In the olden days, sailors liked to drink French Brandy. When Jamaica was taken away from Spain in 1655, Rum quickly replaced Brandy as the drink of choice. In 1731 however, The British navy started giving their sailors a daily ration of Rum, a tradition that lasted until 1970. Hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves with that giant leap in time. First let’s get back to 1849.
In 1849, Alfred Lamb, the son of William Lamb, a spirits and wine merchant from London, blended 18 Caribbean Rums together and formed a company called: Alfred Lamb & Son. Amongst others, Rums from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Guyana were used in the blend. During the second world war, Alfred Lamb & Son were bombed. Also their competitors, White Keeling Rum Merchants were bombed and both firms were accommodated by Portal, Dingwall & Norris. All involved must have liked each other, because by 1946 these three companies merged. The new firm was called: United Rum Merchants. After a few changes of hands along the way, today Lamb’s is part of Pernod Ricard.
Color: Orange brown, dark amber.
Nose: Fatty and sweet with fresh oranges. Not particularly the oil from the skins just the smell you get from a lot of oranges at a grocers shop. Very obvious notes of Demerara Rum with added dustiness. However, the “thick” Demerara aroma quickly dissipates and turns into a more dry and dusty note. The sweetness becomes more sugary and coffee-like (Haagsche Hopjes), yes still writing about the nose. Dryer and more woody now. Wood, with the old paint just stripped off. Hints of oak and vanilla. Aroma of slightly rotting leaves. Quite and unexpected turn of events.
Taste: Much thinner than I initially thought. Not as sweet as the nose promised. Actually a pretty strange overall taste. Thin, some wood, toffee and burned sugar, the Haagsche Hopjes are here too. No friendly sweetness and even some hints of mint. Sugared black tea and raw alcohol. Woody bitterness takes over the body of the Rum and disturbs the finish. Disturbs? Yes, it ruins the balance of the Rum completely. The aftertaste is quite bitter, and in this case it’s not what you want. Short finish (luckily). Quite disappointing actually.
The nose is quite nice and typical for Rum. The taste is a short string of disappointments. I don’t really understand why this is quite a popular brand and sells a lot of cases. I guess this is not meant for sipping, but you are expected to do something with it. I for one, will drink the rest in a coke. I’m no authority on Rum & Cola mixtures, but if I needed a Rum for a coke I would go for the simplest of Abuelo’s.