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

January 12, 2014


A few weird ageless rums

Rum is not quite an 'appellation', you can make some in very different ways and absolutely everywhere on this planet. I've tried to gather a few examples of those weird rums that have almost nothing in common.

Captain Morgan 'Original Rum' (40%, OB, blended rum, +/-2013)

Captain Morgan 'Original Rum' (40%, OB, blended rum, +/-2013) Two stars A heavy seller that's a blend of Guyana and Jamaica, it seems. Colour: coffee. Nose: let me say that this is a good surprise, I do find Jamaica and Guyana's phenolic and tarry notes, as well as these touches of black olives and, well, burnt molasses. Certainly not unpleasant at this point, I had thought this would be a disaster. Mouth: same feeling, the spirit's a little weak but it's no syrupy, sugar-boosted concoction. Some sugar cane, caramel, a few herbs, gingerbread, aniseed... It's a fair product, methinks. Finish: not too long but there's some liquorice appearing. More grassy touches as well. Comments: really a good surprise. I won't rush out and buy a case, but I'm glad I tried the Captain. SGP:551 - around 75 points.

Just for fun, let's jump to a NAS rum that should be very 'premium'...

A.H. Riise 'Non Plus Ultra' (42%, OB, Virgin Islands, +/-2013)

A.H. Riise 'Non Plus Ultra' (42%, OB, Virgin Islands, +/-2013) Non plus ultra, really? Maybe, this is a €100+ bottle. They make only 2000 bottles a year, it seems. Colour: amber. Nose: complex indeed. There are some molassy notes indeed but also some sandalwood, a little incense, something like redcurrant jelly, some tobacco for sure, early grey tea... It's all pretty delicate and elegant, I like this nose despite the lack of oomph. Mouth: yuh! Ultra-sweet, mega-syrupy, this is more a liqueur again. Orange liqueur with a little caraway, vanilla, honey and... More orange liqueur. It's not a 'distillate'. Finish: rather long, spicier. Some pepper, which is very welcome in this context. Comments: I thought the nose was quite wonderful, but the palate is simply not that of a rum. My god, it's almost kummel. SGP:760 - around 65 points.

Oh well, since we're having strange ones, we could as well try...

Bundaberg (37%, OB, Australia, +/-2013)

Bundaberg (37%, OB, Australia, +/-2013) one star and a half Stuff for surfers and crocodile hunters, isn't it. Colour: gold. Nose: bizarre, very bizarre... Some earthy molasses, overripe melons, apricot liqueur, something bizarrely medicinal, mercurochrome, menthol, bandages... I have to say this is really 'fun', but let's check the palate before we start to trumpet... Mouth: ha! This is fun! Something burnt and something rotten, but the combo kind of works. Hard to describe... Some slightly stale plum eau-de-vie, perhaps, juniper berries, a wee feeling of burnt plastic and again some mercurochrome. Doesn't taste like rum at all, but yeah, it's fun. Finish: not short, a little bitterer and grassier. Is this a joint venture with Jaegermeister? Comments: a true UFS (Unidentified Flying Spirit). I liked the fun in it. Oh, and it's not too sweet! SGP:451 - around 67 points.

La Hechicera 'Fine Aged Rum' (40%, Colombia, +/-2013)

La Hechicera 'Fine Aged Rum' (40%, Colombia, +/-2013) Two stars Not la hashisheria, mind you (S., boo!) Colour: amber. Nose: quite nice at first nosing, rather on bananas, vanilla and sawdust. Some white oak in action, maybe. Then rather apricots and peaches, or rather apricot pie. Also buttery pastries, croissants, baklavas... It is a very nice nose and quite a surprise. Mouth: yes, it's good stuff, it's not too sweet, there's something Cuban in style, it's light, slightly grassy, a little discreet. Some butterscotch, vanilla fudge, a little tea... I'm glad it's no schmalzy South-American. Finish: medium length, with some peppery spices coming out. It's actually becoming very peppery, like when you just ate some not-too-mild Indian dish. That's funny again. Also sawdust in the aftertaste. Comments: the finish is a little wobbly but other than that, it's a fine rum in my opinion. SGP:551 - around 72 points.

Pyrat 'Cask 1623' (40%, OB, blended rum, +/-2013)

Pyrat 'Cask 1623' (40%, OB, blended rum, +/-2013) A vatting of very old rums by the makers of tequila Patron. Scary enough? Let's see... BTW of course it's no single cask despite the name - and it wasn't distilled in 1623 either. Ha! Oh and the price lies around €200. Colour: dark amber. Nose: pure orange and tangerine liqueurs with herbs and spices. Absolutely no signs of sugar cane whatsoever. It's not that I do not like orange liqueur - I really do - but I was ready for rum. Mouth: ultra-syrupy, fatty, ueber-sweet orange liqueur indeed, with a little juniper and ginger. Dill. It's actually a very good liqueur, but we're much closer to Drambuie than to Ardbeg or Macallan. Or, say, Enmore. Finish: long, very sweet and sugary. And always a lot of oranges. Comments: maybe a bling thing. You just cannot trust the word 'rum' on a label, can you? Now, I insist, it's pretty good liqueur. SGP:930 - around 55 points.

Pyrat 'XO' (40%, OB, blended rum, +/-2013)

Pyrat 'XO' (40%, OB, blended rum, +/-2013) The pyrats have got another chance to impress me. This one is six or seven times cheaper, so maybe it's six or seven times better... Colour: amber. Nose: similar style, orange liqueur, aquavit, ginger, herbs... It's just lighter and, so to speak, less profound. Mouth: ridden with sugar, but again it's good liqueur. Reminds me of Linie aquavit, or say a blend of Linie and Grand-Marnier. No rum that I can taste. It's actually a little fresher and cleaner than the bling version, so better in my book. Finish: long, very sweet, now with a little coconut. Some pepper from the wood. Comments: indeed I liked this liqueur a little better than the 'Cask 1623'. SGP:840 - around 60 points.

That's it, I'm giving up. To think that the cheap Captain Morgan's been my favourite. Unless we're calling in the indie Italians one again?...

Caribbean 2005/2013 (45%, Samaroli, cask #4&5, 250 bottles)

Caribbean 2005/2013 (45%, Samaroli, cask #4&5, 250 bottles) Three stars and a half 'Caribbean' may be a little vague, but the art déco label is beautiful. Colour: straw (great news). Nose: it's a rather raw rum despite a very light style, with fermenting bananas and quite some hay, a little butter, these notes of olives that I like so much in rum (because I've seldom found them in whisky) and something like sour apples. It's got an 'agricole' side, but maybe it isn't. Mouth: quite lovely, starting on pears and sugar cane, going on with an oily and olive-y profile that works very well. Certainly less light than on the nose. More candy sugar after that, but the pears remain there. Finish: long, quite grassy and spicy. Some salt, citrons, sugar cane... More pepper in the aftertaste. Black pepper. Comments: we have our winner, but I wouldn't say the opposition has been very flamboyant today. SGP:451 - around 83 points.

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







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