Tasting Notes On What Might Be 2021’s Best New Rum — Equiano Light

Equiano Rum is putting out some of the finest expressions in rum today. The brand, created by international rum champion Ian Burrell, bridges the worlds of Caribbean and African rums in a single bottle. It’s more than that though. The brand also highlights to work of 18th-century abolitionist, scholar, and writer Olaudah Equiano. The rum follows the story of Equiano on his incredible and harrowing journey through life from Africa to the Americas and Europe by blending rums from those corners of the world.

Last year, we were blown away by the release of their first expression, a dark rum. Recently, we were entranced by a new “Light” rum release that leans more towards mixing while still holding onto its sip-ability.

While light rums tend to feel more like mixers only, Equiano Light truly excels at upping the game on what great light rum can be. It’s a sipper and a mixer — so let’s get into what’s in the bottle!

Equiano Light

Equiano Rum Co.

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $46

The Rum:

The heart of this rum is a combination of aged dark rums from Foursquare in Barbados. Those rums are rendered from rich molasses before they’re aged pretty much right on the beach. That rum is blended with Gray’s rum from Mauritius. That rum is made from fresh sugar cane juice, bringing the “light” to the mix.

Tasting Notes:

You get a big dose of fresh sugar cane juice on the nose that’s been cut with bright and dark spices and oily vanilla next to green apples and ripe pineapple. The palate has a delicate balance of tropical fruits next to coconut creaminess, a dash of woody spice, and a mild molasses sweetness with a small stringy sugar cane greenness. The finish is short and sweet and leaves you with that fruit, stringy sugar cane sweetness, and a touch more of the woody spice with a final creamy coconut mouthfeel.

The Bottle:

The bottles are hefty and unique with a narrow base and wide top. The cork isn’t too big but has a little weight to it. The label is just a logo on the glass, allowing the beautiful light straw color of the rum to shine through.

Bottom Line:

This is really easy drinking. There’s enough going on to drink this over a rock or in a highball, allowing more of those flavors to come to the surface. Of course, it’s also the perfect candidate for all your fruity, spicy, and funky rum cocktails year-round.


90/100 — For a light rum, this is extraordinarily delicious and delicate with zero rough edges.