When you need to take a short flight between islands…
Trader Joe’s Rum of the Gods has a great name and a funky label, which features a line drawing of a bear and a sailor done in the same style as the art in their Frequent Flyer. To be honest, as fun as it is to look at, I have no clue what that label is supposed to mean – and this label should probably serve as a warning to people to not buy spirits based solely on the label art. Unusually inexpensive rum, just like unusually inexpensive spirits, is generally not going to be the best quality product and Trader Joe’s Rum of the Gods is no exception. The rum smells a lot like acetone, with a very sharp aroma and little sweetness. It is harsh and tastes just the way it smells, which is to say that it does not taste good. It’s almost impossible to drink it on its own.
Since the rum is made in Barbados, I pulled out a bottle of two rums that are also made there for an off-the-cuff comparison: Mount Gay and Pusser’s Rum (which is a dark rum, not a gold, I know). The difference was night and day. The Pusser’s is much, much more flavorful than either of the other two, but the Mount Gay was smooth, sweet and significantly more complex than the TJs rum.
The TJs rum is inexpensive (I paid $6.99 for my bottle), but for only a dollar or two more you can get something that doesn’t taste like nail polish remover. You could cover up that acetone flavor with a lot of mixers, however the resulting drink would need to be exceptionally sweet to make it worth your while. Though the price – and bottle art – is tempting at first glance, this one should definitely be a pass.
Rum Rating: 1/5
Rum Rating Scale:
0/5 – Is this even rum?
1/5 – Bad. Not worth buying and not worth drinking
2/5 – Not very good, but could be covered up with mixers.
3/5 – Good, versatile rum.
4/5 – Great rum, with complex flavors that is outstanding on its own or in cocktails.
5/5 – Amazing rum. Don’t even think about covering it up with mixers.