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

November 18, 2018


Another barrow of rums

As regards malternatives, we rather had Armagnac and Cognac lately, so back to rum, if you don't mind...

Monymusk 'Classic Gold Rum' (40%, OB, Jamaica, +/-2018)

Monymusk 'Classic Gold Rum' (40%, OB, Jamaica, +/-2018) Two stars and a half
This NAS baby just to get warmed up. It's supposed to be 'distinctively smooth'. Ha. Colour: deep gold. Nose: it's one of the brinier Monymusks, going towards the young official Worthies or Hampdens, I would say, but with rather less brio and power. Fermenting fruits, olives, brine, soot, but also a little cardboard and old magazines. Ink. Mouth: it's a tad too 'caramelised' for me, whether they actually did that or not. Molasses and burnt sugar, caramel indeed, bananas, and just very remote notes of earthy, briny Jamaican rum, although those would start to surface after thirty seconds. A shame that the caramel and toasted notes rather have a hold on those. Finish: medium, hesitating between ripe flambéed bananas and more estery flavours, which I find frustrating. Comments: in the right direction, but not quite there, I would say, if I may.
SGP:641 - 78 points.

Demerara Vertical 03-04 (45%, Samaroli, blended Guyanan, 2017)

Demerara Vertical 03-04 (45%, Samaroli, blended Guyanan, 2017) Three stars and a half
Many would like you to believe that these bottlings were done by the late maestro Silvano Samaroli. That's plain wrong, he had let go of the helm quite some years before he passed away. So while this is well a Samaroli bottling, it's got nothing to do with Silvano. Colour: amber. Nose: this is nice, though. Some moss, pine needles, black olives, roasted pistachios, then caraway and sloe gin, musty cellar, touches of thyme... Mouth: really a very good blend, firm, with one foot on each continent. I mean, one foot on phenolic/estery ground, and one foot on more cane-y, cake-y, banana-y soils. Almost a blend of good agricole with Jamaican high-ester stuff. Seriously, this is very good, if a tad schizophrenic. Finish: medium, a tad saltier and metallic. Olives in chocolate - would you please try that and report back? Comments: loses you a bit, but I find the end result really nice.
SGP:562 - 84 points.

Guyanan Rum 15 yo 2002/2018 (46%, Cadenhead, Green Label, barrel, 2018)

Guyanan Rum 15 yo 2002/2018 (46%, Cadenhead, Green Label, barrel, 2018) Three stars
Colour: white wine. Nose: rather light, with a touch of wine vinegar, lemon juice, linseed oil and paraffin, and then simply regular apples. Golden delicious. It's really very soft and light given its pedigree, but indeed they don't only make monster rums over there in Guyana. Mouth: nah, it's good, it's got more apples and touches of pineapples, icing sugar, lemons, bubblegum, marshmallows... Finish: rather short, fruity, bonbony, almost Cuban in fact... A salty touch and even green olives in the aftertaste, but that's a little late, isn't it. Comments: around the El Dorados, just without any added sugars, which is obviously better.
SGP:630 - 80 points.

Monymusk 11 yo 2007/2018 (52.5%, The Rum Mercenary, Jamaica)

Monymusk 11 yo 2007/2018 (52.5%, The Rum Mercenary, Jamaica) Four stars
Crazy labels, excellent rums (and whiskies) at the freebooter's. I mean, the mercenary. Colour: white wine. Nose: yup, higher-ester Monymusk, just what the doctor ordered. Wonderful green olives and fresh almonds, fresh barley (yes), orgeat, citrons, vegetal inks, spearmint. Luminous rum that does not need much literature. With water: would anyone mature olive oil in oak and manage to avoid any rancidness? I suppose that would be impossible... Or, perhaps, in olive wood, which is one of the tightest and hardest woods? Mouth (neat): a rather hotter style than that of Worthy Park or Hampden (or high-ester Long Pond for that matter), more spirity, with notes of the rusticmost aguardientes and plum eaux-de-vie. Well, any distilled stone fruits. With water: very good, almondy, rooty, and... very rustic. Some uncommercial clairins are a bit like this. Finish: long, grassy, very grassy actually. Comments: a rather extreme, very rustic rum. To be sipped alfresco only, I would say. Like it a lot, yes I'm a country boy (I hear you laughing my friend).
SGP:362 - 86 points.

