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

September 26, 2021


Another wee bag of five rums

I suppose that world-class headline was rather self-explanatory.

Santos-Dumont 'XO Palmira' (40%, OB, Brazil, +/-2020)

Santos-Dumont 'XO Palmira' (40%, OB, Brazil, +/-2020) one star and a half
Feels a bit 'pushed' on the marketing side but why not, we prefer aviation pioneers over unlikely heroes of some long-forgotten revolutions. This one spent some time in vin doux naturel casks. Colour: gold. Nose: really nice, cane-y, a little 'Cuban' rather than South-American, with a rather lovely earthiness and whiffs of old well-taken-care-of humidor, overripe bananas and drier molasses. Good surprise this one, even if we're not flying in the stratosphere yet (S., it's Santos-Dumont! Right…) Mouth: blimey, it was sweetened up. Easy coconut and pineapple syrup, Toplexil, kid's mouthwash… And to be fair, a little sugarcane syrup. Finish: short, sugary, pretty cloying. Comments: to be honest it wasn't that bad, and the nose was really nice. Now the very sugary palate rather needs a whole iceberg.
SGP:730 - 69 points.

Immediate measures have to be taken…

Diamond 2017/2018 'MPM' (85%, L'Esprit, Guyana, Cuvée Edgar)

Diamond 2017/2018 'MPM' (85%, L'Esprit, Guyana, Cuvée Edgar) Four stars
Sweet Vishnu! Isn't this the strongest spirit we've ever tried in this life and on this planet? MPM means 'Main Port Mourant'. It's not often that these rums come to us virtually unaged. And at, cough, 85% vol… Colour: white. Nose: diesel oil, olive oil, cactus juice and acetone. Well more or less, we're not trying too hard… With water: pears, mezcal, sugar cane, sour wine, crushed anchovies… That's all fine. Mouth (neat – because we must): pears. Any spirits at this strength will display pears. And aged spirit, you ask? Well I don't think there's any aged spirit at this strength, which, by the way, you could only achieve with columns, I would suppose – and yet, this is pot still rum! A double pot still that is. You read that right. With water: 50% spirit, 50% water, that's new to me (except in pastis). The result is excellent, between lime juice, brine and with an oily side. Turpentine and drawing gum. Finish: extremely long and unexpectedly salty. And very good. Comments: seriously, you get two bottles for the price of just one here. I find the juice superb and the idea wonderful, you only have to make sure you've got water on the side, and that your spectacles won't get opaque because of the vapours. Wonderful drop, really, I would just suggest you put the bottle into the fridge. And add no ice then. Oh and with caviar…

SGP:473 - 87 points.

One day we'll do a large session with only newmakes or quasi-newmakes of world. I'll just have to first call the insurance company.

Tiba 13 yo 2008/2021 (57%, Tamosi, Panama)

Tiba 13 yo 2008/2021 (57%, Tamosi, Panama) Four stars
Panama sounds awkward, but Tamosi does not, at all, so let's keep an open mind…  Colour: deep gold. Nose: triple-sec and sultanas all over the place, with whiffs of dill and orange blossom. Feels pretty light this far, as far as styles are concerned. With water: oh cool, vegetables, salsify, celeriac, manioc… Pretty complex, this. Panama, really?  Mouth (neat): oh nice! Many fresh tropical fruits, white pineapples, bananas, mangos, all that within a rather tart and nervous style. Some radish. Very intriguing. With water: oh great, subtle and complex, with fruits and vegetables that are rather well-behaved. Do you know white raspberries, for example? And sweet carrots. Notes of beets too, which is as lovely. Finish: medium, perhaps even a tad short – this ain't Hampden – but the style is wonderful, with a very delicate – and unexpected - saltiness. Comments: Panama? Are we sure? Great work at Tamosi's.

SGP:462 - 86 points.

Jamaica 11 yo 2010/2021 'WP' (63.4%, Rasta Morris, bourbon, cask #RM014)

Jamaica 11 yo 2010/2021 'WP' (63.4%, Rasta Morris, bourbon, cask #RM014) Five stars
More from the Belgian connection. They would tend to do it right. Colour: gold. Nose: oh! White asparagus and fennel seeds over engine oil and thyme tea. Emphasis on thyme tea, that's extremely unusual. And awesome, hope that won't vanish in the air once we've added water. With water: I see that partly came from the oak. Some rosehip too, prickly pears, a little vetiver and menthol, wormwood, absinth… What a wonderful complexity, 11 is a great age. Mouth (neat): whole generations will quibble over this most important issue, Worthy Park or Hampden? In truth this WP is luminous and thrilling, not just 'bacteria-loaded', with for example notes of jasmine that are rarely seen to this extent. Well, in my own little book. With water: just extremely good. Earthy liquorice, anchovies in brine, olives, tinned sardines… Finish: long, salty, with a lot more liquorice and always these preserved fish, anchovies… Comments: impressive drop, I've tried hard to find something bad to say, but I failed once again and we have no alternative but to concur with the general opinion (S, you talk like Biden).

SGP:363 - 90 points.

Let's call Hampden…

JHK Rum 12 yo 2009/2021 (62.1%, Thompson Bros., Jamaica, 322 bottles)

JHK Rum 12 yo 2009/2021 (62.1%, Thompson Bros., Jamaica, 322 bottles) Four stars
It's said that this would be 'very high ester' Hampden. I mean, 1500 g/hlpa or more, so the marque <DOK>. Colour: white wine. Nose: this feeling of nosing a freshly opened can of gherkins plus a lot of carbon paper and brake pad dust (after the Monaco Grand Prix). We're rather getting into love-it-or-hate-it thresholds here, I would way. With water: sameish. You cannot do much to this,  even a lot of water wouldn't shake it in any sorts of ways. Mouth (neat): too much for me. Your whole body, not only your brain, is sending warning messages. In short, this is extremely extreme. With water: very salty, dry, gritty, tarry… We've walked beyond the limits here. Finish: as long as a speech by Fidel, as we used to say when he was still alive and (kind of) kicking. Comments: I don't know what to say. In the end of the day, the seminal question needs be asked: "would I ask for another glass?" Not too sure. Now, let's be clear, this is ultimately excellent very extreme rum, but not for the fainthearted as they say. Rather a top-of-the-top dresser.
SGP:273 - 85 points.

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







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