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

July 22, 2018


Seven white rums

That’s probably rum’s main advantage over whisky, you may actually enjoy some unaged ones. I said ‘some’ because some high-column white rums, unless aromatized, are just, well, almost vodka – and we’re not talking high-end artisan pot-still vodka. Let’s see what we have, I know we’ve accumulated many white rums over last few months.

Diplomatico ‘Planas’ (47%, OB, Venezuela, +/-2018)

Diplomatico ‘Planas’ (47%, OB, Venezuela, +/-2018) Two stars
This new Diplo is actually aged rum (they say for 6 years) that’s then filtered through charcoal so that it loses its colour – hopefully not its flavours, let’s see… Colour: white, with very pale shades of yellow… Nose: I had hopes, you see, but this smells of the kind of raw spirit that you get when you distil regular apples. Actually, it is very vodka-ish, with just some very remote whiffs of grated coconut. Mouth: not too bad, actually. Fewer sugary notes than usual in Diplomatico, and rather some fresh papayas and yellow melons, plus touches of pineapple. Now it’s still a bit vodka-y, but I find it loyal and honest.  Finish: medium, rather fresh. Comments: no deep, flavourful rum, but I find it so much better than their earlier ‘Blanco Reserve’! I think this is my favourite Diplomatico.
SGP:640 - 72 points.

Mezan Rum (37.5%, Mezan, St Lucia, +/-2017)

Mezan Rum (37.5%, Mezan, St Lucia, +/-2017) Two stars
I had never seen this light-strength baby before. Master of Malts are having it. Colour: white. Nose: more action than in the Diplomatico, despite the missing 10% ABV. It is slightly smoky and rather earthy, and would not display dumpers and dumpers of fruits. Rather some grass and cactus, actually.  Mouth: rather rich, and fruitier, with good notes of sugar cane and tangerines. Not very wide, neither is it any complex, but you could sip it although ice might be needed. Finish: medium, a little sugary. Saccharin. Comments: nothing to write home about, and we’re pretty far from Mezan’s usual very pure rums, but this is another honest white, I would say.
SGP:550 - 72 points.

Chamarel ‘Coeur de Chauffe’ (44%, OB, Mauritius, +/-2016)

Chamarel ‘Coeur de Chauffe’ (44%, OB, Mauritius, +/-2016) Four stars
Coeur de chauffe means heart, as you probably know. We’ve tried a very good Chamarel VSOP a few years back (WF 82). This is double-distilled cane juice. Colour: white. Nose: wonderful, much deeper than the two previous ones, rather petroly, liquorice-y, tarry, earthy, olive-y… At times you could believe it’s a lighter Jamaican. Lovely whiffs of shoe polish. Mouth: indeed, some very characterful rum, with a ‘grand-arôme’ side that’s most lovely. Sugar cane, tar, liquorice, brine, balsam, overripe pineapples, Szechuan pepper… I’m really very impressed with this wee Mauritian! Finish: rather long and much more lime-y. Lovely, very fresh signature. Comments: super-good and very agricole, but not all agricoles are as estery as this one.
SGP:462 - 85 points.

So, naturally…

Rhum J.M ‘Blanc’ (50%, OB, Martinique, agricole, white, +/-2016)

Rhum J.M ‘Blanc’ (50%, OB, Martinique, agricole, white, +/-2016) Four stars
These come in various strengths, from 40 to, I believe, 60. So, this is the median… Colour: white. Nose: amazing nose of pure, unadulterated cane juice at first, then the traditional whiffs of cut apples, aniseed and fennel, then rather this lemon/gherkin tango that’s very typical. Now it’s also a little acetone-y, but let’s see what water will do to it… With water: fantastic, on fresh ginger, tonic, more lemons… And no acetone. Mouth (neat): exceptional, with mezcal, lemon juice, caraway, celeriac and turnips, Jerusalem artichokes, a touch of powdered ginseng, regular artichokes, grapefruits… This one’s got something to tell! With water: you could add litres of water, you’ll never kill it. Great distillates never die, as they say (who’s saying that, S.?) Finish: long, wonderfully earthy. More gherkins, lemon, earthy roots… Beets? Comments: 25€ a bottle. I repeat, 25€ a bottle.
SGP:362 - 87 points.

