At first glance the name might strike you as another entrant in the crowded flavoured-spirit sector. There’s no citrus in this delectable elixir, however. It’s “lemon” as in the nickname of Lehman Hart, the Englishman who, two centuries ago in Penzance, Cornwall, founded the company that boasts of itself as the first official supplier of rum to the Royal Navy. Fearing a pillage by Napoleon’s army, Hart moved his rum stocks from Cornwall to a fortified dock on the Thames in London. Ironically, the brand eventually did end up in French hands, specifically those of spirits giant Pernod Ricard. In 2010 there was another change of Hart, so to speak, with the purchase from Pernod Ricard by Canada’s Mosaiq Inc., a spinoff of Seagram Canada.
Demerara rum is the legally defined name given to spirits produced in Guyana’s Demerara region, the place that also gave its name to Demerara sugar. Great rums they are, too. This one’s crafted in a robust style. Deep mahogany in colour, it’s very dry for a dark rum, with whispers of raisin, dried dates, vanilla, dark chocolate and caramel carried on a silky texture and lifted by lively spice. $25.49 in B.C., various prices in Alberta, $25.50 in Saskatchewan, $24.95 in Manitoba, $26.99 in New Brunswick, $27.48 in Nova Scotia, $26.48 in Newfoundland, $25.50 in Prince Edward Island.