Old Mill Gold Rum is distilled in St. Croix by Cruzan, and then delivered to Oregon where it is aged for 2 to 4 years. The color is a light gold, almost as dark as apple juice, with long legs. The aroma that comes off this rum is a little sweet, with toffee-like smells mixed with a hint of apple. There’s a mild wood smell to it, but one of a light mild wood, not quite the charred bourbon barrel smells that are usually in an aged rum. There’s a touch of alcohol that remind me that I’m drinking straight liquor, but it comes forward as a sweet rum odor so it’s a welcome touch.
When sipped, the rum is initially sweet, but a well-balanced sweetness that blends very well with the wood tastes. Toffee comes across in the taste, there’s a bit of a woody spice burn, and the hints of apple linger. The finish is quick, crisp and very clean, followed by a fairly long, not-too-strong spice burn. Even though the rum doesn’t burn, the spice after the swallow does, but I am mostly surprised at how clean it leaves my mouth.
Sipping for a while, I truly appreciate the cleanliness of this rum. The sweet toffee apple smells are extremely pleasant when I begin a sip, and once inside the mouth it shows off some very nice aging for a 4-year-old rum. The light wood in the taste is very nice, being clear that this is a nice rum without being overburdened by char or leftover bourbon common in many rums. Right after the swallow, my mouth is left clean with a little wood taste and the toffee, with a touch of apple lingering in the air. Then it goes quickly into that spice burn as it slowly flows down the throat.
I like this rum quite a bit – the balance of apple, toffee, wood and rum are very well done. It’s extremely smooth for a 4-year-old rum, and I appreciate the hell out of that. It makes me drool at the thought of a 10- or 12-year-old version of this rum, though Old Mill does not make one available to the best of my knowledge. I certainly wish they did.
The spice burn after the swallow is the only distraction of this rum, since it doesn’t quite fit the rest of the rum. Now don’t get me wrong – the spice is far from overpowering and it is not unpleasant. But since it’s at the very end, it seems to leave a mark stronger than it actually is. It just doesn’t fit all the wonderful smells and tastes at the beginning.
And this spice at the end stops me from considering it to be a true sipping rum – though it comes close. I would have to label this as an excellent mixer, though perhaps a sipper if one were to add an ice cube to possibly dull the spice. Checking the web, I find that this rum can be had for anywhere between $13 and occasionally $20 a bottle. For that price I could easily use it as a mixing rum, though I would not use it in a cocktail that might mask all those good attributes.
All in all, this rum is definitely recommended.