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

May 28, 2017


Doing indie rum again

We’re going on with our discovery of the rum world, and rather focus on the indies today. We’ll first have two ‘light styles’, then perhaps two young Jamaicans, and then an intriguing high-power one by Plantation. Still hoping to find something that’s not been sugared/sweetened from that well-reputed house.

Epris 17 yo 1999/2017 (43.8%, Liquid Treasures, Brazil)

Epris 17 yo 1999/2017 (43.8%, Liquid Treasures, Brazil) Three stars and a half Rum, not cachaça, from Brazil. Epris seems to be a huge distillery, located near Sao Polo, partially working for Bacardi according to some distinguished rum bloggers. So we’re rather expecting some light high-columny rum… Colour: straw. Nose: well, no, it would talk to us, with very lovely whiffs of warm hay and overripe apples, then quite a lot of aniseed, caraway, fennel, genepy, wormwood, and simply a feeling of aquavit. It’s very fresh and quite aromatic. Mouth: indeed there’s something happening in there, with touches of smoked ham, then grapefruits and lime, then once again, all those spicy herbs, dill, fennel, caraway… There’s a little liquorice too, and at some point you could mistake it for some kind of unusual tequila. Finish: medium, fresh, rather more cane-y this time. Hints of bitter cherries. Comments: worth having if you’ve got a good twenty different rums in your bar. A very interesting, and pretty characterful variation. SGP:451 - 83 points.

UPDATE: our excellent friend Cyril at the excellent rum blog tells us that Epris are not producing rum (or cachaça for that matter) anymore, only sake, as confirmed by the distillers. They have recently sold 50,000 litres of rum to brokers, which is why we can find these fresh and herbal Epris rums nowadays.

Another rum from 1999…

Sancti Spiritus 18 yo 1999/2017 (46%, Van Wees, Ultimatum, Cuba, bourbon barrel)

Sancti Spiritus 18 yo 1999/2017 (46%, Van Wees, Ultimatum, Cuba, bourbon barrel) Three starsThis one stems from central Cuba. I did try to get in last year, but failed, miserably. Now watch this, they also make aguardiente out of pot stills (I think) or short columns, so, perhaps… Colour: straw/gold. Nose: it sure is quite aguardiente-y, so raw and cane-y, with a serious earthiness and these olive-y notes that we enjoy so much. In truth we’re two thousand miles away from the usual Cubans. Nice touches of peonies, agave, and certainly cut grass. Mouth: indeed, it reminds me of those very cheap local aguardientes that you can buy in un-touristy shops. It’s raw, spirity, yet rather congeneric spirit, showcasing a blend of violet water, lavender, grass juice, and simply green bananas and cane juice. Finish: medium, on the same flavours. A little lime and more liquorice in the aftertaste. Comments: it’s rawer than the Brazilian, and less aromatic and ‘specific’, but it’s one of the best natural Cubans I could try. SGP:451 - 81 points.

Now, Worthy Park vs. Hampden, perhaps…

Worthy Park 10 yo 2005/2016 (46%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, Jamaica, cask # HL 15049)

Worthy Park 10 yo 2005/2016 (46%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, Jamaica, cask # HL 15049) Four stars Worthy Park means own crops/estate and pot still. Sounds great, doesn’t it! Colour: gold. Nose: you bet! Brine, anchovies, black olives, fermenting bananas, coal smoke, hessian, eucalyptus, tiger balm, black earth… I agree, we’re almost on Islay. If it weren’t for the bananas, eh… Mouth: ah, it’s a little lighter in style than I had expected, a notch fruitier, but don’t get me wrong, it’s still a roaring young Jamaican. So first these bananas as well as tinned pineapples, and only then a smoky, briny side. I think I’ll have to mention olives and gherkins. Finish: long, and rather ashy this time, almost drying. Love the salty touch in the aftertaste, it’s well a funky Jamaican, but more Candy Dulfer than Bootsy Collins. Make of that what you can. Comments: perhaps the reduction that occurred? An excellent, but rather softer Worthy Park. SGP:464 - 86 points.


Hampden 13 yo 2000/2014 (46%, Mabaruma, Pellegrini Private Stock, 643 bottles)

Hampden 13 yo 2000/2014 (46%, Mabaruma, Pellegrini Private Stock, 643 bottles) Four stars and a half Their Mabaruma Hampden 1993 had been terrific! (WF 90). Oh and of course, this has been potstilled (you’re afraid of nothing, S.) Colour: white wine. Nose: did the neighbour just change his Pirellis? Amazing big fat highly congeneric/estery Hampden, full of rubber, pine smoke, olives of course, seawater, pickled onions, crushed red pepper, and, very particularly, wild Dutch pipe tobacco. When you just open a new box, haven’t done that since… Circa 1985. Mouth: it’s a wee tad narrower on your palate (otherwise it was a sure 92), a notch simpler, and just like the Worthy Park, faintly fruitier than expected. Liquorice, pineapple jam, green olives, liquorice, ‘soft’ tar, and mezcal.  Finish: long, lemony, salty, liquoricy, and rather rounder than others. Comments: once again, that may have been the reduction. Oh anyway, a great, great Hampden, quasi sublime. SGP:453 - 89 points.

And now, something very perilous…

Plantation ‘Trinidad Original Dark’ (73%, Plantation, Trinidad blend, +/-2016)

Plantation ‘Trinidad Original Dark’ (73%, Plantation, Trinidad blend, +/-2016) Two stars and a half Alcohol OK, but sugar si or sugar no? Colour: gold. Nose: pfff, easy penny. Not particularly strong, not burning, rather narrow and shy. As far as aromas are concerned, that is. I had expected some heavy Caroni, but no luck. With water: soft and easy, with some white chocolate and pastries. Sugar eggs, cane syrup. Mouth (neat): sugar and custard, crème brulée, limoncello. Flows like honey in your mouth. Hmmm… With water: well I don’t get too much sugar, that’s nice. Easy, soft, light style rum, ala Cuban. This is actually what I had expected from the Sancti Spiritus. Nice touches of orange liqueur, cane juice, and orange blossom honey. Finish: short (when reduced), easy, soft, still cane-y. Comments: it’s really good, probably young ‘average’ rum. A good bottle to have to impress the girlz – because of its strength. I know, that was stupidly sexist, apologies. SGP:440 - 78 points.

(And thanks a lot Günter)

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







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