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

October 25, 2020



A word of caution
Let me please remind you that my humble assessments of any spirits are done from the point of view of a malt whisky enthusiast who, what's more, is aboslutely not an expert in rum, brandy, tequila, vodka, gin or any other spirits. Thank you – and peace!


Another bag of new rums

Perhaps some malternatives, let’s see.




Chalong Bay ‘Wild Fermentation’ (49%, OB, Thailand, 2020)

Chalong Bay ‘Wild Fermentation’ (49%, OB, Thailand, 2020)
I suppose wild fermentation means wild yeasts. This is pure sugarcane juice. I am a fan of Chalong Bay. Colour: white. Nose: lovable. New plastics, fresh cane juice, baker’s yeast, capers, new jumper, touches of juniper and nutmeg, oysters, pickled gherkins, a drop of tequila. I find this nose pretty superb and very deep. Do not overlook Chalong Bay just because they’re located in Phuket! Mouth: super-good, I remember I’ve tried some raw ‘peasant’s’ aguardientes in Cuba that were a bit like this. Muscovado, sugarcane syrup, artichokes and capers, a little tar… It really tastes of raw cane sugar, while being less grassy and olive-y than other Chalongs. We’ll try another one soon… Finish: medium, really all on cane sugar. That’s where it may all become a little ‘toom much’, but now quibbles, it’s still very good rum. Comments: as I said, I’m a fan, but this one’s perhaps a tad tiring because it’s so much on cane sugar. I suppose it’s stupid to blame it for that but I liked the ‘High Proof Batch 0001’ really better the other day (WF 85).
SGP:631 - 80 points.



Savanna 16 yo 2003/2020 (52.7%, OB, La Réunion, cask #987, 936 bottles)

Savanna 16 yo 2003/2020 (52.7%, OB, La Réunion, cask #987, 936 bottles)
We’ve loved their new Grand Arôme last week, but this is a traditional ex-molasses old rhum. Should be much rounder… Colour: amber. Nose: I love to be proven wrong when what we get is rather a full-blown agricole style. Superb menthol, oranges, plasticine, apricot pie, maple syrup, aniseed and liquorice, wild carrots… Well, this is a superb, full and complex nose that I would almost call Marie-Galante-y, if you see what I mean. That’s right, that’s around 20,000 kilometres away as the crow flies. With water: not that many changes. Probably more liquorice. Lovely. Mouth (neat): oh caraway and aniseed, sweet paprika sauce, maple syrup, black nougat, pancake sauce, caramel, fudge… Rather a sin this far, be careful. It’s a bit syrupy but I’m sure no one dared sauce this up. With water: of course no one did, it got dry when reduced, and much more on oranges, triple-sec, marmalade… Finish: not eternal but fresh and well balanced between orange juice and maple syrup. One should definitely try this one over pancakes. No, you go first. A drop of bottled orange juice too. Some coffee liqueur in the aftertaste. Comments: we’re almost in the French West Indies with this one. Excellent.
SGP:551 - 87 points.




Let’s fly to Barbados…

Foursquare 14 yo 2005/2020 (62.7%, The WhiskyFind for HNWS Taiwan 15th Anniversary, Barbados, hogshead, cask #7, 270 bottles)

Foursquare 14 yo 2005/2020 (62.7%, The WhiskyFind for HNWS Taiwan 15th Anniversary, Barbados, hogshead, cask #7, 270 bottles) Four stars and a half
Looks like they’re doing the best rums too in Taiwan. Hello Taiwan! Colour: old gold. Nose: typical, with many things in smaller proportions, if you see what I mean. Earth, black olives, balsam, oranges, touches of balsamic vinegar, liquorice, pipe tobacco, fresh cane juice, a drop of sour beer, a wee mustiness (can you say wee in rum?) With water: liquorice up, earth up, softer spices up (curry), pleasure further up. Mouth (neat): it’s really punchy but I’ve just noticed the strength (tell me about a blogger). Something a tad prickly but I suppose that’s the strength indeed. Too salty for Foursquare too, so quick, H2O! With water: oranges quarters coated with honey and caramel sauce, Belgian waffles, Cointreau. In truth there’s really a lot of Cointreau. Reminds me of Soupe de Champagne (champagne, sugarcane syrup, Cointreau, lemon juice – please find the proportions online). Finish: medium, always well balanced, with this small lightness that almost always ‘lifts’ Foursquare in the end. Caramel and, indeed, a saltiness. Comments: as good as it gets but goes down a little too well. Granted, perhaps not at 62.7% A.B.V.
SGP:552 - 89 points.

Since we’re in Barbados…

Barbados Oldest (Mount Gay) 19 yo 2000/2019 (54.3%, The Duchess, Barbados, cask #49)

Barbados Oldest (Mount Gay) 19 yo 2000/2019 (54.3%, The Duchess, Barbados, cask #49) Four stars and a half
You’ll find many birds on rum labels these days, which I find extremely cool since we all have to protect them. Why wouldn’t all rum or whisky makers or bottlers use their labels to promote worthy causes rather than plunder ancient books or out-of-use label books? That’s gonna happen, I’m sure. Colour: light gold. Nose: light, cane-y, with notes of hay, earl grey and orange cake, scones… It’s almost a five o’clock tea in England. And why not! With water: brine and olives, new Tupperware (do they still exist?) and sugarcane. Mouth (neat): rather firmer than the Foursquare, but less complex. Rotting fruits, a little tar, salty cakes. With water: there’s a very wee dusty side at first but also some splendid honeyed notes and some tarry and even smoky ones to boot. I find this excellent now. Honey-roasted pineapples. Finish: good length, with good tar and various peppers. Pink pepper. Comments: in fact this Bajan baby started a little light (ish) but never stopped improving. One more point every minute ;-) and on an equal footing with the Foursquare in the end. That wasn’t exactly expected, but remember, always give time to your spirits.
SGP:452 - 89 points.

Ten Cane Distillery 11 yo 2008/2019 (63%, The Duchess, Trinidad, cask #80, 232 bottles)

Ten Cane Distillery 11 yo 2008/2019 (63%, The Duchess, Trinidad, cask #80, 232 bottles) Four stars and a half
I’m extremely far from being a rum expert (I’m sure Mike Pence knows more) but I had just never heard of Ten Cane Distillery before. How bad is that? Apparently, it was a brand (or an actual distillery?) launched by LVMH in the early 2000s that never took off and that subsequently got shut down for good, in true Darwinian-capitalist fashion. You learn something new every day, don’t you! Colour: deep amber. Nose: hey! Have they tried to emulate Caroni? Olives, honey sauce, tar and liquorice, soot, gasoline, tarmac… and 63% vol. Caroni, really. So, with water: seawater, tarry nets, and the largest bag of Dutch liquorice ever. Quite some Swedish snuff too. Mouth (neat): did I say Caroni? Thick liquorice, salty bits of dried fish, concentrated caramel, brown sauce, corn syrup, bananas flambéed, menthol, tar… With water: a saltiness appearing. The craziest salted liquorice ever – at least to me as a Frenchman, I’m sure our dear friends up there in the north will find this as light as the feathers of a baby sparrow. Finish: long. Salted liquorice, Douglas fir liqueur, orange cordial and mint cream. That’s relatively heavy. Comments: good, I think this is excellent. What happened LVMH? Too soon? Too impatient? Perhaps the name? I mean, Ten Cane…
SGP:553 - 88 points.

Next week we may have a go at Renegade’s very first run! Stay tuned…

(Thank you Tony)

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