Rum Review: Old Monk XXX


Old Monk 7 years-old blended XXX “Very Old Vatted” — Yes it says all of that on the label.

Color: medium amber-gold! Very pretty!
Legs: fast, thin
Aroma: Tobacco, coffee, molasses, alcohol, banana, apricot, vanilla — Wow! All sorts of things packed in there.

Taste: Vanilla up front. Sugar, brown sugar, burnt caramel (treacle), raisin, allspice (or cloves and cinnamon). Some creaminess. Like the aroma, lots of flavors you actually taste!
Aftertaste: medium, slight heat, sweetness fading to alcohol, slightly bitter at very end.
Sugar: Unknown. The Rum Project Sugar Test page lists “Old Monk Supreme” (not the same product I do not think) as having only 3g added sugar, that’s very little. But this one is not listed.

My third bottle of this rum, it is something of a controversy. Was once one of the world’s leading sellers in the rum category, not necessarily because it is so good, but because it is inexpensive and adored (or once was) by a vast following in India. Yes, this is an Indian rum. Personally I like it. It tastes adulterated with sugars (perhaps) and other flavorings, but for all its various sugar flavors it’s only a little sweet. Adulterated (if it is) doesn’t have to mean bad, and after all, even for relative purists like me, it’s what some rum is all about. It reminds me of Indian food. Like Indian cuisine, a huge number of flavors are piled up on one another. Some people just don’t like that effect, or at least it isn’t their favorite sort of flavor, but sometimes it’s the difference from “your normal” that makes the experience memorable.

So why drink this rum?

1. It’s inexpensive. At $18 around here it is one of the two lowest price, aged, and easily sippable rums I’ve found around me, Gosling’s Black Seal being the other at the same low price.
2. It isn’t a bad rum, just different. The price makes it well worth the experience.
3. How many Indian rums do you know? Broaden your horizons!