Google Another bag of eight rums

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

November 5, 2023


  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!


Yet another bag of eight rums

We'll kick this off with a little Ecuadorian, just because we haven't tried many of them yet. Only three, mind you; hope it's not a sugar bomb…

Distillerie Papa Rouyo, Goyave, Guadeloupe (Papa Rouyo)

Papa Rouyo



Romero & Sons 'Solera Especial' (48%, OB, Ecuador, +/-2023)

Romero & Sons 'Solera Especial' (48%, OB, Ecuador, +/-2023) Three stars and a half
They say it is un-dosed, it's nice to see this new selling point gaining traction in South America. This baby stems from one of those nifty advent calendars containing miniatures, not too sure it's also available as a full bottle. Colour: white wine. Nose: a pretty vegetal body, in the style of some cachaças I would say, with notes of asparagus and celeriac, wild leek, fermentation, then lime and lemon, bison grass vodka, bamboo shoots… I find this most pleasant and very un-Spanish, as far as styles are concerned. Mouth: sweeter and much rougher, a little liqueury although not 'sweetened up' indeed, apparently. Some roots, leaves, some lemon, tart wild cherries, some fatness that would suggest they've used pot stills… It actually improves over time, getting elegantly grassier over time, towards lemongrass and, perhaps, Thai basil. A little coriander too. Finish: rather long, more fermentary, with lemon and coriander,  as well as several roots including, drum roll, gentian. Comments: very good surprise! Glad I could try this one, thank you Mr. Calendar, I doubt it would have crossed my path otherwise. Let's watch Ecuador's Romero family in the coming years…  
SGP:462 - 83 points.

Dos Maderas 'PX 5 + 5' (40%, OB, blend, +/-2023)

Dos Maderas 'PX 5 + 5' (40%, OB, blend, +/-2023)
We've tried an earlier expression ten years ago and thought it was a little low-average, not bad but very sweet (WF 74). The packaging has changed since back then.  It's also lost its 'rum' appellation, they now call it a 'spirit based on rum'. They've used rum from Barbados and Guyana and then double-aged it in the Caribbean and in Spain, where they seem to have PXed it. Bah... Colour: deep amber. Nose: prunes, coffee, raisins, chocolate and molasses, williams pears. Mouth: indeed it's rather a liqueur, rather cloying, hard to enjoy at room temperature. Coffee liqueur, thick moscatel and, indeed, PX… I think we're going to shorten our suffering. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, Diageo's Don Papa and Pernod's Bumbu, both former rums, are even sweeter and stuffy. Finish: raisins, mosto. Comments: over vanilla ice cream, why not. Looks like I liked it better ten years ago, but they may have changed the recipe.
SGP:720 - 55 points.

Alright, let's stop hurting ourselves…

Appleton Estate 'Signature' (40%, OB, Jamaica, 2023)

Appleton Estate 'Signature' (40%, OB, Jamaica, 2023) Four stars
A blend of column and pot still rums of various ages, minimum 5 years. It is very fairly priced. They were having several Appletons at WL Paris but my capacity being limited by nature (what?) I chose to try only one, this Signature, which surprised the awesome people at their booth. Remember, the closer to the core of the distillate, the better! Colour: pale gold. Nose: don't get me wrong, Appleton is very Jamaican of course, but I believe this young baby is more 'Jamaican' than their older expressions. Love these oranges and mangos topped with a little varnish, olive oil, liquorice and just fermented cane juice. I find it perfect. Mouth: excellent, slightly 'funky' (are we still allowed to use that word?), pretty smoky and pleasantly rubbery, with once again a little olive oil, varnish, liquorice and tar. Some putty too, a feeling of fresh paint… Finish: not that long but clean and saltier now. A little brine, liquorice, mango chutney, vanilla… Perfect indeed. Comments: for less than thirty French euros, we really don't hold back our pleasure.
SGP:562 - 86 points.

Papa Rouyo 2022/2023 'Vibrasyon' (63.6%, OB, Guadeloupe, ex-cognac casks, 2023)

Papa Rouyo 2022/2023 'Vibrasyon' (63.6%, OB, Guadeloupe, ex-cognac casks, 2023) Four stars
Some new rhum agricole from Guadeloupe, made in a new micro-distillery everyone's already raving about. It was built by a gathering of cane planters and this is their first proper 'aged' (well, barely) brown rum, while they've also raised and bred some awesome aged white rums kept in stainless steel tanks. Colour: white wine. Nose: sure it is a little hot and a bit dominated by vanilla at first, but you do feel the fresh cane juice here, even at, cough, 63.6% vol. Oh and these notes of lemon and pineapple… But no chances are taken at Habitation WF… With water: a pure expression of sugarcane juice, with some lovely earthiness, palm heart, lemon, vine peaches (does that come from the cognac wood?)… Mouth (neat): stunning. Hyper-zesty cane and lemon tangoing to perfection. Crazy. With water: deeper into earth, olives, liquorice, grapefruit, pears, vanilla, quince… Finish: long, zesty, ultra-clean, very caney, with touches of jasmine tea and lemon balm water. Comments: I believe they should also do an easier version at, say 46%. Awesome fresh agricole, I can't wait to see it age and prosper.
SGP:651 - 87 points.

