Capn Jimbo's Rum Project Forum Forum Index Capn Jimbo's Rum Project Forum
Rum Appreciation by and for the Compleat Idiot
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Rum Review: Tommy Bahama Golden Sun Rum

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Capn Jimbo's Rum Project Forum Forum Index -> Barbadian/Bajan Rum
View previous topic :: View next topic  

How do you rate Tommy Bahama Golden Sun Rum (five is best)?
5
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
4
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
3
75%
 75%  [ 3 ]
2
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
1
25%
 25%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 4

Author Message
Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3428
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Rum Review: Tommy Bahama Golden Sun Rum Reply with quote

Tommy Bahama Golden Sun Rum: "Fruit Creme Brulee"

I can say this without equivocation: Tommy Bahama was the last rum on my buy and try list. Perhaps it was never on my list at all. Why? First was price. This rum (along with its white sibling, White Sand) was promoted in the "super premium" (read overpriced) class. I recall it being sold at close to $40 per copy. Fine for rum snobs, ridiculous for the average rum drinker. Second, it was by "Tommy Bahama" - something that belongs in the Robb (short for highway robbery) Report, but not in my spirits cabinet. Last, the bottle, labeling and promotion as "ultra premium" simply reeked of marketing to rum snobs who seek exclusivity (but little more) at any price.


But a couple things happened on the way to the Coliseum.

First, Sue Sea and I attended Robert Burr's Miami Barbadian Tasting, met Richard Seale and learned that Bahama is distilled and bottled by R. L. Seale. Second, over the ensuing months (and close to 50 rum tastings and reviews) Seale's products consistently earned our top reviews. And perhaps most important, TB (whose marketing strategy apparently failed) has now lowered its price to $24.95 and...

I found it on sale for $19.95 (with a free TB Mojito mix).

At this price I'd even buy something with this self centered, "lifestyle" label. It didn't hurt that the night before we ran across this special, we'd reviewed Seale's terrific Doorly's Five Year. So we bought it. Of course you are wondering whether Tommy Bahama Golden Sun (ultra-premium) Rum was worth its once ultra-premium price. So did we and we couldn't wait to crack the bottle and taste it. The reviews:

Sue Sea:

Quote:
Jim and I were extremely excited to try this rum, particularly as R. L. Seales has become perhaps our top rated distiller of our preferred style, ie those of Barbados. As many of you may know by now, I really love presentation, a fine attractive bottle and label. Tommy Bahama is a master 'lifestyle" marketer and their Golden Sun Rum is no exception. The bottle is modern, elegant and extremely rich. Of course it features "Tommy Bahama" in large white script, the famous TB green palm tree, "Golden Sun" and "Rum" in gold leaf and punctuated with a simple fine and understated black font "Product of Barbados" at the bottom. Understated, but powerful and elegant, heavy with a thick glass, slightly indented base and all markings seeming etched or imbedded in the glass. The bottle is four-sided, tapered and with a medium gold covered neck and artificial embossed gold cork.

Was I impressed? I was. A great bottle whets the anticipation, and this presentation led me to expect the "ultra-premium" rum it promoted. The aroma did not let me down - it was heavenly. An orange/apricot marmalade with light leather and oak, and vanilla. Smooth, rich and with fruity character. A tiny hint of cinnamon. At this point I thought we had a winner, an "8" or better.

Wrong.

From the taste on I was disappointed. First of vanilla, then quickly moving into cinnamon and clove toward a late and modest clove heat. The finish was short and unremarkable - a clovey mouth finish. Inconsistent and a let down. Of course I was aware that this rum is a relatively young 3 years old. But to me, this does not excuse inconsistency and lack of balance, particularly for a rum promoted as "ultra premium".

The best rums we have tasted are not only consistent and balanced, they all build from the aromas with growing complexity - to a long and memorable deep finishes and rewarding aftertastes. They demonstrate what some call "retro-olfaction" and that I call an "echo" - like a second experience when you exhale afterwards. These are exquisite and make you want more.

But not this rum. As a franchise, Tommy Bahama products are sold on the name, marketing and presentation. Golden Sun's presentation and aroma promise the world, but it's downhill quickly after that. I was surprised. Still I want to be entirely fair. Tommy Bahama Golden Sun is extremely smooth and quite pleasant three year old rum - very easy to drink, and has a great aroma.

