Friday, 7 October 2011


Mc Dowell’s Celebration Rum is the 2nd largest rum in the world and a market leader in India. Available in 2 variants - No.1 Celebration Rum and No.1 Celebration Rum Dry & White, both of which are matured, distilled and blended with exceptional finesse. It captures the traditional roots of rum making and full credit to the Master Blender who did a rigorous study before creating this superior blend. Its chocolate brown texture makes it full-bodied rum with richness of toffee and caramel in its aroma. Take a sneak peek at the residential bar of any defense personnel – you can be doubly sure to find atleast one bottle of Celebration Rum.

Depending upon which website you visit, McDowell’s No. 1 Celebration Rum is listed as either the 3rd or the 4th best-selling rum in the World with sales of over 6 million cases per year. It is the largest selling rum in India with a market share between 38 and 40 percent. My research indicates that the McDowell’s No. 1 Celebration Rum is a result of a multiple distillation production which uses 5 copper column stills. The rum is aged for at least 3 years in oak barrels before being blended and bottled. Because the information from the various websites I visited was somewhat contradictory, I would not want to claim that these are solid facts, they should more reasonably be assumed to be good estimations.
The rum is distilled, blended and bottled at Ponda, Goa in India by United Spirits Ltd. (formerly known as McDowell Spirits Ltd). For your information, Goa, a former Portuguese colony is situated on the Western Coast of India. It is India’s smallest state by area, but the fourth largest by population, and the most prosperous by GDP.  Today Goa contains a unique blend of European culture merged with Indian hospitality. It is a preferred tourist destination in India famous for its abundance of white sandy beaches.
I have very little experience with rums from India, (Amrut Old Port Rum is the only other Indian rum I have tasted), and it will be very interesting to see what this Indian Rum has in store for me.
In the Bottle 4/5
The bottle I am reviewing is pictured to the right. It is a square decanter style bottle with textured glass to help you grip the bottle without slippage.  Of course I am unhappy with the metal screw cap especially as this one has only two threads. However, the rum was not especially expensive, and the bright red label combined with the squarish bottle has kind of funky charm.
In the Glass  8/10
In the glass the rum has a rich mahogany color with reddish tinges in the light. The initial nose carries a lot of caramel, toffee and molasses forward with strong accents of vanilla and dry fruit. An odd medicinal sharpness rises into the air as well reminding me that this rum is aged for only three years.  As the glass decants an underlying aroma of toasted nuts becomes apparent as well as baking spices which have been building in the glass. I seem to catch a few spicy cloves, and a little nutmeg in the breezes, but an odd spicy element I cannot identify has crept in which taints the aroma rather than enhances it.
In the Mouth 47/60
As the rum enters my mouth I cannot help but notice that this is quite a bit dryer than most rums I am accustomed to. There is a bit of a sharp bite that accompanies the dryness as well as an odd bitterness.  I taste a lot of vanilla and caramelized sugars, as well as other charred flavours which seem to give the rum an oddly medicinal quality. Dry tobacco, tea leaves and citrus zests round out the flavours; but, the overall impression is of a rum which tastes a little rough around the edges.
Mixed with cola the rum settles down, but I would be hard pressed to say that this is smooth. I tried a few other mixers including various fresh squeezed juices with simple syrup, but I was defeated each time by the oddly spicy taint I found in each drink I constructed. I did however have good luck when I ventured from my comfort zone and used a combination of ginger beer and lime . The spiciness of the ginger beer seemed to merge with the odd qualities I was tasting and the resulting “mule” style cocktail was quite nice.
In the Throat  11.5/15
The rum finishes with a dry harshness I am not used to. Tea leaves, as well as hints of tobacco and cocoa are apparent in a somewhat sharp, and somewhat bitter finish.  My conclusion here is that the McDowell’s may work well as a mixer, But I would not consider this a rum for sipping.
The Afterburn  8/10
I found it hard to warm up to the McDowell’s No. 1 Celebration Rum. It has a dry bitterness, an oddly spicy yet somewhat medicinal flavour, and a harsh finish which for me made this rum difficult to enjoy neat or with ice.  Mixed with ginger beer however, the rum tasted pretty nice.  Given some time I think I might actually find a few other cocktail expressions which will work really well, but until those cocktails have been found, I will prefer to stick to the recipe below.
Recommended Recipe
Pondo Celebration Mule
2 oz McDowell’s No. 1 Celebration Rum
1/2 lime
3-4 oz Ginger Beer
Slice the lime into chunks and muddle in a tall glass
add ice and McDowell’s Celebration Rum
Fill with Ginger Beer
Garnish with Lime if desired


Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

DARU DIYAN BOTLAN Copyright © 2011 - |- Template created by O Pregador - |- Powered by Blogger Templates