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

June 10, 2018


Another little bag of rum

Remember, always from a malt lover’s point of view…

980 ‘Rum Agricola Benificiado’ (40%, OB, Madeira, +/-2017)

980 ‘Rum Agricola Benificiado’ (40%, OB, Madeira, +/-2017) Two stars
We’ve already tried a small bunch of excellent agricoles from the Portuguese island of Madeira. Remember, just like La Martinique, Madeira’s got a genuine controlled appellation ‘agricole’. This one’s said to be a 3yo and is produced by Faria e Filhos. Colour: brown amber. Nose: it’s rather unusual. Imagine a blend of pine sap, thick raisiny wine, some earthy tea, quite a lot of honey and molasses, and then a wide selection of aromatic/mentholy herbs, wormwood, genepy, aniseed, fennel… So I would say it’s rather akin to some kind of oak-aged chartreuse so far. Mouth: closer to rum, but still rather chartreuse-y. Menthol and cinnamon, sultanas, Seville oranges, marmalade, strong liquorice, peppermint… So it’s rather thick and heavy, but the mentholy side adds some freshness. Finish: rather long, herbaceous, liquoricy, and then very raisiny again. A lot of bitter chocolate and coffee in the aftertaste. Comments: interesting, as writer say whenever they do not quite know what to say. This time we’re pretty far from the French agricoles.
SGP:571 - 72 points.

Cotopaxi 14 yo ‘Cask Strength’ (60%, OB, Ecuador, single barrel, cask #064, +/-2017)

Cotopaxi 14 yo ‘Cask Strength’ (60%, OB, Ecuador, single barrel, cask #064, +/-2017) Two stars
I’ve only tried some Ecuadorian rum once, it was a 12 yo Cimborazo that was, just like most South-American rums, extremely sweet (WF 68). Colour: gold. Nose: a bit hot at this strength, moderately molasse-y, with some coffee liqueur, banana liqueur, a touch of toffee, and notes of caramelised pecan pie. All is going relatively well… With water: not quite, more ethanol’s coming out. Toasted oak and medicinal alcohol – but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Mouth (neat): punchy, rather fine, drier than expected, and yet rather molasse-y. Dry coffee… With water: rather fine indeed. Orange liqueur and cane juice, without any excessive sweetness. Bitter herbs. No mad doctors behind this wee baby, it seems… Finish: medium, smoother, rather fine. Some vanilla. Comments: I’m rather thinking aged Havana Club here. It’s some rather ‘fine average rum’, I would say.
SGP:451 - 70 points.

Perhaps go back to less adventurous rum countries… Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica, how does that sound?

Uitvlugt 18 yo 1998/2016 (46%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, Demerara, 221 bottles)

Uitvlugt 18 yo 1998/2016 (46%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil, Demerara, 221 bottles) Three stars and a half
Colour: pale gold. Nose: it’s one of those moderately petroly Uitvlugts, it’s got a little mint and aniseed, then a little engine oil, whiffs of old copper kettle, and then more and more straight cane. Very fine, easy, and yet flavourful. Mouth: all fine, typical Uitvlugt, perhaps a notch bitterish, but otherwise appropriately olive-y, with touches of asparagus and artichoke, and always this little petroly side. Finish: rather long, very cane-y. Comments: really fine, an approachable Uitvlugt.
SGP:462 - 83 points.

T.D.L 15 yo 2003/2018 (44%, Compagnie des Indes, Trinidad, 364 bottles)

T.D.L 15 yo 2003/2018 (44%, Compagnie des Indes, Trinidad, 364 bottles) Four stars
So it’s Angostura’s Trinidad Distillers here, not Caroni. Colour: gold. Nose: it’s another easy rum, rather rounded but certainly not as doctored-up as most OBs, with a blend of fresh cane juice and the lightest honeys and syrups. Maple syrup. Also some lovely whiffs of ripe apricots and peaches – and indeed no high esters and no Caroniness whatsoever. A very elegant nose. Mouth: really very good, very fruity and yet very cane-y, rather on tinned peaches again, also papayas and guavas. Perfect civilised rum – wondering why you always have to go to the best IBs to find these lovely variants. Would defeat any ‘regular’ Angostura. Finish: medium, with a little more juicy sultanas this time. The peaches are still superb. Comments: we could down litres of this without noticing. Very high-profile softer Trinidadian rum.
SGP:640 - 87 points.

Since we’re doing acronymic rums…

W.P. 12 yo 2005/2017 (56.6%, The Rum Cask, Jamaica, cask #1)

W.P. 12 yo 2005/2017 (56.6%, The Rum Cask, Jamaica, cask #1) Four stars
I don’t think W.P. could stand for anything else but Worthy Park, what do you think? Colour: pale gold. Nose: you bet! Olives, brine, engine oil, seawater, hessian, tar, new tyres, a wee touch of mustard (typical acetic side), Ardbeg… No, really! With water: smoked wood and hessian. Roasted green tea (Japanese hojicha). Mouth (neat): oh so funny! Starts with some strawberry yoghurt – those notes you sometimes get around the Port Ellen Maltings – and gets then even more bonbony (it’s Red Bull, actually), strawberry gummies… There’s a particular molecule that seems to liking toying with us in there… But anyway, it’s getting more phenolic and estery over minutes, with brine, sauvignon blanc, lemon and lime, olives… But the strawberries just wouldn’t leave. With water: and they’re still there. Finish: rather long. Pickled and smoked black olives and strawberries? Have to try that one day. Comments: a bit odd, but very funny. Really liked it.
SGP:553 - 85 points.

Oh well, I suppose we’ve got room for a last one…

Hampden 10 yo 2007/2018 (64.1%, Hunter Laing for The Whisky Barrel, Kill Devil, Jamaica, 290 bottles)

Hampden 10 yo 2007/2018 (64.1%, Hunter Laing for The Whisky Barrel, Kill Devil, Jamaica, 290 bottles) Five stars
More crazy potstill rum, I suppose…  And did you notice the strength? Colour: white wine. Nose: hold on, this is very… Assertive. Fermenting things, brine, wine vinegar, lemon juice, acetone, even ammonia… Ach, erm, this is very extreme, to say the least! With water: same! A whole bottle of Vittel wouldn’t change a thing. Mouth (neat): hard, but not unquaffable when undiluted. You’ve just got the impression of downing all the juice from the largest jar of English gherkins ever. Including those gherkins. With water: once again, no changes. Perhaps more ashes? Grapefruit skin (the white stuff that’s underneath, actually), and this feeling of sipping a can of diesel oil. Finish: very long, saltier, very briny. Huge oliveness, huge concentrated limejuice. Comments: I’m not totally sure this was made to be drunk neat, to tell you the truth, what’s sure is that it’s loud enough to wake the dead. Or strip the fur off a honey badger, as they say. Score, why score? Okay, if we must…
SGP:273 - 90 points.

(Thank you again, Francesco)

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






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