Rumaniacs Review # R-089 | 590
This spite of a light white — to give it its full name, the “Clarke’s Court Superior Refined Grenada Light Rum” – should not be confused with either the current version of the Superior Light being released at 40%, or the best selling and much better Pure White at 69%. The one here is an older version of the rum, column distilled (Ed Hamilton’s 1995 book Rums of the Eastern Caribbean mentions a two-column still in operation around that time), aged for under a year, filtered to clarity and meant as a low level mixer. You could argue that it’s meant to take on the Bacardi Superior with which it shares several characteristics, and perhaps it’s a holdover from the light rum craze of the sixties and seventies when cocktails made with such rums were all the rage.
As always when dealing with rums from even ten years back, there’s a dearth of information about the various iterations over the years and decades, and I lack the resources to go to Grenada and ask in person. Still, given that I bought this as a mini, and part of a single lot of rums dating back at least ten years, the “2000s” range of when it was made appears reasonable — and since there are other, more current 43% Superior Light rums from Clarke’s with Grenada shown as green on the label, it may even pre-date the turn of the century. It’s unlikely that the recipe is seriously different.
Colour – White
Strength – 43%
Nose – Dusty herbal smell, very light, with faint notes of curry and massala. Fennel and rosemary, and a whiff of cardboard. Provides some brine, sweeter fruity hints (pears, white guavas), and coconut shavings after some minutes. Quite a vague nose, mellow, unaggressive, easy going.
Palate – Does something of an about face when tasted – turns slightly oaky, which is odd sicne it’s only been aged for a year or less, and then filtered to nothing afterwards. As with the nose, probably best to wait a little – then some shy nuances of sugar water, apples and pears peek out, accompanied by coconut shavings again, and a touch of raw sugar cane juice.
Finish – Short, light, breezy, faint. Mostly light fruits, flowers, and pears.
Thoughts – These kinds of whites are (or were) for easy beachfront sipping in a fruity cocktail of yesteryear, or in a local dive with a bowl of ice and a cheap chaser, to be taken while gettin’ tight in the tropical heat over a loud and ferocious game of dominos. Nowadays of course, there are many other options available, more powerful, more intense, more pungent — and a rum like this is unlikely to be found outside back-country beer-gardens, tourist bars or in an old salt’s collection. I mourn its loss for the lack of information on it, but not for its milquetoast taste.