Google Some More Rums for this Sunday

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2023


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

May 28, 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!


Some More Rums for this Sunday


We'll kick this off with something that may well not be proper rum, on the other hand it is said to be 'Scottish'. So…

In the old Rhumerie Hardy in Tartane, Martinique (Rhum Hardy)




J. Gow (40%, OB, Scotland, spiced rum, +/-2021)

J. Gow (40%, OB, Scotland, spiced rum, +/-2021) Two stars and a half
Well actually, the recipe is said to be Scottish but I've just seen that it's stemming from Orkney indeed, and that it is 'inspired by pirates'. No worries, we've already tried quite a few spiced rums that weren't even admitting that they were 'spiced', most sweetened and flavoured to the brim. Colour: pale gold. Nose: hints of rubbing alcohol and a touch of burnt wood, with some fresh paint and dried rose petals. Also notes of freshly cut herbs, not unpleasant at all, along with orange zest. Rather acceptable, we would say, but as always, the potential devil will hide on the palate. Mouth: it's a bit syrupy and certainly very herbaceous and bitter, not far from some aquavits. Cinnamon, cloves, a slightly soapy side, and then more and more juniper, gin, quinquina... It's alright, the sweetness is not really cloying, it's somewhat reminiscent of an old-style cordial. Finish: medium length, still with quite a bit of juniper. Hints of liquorice and lavender in the aftertaste, reminiscent of cologne... Comments: I believe my dear paternal grandmother used to sip something like this in the 1960s. I mean, not cologne! Tsk-tsk..
SGP:660 - 77 points.

1731 'Guatemala Gran Reserva' (46%, Fine & Rare, Guatemala, +/-2021)

1731 'Guatemala Gran Reserva' (46%, Fine & Rare, Guatemala, +/-2021) Two stars and a half
Probably some Botran or Zacapa juice; only clearer and, hopefully, less sweet. It is said to be 4 years of age. So, some rum from Darsa Distillery, all right. Colour: white wine (hurrah!). Nose: very light, quite herbaceous, with a hint of grapefruit zest and notes of lemon balm, freshly cut hay, and sawdust. It then becomes increasingly lemony, with a touch of vetiver as well. Nothing to set the world on fire, but the fresh aspect is pleasant, reminding me a bit of certain cachaças. Mouth: slightly sweeter, but everything remains gently below the limit, while lemon takes centre stage again. Overall, it's very light, but not unpleasant at all. Touches of sugarcane juice. Finish: short but quite fresh, although the retro-olfaction is a bit more muddled. Comments: it's fresh and rather pleasant. I imagine it will go down very well over a stack of ice cubes, a little later in the season.

SGP:450 - 78 points.

G. Hardy 'Rhum Vieux' (42%, OB, Tartane, Martinique, agricole, +/-2021)

G. Hardy 'Rhum Vieux' (42%, OB, Martinique, agricole, +/-2021) Four stars
A young, 3 years old agricole from La Martinique bearing an old brand name that's been revived rather recently. It is now made at Saint James, which cannot be bad news, while the old Habitation Hardy remains open to visits although it wouldn't produce any rhum z'habitant anymore (an older name for agricole). Colour: dark gold. Nose: very lovely, typically agricole, with a very slight dusty and meaty character, along with beautiful floral notes, orange blossom, fresh bread, and a touch of soot, followed by mocha and honey. It works really well. Mouth: quite unique, with a metallic aspect and a hint of soot, tobacco, toffee, milk chocolate, and orange marmalade. It remains very floral on the palate, with plenty of oriental pastries infused with orange blossom and honey. It feels a bit like being in North Africa, and there's also some mint tea (with pine nuts, please). Finish: rather long, very present, honeyed, and slightly spiced. The signature is slightly meaty and metallic, which is not uncommon in agricoles. Comments: a delightful surprise, this very young and well-defined agricole.

SGP: 561 - 86 points.

