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

May 14, 2023


Another Rum Sunday

Starting with some un-ambitious little apéritifs, as usual…

Kawa's glorious two-stroke engines... (photo Stuff)



Bacardi 4 yo 'Anejo Cuatro' (40%, OB, Puerto Rico, +/-2022)

Bacardi 4 yo 'Anejo Cuatro' (40%, OB, Puerto Rico, +/-2022)
I have to say I find the current Bacardi packaging pretty lovely. Having said that, the 10 yo 'Gran Reserva Diez' that we tried earlier in April had been really weak (WF 68). Drinkable, but very weak… It's not impossible that this little 4 would be brighter and fresher, let's see. Colour: gold. Nose: it's really not un-nice, perhaps a little metallic at first, but with niceish whiffs of Cointreau and muscovado, overripe pineapple, cane syrup, crème brulée… It is not an eternal nose of Maggot-brain quality, but yeah, I find it pleasant. Mouth: no, cancel all that, it's very weak and sugary, with some burnt sugar, bitter herbs, stale Coca-Cola, over-sweetened tea… It's really hard to drink at room temperature, I would suppose it should not. Finish: not that short, which is bad news. Some rather ugly sweet bitterness. Comments: literally hard to swallow. Perhaps in a Puerto Rican coffee?
SGP:550 - 40 points.

I think we've got a few old Cuban Bacardis in the boxes but we'll try them later.

William Hinton 3 yo (45%, OB, Madeira rum, agricole, 2022)

William Hinton 3 yo (45%, OB, Madeira rum, agricole, 2022)
Made by the Engenho Novo Distillery and properly agricole, remember the Portuguese island of Madeira does, just like Martinique, own a proper appellation agricole, as long as the rums are made in the 'agricole way' of course. We've already tried some excellent 'O Reizinho' from Madeira. Colour: gold. Nose: woof, a whiff of sulphur and 2-stroke fumes at first (old Kawasaki, deadly at any speed they say, right), plus some new leatherette and some cassis and strawberry liqueur. It is really something else, with some dominant notes of red wine barrel. Notes of wild syrah too, French marigold... Mouth: very unusual, with rather a lot of strawberry liqueur again, plus some pepper. Some rooibos tea too, perhaps cherries, and always these sulphury touches. Finish: medium, sweet, a little reductive. Pepper liqueur and bison vodka in the aftertaste. Comments: interesting, but really challenging, as if some wines inside went to eleven.

SGP:651 - 65 points.

Anacona 'Gran Reserva Rum' (40%, OB, Dominican Republic, +/-2022)

Anacona 'Gran Reserva Rum' (40%, OB, Dominican Republic, +/-2022) Two stars
One of the numerous newish brands that are lavishly packaged. Did you notice? In rum as in whisky, the more recent the brand, the more retro the packaging. Colour: gold. Nose: pleasant, rather caney, not liqueury this far, with some good honey and a curious maty touch. Malt spread (just a pinhead). Mouth: quite good! No sugary blast, rather a light profile, in the style of the Bacardi but with much, much less sugar. Sill a little too flat and undemanding. Finish: short, a little sweeter, not cloying. Comments: an acceptable young rum from DomRep, shall we say.

SGP:430 - 72 points.

Let's talk…

Hampden 6 yo (44%, Secret Cask, Jamaica, American Bourbon cask, 2022)

Hampden 6 yo (44%, Secret Cask, Jamaica, American Bourbon cask, 2022) Four stars
It's 'smooth and flavourful', and some single pot still rum, naturally. What could go wrong?  Colour: straw. Nose: classic petrol, shoe polish (blue, and why not?), olive oil, overripe pineapple and bananas, liquorice, and indeed rather a lot of softness. Not a <DOK at 65% vol., all right. Mouth: curiously bonbony, liqueury, with much more pineapple than usual in the attack, then we have the expected salted liquorice and olives. A little capsicum and juniper too. Finish: long, salty, tarrier, with a little more varnish too. Pineapple drops in the aftertaste. Comments: probably rather low-marque, but at Hampden, low-marque doesn't mean low-rum at all, if you see what I mean. I agree with what they wrote, it's rather 'smooth and flavourful'. And excellent.
SGP:662 - 87 points.

