This clear amber coloured rum has a rich nose with hint of gingerbread, freshly squeezed orange juice, tropical fruits, estery banana and tinned pineapple. The equally
rich, slightly honeyed palate has dried pineapple, dried banana and dried mango notes laced with sherry and Madeira and a touch of bitter chocolate and coffee. Long,
lingering, pleasing finish.
Score: 5/5+ (Outstanding / Exceptional)
Nose: Rich and generous, with orange liqueur, home-made gingerbread, banana fritters, hints of treacle and pancakes with golden syrup. Some more tropical fruits appear (kiwifruit, grapefruit, pineapple). Pronounced Demerara sugar aromas. Pink marshmallows and aged Calvados.
Palate: Pretty full-bodied. Lovely heavy-but-silky texture supporting a perfectly-knit collage of the aromas from the nose. Creamy, with sweet banana, oranges and vanilla complimented by lively citrus and spices.
Finish: A slow dance of brown sugar, dried ginger and nutmeg, with creamy toffee and baked apple pie bringing up the tail.
Comment: Another triumph of balance from XM, whose master blenders clearly know what they’re about. Exceptional complexity administered with a seemingly effortless grace.
The bottle holds an auburn colour while in the glass the rum displays a spectacular copper and deep mahogany colour with a golden sparkle. The nectar forms impatient and inconsistent thin but viscous legs.
The sweet nose of XM Royal first salutes you with cool dry notes of wood and vanilla, the fullness of toffee and offers you an assortment of pecan nuts and almonds with the ever so slight notes of underlying coconuts that invite you further to the drawing room to sample some fine caramel and chocolate.
Full bodied with toffee and familiar Demerara flavours. XM Royal is sweet and quite smooth with a slightly sharp note reminding you that this is infact rum you're drinking. Mainly earthy and woody notes dominate the somewhat light palate.
The rum warms the body and leaves pepperiness in the mouth as it is swallowed, delivering a breath of floral notes, chocolate and pleasantly lingering vanilla that dances in the mouth for a while before being followed by a smooth flavour of coffee beans.
Where the scent of most rums will meet you at the water’s edge XM 10’s silken aroma, redolent of tropical fruits, sweet oranges and caramel, seems to send a welcoming committee to your nose, like a collaborator in some fine endeavour. Up close there are cloud like and estery banana, pineapple and orange notes with some rock solid vanilla reminding you of its Georgetown roots.
The palate is surprisingly light, presenting bitter cocoa, Valencia orange and just a hint of bay laurel but as the attack phase passes, maltol from the bourbon barrel ageing delivers burnished caramel and honeyed, wood expressions that envelop the mouth. The tannins, bountiful in sherry casks, briefly throw a cloak about your tastebuds before harmonizing with a sweetly peppery finish. Minds may wander to the crashing Kaieteur Falls whilst fingers inevitably wander back to the prosaically bottled Demerara silk.
Variously described as the cognac of rums – I’d argue with the necessity, for the six peoples, the many waters and ‘the glory their eyes did not see’, this is Demerara rum, a difficult, diverse history and a blessed ecology – in a bottle.