In this week’s blog we look at the wonderful Toti Rum. The rum is produced by The Sustainable Spirit Company to celebrate the unique connection of rum to the sea, even naming it after the creole word for “turtle”. With their love for the sea the company was devastated by what the human race has done to the planet and the seas in particular. They wanted the rum to be part of the solution and in doing so they donate 15% of their profits to Sea Turtle Conservation and Operation Ghostnet.
Toti have two expressions in their range, the Cask Reserve Dark Rum and the Famous Five White Rum. The Cask Reserve is a dark and very aromatic sipping rum, with a delicious full body and a smooth finish. The Famous Five White Rum with its fresh grassy flavours lends itself well to cocktails such as a mojitos and daiquiris.
About half of the Dark Reserve Rum is made with complex and rich agricole rum from the Dominican Republic. This starts life as sugar cane, the canes are then cut and pressed to extract the juice. This is then fermented with local yeast strains which produces a wash of around 8% abv, the wash is distilled in a column still and produces an overproof agricole rum of 80% abv. This rum is then cut back to 70% with water and put into ex-bourbon American white oak barrels; left for five years of aging which is accelerated by the consistent tropical heat of the Caribbean.
The Famous Five Rumis also produced with half agricole rum but this time they use a fresh style. They harvest the fresh sugar cane from fields surrounding the distillery, taking them to be cold pressed before and undergoing a similar process as above but without the oak aging.
A key element to Toti is rum produced by molasses. Molasses is produced by the reduction of sugar cane juice into a dark, thick and concentrated syrup. Mixed with water and fermented with yeast it creates an intensely flavoured 7% wash. When distilled it makes a high proof spirit.
The team have sourced six different varieties of molasses based rum to use in the blend. Three are sourced from Jamaica and are distilled in traditional pot stills, these are very aromatic and complex. They are also produced in some of the world's oldest distilleries using centuries old yeast cultures and traditional methods. Rum produced in Trinidad and Barbados is distilled in column stills and produces lightness and minerality and then aged in ex-bourbon casks for three years gaining richness, complexity and smoothness. The white rum undergoes no oak aging in the process allowing the fresh flavour profile to come to the fore.
A lot of Toti’s magic comes from the secret blend, created by the founder Mark Douglas Hill and Hein Smit. For the Dark Reserve all the elements are blended together at a high abv and then cut to the classic bottling strength of 42%. The fruitiness and aromatic tanginess are enhanced further by finishing with the addition of Demerara rum from Guyana and bittersweet blackstrap molasses. The Famous Five White Rum undergoes a blend of the five different styles but does not have any extra additives such as the blackstrap molasses.
Cask Reserve is richly fragrant with prominent notes of caramelised banana and dried mango. The taste is rich and complex with notes of treacle tart, vanilla & ripe banana. The finish is sustained and buttery, with hints of liquorice. The Famous Five Rum has rich and prominent notes of pineapple, banana and vanilla with a long complex finish of fresh cut grass and white pepper.
Both rums are available on our website or in store for £27.