A.F.D. 11 yo 2010/2022 (57.1%, Watt Rum, Dominican Republic, 264 bottles)

A.F.D. 11 yo 2010/2022 (57.1%, Watt Rum, Dominican Republic, 264 bottles) Four stars
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: golden. Nose: focused on cinnamon cake and sugarcane juice, with brioche and panettone in the background. It's not overly complex at this stage, but truly lovely and harmonious. With water: the expected honeyed notes unfold, while remaining light and well-balanced. It's very close to fresh sugarcane juice. Mouth (neat): beautiful purity in the very light island style, lemony and herbaceous, without a trace of added sugar. Lemongrass and a hint of peppermint. With water: some sweet notes this time, but they haven't been added artificially. A touch of grapefruit, canned peaches, sugarcane, maple syrup, nougat... Finish: medium length, fresh, still in a light style. A hint of candy sugar in the aftertaste. Comments: probably among the best in the Dominican style, as the official brands tend to be excessively boosted or even overly sweet for my taste.

SGP: 541 - 85 points.

Since we're here…

A.F.D. 13 yo 2009/2022 (58.8%, The Whisky Blues with Old Door Bar, Dominican Republic, barrel, cask #14, 261 bottles)

A.F.D. 13 yo 2009/2022 (58.8%, The Whisky Blues with Old Door Bar, Dominican Republic, barrel, cask #14, 261 bottles) Three stars and a half
This one spent 8 years in the tropics and 5 years in Europe. In theory, it should be very close to the Watt. Colour: dark gold. Nose: the cask was more active, with a lot of vanilla fudge and caramel coming through initially, even butterscotch. Honeyed and brioche notes emerge shortly after. With water: not much change, perhaps more herbal teas and tea. Chamomile and Earl Grey, along with milk chocolate. Mouth (neat): powerful and much more massive than the others, must be the cask influence. Varnish, wood glue, hay, tobacco... With water: much smoother, with sugarcane still present, tobacco notes persist, but there's also an increasing presence of wood. It becomes a bit austere, if not bitter. Finish: medium length, with sweet honeyed green tea. The aftertaste is rather herbaceous. Comments: also surprisingly to my taste for a Dominican rum, although I find this one a bit more rustic. Still, we're somewhat distant from the best rum-producing islands...
SGP: 451 - 84 points.

Foursquare 15 yo 2005+2007/2022 'NAS' (50%, Decadent Drinks, Barbados, early landed, refill barrels)

Foursquare 15 yo 2005+2007/2022 'NAS' (50%, Decadent Drinks, Barbados, early landed, refill barrels) Four stars
Some milti-vintage rum ala Rhum J.M. NAS stands for Notable Age Statements, not for No Actual Sugarcane. Colour: gold. Nose: it's rather gentle, with some bananas and tropical fruitcakes, teas, leaves… And a little lemongrass. It's really gentle. With water: some delicate flowery and herbal touches, wormwood, more lemongrass, yellow melon, a little rooibos tea perhaps… Mouth (neat): dried papayas and guavas, topped with something like, say macha ice cream? With water: more herbal teas and a touch of liquorice. Finish: medium, a notch sweet, with some banana and muscovado. Comments: a very good, yet rather not massive Foursquare, perhaps a little more 'columny' than others. It's also rather curiously close to the two Dominicans.

SGP:551 - 85 points.

Perhaps a little trip to Jamaica? As usual?

HD 10 yo 2012/2023 (58.3%, The Roots, Jamaica, cask #25, 229 bottles)

HD 10 yo 2012/2023 (58.3%, The Roots, Jamaica, cask #25, 229 bottles) Five stars
We'll say it again, HD does not stand for Harley-Davidson in this context, even if some smells will probably remind us of some spent oil from an old V-twin. Colour: gold. Nose: said spent oil, seawater, gherkins, brine, olives, carbon dust and rotting bananas. There. With water: more of all that, gritty olives, varnishes, tar, new tyres (for your HD)… Mouth (neat): it's rather more acetic than other HDs, with also even more varnish and yet more liquid caramel. Rather less olives and 'funky stuff', though. With water: glues, perhaps. Let's be careful. Some lemon, tar… It's just excellent, as expected. Finish: long, tarry, salty, and rather a little fruitier than others, while those fruits would not obligatorily be 'rotting'. Comments: what's good with these indie rums is that in general, they would not use any silly wine casks, while many do now in whisky. As good as it gets.