Zuidam 10 yo (52.8%, F.R.C., Dutch Windmill Collection, Netherlands, virgin oak, 184 bottles, 2022)

Zuidam 10 yo (52.8%, F.R.C., Dutch Windmill Collection, Netherlands, virgin oak, 184 bottles, 2022) Three stars
Last time, everybody made fun of me because I had mistakenly inserted one of these Dutch rums into a whisky session, which pretty much damaged my ego. No, not really. Colour: full gold. Nose: first some fragrant notes of lady's perfume, rose petals, ambergris, even musk and ylang-ylang, then apricot cake, a touch of cedarwood, incense, ripe mirabelles, touch of oak… With water: more straight oak coming out. Mouth (neat): good fun. Oak spices, turmeric, ginger, maple syrup, apricot liqueur, mirabelle jam (utter sin, that)… With water: both even fruitier (jelly babies, grenadine) and oakier. Cinnamon mints, sucking the tip of your pencil (at school)… Finish: rather long, oaky. Comments: probably a little too spicy, I would suppose the cask had been a little too active. Still superior rum from the land of the windmills.
SGP:560 - 80 points.

Saint James 14 yo 2007/2022 'Les Ephémères Lot n°7' (54.3%, OB, Martinique, agricole, American oak, 2,720bottles)

Saint James 14 yo 2007/2022 'Les Ephémères Lot n°7' (54.3%, OB, Martinique, agricole, American oak, 2,720bottles) Four stars and a half
In theory… Colour: amber. Nose: wandering throughout some meadows very early in the morning in the month of May, while bees and other pollinators haven't harvested all the flowers' nectar yet.  Superlative smells! Plus fresh-sawn hardwoods, quince jelly, patchouli and vanilla fudge, as well as whiffs of fresh varnish, nail polish remover, and just earth. Dazzling nose. With water: I would say it changes a lot. Perhaps a little more varnishy (please note that I'm using Evian, as the local shop ran out of my usual Vittel – tough life). Mouth (neat): this one too is a tad on the oaky side on your palate, but 14 years in the tropics is a lot. On the other hand, we've got tons of puréed fruits, bananas, pineapples, williams pears, papayas, plus some tar and some liquorice. With water: yess! Pine resin, camphor, apricot eau-de-vie, a very faint acetoney touch… Finish: long, more piney yet, with a very liquoricy signature. Comments: grand rum by Saint James.

SGP:652 - 89 points.

Long Pond 22 yo 2001/2023 'LPS' (56.3%, Wu Dram Clan, bourbon barrel, 101 bottles)

Long Pond 22 yo 2001/2023 'LPS' (56.3%, Wu Dram Clan, bourbon barrel, 101 bottles) Five stars
All boxes ticked here. LPS suggests 'high medium esters' (or medium high esters?), so around 500 grams per HLPA. Colour: straw. Nose: classic petrol, new scuba diving suit, olive brine, mentholated grapefruits, tarmac and 'new Volkswagen'. Choose your model. With water: more earthy brine. Pickled mushrooms, as they make in Italy. Mouth (neat): we love these kinds of ester counts, at any Jamaican distilleries. It's still extreme rum, but it won't immediately smash your head, even if I'm finding really a lot of chilli in this one, even if it's not obligatory of the 'XXX-end-of-the-world' grade in the Scoville heat chart. With water: chilli in brine! Or chilli liqueur, which you can make yourself but please be extra-careful, or it'll 'make holes in your jeans', as they say. Finish: very long, gentler, still briney, a little bouillony. Leeks, onions, miso, umami etc. More varnish and glue in the aftertaste. Comments: really, some chilli-led Jamaican. I love this but you've been warned.
SGP:572 - 90 points.

Time to have a last one that may manage to 'climb over' that Jamaican chilli sauce…

Uitvlugt 31 yo 1990/2022 (52.6%, Precious Liquors, for Whisky Gallery Global, Guyana, cask #35, 205 bottles)

Uitvlugt 31 yo 1990/2022 (52.6%, Precious Liquors, for Whisky Gallery Global, Guyana, cask #35, 205 bottles) Five stars
I believe this one stems from the original Savalle 4-column still, but it is all very, and I mean very complicated, with conflicting data everywhere. I think we'll be content with just trying this old baby… Colour: gold. Nose: roses, hardwood, sauna oils, paraffin, beeswax, honeysuckle, nougat… This is extremely complex, you could list billions, I mean millions of aromas. Such as acacia flower fritters, French toasts... With water: … balsa, cedar, incense, softer varnishes, cigarette tobacco… Mouth (neat): bah! Pencil shavings, coal tar, UHU glue, wood varnish, walnut stain, bags of pepper… This is not some easy rum. I repeat, this is not some easy rum. I repeat again this is not (S., please!) With water: no, please not water. It's like when you pour lemon juice on an oyster, it is retracting. No to H2O here. Finish: long, sweeter, rounder. Soft wood spices. Lovely salinity in the aftertaste. Comments: some adorable old Demerara rum, with some charming fragilities here and there.
SGP:552 - 90 points.

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







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