Google A few more rums

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

June 8, 2019


A few more rums,
still looking for malternatives

Kind of live from Provence today and first, an aperitif, that is to say a glass of Bandol blanc or a proper pastis. I’m joking, it’s going to be a wee rum…

Dom. Republic 13 yo 2003/2017 (46%, Compagnie des Indes, blend, Dominican Republic, cask #RDM1, 346 bottles)

Dom. Republic 13 yo 2003/2017 (46%, Compagnie des Indes, blend, Dominican Republic, cask #RDM1, 346 bottles) Three stars
Indeed this is a blend of (possibly two) different Dominicans, but it is a single cask. I have to say I’m very glad to try this baby from a good house, as in general and as far as ‘official’ or ‘merchant’s’ rums are concerned, those from the DomRep are deeply sugared rotguts and actually cheapo liqueurs or ‘spiced’ rums. As I said, in general. Colour: gold. Nose: ah, fine! It’s got some kind of softer Cuban touch, notes of cane juice, oranges, a wee sugary earthiness, marshmallows, and just a drop of some most welcome petrol. It’s as if there was a small proportion of pot-still. Mouth: a little hot and with no sugar! Rather more oranges and sugarcane, some earthy vegetables (perhaps beets), then bonbons, liquorice allsorts, touches of molasses and corn syrup, perhaps even honey… It’s all fine and seemingly very natural, even if it’s also a little spirity. Finish: medium, on marmalade and orange skin. Bonbons in the aftertaste. Comments: perhaps not an absolute high-flyer, but it’s way, way better, and more natural than the island’s usual heavily branded output. You know, heroes of some forgotten revolucion and all that jazz. I mean, salsa. Fine.
SGP:551 - 82 points

While we’re in good Compagnie… (pff, S.!)

Clarendon 11 yo 2007/2018 (55%, Compagnie des Indes, Jamaica, 261 bottles)

Clarendon 11 yo 2007/2018 (55%, Compagnie des Indes, Jamaica, 261 bottles) Four stars
Remember Clarendon is Monymusk. I mean, Monymusk is made at Clarendon, where they mainly produce for Captain Morgan. Not sure about the marque here, could be very low esters or pretty high (500 g/hl). Colour: white wine. Nose: rather high esters. Carbon paper, charcoal, brake fluid, new wellies, sweeter olives… With water: new sneakers from their box. Mouth (neat): very good, very unusual. Some heavy pine resin (reminds me of some very artisanal cachaça here), a lot of tarry liquorice, these petroly notes, then ink and plastic, bitter lemons… It is less brine-y, less olive-y, and perhaps less ‘funky’ than other Jamaicans such as Hampden or Worthy Park. Perhaps a little dirtier too. With water: same, plus more grass, tarry herbs, burnt marmalade, tarry liquorice… It really is ‘different’. Finish: rather long, a little bitter, with some welcome lime in the aftertaste. Comments: fun rum, fun to follow, fun to drink.
SGP:462 - 85 points.

Bellevue 20 yo 1998/2019 (58.8%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil for The Whisky Barrel, Guadeloupe, 245 bottles)

Bellevue 20 yo 1998/2019 (58.8%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil for The Whisky Barrel, Guadeloupe, 245 bottles) Five stars
I need to find something bad to say about this series. Right, not too sure about the colours of the label, I mean, greenish beige and crushed cassis? Does that work? What would Martha Stewart say? (Says the guy who’s got a website that’s yellow and orange)… As for the juices, I’m afraid we’re always impressed, but it’s also true that they often select ‘sure bets’ (Hampden, Bellevue, Foursquare, Diamond…) Good, let’s tackle the rum know… Colour: amber. Nose: wait, didn’t we try this last week? Ah no, that was a sister cask or something. Brilliant. This seems to be a tad lighter, less petroly, but just as superbly mentholy and liquoricy. Perfect earthiness, also perfect paraffin and tarry varnish… This is really on that winning ‘BB line’ (Bielle – Bellevue). Best of Guadeloupe. With water: gets sublime, with fresh pineapples and mangos on top of everything, plus whiffs of ‘unpacking a new TV set’. Works with computers too. Mouth (neat): just a perfect, firmer and more liquoricy agricole, akin to some of those brilliant Martiniquais by Neisson as far as styles are concerned. Tense, rich, earthy, tarry and fruity, it’s got the best on all axis. With water: takes water extremely well. Lime, liquorice, sea salt. Finish: long, a tad grassier, which always works, at this point. Comments: the guy or the girl who could clearly decide between this one and its sister cask from last week is a genius.
SGP:452 - 91 points

