Rum New Grove Double Cask Acacia
One of the things I like about cachaça is the richness and variety in taste, thanks to the possibility of maturing the spirit in all different kinds of wood. I know, for rum or whisky you can use old port, sherry, banyul, cognac or whatever casks; but it always will be oak. White American oak or European oak…but always oak. Now take f.i. a cachaça matured in casks made from umburana wood. It provides a very distinct cinnamon taste.
So I was rather glad to find out that the good people at New Grove launched two rums under the ‘double cask’ label. The first one I tasted has received an initial maturation in French oak, and a second maturation in acacia wood.
Acacia (aka Thorntree aka Mimosa) has its roots in Africa and Australia. It is not to be confused with what California people call Acacia which is a completely different tree. With New Grove situated on Mauritius – and thus right between Africa and Australia – it’s no wonder the distillery choose this kind of wood for their double cask series.
Some of the acacia species are very rich in tannin. Acacia wood has been used in France and Spain for many years to add a new dimension to white wines and in the aging of the incredible sweet wines of Bordeaux, Loire Valley and Gaillac. Acacia wood gives white wines an incredible floral characteristic with added structural mouth feel. No oak flavours. Just the fruit with a floral nose and great mouth feel. Acacia is being used in the US on wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Chenin Blanc.
But enough of all this…let’s find out how the acacia wood influences our rum.
The Rum: New Grove Double Cask Acacia
Distilled: n.i. – ca 2006
Maturation: 7 years in French oak and 2 years in acacia
Nose: First aromas are rather peppery and a strange but not unpleasant meaty aroma. Rather a-typical but still definitely rum. After some 10 minutes the molasses comes kicking in. We also have some green banana and well hidden a slight metallic aroma. Not sure where this meaty aroma comes from. The rum itself? Not really, because I never found this in any other New Grove. Is this the acacia influence? Let it in the glass half an hour, and the aromas now take me back to my time in college : some warming pipe tobacco (Alström Black, if you know it).
Taste: the rum starts a bit dry with subtle fruity undertones (tropical fruits like passion and guave). The alcohol feel is rather soft. A medium sweet rum with soft and very refined molasses. After 10 minutes the fruit gets more juicy and sweeter. What the nose lacked on the fruity side, the taste now delivers. Very succulent but subtle. Yes, this is a very pleasant fruity rum, but really not the ‘right-in-your-face’ kind of fruitiness. It’s much more delicate.
Finish: Medium sweet and medium long. Again a very subtle metallic hint and lots of dried fruits now (prunes, apricots). The finish is rather light and thin, lacking a bit of body. But still it’s very tasty. The finish finally delivers some delicate wood influences.
Our Score : ***
Both nose and taste are very OK, but they don’t correspond; with the nose being heavier and more meaty and spicy, and the taste being lighter and more fruity. A nice and interesting rum indeed !