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

November 21, 2021


Doing rums again

Since this is Sunday and since we did brandies last week…

Montebello 12 yo 1999 (40%, OB, Guadeloupe, cask #186, +/-2012)

Montebello 12 yo 1999 (40%, OB, Guadeloupe, cask #186, +/-2012) Three stars
A great idea, very badly executed. I mean, for example, 40% vol., what a let-down; now we do like Montebello, that's for sure, let's just hope this won't be a very frustrating path… Colour: gold. Nose: what a distillate, for crying out loud! Extraordinary notes of benzine, boat's spent engine oil, olives both green and black, anchovy paste, cane juice, liquorice… Amazing nose, one of the best in the Caribbean. But the truth lies on the palate, does it not… Mouth: what a magnificent olive-y, green, extremely liquoricy distillate! What a pity and a shame that they would have gone for those lousy 40% vol. that are synonymous with murder, damnation, putrefaction and laziness. Quite. Finish: shortish and yet, the distillate is utterly wonderful. Stunning liquorice. Comments: their thing of course, but some do get away with murder. Seppuku in your glass, really.
SGP:362 - 80 points.

Mirascielo (38%, OB, +/-2020)

Mirascielo (38%, OB, +/-2020)
Oh sugar, this is spiced rum of unknown origins, made-up like a truck stollen in Belarus and probably flavoured like any 'stuff' from Starbucks'. Now since we're here, let's do it… (you may skip to the next one, having said that)… Colour: gold. Nose: not much. Sweetened hay, perhaps? Other than that, nuffin' from nuffin'. Mouth: caramel sauce. Some kind of under-Don Papa, knowing that Don Papa's really very low already. Finish: none. Movie-theatre's popcorn. Comments: a bullshit brand, very weak and nasty drink, rather a scandal, let's call Scotland Yard.

SGP:420 - 15 points.

Serious stuff please… Hod on, what is this?...

Manutea 3 yo 2017/2021 'VO' (58.7%, OB, Tahiti, cask #BY21, 300 bottles)

Manutea 3 yo 2017/2021 'VO' (58.7%, OB, Tahiti, cask #BY21, 300 bottles) Three stars
From French Polynesia, sadly finished in wine (Banyuls), but indeed you never know, Manutea's reputation being rather high… Colour: amber. Nose: nice agricole-y notes, plus some estery touches, olives, metal polish, dill and aniseed, liquorice, butterscotch… With water: nice, you would almost believe you're in Barbados (FS), with added menthol. What we call 'Zan'. Mouth (neat): good, close-to-the-cane, herbal and mentholy, with some crystalised lemons and more aniseed, menthol and liquorice. With water: some no-quibble fat and estery rum, pretty liquorice-driven and frankly, a surprise. First time I'm hearing of Manutea. Finish: long, on even more liquorice, with a salty tang. Comments: very good surprise, although it would not go in for subtleties in my opinion. Tahiti, you say?

SGP:362 - 81 points.

Penny Blue 2009-2011/2021 (59%, Navigator World Whisky, Mauritius)

Penny Blue 2009-2011/2021 (59%, Navigator World Whisky, Mauritius) Three stars
Stuff from Medine Distillery. It is a little complicated as there are two vintages and obviously two cask numbers and possibly other variations. If  I remember well, Berry Bros. were involved here but that's very old data and many beers have passed. Colour: amber. Nose: floral, aromatic, easy, cane-y, with a little fudge and, yeah, flowers. Ylang-ylang, zucchini… Maybe a little thin having said that but I've always found my Mauritian rums a little 'thin' indeed. With water: towards woods, sawdusts, cigars, coffees… Mouth (neat): earthy liquorice, oranges, mint and caraway, then crude chocolate and coffee beans. Simple and straightforward, a little drying perhaps. With water: same, no changes whatsoever. Perhaps more liquoricy molasses. Finish: medium, with some thinness and yet some very pleasant orangey liquorice. Comments: not earthshattering but no quibbling either this time again. Bored? Of course not!

SGP:451 - 80 points.

Still, let's try to find a rock and roller, a JJ Burnel of spirits, selected by true bassists…

Hampden 23 yo 1997/2021 'JMM' (48.1%, Thompson Bros., Jamaica)

Hampden (update, actually Monymusk) 23 yo 1997/2021 'JMM' (48.1%, Thompson Bros., Jamaica)23 yo 1997/2021 'JMM' (48.1%, Thompson Bros., Jamaica) Four stars and a half
Of course we've got not proof that this would be Hampden, please blame literary license. Colour: gold. Nose: of course. Crushed anchovies, liquorice, old pine-y armagnac, roasted sesame and pistachio, very old Sauternes that went dry, sauna oils, and just whatnot. Roasted pine nuts. Would tend to become more coastal over time, with also unexpected whiffs of vine peaches. Mouth: bingo. Amazing rotten fruits, brine, combava, lemons and wooden oils. What it would lack is some extra-acidity, nervousness and verticality, no saying it would be wishy-washy of course, but you get the idea. After 23 years I would suppose it would tend to become a tad more urbane, perhaps. Finish: long, salty. Comments: still a killer but it's interesting to see, and even touch the limits. After all, Hampden is not Lagavulin (Nobel Prize for your soon, S.) .

SGP:462 - 88 points.

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







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