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

September 3, 2017


Rum from the top

Not from the top of my head, from the top of he rum world ! Well, supposedly, let’s check that while not being positively prejudiced (but we'll avoid the doctored junk today)...

Demerara 14 yo 2002/2017 (61.6%, Le Gus’t, Guyana, optimum proof, cask #144, 120 bottles)

Demerara 14 yo 2002/2017 (61.6%, Le Gus’t, Guyana, optimum proof, cask #144, 120 bottles) Four stars and a half Mind you, this feeble little rum has be reduced, while the original was clocking at… 67.8% vol. It was entirely aged in the tropics, not in Holland or Scotland, which may explain that. Colour: deep gold. Nose: instantly reminds of that song by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. That’s right, ‘Fire’. No, seriously, it’s not that enormous, but it’s got this thick, heavy style that new rum lovers (well, certainly the ones that come from whisky) just adore. Petroleum, tar, olives, lanoline, polished wood (thuja), then quite a lot of roasted nuts. Perhaps macadamia? I’m also finding a little soft curry. With water: caraway and pastis! There’s one pastis over here in France that does nose a bit like this, it’s called Bardouin. But I’m no pastis expert (very far from that, I’m only a pastis expert in July and August ;-)). Mouth (neat): sweet Vishnu! It’s strong, it’s hot, it’s tarry, it’s even a little fat, but there are also oranges that rather keep it afloat. Good biting oak and a pinch of salt. With water: herbs, I’d say. Rosemary, liquorice, lavender cookies, a feeling of pinewood… Finish: very long, very nicely spicy and herbal. A tad extractive, as often with tropical aging. Comments: we had tried the lighter version a few months back, and indeed this one may be a tad superior. Just a tad. SGP:462 - 88 points.

While we’re in Guyana…

Diamond 11 yo 2005/2017 (60.1%, Excellence Rhum, Guyana, 247 bottles)

Diamond 11 yo 2005/2017 (60.1%, Excellence Rhum, Guyana, 247 bottles) Four stars Mark on the cask, MPM, so it seems that this is one of the styles from the old Port Mourant double wooden pot still that sits at Diamond. Excellence Rhum is a well-reputed French rum shop, and now a bottler as well. Colour: white wine. Nose: totally au naturel, between diesel oil and fermenting cane juice, with the usual green olives thrown in, as well as a little tobacco and paraffin/plasticine. With water: lovely lemon grass, mint, and… wait, can you smoke green olives? It’s not made in the same way at all, but some artisanal cachaças seem to share some traits with this baby. Mouth (neat): totally up my alley. Pure, punchy, millimetric, with a wee Jamaican side. Heavy liquorice, olive brine, candle wax, and perhaps a wee chalky/rooty side. Good gentians aren’t too far away, and we’ve known some mezcals that… etc. etc. With water: gets both drier and saltier. Quite ashy too. Finish: long, rather plasticine-y, our friends the olives being back en force in the aftertaste. Comments: perhaps just a wee tad narrow, but in a way, given that the profile is quite superb, that could be seen as an asset. SGP:452 - 87 points.

Port Mourant 2003/2017 (45%, The Auld Alliance and Corman-Collins, Guyana, 500 bottles)

Port Mourant 2003/2017 (45%, The Auld Alliance and Corman-Collins, Guyana, 500 bottles) Five stars A vatting of two casks that used to belong to the late Silvano Samaroli’s private stock. In other words, a bottling done to honour a departed friend. Remember, Port Mourant means double wooden pot still. Colour: white wine. Nose: starts not too far from the Diamond, but tends to become both more floral and more herbal. So there is a tarriness, several oils (linseed…), half a sheet of carbon paper, then fresh pressed cane juice, lilies, cactus (or agave?) and damp crushed chalk. Quite austere globally, and as elegant as the original owner of the casks. Mouth: really very good, starting with some mint, caraway, and a little lavender, and getting saltier by the second, with some grapefruit as well, a feeling of gravel, and perhaps a few fennel seeds. It’s really coastal as well. Clams? Kippers? Whelks? Oysters? Finish: medium, but that’s the lower strength, otherwise rather mezcaly. Comments: extremely good. We’d all loved to share a glass of this with the maestro himself. Sadly, that’s not possible. SGP:452 - 90 points.

