate process results in a beautifully smooth, smoky liquid, with strong coffee bean, tobacco, dark chocolate and vanilla flavours and delicious leather, box and tobacco aromas. It's bottled at 40% abv, and we're dreaming of it in a Rum Old Fashioned or Dark and Stormy.
'Bartenders and chefs are going absolutely mad for it,' revealed Hare.
The final addition to the trio is certaintly not one to be forgetton, but we're pretty sure it will cause a fair bit of forgetfulness, coming in at a deliciously punchy 75.5% abv.
Overproof is designed for use in cooking and cocktails, going down scarily smoothly with the liquid being infused with real spices. Freshly baked cakes, biscuits and that guilty-pleasure aroma of motor oil plays on the nose, with a warming vanilla, cinnamon, cake and coconut flavour on the palate, and of course your trachea and heart are suddenly as hot as the sun, in a good way.
Cut Rum's perfect serve? An eye-wateringly sensational Overproof Daiquiri. Trust us.
All rums were launched at a supper club at London meatopia The Coal Shed this week. Showing the food-matching and culinary potential of the rums, head chef Dave Dave Mothersill paired each rum neat, and in a cocktail with dishes such as smoked duck, short rib and raw salmon.
Hare revealed that Living Ventures Group has also been experimenting with Cut Rum, creating a Smoky Mary, Smoked Negroni and Smoked Old Fashioned.
So, pay attention chefs, it's not just bartenders that should be getting all cut up about Cut Rum.
Spiced £24.99/70cl; Smoked £29.99/70cl; Overproof £37.99/70cl, masterofmalt.com