I’ve got a lot of respect for a brand that puts “minimum age of three years” on their rum when other big marketing brands claim to have eight years or more in their spirits. The fact of the matter is, an aged eight year rum may have many young rums in the blend, perhaps even a majority but claim more years because their older rum is included. Tommy Bahama Golden Sun has at least three years with a maximum of around ten years all blended into its golden hue, they decided to tell no lies and go straight for honesty with the customer.
The color is a dark gold, rich and stylish which explains why Tommy Bahama is in such a clear tall bottle. They’re standing up showing off their color against the competition and they’ve got a lot of stiff competitors in the market that will use whatever tactics needed to win, even artificially flavoring their rums. Tommy Bahama doesn’t contain a drop of artificial flavors or colors, the same bottle you buy in the United States is available in Europe (where it’s not legal to artificially flavor standard rums).
The nose is incredibly smooth, offering a sweet cedar wood, deep brown sugars with a slightly earthy smoke mingling in the bouquet. The best way to pull the smoke scents from the spirit is to wave your hand over the glass and let the smells come to you, diving your nose into the glass will get you a nice woody blend of brown sugar.
This is an aged rum so you’re going to get some great roundness and smooth tastes from the liquids. In fact, I get a very silky smooth texture to the rum both on ice and neat (without ice in a slightly chilled glass). To experience the full smoothness you’ll want to drink this rum neat as the ice coats your senses and relaxes them a bit too much to gain the exact mouth-feel. Drinking it neat will result in a little more prickle on the tip of the tongue from the alcohols, something completely missed when drinking it on ice. I’ve got both in front of me to measure the differences.
The initial attack has a slight bit of lime flavorings with a dose of vanilla coating that transition quickly into other flavors. The mid-palate transition is warm and smooth with cinnamon sugar, light hints of chocolate with an small oak finish. The finish is clean and clear, leaving no explosive alcohols in both a neat drink and on ice. The aged rum blend shows its maturity in the ability to finish without a harsh bite or desire to shake your head like you just took a shot of grain alcohol.
The finish is long, leaving your mouth with an oaky vanilla flavor that lingers on your palate for five minutes or more. It’s important to realize that Caribbean rum ages quickly in the barrels and can compete with a whiskey that’s five years older. I’ve seen Tommy Bahama in the store selling for USD $21.00 and the price I’ve found on record listed it at $29.99. You’re getting an absolutely huge deal if you find Tommy Bahama in the mid-twenty range because it looks and acts like a finely aged whiskey that’s at least double the price.
Some of the complexities missing from their White Sands rum are made up ten fold in their golden rum. It’s not really fair to compare the two given their differences in age, but it’s fun to do it anyway. Overall, this is a must try rum for those that are looking for a great sipping beverage, on the rocks or neat, or for cocktails calling for amber/dark rum as I think this will fit the bill nicely.