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

January 21, 2018


Rum, Forrest, rum!

Indeed, trying to win the Worst Headline Ever Award 2018, since we had failed in 2017. We’re doing good, aren’t we? I’m keeping “Da Doo Rum Rum” aside in case there is a final fight against Breitbart or any other digital entities of high qualities… And just like them, we’ll do it in a glorious clutter…

Caña Brava 7 yo (43%, OB, Panama, +/-2017)

Caña Brava 7 yo (43%, OB, Panama, +/-2017)
Tremble, mere mortal… Rum from Panama in the weirdest bottle ever… (let’s forget about the skull bottles). I had thought the white 3 yo Caña Brava was rather terrible a few years ago (WF 35). Colour: gold. Nose: hello! Hello? Please? Anybody in there? Perhaps a little stale olive oil? Mouth: some ugly sweetened concoction and no body whatsoever. The Indians and the Thais make better rums and sell them for 2$ a bottle. Finish: none. Perhaps a little sawdust? And some sucrose for sure. Comments: some totally empty spirit, pretty embarrassing. No I have no plans to visit Panama in the near future.
SGP:220 - 20 points.

Now I’m sure they can do better in Panama…

Don Pancho 25 yo 1992/2017 (49.2%, Sansibar, Panama, 267 bottles)

Don Pancho 25 yo 1992/2017 (49.2%, Sansibar, Panama, 267 bottles) Two stars and a half
If the excellent people at Sansibar’s have selected this one, there must be something…. Colour: dark amber. Nose: it’s not that this is Hampden or Worthy Park, but within this chocolaty style, it’s doing pretty well. Café latte, tobacco, burnt cake, brownies, roasted pecans… Mouth: there is some sweetness, and it may have seen some bespoke sweet sauce in its life, but it’s way above most sugary oddities out there (the rums that dentists hate). Pomegranate liqueur, tinned litchis, sweet liquorice, Kahlua… Finish: medium, sweet… Coffee liqueur and a touch of violet with some chocolate and walnut cake. Comments: not my favourite style at all, but should you need some sweet ron, this is one of the better options.
SGP:730 - 79 points.

Fair 10 yo (66.3%, Fair Spirits, Belize, 2017)

Fair 10 yo (66.3%, Fair Spirits, Belize, 2017) Three stars and a half
This is fair-trade rum! Anyone who’d have heard about the health and poverty issues in Central America, especially in Nicaragua, couldn’t not applaud this. We’ve already tried quite a few excellent rums by Fair Spirits by the way. But the strength, the strength… Colour: amber. Nose: hey, I get something despite the keroseny strength! Ylang-ylang and rose petals, perhaps… And most surely, cane juice… But other than that… With water: some very cake-y rum, banana-y, with some nice earthy tones and a touch of walnut. Mouth (neat): it’s extremely strong but you could quaff it, drop by drop. It’s just that you’d need a whole evening… Tastes good. With water: really good now. You really get the sugarcane, plus this herbal earthiness that some agricoles do have (this is not agricole!), and indeed these notes of liquorice. Very nice balance and above all, no ugly doctoring in sight. Finish: medium, cake-y, nutty, with nice notes of sugarcane juice. Comments: most probably column-rum from Travellers, but as far as this set-up is concerned, it’s one of the good ones. And yeah, it’s fair.
SGP:641 - 84 points.

Back to Panama, perhaps…

Panama 9 yo 2008/2017 (46%, Cadenhead, Green Label, barrel)

Panama 9 yo 2008/2017 (46%, Cadenhead, Green Label, barrel) Four stars
Colour: gold. Nose: oh niiiice! Pure cane juice, earthy, with some hay, olives, tapenade, even hints of anchovies in brine… I had thought this would be much quieter (and frankly less interesting) but this almost noses like some pot still rum. Or at least ex-Creole column… Mouth: really very very good (did I make my point?) Olives, sugarcane, rotting bananas, liquorice, brine, a feeling of pulque… Frankly, this is a surprise. Finish: rather long, with bitter oranges and more of these brine-y elements, including black olives. Sweeter, cane-ier aftertaste. Comments: Panama, really? Panama-the-country?
SGP:641 - 86 points.

Okay, five is the deal. So let’s have Hampden…

Hampden ‘Secret Cask’ (51.8%, Ramseyer’s, Jamaica, 2017)

Hampden ‘Secret Cask’ (51.8%, Ramseyer’s, Jamaica, 2017) Four stars and a half
Forty-nine Swiss francs a bottle (50cl). Why am I telling you this? Colour: amber. Nose: do you really need to know that this is full of green and black olives, fish brine, salted liquorice, and seaweed smoke? With water: pencil shavings! Some finishing/re-racking? But this time, these things are enjoyable and remind us of our days at school. Mouth (neat): power and glory. Earth, concentrated lemon juice, seawater, rotten fish (surströmming, I think, never tried that), more salted liquorice, miso soup. No, not nato. With water: what a distillate! No oak or whacky casks will manage to tame it. Finish: long, salty. Heavily salted butter fudge. The miso soup returns in the aftertaste. Comments: that some die-hard malt whisky lovers haven’t tasted any Hampden yet baffles me. Especially members of the Ardbeg Consumer Club. I mean, Committee ;-). Now this one is superb, but it’s not one of the most brutally blade-y ones. Shall we call it an introductory Hampden?
SGP:453 - 89 points.

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






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