The stories behind the creation of a rum brand can be inspirational. They can tell of a deep connection that reflects family values and fond memories. It was this foundation that William George rum was built on. An exceptional white rum that defies the characteristics of what a traditional white rum is supposed to be, William George is worth trying.
William George was founded by Andrew and Richard Nicholls in honour of their two granddads, William Simpson and George Nicholls. William arrived in Zambia in 1938 and then returned to England to fight in World War II. He then returned to Zambia after the war to settle down for good. George relocated from England to Zimbabwe in 1956.
Andrew and Richard wanted to provide a fitting tribute to two people who shaped them. This dedication to family is captured in the William George label. It features a compass which points towards true north at 11 degrees west. The direction was calculated from Victoria Falls at the time that William and George lived in Africa. This is a reflection of a core value of the brand, with true north being interpreted as the right path towards honesty.
The font for the label was taken from George’s birth certificate and a message that William wrote to his wife can be read on the side. It says ‘blissful happiness for decades of time,’ a lovely sentiment for an even lovelier rum.
The William George is a blend of six different rums, with four being sourced from Jamaica and the other two coming from Trinidad & Tobago. The Jamaican rums are pot-stilled, while the Trinidad & Tobago varieties are multi-column distilled.
It’s worth pointing out that one of the Trinidadian rums is aged for 2 – 5 years in ex-Bourbon barrels and carbon filtered to remove the colour. The other five rums are unaged. All the rums are blended in Amsterdam by E&A Scheer.
I got to try William George as part of Europe’s first online rum festival and it was nothing short of phenomenal. From the perspective of a sipping drink, I’m not a huge fan of white rum and I’m used to having it in cocktails. But as soon as I sipped it neat my expectations were blown out of the water.
There’s a good amount of sweetness in the rum that caught my attention right away. Notes of peach, banana and cherry appear at the front of the mouth and give way to nutty flavours of pine, chestnut and almonds. An undercurrent of grassiness sneaks in towards the end and leaves behind an aftertaste of vanilla and raisins.
As William George is bottled at 43% ABV, there’s some great intensity to it that makes it good for sipping and for swigging in cocktails. I can honestly say it’s made me reevaluate my perception of white rum and it could do the same for you too.
Origin: Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago
Nose: Cherry, stewed fruits, banana
Mouthfeel:Peach, banana, cherry, vanilla, almond, pine nut, raisins