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

August 11, 2013


Malternatives, four Jamaican rums

So today we’re also going Jamaican. I have to say some Hampden by various whisky bottlers have been much to my liking in the past, for example!

Mezan Jamaica XO (40%, OB, +/-2013)

Mezan Jamaica XO (40%, OB, +/-2013) Four stars It seems that Mezan is a relatively new brand that specialises in rums. So they’re indie bottlers but strangely enough, they bottle at 40%vol. This one is a blend of Hampden and Monymusk. Colour: white wine. Nose: lovely fatness and herbs, with a lot of sugar cane and all these olives that I often find in heavy rums. Well, this isn’t heavy as such, but it’s got a great structure. The ripe bananas make a late arrival, which might be all for the better. After five minutes, more, much more tinned pineapple as well as more putty. Some green tea too. Surprisingly complex. Mouth: the 40% aren’t a problem, at all. It’s all much in line with the nose, with these olives, a very grassy sugar cane, a touch of salt and then more and more almonds, marzipan and a feeling of putty. There’s almost a little peat, in a way. Finish: a little short now, and thinnish, but I like this saltiness in my rum. Touches of mescal. Comments: exactly the kind of rum that peat lovers would enjoy, if I may say so. A very excellent surprise! SGP:462 - around 86 points.

Hampden 2000 (40%, Mezan, Jamaica, +/-2013)

Hampden 2000 (40%, Mezan, Jamaica, +/-2013) Three stars and a half Pure Hampden Estate this time, but always by Mezan and always at 40%. Colour: white wine. Nose: rather sweeter and fruitier than the XO, although the olive-y side shines through again. Some candy sugar too, more olives… What’s funny is that where the XO got fruitier, this one becomes more herbal and grassy. And yes, olive-y. More and more sugar cane. Very nice, pretty complex nose again. Mouth: a gentle beast, tarry, putty-like, salty. The olives are back again, both black and green, while a few capers and just a little lime blend well with a very moderate sugariness. We’re well at Hampden. Finish: a notch longer than the XO, a little hotter and more spirity too, but it’s still excellent. More liquorice in the aftertaste. Comments: excellent indeed, it’s just that I could try some even more excellent Hampdens by whisky bottlers such as Germany’s Whisky Cask or Duncan Taylor. Or Blackadder. SGP:462 - around 84 points.

Coruba 18 yo (40%, OB, Jamaica, +/-2013)

Coruba 18 yo (40%, OB, Jamaica, +/-2013) Two stars A Jamaican rum by The Rum Company Ltd. Not too sure they own a distillery. Colour: pale gold. Nose: this one is having trouble after the aromatic and very fresh Mezans, it’s less characterful despite an older age, and rounder and smoother. More maple syrup, honey, vanilla cream and candy sugar, it’s nice but a whisky lover may find this a little too narrow. Mouth: yeah, it’s good, no doubt, and starts right with bananas and vanilla, but we’re far from the Mezans’ complexity. Some butterscotch, apple pie, honey, touches of salt again… Yes, good but maybe nothing to write home about. Finish: slightly short, a little indistinct, lacking precision, I’d say. I seem to find olives again in the aftertaste. Comments: just a very fine old rum, not much else to say. SGP:641 - around 75 points.

Appleton Estate 21 yo (43%, OB, Jamaica, +/-2013)

Appleton Estate 21 yo (43%, OB, Jamaica, +/-2013) A well-known brand. As we Frenchmen have our own distilleries in the Caribbean, we hardly ever come across these but I’ve heard good things, it’s one of the ‘foreign’ names that do come through within the chatting circles. Colour: full amber. Nose: this is funny, it reminds me a bit of some aged bourbons as well as of some orange liqueurs. It’s very pleasant but very sweet and almost too heady. It is, so far, exactly the style of rum I’m not too fond of. A lot of jam and honey too, roses, maybe strawberries... Very liqueury. Mouth: same feeling. It’s probably great, but it’s not my kind of spirit. Too smooth, too sweet, too aromatic in a way, and even too sugary, while some sweet oak (big vanilla) complements the whole. More a liqueur than rum. Finish: pretty long but quite oaky. Sweet cinnamon and orange liqueur. Comments: don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s excellent rum but it’s not my kind at all. Feels like ‘arranged’ rum. Read flavoured. I’d rather have one tiny glass of the Mezans rather than a demijohn of this thick spirit. SGP:730 - around 60 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Rums I've tasted so far







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