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

October 18, 2020


Rums as they came in

Rum’s a buoyant category, with a lot of new ones and even the jerky makers starting to do better ones. Let’s see what we have in the ‘new arrivals box’….

W.I.R.D. 33 yo 1986/2020 (58.8%, Silver Seal, Barbados)

W.I.R.D. 33 yo 1986/2020 (58.8%, Silver Seal, Barbados) Five stars
Wow, a thirty-three year old Black Rock! This is absolutely crazy. Colour: light gold – which in itself is surprising. European aging I suppose. Nose: the freshness is pretty incredible. I would mention soft nougat, bicycle inner tube, overripe pineapple and banana, some putty, some fresh mint, unexpected touches of honey-glazed ham, certainly some cane juice, wee touches of crushed anchovies and sardines, almond paste, then various teas, Assam, ho-chicha (roasted tea)… The freshness is really very impressive. Were they keeping the cask on Orkney? The 58% don’t even feel. With water: the brine coming out more. Mussels/oysters and smoked sausages, works as well as Robert Plant with Alison Krauss (not sure about that one, S.). Mouth (neat): hot and absolutely superb. In-your-face liquorice, cane juice, smoky coffee, brine, tar, toffee, salt, mocha… I find this extremely impressive indeed, totally not as shaky as some other oldies may get, so firm, assertive, and full. A little burnt caramel, which works very well in this context. Muscovado sugar. Yeah. With water: holy featherless crow, it keeps talking to us. Oranges and oysters, some Ardbeggy ashes, seaweed… Finish: long, very salty. Liquorice-y aftertaste. Comments: probably a rather infuriating bottle, that’s all I’ll say. Mi piacere.
SGP:563 - 91 points.

We might be going too fast…

Travellers 13 yo 2007/2020 (57.1%, Watt Rum, Belize, bourbon barrel, 326 bottles)

Travellers 13 yo 2007/2020 (57.1%, Watt Rum, Belize, bourbon barrel, 326 bottles) Four stars
We believe the good people behind Watt Rum are also behind Watt Whisky. Just saying. Colour: deep gold. Nose: it’s rather a miracle that this little coconutty rum would remain standing after the crazy old Bajan. The structure is lighter, the distillate thinner, but on the other hand there’s a delicate vanilla and sugar-cane combination, with some floral scents, ylang-ylang, heather, also more coconut, white chocolate… With water: similar, a little leafier, with more hay and fruit peels, banana skin, crushed sugarcane… Mouth (neat): probably one of the best within this lighter style. Chocolate, nougat, honey, rose jelly, popcorn, waffles, pancake sauce… With water: sugarcane syrup, praline and popcorn, roasted peanuts… Finish: medium, clean, honeyed. Sugarcane and maple syrups. Comments: a charming rum, not quite in the same league as the heavier Jamaicans or Guyanese, or indeed Bajan, but charming indeed. Good cask.
SGP:541 - 85 points.

Neisson ‘Bio Profil 107’ (53%, OB, Martinique, 2020)

Neisson ‘Bio Profil 107’ (53%, OB, Martinique, 2020) Two stars
This is an ‘ambré’ agricole, meaning that it only spent a few months in wood. The figure ‘107’ refers to a way of toasting the casks, but in true Whiskyfun fashion, we shan’t care. We do distillates, we don’t do wood. Bio means organic. Colour: white wine. Nose: I totally adore Neisson, but this is not for me. Too much butterscotch and vanilla. With water: not quite. Some rubber coming out, which may work well with shy woods, but just clashes with heady vanilla. Mouth (neat): it’s very good at first because the distillate is very good, and even some of the spices are rather lovely (Thai basil, anyone?) but there’s way too much buttered popcorn for me. I even find it rather cloying. With water: a little better, but that’s all thanks to the spirit. Earth, roots… The cakes and vanilla are unnecessary. Better white, as Trump would say (cockwomble alert!) Finish: rather long but too much on popcorn and nougat. Comments: I’m almost glad I could find a Neisson that I didn’t really care for. Proof that I’m not biased ;-).
SGP:631 - 76 points.

We’re going down, we need to do something!




Enmore 25 yo 1994/2020 (51%, The Wild Parrot for LMDW, Guyana)

Enmore 25 yo 1994/2020 (51%, The Wild Parrot for LMDW, Guyana)
This baby was distilled at Diamond in Georgetown. According to the colour, it’s been matured in the tropics. Colour: coffee with red hues. Nose: exactly as expected, that is to say on liquorice, coffee and menthol, with tinier, more delicate floral notes arising, lilies, camphor, plasticine, also molasses, rotting wood, black tea, leather polish… With water: amazing, on liquorice and verbena, wormwood, very old Port, black raisins, some mentholy old cognac… Something reminds of the best Armenian brandies, mind you. This is such a small planet! Mouth (neat): extremely thick and concentrated, this is almost a blend of essential oils with fruit liqueurs. Violets (parfait amour) and heavy liquorice. Huge. With water: earth, sweet mushrooms, liquorice allsorts, blackberry jam, cassis, malbec… Finish: long, with this lovely menthol that always works in any finishes. Crème de menthe. Comments: not a lazy old Demerara. The relatively low strength does not hint at tropical aging, but the taste does. Got any clues?
SGP:472 - 89 points.



Ready? Ready!...



Clarendon 36 yo 1984/2020 (74.8%, Plantation Extreme for LMDW, Jamaica, 348 bottles)

Clarendon 36 yo 1984/2020 (74.8%, Plantation Extreme for LMDW, Jamaica, 348 bottles)
Clarendon means Monymusk and 74.8% means attempted murder. Let me call my trusty lawyer… Colour: office coffee. Nose: varnish, nail polish remover, bourbon, acetone, black olives, murder. Why the hell do I love this? I think I need to call a shrink. With water: very high esters for sure (400?) so olives, glue, bakelite, new iPhone (not that very silly 12 that no one needs mind you), prunes, hoisin sauce… I think this is a beauty. A total brute but indeed, a beauty. I suppose no silly ‘dosage’ has been added, but let’s see…  Mouth (neat – am I not silly?): no, we’re beyond any limits. Walnut stain and rust inhibitor. NO sweetness whatsoever. With water: it would remain extremely dry and estery even at 40%, bone-dry, petroly, varnishy, very difficult at times, very acetic, with an extreme tannicity… and yet I’m tremendously (;-)) fond of this profile. I suppose it’s like these guys who just can’t quit bungee jumping or smoking unfiltered cigarettes. Some extremely delicate touches of raspberries and strawberries beneath all this panzer-like demonstration, well we know it’s a matter of funny molecules. Same with the heaviest peaters in whisky. Finish: quasi eternal and bone-dry. Over-infused thyme tea. Comments: total extreme fun. Well done Plantation, this was quite a statement. Hell, Donald-Trump and putrefaction, life’s way too short anyway! What’s more, I’m dead sure this kills COVID better than Trump’s Remdesivir and Chloroquine.
SGP:173 - 90 points.





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