A rum that will impress and please new or non-rum drinkers.


Me:

A good and honest report from Sue Sea that agrees with my own. The first hint of trouble was when the Tommy Bahama Ultra-Premium Artificial Lifestyle Cork broke in half. This is like the steering wheel of your new Rolls coming loose on the way out of the dealership. Easily replaced, but please!

Now there is little doubt that the Tommy Bahama name and presentation are impressive and as effective as they were meant to be. As were the wonderful aromas. Tommy Bahama Golden Sun opened with citrus orange, apricot and even sweet pineapple over a background of leather and oak. Airing helps and later nosing revealed a kind of vanilla creme brulee. A winner!

But like Sue Sea I found the taste was not bad at all, it was simply, uh, simple and unremarkable. It opened very smoothly with just a too light orange which changed quickly into a rind and leather, late astringency and pepper. A short pepper mouth finish.

In sum a beautifully presented, "ultra smooth" rum that opens wonderfully with rich and smooth aromas, but which quickly descends - however smoothly - to an unremarkable finish.

I too was surprised by this "ultra premium" rum that was originally marketed at a relatively high price. That the current price is down to $24.95 and store "specials" abound says something. From the elegant Tommy Bahama Rum website:

Quote:
Tommy Bahama is a way of life. For years customers have been enjoying the Tommy Bahama experience from luxury sportswear to elegant timepieces to tropical cafes. Now we invite you to sip into the good life with Tommy Bahama Rum. The Tommy Bahama is about luxury and leisure... feel the experience.


We did. It was disappointment. Now I do have my theories as to why, but these will remain for another day. One last important note: inasmuch as you can sure TB closely defined the desired product, I don't fault Richard Seale. Tommy Bahama obviously requested a fine three year old rum and that is exactly what they got...

Rating (10 is best): 6.
_________________


Go to Save Caribbean Rum Petition!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Uisge
Cap'n


Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 178
Location: Marvelous Madera Ranchos, CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just picked up a half bottle that I've spied at a local wine/liquor store about 1 or two years ago for about $10 (there also was a full size bottle of the silver for almost $12 there, but I didn't feel like bringing home a full size bottle of anything tonight), and I'll give a tasting of it probably this Sunday.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Uisge
Cap'n


Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 178
Location: Marvelous Madera Ranchos, CA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have to admit that the initial nosing from cracking open the bottle was promising, it fairly leaped to my nose with orange marmalade/clove/cinnamon sweetness, however when returning to it today there was a chemical cardboardy note the was underlying the orange marmalade.

The taste was as Sue Sea noted, and was fairly quick, too, with a butter note left on the finish. It DOES cover most of the tongue nicely, however.

Definitely NOT a sipper, probably better as a mixer.

I also note the small tag on the bottle lists "imported by Sidney Frank Importing Co", he of Grey Goose fame. I'd imagine that the company didn't lose too much with the failure of this rum impacting the market, imo.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3428
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:32 am    Post subject: Sometimes you can see it coming... Reply with quote

Sometimes you can see it coming...


Tommy Bahama seemed to have it going on. A very successful lifestyle brand, great designers, terrific track record and one that would seem to be perfectly suited to a fine rum. Your reference to Sydney Frank is worth noting.

But rum isn't vodka (not quite) and it takes more than pure marketing to succeed. The marketing boyz just love to sit around in brainstorming circle jerks, and taken with their own success somehow manage to talk themselves into "the next big thing".

But guys, a truly successful marketing effort has also got to be based on something equal to the hype. And at its stratospheric opening price point it simply wasn't. Seriously, $40 for a three year old, even if by Richard Seale? No way. Although the "White Sand" was indeed a young, color filtered rum, the "Golden Sun" was alleged to be a minimum of three years with some rums up to 12 years old blended in (but apparently not much),

For the Frank company, a good try, but it just didn't happen. I believe that had the Bahama rum opened at around $20, it might have been a real hit. But once committed to $40, such a reduction screams failure, from which it is difficult to recover.

So be it.
_________________


Go to Save Caribbean Rum Petition!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Capn Jimbo's Rum Project Forum Forum Index -> Barbadian/Bajan Rum All times are GMT - 9 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group