Google Sunday Malternatives, more rum

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

March 1, 2015


Sunday Malternatives, more rum

We’re simply going on with our little exploration of the world of rum.

Watson's 'Trawler Rum' (40%, Ian McLeod, blended rum, +/-2013)

Watson's 'Trawler Rum' (40%, Ian McLeod, blended rum, +/-2013) Two stars A pretty cheap blend of Guyana and Barbados rums that matured on location. We seldom see these ‘UK navy’ styles on our shores. Colour: coffee. Nose: how much caramel there is in this, I don’t know, but I do find notes of burnt sugar, mocha, some Coca-Cola (I swear that’s not because of the colour), then whiffs of hay and soy suace. It’s not extremely aromatic, and I don’t find it unpleasant. Mouth: full coffee liqueur and triple-sec, plus oaky tones. It’s sweet but not too sweet, and there are even tarry notes that come through, possibly the Guyanese part. Okay body. Finish: medium, not too sweet, always on coffee, oranges and liquorice. Comments: what we would call an honest and loyal rum. Not really heavy. I liked it better than Watson’s Demerara, which I had found too sugary. SGP:452 - 72 points.

Dictador 'Solera XO Perpetual' (40%, OB, Colombia, +/-2013)

Dictador 'Solera XO Perpetual' (40%, OB, Colombia, +/-2013) Question, is this over-packaged? What’s sure is that it’s expensive rum at around 115€. Colour: amber orange. Nose: not that different from the much cheaper (five times cheaper) Watson’s, only sweeter, rounder, with more vanilla, fudge and butterscotch. Hints of pencil shavings, American oak, coffee, milk chocolate and just a hint of damp earth. It’s all very soft, without many ‘asperities’, as they say in advertising. Mouth: very sweet, and oaky as well. Not my style, that’s for sure. Honey, caramel and corn syrup plus chocolate and cinnamon/nutmeg. Oily mouthfeel. Finish: quite long, and very caramelly. Oak-aged caramel? Comments: not my kind of rum at all, that’s all. Too sweet. The bottle is nice, though. SGP:740 - 65 points.

Montero 'Gran Reserva' (40%, OB, Granada, +/-2014)

Montero 'Gran Reserva' (40%, OB, Granada, +/-2014) Two starsFirst time we’re trying a Montero. I’ve heard they were part of the ‘better’ Spanish-style rums. Colour: gold (hurray). Nose: ah indeed, bye-bye sweetish syrupy liqueury notes, this rather reeks of wet paint, new leatherette and tarmac, which rather hints at Trinidad or Jamaica. Hurray indeed. The downside is that there isn’t much after that, it deflates like a balloon. But I really enjoyed that fresh paint (oil paint, artist studio). Mouth: no, there is some sugar now, and I wouldn’t say that works a treat on the rather phenolic, paint-like profile. Almonds, oranges… Even a little salt. No, I like it for its uncommercialness. There. Finish: not too long, on the same notes. Cointreau, tar liqueur and pieces of bicycle inner tube. Comments: a funny one! Would love to try it at a higher strength. SGP:562 - 75 points.

Vizcaya 'VXOP Cask No.21' (40%, OB, Dominican Republic, +/-2014)

Vizcaya 'VXOP Cask No.21' (40%, OB, Dominican Republic, +/-2014) one star and a half Said to be made from cane juice, not molasses, but I’m wary of Dominican rums, many are way too sugary for my taste. Also the ‘21’ figure that’s placed like if it was an age statement… Booo… But that’s not any worse than a ‘solera number’. I’m looking at you, Z. Colour: dark gold. Nose: akin to the Dictador. Almost undistinguishable. Bananas flambéed, caramel, oak, coffee, chocolate. Touches of tar as well, which is obviously better. Mouth: very sweet, sugary, liqueury… In its own style it’s certainly not bad, but as I’ve already written 4712545656 times, too sweet, I quit. Millionaire shortbread, banana liqueur, maple syrup… The sugar really feels! Finish: rather long, but it’s the sweetness that makes it last. A feeling of having just taken six spoonfuls of maple syrup. Comments: it’s s a style. Like them sweet? You’ll love it. Actually, I liked it a little better than the Dictador. SGP:740 - 68 points.

This has happened so many times when starting with sweet rums: let’s simply change categories!

Long Pond 18 yo 1992/2010 (45%, Alambic Classique, Jamaica)

Long Pond 18 yo 1992/2010 (45%, Alambic Classique, Jamaica) Five stars In my measly experience with rum, I’ve noticed that Long Pond can be very complex! Dunder dunder. Colour: gold. Nose: yeah yeah yeah! This is ridden with carbolic notes, engine oil, pitch, black olives, dried cow dung, fermenting fruits, putty, brand new leather jacket (or shoes)… In short, I find this nose appropriately perverse. Brilliant. Mouth: and there, gherkin juice, salty liquorice, black olives, After Eight mints, seawater, cane juice, chewing your cigar, strong black tea… And all that. Finish: endless, very salty. You keep feeling the salt on your lips even after fifteen minutes. Comments: only regret, that this amazing baby wasn’t bottled at 50% or more for even more powah. You can still buy this bottle from Germany. Do it! SGP:464 - 90 points.

Now, go try to climb over that one… Wait, this may work…

Caroni 1985/2006 (58.8%, Velier, Trinidad, 6600 bottles)

Caroni 1985/2006 (58.8%, Velier, Trinidad, 6600 bottles) Three stars and a half This is heavy style Caroni, and it is a large vatting of 22 drums. Remember a drum typically contains 650 litres. Colour: reddish coffee. Nose: it’s heavy, but not that heavy. Certainly fruitier and oakier than the Long Pond, less phenolic, more on classic high esters. A bag of liquorice allsorts, some polished rosewood, strawberry jam, and only in the background, some seawater, brine and olives. Little tar that I can get so far. With water: can you age strawberry jam in oak? I guess you can… Some sappy tones as well. High oak extraction. Mouth (neat): lots of oak and menthol! Bites you a bit, I have to say. A lot of quince jelly too, which I love, but the oak really is massive. You have the impression of quaffing walnut stain, in a way. With water: much, much better. The oak remains there and keeps biting you a bit, but the expected notes of tar, olives and polish manage to come through. Finish: very long, oaky, mentholy, with drops of salted Grand-Marnier. Comments: another one that takes your tongue hostage if you’re not careful, but water helps loosening up the ties. SGP:652 - 84 points.

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







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