Old St. Croix Dark – 1960s
The Rum: Old St. Croix Dark – 80 proof
Origin: Virgin Islands – Cruzan Rum Distillery
Bottled: ca 1965
Background: “After a severe hurricane ravaged St. Thomas in 1837, Copenhagen granted an exclusive license to Albert Heinrich Riise to dispense retail drugs on the Danish island. In 1913, the Riise family business was sold to Olaf Poulsen, a pharmacist from Copenhagen. Four years later, the Virgin Islands were bought by the United States. In 1928, Isaac Paiewonsky purchased the Riise company. After World War II, his wife Charlotte and his sons Ralph and Isidor expanded the business and its products even further-becoming “the” place to shop in the islands. In 1961, Ralph Paiewonsky left the family business to become governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Today, A. H. Riise Gifts and Liquor Store is run by Charlotte and Isaac’s daughter, Avna Paiewonsky Cassinelli, and her sons, Sebastiano and Filippo. These custom rums are distilled by the Cruzan Rum Distillery Company, Ltd., and then blended by A. H. Riise. ”
[Source: The Complete Guide to Rum by Ed Hamilton, 1997, p.37-38]
Nose: Dusty, a bit like the well known ‘old bottle effect’ in whisky. Wet stone. Sweet start, getting more medicinal. After 20 minutes: the dusty notes are gone now, it gets more typical rum. Soft and refined molasses. Herbal too (verbena). After 60 minutes: more alcoholic now. Soft vanilla. The medicinal touch only goes on on the background. Floral now (white flowers).
Taste: Bitter and harsh, no sweetness whatsoever. After 60 minutes: slowly getting softer in the mouth, but the harsh and bitter notes are still playing the first violin. I have no idea if the rum originally tasted like this, or has it just ‘gone bad’ after all those years in the bottle? Anyway…this is not for rum lovers, but for those people who can appreciate Fernet Branca (the very bitter Italian stomach medicine)
Finish: One dimensional bitter, and medium long. After 60 minutes the finish gets a little bit softter, sweeter but also shorter.
Our score: Now this is a difficult one. First of all….is this rum gone bad or not? I should try some other Old St-Croix from that era to compare. Secondly…the rum changes a lot once in the glass. So I split up my score into 2. Initial score : * . After 90 minutes a ** .