I’m a sucker for a good rum that won’t break the bank. Sure, whiskey is my usual go-to… but in the summer when I just want to lounge by a pool, I reach for the bottle of rum. The flavor profile is laid back and chill, with summery tropical island notes. Largo Bay is a brand I’d never heard of — but at an incredibly cheap price point, I figured it was worth a try.
Largo Bay appears to be a brand of rum distilled and bottled specifically for Total Wine stores by United States Distilled Products (USDP) in Minnesota.
The source of this spirit is the West Indies Rum Distillery Ltd. Opened in 1893 by a pair of German brothers, the distillery is an industrial mass production outfit that creates large quantities of spirits typically for other businesses to bottle and distribute under their label. Other brands produced at this facility include Malibu liqueuer and Popov vodka.
- Learn More: What Is Rum?
There isn’t a website or any marketing materials for this rum, but we do have some understanding of how spirits are made at the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados (which is where this appears to originate).
That facility starts with molasses sourced from Guyana, Barbados, and Mexico as the raw ingredient. Molasses is usually the raw ingredient in rum. As the waste product from sugar manufacturing, its filled with impurities… but also with just enough sugar to be useful to a distillery. The molasses is added to water in a giant vat and fermented to about 8% ABV.
That mildly alcoholic liquid is then pumped into the distillery’s column or continuous stills, which concentrates the alcohol and removes the undesirable elements. According to some reports, the waste product from the distillation process (including things like solvents and other alcohol related components) is pumped via a pipeline 2 kilometers out to sea where it is then dumped into the open ocean.
For this specific product, the resulting raw spirit is charcoal filtered before being bottled and distributed.
It doesn’t look like a whole lot of effort has gone into this packaging but, to be honest, for a ~$10 bottle of booze it’s probably as good as you could expect.
The bottle itself is a pretty standard design, with a cylindrical body sporting some straight walls that taper to a short neck. The bottle is capped off with a metal screw-on top.
In my opinion, the label here is still a bit large. The plain white label has only a few components on it, and the logo is about as nondescript and forgettable as anything else on the market. There’s no reason it needs to take up that much space, but here we are.
Overall, it’s not a terrible design for a solid budget priced liquor, but you won’t be fooling anyone into thinking this is top-shelf stuff anytime soon.
There’s very little, if any, aroma to the spirit. It’s more like a vodka than it is a rum in that respect. I do get a tiny bit of an herbal grassy note, like raw cane sugar, but there’s an equal level of industrial alcohol to go with it.
I feel like the lack of an aroma might be due to the charcoal filtration, because the flavors show much more promise. Immediately upon sipping, I get a bit of marshmallow, followed by some vanilla, and then some raw sugar. Near the end, it does get a little bit unfortunate, as there’s some bitterness that creeps in and makes for an unpleasant aftertaste.
Adding ice can be pretty hit-or-miss. It softens the flavor profile – which is helpful when a spirit is full of harsh, aggressive flavors… but it can also wipe out lighter, more delicate flavors too.
The good news here is that the bitterness we saw in the finish when taken neat is gone. The ice did us a favor and removed that particular unpleasantness and made the experience more enjoyable.
The bad news is that it took pretty much all of the flavor with it. The only thing I’m getting from this glass at this point is a tiny hint of watered down vanilla, with practically no saturation or character that it can provide to a cocktail with much force.
Fizz (Dark and Stormy)
I’ll be the first to admit that a dark and stormy is probably an unfair challenge for a white rum, but it does make for a good challenge. Since it is a white rum, I’m just looking to see if we get any flavor coming through from the rum whatsoever, since that’s a darn good indicator of whether this could be useful in a cocktail.
What we have here is a perfect Moscow Mule… and I mean that in the worst way. There’s some alcohol content, but none of the flavor from the spirit is making its way through and getting noticed. You might as well have used vodka and had the same result, and I feel like that’s something you could say no matter where you used this spirit.
This turned out to be a relatively acceptable cheap silver rum. Generally inoffensive in terms of flavor profile with only a hint of bitterness on the finish, it will probably do just fine in whatever mixed drink you throw it in. You won’t find it knocking your socks off, but for ~$10 I think you pretty much get what you pay for here.
|Largo Bay Silver Rum|
Classification: White Rum
Aging: No Age Statement (NAS)
Proof: 40% ABV
Price: $9.99 / 750 ml
Product Website: Product Website
Overall Rating: 2/5
A rum with a touch of bitterness when taken neat and without much character, but for the price is not the worst choice.