Phraya Rum hails from Thailand, which probably isn’t the first place you think of when it comes to rum. But with its tropical climate and favorable growing conditions, Southeast Asia is rich in sugarcane. Rum is most abundantly consumed in the Philippines, where Tanduay is an exceptionally popular brand. And in Thailand, a handful of rums are produced, but probably none better than Phraya.
Phraya Rum links its production methods to the four elements: fire, earth, air and water. The oak barrels are toasted to invigorate the wood and improve flavor (fire). The sugarcane grows in rich, fertile soil (earth). The lush environment provides the rum with ideal conditions, and the spirit is aged slowly over cool lagoons (air). And rounding out the elements, Phraya is cut with the soft, natural waters of the Ta Chin River (water).
Once the rum is distilled, it goes into oak barrels for seven to 12 years. Because the warehouses are located over those cool lagoons mentioned above, the aging process is slow and deliberate, which results in a deep, distinctive rum. Once matured, the very best of the bunch is selected and blended together before bottling.
On the nose, Phraya Rum is rich with vanilla and coconut. The background hints at dark fruits like raisins and figs, plus just a touch of baking spices. On the palate it’s well-balanced between creamy sweetness and spice. We found burnt caramel, butterscotch and pineapple, plus more coconut and some citrus zest. The finish brings vanilla, nuts and banana before moving toward a dry, spicy and lingering close.
This is good stuff that rivals much of what’s produced on more familiar Caribbean islands. It’s not overly sweet, which we appreciate. From start to finish it’s a well-balanced, well-blended rum that’s full of lush, tropical flavors. Flavors that would stand up nicely in cocktails, but work just as well when sipped straight. Nice one, Thailand.
– 40% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★★