Google More rums and hopefully more malternatives

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


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2020


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

October 11, 2020





More rums and hopefully more malternatives



Now, now that the prices have reached those of malt whisky, it’s all becoming a little less crucial, is it not. More and more learned voices are telling me I should rather have a closer look at Calvados by the way, so we’ll see…



Clairin Communal Ansyen (49.3%, OB, LMDW, Haiti, 2964 bottles, 2020)

Clairin Communal Ansyen (49.3%, OB, LMDW, Haiti, 2964 bottles, 2020)
This a blend of four distilleries, married for around two years in ex-rum and ex-whisky casks. Should be good. Colour: gold. Nose: there, diesel oil. And then curry, gingerbread, black olives, rotting pineapples, burnt tyres (in other words, dragster wheels), then camphor, jasmine, old cigars, lilies, liquorice… And more diesel oil, or there, Tesla batteries. Indeed, one must keep up with what's going on in the world. Mouth: it is totally impossible to resist this huge load of salty liquorice, brine and tar. Holy feartherless crow! It is not the subtlest spirit ever made by honest men, and perhaps is it even a little one-dimensional, but I just adore this style. Now if you’re firmly against salted liquorice, you may abstain here. Finish: long, hyper-compact, pretty rich, salty and always loaded with liquorice and natural rubber. A little rich honey in the aftertaste. Chestnut. Comments: hell and damnation, what was that? There’s ‘L’union fait la force’ written on the label, which is Haiti’s motto. And Belgium’s, if I’m not wrong.
SGP:564 – 90 points.



Let’s hop to Martinique…



Neisson 2016/2020 ‘Rhum Vieux Bio’ (52.3%, OB, LMDW, Martinique, 470 bottles)

Neisson 2016/2020 ‘Rhum Vieux Bio’ (52.3%, OB, LMDW, Martinique, 470 bottles)
Have I ever told you what I think of Neisson? I know, they’re expensive, but they’re fantastic too and they do not make 15mio litres of spirit a year, mind you. Oh, ‘bio’ means ‘organic’. Colour: gold. Nose: probably not exactly as complex as the other week’s VSOP, and perhaps a little more on fresh oak (vanilla and coconut). A little less character perhaps, and more straight ‘soft agricole’ aromas. Sugar cane, cookies, bananas, vanilla, a little earth…  Now water may change the game. With water: coconut wine, a touch of metal (copper kettle), some kind of liquoricy mushrooms perhaps. Sure that exists, check rodopaxillus nudus (bragging a bit but no harm done I hope). Mouth (neat): nah, it is excellent. Earth and liquorice, black nougats, heather honey, beeswax, a touch of candy sugar, dried bananas, a tiny mint drop… With water: for once, water doesn’t change much. Finish: long, a tad fruitier, a little more on tropical fruit jams. Mango and banana, I would say. Comments: excellent, just a tad less impressive than the latest VSOP in my humble book. I would add that the Clairin is a serial killer, always tricky as #1 in a line-up (which I hadn’t anticipated, silly me).
SGP:641 - 88 points.



Savanna 15 yo 2003/2020 ‘Grand Arôme’ (66.5%, OB, La Réunion, cognac cask, cask #251, 420 bottles)

Savanna 15 yo 2003/2020 ‘Grand Arôme’ (66.5%, OB, La Réunion, cognac cask, cask #251, 420 bottles)
Seen the strength? And the fact that it’s grand arôme, so long fermentation? This is vintage 2003 but only filled in 2004, so I suppose they keep the white rum in tuns before they fill their casks. Or do they keep the molasses? Not too sure, I’ll have to fly to La Réunion once the virus is gone for good. I believe this is ex-molasses, not cane juice, while they make both at Savanna. Colour: deep gold. Nose: crude oil, liquorice, earth, black olives, bakelite, capers, sour brine, nail polish, acetone, and a lot of ethanol, so let’s not push our luck. With water: oh lovely, old books in a library, attic, old oils and petrol in a garage, liquorice, roasted nuts of all kinds, burnt walnuts, wood smoke, deep-roasted Brussels sprouts (or something like that), carbon paper and new fiberglass… I find this bold and superb. Mouth (neat): bang, curry, liquorice and diesel oil. Extreme stuff, water is streng obligatory. With water: smoky and salty, with some deep floral tones (lavender) and some aniseed-flavoured liquorice. Very oily mouth feel. Finish: very long, rather on salted liquorice and salted anchovies. Some sour vegetables in the aftertaste – Brussels sprouts again? Comments: extreme rum that takes no prisoners. Keep your pipette within reach. I like it a lot.
SGP:473 - 88 points.



