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

November 20, 2022


Whiskyfun

  A word of caution
Let me please remind you that my humble assessments of any spirits are done from the point of view of a malt whisky enthusiast who, what's more, is aboslutely not an expert in rum, brandy, tequila, vodka, gin or any other spirits. Thank you – and peace!

This is Sunday, here's yet another bag of rums

There's plenty and we shan't complain. Let's kick this off with a wee apéritif, as usual…

Belize

 

 

Carùpano 12 yo 'Reserva Exclusiva' (40%, OB, Venezuela, +/-2022)

Carùpano 12 yo 'Reserva Exclusiva' (40%, OB, Venezuela, +/-2022) Two stars and a half
We've only ever tried Carùpano 6 yo, which was a Reserva 'Especial' rather than 'Exclusiva'. Adjectives are the salt of marketing. Now that 6 was rather cheapish (WF 70). Colour: dark gold. Nose: no wait, this is very all right, very rounded, chocolaty, with some rum baba, bananas flambéed, raisins, fresh-crushed cane juice, fudge and caramel, and just Rowntree's best. Mouth: really, it's kind of okay, you do find the cane, bananas, pineapples, light molasses, cappuccino, Viennese coffee… There is some sugar for sure, but it's been done with moderation. Finish: a tad short, rather honeyed, with some more cane juice and candy sugar. That's it, they've used candy sugar. Comments: no quibbles, it's rather fine sweet rum, just a little wobbly in the knees, if you see what I mean.

SGP:630 - 77 points.

Mauritius 12 yo 2010/2022 (53.4%, The Nectar of the Daily Drams, Port cask)

Mauritius 12 yo 2010/2022 (53.4%, The Nectar of the Daily Drams, Port cask) Three stars
This stems from Grays Distillerie, a name that I had bever heard of before (which doesn't mean much, I agree). Now that Port thing is scary. Colour: Port. No really, Port red. Ruby, if you like. Nose: huge Port, even if this isn't pure touriga nacional. It is some in-cask blend of rum with Port, simple as that. Not saying that doesn't work, having said that, both drinks even seem to tango well together. Peonies, raspberry liqueur, blackberry jam, ganache, Mon Cheri, molasses, strawberries stewed in Demerara syrup, guignolet, Nuits-St-Georges… With water: even more sweet red wine. Towards amarone at times. Mouth (neat): cherry jam with indeed some muscovado, cinnamon, star anise, more raspberries and blackberries, Port, pinot noir… With water: there's even this gamey side of Pinot Noir. Yeah I know Port is not made out of Pinot Noir. Finish: long, sweet, Port-like. Cherry stems and leaves in the aftertaste. Clafoutis. Comments: the Romans were having it right when they called the drink 'vinum'. In my book the Port was louder than the rum. Good fun, we just need to find a name for these in-cask premixes. Seriously, it worked.
SGP:740 - 82 points.
Update: Grays is New Grove, thanks Rowald

Travellers 2007/2022 (64.6%, l'Esprit, Belize, cask #BB 19, 258 bottles)

Travellers 2007/2022 (64.6%, l'Esprit, Belize, cask #BB 19, 258 bottles) Four stars and a half
Long time no Travellers from Belize on little WF. The honourable bottlers remind us that this is single-estate rum. That's a proper origin! Colour: amber. Nose: fudge and nougat at cask strength ;-). Scones, cane juice, biscuits, pumpernickel, shortbread, toffee… With water: a very delicate rubber coming out, some leaves and hay, dried flowers, tangerines, beeswax… It is all delicate indeed, elegant, you would have said 'feminine' back in 1995… Mouth (neat): oranges and caramel… These Travellers are reminiscent of Foursquare, they're just a notch lighter. But no further chances taken at almost 65% vol. With water: very good! A velvet hand in an iron glove, would we say. Delicate cakes, ginger biscuits, madeleines, Jaffa cakes, some tangerine marmalade… Finish: medium, rather on nougat and Bailey's (apologies). I would guess you could make some kind of Alexander out of this Travellers, no? Comments: take your time, don't rush it, be ready for murmurs and subtleties, and it'll grow on you. I think I forgot to mention puréed chestnuts (with vanilla, whipped cream and meringue).

SGP:441 - 88 points.

