This makes me feel guilty, when I get samples of friends and acquaintances - which like to know my view.
Ulric is one of my friends I made in Dubai (in fact he is not longer living here). For quite some time he worked as consultant and brand manager (and similar) for some liquor brands. And while we don't always share the same views, we do have a lot of respect for each other.
His latest "baby" is Gold of Mauritius. And when he told me about it, I was pretty skeptical. I received before some souvenirs of Mauritius rum, and to say, that it was not particularly good, doesn't really reflect my honest opinion. Let's say it straight forward: the rums didn't really deserved the designation rum - but rather should be called something like aguadiente.
So - when I found the sample bottle of Gold of Mauritius today on my table, I was a bit... afraid.
I opened the box (which is a really nice liquor box - but this isn't really something unusual), and found above pretty bottle in it.
Actually, the company pretty much nailed it, because it looks really professional, without being too commercial, and it is pretty, without being kitsch.
Ulric before told me, that "they" actually don't distill themselves, but buying good distillates and oak ageing and finishing the rum.
Gold of Mauritius call itself a dark rum; and I am pretty thankful for this - as it is just more honest (we all know, that dark rums oppose to aged rums are coloured with molasses and/or caramel).
Nose: smells like Nocino (black walnut liqueur), sweet, loads of (wal)nuts... some well integrated spice. There is a distinctive but not heavy molasses note lingering. There are also (at the second or third sniff) some fragrant yellow fruits coming through - apricots & mirabelle plums?
Taste: Sweet to begin with, and the nuts get after breathing directly through your nostrils. The nuttiness is not as dominating as in the nose, but still quite persistent. There is an "young rum" quality underlying, which makes it quite an unique experience.
Finish: The rum has a medium finish... there are still nocino aromas, but also some hints of crude "ethanol"- but not in a bad way.
This is really hard to say, because I don't really know the price point. Even though I guess, it is not made for the purpose, it can be a decent sipper. I miss a bit, deeper and more serious notes... a look into the internet reveals, that it is in the same tier than El Dorado 15 years old Special Reserve. Even though El Dorado adds a lot of sugar to their rums, the El Dorado just seems to be more refined and sophisticated.
Unfortunately Gold of Mauritius has only 40% abv. - yes I know, that this is common - but for a good mixing rum, I would appreciate a slightly higher alcohol strength.
Cocktails come (maybe) later - but overall Gold of Mauritius Dark Rum is an adequate and interesting option. It definitely has its own character - compared to most rums it fares good & solid - if compared to other rums of Mauritius, it is a star!