Google A few more rums, still looking for malternatives

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

September 16, 2018


A few more rums, still looking for malternatives

I have to say I had thought the quest would easier when I started this rummy madness. In short, it’s not because you’re dumping some spirit into some oak casks that you’ll obligatorily come up with some aged distillate of Brora quality. In fact, you won’t much more often than not. But let’s see what we have today…

Clarendon 11 yo 2007/2018 (43%, Compagnie des Indes, Jamaica, cask #JCL79, 361 bottles)

Clarendon 11 yo 2007/2018 (43%, Compagnie des Indes, Jamaica, cask #JCL79, 361 bottles) Four stars
Oh a little Clarendon! Which is Monymusk by another name by the way, Clarendon being one of Diageo/Captain Morgan’s main suppliers, apparently. It’s all interconnected in some way. Colour: white wine. Nose: it’s very fresh, and probably must more estery than any other Monymusks/Clarendons I could try. In other words, we’re going more towards Hampden/Worthy Park, although this one’s probably got more tart yet very fruity, err, fruits, such as tangerines. Other than that, we’ve got acetone, olives, brine, soot, chalk, gherkins, and a wee smokiness. Mouth: indeed, it’s rather a moderately high-ester style, with notes of peach cake, more tangerines, and more soot, olives and capers. Oh, almost forgot to mention glue and varnish. Finish: rather long, you’d almost believe it was bottled at 48% vol. instead of 43. Nice sooty olive-y profile, very dry. A little burnt wood in the aftertaste. Comments: they won’t scare Hampden, but I’m finding this really very good. A true Jamaican.
SGP:453 - 85 points.

Sancti Spiritus 18 yo 1998/2016 (51.3%, The Whisky Agency and La Maison du Whisky, Cuba, hogshead)

Sancti Spiritus 18 yo 1998/2016 (51.3%, The Whisky Agency and La Maison du Whisky, Cuba, hogshead) Four stars
I always liked the natural Sancti Spiritus (Spiriti?) as they usually display a very fresh kind of fruitiness, very specific, let’s see… Colour: gold. Nose: wonderful, starting all on ripe bananas of various kinds, and getting then more liquoricy. I would say it is exactly ‘rum’, as, say Glenlivet may be exactly ‘malt whisky’. I don’t know if that makes sense, does it? Wonderful whiffs of cakes from the oven in a posh London bakery. No, sadly not in La Habana. With water: a few petroly notes coming out. Pot still? Oh and our beloved green olives too, always a good sign in my book. Mouth (neat): very excellent indeed, you would swear there’s some of this in the awesome Santiago de Cuba 11, my favourite official Cuban rum. Liquorice allsorts, candy sugar, sugar cane, black raisins, more ripe bananas, panettone… With water: well it doesn’t take water too well, but provided you’ve used your pipette sensibly, you’ll find more olives and lime, and perhaps a little tamarind. Finish: medium, with a welcome earthiness. Comments: I am impressed. Anyone thinking Cuban rum is Havana Club should try this, I say. Oh and this one was much more to my liking than other Sanctis.
SGP:452 - 86 points.

So far, so good!

C.A.C.D. 13 yo 2004/2017 (53.8%, Kintra and The Rum Mercenary, Venezuela, cask #7, 147 bottles)

C.A.C.D. 13 yo 2004/2017 (53.8%, Kintra and The Rum Mercenary, Venezuela, cask #7, 147 bottles) Three stars
C.A.D.C. stands for Corporacion Alcoholes Del Caribe. Poor Venezuelans, I hope they do get a wee chunk of all that rum money! Well, they probably don’t, big corporations being what most are, tax optimizers that are also making booze. Ahem. Colour: coffee/mahogany. Nose: mostly on coffee indeed, cocoa pods, tobacco, then sage, perhaps basil, cardamom and Seville oranges. Much drier, apparently, than compatriots Diplomatico! With water: pencil shavings all over the place. Wondering if this cask didn’t spend its life in the tropics. Mouth (neat): some rather big chocolaty oak, over a lot of spicy marmalade and coffee liqueur. There’s a rising sweetness, also wondering if they did not sweeten this rum at birth. Dried bananas and dates, molasses, dark honey. With water: more molasses, chestnut purée… Finish: medium, oaky, and not that sweet after all. Chocolate. Comments: as good as it gets within this very South-American style, I think. But poor Venezuelans…
SGP:650 - 81 points.

Bellevue 19 yo 1998/2018 (59.7%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, Guadeloupe, 254 bottles)

Bellevue 19 yo 1998/2018 (59.7%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, Guadeloupe, 254 bottles) Five stars
High hopes here, most 1998 Bellevues I could try having been more or less stellar. Colour: deep amber. Nose: sweet Vishnu, but this is perfect! Liquorice and raisins all over the place, plus this mentholated and pine-y earthiness in the background… It is amazing and believe me or not, I cannot not think of 1950s Macallan. Really. No, really. With water: mesmerizing. Pipe tobaccos (I mean, several blends), dried figs, natural rubber (touches), some tar, Dutch liquorice, Corinthian raisins, Chinese plum sauce… Oh my oh my oh my! Mouth (neat): a bomb! Oranges, liquorice, lapsang souchong, angelica, dried pineapple, coffee… It was an exceptional cask, for sure. With water: what’s more, it does swim well and never becomes too tea-ish/tannic. Sweet umami. Finish: long. Imagine some chocolate filled with pine liqueur, Chartreuse, and some hydrolysed propolis (trying to be funny with that one - quite). Comments: not totally a surprise I have to say, but indeed this is the very definition of a perfect and rather sublime malternative rum. Or would we call it Macalternative? I know, I know…
SGP:652 - 93 points.

Crikey, the next one’s got a death seat, better find something robust (cancel the Belizean Travellers…)… Perhaps this?

Caroni 20 yo 1997/2018 (60.6%, Cadenhead, Trinidad, barrel)

Caroni 20 yo 1997/2018 (60.6%, Cadenhead, Trinidad, barrel) Five stars
This one’s pretty new, I haven’t even found any pictures yet (and wouldn’t like to bother our friends in Campbeltown with such unessential issues). And so I thought I’d put a photograph of Paula-Mae Weekes, the engaging President of Trinidad and Tobago instead. Colour: amber. Nose: it’s probably lighter Caroni, and believe me or not, it does talk with the fantastic Bellevue as equals. Almost. And even the styles are rather similar, with this liquorice, soft diesel, pipe tobacco, new upholstery, chocolate and coffee… With water: gets a little softer, but also rather more complex. Vanilla and melon, cane juice, soft spices, soft liquorice… Really very nice, no weaknesses to be found here. Mouth (neat): less profound than the Guadeloupean, but it’s still high-class, very punchy, with notes of Jerusalem artichokes, liquorice, molasses, Turkish delights, butterscotch sauce, a wee bit of a wee black olive… With water: excellent, just a wee tad oaky or cedary. That’s where the Bellevue was so impressive… Finish: long, perfect, cane-y, candied, impeccable. Orange peel dipped into a mixture of chocolate and liquorice, or some kind of orangettes, as we call them. Comments: high class, watch this one when it comes out – is it out yet?
SGP:562 - 90 points.

Extremely happy with this little session!

More tasting notesCheck the index of all rums we've tasted so far






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