Let's quickly check if I was right when I was mentioning Foursquare…

Foursquare 2002/2022 (52%, l'Esprit, Barbados, cask #BB 8, 198 bottles)

Foursquare 2002/2022 (52%, l'Esprit, Barbados, cask #BB 8, 198 bottles) Five stars
Colour: light gold. Nose: boy was I wrong, but that's because this is a Foursquare that's giving pride of place to its ex-pot still component. Green oranges, capers and olives, gentian, varnish,  fermenting bananas, linseed oil, cigar smoke… Well, we love it but it is simply not a prototypical Foursquare. Un-self-blended Foursquare, or simply a higher proportion of pot still? With water: plastics and waxes, new sneakers, new iPhone (fool!)… Mouth (neat): yeah right, a Jamaican Foursquare. Pure pot still, with tar, olives, liquorice, rotten, ach, well, rotting fruits, varnish, sake and shochu, even baijiu… Tell me about a spirit of the world! With water: smoked bananas, olives macerated in coal tar, pickled bits of grapefruit… Finish: long. Takes water extremely well. Comments: we've been fooled. This is like trying Port Charlotte while thinking it was Bruichladdich, see what I mean? They'll get a letter…

SGP:553 - 90 points.

T.D.L. 22 yo 2000/2022 (57.5%, Swell de Spirits, Private Garden n°1, Clos des Spiritueux, Trinidad, 356 bottles)

T.D.L. 22 yo 2000/2022 (57.5%, Swell de Spirits, Private Garden n°1, Clos des Spiritueux, Trinidad, 356 bottles) Five stars
15 years in Trinidad, then 7 years in the UK (so most under Boris). T.D.L. means Trinidad Distillers Limited, so pretty much Angostura. Colour: full gold. Nose: not bold, but very floral and honeyed. Rum made by bees, in other words. Some pomegranates and prickly pears, pink bananas, clover honey, dandelions, wisteria, bits of mango, and first and foremost, preserved peaches, which would lead to… fresh old cognac. This is rather fascinating, to tell you the truth. You travel fast with this one. With water: feeling even more obvious. Glorious. This simply cannot only be TDL, let alone Angostura under another name. Im-pos-si-ble. Mouth (neat): very intriguing. Some sorcerer may have blended away various spirits, perhaps Rosebank plus TDL indeed, plus a fruity Bons Bois, plus a drop of Ténarèze to add oomph and knack. Smart work (but hey officer, this is fiction!) With water: I say no more. Some cane reminds us that there's rum in there. Finish: medium, jammy, complex, floral (floral finishes are uncommon)… Peaches in honey are dancing in the aftertaste. Comments: Mr Swell, we need to talk. This is not only a joke ;-).

SGP:641 - 90 points.

Good, let's rather have one from a small island and then call this another proper rum session.

Fiji 21 yo 2001/2022 (62.2%, La Maison du Whisky, Antipodes, cask #51, 213 bottles)

Fiji 21 yo 2001/2022 (62.2%, La Maison du Whisky, Antipodes, cask #51, 213 bottles) Four stars and a half
Love LMDW's conceptualisation every year, in 2022 it is all about 'antipodes'. Well, Fiji sure lies in the antipodes of France. Excellent rugby, by the way, while this should stem from the very good South Pacific Distillery, in Lautoka. High hopes here, Fiji sure is the Jamaica of the… antipodes. Colour: amber. Nose: when patchouli and tar meet, together with olives and liquorice. A bit strong, to say the least, but you would believe you're in Monymusk/Clarendon. With water: ink, damp magazines, coal dust, turpentine, varnishes, and of course olives. Smoked olives. Mouth (neat): excellent glue, varnish, very heavy pine resin and something reminiscent of nail polish (with strawberry flavour). With water: anchovies and peaches chiming in. Finish: long. Comments: we've heard whenever the Fijian rugby players would catch and kill an enemy, they would then dump him into the Distillery's muck pit. Or is that only rumours? Great, great estery rum nonetheless, one of the best in the world.

SGP:563 - 89 points.

I just wanted to check something, quickly…

Worthy Park 'Select' (40%, OB, Jamaica, +/-2022)

Worthy Park 'Select' (40%, OB, Jamaica, +/-2022) Four stars
Never forget that Worthy Park is single-estate rum. Who else is truly single-estate in rum? And in whisky? (pff, ROTFALOL…) This WP is the simplest expression of WP there is, but WP is WP. Right, enough acronyms, let's just hope Worthy Park Select has nothing to do with Laphroaig Select… Colour: gold. Nose: we would have loved more oomph, but they sell this for way less than 30€. Lovely notes of linoleum, ink, brine, olives, paint… While indeed, and that was what I've been feeling in the first place, it is very similar to the Fijian (and conversely). Mouth: just very good, not even light, oily and olive-y, with good grittiness, overripe bananas, a feeling of diesel oil, nutmeg and pepper, very salty oysters (of open sea), olive oil… Finish: perhaps not exactly the best part, but that's more than normal at 40% and with this kind of profile. Just ask Laphroaig Select. The aftertaste is a little hazy and out of sorts, but there. Comments: class, this cheapish entry-level WP, just take another sip before the finish.
SGP:362 - 85 points.

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

 

 

 
   

 

 

 

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