Mainbrace: yes, the name conjures visions of pirates and adventures on the high seas. But this particular Mainbrace is a Cornish-based rum brand that was launched in October 2019. The eponymous rum is even more exotic than that beautiful south-west corner of Britain.
The brand name of Mainbrace comes from the naval term ‘to splice the mainbrace’. In the days of sail the main mast was steadied, or braced, with a thick rope called the mainbrace. If it was damaged, then the sailors had to splice the rope back together and often under fire from enemy ships. The captain would order the ship’s purser to issue a double ration of rum to celebrate the victory. To ‘splice the mainbrace’ became a naval term for any important celebration and was always accompanied with the toast ‘The King – God Bless Him’ or ‘The Queen – God Bless Her’.
Mainbrace starts with a base of traditional Demerara Rum from Guyana, made from molasses produced from sugar cane. It is made using the same methods and stills that have produced rum for the British Navy since 1732. Mainbrace has the addition of a French Caribbean rum. The Rhum Agricole comes from La Favourite Distillery in Martinique, which was established in 1842. There are no added sweeteners or colourings in this rum.
This style of rum is new to me. Rum and rhum have very different profiles and I confess I am not normally a lover of Rhum Agricole, preferring the more popular expressions of the ‘British’ Caribbean spirits. Mainbrace was a delicious surprise.
This bottle has great shelf appeal. The label is understated and classy and works well with the bell-shaped bottle. Innovation in both appearance and flavour.
Appearance: clear amber
Nose: raisins, caramel, warming spice
Palate: brown sugar and herbaceous notes (probably from the rhum agricole)
Finish: well-rounded and medium in length