Since we’re having monsters, let’s take the next plane to Trinidad…



Caroni 20 yo 2000/2020 ‘Basdeo Dicky Ramsarran’ (64.3%, Velier for LMDW, Trinidad, 1251 bottles)

Caroni 20 yo 2000/2020 ‘Basdeo Dicky Ramsarran’ (64.3%, Velier for LMDW, Trinidad, 1251 bottles)
Another one from their ‘Employee’ series. By the way, they all have great names, they could be characters in the Lord of the Ring or Game of Thrones, no? (but don’t tell them I said that…) Colour: amber. Nose: much, much gentler than the Savanna, more delicate, with notes of praline, soft honeys, chestnut purée, ylang-ylang, fudge… But at this strength, those feelings are purely anecdotal, water is obligatory. With water: balsamic woods, thuja, cedar, notes of old tea, cold smoke. It remains pretty gentle, mind you. Mouth (neat): oh pine sap, putty, plasticine, varnish, ether and menthol that almost anaesthetise your lips and tongue… It’s very strong! With water: extremely sappy, empyreumatic, with something roasted, burnt woods, a lot of tar, cocoa, oloroso, plasticine… Actually it takes its time, getting tighter and brighter, displaying citrons after two minutes, and some honeyed  lemongrass after five of them. This one likes to play with you, like a young dog. Finish: not that eternal, and rather a little soft. Cigars and toffee? Having said that some diesel oil appears in the aftertaste. Comments: a rather enigmatic Caroni, would I say. Quality remains very high, naturally, but I’m afraid that stoopid clairin that I liked so much killed everything.
SGP:563 - 88 points.



Let’s see if the clairin would even kill a Hampden before we call this a session…



Hampden 10 yo 2010/2020 ‘LROK’ (59%, OB for LMDW, Jamaica, bourbon barrel, cask #92, 250 bottles)

Hampden 10 yo 2010/2020 ‘LROK’ (59%, OB for LMDW, Jamaica, bourbon barrel, cask #92, 250 bottles)
The marque LROK indicates a kind of average esteriness (150 to 400 g esters/hlpa), but remember all Hampdens are estery anyway, even the ‘lightest’ ones, as we could find out last week with a totally awesome and pretty complex OWH. Colour: deep gold. Nose: take tinned anchovies. Let marinate in benzine. Then smoke over burning fuel, then add olive oil, nail polish remover, and embrocations, then wait for a long time. It’s to be remembered that fermentations there are extremely long, sometimes weeks and weeks, and that shows. The notes of cedarwood, heady honey and rotting fruits (bananas) are splendid too. With water: brine, coal smoke, rucola, clay, olives, mezcal… Mouth (neat): huge, perhaps a tad monolithic, gritty, rather rustic, salty, kerosene-y, ridden with liquorice and a little tar and rubber, some lemon juice beneath all that… But this baby keeps hitting you, water’s obligatory once again. With water: ah yes, perfect. Some salty and lemon-flavoured tar and liquorice. Finish: long, dry, drying, ashy. Grapefruit juice in the aftertaste, which lifts it. Comments: this one managed to play on an even field with the clairin. By the way, there are very lovely original drawings of endemic Jamaican birds on those very elegant labels.
SGP:463 - 90 points.



There will be many more...




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







Whiskyfun's Home