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

August 20, 2017


Rums as they come

That is to say, totally randomly. Well, quite.

El Ron del Artesano 8 yo (43.8%, Riegger’s Selection, Panama, peated whisky cask finish, cask #37, 428 bottles)

El Ron del Artesano 8 yo (43.8%, Riegger’s Selection, Panama, peated whisky cask finish, cask #37, 428 bottles) Four stars The idea sounds strange but I’ve already tried some HSE ex-Islay cask that had worked very, very well. Colour: straw. Nose: great idea, you can make some good ‘phenolic’ rum out of some neutral all-column central-American juice by using peaty casks! Funny notes of burnt herbs, burnt wires, green liquorice, smoked oils, truffles, and yeah, Korean smoked oysters. All that gives this little Panamanian a ‘high-esters’ side that works very well. Great idea, really. Mouth: indeed, that works very well. Sure, there’s some remaining sugariness from the original rum, and indeed it’s a little ‘wobbly’ at times, but it seems that they almost managed to recreate a Jamaican rum. Now, there would be this much pineapple in a Jamaican, agreed… Finish: medium, and tends to lose a little steam because of the sugar. Comments: superb idea. It would be cool to try it on some unsweetened light rum. SGP:743 - 85 points.

And for due comparison, a Jamaican of the same age…

Jamaica Rum 8 yo (45%, Labat GMBh Zürich, +/-2017)

Jamaica Rum 8 yo (45%, Labat GMBh Zürich, +/-2017) Four stars This from the same vein as the excellent rums by Cave Guildive. But watch it, I don’t think this Labat is the Labat from Marie-Galante, unless I’m missing something. Colour: white wine. Nose: totally. Crisp and fat at the same time, with some tar, olives, grass smoke, brine, engine oil, and all that. Worthy Park? Mouth: perfect salty and smoky and tarry development. Rotting bananas in a corner, plus the usual olives. Perhaps a wee bit sweeter than others, but that may be the consequences of reduction. Finish: long, salty, olive-y, tarry, you name it. Comments: great, relatively simple, but totally flawless. And indeed, more ‘high’ than the funny Panamanian. SGP:562 - 87 points.

Caroni 18 yo 1998/2017 (63.2%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, Trinidad, 233 bottles)

Caroni 18 yo 1998/2017 (63.2%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, Trinidad, 233 bottles) Five stars Wish me luck! Colour: amber. Nose: it’s relatively soft at first nosing (forget about the alcohol), with notes of bourbon, vanilla, encaustic, cane juice… You’ll have to wait a bit before the olives, the coal tar and the diesel oil kick in. It seems to be rather complex, in fact. With water: oh, sandalwood, incense, pot-pourri, black olives, rose petals, Cuban cigars… Wonderful. Mouth (neat): amazing. Sure it’s a tad too strong (an understatement) but the profile is fantastic, reminding me of some very old Long Pond I had tried a few years ago. Perfect combination involving fresh eucalyptus and mint, liquorice, bananas flambéed, and drops of seawater. Really perfect. With water: and it swims well. No wood gets in the way, the brine is perfect, the tar is perfect, the pineapples are perfect, and the olives are more than perfect. Finish: very long, salty, olive-y, and yet rather fruity (ripe bananas and pineapples). Benzine in the aftertaste. Comments: kind of obvious. Reminds me of some of Velier’s. SGP:663 - 91 points.

Go talk to that one. Unless…

Worthy Park 2007/2016 (55.9%, L’Esprit, cask #BB10, 203 bottles)

Worthy Park 2007/2016 (55.9%, L’Esprit, cask #BB10, 203 bottles) Four stars From that very excellent small French bottler in Brittany (where it never rains). Colour: gold. Nose: not the expected tarry/olive-y avalanche, rather some fine herbs and fruits, just a little ‘phenolised’. Oh well, I know what I’m trying to say. Roasted almonds, bitter chocolate, cigars, dried parsley, tamarind, calf leather, patchouli… A rather gentler Worthy Park, so far. With water: chocolate and cigars. And rum, at the Club. Mouth (neat): indeed, not a monster, rather an incredible tropical fruit bomb. Papayas, guavas, pineapples, and quite a lot of vanilla ice cream. Barley water, oak, citrons… With water: fully on cane juice and bananas now. Cane syrup. Finish: long, fruity, slightly un-Jamaican in the sense that it’s rather low-esters. Comments: a bit surprised, it’s much softer than expected. But just as good. SGP:641 - 86 points.

T.D.L. 16 yo 2000/2016 (63%, Compagnie des Indes, Trinidad, cask #TT96, 281 bottles)

T.D.L. 16 yo 2000/2016 (63%, Compagnie des Indes, Trinidad, cask #TT96, 281 bottles) Four stars T.D.L. stands for Trinidad Distillers Ltd. I have to say the ones I’ve already tried had been a little weak. Mind you, this is not Caroni. Colour: gold. Nose: some very light-style rum indeed, with some ylang-ylang and orange blossom at first, then rather tinned peaches and papayas, plus bananas. I have to say this fresh and pretty elegant, even quite bonbony. With water: very fine, with fresh herbs and not-so-aromatic fruits. There, rhubarb. Mouth (neat): a little firmer, and yeah, very good. Fresh parsley, coriander, Thai basil, lemon balm, peaches and bananas… The opposite of a fat rum, and yet there’s a lot happening. Would that be seen as a sexist remark if I said that it’s a little ‘girly’? In the best sense! With water: a fruit salad, really, with an unexpected salty touch. Bags of all kinds of bananas. Finish: sort-medium, a touch mentholy. Nice fresh and herbal signature. Verveine du Velay. Comments: one word comes to mind, ‘lovely’. What an amazing world, the rum world, when it’s clean, honest rum. SGP:730 - 86 points.

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







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