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

July 5, 2020


Undiluted rums
for Aston

Tremble, mere mortal, today we shall constantly be navigating between 60 and 70% vol. Please wish me luck… By the way, this session in tribute to Whiskyfun’s main mouser Aston the Scottish Fold, who got hit by a car last week and didn’t make it. R.I.P. poor little Aston, who’s going to select my whiskies next week?

C.A.D.C. 14 yo 2005/2019 (60%, Silent Ambassador, Venezuela, cask #62, 145 bottles)

C.A.D.C. 14 yo 2005/2019 (60%, Silent Ambassador, Venezuela, cask #62, 145 bottles) Three stars
A new Belgian IB, that’s something to celebrate! What’s more, they have a great motto, ‘bibere humanum est, ergo bibamus’. Which, basically, means, ‘please pour us more’.  This baby matured for 12 years in a tropical climate and some further 2 years in Europe (which, by the way, is becoming pretty tropical too these days), while CADC stands for Corporacion Alcoholes Del Caribe. Not the first CADC we’re having, they can be pretty good even if they stem from high columns. Colour: amber. Nose: very soft, rounded, toffee-like, with hints of bourbon, vanilla and cane juice, then rather orange liqueur. Finely clean. With water: really nice, with bags of roasted nuts and a large cup of cappuccino. Mi piacere this nose. Mouth (neat): what I had already noticed, these CADCs may sometimes move towards agricole in a way, meaning that they’re more profound than your average Central-American oak-flavoured ethanol. Cake, matcha, praline, vanilla, café latte, butterscotch… With water: really good, soft of course, on Jaffa cakes. Finish: medium, closer to the raw sugarcanes. Had the columns been shortened when they made this? Comments: a difficult style (to me) but I believe this one made the most of the situation. In my book these rums never make it to 80.
SGP:540 - 82 points.

That one called for more ‘Silent Ambassador’ (don’t we sometimes wish a few ambassadors would keep quiet indeed?)

Monymusk 12 yo 2007/2019 (64%, Silent Ambassador, Jamaica, cask #37, 126 bottles)

Monymusk 12 yo 2007/2019 (64%, Silent Ambassador, Jamaica, cask #37, 126 bottles) Four stars and a half
As we say in France, glups! But Clarendon’s Monymusk can be superb, let’s just see if we get past the high ethanol content… Colour: white wine. Nose: mezcal, paint thinner, bicycle inner tube, williams pears, brine. Five aces! (S., really…) With water: big rubber, inner tubes, new sneakers, new iPhone… I’m sure you get the drift. Mouth (neat): lovely. Bitter almonds, acetone, varnish, tar, lemon juice, green olives. But boy it’s hot! With water: it remains rubbery, solventy and tarry, in a very good way. Quite smoky too, and rather less brine-y and lemony this time. Finish: long and very tarry. Comments: probably the most tarry Jamaican, with less of the zestiness that one could find in Hampden or Worthy Park. Having said that, I like it very much, I’m sure you could use it to patch a flat tyre. No, seriously.
SGP:463 - 88 points.

Good, after Venezuela and Jamaica, let’s move to, say, Nicaragua? With even higher strengths…

Nicaragua 13 yo 2004/2017 (66%, Cave Guildive, bourbon)

Nicaragua 13 yo 2004/2017 (66%, Cave Guildive, bourbon) Three stars
They wouldn’t tell you about the distillery, but I suppose this stems from Flor de Caña a.k.a. Compañía Licorera de Nicaragua. Colour: amber. Nose: I think the Venezuelan was a little deeper and better structured, while this is really light and, as we say, columny. Having said that I rather enjoy these notes of pineapples flambéed. Flambéed with rum, naturally. Oranges too, and varnish as well. With water: fine, more brioche-y, with a little mocha and butterscotch. Mouth (neat): some coconut, it seems, vanilla, corn syrup perhaps, milk chocolate, halva… But it burns, let’s be careful. With water: all clear and good, not that light and not that, well, empty, just a tad thin here and there. A little oak and caramel, more butterscotch, biscuits, bananas… Finish: rather a little short, but nicely cake-y and on bananas. Fambéed! Comments: you know, these bottlers are having the cream of the crop from those third-tier distilleries. Very good rums but in no way representative of the brands and distilleries’ usual outputs.
SGP:640 - 81 points.

How about Panama?

Panama 12 yo 2004 (62%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #R9.2, refill barrel, 243 bottles, +/-2017)

Panama 12 yo 2004 (62%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #R9.2, refill barrel, 243 bottles, +/-2017) Two stars and a half
Nicknamed ‘Paddington bear’s first sip’. What are the police doing? It’s to be noted that #R9.1 had been pretty good (WF81). No ideas as for the distillery, would you have any? Abuelo stuff? Malecon? Cortez? Well, probably Don Jose. Colour: full gold. Nose: this time it’s vanilla and melons that first speak out, then cane juice. Very simple, but clean and really pleasant. But remember, 62% vol. With water: oh, lovely floral scents, dandelions, honeysuckle… And lighter honey (acacia) and vanilla. It was a good, well-behaved barrel for sure. Mouth (neat): good, extremely pastry-like. Danishes, sugar rolls, marshmallows, coconut balls and assorted sweet flavours. Pretty regressive and a little cloying indeed, I get that Paddington stuff now. With water: really sweet, almost sugary, while that cannot be added sugar I suppose. No silly ‘dosage’ at the SMWS unless I’m wrong, and unless it’s been seasoned at birth, like they do with some El Dorados if I’m not mistaken. Finish: short and sugary. Not the best part. Comments: lovely nose, but the palate was a little too sweet for me. So much for Paddington.
SGP:630 - 78 points.

Time for a last ethanol bomb… Oh maybe this…

Gunroom ‘Navy Rum’ (65%, OB, +/-2018)

Gunroom ‘Navy Rum’ (65%, OB, +/-2018) Three stars and a half
This is a no-age-statement blend of rums from Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad, and some high-ranked people claim that it is what Boris Johnson uses as hair lotion. Oh and Trump uses Pappy, did you know that? Colour: gold. Nose: much lighter than expected, but well in the ‘Navy’ style, with some rubber, brine, tar, rotting fruit… With water: the brine won it and it now comes with menthol, which we’ll always applaud. Mouth (neat): both fat and petroly, and columny and light. It’s not impossible that they would have used a blend of pot and column. Lemon, sugar syrup, coconut, tar, overripe bananas, moist vanilla pods… With water: good, really, well balanced, well composed. Lovers of ester bombs won’t like it a lot, neither will fans of daiquiri-ready light rums. All the others will enjoy it, I would wager. Finish: medium, a bit on the sweeter/easier side perhaps. Limoncello in the aftertaste, always a good sign (except in limoncello, maybe). Salt. Comments: a rather good surprise, I was afraid this would have been just another crookery by brand-building hipsters (which the bottle would have suggested).
SGP:462 - 84 points.

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