On September 1 last year, the intriguing rum Noble Selected was released in Sweden by Swedish company Facile, known for their Facile Punsch which was launched in 1993. Just recently, Noble Selected won a gold medal in the category “Dark up to 7yo” at this year’s GlobalRum Masters. It’s also worth mentioning that in order to be on the shelves at Systembolaget, Noble Selected won the tender for a dark rum, after it had been submitted to a blind tasting panel who thought it best fitted the requested flavour profile compared to around 20 other rums.
Not much info is revealed regarding the origins of this product, it just says Guyana on the label, and on the back it says the rum is carefully selected and developed by Facile’s newly established product advisory group run by Daniel Seehuusen. Anyway, since I’m a big fan of funky rums I was happy to find another demerara on the Swedish market – and here are my tasting notes:
Nose: Sweet, lots of vanilla and dark molasses, some arrak funkiness and a slight bitterness from toasted oak. Mouth: An instant alcohol burn which quickly transforms into a warming, sweet and funky mix of pungent tropical fruit, arrak, burnt sugar, some baking spices and citrus peel with just the right amount of vanilla and woody smokiness from the barrel for a dry, lingering fade out. Full-bodied yet with a pleasant raw youthfulness which makes me think it would be even better in cocktails than sipping – it’s funky enough and with 50% abv it also packs a serious pun(s)ch – pun(ch) intended. So, let’s move on to the cocktails!
The Noble Selected press release came with two cocktail suggestions, so let’s start with them:
Noble Old Fashioned
Noble OldFashioned (50 ml Noble Selected, 10 ml Caloric punsch (they recommend Facile), 1 dash aromatic bitters, 1 dash orange bitters – stir and strain into rocks glass, garnish with a cherry and orange zest) and this twist on the Old Fashioned works very well, with the punsch giving some sweetness as well as accentuating the funky, fruity arrak notes of the rum.
Next up, a Dr. Noble (20 ml Noble Selected, 20 ml Caloric punsch (they recommend Facile), 20 ml lemon juice, 20 ml orange juice – shake and strain into coupette, garnish with orange zest) which is basically one of many variations of the Dr. Cocktail but with different proportions. Again, the punsch adds to the funkiness of the rum and the citrus brighten things up a little making it a pleasant drink.
Last but not least I had to try a Mai Tai (30 ml Noble Selected, 30 ml St. James Ambre, 30 ml lime juice, 15 ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, 7,5 ml Giffard orgeat, 7,5 ml simple syrup – shake with ice, strain into a double Old Fashioned-glass filled with crushed ice, garnish with spent lime shell and a mint sprig) and this was definitely the best cocktail of them all – the raw elegance of Noble Selected really shines through, enhanced by the citrus and bittersweet almond syrup – wow!
In conclusion, Noble Selected dark rum definitely is a tasty and well balanced mix of full-bodied funkiness and spicy youthfulness, which for me fits somewhere in between El Dorado 5yo and Smith & Cross. It’s pretty nice for sipping but even better in cocktails – try it in a Mai Tai and you’ll be convinced.
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