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

June 4, 2017


More rum at random

Really at random this time. Let’s try not to follow any path… And this is for London!

Rivière du Mât ‘Opus 5’ (43%, OB, La Réunion, agricole, +/-2016)

Rivière du Mât ‘Opus 5’ (43%, OB, La Réunion, agricole, +/-2016) Two stars and a half Rivière du Mât is an old distillery on the French island of La Réunion, not too far from Madagascar. Colour: amber. Nose: noses sweet and syrupy. Crushed overripe fruits, mangos, papayas, raisins, then more spices, such as cloves and black pepper. Also grapes and lilies, with a certain floral side, but I’m finding it relatively quiet. Marc de gewürztraminer, litchis… Mouth: fair, on coffee and ‘old’ jams at first, then cedar wood and touches of incense. Musk, more and more sultanas, and yet it’s never quite sweet or sugary. A touch of rose jelly, perhaps. Finish: rather short, and very raisiny. We’ve had some young armagnacs that were a little like this. No bad news me thinks. Comments: it may need a little more gnak, and the raisins may be a little too loud (did they add any?), but it’s a very fine rum, for sure. The agricole side remains relatively discreet. SGP:640 - 78 points.

Diplomatico 2001 ‘Single Vintage’ (43%, OB, Venezuela, +/-2014)

Diplomatico 2001 ‘Single Vintage’ (43%, OB, Venezuela, +/-2014) It was finished in sherry casks. I thought the 2002 was quite terrible (WF 60), but you never know… What’s sure is that it flows and moves like honey. Ahem… Colour: deep gold. Nose: curiously shy at first sniffs, rather columny as some rum friends say, and actually pretty nice. Sandalwood, incense, and unexpected whiffs of smoked ham and bresaola. Barbecue. Redemption? Mouth: no no no no no no… Sweetened junk, cheap liqueurs, sugar syrup, maple syrup, perhaps a touch of tobacco, coffee liqueur… Finish: short, and sweet and spiced. This is not rum, it’s spiced/arranged ethanol. Wind sold for the price of typhoon, as they say. Comments: talking about liqueurs, we’ve tasted (even) worse… The packaging is lovely, but it’s a Bentley with the engine of a Trabant. SGP:810 - 50 points.

Mombacho 19 yo (43%, OB, Nicaragua, +/-2015)

Mombacho 19 yo (43%, OB, Nicaragua, +/-2015) one star and a half Matured in ‘specially bourbon barrel’ (why not?) and ‘finished in armagnac wood’. But nineteen years, really? Colour: coffee. Nose: yeah, are you listening? I said coffee. Perfect colour-nose combination. Ha. Coffee or coffee-flavoured chocolate, and I’m even finding hints of Ovaltine, which leads us to some kind of wood-smokiness. I rather like this nose. Mouth: ah. Some say this was ‘voted best rum in the world in 2008’. Not too sure, really, this has got new plastic and really a lot of burnt bread. What’s nicer is how notes of Christmas cake are coming out, together with notes of South-American molasses honey. Which, granted, isn’t quite honey as no bee was ever involved in the making of this… thing. Finish: short, burnt, coffeeish. Comments: frankly, this isn’t too bad, and it’s much less ‘commercial’ than the very ugly Diplomatico 2001. It’s just not a very ‘malternative’ style. SGP:630 - 68 points.

Whisper (40%, OB, Antigua, +/-2016)

Whisper (40%, OB, Antigua, +/-2016) Nah, that would be Antigua and Barbuda. It seems that this is very ‘branded’, whatever that means, but I think the bottle is quite lovely. Colour: straw (well done, hurray, kudos!) Nose: it’s very shy, but it noses ‘honest’. We’re navigating around Bacardi and Havana Club, and I’m afraid we haven’t got much else to say, except that the name was well chosen, most surely. Mouth: wouldn’t this be Bacardi under another livery? Touches of grass, butter, and a little vanilla. Very very shy and calling for crushed ice, lemon, and mint. Finish: almost none. A little banana. Comments: humble, shy, and whispering indeed. I’m not sure I’ll remember this one tomorrow morning, but it went down well. Honest very light rum. SGP:330 - 65 points.

What a session, what a session… But let’s go see some serious bottler and distillery!

Barbancourt 2004/2016 (66.2%, L’Esprit, Haiti, cask #BB86, 100 bottles)

Barbancourt 2004/2016 (66.2%, L’Esprit, Haiti, cask #BB86, 100 bottles) Four stars Mad stuff, this. Let’s take this opportunity to pay homage to owner of Barbancourt Thierry Gardère, who passed away a few weeks ago. R.I.P. Colour: straw. Nose: whatever the stills and the methods, there’s something idiosyncratic in any Barbancourt, something that’s typically ‘smoky agricole’ in my opinion. For example, in this case, whiffs of burning pinecones and quite a lot of humus, earth, and mushrooms, plus tropical fruits. Wait, didn’t we just nose some rum at 66.2% vol.? With water: a rather wonderful grassy sugarcane and touches of burnt butter. A little camphor too. Mouth (neat): super good, very punchy of course, but ‘close to the sugarcane’, which is the whole point I suppose. But yeah, it burns you. With water: delicate, complex, quite floral, with notes of hay and various herbal teas on top of the cane-y flavours. Finish: medium, a notch fruitier, with the usual tinned pineapples and, hey, one green olive! Comments: classy. Today’s clear winner, but that was to be expected. SGP:451 - 87 points.

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







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