One of the great things about being a judge at a prestigious spirits competition is watching a small brand turn in a breakout performance that launches it out of the realm of the unknowns and into the bright glare of industry prominence. In 2014, a then unknown Tiburón Rum emerged from the Spirits of the Americas Competition with one of the event's coveted gold medals. After going head-to-head in a blind tasting with some of the world's finest rums, the esteemed panel of judges deemed tiny Tiburón to be genuinely exceptional. A quick sniff, sip and swallow will validate that we judges made the right gold medal decision there.
Tiburón is a family-owned brand of premium dark rum handcrafted in Belize for the Shark Bait Company at the Travellers Distillery, which is renowned for being the makers of 1-Barrel Rum. Tiburón is comprised of a blend of various molasses-based rums; each barrel-aged a minimum of 4 years, first in rum casks and then finished in ex-bourbon barrels. The spirit is ultimately bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof).
Tiburón is a consummate joy to drink and well reflects the diversity of its blend. The skillfully crafted rum has a shimmery amber/gold color, a silky, lightweight body and a seductive honey, vanilla, caramel, chocolate and cinnamon bouquet. A full fifteen minutes after initially pouring the rum the aromatics are still building in intensity. It has a cool, gentle entry on the palate that quickly expands filling the mouth with the bakery-fresh flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, toffee, banana and dark chocolate. The finish is spicy warm and thoroughly satisfying.
Loaded with flavor as it is, Tiburón Rum makes an inspired choice as the star performer in a classic Daiquiri, or even a mojito. But before you go and begin using the rum in mixed drinks and cocktails, do yourself a favor and sample the rum neat. Be prepared to be wowed.
So why name this magnificent rum Tiburón? Tiburón is the Spanish word for shark, which is arguably the most terrifying creature imaginable. Good question, right? Well, after a great deal of study it seems the name is a warning of sorts not to the drink rum while floating on the surface of the ocean in a rubber dingy. It's the right rum, just the wrong location.