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

March 10, 2019


This is Sunday, this is rum day

Let’s see if we can find a few malternatives...

TLD 2000/2018 (50%, Silver Seal, Trinidad, 297 bottles)

TLD 2000/2018 (50%, Silver Seal, Trinidad, 297 bottles) Three stars and a half
Not too sure it’s not TDL, so Trinidad Distillers Ltd (Angostura), instead of TLD as mentioned on the label. Does that really matter? Colour: gold. Nose: it’s solid Caribbean rum, not as ‘deviant’ as Caroni, even light Caroni, but there is some grassy cane-iness to it, notes of fermenting bananas, cherry and peach leaves, while it would get more floral over time, with rose petals, orange blossom, also sweets, marshmallows, candyfloss, vanilla...  With water: greens, vegetables, tomato stems, fig stems... That’s quite interesting! Mouth: solid rum with some agricole parts, some liquorice, aromatic herbs, thyme, fermenting bananas and pineapples, melons, peaches, more bananas... It’s perhaps a tad too ‘columny’ for me, so a tad empty as they say for grain whisky, but as far as this style is concerned, I don’t think you could do much better. Nice touches of tar. With water: more towards tar, liquorice, salt, rubber... Finish: rather long, grassy, a bit austere now. Less menthol than in other TDLs I could try. Comments: very fine, much less ‘empty’ and dull than you would expect. And certainly not as sweetened-up as most officials from TDL!
SGP:551 - 84 points.

El Ron del Artesano 23 yo (55.1%, Riegger,  Panama, cask #111-16, +/-2018)

El Ron del Artesano 23 yo (55.1%, Riegger,  Panama, cask #111-16, +/-2018) Four stars
Possibly some rum from Valera Hermanos. Pure speculations! Colour:amber. Nose: typically Central-American, easy, light, with some pastries, roasted hazelnuts, walnut cake, and pecan pie. Some oak as well, but it’s absolutely not oak juice despite those ‘genuine’ 23 years in wood. No cheating ‘solera’ here. Fine nose! With water: some honey-glazed ham, which is cool and nice. Dates, prunes and cured ham. Mouth (neat): perhaps a tad sweet this time, but there’s really a lot of caramel and liquorice, a combo that rather works in this particular context. Some good tarry cane juice as well, and a touch of oregano. With water: excellent, rather on liquorice and menthol this time. One black olive! Finish: long, grassier, with a further development on green tea and rosemary. Comments: not totally a surprise but... yeah, it’s a surprise. An excellent surprise, while most other Panamanians tend to revolve around the 75-mark in my book.
SGP:452 - 86 points.

Mount Gay Blend 7 yo (54%, OB for The Whisky Exchange, Barbados, 2400 bottles, 2018)

Mount Gay Blend 7 yo (54%, OB for The Whisky Exchange, Barbados, 2400 bottles, 2018) Four stars
I believe this is a self blend, or a single blend, that is to say a blend of batch and column rums from the same distillery, as many distilleries do without telling anyone. Now whether this was blended at birth or just before bottling, I don't quite know. Colour: gold. Nose: wee whiffs of varnish and vanilla for a start, which would remind us of some bourbons, then a rather light development on patchouli, Virginia tobacco, praline, orange blossom water, strawberries, and wee sweets. The jury’s still out... With water: it does like water, getting cake-y, almost malty at times, with big notes of warm panettone and honey-roasted cashews. Mouth (neat): Martinique? Really, Martinique? Oranges, cane juice, caraway liqueur, marmalade, nougat... With water: a wee tad thinner than on the nose, but balance is good, with oranges and tangerines, melons, and a little eucalyptus. Finish: medium, a touch more candied at first, then drier and more herbal. Cane juice in the aftertaste, always good news (as long as it’s about rum, ha). Comments: same territories, same ballpark, looks like we’re having the best of ‘lighter’ rum today.
SGP:551 - 85 points.

Since we’re in Barbados...

Foursquare 14 yo 2003/2017 ‘Destino’ (61%, OB, Barbados, 2610 bottles)

Foursquare 14 yo 2003/2017 ‘Destino’ (61%, OB, Barbados, 2610 bottles) Four stars and a half
Another ‘single blended rum’ that, I believe, was blended at birth and matured for 12 years in Madeira wood then 2 years in bourbon. It was bottled in 2017 but issued much later in the end of 2018, while an earlier 'Velier 70' version was available earlier. Colour: dark amber. Nose: it’s really nice to have this one after its younger compatriot, for it is bigger and more batchy (yep indeed we’re afraid of no barbarisms) while styles are not dissimilar. Cornflakes, roasted nuts, pecan pie, sandalwood and cedar wood (pencil shavings), possibly from the bourbon oak, then mint and liquorice, a little aniseed and wormwood, and some kind of pineapple jam and chutney. With water: lovely menthol, violets, roses, liquorice, thuja and rose woods, and more liquorice. Touches of Timut pepper and a little wood smoke. Mouth (neat): really very good, with a lot of very-well-integrated oak (a miracle), mango jam, cloves and strawberry jam, peppered apricot jam (should anyone dare doing that), then Thai spices, coriander, a little ramson, and a welcome tar/liquorice combo that’s less wham-bam than elsewhere. Like, in Jamaica. With water: more jams and preserved fruits! Cherries, peaches... Finish: long, fruity and firm, while you would feel that some work was done with bourbon wood. Good work IMHO. Comments: let this one breathe a bit and it will deliver. Some very excellent medium-bodied rum.
SGP:651 - 89 points.

Travellers 11 yo 2007/2018 (64.6%, Cadenhead, Belize, barrel)

Travellers 11 yo 2007/2018 'MBT' (64.6%, Cadenhead, Belize, barrel) Four stars
This one’s fully ex-column, so let’s expect something relatively light and ‘thin’ despite the high strength. We’re talking high or multiple columns, not créole. Colour: amber. Nose: ah no, it’s not that thin! Love these notes of parsley and lovage that come totally unexpected. Osso buco, fermented soy, umami indeed, sourdough, leaven, tobacco... I rather love this! (indeed, unexpected). With water: indeed, lovely, with some Assam tea, tobacco, yellow jams, praline, butterscotch... Mouth (neat): it’s not kept all of those fermentary/Japanese notes, and got rather caky and candied, with a thinnish middle and notes of Fanta and orange drops. Still fine! With water: no, some are back. Milk chocolate, liquorice, some pepper, salty chicken soup (just a wee drop), more orange squash or Fanta... Finish: medium, with more oranges and a little salt and pepper. Comments: very good, a bit between two worlds (of rum).
SGP:651 - 86 points.

So, grouped fire today. It’s also true that we kept the Jamaicans in the cupboard, for once...

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






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