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

May 7, 2017


Crazy rums at random

We’re not looking for malternatives today, we’re just trying various newish rums as they come. Wish me luck…

A.H. Riise ‘1988 Copenhagen Gold Medal’ (40%, OB, blend, +/-2017)

A.H. Riise ‘1988 Copenhagen Gold Medal’ (40%, OB, blend, +/-2017) In my book this brand is the mother of all sugarbombs. I love Denmark, love the Danish people, and love Copenhagen, but this sounds and looks so fishy that I feel the need to issue some kind of preemptive apologies. Colour: deep gold. Nose: shy, not un-nice. Caramel and molasses, Cointreau, tinned pineapple, and indeed some sugar syrup. Not terribly ugly, really, I’d even suspect I could drink this… Mouth: no way. Most liqueurs would feel dry when compared to this. Sugar Easter eggs, all these cheap sweets that dentists just hate, and a little Kahlua. Definitely not rum. Finish: super cloying, calls for ice. Comments: both their Non Plus Ultra and their XO Reserve had been more to my liking (but they were sugar bombs as well) but this takes the biscuit. A syrup, perhaps drinkable at +/-8°C. Smart packaging. SGP:910 - 40 points.

Presidente Marti ‘Anejo’ (40%, Oliver & Oliver, Dominican Republic, +/-2017)

Presidente Marti ‘Anejo’ (40%, Oliver & Oliver, Dominican Republic, +/-2017) Solera stuff (ah-hem), from the DomRep, bearing the name of a Cuban hero. What could go wrong? Now their very sweet ‘23’ had been okayish (WF 65). Colour: deep gold. Nose: hey hey, this is rather nice. Intriguingly oaky and toasted, with notes of charcoal, caraway, espresso, cocoa, even a little earth… Surprise surprise?... Mouth: sweet and sour arrival, with a lot of saccharine, molasses, icing sugar, more sugar, cough syrup for kids, strawberry liqueur, coffee liqueur… Well I think this coffee saves it, it’s well above the A.H. Riise. Not the hardest achievement ever, I agree… Finish: medium, but frankly too sugary for me. Notes of pineapple liqueur, and even banana wine. Comments: we’ve tasted much worse, but poor José Marti must be turning in his grave. SGP:820 - 60 points.

Medellin 12 yo ‘Gran Reserva’ (37.5%, OB, OB, Colombia, +/-2017)

Medellin 12 yo ‘Gran Reserva’ (37.5%, OB, OB, Colombia, +/-2017) Two stars I have to say the 8 yo had been very okay (WF 72), so this could be nice. Of course you cannot not think of Pablo Escobar when trying these… (just watched the series on Netflix, rather brilliant). Colour: gold. Nose: there, a drier sweet style. Dried bananas, office coffee, copper coins, relatively old orange juice, and cane juice. It’s not big, but that may be the very low strength, let’s see… Mouth: a little weak and thin, but there’s some talking inside, with more bananas, a little vanilla, a welcome dirtiness (around earth), coffee beans, and drops of grapefruit juice. Finish: shortish, but pleasantly bittersweet. Comments: not something that I would drink, but it reeks of honesty. While the others… well… SGP:640 - 73 points.

Now we've had our bit of fun, let's move on to serious matters…

HSE 1998/2009 (47.8%, OB, Martinique, agricole, single cask, cognac cask #29, 600 bottles, 70cl)

HSE 1998/2009 (47.8%, OB, Martinique, agricole, single cask, cognac cask #29, 600 bottles, 70cl) Four stars and a half The first 1998 in a 70cl bottle. It was matured in a cognac cask, and it’s got quite a reputation. Let’s add our voice to the choir… Remember, HSE stands for Habitation Saint-Etienne, a make by distillerie Simon (also Clément and formerly Bally). Colour: rich red amber. Nose: starts bourbony, with pencil shavings aplenty and a lot of thuja and cedar wood. In that sense it’s rather extreme, but things seem to have been handled with care. Behind that, a curious feeling of rye, garden peat, black bread, and heavy liquorice and menthol. Then more coffee and bitter chocolate… More and more of that. Mouth: indeed we’re extremely close to high-end bourbon, Pappy stuff if you like. Richly oaky and spicy, but always fresh thanks to all this mint, and amusing itself among flowers and fruits. Tamarind, blood oranges, iris, bananas, prunes… Perhaps a little challenging at times? Finish: extra-long, liquoricy, and mentholy. Extreme menthol in the aftertaste. Comments: in my opinion HSE are the ‘worldest’ rums out there. Great, provided you’re not totally against chocolaty oak. SGP:461 - 89 points.

Yeah go climb over these HSEs… Unless…

West Indies Dark Rum 1948/1991 (49%, Samaroli, 800 bottles)

West Indies Dark Rum 1948/1991 (49%, Samaroli, 800 bottles) Five stars There aren’t many rums that are this legendary. This baby’s said to stem from Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica, but I haven’t got any proof, especially since other sources are mentioning Black Rock in Barbados. What’s more, dear Silvano Samaroli used to claim that this was one of the best spirits he had ever tasted, and many good rum people seem to agree. So… Colour: dark amber. Nose: could you keep jams in wooden casks? In truth, this is some kind of quince and banana jam mix, blended with some very vegetal earth and quite a great deal of natural liquorice and spices. Cloves caraway, then huge notes of old well-kept cigar humidor as well as musty pieces of old wood. Old wine cellar in a very moist place, old attic, old wardrobe, and then very old white Bourgogne that got ‘brown’ without being totally dead. Marzipan. Mouth: huge. A lot of resinous wood, musty things, damp spices, dried porcinis aplenty, chewed cigars, prunes, peppery oranges, more prunes, touches of curry… It just keeps unfolding and taking off like an albatross (you poet, S.) It’s also getting more vegetal, olive-y, briny, tighter… Huge, huge rum, that would never, ever stop developing. A long movie rather than a picture, this is truly insane. Oh well, please call the antirumporn brigade before it’s too late, thank you. Finish: extremely long, stunningly spicy and yet kind of smooth. Sweet curries, I’d say. Comments: I’m seeing that my friend Cyril at thought it was a blend of Jamaica and Martinique. That’s totally possible. Amazing rum, sadly very expensive at auction houses. We’re talking around 6,000€, apparently, but who needs a Kia Picanto? SGP:562 - 95 points.

(Grazzie Francesco and merci Olivier)

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







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