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

February 24, 2019


A new bag of rum

Indeed another short series, going into all directions, seeking malternatives and trying to avoid sugary trouble.

La Mauny ‘Signature du Maître de Chais’ (40%, OB, Martinique, agricole, +/-2017)

La Mauny ‘Signature du Maître de Chais’ (40%, OB, Martinique, agricole, +/-2017) Two stars and a half
Some young rhum (3 years) blended from different kinds of casks. It’s to be noted that I tend to prefer the house’s whites and in general, I find many ‘modern’ rums where the emphasis has been put onto the casks rather unbalanced and uninteresting. Rum ought to be a distillate-driven spirit if you ask me, and not just flavoured crapola. Colour: gold. Nose: starts with overripe pineapples, sultanas, and notes of warm rubber, gets then pretty grassy and cane-y, which is nice. Some spices such as caraway and juniper, also spicy honey and curious hints of garam masala. A rather complex nose. Mouth: this one’s really fine indeed, perhaps a little too woody at first (nutmeg and cinnamon) but getting very cane-y indeed then, with also quite a lot of pink peppercorns and touches of sour tropical fruits. Fresh bergamots, perhaps? Finish: medium, a little woody again, green and gritty, with touches of salt and liquorice. Unexpected salty aftertaste. Comments: I feel that the woods have played an important part here, but the end result is not unbalanced.
SGP:561 - 79 points.

Nicaraguan 19 yo 1999/2018 (46%, Cadenhead, Green Label)

Nicaraguan 19 yo 1999/2018 (46%, Cadenhead, Green Label) Two stars
Careful, these could be pretty ethanoly and ‘empty’ (at other bottlers’) Colour: pale gold. Nose: sugared linseed oil, sweetened rapeseed oil, wet rag paper, mud, ink, leaves… It’s very dry and not very expensive, I doubt this was made to be consumed ‘like this’ one day. But then again, neither was Brora. Mouth: I find it rather okay, while I was ready to totally hate it. It’s a leafy, grassy, slightly dirty (dust) and pretty leathery/grassy profile. Perhaps not quite a sipper, having said that. Finish: medium, grassy and leafy. Fruit peels and touches of ink and cardboard. Bitterish aftertaste (bark). Comments: there are almost no fruits in these, so you would imagine they’re using strange ways of making them sweet and fruity at the OBs’. After all, this is just a base.
SGP:351 – 74 points.

Enmore 27 yo 1990/2018 (53.7%, The Rum Mercenary, Guyana)

Enmore 27 yo 1990/2018 (53.7%, The Rum Mercenary, Guyana) Four stars and a half
I believe this stems from the incredible Versailles single wooden pot still, before it was moved to Diamond.  Colour: pale gold. Nose: the question remains the same, could you kiln-smoke bananas? The end result would surely resemble this, which has got a kind of Laphroaigness, some sea air, brine, tar and natural rubber, then many herbal teas, lime tree, thyme, melissa, regular green tea, then some kind of camphory earth… With water: stems and leaves tea. Cherry, cassis, peach leaves, curious touches of spinach and sorrel… So it’s not really fruity. Mouth (neat): it’s really unusual, a tad dirty, sour, rotten or rather rotting, on older bananas, whacky guavas, those smoked bananas, some liquorice, ashes, some menthol… So strange it is, but I like it really a lot for its bacterial side. Sweet Swiss cheese. With water: petrol, smoked fish, limoncello, ashes, coal smoke. Old Ardbeg in Guyana. Finish: long, peppery, citrusy. Smoked lemons? Comments: big crazy old rum that did not see any invasive oak. Wonderful, just a tad… untidy, I would say, or my humble score would have been 90.
SGP:562 - 89 points.

Caroni 20 yo 1998/2018 (64.8%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil for The Whisky Barrel, Trinidad, 214 bottles)

Caroni 20 yo 1998/2018 (64.8%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil for The Whisky Barrel, Trinidad, 214 bottles) Four stars
What a series, these Kill Devils! I don’t think I’ve ever had any uninteresting one. But watch the strength… Colour: amber. Nose: a sweeter, rounder kind of Caroni, as it appears. A lot of juniper and cumin, a little varnish and sawdust from the cask (high extraction), then piles of butterscotch in a Loch Ness tourist shop, as well as whiffs of lovage and umami. Soy sauce. Not that burning at 64.8% vol.! (S., I wouldn’t brag). With water: pine wood smoke everywhere, also night cream (anti-wrinkles, naturally). Mouth (neat): it is softer Caroni indeed but these touches of pot-pourri and patchouli work very well. Certainly some camphor and eucalyptus, old pineapples, touches of diesel oil, kumquats, some mint extracts… It’s getting strong, cough, cough… With water: mentholated oranges, strongly infused green tea, apple peel, walnut wine, Suze (gentian cordial). Finish: long, on more or less the same flavours. Comments: these single cask 1998s are maybe not the craziest Caronis ever, but I always find them way above par. This one certainly is.
SGP:452 - 86 points.

And stronger yet…

Caroni 20 yo 1998/2018 (65%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil for The Whisky Barrel, Trinidad, 233 bottles)

Caroni 20 yo 1998/2018 (65%, Hunter Laing, Kill Devil for The Whisky Barrel, Trinidad, 233 bottles) Three stars and a half
Colour: amber. Nose: noses a tad more high-column, less profound, fruitier as well (oranges and mangos), with rather more sweet wine (Sauternes)… But then again, the strength is extremely high. So with water: closer to its bro, perhaps a little cake-y, with more chocolate. But it would remain a rather umami-y rum. Mouth (neat): feels so much stronger than its sibling! More acetone, varnish, wood… But then again, that may well be the higher strength. So… With water: same feeling, it’s probably the same juice inside but the cask made this one a little rounder, one would be forgiven for thinking this came from La Martinique. Désolé les amis. Finish: rather long. Chocolate, nougat (turon), orange zests, and just one drop of diesel oil. Comments: very good again, it’s just that I thought the brother was rather more expressive.
SGP:552 - 84 points.

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






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