Caroni 1997/2016 (52.2%, Arturo Makasare, Trinidad, 187 bottles)

Caroni 1997/2016 (52.2%, Arturo Makasare, Trinidad, 187 bottles) Four stars and a half A clever new line by Hubert Corman in Belgium, very retro as far as the packaging is concerned and, err, quite ‘colonial’. Which would be extremely controversial here in France, but after all, History is history (excuse me, S.?) Colour: deep gold. Nose: it’s not the heaviest style of Caroni, but it does roar, in a, well, fruitier manner. Bananas flambéed with some praline, mousse au chocolat (in English, chocolate mousse - ha), rosewood, sandalwood, then more mineral and ‘organic’ notes, with some earth and gravel after some heavy rain. A pinhead of mustard. With water: curry, mustard, and spicy oak, plus some kind of spicy coconut sauce, Thai-style. Mouth (neat): this is rather heavier. Salty from the start, with some well-cured ham, some tobacco, pink grapefruits, our friendly olives, and the obligatory liquorice. Lighter Caroni on the nose, heavy Caroni on the palate, this is rather dual. With water: careful with water, that does make the oak stand out a little more. But granted, nothing abnormal. Finish: rather long, salty and liquoricy. The Caroni smoke feels more in the aftertaste, and it would come with bitter oranges and a touch of green wood. Comments: light/heavy Caroni… Right, middleweight. Both styles blended at birth, by any chance? What’s sure is that it’s another very excellent one. SGP:552 - 88 points.

Rum 970 2006/2017 (55.8%, OB, Portugal, Madeira, agricole, batch #L09317, cask #04, 201 bottles)

Rum 970 2006/2017 (55.8%, OB, Portugal, Madeira, agricole, batch #L09317, cask #04, 201 bottles) Four stars This is very interesting, as few people seem to realise that while the home of agricole is Martinique (and Guadeloupe), and while several other countries/islands are using the word ‘agricole’ loosely, the island of Madeira’s got a proper ‘agricole’ appellation too since 2011. So, this is some genuine agricole, not some agricole-style rum, although I’m not sure the regulations on Madeira are exactly the same as on the French islands. We’ll check that later, as we’ve now got other Madeirans in the library. I have to say this a first at WF Towers! Colour: office coffee. Nose: hey, it’s nice! A little closed and oaky at first (chocolate and basta), but gently opening up on flowers (peonies, lilies) and caraway-infused cane juice. A wee metallic touch in the back, and more and more caraway and cloves. With water: resinous raisins! I know alliterations kill, but that’s a fact. Mouth (neat): a thick texture, and you could fear it was sweetened, but it stays dry and quite idiosyncratic, with rather more pinewood and various molecules ending with –ol. Pretty unusual, but this works a treat. Fir needles, fir syrup, earthy late-season mushrooms… Plus, but this may be my mind playing tricks on me, some notes of bone-dry Madeira wine. How the mind works! Unless they’ve used ex-Madeira casks, which would be fully legitimate of course. With water: excellent! Notes of marc, fir liqueur, grape pips, and perhaps a little turmeric? Or ginseng? Finish: long, still dry, very sappy, very unusual, very good. Cold cuts, chocolate, mint, resins… Comments: it’s a if they had let some pine needles infuse in the cask. The fact is, I love pine-y flavours. In any case, another island to watch, thank you Francesco for having let me try this baby, quite a revelation. Isn’t this why we’re doing all this blogging madness?… SGP:372 - 86 points.

(Thanks a lot again, Francesco)

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






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