Mai Tai made with Pellegrini Mabaruma 2000 13YO

Welcome back dear reader,

last week I had the honour to introduce a Mai Tai for Barrel Aged Thoughts’ second MAI Tai (Mai is the German word for the month May). On his blog, Flo introduces another Mai Tai every day for the entire month. For the original article (in German), click here. This is simply an English reproduction.

Todays rum is the Mabaruma Hampden 2000 13YO by Pellegrini which has been bottled at 46%. You should still be able to find it in some onlineshops.
The Mabaruma is a small batch bottling of two barrels. Roughly, I would describe the rum as a typical 2000 Hampden: Relatively few esters considering it’s a Hampden, still quite fruity and with plenty of medical herbs at the back-end. Compared to other Hampdens from the same vintage it is a bit sweeter and more medical. The rum forfeits some power by the dilution with water but it did not lose too many aromas.
Since I never tasted the rum mixed in a cocktail I could only speculate how it would perform in a Mai Tai. However, I’d rather just jump ahead and taste it.

My ingredients, besides the Mabaruma 2000 13YO are Pierre Ferrand Orange Curacao, Meneau Orgeat and simple syrup by St. James. Of course I follow Flo’s (and Trader Vic’s) recipe:

6cl Rum
1,5cl Orange Curacao
1cl Orgeat
0,5cl Simple Syrup
3cl Lime Juice

Dégustation “Mai Tai made with Pellegrini Mabaruma 2000 13YO”

This is a very yellowish Mai Tai, even if you cannot really see it here. It might well be that the rum has been coloured, however.
Taste-wise, this is exactly what you expect from a Mai Tai with a 2000 Hampden. It is a good, balanced drink where all ingredients come into ones own. The sweet elements are a harmonic counterpart to the lime and the slightly sour rum. The rum is not too dominant but shapes the cocktail decidedly. The missing alcohol percentages don’t leave a negative impression at this point. Of course you should not expect a carnival of the senses, that wouldn’t do justice to the rum. Its much rather one of those candidates you use when you want to drink a classical and balanced Mai Tai. I also care to imagine that a dash of something such as the Clément VSOP next to the Hampden would work very well. That might round off the drink even more.
If you take too long to finish the drink the meltwater will start to dilute it considerably but that was to be expected. Here the missing alcohol percentages really make themselves felt. My advice: Just don’t take too long and go for another one if you want to keep on drinking ;p.


You cannot go wrong with this combination. The Mabaruma makes for a good Mai Tai that is pretty much exactly what you expect. What does that mean? You can mix it, but you don’t have to. Mixed, the rum does not really give me the extra value over the established standards such as Smith & Cross or Robinson Cask Strength that it justifies its additional charge. I rather enjoy it neat, even though my bottle has just been killed. Here’s a nice musical pairing as well. Cheers!

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