Google Mad rums for another Sunday

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


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

November 3, 2019


Mad rums for another Sunday

The category’s very active and buoyant, reminds me of malt whisky, circa 2005. Except that in malt whisky, beyond some old paxarette-doped ones (starting with an M, for example), age statements were authentic, unlikely sauces were never added, and sugar and thickening agents were kept at bay. Caramel? What caramel?

Doorly’s 14 yo (48%, OB, Barbados, 2019)

Doorly’s 14 yo (48%, OB, Barbados, 2019) Two stars and a half
Bajan rum made by Foursquare and partly matured in Madeira casks. Which, I suppose, would be deemed as ‘traditional’ – as I’m sure they used to import casks of Madeira to Barbados.  Colour: dark amber. Nose: it’s a pretty chocolaty rum, with a tarry/smoky side, as well as fine whiffs of pine needles and a faint mustardy side, I suppose that’s related to the Madeira wine. Tends to become very earthy after a good minute, which is always an enjoyable development. Let’s only hope it’s not going to be too vinous on the palate… Mouth: not quite, there’s just an added sweetness that may, or may not, come from some very sweet Malmsey-style Madeira. Raisins, apple compote, a little copper, blood oranges, guava juice… Finish: long and rather sweet. Orange squash, raisins, dried goji berries, grape juice, maple syrup… Comments: very fine, but the sweetness doesn’t totally work for me. Indeed, that’s me. Oh and I’ve heard Céline Dion loves this style, but don’t take my word for it.
SGP:641 - 78 points.

New Yarmouth 13 yo 2005/2019 (66.6%, The Wild Parrot for La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, cask #WP05666)

New Yarmouth 13 yo 2005/2019 (66.6%, The Wild Parrot for La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, cask #WP05666) Four stars
This one was distilled where they make J. Wray & Nephew’s rum, and then matured in good old Europe. New Yarmouth, together with Appleton, now belong to Campari. Colour: white wine. Nose: it’s one of those tarry high-ester rums, rather on crude oil and the greener, drier olives, also rotting bananas. But one has to be careful at this devilish strength of 66.6% vol. With water: soot, tar, more green olives. A lot of ink too, new magazines…  Mouth (neat): very strong and sour, on lime, olives, capers, and tar. With water: more salt, anchovies, olive oil, capers, and a sweeter lemon, perhaps limoncello. Finish: long, pretty green, with a sweeter touch, perhaps tinned pineapples? Comments: very good, but I don’t think it is as immediate and pristine as the best Hampdens or Worthy Parks. The sweeter touches (limoncello) may be getting in the way. But it’s great rum, no doubt about that.
SGP:562 - 85 points.

Let’s stay in Jamaica for a little while…

Monymusk 9 yo 2010/2019 (62%, National Rums of Jamaica, Velier and LMDW, MBS, 4,660 bottles)

Monymusk 9 yo 2010/2019 (62%, National Rums of Jamaica, Velier and LMDW, MBS, 4,660 bottles) Four stars
This is a low-ester mark, so not an hyper-tarry, olive-driven monster of a Jamaican. After a few hundreds of them, I have to say the extreme ones can get a little tiring, just like the peat monsters of whisky. Ppm peat and g/hlpa esters, same fight! Colour: light amber. Nose: very gentle, cake-y, elegantly grassy, with just wee whiffs of honeysuckle and lime blossom, as well as touches of coconut water. Could be that the very high strength kind of blocks it, let’s see… With water: really elegant, rather on toasted brioche, milk chocolate, and indeed cane juice. Whiffs of gorse and broom, with some natural vanilla as well (did you know there is a huge shortage of natural vanilla everywhere on this planet? I’m sure the coopers could help…) Mouth (neat): we’ve known some agricoles that were a little bit like this, that is to say tense yet balanced, on overripe fruits and very soft spices, with a little fudge and turron. With water: and halva, cappuccino, nougat… Finish: medium, and indeed very much on nougat. Some stewed berries in the aftertaste, as well as poached pears. Comments: forgot to say, this is a vatting of 15 casks. It’s very good, and indeed a proper malternative, but there might be some overlapping with malt whisky.
SGP:541 - 85 points.

