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

October 20, 2019


Rums at random, looking for malternatives

We keep looking for them, but it’s true that we’ve learned, over the years, how to avoid the putrid swills and the very cloying sugar bombs. The world of rum is full of traps, but that’s a part of its numerous charms.

Smokey Soul (40%, Sushi+Soul, +/-2019)

Smokey Soul (40%, Sushi+Soul, +/-2019) Two stars
A blend of Dominican and Panamanian rums, finished in, better get ready for this, a ‘Laphroaig merlot bourbon barrel’. I’m sure this is all a matter of having fun… Colour: amber. Nose: isn’t it absolutely cool to taste a blend of Dominican and Panama rums that’s not overly heady from the start? Not sure I’m finding the Laphroaig having said that, but there’s good molasses and perhaps elderflower jelly. Or there, could be that the peater adds aromas that are rather akin to those of a proper Jamaican. They could be onto something big here and I’m not joking. Some Martiniquans already used Islay whiskies, by the way. Mouth: hey, hey hey! I’m not saying it’s perfect rum, and frankly, it’s got some weak spots (the oak’s a little dirty and crayony at the same time), but the peater, not to mention the merlot, did add something spicy and herbal to this otherwise pretty bland base (I suppose it was bland). Finish: a little short, with touches of pineapples and flower jellies. Comments: I think it’s worth working further on this metanoical concept. You can’t quite impart further damage to a Dominican anyway (oh, S.!). So with encouragements…
SGP:342 - 72 points.

Since we just had something partly from Panama… (ad since I’m in a good mood)…

Uitvlugt 20 yo 1998/2018 (59.2%, Valinch & Mallet, cask #19-2001R, 221 bottles)

Panama 12 yo 2006/2018 ‘PMD’ (58.6%, Valinch & Mallet, 279 bottles) Two stars
This ‘should’ come from Don José, a.k.a. Abuelo. But let’s forget about any OBs, they’re all horrible anyway, and focus on the selecting skills of the better IBs… Colour: deep gold. Nose: coffee and fudge, with hints of toasted oak and sugarcane juice. With water: light rum, with oranges and a little hay, a metallic touch, an earthy one as well, and a little oak. Mouth (neat): oranges and molasses, plus tutti frutti spirit and literally litres of orange liqueur. Looks like we’re safe, having said that, I’m not finding too much sugar. With water: more oranges. Finish: short, orange-y, sweeter. A lot of lavender and mint in the aftertaste. Comments: light rum for lovers of light rums. Not my preferred style, but within that style, it’s probably a very good one. <PC-mode off>.
SGP:530 - 75 points.

Okay Mr. Valinch and Mrs. Mallet, let’s talk…

Uitvlugt 20 yo 1998/2018 (59.2%, Valinch & Mallet, cask #19-2001R, 221 bottles)

Uitvlugt 20 yo 1998/2018 (59.2%, Valinch & Mallet, cask #19-2001R, 221 bottles) Four stars and a half
This one from the Port Mourant double wooden still when it was still at Uitvlugt, so before it was moved to Diamond Distillery in 2000. Hey, are you following me? Colour: gold. Nose: absolutely wonderful, with the trademark menthol and olives, plus the widest range of small aromatic herbs on the market. Such as dill, tarragon, patchouli, wormwood… With water: orange blossom, menthol, nougat, black olives, liquorice wood. What a combination! Mouth (neat): there’s a point, when you blend natural mint and orange liqueurs; where you reach some kind of utterly perfect balance. That’s exactly the case here. With water: ah, these wee soapy tones that often come with reduction and that will just take their time. No worries, I’m in no hurry. Zzz zzz zzz… After ten minutes: got them, they are almost gone. More oranges and olive juices and oils. Finish: medium, getting drier. Liquorice. Comments: careful with water, one again. In my very moderate experience, it’s much easier to reduce whisky than these phenolic (like) rums.
SGP:362 - 88 points.

Oh, something funny…

Teeda 5 yo (40%, OB, Japan, +/-2018)

Teeda 5 yo (40%, OB, Japan, +/-2018) Four stars
This stems from the infamous Helios Distillery on Okinawa, where they also ‘make’ that fake Japanese whisky called Kura. So, what is this rum? Truly Japanese or just sourced, blended, and kanji-ed? We cannot spend hours roaming the Web to try to find out (ha, the dark dungeons of the Web!) so let’s just taste this… Colour: white wine. Nose: hold on, this is very nice! There’s something floral (jasmine), something spicier (caraway), and then a rather estery combination that hints at either Fiji, or Thailand. Really very nice, if Helios make this themselves (I mean distil), well, congrats! Mouth: I find this really very good. Notes of sake (but of course, S.), orange liqueur, parfait amour, Linie aquavit, then drops of seawater, poppy seeds, and pomegranates. Agreed, that’s an unusual combo, but it works even at those lousy 40% vol. Surprise surpise. Finish: not too long, but on a lot of liquorice and aniseed. So, aniseed-flavoured liquorice, if you will. Comments: sometimes the world of spirits surprises you. I’m about to buy a bottle of this, imagine, but it’s true that I’m a dedicated aniseed freak.
SGP:362 - 86 points.

While we’re on Okinawa (and full of good will…)

Cor Cor ‘Red’ (40%, Japan, +/-2019)

Cor Cor ‘Red’ (40%, Japan, +/-2019) Two stars
Cor Cor Green had been very disappointing the other day (WF 55), but the Red might be better. It’s supposed to shelter more esters, although it’s molasses-based, while the lousy ‘Green’ was rather based on cane juice… Having said that, it seems that the sugarcanes were grown on Okinawa, and not imported. Colour: white. Nose: all right. Apricotine (Swiss apricot eau-de-vie) and seashells, whelks, clams… how does that sound? Add crushed anchovies and some sour kinds of bean curds and you get a very unusual, although pretty sympathetic combination. Did I mention tinned sardines? Mouth: not too sure. More anchovies, ink, concrete dust, sour cherries, urchins, touches of rubber (stamps?), caper brine, and probably that seaweed we now all eat in our salads. That’s right, thanks, wakame! Finish: medium; dirty-ish, saltier. Perhaps mussels in the aftertaste, as well as, guess what? Sugar cane! Hurray! Comments: a lot of fun and funk in this one. I remember some baijus that were a little similar. Pretty unscorable if you ask me, what’s sure is that I like this odd baby better than its green counterpart. .
SGP:352 - 70 points.

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