Google Brand new malternative rums

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

October 13, 2019


Brand new malternative rums

Some great stuff gathered in busy Paris, but I did not have enough time to go see many trendy brands (Velier amongst others) so we’ve only got a wee personal selection. Next year!

Foursquare 12 yo 2007/2019 (59%, OB, Barbados, Mark X, Ex-bourbon cask)

Foursquare 12 yo 2007/2019 (59%, OB, Barbados, Mark X, Ex-bourbon cask) Five stars
A blend of pot and column rums from Foursquare distillery, so a single blend, but the proportions are a well-guarded secret (unless you manage to tie-up one of the Seales and put Céline Dion on eleven on the stereo, ah, that’s an idea, I’ll try that next time!) Colour: amber. Nose: immediate and obvious, which is not always the case with Foursquare, especially when table wine casks have been used. Coffee, tobacco, a little leatherette (so leather for vegans), cane juice, burnt panettone, cigars, liquorice, and a handful of black olives.  Like this rather a lot. With water: more damp earth and olives, humus, pipe tobacco… Mouth (neat): really punchy, full, a little fresher than expected despite this relative heaviness. Truckloads of mint-flavoured liquorice, roasted almonds, Seville oranges, and a lot of proper gingerbread. With water: a drop of muscat (eh?) but the rest is all on tobacco and bitter oranges, plus the expected cinnamon and cloves. Finish: very long, spicy, on more oranges and more tobacco. Comments: a fairly estery Foursquare I would say, at the height of its  talent. Really liked the liquorice.
SGP:462 - 90 points.

We did a two-glass ‘masterclass’ (okay, a tasting) with Mr. Broom at WL Paris, both of us having chosen three spirits each, which we had particularly enjoyed. This fairly new rum was one of Dave’s choices…

Worthy Park 12 yo 2006/2018 (56%, OB, Jamaica)

Worthy Park 12 yo 2006/2018 (56%, OB, Jamaica) Four stars and a half
This is 100% pot still this time, naturally. Colour: deep gold. Nose: rather gentler than expected, which is typically ‘OB’ with most makes and brands, as if they never wanted to shock anyone too much. Now it is still very typical, full of gherkin brine, gritty olive oil, new rubber, tarmac, and engine oil rather than petrol or diesel. Moderately gentle. With water: drier, more on grasses and teas. Touches of green oak. Mouth (neat): fantastic, very strong, extremely compact and full, very medicinal at first (cough syrup for adults only), then a little more on citrus. There’s also an uncommon sweetness that’s seldom seen at the indies, not sure what it is. Between liquorice allsorts and cinnamon mints. With water: gentler yet, with more fruits (do I really find raspberries?) and really a lot of liquorice. Finish: long, on similar flavours plus a little salt. Notes of bananas. Comments: I suppose, but I’m not sure, that this is tropical aging, which implies that it’s very mature at 12 yo (not very old, only time makes aged spirits old). Mature thus a little gentler indeed.
SGP:552 - 88 points.

Savanna 14 yo 2004/2019 ‘Thunderstruck’ (65.1%, OB, La Réunion, Grand Arôme, cask #276, 681 bottles)

Savanna 14 yo 2004/2019 ‘Thunderstruck’ (65.1%, OB, La Réunion, Grand Arôme, cask #276, 681 bottles) Four stars
This one stems from the French island of La Réunion, in the Indian ocean. It aged on location, and is advertised as ‘High Voltage Rum’. Thunderstruck, high voltage, grand arôme, 65% vol…. I suppose we got the message, have we not. Colour: dark amber. Nose: glue, varnish, acetone, crushed olives, burnt books, ashes, and really bags of cloves. It’s coming through good and loud. With water: as usual, there’s more earth, but also more bandages, old fabric, new Tesla, plastics… Mouth (neat): very high esters! Old rum people believe we’re crazy to quaff these dressers when pure, but there, other times and other tastes. A feeling of drinking ink blended with lemon juice, ashes and concrete dust. Some salty touches here and there. With water: few changes, just a little more gentleness and, in fact, even more liquorice. These high-ester rums always showcase a lot of liquorice, often salted liquorice as they have in Scandinavia. Finish: long and perhaps a little fruitier. Dare I quote pineapples and pink grapefruits? Brine in the aftertaste. Comments: I like this a lot, even if the Worthy Park was a little more, say ‘seminal’, or more for purists. Are we purists?
SGP:463 - 86 points.

Neisson 1991/2019 ‘Armada’ (45%, OB, Martinique, agricole, 230 bottles)

Neisson 1991/2019 ‘Armada’ (45%, OB, Martinique, agricole, 230 bottles) Four stars and a half
Mind you, this baby’s more or less 28 years of age. The tag is heavy (1,770€) but at this price and as they say, better Neisson than Don Papa (S.!) You see, always a matter of perspective… Colour: amber. Nose: lots happening in there. Cheeses and perhaps even a toddler’s gym socks at first, then gentler notes of chocolate and roasted nuts, fennel seeds, roasted pine nuts, a little kummel, then more floral tones, ylang-ylang, whiffs of iris, jasmine… I hope you understood that’s its very complex, if a little soft. Mouth: same feeling of two-tone rum, with first notes of cream and elderflowers, then more classic notes of sugarcane, sour woods, rosehip tea, rose jelly and Turkish delights (I know, Turkish ‘delights’ sounds very odd these days.) A lot of mead too, honey spirit… Finish: medium, a tad more caramelly, still with very wee notes of cheese. Some very fruity gruyère, perhaps. Comments: these very old rums may tend to scatter a bit, but what’s sure is that it did not get too woody at all, which we might have to call ‘a miracle’. Seriously, it’s as excellent as expected.
SGP:551 - 88 points.

Now if we did not have the 1991 as the last one, there was a reason…

Neisson 2003/2018 (46.1%, OB, Martinique, agricole, #4 hippocampe, 95 bottles)

Neisson 2003/2018 (46.1%, OB, Martinique, agricole, #4 hippocampe, 95 bottles) Five stars
A lavishly presented micro-bottling that pays tribute to various animals. Not a first of course, but why not, better hippocamps than American Presidents or British PMs. Or French ones. Some interesting data on the label by the way, the cask used to shelter 650l when filled, of which only 370 were remaining at time of disgorging. Colour: amber. Nose: a perfect softness with a very delicate background, rather on various teas and herbs at first, then various roasted nuts, before the trademark floral development starts to take place. Wallflowers and  moist tobacco, shall we say, then the usual liquorice and whiffs of some woods in autumn. Which is very fitting, is it not. Mouth: this is where it may destroy the 1991, for it’s got more oomph and more knack, while being just as complex. Love all this menthol, the liquorice, the bergamots and kumquats, the jellies and the jams (quince and figs spring to mind), as well as this very tight, very discreet phenolic side that would add some extra-dimension. Finish: long, a tad oaky, but that’s textbook maturation oak, not sawdust and chips. I mean, a feeling of sawdust and chips. Stunning liquorice – menthol – butterscotch combination in the aftertaste. Love how this final menthol would add a lot of freshness to the whole experience, making you want more – ah, that’s the trick!  Comments: seriously, great, great Neisson. Top five rum distilleries in the world, and easy. Too bad it’s getting so expensive, but at least the low stocks are real, not invented by marketeers on Red-Bull Energy Shots.
SGP:561 - 91 points.

Sleep tight or make the most out of your day.

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