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- Not my favourite bay rum
A good bay rum should smell clean and crisp, with an unmistakable scent of West Indian bay (Pimenta racemosa) overlaying a base of genuine rum. It should have a slight buzz, no stickiness and should evaporate quickly leaving just a spicy aroma that is reminiscent of cloves. Some bay rums add cinnamon oil and other spices, and in moderation that's fine, but they should never overpower the smell of the main ingredient.
Real West Indian bay leaves do smell like cloves - it is a completely different scent to that of the bay leaves used in cooking, which are an entirely different species.
Unfortunately the Trumpers bay rum smells like a chemical concoction reminiscent of turpentine, clove oil and flyspray. It also has quite a sharp burn when first used, which then mellows to a strong spicy smell. After it has been on for a while it mellows and is OK, but at best it only ever smells "like" bay rum.
I'm slowly working through the 100ml bottle I bought - it is handy for travel as it is light and unbreakable, and it has a vague resemblance to bay rum, but that's about the best I can say.
For what it's worth, the best bay rum I have found is St John's from the Virgin Islands. I wish Men's Biz could get the local distribution rights!