I originally had the Samaroli Caribbean Rum rum when I was in San Diego for Tiki Oasis in 2019. I went to False Idol the night before to sit alone at the bar and read while having a few drinks. Eventually a couple people came in and sat next to me; it turned out they were also in town for Tiki Oasis (big surprise), and they were opening a tiki bar in Houston in the following months. After we talked a bit, I ordered a pour of the Samaroli Caribbean Rum at their recommendation (it was expensive but I was on vacation and had a few drinks already). I was pretty blown away by how good it was.
Months later, I did some online searching and found that a bottle of the rum was for sale online from a store in California for about $140. A friend helped me procure it, and here we are today.
Samaroli is kind of a strange company. It started as an importer, and rose to fame bottling Scotch (which costs a lot more money than the rums and apparently gets sold at auctions). They have the best looking labels of any liquor company out there – you can spot them a mile away, and they’re unique and beautiful for each bottling.
Word on the street is that the “Caribbean” on this bottle is code for “Cuban.” This allows the US importer to avoid being caught by the stupid embargo that makes importing Cuban products illegal. It’s bottled at 48% ABV, and is considered a “Product of Scotland” since it was blended and bottled there (in 2017). As with all the Samaroli releases, this is a very limited edition – I happen to have bottle 311 of only 444 produced.
If you’re still with me, you probably want to know what the rum is actually like.
The rum pours a light, golden color in the glass. The nose has hints of tobacco and cherries, with little burn.
When taking a sip, there is a bit of harsh astringency for just a second, which mellows quickly. At this point there is a tobacco note and hints of oak. It has a very wide, consistent taste in a hard to describe way – there isn’t too much variation throughout each drink.
This is an excellent rum to have on its own, with its easy-drinking and rich character. It is similar to the Ron Abuelo 3 star, but has a heartier, more distinct taste. I’m sad that it’s such a limited release, as I’d like to keep it around – but I guess that’s an excuse to try to get hold of other Cuban rums and see how they compare.