Rum is defined as a spirit “distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses or other sugar cane by-products… having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to rum” and with an alcohol content of 40-95% (80-190 proof)(per TTB standards). Shango is not rum, but is a rum liqueur. This means that it has a higher sugar content than straight rum, but is made “with rum as the exclusive distilled spirits base” to ensure that it has a recognizable rum flavor. The extra sugar makes the liqueur much smoother and sweeter than your average rum would be.
Shango has enhanced this extra sweetness with vanilla and a hint of coconut. The overall effect is that of a tropical cocktail. The additional flavors are subtle, while the flavor of rum is strong, although there is no hint of the sometimes harsh taste of straight spirits. It is delicious and goes extremely well in cocktails (such as mojitos), especially considering that the majority of them are on the sweeter side to begin with.