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

March 25, 2018


Yet another bag of rum

Since this is Sunday! In short, another hotchpotch that may not make much sense, but there, here we are…

Nautilus Rhum Ambré (40%, Cora, Rhum Traditionnel des Antilles Françaises, +/-2018)

Nautilus Rhum Ambré (40%, Cora, Rhum Traditionnel des Antilles Françaises, +/-2018) Two stars and a half
A supermarket brand while this is a blend of ‘rhum traditionnel’, meaning not agricole. The Antilles Françaises (French West Indies) include the rhum producing Guadeloupe, Martinique and Marie-Galante, plus Désirade, les Saintes, Saint-Barthélémy and Saint-Martin. Lovely places… Colour: amber. Nose: pretty nice! A tarry, almost rubbery side at first, then some burnt caramel, overripe bananas, dried pineapples, and a little grassy side that’s most pleasant. Not exactly cooking rhum so far, and it may even be a cheap wee sipper… Mouth: yes, it’s not bad at all. Perhaps a tad too burnt and caramelly, but there are pleasant notes of, well, bananas flambéed and sugarcane syrup. Finish: rather short but clean, rather cane-y, and indeed ripe-banana-y. A touch of salt and even a grassy agricole side. Comments: I had feared this would be much, much worse. Very honest and loyal.
SGP:431 - 78 points.

Diamond 2005 (40%, Mezan, Guyana, +/-2017)

Diamond 2005 (40%, Mezan, Guyana, +/-2017) Three stars and a half
Colour: pale white wine. Nose: perfect, grassy and very cane-y, with touches of benzine and coal tar, then fresh oranges and whiffs of elderberry and zucchini flowers. High precision low strength rum, very charming. Mouth: sure a higher strength would have been welcome, and indeed this is a little frustrating, but the bananas and pineapples plus tarry and petroly herbs combination just works a treat. A little seawater as well, with a feeling of ‘Coal Ila of Demerara’, whatever that would mean. Finish: short to medium, grassier. Greenish pineapples, some brine and ink in the aftertaste. Comments: not a blitzing rum because of the low strength, but the distillate is pure class.
SGP:452 - 84 points.

Diplomatico 2011/2017 ‘No.1 Batch Kettle Rum’ (47%, OB, Venezuela, 5000 bottles)

Diplomatico 2011/2017 ‘No.1 Batch Kettle Rum’ (47%, OB, Venezuela, 5000 bottles)
Together with Don Papa, Diplomatico is one of those brands that rum geeks just hate because it’s said to be heavily doctored. So it’s become one of those heavy-selling ‘seemingly lying brands’ that no one within the chatting circles really trusts anymore, but they're actually good people and are very successful as soon as we're outside rum geekery, so let’s see… Colour: gold. Nose: rather unpleasant, with something coppery and quite some oak juice. Little depth, although it would tend to improve, with notes of oranges and hay. Very light rum, it seems… Some charcoal smoke as well. Mouth: it’s got that expected sweetness but not too much of it, the problem would rather lie in the weak body. Strawberry liqueur plus toasted oak and cardboard. Tastes ‘cheap’. Finish: short and a little bitter. More cardboard, hay, caramel… Comments: still no luck with Diplo, but I have to say it’s less cloying than their extravagantly sweetened regular expressions.
SGP:440 - 65 points.

Let’s try again, son…

Diplomatico 2013/2017 ‘No.2 Barbet Rum’ (47%, OB, Venezuela, 5000 bottles)

Diplomatico 2013/2017 ‘No.2 Barbet Rum’ (47%, OB, Venezuela, 5000 bottles) one star and a half
Barbet’s the name of a kind of column still. Colour: deep gold. Nose: it’s shier, but that’s not always a bad thing. Touches of preserved pineapples over a light ‘grainy’ profile, with a feeling of light vodka. A little vanilla from the oak. Mouth: not much happening, it’s light rum, only the higher ethanol gives it a little kick. Notes of banana sweets, raspberry drops, and the lightest honey ever made by bees. Finish: short, sweeter, a tad sugary, not totally unpleasant. Some cane syrup in the aftertaste. Comments: okayish but superficial. Please note that this is sometimes advertised as ‘Botucal’ instead of ‘Diplomatico’.
SGP:540 - 68 points.

The Cassandras amongst us will claim that since those two rums are actually components that are usually blended together into regular Diplomaticos, they explain why the distillers would indeed have to ‘enhance’ their bottlings. But I’m not one of them, am I? Good, we may deserve this now…

Rockley Still 17 yo 1986 (46%, High Spirits, Barbados, +/-2003)

Rockley Still 17 yo 1986 (46%, High Spirits, Barbados, +/-2003) Three stars and a half
I think this from the famous double pot still at W.I.R.D. a.k.a. Blackrock. It’s supposed to be ‘much heavier than others’. Colour: white wine. Nose: indeed, it’s got more waxy and petroly notes than usual, some brine for sure, a welcome dirtiness (crushed grass and mud), and above all, quite a lot ink, new magazines, then a little soy sauce, miso soup, fermented tofu, and cigar smoke… Mouth: starts dirty and jumbled, but that’s an asset. I’m finding some liquorice, rotting bananas, ashes, ink indeed, more liquorice, a little mustard, sour olives, some cane syrup, a little maple syrup, a little Parma ham, Parma violets while we’re there (really), and lastly, more brine. It’s actually rather sweet and one could think it was a little sweetened up at some point. Finish: rather long, hesitating between the sweetness and the tar/liquorice. Comments: not a easy one, I like it a lot but indeed, it is a little jumbled and ‘undecided’.
SGP:552 - 83 points.

(Grazzie mille, Francesco)

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






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