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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 7, 2013


Malternatives, various rums
from various countries

While we were having rum, we could as well have two or four (or six) more in spite of the numerous complains I got (I'm kidding). This will be a mixed bag as we'll fly to Brazil, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad. And then whisky will be back on WF. Thanks for your understanding ;-).

Brazil 1999 (42%, Plantation, C. Ferrand, cask #4/4, 450 bottles, +/-2013)

Brazil 1999 (42%, Plantation, C. Ferrand, cask #4/4, 450 bottles, +/-2013) Two starsColour: gold. Nose: this seems to be more nervous than other recent Plantations at low strength. We're also rather more on oranges and corn syrup as well as on grass and a little cardboard, the whole being rather dry. Not very fragrant, I'm curious about the palate. After ten minutes, much more sweet liquorice (allsorts). Mouth: very sweet and quite sugary. Pear juice and drops, maple syrup and candy sugar. It's very easy and undemanding, despite nice touches of curry that arise after a few seconds. Finish: relatively short, always on pears with a little nutmeg and white pepper. Wee touches of rubber. Comments: good rum, it's just a little too 'un-whisky' for me. And easy, fruity drop. SGP:620 - around 70 points.

Barbancourt 15 yo 'Estate Reserve' (43%, OB, Haiti, +/-2013)

Barbancourt 15 yo 'Estate Reserve' (43%, OB, Haiti, +/-2013) Two stars The regular 4 yo *** was to my liking, so this should be special. It's rum rhum agricole. Colour: gold. Nose: interestingly enough, we aren't that far from the Brazilian, although this one has more bananas and sugar cane. A little toasted bread too, cocoa powder, bitter chocolate... It's an elegant nose, no sweetish extravaganza - at all. Mouth: the wood is much more obvious in this one, it's even a little acrid and bizarrely earthy. Chewing tobacco, a lot of pepper and even chilli. This dryness came unexpected. Finish: long and peppery. Comments: a style of its own, I believe no cousin from Martinique or Guadeloupe taste like this. I mean this dry. I quite enjoy it, having said that, I wouldn't say it's wood soup. SGP:370 - 75 points.

Westerhall Estate 10 yo 2003/2013 (48.6%, Sansibar, Grenada, single cask)

Westerhall Estate 10 yo 2003/2013 (48.6%, Sansibar, Grenada, single cask) Three stars Colour: straw. Nose: it's a relatively light rum again, rather sweet, starting on overripe apples and orange liqueur (triple-sec type), with the sugar cane coming to the front later on, together with touches of overripe bananas. Easy and fresh so far. Mouth: there's definitely more happening in this one, it's saltier and grassier, also with more menthol and olives, then grapefruits and lemons. Somewhere between Jamaica and Guyana - not too sure where Grenada is I have to say. Let's check that... Right, it's in the Caribbean, not far from Venezuela. It's in the Commonwealth, I guess that's why I find some Englishness in it. Finish: long and spicier, with some pepper and quite a lot of nutmeg. Comments: this is really to my liking. It's a kind of slightly lighter Demerara, I'd say. Rum geeks, don't shoot! SGP:551 - around 82 points. Speaking of Guyana...

Uitvlugt 15 yo 1998/2013 (63.2%, The Rum Cask, Demerara, Guyana, cask #40)

Uitvlugt 15 yo 1998/2013 (63.2%, The Rum Cask, Demerara, Guyana, cask #40) Three stars More rocket fuel! But these Uitvlugt at very high strength (maybe it's tropical ageing?) can be stunning... Colour: gold. Nose: frankly, it's a bit blocked. I get weird things (lorryloads of cut grass) and I'm sure that's me. So... With water: this is funny and very unusual. Peonies in rum? And lilies of the valley? Mouth (neat): liquorice on fire. Quick... With water: good, we're now extremely close to raw sugar cane, it's even got a feeling of rhum agricole. Vegetables, grass, liquorice... Works well. Finish: long, very much on sugar cane. Comments: it's a challenging rum and you have to be a champ with a pipette. But then, its fun! SGP:451 - around 82 points.

Mount Gay 12 yo 2000/2013 (53.7%, Duncan Taylor, Barbados, cask #15)

Mount Gay 12 yo 2000/2013 (53.7%, Duncan Taylor, Barbados, cask #15) Four stars Colour: full gold. Nose: hey-hey, as Neil would say! Now we're really talking, this is ridden with salty liquorice, brine, black olives and pitch, and after thirty seconds almond oil and... barley sugar (!) I love this nose so far. Very aromatic but certainly not inelegant (some would say not who..ish, how shocking). With water: tar, rubber and liquorice. What's not to like? ;-) Mouth (neat): perfect heavy rum, very salty and grassy, with an extreme side. Pot Still? (I didn't do my homework, sorry, I'm in a rush these days). Anyway, love this. With water: perfectly grassy, salty, brilliantly acrid and difficult... I know, I know... Finish: very long and very briny. Comments: Duncan Taylor's latest rums have all been quite brilliant, great job up there in Huntly! SGP:372 - around 86 points. Look, I think we'll have a last one, another one by DT.

Trinidad 20 yo 1991/2012 (54.8%, Duncan Taylor, cask #298)

Trinidad 20 yo 1991/2012 (54.8%, Duncan Taylor, cask #298) Four stars The distillery isn't disclosed, let's hope it's Caroni! If it's very medicinal, it is Caroni. Colour: gold. Nose: it's not medicinal, but it's very tarry/pitchy. Heavily smoked lapsang souchong tea, bicycle inner tubes, coal... Very dry, water is needed more than ever. With water: just the same, water wouldn't change one iota. Mouth (neat): heavy, not medicinal, more on thick orange liqueur with zests of lemon thrown in. Works well, it's got a lot of zing despite the thickness. With water: here you go, more tar, more liquorice, more grassy... er, stuff, and more cough syrup! Finish: long and a tad saltier. No, very salty. Brine. Comments: if it's Caroni, it's not the most spectacular cask ever, but it's great rum and, above everything, a perfect malternative. SGP:561 - around 87 points.

Good, let's move to safer territories in the coming days. Yes, that would be Scotland...

More tasting notes Check the index of all rums I've tasted so far







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