Raising Glasses Review-a-thon, Part 2

In my previous post, I got caught up on most of the current releases from Raising Glasses’ Folklore Series. Today, I’m tasting three of their new rums for 2023: an Australian, a Venezuelan, and a multinational blend.

Disclaimer: Raising Glasses sent me these samples free of charge. All opinions contained within these reviews are entirely my own. 

Raising Glasses Australia 16yo – “Yowie”

First in line from the upcoming batch is a sixteen year old Beenleigh. It was pot distilled from molasses, aged for eleven years in Australia, aged an additional five years in the U.K., and bottled at a cask strength of 66.9%.

On the nose, I get sandalwood, orange pith, Meyer lemon, fresh hay, hardwood smoke, Red Delicious apples, and eucalyptus. The palate leans even further into herbal and essential oil flavors like eucalyptus, Meyer lemon, and bitter orange while also introducing Thai basil and organic toothpaste. It’s dry and oaky without being an oak bomb, and it takes water very well.

It took me a minute to wrap my head around this one, but I really enjoyed it once I got used to it. I’d say it’s a no-brainer choice for fans of Beenleigh, but it could just as easily be a great first time Beenleigh; once again, the 375ml format just makes it so easy to recommend. (7/10)

Raising Glasses Venezuela 14yo – “Whistler”

Up next is a Venezuelan rum from an undisclosed distillery. “Whistler” was column distilled from molasses, aged twelve years in Venezuela, then aged  two more years in the U.K. It was bottled without additives at a cask strength of 60.9%.

The nose is mild – so mild, actually, that I’m having a hard time coming up with notes: black pepper, lemon cleaning product, and caramel come to mind. The palate is about what I expected. I get barrel spice, black licorice, marshmallows, black pepper, and a tiny bit of lemon. I could say it’s little earthy or maybe a little smoky, but it would be a stretch.

This is fine – not offensive or unpleasant, just not as interesting as I would have hoped. While it may not be my thing, it will definitely have its appeal for a certain audience. If you’re searching for an old, cask-strength Venezuelan rum with no additives, Whistler may be a good choice. (5/10)

Raising Glasses “Passport” Blended Rum (Working Title)

A successor to their 2022 blend “FTG,” this blended rum includes components from Thailand (more on that soon), Guyana, Australia, Barbados, Venezuela, and Trinidad. It was bottled at 57.5%.

Guyana-style funk leads the way on the nose. I get dark roast coffee, motor oil, toffee, vehicle exhaust, and black pepper. The notes from the nose are fairly consistent with the palate, perhaps adding in some treacle, black cocoa powder, and smoked meats. 

This is solid blended rum. A part of the fun I have with blends is trying to discern what each component contributes to the whole, but the Guyanese pot still component is so assertive that it’s difficult to taste much else. Even so, it’s still a very tasty blend. While I enjoyed it plenty on its own, I could easily see this being a tiki workhorse. (6/10)

To close out this review-a-thon, I’m trying out three rums from a nation which has almost no representation in the U.S. market: Thailand. Stay tuned!