SGP:553 - 91 points.

Jamaican Rum 13 yo 2009/2022 'JDOK' (61%, The Whisky Blues, Jamaica, barrel, cask #7, 252 bottles)

Jamaican Rum 13 yo 2009/2022 'JDOK' (61%, The Whisky Blues, Jamaica, barrel, cask #7, 252 bottles) Five stars
What does JDOK stand for? Jamaica Dermot Owen Kelly-Lawson? If it's a DOK, remember that's the most estery marque at Hampden, with 1500-1600 grams esters per hectolitre pure alcohol. Let's see what it's all about… Colour: white wine. Nose: plain and pure glue, between Pattex and UHU, then the usual gherkins and olives, brand new plastics or electronics, new wellies… Etcetera. With water: a little more towards carbon, tar, nail polish, fermenting tofu, acetone… Mouth (neat): massive salted plastics and varnishes. With water: we'll never tame it. Extreme varnishes and salted citrus, with the signature olives in the background. Finish: very long, on the very same notes. A very salty and peppery aftertaste, a little uncommon. Comments: absolutely terrific top of the top-dresser, but definitely not for everyone. The higher marques are not always my favourite, but this one is totally spectacular. Plus, no one will ever dare finish this kind in Ruby Port or Zin, that's an asset too!
SGP:465 - 91 points.

Push push push…

Clarendon 25 yo 1997/2023 (63%, Rum Sponge, Jamaica, 124 bottles)

Clarendon 25 yo 1997/2023 (63%, Rum Sponge, Jamaica, 124 bottles) Five stars
This crazy one was almost fully aged in the tropics, which the very high A.B.V. goes to prove. Colour: golden amber. Nose: it's hard to get all the subtleties but it does sing. Spices and posh perfumes, I would say, elderflowers, ylang-ylang, orange blossom, even passion fruits and mangos… It seems… This is very intriguing for sure. No big funky blast this far. With water: a lot of metal polish, aluminium, used car parts, and tons of lemon verbena. Some thyme too, essential oils… Mouth (neat): some kind of very fruity varnish and a massive dose of salted liquorice that will take your tongue hostage if you're not careful enough. Water is mandatory. With (2 litres of) water: c.i.v.i.l.i.s.a.t.i.o.n. Now it keeps biting you a wee bit thanks to this oaky caramel and all the mints (cinnamon first) and liquorice. Finish: very long and saltier. A lot of liquorice in the aftertaste. Comments: how many times have I already said that Jamaica was the Islay of rum? Bah, don't bother, this is just another superb juice that I'm finding just a little less 'balanced' than the HDs. But not sure balance would be what we're looking for when quaffing these monster rums.

SGP:563 - 90 points.

Sadly not WP at the moment, but we'll have a New Yarmouth as our last rum today.

New Yarmouth 28 yo 1994/2023 (67.4%, Flensburg Rum Company, 84 bottles)

New Yarmouth 28 yo 1994/2023 (67.4%, Flensburg Rum Company, 84 bottles) Four stars and a half
We're in Appleton territories now. Colour: richer amber. Nose: numbed a little bit. Some sweetness, apparently, a little corn syrup, perhaps… Caramel, chocolate, perhaps a little rhubarb… And indeed some Jamaicanness but at 67%+, no chances will be taken. With water: we are thinking of Appleton. Some lovely toffee and cappuccino, some burnt raisins, but no actual 'funk'. Most probably some low-ester New Yarmouth. Mouth (neat): massive salty chocolate, caramel and… hold on, bourbon-varnish? Once again, no chances taken… With water: does not feel like pot-still too much, but there is some lovely earthiness, leaves, chocolate, black tea, earthy toffee and coffee… Finish: long, sweet and caney, with a rather raisiny earthiness. Rather ganache and liqueur-filled chocolate in the aftertaste. Comments: I know it is a little strange to call this one 'gentler' given its insane strength. What's sure is that it's hard to get in 'right' in your glass, you'd almost need an AI-driven electronic pipette. It's been ordered but it hasn't reached WF HQ yet. Right.

SGP:652 - 88 points.


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







Whiskyfun's Home