The Brinley family has brought the Caribbean island flair of St. Kitts into a unique line of flavored rums. Unlike other rum makers, you will not find a white or aged rum coming from Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rums. They concentrate on tropical flavors instead and they are doing an excellent job at it.
Brinley was started in 1986 and set out to make "the smoothest flavored rum in the world." Whether or not they're the best is a matter of opinion, but they are near the top.
Brinley rums may be some of the most sippable, true-to-flavor rums available. You also cannot beat the fact that they're naturally flavored, which is a rare talking point in today's rum market.
As of 2017, the rum brand's portfolio includes coconut, coffee, mango, and vanilla rums. They also offer a spiced rum and their Coconut Cream (a possible rival for RumChata) is made with dairy cream from New York state.
Brinley Gold Shipwreck Coffee Rum
Of the all the rums that Brinley offers, Coffee has to top the list. It is rich, but not too rich and the rum's sweetness paired with a Brazilian-roasted blend of coffee makes it more espresso-like. This is ideal for transforming any cocktail into a coffee-flavored delight.
It is an excellent substitute for Kahlua. If you look at the myriad of cocktails that use that popular liqueur, you have a great place to begin mixing this Brinley offering. In fact, one of the company's signature drinks is a Rum Russian that follows this theory exactly.
Simply pour it into a White Russian rather than Kahlua and enjoy a delicious drink.
For lovers of a well-made Espresso Martini, this rum can again replace the Kahlua in any of the recipes available. Better yet, pair it with Brinley's Vanilla in a variation I fell for at Bacchus in St. Croix.
Brinley Gold Shipwreck Vanilla Rum
Vanilla is another natural pairing with rum.
When the two meet, the result is a luscious, creamy spirit. This one is superb on its own when served over ice or with club soda to top it off (called a Brinley Cream Soda). The rum has a toasted Madagascar vanilla flavor that is a fantastic mixer for cocktails.
One suggestion is to use it to replace the vanilla vodka in the delicious Creamsicle. This little change adds a little richness to the drink and it has more depth than vodka could ever bring. Try it out in a Banana Daiquiri as well. You will find that it is a frozen concoction to thrill the tastebuds.
This is also a fantastic substitute for vanilla liqueurs. Great-tasting and neutral-flavored vanilla liqueurs have been challenging to find since Navan was discontinued, but Brinley Vanilla can easily take its place in recipes like the Natural Vanilla Martini.
Brinley Gold Shipwreck Coconut Rum
Brinley Coconut is one that will inspire you to try a touch of coconut in your favorite rum cocktails. Don't forget to mix up a Coconut Martini while this rum is in your bar; it should be considered a requirement with purchase.
I went "tropical classic" with my experiments and found that having a coconut background makes the Knickerbocker really interesting.
Most of this is due to a butterscotch-like taste that mixes delightfully with the raspberry.
The Brinley Bay Breeze simply mixes the coconut rum with pineapple juice (like a Bay Breeze). It is a nice and simple drink that is far more interesting than the vodka version.
Then again, there is no shortage of coconut rum cocktails to choose from. If you've been grabbing Malibu, it's time to seriously consider this upgrade.
Brinley Gold Shipwreck Mango Rum
It's enjoyable, though Brinley Mango was not my favorite of the line. It does have a fruity sweetness that is very inviting, but it can be too much on its own. Instead, this one is a semi-sweet base for adding more fruit to tropical cocktails.
Mixing with the mango is a lot of fun. You can pair it with amaretto in the simple Lounge Lizard, the orange of a Madison Avenue, or the grapefruit of a Nevada Cocktail. It's also nice in a Cape Codder style of drink with cranberry juice. For a twist on the ordinary, a Mango Mojito will do the trick.
About Brinley Gold
- Naturally infused gold rum from the Carribean island of St. Kitts.
- 36% alcohol by volume (72 proof)
- Retails for around $20/750ml bottle.