Review: Mahiki White Rum

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Count Silvio
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Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:24 pm

Inspired by his passion for rum and rum based cocktails, Julien 'Papa Jules' Gualdoni went on a six month journey to create the perfect blend for his new premium rum line working closely together with Richard Seale, a Barbados based distiller and blender. Eight months later on June 19, 2008, the Mahiki Rum was officially launched at the famous Mayfair Mahiki club, a London based tiki-themed rum bar managed by Papa Jules.

Currently, the availability of Mahiki Rums is limited as they are exclusively available only at Selfridge’s stores in London until September 2008. After this Mahiki Rums will be available in other stores located in the UK and sometime in 2009 it has been planned to begin sales in the US.

Fortunately, I have been granted the opportunity to review these exclusive rums, for which I must say thank you Mahiki.

Mahiki Rums have been distilled, blended and bottled by the Bajan Foursquare Rum Distillery, currently under the ownership of R.L. Seale & Co Ltd, the third largest bottler in Barbados. Mahiki White Rum has been aged for around two years in bourbon barrels, consisting of a blend of pot- and column distilled rums. Using lighter column distilled rums with the heavier pot distilled rums, ensure the purity of the rum.
Read the entire Mahiki White Rum review on the frontpage.

I just noticed when creating the thumbnail for the second image of the bottle that the cropped thumbnail looks like a baboon! It could also look like a mask. I guess it really is a rorsach test of some kind.
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Capn Jimbo
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:39 am

Sue Sea and I finally got around to tasting Tommy Bahama Golden Sun, which was marketed as a self-defined "ultra-premium". BTW, this term got a few laughs in Barbados where the local newspaper was speculating about the next step, say "super ultra extra premium", lol. Link to Reviews

Why did we review anything by "Tommy Bahama" and yet another of their obscenely priced lifestyle products? Simply because the price has dropped dramatically ($19.95 including a free TB mojito mix), and it is made by R. L. Seale (whose own rums are uniformly great and have received our top ratings). Let me simply say that Bahama has a terrific presentation and nose, but falls down after that. Of course it's important to remember that, after all, this is but a three year old rum, and a darn good one at that. But hardly "ultra-premium" and certainly not worth its former super-premium prices (which were in the mid to high $30's).

So how does this relate to Mahiki?

Well, it's another apparently "super-premium" rum to be marketed by another flashy promoter, in this case "Jules" and apparently based on his Tiki nightclub, and last similarly produced by Seale whose Tommy Bahama was good but not the "ultra-premium" promised by TB.

Accordingly I wonder whether Mahiki will be more of the same: beautifully presented, young and overpriced but not living up to expectations.
Last edited by Capn Jimbo on Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Count Silvio
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Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:23 pm

I don't usually drink white rum neat but to me this rum was nicely balanced and had no negative aromas and flavours other than the slightly alcoholic nose and taste. It is not very flavourful, perhaps the taste is a little too clean but it works well in fruity cocktails and cocktails that you need to make fresh.

Like I've said in the review, the rum will become available in other places than Selfridges pretty soon and in 2009 it has been planned to be released in the US, perhaps at a significantly lower price (I hear Selfridges is a really expensive place). Therefore I would probably wait for a while before rushing off to buy this rum.

I'm not sure how to respond to 'super premium rum' as this is just a marketing term to me. What makes a white rum super premium? What is just premium or fine white rum? Is it the superior distilling and blending methods that make a rum super premium?
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Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:22 pm

Count, I know you've been in touch with Jules. Perhaps you can get more specifics of the white and gold, including but not limited to: age, method, reviews if any, flavor profile and market positioning...

Take the Tommy Bahama Gold Sun for example: marketed as "ultra premium" (which actually has no meaning, is strictly a marketing ploy) and at super premium (read high) prices. Yet is but a three year old - a good one - but still, a three year old. This means what you really have is a light smooth and aromatic sipper that is really just a VERY high priced mixer for the yacht club crowd.

Apparently even the TB label - a successful lifestyle brand - was not enough, and the prices are falling like Superman on Kryptonite. Mahiki should take note if they haven't already. I do hope you can obtain some solid answers. BTW, I don't hold Seale responsible for this outcome as I'm sure TB closely defined what they wanted.

As for Mahiki, their website gives only limited info, calls the white "aged", the gold and the cask "long aged". The method on the gold is reminiscent of Seale's Doorly. The "Cognac Cask" aged reminds me, of course, of Barbancourt and I'm really intrigued by this one. Are all available to you now? And thank you for any additional info you can get....
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Count Silvio
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Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:39 pm

The age of Mahiki White is 2 years, age of Gold is 5 years as mentioned in the reviews (I have just posted the Mahiki Gold review on the frontpage). I have no info regarding Cognac Cask yet but will include it in the upcoming review when I get the rum. Cognac Cask is still in the barrels so that is why it has not been released yet.

If you have any specific questions to Papa Jules I can forward them to him.

Nice Superman methaphor by the way! :P
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