Today we took a look at Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum because we had a few requests to try it. Also, because we saw it in the store and the bottle looked nice.
The first thing I noticed about Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum was the slightly white coloring to the liquid which has visible wisps of light “fog” rolling through it! That’s awesome, because when I create my own homemade coconut rum, you definitely get those wispy white clouds flowing through after it settles. I was very impressed to see the less filtered approach as it no doubt will lend itself to having just a bit more heritage than those that filter it down to be less and less unique. Also makes me want to shake the bottle before pouring.
On the Blue Chair Bay website Kenny Chesney (the one behind the product / spokesperson) says, “If I could bottle all that up” speaking of his time on the islands, the fun, the parties, the experiences, that it would be this rum. Quite honestly, pretty much any coconut rum I’ve tasted, to me, reminds me of the entire bottled up experience on a tropical island. So, based on the story told by Mr. Chesney, this rum will fit the mold of any tropical spirit that I’ve had from Malibu Coconut Rum to Cruzan Coconut Rum and DonQ; all remind me of a day at the beach.
But, what makes this rum special and fit in its own space along your shelfs goes beyond the coconut flavor within the rum. The balance of sweet to coconut is a very delicate process and every distiller has their own interpretation… their own “fingerprint” of what that should become in their product. With Cruzan I find definite coconut flavor that reminds me of cracking open a fresh coconut and sticking your nose right into the flesh but with Malibu I find more of a coconut oil flowing across rivers of sugar and sweetness. Blue Chair Bay finds its home right in the middle, not too sweet yet not too coconut driven.
A product labeled “coconut rum” should be as coconut-forward as possible, right? Not really. If you make a very strong coconut flavored product you’ll be right up there with Cruzan and too much sweetness lends itself to the widely known (and widely available) Malibu offering. When working with a drink that tends to have a ton of sweetener like a a Piña Colada, I like Cruzan as it helps balance out the cream of coconut which is overly sweet. When you find a drink that’s just missing a sweet component, Malibu fits in well. When you’ve got a cocktail with a good overall balance that needs a nice twist of subtle coconut flavor and mild sweet start, Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum fits in great–this is where the product will shine.
I wouldn’t go pairing Malibu with Midori and expect something subtle on sweet as it will rock your face off to the point where you think perhaps your teeth are going to rot out. But, a cocktail with that same intense Midori sweetness combined with Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum would offer you a sweet yet not so over the top experience. Don’t get me wrong, that would still be a sweet tooth’s best friend, but it wouldn’t be as sickly sweet as you may get from some other coconut rum brands.
Let’s face it, people love sweet drinks. At the same time, people can become sensitive to an overly sweet drink. The end result may be simply to enjoy that drink and offset it with a second drink of something else later. If you’re a bartender and you want your customers to continue to order a cocktail with coconut rum without getting burned out on the sweet, utilize Blue Chair Bay and see if you can build a better balance.
While I don’t find anything impressive about the Blue Chair Bay story (as it’s pretty much common amongst all coconut rums in its heritage), the story of how it tastes in your mouth is key. Mild/Medium sweet, soft and obvious coconut flavors, a muted alcohol flavor along with a less filtered smooth product and you find something worth your $16-$20.