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

January 19, 2020


Another small bunch of rums

This and that from wherever they come, really…


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!

Espero ‘Reserva Especial’ (40%, OB, Dominican Republic, +/-2019)

Espero ‘Reserva Especial’ (40%, OB, Dominican Republic, +/-2019) one star and a half
Apparently, this one was aged in a 7 to 12 year solera. Please make up your mind! Having said, that, espero means ‘I hope’ in Spanish, so, we have… hope. Colour: pale gold. Good news, caramel’s been used sparingly. Nose: it’s very light, with notes of ethanol and even antifreeze at very first nosing, then some kind of hay juice, sour fruits, and of course, vanilla. Some aspects are pretty pleasant though (cane juice), so there’s still… hope. Mouth: extremely light and pretty sweet, but not quite cloyingly so. More sour fruits, this feeling of hay juice once again, liquorice wood, dried herbs (woodruff?), sawdust, and then more and more sugar. That rather kills the whole, sadly. Some burnt caramel that would also leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Finish: short, a little dry and dirty, cardboardy, dusty… Some unexpected aniseed in the aftertaste. Comments: dashed hope, I would say, but that was to be expected. Low-to-average quality rum, not totally terrible, probably for cocktails only. Lo espero!
SGP:630 - 67 points.

Barbancourt 8 yo ***** (43%, OB, Haiti, +/-2018)

Barbancourt 8 yo ***** (43%, OB, Haiti, +/-2018) one star and a half
Yep that would be 5 stars. This is ‘new Barbancourt’, so all ex-columns I believe, but we’ve already tried some pretty good ones, even if older Barbancourts were in a different league. Well, as far as I can tell.  Colour: gold. Nose: this nose is a bit similar to that of the Espero, so very light, a tad metallic, with some hay, vanilla and touches of cracked pepper. Nice-ish, nothing to write home about. Very ‘columny’, similar to some young Scotch grain whisky. I know, not obligatorily good news. Mouth: a good two steps over the Dominican, but it’s still too ethanoly to me, thin, grassy, almost dusty. Coffee dregs, and no sugar whatsoever. This is where you start to understand why some makers are adding sugar when a make’s a little bland. Finish: medium, with touches bananas and pears, and alcohol again in the aftertaste. Say Smirnoff. Blakc pepper in the aftertaste. Comments: very disappointing. One extra-point because of the absence of added sugar.
SGP:330 - 68 points.

Back to the Domrep, without fear…

Kirk & Sweeney 18 yo (40%, OB, Dominican Republic, +/-2019)

Kirk & Sweeney 18 yo (40%, OB, Dominican Republic, +/-2019) Two stars
Overpackaged given the pedigree and the price, bad sign. And not sure we should believe the age statement here, that’s probably the age of the oldest drop that’s ever been in the vatting tank, although we’d love to be proven wrong. Colour: amber. Nose: molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup, sultanas, vanilla and café latte. This won’t displease anyone, I’m sure. Perfect restaurant rum, shall we say. Mouth: syrup, jam, molasses honey, raisins, rubber. It’s neither Bumbu nor Don Papa, but the sugar level remains high and makes this baby had to enjoy without a pile of ice. Finish: medium, rather on coffee and chocolate, which is nicer. Quite a lot of bitter caramel in the aftertaste. Comments: for good people who cannot have an espresso without at least three sugar cubes. I do not like it much, but as they used to say after Vietnam, we’ve seen worse. With apologies to all the French and American vets.
SGP:730 - 70 points.

More serious stuff please…

Reimonenq 6 yo 2012/2018 (54%, Cave Guildive, Guadeloupe, 268 bottles)

Reimonenq 6 yo 2012/2018 (54%, Cave Guildive, Guadeloupe, 268 bottles) Four stars and a half
Reimonenq isn’t very well-known (to me, at least, even if I’ve tried a wee bunch already), even less so at the indies. Well done, Swiss friends! Colour: deep gold. Nose: burst with fresh oranges, cane juice, and rather more diesel oil, rubber and tar than usual. Wonderful whiffs of ylang-ylang. It’s an unusual Guadeloupian indeed! One with a view of Jamaica or Trinidad, I would say. With water: the honeyed firmness of a proper agricole, with a little almond oil in the background. Certainly not a light rhum! Mouth (neat): wonderful, still very unusual, both rich, fruity and silky on the one side, and tarry and estery on the other side. Big pineapples, liquorice allsorts, and engine oil. Not that we quaff engine oil every morning mind you, as we haven’t driven an old British car since… the 1980s. Ha. With water: the fruits win (pineapples, mangos, oranges) but the faint estery, tarry side remains there. Works very well. Finish: medium to long, rather more on antique herbs and fruits cordials, or Mandarine Impériale, old Cointreau and stuff... A little sugar (or litchi syrup) in the aftertaste, where does that come from? Comments: we shall call this a very good surprise.
SGP:642 - 88 points.

Port Mourant 13 yo 2005/2018 (48.5%, The Rum Mercenary)

Port Mourant 13 yo 2005/2018 (48.5%, The Rum Mercenary) Five stars
I suppose this will be very good. Love the strength too, we’ll give our pipette a rest. Colour: white wine. Nose: immaculate, on seawater, olive brine, and diesel oil. Do you really need more litterature? Of course you don’t, let’s move on… Mouth: classic fresh un-fiddled-with Port Mourant, but with something extra. We’re virtually having oysters with some olive oil, lemon juice, liquid tar, tabasco, and a good glass of bone-dry chenin from the Loire Valley. It’s getting drier and drier over time – but time is short since you cannot not down this at a good speed. Finish: long and lime-y. Green pepper in the aftertaste. Comments: unquestionably one of the greatest distillates out there. Why don’t DDL rather issue this kind of un-stuffy expression? I know, because only die-hard spirit freaks like this style. Fair enough.
SGP:463 - 90 points.

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







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