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Equiano Rum review

Looking to buy a bottle of dark rum? Read our expert review of Equiano Rum, the first African and Caribbean rum in the world.

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

Equiano Rum (43% ABV) summary

Equiano is named after Olaudah Equiano, a former slave, freedom fighter and one of the 18th century’s most important writers. It’s a smooth and thick rum, with butterscotch and toffee paired against dry oak and milky chocolate.

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What is the history of Equiano Rum?

Equiano takes its name from Olaudah Equiano. Born in 1745 in what is now Nigeria, Equiano was kidnapped as a child and enslaved. He was sold again and again before eventually being bought by a merchant, Robert King. Equiano worked on King’s shipping routes in the Caribbean and was allowed to earn money by trading on the side, eventually saving up enough to buy his freedom from King.

He later settled in England, where he became involved in the abolitionist movement and went on to write a seminal memoir entitled The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. In honour of Equiano’s legacy, the company donates £2 of each bottle sold and 5% of annual profits to ground level equality projects.

The rum itself is a fascinating project, a blend of spirits from one of the world’s most respected rum distilleries (Barbadian firm Foursquare) and rum from up-and-coming Mauritian distillery, Gray’s. It’s why it’s been dubbed the first African and Caribbean rum in the world. This all-natural affair involves no additives in the form of sugar or spice, the  flavour is drawn from maturation in ex-bourbon and ex-cognac casks. The rum’s creation begins in Mauritius where it’s aged for 10 years before being transported to Barbados where it’s married and vatted with award-winning Foursquare rum. The unique production process makes this a limited-edition liquid, meaning that each batch of rum is special in its own way.

How does Equiano Rum taste?

Having swept up at a number of international spirits competitions, there’s a lot of expectation on Equiano Rum. But it doesn’t disappoint. The nose is gentle and smooth, with ribbons of caramel and dollops of orange and vanilla, tempered by oak and cocoa. The palate is rich: caramel is studded with dried fruits and warm spices, chocolate-dipped ginger and pepper enter the fray for the finish.

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This review was last updated in January 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.