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

January 30, 2022


  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!


Wouldn't we do rum again?

Since this is rum's turn… Let's see what we have… Randomly…

A very good friend of mine in Cuba ->

Santiago de Cuba 25 yo (40%, OB, Cuba, +/-2021)

Santiago de Cuba 25 yo (40%, OB, Cuba, +/-2021) Three stars
Full disclosure: I fell in love with Santiago de Cuba 11 years old while on the island and may have quaffed all the stocks they were having in La Habana last time I was there, four or five years ago. Easily my favourite Cuban rum, if you don't take into account a few stunning pot-still aguardientes that they just wouldn't sell. Even when the police is not there. Colour: deep amber. Nose: you do feel the caramel for sure, and the toffee, and the cane syrup, but other than that, no one's making this style this well anywhere in the Caribbean, let alone in central America. Fantastic notes of cane honey indeed, milk chocolate, sweet earth, maple syrup, thick black honeys, chestnut honey again and again, molasses… Well, all you need is a little 'son' (you may check the web radio 'Radio Habana Son Cuba'). Mouth: huge honeyed caramel, with some sweetness for sure but surely no sugar. Wonderful dry molasses, huge liquorice, then some coal smoke or something, black cigars for sure, then vanilla extracts. It is a little sad that they wouldn't have cranked-up the volume a little more, but indeed within this style, it's a leader. Coffee liqueur. Finish: gets a little flabby, I'm afraid. Not the best part. Comments: I'm not sure it is with this one that anyone would 'salvar la revolucion', but I find it very good 'within this style'. Now we remain rather under the 11. The 20 was way below the 11 too in my book.
SGP:740 - 82 points.

Enmore 1988/2021 (48.9%, The Whisky Jury for Whiskay, Guyana, refill barrel, cask #9, 181 bottles)

Enmore 1988/2021 (48.9%, The Whisky Jury for Whiskay, Guyana, refill barrel, cask #9, 181 bottles) Five stars
More whisky people on and about rum. Hold on, this is between 32 and 33 years old, am I not right? Whether this was the Enmore still or the Versailles at Enmore, I do not know and frankly…  Colour: dark red copper! Nose: some metallic earth, black olives and some engine oil, that's how I would describe this one at first. There are some resemblances with the Cuban, especially these whiffs of petroly molasses, but of course this is much tighter and firmer. Vase water, crushed olives and capers, mud, a little acetone, turpentine, carbon, lily, caramel… All things that we enjoy, even if it is a tad heady. Mouth: possibly European aging as it does not display these slightly stuffy oaky tones that one would find in tropically-aged very old rums. No names. It is extremely floral, salty, with a hippy side (I mean, incense, patchouli, weed…) and some deep all-fruit jams, then coffee liqueur. Whether European or not, this one could have been showcased in one of Armistead Maupin's novels. Finish: medium, on much liquorice, tar and coffee liqueur again. Lighter prune sauce in the aftertaste. Comments: magnificent, complex, needing your attention when in your glass. Mind you, it is between 32 and 33 years old!

SGP:662 - 90 points.

Compania Licorera 19 yo (68.9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Nicaragua, #R8.6, 'WD40 Dunderfunk', 264 bottles)

Compania Licorera 19 yo (68.9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Nicaragua, #R8.6, 'WD40 Dunderfunk', 264 bottles) Two stars
Let's not spend our energy on any research, let's just try to stand the 68.9% vol. and avoid any instant yet painful death (our lawyer is playing golf and not answering his new iPhone just now, as they all do when we need them). Colour: gold. Nose: dandelions, nougat, that's all so far. With water: light rum, with perhaps a very tiny smoky side, but I may be dreaming. Obviously, the old Enmore crushed it and the Cuban crushed it too. Mouth (neat): sugars. Curiously thin, no dunder and no funk at this stage. With water: light and easy. What funk? Finish: medium, a little thin. Comments: there are many glorious rums within the SMWS's latest offerings, but this one's not one of them, in my humble opinion. And nineteen years old, you say? I may have missed something here.

SGP:530 - 76 points.

Guyanese Rum 17 yo 2003 (58.8%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Guyana, #R2.15, 'Charismatic Funk', 180 bottles)

Guyanese Rum 17 yo 2003 (58.8%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Guyana, #R2.15, 'Charismatic Funk', 180 bottles) Four stars and a half
Apparently, they do like funk at the SMWS; having said that, this should be a different kind of funk. Colour: white wine. Nose: a whole different world. Love this, it's got these acetone-y, varnishy notes that are working so well along all the olives, brand new double vinyl LP,  anchovy paste and miso. Lovely lovely. With water: same. Plus new plywood or new IKEA chair (just don't sit on it). Mouth (neat): sublime grapefruit juice mixed with cellulose glue, nail polish, olive oil, Islay peat, bone-dry riesling and just oysters. As we say in French, 'we got knocked on our back'. With water: same. Superb. Finish: long, with more mint and more lemon. Superb. Comments: feels very Jamaican. We need to meet with the gentleman who's handling the MS-Excel files at the very honourable SMWS. Joking. Superb drop, I could have gone up to 90 if the end of the aftertaste hadn't been a wee-tad sugary.

SGP:462 - 89 points.

Uitvlugt 31 yo 1989/2021 (50%, RumSponge, refill barrel)

Uitvlugt 31 yo 1989/2021 (50%, RumSponge, refill barrel) Five stars
The Sponge would give us a few further clues here, such as the fact that it was 'early landed' (so probably aged in the EU/UK). Colour: amber. Nose: petroly caramel, Barbour grease, very old Sauternes, black olives, petrol mix for 2-stroke engines, and once again, crushed anchovies mixed with tarry liquorice juice and the blackest pipe tobacco. And yet it would never get too heavy on the nose. With water: unnecessary (just a little more varnish). Mouth (neat): pretty compact, not as 'wide' as I would have thought, and totally full (pleonasm alert) of salty liquorice, with drops of lemon juice. With water: sameish. I'm also thinking of some Austrian rieslings, Pichler and 'stuff'. Finish: long, lemony. It's not that common to find this much lemonness in very old Demeraras. Stunning salty aftertaste. Comments: curiously uncomplicated but expectedly excellent.

SGP:463 - 90 points.

C<>H 1990/2021 (54.4%, Salon du Rhum Belgique, Jamaica, 228 bottles)

C<>H 1990/2021 (54.4%, Salon du Rhum Belgique, Jamaica, 228 bottles) Five stars
In case you wouldn't know, Belgique is the same thing as Belgium. And in case you wouldn't know either, the marque C<>H may lead to Hampden's very-high-ester section (are you sure, S.?) Like 1,300 g/hlpa. Colour: gold. Nose: glue, acetone, nail polish remover, antirust paint, carbolineum, pencil shavings, carbon dust, brake fluid, spent engine oil… All fine. With water: olives and new Chinese plastics. Stunning resiny notes in the background. A painter's old bottle of turpentine, new jumpers… Well I adore this, I think I want to marry this bottle, please call Brussels' bishopric. Mouth (neat): oh, a gritty, hugely limey and yet totally carbony one. Frankly, I'd have said New Yarmouth or Clarendon. But then again, I'm only a whisky enthusiast. With water: no, there, this is totally amazing. It's almost like drinking the Atlantic ocean, including all the fish, seashells, seaweed and shipwrecks. Finish: long, salty, sublime. Olives at the helm. Comments: they've distilled olives, have they not? I think I could quite sip this.
SGP:473 - 93 points.

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