Clint recently had a business trip to Sint Maarten where he discovered Topper’s Rhum. Notice that’s Rhum with an “h” to honor the traditional French spelling of the word. While he didn’t take the distillery tour, Clint did bring home three of the six flavors Topper’s produces.
Topper and his wife Melanie own Topper’s Restaurant and Bar in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. Since 1994, Melanie has developed a hobby of making “concoctions” of rhum in her home-based kitchen. Eventually, they began making these rhums to be offered to their restaurant guests as after-dinner drinks. Customers constantly asked if they could purchase a bottle of these “concoctions.” Soon one bottle became two and so on until they were producing a supply for the restaurant and local stores. In 2012, they partnered with Mike and Thelma King to build a 6,000 sq. ft. distillery in Sint Maarten, and to distribute products throughout the world.
The rhums are made using imported sugarcane and natural ingredients. There are never any sugar or preservatives added to the rhum. Toppers currently produces six flavors for mass distribution however, when you take a tour, you can sample the many flavors that Melanie is still dreaming up
Clint brought home three flavors that we tried neat, then in a cocktail.
Topper’s Caribbean White Rhum Review
The rhum has a hearty feel on our palate with none of the alcohol burn typical of whites. There are floral notes with hints of green bananas. We are surprised by how much this white satisfies our taste buds.
When mixed with Coke the white rhum tempers the sweetness of the Coke with the floral and green banana notes coming through. What’s missing is the bite a typical white rum adds to Coke.
Topper’s Coconut Rhum Review
It smells like we just cracked open a coconut. The strong fresh coconut taste comes through immediately without the typical sugary taste most coconut rums have. The initial hit of the coconut quickly diminishes from a 10 to a 3 and remains there until the finish.
We paired the coconut with pineapple juice. Let’s just say we could drink a lot of these. The two complement each other in a way that doesn’t overpower us with sweetness. Each flavor is in perfect harmony.
Topper’s Spiced Rhum Review
We differ greatly on this rhum. Clint finds it to be very mild with minimal spice and zero finish while Terry had a wow moment when the rum hit her palate. The rum literally exploded in her mouth with a barrage of spices. Black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and a hint of paprika. The finish stays with Terry for quite a while. It’s spice rum that Terry can finally enjoy.
Mixed with Coke, the cocktail is smooth with spice undertones and a little sweetness of the Coke. A coffee note dominates this cocktail.
Overall Topper’s Rhum Review
We were pleasantly surprised by the complexity of Topper’s rum. At $17/bottle, we will definitely be putting the Coconut in our everyday stock.
About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 33 years of marriage and quite often we don’t fully agree. Could be the difference is male/female taste buds. Or, somebody is just wrong.