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

April 15, 2018


It’s Sunday, it’s rum day

Sometimes Armagnac, sometimes Cognac, sometimes wackier spirits… but today it’s rum again, let’s see what we have on the table…


Please remember that my assessment of any spirits is only a strictly personal opinion and is done from the point of view of a malt whisky enthusiast who usually prefers distillate-driven spirits, and dislikes anything doctored, aromatised, hybridised, or tampered with, thank you – and peace!

Ogasawara Rum (40%, OB, Japan, +/-2017)

Ogasawara Rum (40%, OB, Japan, +/-2017)
This molasses-based rum comes from the Ogasawara Islands that are located in the Pacific, south of Japan. It is not totally white, so it’s been aged for some time… Colour: yellowish white. Nose: fermenting fruits galore. Peaches, longans, strawberries… On top of that, notes of raw medicinal alcohol, plum eau-de-vie, and yeah, fermenting tutti-frutti, with a wee soshu feeling.  Mouth: frankly, it feels like some raw sake, and I’m not telling you this because I know it’s Japanese. It really is a very raw spirit, very fermentary. Raw rice beer. Finish: medium, with more sake. That milky one, perhaps… A touch of salt in the aftertaste. Comments: worth trying, for it’s so different. It also reminds me of some Chinese sorghum eau-de-vie.
SGP:341 - 65 points.

Sancti Spiritus 18 yo 1999/2017 (45%, Compagnie des Indes, Cuba, cask #CSS11, 354 bottles)

Sancti Spiritus 18 yo 1999/2017 (45%, Compagnie des Indes, Cuba, cask #CSS11, 354 bottles) Three stars
In my opinion the best indie Cubans all come from Paraiso/Sancti Spiritus. Colour: pale gold. Nose: a light, half grassy half fruity spirit that’s rather more characterful than other Cubans. Honeysuckle, lime, celery, white peaches, mown lawn, and wild strawberries. Hints of rosemary as well. Wee whiffs of toasted white bread, probably from the cask. Mouth: real good and rather more on some kind of tropical cocktail that would have involved aniseed and banana/guava juices. Oh and rum. Liquorice and aniseed tend to come to the front and to dominate all discussions after a few seconds. Finish: medium, fresh, very aniseedy. Banana. Comments: good, easy, light, and rather very fresh.
SGP:451 - 80 points.

Foursquare 2007/2017 (65.3%, L’Esprit, Barbados, cask #BB10, 250 bottles)

Foursquare 2007/2017 (65.3%, L’Esprit, Barbados, cask #BB10, 250 bottles) Three stars
Let’s get prepared… Colour: gold. Nose: toasted, almost burnt bread at first, then a rather extreme grassiness. Grass and grass and grass, but that may be the very high strength. So, with water: ah it got much more complex. Green coffee beans, tobacco, furniture polish, cut hay in the heat of August, beedies, sandal wood… Having said that it’s also rather columny, and not very deep. Mouth (neat): a maelstrom of olive-y cane-iness and small berries, from red currants to goji via blackberries. Relatively hot (an understatement, it’s totally hot!) With water: very horizontal, as we say in wine. Candy sugar, sweet tobacco, pineapples, cherry liqueur… Finish: medium, fruity. Tinned pineapples and touches of coconut. Comments: very columny for Foursquare, as if there was no pot still involved here. Shall we call it ‘Cuban’ indeed?
SGP:541 - 80 points.

Some fatter ones? Let’s try this, if that floats your boat (ha-ha-)…

Worthy Park 2013/2017 (57%, La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, Transcontinental Rum Line)

Worthy Park 2013/2017 (57%, La Maison du Whisky, Jamaica, Transcontinental Rum Line) Five stars
Colour: gold. Nose: green. I mean, lime and olives in perfect synch. And as always, hints of acetone and perhaps even cat piss, which, in this context and only in this context, is an asset. With water: grass smoke. I mean, regular grass… now, I have to say… In a way… Mouth (neat): hate it that I like it so much. Juniper, olives, green oranges, caraway, fennel… I find this spirit amazing. With water: immaculate, simple in a great way, saltier, even a tad lavenderish… Greatly phenolic. Can some spirit be both dirty and immaculate? Finish: as long as you’ve got some in your bottle, that cannot happen. Comments: I would say that they’re making, over there on Bob Marley’s land, some of the greatest spirits that were ever made by Man. Thank you Worthy Park (and thank you Hampden).
SGP:464 - 90 points.

Now go find one that would ‘climb over’ that superb WP… Only one possible way up, Hampden…

Hampden 8 yo 2009/2017 (56.5%, Kintra, cask #25, 367 bottles)

Hampden 8 yo 2009/2017 (56.5%, Kintra, cask #25, 367 bottles) Four stars
Since these very distinguished bottlers are Dutch, and since the largest rum brokers are Dutch as well (Scheer), this could work… Colour: white wine. Nose: get out of here and never come back! Rotting snails and used brake pads, hectolitres of acetone and nail polish remover, and a cartload of last year’s green olives. Plus one rotting banana. With water: sour sorrel and spinach, smoked broccoli (?), antirust paint (??) and long dead oysters (???). Mouth (neat): the extremest etremities of spiritdom. Tarmac, sundried fish, scotch tape, cardboard. I love extreme spirits, but this one’s going a bit too far for me, really. And I’m no sissy, I can tell you. With water: glue and ink. Finish: long and extreme. Smoked and salted grass. Comments: how many bacteria have been slaughtered in the process? It’s not that I’m with those radical animal rights activists, but… Octomore tastes like Glenkinchie in comparison.
SGP:273 - 85 points.

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






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