Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8 Year Old Rum is a blend of a medium-bodied “Plummer style” Jamaican rum (made from molasses, cane juice, syrup from sugar production, dunder, and skimmings from the previous rum production) with Rhum Grande Arome from Martinique. Martinique is famous for its production of Rhum Agricole, which is made from fresh pressed sugar cane. Rhum Grande Arome is considered an inferior style of Martinique Rhum, made from the leftover residue in the still after the distillation of Rhum Agricole (vinasse) and deeply fermented molasses.
On its own Rhum Grande Arome may not be very desirable, but in a blend it has the ability to bring a highly aromatic character. It’s an interesting move for Denizen to pull from two fairly aromatic and funky styles of rum, considering their first effort was focused so much on attenuating those elements, but we suspect that Denizen had the popular Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum in its crosshairs when designing its Merchant’s Reserve. Smith & Cross is a high proof (57% ABV), bold and flavorful Jamaican rum that’s quite popular among craft bartenders, but it can often be a bit much for those who are unaccustomed to its funky style of rum. Denizen also pays homage to Trader Vic with this rum, who made his Mai Tais with a blend of Jamaican and Martinique rums.