Brand: Ten to One
Origin: Hampden Estate, Wakefield, Trelawny Parish, Jamaica; Alcoholes Finos Dominicanos, Consuelo, San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic
Still: Pot & Column Blend
Finish: Neutral vessel
Many are familiar with the Ten to One brand thanks to founder and CEO Marc Farrell's drive to market his private label brand as one that is "challenging the current perception around the occasion for which [rum] might be considered the spirit of choice for today’s consumer". Others may know the brand due to pop star Ciara's involvement as co-owner, investor, and promoter of Ten to One. The question is, does this rum stand up to the hype?
Marc Farrell himself has an interesting and impressive story: born in Trinidad, he started learning chemical enginerring at age 16, eventually earning his degree from MIT, followed by a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He became the youngest VP in Starbucks's history, starting a vice presidency in e-commerce and ending with global retail and beverage innovation.
Ten to One's unaged expression is labeled Caribbean White Rum, and consists of a blend of unaged distillate from the Domincan Republic and Jamaica. Although the specific distilleries are not disclosed, it's likely that Alcoholes Finos Dominicanos (AFD) provides the Dominican rum (considering they produce a sizeable amount of bulk rum), while the Jamaican element is harder to distinguish. The only information we know is that it is pot distilled, and a further educated guess could narrow the options to Hampden Estate and Worthy Park– 2 distilleries that are also well-known for bulk rum exports. (read on to get my take from the tasting notes)
The rum is sourced, blended, then bottled at 45% ABV– a welcome site for an entry-level rum that is widely available.
Clear, high clarity, low viscosity
Pineapple rind, banana peel, orange juice, lemon zest, starfruit
Oranges, underripe pineapple, starfruit, sour green grapes, bubblegum, kiwi
Long, subtley warm, fruity; pineapple, orange zest, blueberries, vanilla frosting
Cutting through all the marketing, Ten to One really does have something great with their Caribbean White rum. This is a 90 proof, flavorful, cocktail-ready blend that provides a touch more strength than the bare minimum, which lets the complexity of the constituent rums shine through.
Ten to One White is clear in color, with high clarity and low viscosity.
Initial aromas of banana peel and pineapple rind come through, as does sweet and citrusy orange juice. Zinging lemon zest and pale starfruit round out the lovely nosing experience that is no doubt dominated by the Jamaican component.
Tasting the rum, I get oranges, underripe pineapple, and star fruit on my palate. Progressing further, sour green grapes come through, followed by a pop of bubblegum and a parting note of sharp kiwi. This palate lends me to believe that the Jamaican rum comes from Hampden Estate– by way of E&A Scheer; though there could be some Worthy Park mixed in, I'd be surprised if Hampden wasn't at least part of the equation.
The finish is long, subtley warm, and fruity, with pineapple, orange zest, blueberries, and vanilla frosting coming through as the flavors depart.
Ten to One has a winning product that shows the casual consumer what a white rum can be, despite what many large brands may put out there. If you're looking for an alternative to the slightly more funkier Probitas, or just another fun young/lightly-aged rum for cocktails, Ten to One White fits the bill perfectly.