Google High rums again

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

April 23, 2017


High rums again

Yes we’re doing it again, but first, a light apéritif if you don’t mind, to give us more contrast…

Angostura ‘1824’ (40%, OB, Trinidad, +/-2016)

Angostura ‘1824’ (40%, OB, Trinidad, +/-2016) Two stars Right, some things are a little fishy here. The expression ‘premium’, the large vintage look-alike, the price… No it says it's 12 years old, and the bottle is lovely. Colour: full gold. Nose: roses and incense, that’s not un-nice, just a little unlikely. In a pastry shop in Istanbul. Some raisins too, molasses… Mouth: it’s certainly sweet, but it’s not a sugar bomb. Some tobacco, honey, a touch of roasted malt, and surely some coffee and orange liqueur. I could drink this. Finish: short, and yet a tad cloying. Corn syrup and honey, plus caramel. Comments: actually much too sweet for me, but I wouldn’t quite call it a ‘liqueur’. Needs ice, though… SGP:730 - 70 points.

Now, let’s get serious…

Demerara 14 yo 2002/2017 (46%, Le Gus’t, cask #144, 300 bottles)

Demerara 14 yo 2002/2017 (46%, Le Gus’t, cask #144, 300 bottles) Four stars This guy came from a Caroni cask, imagine! There’s also a version at cask strength, we’ll try that one later. Colour: full gold. Nose: seriously, rosemary? (could make for the title of a movie, eh). There really is a lot of rosemary, some thyme as well, a petroly side, thuja wood, cloves, and simply a lot of fennel seeds. It’s really unusual, and it just works. Would make for some nice bitter, in a posh cocktail. Mouth: tar and diesel oil, then tar liqueur, more thuja wood, caraway, and indeed fennel seeds and rosemary. Tends to become saltier, with also more nutmeg, but the thuja wood keeps singing loud. Finish: long, a tad gentler. Superb herbal aftertaste, reminding me of some old tar and herbs liqueur. Comments: some action! Very nice wood oils, unless that was the Caroni part. Great unusual rum that just killed the humble Angostura. Who said that was to be expected? SGP:462 - 87 points.

Good, Demerara…

Diamond 8 yo 2008/2017 (59.3%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, 239 bottles)

Diamond 8 yo 2008/2017 (59.3%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, 239 bottles) Four stars and a half It says ‘pot still’, so it’s not from one of the columns (thank you Einstein). It’s also reassuring to learn that at nearly 60% vol., this is ‘cask strength’ rum. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: get out of here! Brand new Pirellis, two tons of rubber bands, and your sister’s bicycle inner tubes. You see the idea… With water: the tyres of an A.C. Cobra after a run. Mouth (neat): Ardbeg matured in a new scuba diving suit. Plus salt and lemon. The question is, do we enjoy this much rubber? What’s sure is that this Diamond is rather Jamaican, if you see what I mean. With water: civilisation! Olives, brine, tar, earth, gentian, mezcal… Finish: very long, tarry, rubbery, and salty. There’s bad rubber and there’s good rubber. This is good rubber. Comments: who’s doing the rums at Hunter Laing’s? He/she deserves a raise. Just saying, not my money. SGP:365 - 88 points.

Sure the Jamaicans could compete, but there’s also Fiji. Seriously, Fiji…

South Pacific 10 yo 2004/2015 (44%, Compagnie des Indes, Fiji, cask #SF13, 302 bottles)

South Pacific 10 yo 2004/2015 (44%, Compagnie des Indes, Fiji, cask #SF13, 302 bottles) Three stars and a half These babies have made for some of the greatest discoveries in recent years. Fiji doesn’t only mean rugby, apparently… Colour: straw. Nose: sugar Easter eggs and rosewater at first, then benzoin and burning lamp oil, with whiffs of barbecue and wallflowers. Some camphor as well, tiger balm, bandages… You got it, this is quite unusual. And ultra-nice. Mouth: really some two-step rum. Starts sweet and almost sugary (those small ester eggs again), and gets then rather smokier and a notch petroly. A little sandalwood, burning hay… Nice touch of crystallised oranges capping it all off. Finish: medium, rather Cuban in fact. Candy sugar and hay. Comments: this baby kept hesitating between a petroly ‘Jamaican’ style, and a gentler ‘Cuban’ one. You could drink a while bottle and not make up your mind in the end. Dangerous stuff. SGP:552 - 84 points.

Back to Demerara? And how about a legendary one?

Demerara 1974/2001 (45%, Samaroli)

Demerara 1974/2001 (45%, Samaroli) Five stars Dear Silvano! I’d bet this was a Port Mourant, but I have no proof, and it’s so sad that I couldn’t ask the great man himself anymore. Colour: mahogany. Nose: extraordinary parsley, tar, and black olives at first sniffings, then walnut stain and just seawater. Amazing notes of tamarind jam and prunes in armagnac in the background. Perhaps even hints of Pousse-Rapière, some stuff they make down there (not in Guyana mind you) and that would kill, or at least muzzle any opposition. Mouth: oak, liquorice, ashes, and bitter oranges. Definitely old Port Mourant/Morant. Fantastic tar, brine, lamp oil, salt, cloves, cigars, tamarind again (never found this much tamarind elsewhere), prunes… And it would get saltier and saltier. I know there’s no salt in whisky, but is that the same with rum? (I’m asking salt experts). After three minutes, a total avalanche of raw cocoa and chocolate, and totally no sugar. Sugar kills anyway. Finish: very long, with a wonderful mentholy oakiness. And tar, and liquorice. Comments: it’s a bit massive, otherwise I would have gone even higher. But I’m keeping my points for the ‘West Indies’ 1948 by Samaroli, soon on WF, stay tuned. SGP:363 - 92 points.

(Many thanks again, Francesco!)

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







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