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

August 13, 2017


Our traditional bag of rum on Sunday

Anything, really, any styles and origins, at random. A good way of travelling afar while remaining at the tasting table.

Aldea 22 yo 1991/2013 ‘Tradicion’ (42%, OB, Spain)

Aldea 22 yo 1991/2013 ‘Tradicion’ (42%, OB, Spain) one star and a half This is cane juice column-distilled and aged on La Palma, one of the Canary Islands, Spain. Spanish agricole, in a way. Some Spanish rums I could try were extremely sugary, so let’s proceed with caution. Colour: gold. Nose: rather easy, rather caramely, with raisins and fudge, crème brulée, and a little toasted oak. It’s very ‘average’ in the better sense of that word, not very agricole for sure, are pretty easy. Quite Latino, this one! Mouth: sweet and sweetened, that’s not too good. Sugar, molasses, liquid caramel, banana liqueur, and just a few bitter grasses in the background. Totally in the style of most Central Americans, with these typical notes of coffee liqueur. Finish: short, on caramel and more coffee liqueur. Triple-sec and toasted oak in the aftertaste. Comments: let’s say it’s kind of okay, but the high sugar content really disturbs me, as usual. SGP:830 - 68 points.

Foursquare 10 yo ‘Criterion’ (56%, OB for The Whisky Exchange, Barbados, 2017)

Foursquare 10 yo ‘Criterion’ (56%, OB for The Whisky Exchange, Barbados, 2017) Four stars and a half Another single blended rum by Foursquare, with both pot and column rum inside. It was aged in Madeira and bourbon wood. Colour: deep gold. Nose: another galaxy, as expected. First a few notes of bourbon (pencil shavings, but no solventy notes), then a rather soft development, less wild than Triptych, and at times frankly Martiniquan. Apple pie, praline, a new pack of cigarettes, cane juice, barbecued bananas, hay, and the faintest whiffs of burning wood. With water: a little more sweet oak, some bourbon again, and a blend of cane juice and custard. Very nice and even more Martiniquan. Mouth (neat): an unusual arrival, on crystallised lemons and some kind of spiced marmalade, before it goes on with more gingerbread, caraway, and honeycomb. Tarte tatin, more barbecued bananas, liquorice… With water: cane juice comes out even more. Finish: medium long, cane-y, with some vanilla and oranges. Comments: I may be totally wrong, but this Criterion feels less ‘high-esters’ than the Triptych. An easier style, but as high-class as expected. SGP:561 - 88 points.

Monymusk 9 yo 2007/2017 (46%, Van Wees, Ultimatum, Jamaica, bourbon barrel, cask #7, 349 bottles)

Monymusk 9 yo 2007/2017 (46%, Van Wees, Ultimatum, Jamaica, bourbon barrel, cask #7, 349 bottles) Four stars Monymusk’s sometimes named Clarendon, after their parent company. Just like Foursquare, they have both pot stills and columns. Let’s hope this one’s from the pots, and a long-fermentation version. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: yep. It’s not a very heavy one, unlike Hampden or Worthy Park, but it does have these tarry notes, the brine, the olives, and notes of lime and lemon that do hint at artisanal cachaça. There are pears as well, having said that, and a little cracked pepper. Nice freshness. Mouth: unusual! Pepper and olives at first, then more and more tar and pipe tobacco, this is definitely the heavier style. There’s a dirty side that’s pleasant (well, I for one like that), bits of burnt rubber, some kind of peppered liquorice, and even a little strong mustard. This one’s very nicely aggressive – yup that’s possible. Finish: long, rather acrid, with pears and strong beer (Duvel) in the back. A bit dichotomous, I’d say. Comments: heavily peppered pears, could that work? Love it but it is certainly not a very easy rum. SGP:462 - 86 points.

Angostura 15 yo ‘1787’ (40%, OB, Trinidad, 2016)

Angostura 15 yo ‘1787’ (40%, OB, Trinidad, 2016) Two stars This one’s advertised as ‘super-premium’, which always sounds as very bad news. I have both the ‘1824’ and the ‘1919’ at WF 70. Colour: amber. Nose: hold on, this is much nicer than expected, with distinct notes of peach syrup and flowers (mullein, dandelion, roses), and a pleasant petroly/smoky background, as if someone had poured a few litres of heavy Caroni into the vatting tank. The whole’s aromatic, fresh, and pretty elegant. A good surprise. Mouth: woosh, too bad they’ve sweetened it. Fruit syrups, Toplexil, preserved pineapples, maple syrup, limoncello. Feels like if at least 30g/l sugar have been added. Finish: medium, sweet. Toothpaste for kids. Comments: not my preferred style, as you may know. Very syrupy, but let’s be fair, the nose was really nice, so we won’t murder it. But super-premium? SGP:831 - 72 points.

And now perhaps a very old one for the road? Very very old?

Red Heart Jamaica Rum (90° US proof, Henry White and Co., bottled by Port of London Authority, Jamaica, for USA, 4/5 quarts, 1910s)

Red Heart Jamaica Rum (90° US proof, Henry White and Co., bottled by Port of London Authority, Jamaica, for USA, 4/5 quarts, 1910s) Four stars An amazing very old bottle, harbouring a rum that was shipped from Jamaica to London UK, where it was bottled and then shipped in the very early 20th century to the National Distillers Products Corp. in New York. Should we expect some 100 year old funk? Colour: amber bronze. Nose: funky indeed, with this blend of rotting bananas and coal tar, all that being coated with some chocolate and cough syrup. Some camphor, some eucalyptus, some liquorice. This could have been distilled ten years ago, to tell you the truth! After ten minutes, more tar, more ashes, more soot, pine needles, and some black olives. Also violets. Wonderful. Mouth: some one hundred years old liquorice allsorts, really. Add a touch of strong honey, a drop of coffee, two drops of liquid tar, and a spoonful of raw liquid chicory. Check Leroux! The freshness is really amazing, you wouldn’t guess it as such an old bottle. They may have added a little proprietary ‘syrup’ back in around 1915, but that doesn’t feel much. To whom would we complain anyway? Finish: long, sweet, very ‘Wedderburn’. Sweet liquorice. Comments: it had probably been ‘improved’ at some point, but I think it’s lovely and typically Jamaican. SGP:653 - 85 points (why do I dare scoring such an old glory?)

(Many grazzies, Francesco!)

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






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