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

April 4, 2021


Five rums for Easter

Do not expect any specific link to Easter, it's just that Easter happens on a Sunday and that Sunday is malternative day at Whiskyfun. This is going to be very varied this time again, we've long abandoned the idea of doing more coherent sessions, such as 'Dunder Special, Five Hampdens' or 'Your dentist will hate you, Thirty-seven Diplos'. Let's start from France this time again…

Dillon 2003/2019 'Single Cask' (43%, OB, Martinique, cask #901)

Dillon 2003/2019 'Single Cask' (43%, OB, Martinique, cask #901) Three stars and a half
This is a pretty old one by Martiniquain standards. It was fully matured in French oak. The Distillerie Dillon's located in the capital city, Fort de France, and now belongs to French group La Martiniquaise, also owners of Depaz, Saint-James, Cutty Sark and Glen Moray Distillery. Colour: gold. Nose: this is agricole, it's got the Martinique AOC, and a nose to match, aromatic yet not heady at all, nor ridden with tropical fruits. It's more all cigarette tobacco, raisins, dried dates and figs, with drops of mint essence, some cedar wood for sure, incense, fudge, very ripe bananas, and not such a vast amount of spices. Probably not virgin French oak. Mouth: much, and mean much spicier, starting right with a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg, going on with black chocolate and ground coffee, then rather old cognac, a feeling of old oloroso, and a good dose of leather. A lot of bitter oak, but that's not unusual and certainly not unpleasant. We're just not used to these amounts in whisky. Finish: rather long, extremely dry. Bitter chocolate, tobacco, nutmeg. Touches of oranges in the aftertaste, also a lot of black pepper. Comments: the palate was a little extreme, but quality's pretty high, in my opinion.
SGP:471 - 84 points.

Let's move to

El Pasador de Oro 'Gran Reserva' (40%, OB, Guatemala, +/-2020)

El Pasador de Oro 'Gran Reserva' (40%, OB, Guatemala, +/-2020) Three stars
Your attention please, this was finished for a few months in Cognac wood in the Charentes region! These dissonant set-ups (dissonant on the paper) always scare me, but let's keep an open mind.  Colour: rich gold. Nose: the name Guatemala is scary too indeed as far as rum goes, but I have to say this seems balanced, not overly sweet and 'stupidly luscious' and rather on roasted nuts, milk chocolate, and marzipan-filled dates. Once you've tried that you're trapped forever. Notes of mocha too, that's pretty lovely. Let's hope the palate will 'behave'… Mouth: there is a sweetishness but nothing troubling, while the body's a little thin perhaps. However, I'm instantly reminded of my favourite Cuban, Santiago 11 yo. So I like it despite this caramelly and obviously rather molassy profile. Nice little touches of tar. Finish: medium, almost gaining body, with notes of triple-sec (which isn't sec/dry at all, always wondered why these terms). Comments: good and smart work here, and a good surprise. I was having the lower end of the 70-80 part of the scale ready!
SGP:630 - 82 points.

Travellers 13 yo 2007/2020 (62.1%, Compagnie des Indes, Belize, 285 bottles)

Travellers 13 yo 2007/2020 (62.1%, Compagnie des Indes, Belize, 285 bottles) Three stars and a half
These Travellers tend to lose me as I sometimes find them 'cross-category', both light/thin and heavier/thicker. Colour: golden amber. Nose: too strong, I'm not sure the high-ethanol lets many things pass. Orange cake, perhaps? With water: all things oranges coming out, always a great sign in my book. Cointreau, marmalade, bergamots, a little nougat too… And more orange cake. Mouth (neat): it's rather oranges galore, it seems, but boy is this strong. A feeling of liquid rum baba. With water: pure orange juice! Plus some kind of sweet flat bread, there are so many breads in this world, I do not manage to keep track, but I adore most. Finish: medium, on cakes and oranges. Popcorn in the aftertaste. Comments: not much to add.
SGP:541 - 83 points.

Sample Eleven Extra-Matured (54.8%, Kintra Spirits and The Rum Mercenary, blended rum, +/-2020)

Sample Eleven Extra-Matured (54.8%, Kintra Spirits and The Rum Mercenary, blended rum, +/-2020) Four stars and a half
A blend finished in a Worthy Park cask. We're seeing these kinds of combinations in whisky too. Colour: straw. Nose: right, it's like if you make, say pasta with olives. Or garlic rice. In short, WP stands out loud and clear, perfect top dresser here. Olives, tar, earth, seawater, and just a wee slice of vanilla cake. With water: just more of all that, with an awesome fermentary side. Mouth (neat): same, this must have been WPE! More olives, capers, anchovies, brine, tar, liquorice, lemons… Excellent! Hold on, was it a blend of Worthy Parks that's been finished in Worthy park?  Seriously, I'm also finding oranges in the background, once again. Moist orange pound cake glazed with Grand-Marnier, something like that. With water: once again, water just makes it easier, and perhaps just a notch more orange-y and less on the mighty WP. Finish: long, saltier. Excellently fresh. Comments: brainwave. Possibly my favourite bended rum, not taking the 'single blends' into account. Almost 90.
SGP:463 - 89 points.

Let's stay in Jamaica with our last rum today…

Appleton Estate 1995/2020 (63%, OB, Hearts Collection, Jamaica, 300 bottles)

Appleton Estate 1995/2020 (63%, OB, Hearts Collection, Jamaica, 300 bottles) Five stars
Last year we've tried brother 1994 (WF 91) and sister 1999 (WF 87) but this little 1995 had slipped between our paws, for no known reasons. What's to be remembered is that all three are pot still rums, a first at Appleton. Colour: reddish amber. Nose: litres of maraschino (Velier's influence?) plus some immaculate Spanish chocolate, a fresh-opened box of Cuban cigars, and a wide range of tiny old ointments, with camphor, eucalyptus, menthol, propolis, resins, petroleum, seaweed, green clay… Some cedar wood too. With water: carbon dust, ink, coal, olives, new electronics, more ointments (natural tar)… and loads of oregano. I find this just awesome. Mouth (neat): Velier's house style, ultra-powerful, with heavy concentrations and shock-full amounts of liquorice. Crazy. With water: yes, it's green, bitter, acrid, ultra-liquoricy, and mucho lovable if you enjoy this heavily liquorice-driven style. Finish: long. Liquid salted liquorice, with the tiniest acetic touch (balsamico). Comments: distilling liquorice, that's an idea. Seriously, this was extreme, probably too bitter technically, and I'm sure some would claim it's flawed, but this baby's got a 'John-Bonham' side that you just cannot resist. Cra-zy.
SGP:374 - 91 points.

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







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