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

September 1, 2019


Sunday rums

Always looking for malternatives, and trying to avoid the sugared-up ones! Not really, actually, those are kind of funny and without swill, there wouldn’t be ambrosia (not too proud of that one, I have to say).

Bounty Rum (40%, OB, St. Lucia, +/-2018)

Bounty Rum (40%, OB, St. Lucia, +/-2018) Two stars
This cheap baby by St. Lucia Distillers, naturally. So sugar or not sugar? Colour: white wine (hurray). Nose: hay, sugar cane, copper coins, fresh rhubarb, a touch of vanilla. It’s very light, but there is some ‘profile’, it’s is not flat at all. Intriguing, shall we say, and I’m not using it as a way of killing this little baby, not at all. Mouth: akin to many rums that you can drink over there in the Caribbean. Light, moderately cane-y not sweetened (gets a gold star here), and pleasantly grassy. Now, you still end-up wondering if you shouldn’t have prepared a daiquiri instead. Finish: short, a little rootier. Notes of cologne and gin. That’s nice (I mean, the roots). Comments: it’s fine, it doesn’t try to trick you, and you could quaff it like that. Or in a daiquiri, it’s got more flavours than most Cubans. BTW did you see that Diageo are about to push Santiago de Cuba? Good choice, it’s my favourite Cuban, let’s only hope they won’t Zacapa-ize it.
SGP: 440 - 72 points.

We could have a few clean Demeraras now, don’t you think?

Port Mourant (Diamond) 10 yo 2008/2018 (60.1%, Boogieman Import, Guyana, barrel, cask #72)

Port Mourant (Diamond) 10 yo 2008/2018 (60.1%, Boogieman Import, Guyana, barrel, cask #72) Four stars and a half
Why they have decided to put a portrait of Donald J. T. on the label, I don’t know. This from the Port Mourant still at Diamond Distillery. Colour: white wine. Nose: never has a blend of nail polish remover, pure acetone, diesel oil, and rotting turnips and cabbage been this pleasant. It’s pretty high-ester at first, but gets then softer, more on cut grass and fruit peels. Apples. With water: drier, more on ink, plasticine and soot. Mouth (neat): very good. Starts a little soapy – you’ve almost drunk the hand cream – but that’s usual with these makes, and tends to go away fast, which it does. Then drops of lavender cologne, then diesel oil again, some softer olive brine (diluted), and a wee burnt side. Nothing frightening. With water: impeccable. There are even kippers, just like in any good Islay. Finish: long, brine-y, olive-y, paraffiny. You just ate a small candle. Comments: seriously good stuff, totally distillate-driven.
SGP:462 - 88 points.

Enmore 28 yo 1990/2019 (54.9%, The Duchess, Guyana, bourbon, cask #49, 202 bottles)

Enmore 28 yo 1990/2019 (54.9%, The Duchess, Guyana, bourbon, cask #49, 202 bottles) Four stars and a half
This old rum from Enmore’s Versailles wooden pot still. The Duchess is an excellent little house, wondering if that duchess had her habits at the court of the Louis XIV, in Versailles. Not really. Colour: straw. It’s glorious to be able to have some nearly-30 years old rum that remained close to the original distillate, is it not. Nose: it’s very delicate, soft, flowery (lilies), with tiny spices, herbs and meadow flowers. Caraway flowers, woodruff, honeysuckle, elderflowers… It’s almost embroidery, or lace. With water: plasticine, balsa wood, one olive. Mouth (neat): so good! Once again it’s pretty subtle, with more tiny herbs and ‘stuff’, pine needles, a touch of liquorice, some cake that got a bit burnt, some pear purée or compote, and just a little tar and lemons. A hint of sea salt. With water: lemon, olive and brine up. Finish: rather long, still on lemon, olive and brine, plus a little tar and plasticine. Comments: sure it does not feel like it’s 28, rather 15, but no problems at all, time added a few subtleties that would just justify this extended European maturation. Sounds like I’m talking about the E.U., does it not. Lovable rum, bordering 90.
SGP:362 - 89 points.

