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Rum Review: Tanduay 1854

Tanduay 1854 Rum Review

Tanduay 1854


On the way out of the Philippines, one is presented with an array of tantalizing duty-free treats. In the rum department, the highest quality Filipino rum is usually Tanduay 1854. 1854 is the year the Tanduay opened for business, and this 15 year-old blend is meant to honor its founders with some of their best aged stocks. This bottle was provided by a friend and fellow rum lover who received several bottles from family members traveling home from the Philippines.

The tall, upright clear glass bottle bears a fairly simple label and a necklace of sorts that holds a knight’s helmet and crest in the form of a metal charm. The bottle is capped with a metal screw cap closure.

In the glass, the rum presents as a golden copper hybrid. A swirl in the snifter produces several droplets that move liberally toward the bottom of the glass. Moving in for a nosing, I get loads of citrus: orange and lemon, primarily. Beyond the citrus comes a bit of cream that combines with the orange to suggest a Creamsicle. After that is a bit of caramel and a hint of pepper. Let’s taste.

As the rum enters, I’m struck by its smoothness. There is a good amount of oak and just a hint of sweetness. The caramel is here now, which blends nicely with the fruit and spice. Despite there being a good mélange of flavors, the blend lacks any mid-palate excitement, and the medium-long finish ends with a bitter saccharin note that leaves me reaching for my water glass.

Of the Filipino rums I’ve had, I would have to say this is the best. It is a good expression, but one that could benefit from better blending or perhaps an additional cask finish in order to create a better mid-palate experience.

On to the scores:

Appearance: 1/1

  • Nose: 1.5/2
  • Mouth feel: 1/1
  • Taste: 2.75/4
  • Aftertaste: 1.5/2
  • Total Score: 7.75/10
2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2014 4:28 am

    Unfortunately these rums have a rather checkered history regarding honesty in labeling and/or the addition of unlabeled adulterants, additives or artificial flavorings.

    It’s important to note that Tanduay is a MASSIVE company, importing literal shiploads of alcohol and tons of additives to assemble their products – all readily purchased by a populace who has been trained to like them and expect no better.

    There is no bonding, no assurance of anything, but I’m not much disappointed. After all, if these rums were good, they’d long ago have become notable and highly sought. They are not.


  1. New Rum Review: Tanduay 1854 | Inu a Kena

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