Origin: Foursquare, St. Philip, Barbados; Hampden Estate, Wakefield, Trelawny Parish, Jamaica
Still: Pot & Column Blend
In a world where "white rums" have been the bane of rum enthusiasts' existence for decades, Probitas is here to save the day– and also challenge that status quo.
The near-neutral rums that today are labeled "white" or "silver" hold almost no flavor, and evoke college parties or corporate holiday events that cheap out on booze. But Probitas is elegant, nuanced, and pays homage to white rum blends of old that had more character than what we see today.
Probitas is a blend of 3 components:
- Unaged rum, pot still, Hampden Estate
- Unaged rum, Coffey still, Foursquare Rum Distillery
- 2 year rum, pot still, Foursquare Rum Distillery
The resulting blend is a complex, fruity, and thoroughly enjoyable rum, that is also the first of its kind– selected and blended by the Caribbean producers that made the distillate. If you peruse /r/rum, you likely are familiar with the cult of Probitas, and that there is simply no other rum to make a daiquiri with except Probitas.
The distillation stage happens on two ends of the Caribbean: Hampden Estate on Jamaica with their pot still rum, and Foursquare on Barbados, with a Coffey column still rum and a pot still rum. Foursquare then ages the pot still component (presumably in ex-Bourbon casks) for 2 years. Blending and bottling take place at Foursquare, as per the Probitas label, which yields a rum that is 47% ABV and has no additives or sweeteners.
One interesting fact about this rum is that in Europe, Probitas is sold as "Veritas". Readers who kept up with their Latin will know that the two names come from that language, and translate to "honesty" and "truth", respectively; two concepts that both Foursquare and Hampden live by and seek to promote in the rum world.
Pale straw, high clarity, medium-low viscosity
Ripe bananas, fresh pineapple, orange peel, marzipan, vanilla, red grapes
Pineapple, vanilla, banana, butterscotch, demerara sugar, sour grapes, Red Delicious apple
Long, warming, slightly dry; oak, vanilla, grapes, pineapple
This rum has a unique and sturdy pedigree, and the juice certainly lives up to it. When I first purchased and opened the bottle, I was gifted the revelation that "white" rum need not be neutral, tasteless, or boring. No, Probitas bucks the trend of such rums by providing a fuller bodied, funky, and flavorful lightly aged rum at a reasonable price.
In my glass, Probitas is a very pale straw color, with high clarity and medium-low viscosity.
The nose is punchy with ripe bananas, fresh pineapple, red grapes, and orange peel; definitely telling the sipper it has some Jamaican components, and perhaps some of that famous funk. It's not quite funky to the extent of other overproof and/or younger Jamaicans, however. Later on, I get notes of marzipan and vanilla, which provide more savory, candied-like sweetness.
The palate confirms that fruity Jamaican funk is present, yielding pineapple, banana, sour grapes, and Red Delicious apple notes. Flavors like butterscotch, vanilla, and some demerara sugar come through as well; there is a nice sharing of power bewteen the Hampden and Foursquare notes that allows both to shine, with neither overpowering the other. Lots of great flavors that allow this rum to be so prolific in cocktails, without getting lost amongst other ingredients.
The finish is well-constructed, long, and a bit dry. Some funk does come in with some grapes and pineapple, while vanilla and eventually oak come through later on. It is not powerful enough to be unbalanced, but can lean a little towards the astringent side. This is somewhat expected of rum more likely reserved for cocktails, but still does a nice job wrapping up the whole experience.
You won't find a better lightly aged rum on the market than Probitas, in my opinion. If you see it, grab a bottle, and experience for yourself why this is everyone's favorite daiquiri rum!