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

August 6, 2017


Rum at randum. I mean, at random.


Botran ‘Anejo Reserva’ (40%, OB, Guatemala, +/-2016)

Botran ‘Anejo Reserva’ (40%, OB, Guatemala, +/-2016) Two starsNot much hope here, but you have to start somewhere. Seriously, the Botrans that I could try have been rather okay (72-75 points) while their compatriots the Zacapas have always been rather poor. Colour: gold. Nose: okay indeed. The oak feels though (essences, chips) but there are nice-ish oranges and certainly quite a lot of curaçao and triple-sec. The jury’s still out… Mouth: indeed, okay. A little flabby, with disturbing notes of coffee liqueur and triple-sec again, but there’s a cane-iness. Shall we call this ‘acceptable’? Finish: short to medium, with oranges and coffee, plus some plain syrup. Comments: sure I would never drink this, but as they say in Haiti, we’ve seen worse. It seems that this one’s sweeter than the other Botrans. Rum’s lower-middle-class. SGP:541 - 70 points.

Hampden 18 yo 1998/2017 ‘HTR’ (46%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, Jamaica, 381 bottles)

Hampden 18 yo 1998/2017 ‘HTR’ (46%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, Jamaica, 381 bottles) Five stars Hampden already? We’re too fast, much too fast… Colour: white wine. Nose: olives, carbon paper, ink, brine, brake pads, kippers, plasticine. I repeat, olives… Not. Mouth: oh, old black olives, forest mud, plasticine, cigar tobacco, smoked fish, citrons… Finish: long and perfect. Dusty aftertaste – but that’s good petroly dust. Brake pad dust and heavy Dutch liquorice. Comments: this was short. It’s another perfect Hampden, just a tad rounder and easier than others. Not obligatorily a bad thing, mind you. Love. SGP:463 - 90 points.

Hampden? Caroni!

Caroni 18 yo 1998/2017 ‘HTR’ (65.8%, Cadenhead, Trinidad)

Caroni 18 yo 1998/2017 ‘HTR’ (65.8%, Cadenhead, Trinidad) Five stars Some Caroni at almost 66% vol.? Piece of cake, since I seem to have noticed that Cadenhead’s always had the ‘lighter’ styles (lower esters)… But, err, the ‘HTR’ mark means heavy Caroni… So let’s proceed with caution… Colour: amber. Nose: no, this is too strong, you do not get much, apart from notes of new linoleum and pencil shavings. With water: oh! Smoked brioche, lit cigars (rather double-corona-like), Grisons meat, polished woods, roasted nuts… Well I do not think this is highly phenolic, but it’s perfect. Rather agricole in fact, which is a little bizarre, yet welcome. Wait, pineapples? Mouth (neat): e.x.t.r.e.m.e. Too strong, I give up, I surrender, I’ve got other rums to taste after this one… With water: very very very good. Cedar wood, vanilla, flower extracts, and a whole bag of liquorice. Finish: long, rather rounded for Caroni, with some cane honey and marmalade, although the aftertaste is frankly saltier. Comments: I think this is totally excellent, just not very ‘HTR’, but I’m no expert, I could be wrong – or simply lost. This is like Bielle or Bellevue! SGP:552 - 90 points.

Old Slave (70° Proof, OB, Don Carlos Vintners, Jamaica, 1960s)

Old Slave (70° Proof, OB, Don Carlos Vintners, Jamaica, 1960s) Three stars and a half I’m not sure anybody would still use – or indeed create – a brand such as ‘Old Slave’ today. Colour: pale gold. Nose: so very Jamaican! But it’s funkier than modern Hampden or Worthy Park, less well-defined, and certainly rather fruitier. Rotting bananas and pineapples, rusty old tools, guava jam, old cellar, old mouthwash (we used to have Eau de Botot), oysters… Once again, the jury’s still out… Mouth: it does remind me of old Appleton, but it feels a bit doctored, as if someone had added coffee extracts. Some kind of earthy caramel, some salted liquorice, some ham… Wasn’t this pure genuine dunder/muck rum? Finish: medium, salty, with pineapples, liquorice, and cured ham. That’s a combo that works. Comments: it’s the strength that’s a little too low, but this style works well, provided you like liquorice. And perhaps a little dust. SGP:562 - 83 points.

Stock’s Jamaican Rum (50%, Stock, Jamaica, Italy, 1960s)

Stock’s Jamaican Rum (50%, Stock, Jamaica, Italy, 1960s) Two stars Stock is a well-known Italian spirit company that used to be located in Trieste. Seen from here, they were/are just bottling anything (including prosecco, ha!) Colour: white wine. Nose: oh! Diesel oil, concrete dust, seashells, seawater, kelp, green olives, ink… So very Jamaican indeed. And then, overripe bananas and pineapples, as in many rums. With water: careful, water nearly kills it. Hints of lovage (Maggi plant). Mouth (neat): blasted, this is quite good. I mean, it’s still good, even if you feel that some sugar’s been added. Or maybe fruit syrups/concoctions. Smoky caramel, salted liquorice, and crystallised pineapples. Really very good, just the sugar is a little tiring. With water: brings out more sugar. Finish: medium, sweet, sugary. Comments: great juice that almost hates water, and probably the sugar it had to endure all those years in the bottle. SGP:741 - 76 points.

(Grazzie mille Francesco and Morten)

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






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