Good, let’s call for even heavier artillery, if you don’t mind…

Longueteau 2015 ‘Genesis’ (73.51%, OB, Guadeloupe, white, 5000 bottles, +/-2017)

Longueteau 2015 ‘Genesis’ (73.51%, OB, Guadeloupe, white, 5000 bottles, +/-2017) Three stars and a half
Integrally red cane, straight from the column, just kept for two years in stainless steel prior to bottling in a rather lovely art-déco bottle. Seen the strength? Wish me luck… Colour: white. Nose: some explosive cane juice, that’s all I’ll say. It’s rather a purer cane distillate, it seems… With water: wonderful again, a tad more floral than the J.M, with very wee hints of musk, roses, orange blossom, pine needles, agave… This needs no wood! Mouth (neat): cough, cough… Earthy lemons and olive brine, shall we say? With water: perfect, lemony, earthy, with very loud and clear notes of cane juice, and rather less olives and tar than in the J.M. A little gentler when at the same strength (very roughly). Finish: long, perhaps a tad more sugary. Sugar syrup, cane syrup. Comments: the rather wilder style of the J.M may have caused this Longueteau a little trouble, but it remains a superb, albeit sweeter white agricole.
SGP:451 - 84 points.

All right, heavy artillery he said…

Hampden ‘Rum Fire Velvet’ (63%, OB, Jamaica, white, +/-2018)

Hampden ‘Rum Fire Velvet’ (63%, OB, Jamaica, white, +/-2018) Four stars
Another one that’s at 25€. And it is Hampden. No idea as regard to the marque, having said that, not all Hampdens are pure kerosene (you see what I mean, don’t you?) Colour: white. Nose: it doesn’t seem to be any of those extreme 1000+ gr/Hl ester Hampdens, but it sure does shoot esters at you, brine, olives, rotten bananas, rotting pineapples… With water: it’s highly viscimetric! There are many whorls, this is almost Van-Goghian (yeah right)… Goes more toward the expected olive oil, grape pips, pine-y earth, coal tar… Mouth (neat): super-sharp lemony arrival, then some pungent earthy liquorice mixed with liquid tar. I’m also finding some mead while insisting (and slaughtering my taste buds). With water: oh excellent. Lemon and lime plus earth and liquorice, with a drop of brine. No quibbling to be done here. Finish: very long, earthy, perhaps a tad sweeter than expected (lemon-flavoured marshmallows – yep the yellow ones). Loads of liquorice in the aftertaste. Comments: I’m still a tad more in love with the J.M, there!
SGP:563 - 86 points.

Oh well, let’s remain Cartesians and also have this baby, it’s the first time we’re comparing the two Jamaican heavier hitters in their most natural forms…

Worthy Park 'Rum Bar Overproof' (65%, OB, Jamaica, white, +/-2018)

Worthy Park 'Rum Bar Overproof' (65%, OB, Jamaica, white, +/-2018) Four stars
Already tried it two years ago, and loved it. WF 88 and approx. 30€, so beats a few Scotches… But let’s do this quick… Colour: white. Nose: it’s much more extreme, smokier, tarrier, more gravely… You could even believe they peated the molasses! With water: pure grassy cane, raw liquorice wood, carbon paper, new magazines, biofuel… Mouth (neat): it’s really more extreme than the Hampden, smokier, even more liquorice-y, more austere as well… With water: no, wait, this is easier, cane-y, with pink grapefruits and citrons, sweet apples… Finish: long, earthier, smokier than the Hampden. Comments: frankly, love both makes and they always take turns in our little tasting book. This time, I’d say it’s WP, but by a very small margin.
SGP:563 - 87 points.

(Merci Anthony)

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






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