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Rum Review: Samaroli Caribbean 2003

Samaroli Caribbean 2003 Rum Review

Samaroli Caribbean 2003

Poke around in any serious booze community, and you will find that the aficionados within tend to enjoy cask strength, unadulterated, limited edition spirits.  What these folks are seeking is not necessarily the caché that comes from scoring a limited edition bottle, rather they are seeking pure expressions of the spirit they love. That sense of communion one gets from tasting pure spirits is easy to achieve given the availability of high proof whiskies, but with rum it’s a bit more difficult–especially here in the States.

Conversely, Europe boasts several independent bottlers of pure Caribbean rum, and while expensive, many of them are well worth the price. One such rum is Samaroli Caribbean 2003 (45 % ABV, $100). This “Blend of Caribbean Area” it should be noted, actually includes a significant portion of Cuban rum–a cheeky maneuver that now seems less controversial given the re-opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba. Bottled in Scotland in 2011, this particular vessel is number 466 of 648.

The tall, upright brown bottle is classic and elegant in its simplicity, and is capped off with a wood-topped stopper. The vintage-inspired label art leaves me wondering what the woman is thinking as she considers the contents of her glass.

In the glass, the rum shows a light gold color that indicates no caramel addition. A swirl of the glass generates an exceedingly thin ring that produces hundreds of tiny droplets from which a smaller uniform set of drops fall. On the nose, aromas of smoke and seaweed are followed by lemon zest and pineapple.

As the rum enters, there is a bit of heat before I’m treated to a virtual fruit basket: pineapple, honeydew, Meyer lemon and sweet apples. After the fruit, the notion of sweetness moves from fresh fruit to homemade jam and cane syrup. The sweetness is balanced by the spice that appears in the form of black pepper, allspice, and a hint of cinnamon. Beyond the fruit and spice, the rum presents that intangible chewy quality that I love. There is also a buttery umami quality that is supremely satisfying. Subsequent sips reveal a bit of black olive and truffle oil. The long finish is sweet and smoky with the buttery, briny umami note carrying the day.

The Samaroli Caribbean 2003 is a fantastic rum that any rum aficionado would be happy to have in their bar, and one that delivers the sense of communion I mentioned above. Well done.

On to the scores:

Appearance: 1/1

  • Nose: 2/2
  • Mouth feel: 1/1
  • Taste: 3.5/4
  • Aftertaste: 2/2
  • Total Score: 9.5/10

Have you tried this fine rum? Please share your thoughts below.

Buy Samaroli Caribbean Rum online


9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2015 11:23 am

    I’ve attempted to get some Samaroli over here in the UK but so far no joy. Luckily we have a good few independent bottlers so this year I’ll probably start my move towards trying their wares.

    Nice review sounds a great rum!

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      January 8, 2015 11:33 am

      Thanks! Strange you don’t have more Samarolis in your neck of the woods. The only one I could find in the UK online is a Guadeloupe at Hedonism:

      • January 8, 2015 11:43 am

        Yes logic would dictate we would have some. We aren’t the most sophisticated rum drinkers over here.

      • Lance R. permalink
        January 9, 2015 9:57 pm

        The Europeans are ahead of all of us – I order most of my rums from France, Italy and Germany these days.

        Josh, save some of this one for me, reads like an excellent buy. 🙂

      • Josh Miller permalink*
        January 13, 2015 3:02 pm

        Will do, Lance. I certainly enjoyed it!

  2. January 12, 2015 12:35 pm

    I bought a bottle of this Caribbean 2003 today. Just an FYI… Looks like Samaroli also Bottled another batch of this … Mine states bottled in 2013 from Casks 1 & 2. 45% Bottle No 461 of 886. So this one I have is a 10 year I wonder how much better 2 more years of aging make this one.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      January 13, 2015 3:03 pm

      Interesting! Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  3. January 19, 2015 12:17 am

    Great review Josh. So far I have no experiences with Samaroli bottles, but I hope to get my hands on some of their bottles some day 🙂


  1. New Rum Review: Samaroli Caribbean 2003 | Inu a Kena

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