A small-batch ultra-premium rum, inspired by 16th-century blends using fruits and spices, has been launched in the UK through Cellar Trends.
Bumbu is made on Barbados from sugar cane sourced from eight countries throughout the West Indies, aged for up to 15 years in ex-bourbon barrels. It is blended with pure water and all-natural Caribbean spices.
Its heritage dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries when sailors and merchants, unsatisfied with their customary grog, added Caribbean fruits and spices to enhance its flavour, giving it the name “bumbu”.
The brand – a modern expression of the artisanal recipe described in historical accounts – has been created by Brett and Brian Berish of global wine company Sovereign Brands with the West Indies Rum Distillery, with the tagline of “The Original Craft Rum”.
At 35% ABV, Bumbu is recommended for both sipping and mixing, with suggested cocktail recipes at www.bumbu.com. It comes in a 70cl bottle in the UK, with a recommended price in retail of £35 to £40.
The glass bottle, described as “ultra-heavyweight”, has no paper label but is instead adorned with a tarnished pewter “X” on the front and a gilded map of the Caribbean Islands across the back.
The punt of the bottle is embossed with Bumbu’s signature “X” and crowned with an oversized natural cork applied to each bottle by hand.
The blend is made from sugar cane from eight different countries including Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guyana and Honduras.
This is described as being key to the brand as each individual sugar cane harvest lends distinct characteristics to the Bumbu blend, from notes of coffee and cacao to aromas of coriander and ginger, plus tropical fruits like mango and papaya.
Ageing in grade A ex-bourbon oak barrels from Kentucky gives the blend a rich amber colour and enhances the smoky notes in its taste profile.
On the nose, Bumbu’s complex aromas include Madagascar vanilla, soft caramel and toasted oak. On the palate, layered notes of cinnamon, roasted nuts and allspice offer robust flavour with mild sweetness and a very smooth finish.