Uitvlugt 21 yo 1997/2019 (49.1%, The Rum Mercenary, Black Label Collection, Guyana)

Uitvlugt 21 yo 1997/2019 (49.1%, The Rum Mercenary, Black Label Collection, Guyana) Five stars
In theory… Colour: white wine. Nose: and in practice, this is brilliant rum. Once again there is a softer esterness, some soot, some plastic, some ink, plasticine, olives, brake paddles, hay, new book, sandalwood, potpourri, camphor, and hashish. Seriously, a little hashish. Mouth: ooh! Smoked sardines, black olives, paraffin, tarry liquorice, salt. Aren’t shorter tasting notes all the rage this year? Finish: long and just perfect. Perhaps a notch sweeter, as if some spirit hacker would have added a few drops of pineapple juice. But who would do that? Seriously, this is nothing, this is fabulous rum. Violet sweets in the aftertaste - love that too. Comments: absolutely exceptional. Well done, Mr. Mercenary.
SGP:462 - 91 points.

I have an idea (oh, nohhhh…)

Old Hudson’s Bay Demerara Rum (151°proof, OB, Guyana, 1940s)

Old Hudson’s Bay Demerara Rum (151°proof, OB, Guyana, 1940s) Four stars
I used to know Hudson’s Bay for their whisky, but it’s the first time I come across some rum by them. Some rum bottled at, wait, 151°US Proof/2 = 75.5% vol. Is that really possible? Shall we survive? This was bottled in the UK and exported to the US as some rum from ‘British Guiana’.  Tell me about some carbon footprint! Colour: coffee. Nose: not that strong, but it’s shock-full of roasted nuts of all kinds, of liquorice, of chestnut purée, of prunes, and probably of caramel. Goes on with a lot of coffee liqueur. The very high strength doesn’t feel much, but this is such an old bottle! With water: changes a lot, getting meaty, bacterial, yeasty, and really full of umami. More so than Marmite. After that, a whole bag of huge black raisins, Corinth-style. Mouth (neat): oh my oh my, this is strong indeed, and hard to describe. In fact it is extremely tarry and pine-y, and coffee-ish. Imagine some mad scientist would have blended espresso, mint cordial, tar liqueur and fir sap, then redistilled that mixture twice. Cough! With water: some more modern Demerara-iness emerges. I would have loved to know where this was distilled, although this or those distilleries probably do not exist anymore. Very thick, tarry, coffee-ish and raisiny. I do find a touch of sugar, but that’s probably collateral, and not added afterwards. Collateral sugar, yet another stupid wording by your very humble WF. Finish: extremely long, rather ashy, thick, coffee-ish, and frankly invading. Are we done now? Comments: it’s pretty amazing, extremely potent, and sure did the high alcohol preserve everything for all those years. This is eternal, they could bring these bottles to Mars. We’ll score it because we must do so (are you sure, S.?).
SGP:563 - 86 points.

Yeah go climb over such a monster! Only one solution, go white and undiluted…

Bielle ‘Brut de Colonne’ (72.6%, Old Brothers, Marie-Galante, agricole, 2018)

Bielle ‘Brut de Colonne’ (72.6%, Old Brothers, Marie-Galante, agricole, 2018) Four stars
Brothers always did nice things in spirits. The Berry’s, the Cortis, the Garrisons, The Thompsons… No, perhaps not the Pattisons… As for ‘Brut de Colonne’, that means ‘Straight from the Column’, but in reality, this baby was aged for 28 months in stainless steel. It was distilled from fresh canne grise/grey cane. Let’s proceed with caution… Colour: white. Nose: very new-make-y, almost as new-make-y as newly made whisky, which is unusual as white rum should be much more aromatic. But at this strength, I suppose not much shall pass. With water: pure cane juice, really. It’s an exact transposition of the raw materials, with just additional touches of aniseed, or fennel seeds. It is extremely pure, immaculate, and nearly philosophical. Mouth (neat): yeah, perhaps, aniseed, liquorice and angelica. Not too sure… With water: ah, yes, it opens up, becoming wonderfully earthy, with some liquorice and once again, some pure cane juice. I’m sure you could make some stunning canchàncharas out of this. 60% rum, 20% honey, 20% lime juice., ice. Good night! Finish: medium, with a touch of salt, plasticine, tangerine, and fish oil. Really, fish oil. Comments: wonderful white rum. The expected saltiness is a little lazy, but it arrives eventually. I find it a little narrower and softer than another one that was bottled by the Old Brothers at 72.8%.
SGP:551 - 86 points.

(gracias, Joe)

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