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

October 23, 2016


Rums again

This is Sunday, we’re back with a few rums. I’m slowly starting to believe that, while it’s ridden with rotguts and sugary swills, the rum world is still less boring than the whisky world. Oh and we’ll soon have a few cognacs, and believe me, it’ll probably be the craziest cognac session that’s even been done. Really. But, yeah, today it’s rum again…

Fair 8 yo ‘Belize’ (53.8%, Fair Spirits, Belize, 2016)

Fair 8 yo ‘Belize’ (53.8%, Fair Spirits, Belize, 2016) Three stars and a half Some small batch Travellers that’s totally ‘fair trade’. The molasses come from small estates that have gathered within a Farmers Association. We’ve already tried a few ‘Fair’ rums, they had all been very good. Colour: gold. Nose: I find it rather dry, very clean, very nicely cane-y and chocolaty, with growing notes of ripe pineapples and bananas. The bright freshness is very pleasant. With water: some delicate heather honey and touches of tree bark, or broken branches. A little tobacco as well. Mouth (neat): very very good, on some delicious tropical fruit jams, jellies and chutneys. Some pears as well, and a little pinesap too. Very good balance. With water: gets a little drier, with a nutty side. Cassata and praline. A little more oak in the background, fruit peelings, roots… Finish: medium, clean, fruity and nutty – and a little sappy too. Orange-filled chocolate, orangettes… Comments: really very good, I like it almost as much as last year’s superb 11 yo CS. SGP:641 - 84 points.

While we’re at Travellers…

Ferroni 2007 ‘Rum de Marseille’ (42%, Ferroni, Belize, +/-2015)

Ferroni 2007 ‘Rum de Marseille’ (42%, Ferroni, Belize, +/-2015) Three stars and a half Not distilled in Marseille, of course, but at Travellers, and finished in cognac wood. Colour: deep gold. Nose: it’s rather more orange-y and peachy, and that may be the fresh cognac. It’s actually all nicely fruity, clean, easy, and as they say in Marseille, refreshing. Nice metallic touches. Mouth: well in the style of the Fair, just a little fruitier again. Pineapples and oranges everywhere, fresh cane juice, and perhaps a little sweet cider. Goody good. Finish: medium, clean, easy, unfiddled-with. Perhaps bananas. Comments: excellent, well done Ferroni. Why don’t all beginners start with these easy kinds instead of the hyper-branded mutant monstrosities that are invading the shop shelves these days? SGP:541 - 83 points.

Reimonenq 2009 ‘Grande Réserve’ (47%, Rhumhouse, Guadeloupe, +/-2016)

Reimonenq 2009 ‘Grande Réserve’ (47%, Rhumhouse, Guadeloupe, +/-2016) Three stars A bottling mainly for our Swiss friends. Reimonenq’s always been a little ‘different’ from most other agricoles, with unusual tastes. I’ve not tried hundreds of them, but in general, I’ve preferred the younger ones. Colour: full gold. Nose: extremely aromatic, more aromatic than all other rhums, with some geranium, lavender, agave, pomegranate, blood oranges, tamarind, peonies… In short, something that’s not totally ‘rhum’, but that’s very appealing. Mouth: really very different. Some kind of cocktail made with rye, grenadine, violet petals, liquorice, oranges, and perhaps a little black earth. Oh, also banana liqueur. Finish: rather long, sweet, extremely fruity and floral. More violets and lavender. As sweets! Szechuan pepper in the aftertaste, very vivid and obvious. Comments: how they come up with this profile, I don’t know (well we all have ideas), but these rums are devilishly sexy. And not too sugared! SGP:740 - 82 points.

St. Lucia Distillers 13 yo 2002/2015 (43%, Compagnie des Indes, 296 bottles)

St. Lucia Distillers 13 yo 2002/2015 (43%, Compagnie des Indes, 296 bottles) Four stars and a half An excellent reputation for both the distillery and the bottler. What could go wrong? Colour: straw. Nose: perfect. Earth, paraffin, plasticine, fern, cane, engine oil, chickpeas, then seawater. Straighter and drier than the officials. Mouth: oh! Totally natural, with a Jamaican side, olives, tar, leather, roots, candle wax, mud, brine… You’re right, I forgot to mention green olives. Finish: perfect, long, and very salty. Some pink grapefruits too. Comments: a flabbergasting dryness. I loudly applaud that, and I start to believe that I ought to pay more attention to St. Lucia. We all should. SGP:362 - 88 points.

While we’re having deep phenols…

Worthy Park 2006/2016 (46%, La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, Transcontinental Rum Line)

Worthy Park 2006/2016 (46%, La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, Transcontinental Rum Line) Four stars and a half From three casks, aged for 8 years in the tropics, and 2 years in Europe. I’m sure we’ll get that on the palate ;-). Colour: gold. Nose: despair, inferno, and putrefaction. This is perfect. Carbon paper, new wood, bitter almonds, engine oil, tar, rubber bands, and rotting lemons. Mouth: well, I’d have bottled it at 50%. Yes I was feeling the need to say something bad about this baby. Smoked tea, lapsang, bitter liqueurs, artichokes, plastic, lemon, savory, lemon balm. Finish: very long, zesty, as chiselled as natural Laphroaig and as oomphy as Lagavulin. Ardbeg? What’s that? Comments: seriously, I believe that at 50%, or say 48%, it would have been both better balanced and deeper. The distillate itself was immaculate, and indeed very ‘peaty’. SGP:365 - 89 points.

What would any rum lover want to try after a Worthy Park? You’re right, a Hampden. And at cask strength, please…

Hampden 2000/2016 (54.9%, La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, Transcontinental Rum Line)

Hampden 2000/2016 (54.9%, La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, Transcontinental Rum Line) Five stars Colour: light gold. Nose: F**k this s**t! An old shipwreck with old ropes, crude oil, seawater, leatherette, and seashells. Or the exhaust fumes of an old two-stroke bike, a Kawasaki for example. Or, yeah, a Trabant. With water: oooh! Lovage and seaweed. Mouth (neat): superlatively lemony, tarry, smoky, and smoky. I know, that two times smoky. And very salty. Makes many Islays taste like Glenlivet NAS in comparison. Enough said. With water: totally and plainly umami-esque. And in Hampden, there’s always a little lemon lifting the whole shebang. Finish: not that long, which is a little surprising, but superbly citrusy, fresh, and yeah, refreshing. Funny notes of coffee in the aftertaste and the retro-olfaction. Comments: Hampden make one of the best spirits in the world. In the Top Ten for sure. Some talk, they distil! SGP:464 - 92 points.

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







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