Worthy Park 7 yo 2010/2018 (57.5%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Jamaica, #R11.2, ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, refill ex-Bourbon barrel, 309 bottles)

Worthy Park 7 yo 2010/2018 (57.5%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Jamaica, #R11.2, ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, refill ex-Bourbon barrel, 309 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: gold. Nose: no, really, mussels cooked in curry? Green peppercorns? Smoked green tea? Capers? A crazy, funky rum, with aromas that you would never find in any whiskies (or brandies for that matter), and that's why we enjoy rum, punto basta. With water: amazing. Burning woods, dim-sum sauce, caraway, menthol cigarettes, pinewood... Mouth (neat): pickled olives, garlic paste, brine, smoked fish, lemons, and probably many illegal flavours. With water: sadly, it gets a little too bitter, which means that we won't be able to give it a 90. Finish: very long, a tad less focussed, and perhaps a little too 'burnt'. Bang, one less point. Comments: amazing whisky, and all are pretty great, R11.1, R11.2, R11.3...
SGP:362 - 88 points.

Uitvlugt 20 yo 1997/2017 (53.4%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil for Rum Rarities, Demerara, 158 bottles)

Uitvlugt 20 yo 1997/2017 (53.4%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil for Rum Rarities, Demerara, 158 bottles) Five stars
Always watch the Kill Devils, they gather the best of European-aged rums. Colour: white wine. Nose: that's the thing with rums aged in Europe, they're less romantic, and possibly more 'colonial' according to some current doxa, but on the other hand, they're rarely pure oak juices, and are much more distillate-driven. Everyone's entitled to his own rationale, I suppose, but I digress. So, this Uitvlugt is very pure, with superb whiffs of smoky cakes, asparagus, smoked salmon, warm praline, salted walnuts and almonds, and the obligatory olives. Wee softer pink olives. With water: inks! I love the smells of fresh ink. Or, indeed, new books, magazines and newspapers. Mouth (neat): wonderful, as expected. Salty fish, nuts, olives, lemons, Thai basil, soot, bitter oranges, elderberries, holly eau-de-vie... With water: salty cardboardy olives. Older olives, perhaps. Finish: long. Comments: why argue, this is one of the most wonderful distillates on this little planet.
SGP:352 - 90 points.

I think we could have a last one, since we do have some kind of momentum going... (no?)...

Enmore 30 yo 1988/2018 (47.9%, Silver Seal, Demerara, 150cl)

Enmore 30 yo 1988/2018 (47.9%, Silver Seal, Demerara, 150cl) Five stars
So this one from a magnum. Colour: reddish amber, copper. Nose: tropical cognac! Bananas flambéed and prunes, raisins, peonies, geranium flower, orange blossom, preserved peaches and apricots, old precious woods (thuja, rosewood...), pipe tobacco, fresh gingerbread, garden peat, humus... There is the amazing complexity of old age here. With water: no, really, isn't this some old cognac? We do know that old spirits tend to converge, but this is really intriguing. Various currants and raisins, old sweet wines, Tokaji, Sauternes, pinot gris SGN... Mouth (neat): what!? Never quite tasted something like this. Burnt cannabis cake, chestnut cake, pecan pie, marmalade, black tapenade, mildly salty liquorice, amaretti, raw chocolate, blue mountain coffee, beeswax, maraschino... Some adventurous old spirit, this. With water: exceptional, roasted, raisiny, cane-y, slightly pine-y... At times you would also believe this is one of those extremely old Saint-James from Martinique. Finish: long, with strong honeys and saps. A tad more rustic now, some would say Armagnacqy. Comments: some stunning rum, and some pretty metanoical well-aged spirit. Very well done, Massimo and Silver Seal!
SGP:561 - 92 points.

(Thank you Lance!)

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






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