Since we’re kind of à la Maison…

Worthy Park 2017/2019 (67%, OB, for La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, single cask)

Worthy Park 2017/2019 (67%, OB, for La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, single cask) Five stars
I think it says WPE, which may mean Warning Probably Explosive. Mind you, 67% vol., don’t they have any water in Jamaica? Colour: straw. Nose: sure it’s strong, but it feels like home, just like 1972-1976 Ardbeg used to feel like home. It’s most probably magnificent, but at this strength, we shan’t keep taking any chances, my spectacles are already starting to get blurred… With water: sake, soy sauce, miso, roasted pineapples… There clearly is something Japanese in there. Not the roasted pineapples, having said that. Mouth (neat): why do I feel like I’m about to do a bungee jump? But yeah, aniseed, tar, olive oil, cumin, liquorice… With water: fantastic distillate, warm, extremely well balanced, full of character, and with a rather sublime coastalness. Finish: long, yeah. Flower jelly? I adore these touches of aniseed in the aftertaste. Comments: amazing, somewhere between Longrow and the best mezcals, I would say quite creatively (and while trying to remain modest – and not taking any geographical matters into consideration). And it is single-estate rum, who else can claim to do that? Not that many brands…
SGP:563 - 91 points.

Let’s move to Trinidad…

Caroni 23 yo 1996/2019 (63.5%, Tasting Gang, La Maison du Whisky, Trinidad)

Caroni 23 yo 1996/2019 (63.5%, Tasting Gang, La Maison du Whisky, Trinidad) Four stars
Twenty-two casks of both heavy and light Caronis blended together, after having matured in Trinidad, then in Guyana from 2008 on. Looks like the angels’ share reached 85% over the years, which is pretty insane. Yeah, despite proper ullage (as far as I know).. Colour: deep gold. Nose: more light Caroni than heavy Caroni, but there are hints of ink, diesel oil and soot, also shoe polish and plasticine. It’s all rather subtle, not wham-bam at all, and getting pretty brioche-y over the minutes. A good brioche, straight from the baker’s (or your mum’s) oven. With water: a mix of engine oil and water on the floor of an old garage (under an old Jaguar, ha-ha – who said that could be a new one as well, who? Why not Bojo’s, while we’re at it? ) Mouth (neat): very good. Some lighter Caronis have been a little, say wet noodles in the past, but this is different, with good waxes and polishes, some tar, and even this brine-y side that screams sardines! Or rather anchovies! With water: very gentle, in similar territories as those of the Monymusk. It’s hard to understand why Caroni used to have such a bad reputation in the past. Finish: rather long, rather easy, and pretty cane-y. Some sweetness in the aftertaste. Comments: almost no esters have been harmed here. A very good ‘blend’.
SGP:551 - 86 points.

We could try to find a heavier Caroni to put an end to this we session, wait…

Caroni 20 yo 1998/2018 (61%, Cave Guildive, Trinidad, 277 bottles)

Caroni 20 yo 1998/2018 (61%, Cave Guildive, Trinidad, 277 bottles) Five stars
Love what these guys at Cave Guildive in Zürich in der Schweiz are doing, they always have impeccable selections! Colour: amber. Nose: this is heavier, fatter, and yet not head-bangingly so, what’s sure is that miso, glutamate, mud and earth, as well as cigars are running the show. Jamon iberico, plasticine, chestnut purée, porcinis... All good things, all good things… With water: pretty sublime, fresh, clean, and yet heavy, tarry, fume-y… You’re almost nosing the pipes of a poorly-tuned old Corvette, circa Jimmy Carter. Indeed, not the better ones. Mouth (neat): heavy, if not the heaviest. Aniseed and tar, liquorice, black olives, Ardbeg as Ardbeg used to be, and lime. Great combo, I can tell you, there isn’t any greater combo, believe me (Donald, come out of this body!) With water: tar and roasted nuts aplenty. And this Ardbgeness again… In truth there is more Ardbeg in there than in proper contemporary Ardbegs. Finish: very long, salty, iodine-y, tarry, with a medicinal side, ideas of an old fisherman’s tarry ropes and nets, hessian, and the heaviest heavy Dutch liquorice. Sounds like 1970s Ardbeg, doesn’t it? Comments: powah Caroni and a pristine selection. Oh, and the most perfect disinfectant ever. Hoppla, grüezi mitenand.
SGP:463 - 90 points.

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







Whiskyfun's Home