Malibu Original Rum Review

Put the lime in the coconut, drink them both up! In this review, you will discover Malibu Original as I cover the following topics:

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Drink Overview

  • Distillery: West Indies Rum Distillery Ltd.
  • Expression: Original
  • Variety: Flavoured Rum
  • Region: Barbados
  • Age: NAS
  • Casking: N/A
  • Cask Strength: 18% ABV
  • Pricing:
    • Drizly: From $18 / 75 cl [Buy Now]
    • Reserve Bar: $21 / 75 cl [Buy Now]
  • Parent: Pernod Ricard

Technically speaking, Malibu is a liqueur, but some local laws will allow it to be referred to as flavoured rum. It was created in 1982 by Tom Jago of the International Distillers & Vintners. Production was moved to the West Indies Rum Distillery Ltd in Barbados. It was then purchased by Diageo, then by Allied Domecq, and then eventually Pernod Ricard. Today, production is still in Barbados, but this European bottle says that it was made in Spain. It is made from fermented molasses and the only supposed ingredients are water, Caribbean rum, sugar, and coconut flavour.

Malibu Original Rum Sky Background

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Malibu Rum’s Robe

Malibu Original Rum In Glass

  • Hue: Clear
  • Clarity: Hazy
  • Viscosity: Mild

We’re looking at a clear liquid, which does seem quite oily. Bubbles or little air pockets can produce quite easily, which is probably due to the syrupy sugar content. Its clarity is overall quite clear.

It does leave some good residue on the skin if you were to rub it in the palms of your hands. A test like this just goes to show its level of sugar and other additives. The legs are very thin and fast as they trickle down.

Malibu Original’s Nose

  • Notes: Coconut, Wax, Vanilla
  • Nosefeel: Unctuous

When it comes to the nose, it’s overall quite unctuous. It delivers notes of coconut, wax, and vanilla. The bouquet isn’t overly rich nor is it intense. The diversity of notes is very simple. Meanwhile, it’s complexity is severely lacking. Then again, is it really produced to be a rich a nuanced rum beverage?

Malibu Rum’s Palate & Mouthfeel

Malibu Original Rum Bottle & Glass

  • Primary Taste: Sweet
  • Mouthfeel: Oily
  • Opening:  Coconut Water
  • Heart: Simple Syrup
  • Finish: Short [Vanilla]

First of all, it opens with a very simple blast of coconut water. Shortly afterwards, you’ll experience a hit of sweetness from the simple syrup. Once into the finish, expect a hint of vanilla essence towards the end. It’s not at all complex, though the texture is very smooth. It’s very youthful in flavour. There’s no maturity whatsoever and very little depth.

It’s quite balanced though. There’s a very short finish. It doesn’t last for very long on the palate. You do get a little bit of boozy coconut after a while, but that tends to dissipate quite soon.

How To Drink Malibu Rum

Piña Colada Cocktail

As we often state in our reviews, the best way to drink a beverage is the way that you enjoy it the most. However, if you’re not yet sure how to drink Malibu, we can help you with a  few serving suggestions.

Although certainly drinkable neat or on the rocks, it doesn’t offer the most pleasant experience. Sure, it’s mild and goes down without any issues. Yet, it’s lacking flavour and won’t give you the best experience.

In fact, Tom Jago first created Malibu in order to simplify the task of bartenders when making Piña Colada cocktails. Indeed, it’s a versatile mixer or cocktail ingredient, which is exactly what it was made to do.

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Malibu Rum Cocktail Suggestions

As mentioned above, Malibu Rum is made for mixing and using in cocktails. Here are a number of suggestions:

  1. Malibu & Coke
  2. Piña Colada
  3. Fruit Punch
  4. Malibu Sunset
  5. Pineapple Juice & Malibu

The majority of the examples above are basically mixers. Indeed, Malibu marries well with soda and fruit juice. It adds a slight alcoholic kick and a hint of coconut essence. It can also be used for cocktails such as a Piña Colada. However, it will be somewhat lighter and less viscous following a traditional recipe.

Best Pairings With Malibu Rum

Malibu Original Rum & Cigar

What’s quite interesting is you can use Malibu for cooking. And it could be a great alternative to other types of rum for making a rum cake. It would add a more tropical flavour by adding a hint of coconut as well as additional sweetness from the simple syrup.

Otherwise, it could accompany things like cream pies and lemon meringues. And if you’re into cigars, why not have it with a pleasant Connecticut cigar? These work well with Malibu as they’re both creamy in texture and refreshing.

Two examples that immediately come to mind are the NUB Connecticut and the Brick House Double Connecticut by JC Newman.

Overall Experience & Value For Money

First of all, the distinctive label is unforgettable. You’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a thousand times. You can easily recognise it from a distance. When you’re shopping in a convenience store, it stands out on the shelves.

It features little details like the palm tree logo on the cap and a transparent bottom. As for occasion, it’s a very casual drink. I wouldn’t really take this to a black-tie event or serve it to some dinner party guests. Unless they’re going to have some cocktails and then it could be perfectly adequate for your needs.

As for the value for money, it’s very affordable. I believe it’s $21 in the USA while it costs around 10€ in Europe.

Closing Thoughts

Simple and inoffensive, Malibu Rum fulfils its function well by providing a light coconut-flavoured rum drink. While far from sophisticated and lacking in complexity, it’s great for what it as and will add a pleasant kick to a mixer.

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"Light and pleasant, Malibu isn't necessarily a quality rum but it's a great little mixer."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★

Further Reading

Once you’ve finished reading our review, feel free to peruse our wide range of related content such as the following resources:

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