Let’s sail to Trinidad now…

Caroni 21 yo 1998/2019 (64.1%, The Duchess, Trinidad, cask #20, 245 bottles)

Caroni 21 yo 1998/2019 (64.1%, The Duchess, Trinidad, cask #20, 245 bottles) Four stars and a half
Some lonely souls are claiming that there’s no good Caroni left. I don’t think that’s exactly right… Colour: amber. Nose: oh, metal polish in abundance and some sour, umami-y, savoury notes of ready-made miso soup, plus some tobacco and notes of walnut shell and pine cones. Some old kelp too, Spanish ham, bone marrow… It is a whole meal! With water: must be me losing all senses, but this reminds me of the old, pre-Glenmo Ardbeg 10. Soot, coal, tarry ropes and stuff…  Mouth (neat): big, punchy, earthy, very tarry and almost rubbery. Which works here. Could someone try to smoke porcinis please? And then report back to WF’s Research Committee? With water: yeah, there, lime and seawater. Finish: long and bitter, on artichokes and Brussels sprouts. What works in whisky or rum would never work in a soup… right… Comments: a big boy, with this very specific kind of rubber that’s very Caroni in my book. Now I would have called this The Warlord rather than The Duchess (I’m not sure anyone wants to hear your opinion on these matters, S.)
SGP:363 - 89 points

Good, that Bellevue by HL/WB was very impressive, let’s have more…

Bellevue 20 yo 1998/2018 (Valinch & Mallet, Marie-Galante, cask #182001-R, 153 bottles)

Bellevue 20 yo 1998/2018 (Valinch & Mallet, Marie-Galante, cask #182001-R, 153 bottles) Five stars
These are complicated issues. This Bellevue is sometimes attributed to Guadeloupe, and indeed it stems from Guadeloupe (see hereabove), and sometimes to Marie-Galante, and indeed it stems from Marie-Galante too. It’s just that the small island of Marie-Galante, where Bielle and Père Labat are located as well, is administratively part of Guadeloupe. Capice? Oh wait, to make things even clearer (as mud), there’s also a distillerie Bellevue on Guadeloupe itself (Damoiseau), and yet another one where they make Reimonenq. So actually, and unless the bottler would specify that the rum comes from Marie-Galante, you would not know from which distillery it stems from when they simply write ‘Bellevue, Guadeloupe’. Phew… Colour: full gold. Nose: it’s a very soft, almost fresh and easy one. There’s a little praline, milk chocolate, walnut cake, banana cake, then pure cane juice, softer liquorice, and just wee whiffs of our beloved bicycle inner tubes. Right, tarry rubber. With water: terrific, complex, aromatic, fresh, floral, with some stunning liquorice and tobacco. Love this nose. Mouth (neat): oh this is very good! To think that Bellevue is the largest distillery in Guadeloupe (hence on Marie-Galante). This is an absolute cracker, it’s perfect rum, with an amazing balance, firm and soft, brutal and subtle, fruity and kind-of phenolic… I am very impressed, once again. With water: oh these touches of menthol and eucalyptus! Finish: long, earthier. Comments: a very perfect agricole, probably from the same perfect parcel of perfect casks as that of the perfect Kill Devil. And they all love water as much as I love the word ‘perfect’.
SGP:552 - 91 points

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