A.F.D. 12 yo 2010/2023 (58.8%, Whisky Picnic Bar Taiwan, Dominican Republic, bourbon barrel, cask #42, 259 bottles)

A.F.D. 12 yo 2010/2023 (58.8%, Whisky Picnic Bar Taiwan, Dominican Republic, bourbon barrel, cask #42, 259 bottles) Four stars
Pasting what I had written about another, excellent AFD by the Watts, A.F.D stands for Alcoholes Finos Dominicanos, a very large operation that's started distilling in 2010 and that's supplying several large Dominican brands. Colour: pale gold. Nose: light rum, not thin though, rather on cakes and, indeed, cane juice rather than the molasses it had been made with. Some dried coconut and a little maple syrup. With water: no further changes, this is obviously not a very 'congeneric' rum. Mouth (neat): good, sweet, rather thick, syrupy in a good way, well indeed it is almost cane syrup. Then aromatic herbs, rosemary, mint, lemongrass… With water: rather better, this time with preserved fruits, apricots perhaps, touches of rose jelly and litchee, dried goji berries… Finish: medium, sweet, going on as it started. What's most spectacular is the very clean and citrusy aftertaste that rather lifts it. Comments: not really mindboggling at first but as we progressed, the lemons took over and almost transformed it. Best of high columns, let's say.
SGP:541 - 85 points.

Neisson 2018/2023 'Vevert' (54.6%, OB, Martinique, agricole, Straight from The Barrel, cognac cask, cask #88)

Neisson 2018/2023 'Vevert' (54.6%, OB, Martinique, agricole, Straight from The Barrel, cognac cask, cask #88) Four stars and a half
'Vevert' refers to one of their wet warehouses (82% hygrometry). Don't keep your Picassos there. Colour: deep gold. Nose: I think it'll need water. Not that it's closed but I find a bit too much vanilla and coconut for now. Well, either we add some water right away, or we start a series on Netflix and wait... Okay, we're adding water. With water: opens up like an oyster, displaying ylang-ylang, potting soil, banana skin, shea butter and cappuccino. If you take a deep breath, you may also find some Christmas herbal tea and a little camphor. Mouth (neat): lush, liquorice-like, earthy, floral, with a lot of bergamot and violet sweets. Also a little coffee with some Chinese anise inside, which sounds a little 'Starbucks', I agree. With water: gets drier, with more earthy liquorice, tight grapefruits, gentian tea, verbena tea… Finish: rather long, pretty sweet, with a lot of crème brûlée, triple-sec, heather honey and just cane syrup. Some coffee, cinnamon and cedarwood in the aftertaste. Comments: a rather complex cask that really needs your attention. Above all, don't try to taste it while watching a series on Netflix (while also reading a novel and playing a stupid online game on your iPad).
SGP:641 - 88 points.

Good, another one that may need water…

Caroni 24 yo 1998/2023 (61.6%, Distilia for Lion's Whisky, 10th anniversary, Trinidad, cask #1)

Caroni 24 yo 1998/2023 (61.6%, Distilia for Lion's Whisky, 10th anniversary, Trinidad, cask #1) Five stars
A little tip, perhaps, anniversary bottlings are usually of superior quality because no one would like to celebrate with something sub-standard. Makes sense, no? Colour: amber. Nose: those lethal smells that we enjoy so much in heavy Caronis. Nothing is normal here, it's all either rotten or rotting, full of petrol, horse saddle and sweat, fermenting plums, cigars and, probably, small dead animals. Like bacteria. With water: carbon, old books, old stove, pickled porcini and whatnot. Mouth (neat): eucalyptus wood infused with black olive brine, more petrol, coal tar, turpentine and just brake fluid and dust. With water: just perfectly great, its time you call the Anti-Rumporn Brigade. Finish: ultra-long, with some pencil lead, coal, ashes, black olives, plastic, salted liquorice… Comments: crazy and even better when Luca Gargano tells you the stories about Caroni. They should add a QR code to every label, which would link to some video of his. In the meantime, we're content with this dazzlingly rotten Caroni.
SGP:563 - 91 points.

Good, perhaps an old Guyanese before we call this a rum session…

Port Mourant 32 yo 1990/2023 (49.20%, Silver Seal, Guyana)

Port Mourant 32 yo 1990/2023 (49.20%, Silver Seal, Guyana) Five stars
The double wooden pot still, baby. Colour: dark amber. Nose: first fills the room with whiffs of wisteria and lilac, then mandarins and zwetschke, then black nougat in the making and roasted peanuts, then just earthy and petroly rum smells. And puréed chestnuts. We bow down. Mouth: it reminds me of some chocolate ganache made with puréed passion fruits and a little olive oil. Olive oil and chocolate is another one of my guilty pleasures. An acquired taste at first, then you just can't do without it anymore. But back to the rum, there's also some pipe tobacco, some walnut wine, some marmalade, some salty caramel and praline, some coffee-schnapps… Finish: really 'dark', with some coffee, some dark chocolate and three or four small black olives. The aftertaste is a notch biting, peppery… Comments: Massimo, owner of Silver Seal and Whisky Antique, likes his rums dark and profound; it's hard to say he's wrong. Ciao Massimo.
SGP:562 - 91 points.

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







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