Thursday, September 29, 2022

Review: Callisto Botanical Rum

  Color (5%): water clear, slightly higher viscosity.  4/5 

Nose (10%): Yeah, that smells like gin. Not like a pine tree but that citrusy botanical quality is huge. If I had to guess, bergamot, cardamom, and citrus peels. No licorice notes to speak of, no real pepperiness, slight white floral notes.  9/10

Palate (20%): Quite dry albeit the sucrose flavor is there. It's gin, but with a few undertones. It reminds me of some gins I've had using honey as a base or apples. It doesn't have the pepperiness of most gins but as a "botanical gin" this hits the mark. 17/20

Finish (10%): the spice character does linger quite a while. but it's pretty dang clean. Not nuanced, but lingering and clean 7/10

Overall impression (30%): Overall, this is a non-juniper forward, sugarcane-based gin. this is not a rum on the palate. Rum is sweet, it is dry, it is robust, it is nuanced. there are fruity notes in rum and floral. rum can taste like cognac or whiskey, but when it tastes like gin, that means it's so mild a distillate is belongs in the flavored spirit category. like gin. That's not a bad thing. I genuinely enjoyed this, but it's not a rum. I'll be docking points from an otherwise rather high score based on the marketing. 22/30

Retry on Ice (25%): That gets a bit hotter with ice. The spice and the booze hits more for sure. certainly a step down. 16/25

Total Ranking: 75% Legendary, Amazing, Great, Good, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill

Estimated Fair Price: $42
Actual Price: $39

Conclusion: The story is nothing too impressive, a Bermuda gentleman moved to California with the desire to have rum be taken seriously. Not really the ambassador I'd expect, but the product is on point. For use in cocktails, this is a gin or akvavit substitute. I am curious to see how it fits in a lot of classic gin drinks. but you wouldn't put this in a daiquiri and call it a daiquiri. A few tiki cocktails could be given some interesting nuance from this spirit but they would be totally different from their standard. That all said, I do like this. It's tasty and well made. The marketing/labeling is just confused. It's a cool talking point bottle and creative types can easily find some inspiration for new cocktail inventions. 

Fact Sheet:
Distillery Location: Petaluma, CA, USA
ABV: 40%, 80 proof
Ingredients: California sourced botanicals, blend of charcoal-filtered rums from Trinidad and Nicaragua

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