The Pirate King's Private Stock

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Starr African Rum

Category: White
Country: Mauritius (Africa)
Aged: Up to 6 Years
Alcohol: 40% (80 proof)
Availability: Limited
Price: $32-$39 (750 mL)
Rating: Three Stars

The Review:
Before we get started, let me confess that I really hate this rum's bottle design.

There. I said it.  Now we can get on with the rum itself...

Starr African Rum is actually a rum of two names.  Within the US, it is sold under the label Starr African Rum, but outside the US it is known as Green Island rum.

In both cases, it is made from sugar cane grown in volcanic soil and distilled like a vodka and that, instead of the bottle, should get your attention.

This rum is crafted on the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the southern Indian Ocean making it easily one of the msot remote and unusual places I have ever seen an internationally available rum come from.  Additionally, just to show off, the distiller donates a portion of their proceeds to various African charities in an effort to become "Newman's Own" of rum charities.

Once we past all this back story and actually crack open the horrendous bottle, you are greated by the very clean and gentle aromas of vanilla and alcohol floating free.  The rum itself pours clear and clean, almost as if the rum is trying to apologize for it's container.

If you rush the first taste, you'll find the alcohol to be a little strong but if allowed to breathe a minute or two it gives way to flavors of earthy cherry and brown sugar. Cherry is also identified in the taste as the prominent flavor, followed by anise, vanilla, and ginger, closing out with a slight bittersweet aftertaste.

Ultimately, due to it's exhaustive distilling process, I expected this rum to have a bit more smoothness.  However, as far as white rums go, the sipping is acceptable, as the cherry flavor is present enough, yet subtle enough, to make for an interesting drink had neat.  Plus you're helping a charity...

On the rocks with a touch of lemon, as recommended on the bottle, is pretty good but Starr is most effective in cocktails (the cherry adds a nice complementing note to Hemingway Daiquiris).

For my tastes, it's a little too pricey since it's primarily a mixing rum, though it's definitely worth a try as it makes for an interesting drink. For traditional Mojitos to rum and cokes to the specialty mixes listed on their site, I am sure Starr would be a hit at high-end parties.

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