Rum (and white rum in particular) is one of those categories that can go off the rails quickly. It’s a relatively cheap spirit and one that doesn’t need any aging… so distilleries can push product out the door quickly to turn a profit faster. There are some great and flavorful examples of a good white rum out there in the world, though… but everything about this bottle is telling me that this probably won’t be one of them.
Prestige Beverage Group is an importer and distributor of spirits founded in 1974, focusing on the ability to create brands specifically for celebrities and entrepreneurs. This is one of their sub-brands, but does not appear to be associated with any specific celebrity — at the time of publication, it looks like just one of their brands.
This specific brand (RonDiaz) appears, according to TTB records, to be distilled by Sazerac’s distilleries in Kentucky and then bottled in Minnesota for distribution.
- Learn More: What Is Rum?
There’s nothing whatsoever available to describe how this is made — no website, no press release, not even an Instagram account. The label is really all we get, and one note from the distributor that mentions that this is distilled from molasses.
All rum is distilled from sugar, but at different points in its harvesting and refinement process. Most rum comes from what’s called “backstrap molasses”, which is a sugary sludge left over after all of the rest of the usable sugar has been boiled away. This liquid still has enough sugar to be useful, but also a ton of impurities that make it terrible to have raw — but which add delicious components once distilled. That molasses is added to water, fermented, and distilled into a raw rum.
Typically, for a white rum this point in the process is the end of the line, with a bit of water added to get it to the right alcohol content level before bottling and shipping.
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 plastic screw-on top.
The label is a clean design with very limited embellishments: the logo is just two crossed anchors, which isn’t very imaginative, if I’m being honest. That said, I do appreciate that the label doesn’t take up the entire surface area of the bottle and lets you see the rum inside, but it doesn’t add anything special to the experience either.
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.
Usually, what I expect from a lower quality rum is an aroma of pure alcohol, but there’s something in here. Similarly to Bacardi White, I get that toasted marshmallow that’s a telltale sign of sugar as the raw material for fermentation, accompanied by some vanilla and a touch of coconut. There’s still a bit of raw alcohol in there, as well, but it isn’t as jarring of an aroma as I normally find in a cheaper-priced rum.
Only one of those components really makes it through to the flavor, though, and that’s the marshmallow or raw sugar cane flavor. It’s pretty much all I taste for the majority of the flavor profile until there’s a bit of richness at the end that tastes closer to brown sugar or molasses. I’m pleasantly surprised that there is no bitterness or bite, just that sugary flavor.
Ice has a tendency to wipe out pretty much all of the lighter and fruitier flavors in a spirit. Thankfully, in this case, I think the sugar has survived… but there’s a cost.
I am still getting the sugary marshmallow and almost-brown-sugar flavor in there, but it is now significantly watered down compared to before. None of the other flavors have joined it, but there is a bit of raw industrial alcohol that is starting to make itself known at this point. I think the flavor was doing a good job covering it up until this point and the ice just let it go through. It isn’t enough to ruin the spirit, and this wasn’t something you’d have on the rocks anyway — but it is something to note.
Fizz (Dark and Stormy)
I am well aware that this doesn’t technically qualify as a “dark and stormy”, as there’s no darkness to it. But this is still a really good test for the rum. With loud and biting components like lime juice and ginger beer, there is a lot for the rum to punch through, and I actually think the rum does quite well here.
That marshmallow and brown sugar flavor makes an appearance and adds just a touch of balance to the drink. It’s definitely not as bland as a vodka-based version, and for that it gets high marks. I do want to note that the lack of depth and character to the spirit means that this is still unbalanced, and not something I would go to naturally for an afternoon sipper, but it should work well in other cocktails.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t have much hope for this bottle. It had all of the red flags, and yet somehow it still pulled off a pretty good tasting spirit that should do just fine in mixers and cocktails. There’s just enough flavor here to make it work, and thankfully none of the bitterness or offensive flavors you’d usually find.
Compared to the rest of the market, I think I’d still prefer a bottle of Bacardi. But in a pinch — and for $3 less — this does a fine job.
|RonDiaz Superior White Rum
Produced By: RonDiazProduction Location: United States
Classification: White Rum
Aging: No Age Statement (NAS)
Proof: 40% ABV
Price: $8.99 / 750 ml
Product Website: Product Website
Overall Rating: 3/5
Sweet sugary marshmallow and brown sugar flavors packaged in a cheap no-name bottle.