Google Rum from Belize and others

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

March 26, 2017


Rum from Belize and others

In general, and unless said otherwise, indie Belize is Travellers. And we’ve had some good ones already, but let’s be honest, even if I’m a Frenchman, I don’t know much about the Belizean fields (diving to new lows, S.!)

Travellers 11 yo 2005/2016 (43%, Compagnie des Indes, Belize, cask #BL22, 455 bottles)

Travellers 11 yo 2005/2016 (43%, Compagnie des Indes, Belize, cask #BL22, 455 bottles) Three stars There was a very good 2005 at 8 yo a few years back. Colour: gold. Nose: mid-soft and mid-phenolic, not unlike some Guadeloupes, with overripe apples and bananas plus only a very mild tarriness, then rather ‘rich’ flowers (geranium, earl grey tea) and quite some hay. No wham-bam rum but it does talk. Mouth: starts a tad pina-colada-ish, but with good body and structure. Rosehip tea and bananas, plus hints of tinned pineapples, with just one drop of lapsang souchong tea and perhaps a little fennel and dill. Finish: medium, and rather more banana-forward. Yeah I know. Comments: I’m not sure 43% vol. is quite enough, and this little rum keeps hesitating between two territories (tarry grass vs. luscious fruits and flowers). Now it’s quite complex. SGP:541 - 80 points.

More power please… Thank you!

Travellers 11 yo 2005/2016 (66.2%, Compagnie des Indes, Belize, cask #BL11, 297 bottles)

Travellers 11 yo 2005/2016 (66.2%, Compagnie des Indes, Belize, cask #BL11, 297 bottles) Three stars and a half From one extreme to another… Colour: gold. Nose: it’s so strong that it’s got something medicinal at first, but various flowers tend to come to the front, which is lovely. Iris and vanilla, perhaps? Some genuine gingerbread too (50% honey at least) and once again, whiffs of geranium flowers. With water: bananas, white chocolate, a little hay, vanilla… Little tar that I can smell this time, the whole being rather soft and subtle (once you’ve added enough water, that is). Precious green tea. Mouth (neat): burns you. Right. With water: good to very good. Delicate pineapples and bananas, guavas, vanilla, a wee bit of raspberry ganache… So it’s all pretty fruity, without one single hint of sugary sweetness. Finish: medium, still subtle, with something slightly Cuban. I’m sure you could make some excellent canchanchara with this. Comments: some subtle rum at 66.2% vol.? What is the world coming to? SGP:541 - 83 points.

Travellers 11 yo 2005/2017 (66.1%, The Whisky Barrel, Rabbie’s Rum, Belize, barrel #33SFBT)

Travellers 11 yo 2005/2017 (66.1%, The Whisky Barrel, Rabbie’s Rum, Belize, barrel #33SFBT) Two stars and a half Yay, this is much lighter! Colour: full gold. Nose: there’s simply more oak influence in this one, more vanilla, cake… And rather more smoke as well, it seems. Barbecue? Let’s check that… With water: some pencil shavings coming out this time. Ex-bourbon wood? Crushed bananas, vanilla extracts, hay, fresh sawdust… Mouth (neat): ultra-powerful, this baby will send you to paradise if you swallow more than three drops at a time. So… With water: same feeling of oak extracts, beyond the pleasant notes of blood oranges and breakfast honey. It reminds me of many a modern NAS Scotch malt, in a way. Finish: medium, leafier. Green tannins and coconut. Comments: I think this powerful baby is very hard to handle. You’ll need a very competitive pipette. SGP:561 - 79 points.

Enough with Belize, let’s fly to… Jamaica!

Hampden Estate 17 yo 2000/2017 (47.4%, Sansibar) Five stars Isn’t Hampden slowly becoming the Ardbeg of rum? We couldn’t find any picture of this new bottle at time of writing, so we’ve put one of the distillery's pot stills instead. Colour: pale gold. Nose: get out of here. Olives, Kools, salted liquorice, charcoal, peat, genuine balsamic vinegar, gherkins…

Mouth: huge arrival, a middle that’s just a little softer, and an end that’s majestic again. The Bridge on the River Kwai. And some mangos kicking in. Finish: brilliant, just sad, because it’s the finish. Comments: Hampden Hampden Hampden… Indeed, getting a little lazy. SGP:453 - 91 points.

Now go beat a 17 year old Hampden! OH let’s simply select something funny as our #5. You may have noticed that we’re always tasting five malternatives in a row, haven’t you?

Chalong Bay 2016/2016 ‘Thai Sweet Basil’ (40%, OB, Thailand)

Chalong Bay 2016/2016 ‘Thai Sweet Basil’ (40%, OB, Thailand) Two starsThis baby doesn’t claim to any rumminess, as the sugarcane spirit was ‘vapour infused’ with Thai basil right during distillation. Something pretty innovative, it seems. Should be fun, since Chalong is a great distillate. Colour: white. Nose: ueber fun stuff! Some kind of demoniacal gingerbread dry liqueur, smoky, earthy, and of course extremely herbal. I think this will beat most urban gins that our friends the hipsters are making (and drinking) these days. It’s just rather hard to describe, my bad… Mouth: I rather get bags and bags of caraway, to tell you the truth, and I cannot not think of these eau-de-vie de cumin that my Alsatian compatriots are making when they are running out of williams pears or marc de gewurz’. Some aniseed for sure, dill, fennel, caraway indeed, genepy, wormwood… It’s really fun, but it may need one or three ice cubes if you want to sip more than one spoonful of it. Finish: medium and perhaps a little toothpaste-y? Comments: great, just a little tiring. So greatly made, but anecdotal. Unless it’s got some demonstrable medicinal benefits… Has it? SGP:472 - 75 points.

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







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