Monthly Archives: March 2016
Today only some short rumblings – short impressions of rums I tasted without making tasting notes. This weekend I was at a whisky festival in Gent (Belgium), and thus not the ideal place to make serious notes. I might come back to these rums later, with real notes. But anyways…these two rums I found at the stand of Whisky Import Belgium – happy to see they are starting with rum too.
The Real McCoy 5yo
A pleasant Bajan rum from our friends at Foursquare distillery. Pleasant because no sugar’s added, and it’s no übersweet rum. It delivers what one can expect from a Bajan rum : pleasant tropical fruits and some soft vanilla. A well balanced oak influence and a whiff of tobaco too. A good rum for those who are starting to get aquainted with rum. I however would probably have liked this so much mure if it was bottled at 46 abv and not 40 abv. A bit too weak imho.
Kill Devil Rum 5 yo
Kill Devil seems to be an indy bottler; and the one I tasted was from Venezuela. Again pleasant but with a bit more punch and bite than the Real McCoy. Not too sure if it was a molasses rum or one made from sugar cane honey. I suspect the latter. Nice oak and herbal touches, with a rather long and lingering finish. Definitely one to re-try later!
Time for an old Jamaican Rum! No distillery is mentioned on the bottle, so I’m curious.
The Rum: Jamaican 1977-2012 – single cask
Bottled: 2012 by The Whisky Agency (Germany) and The Nectar (Belgium), 256 bottles only
Nose: Vanilla and herbal notes open the debates. The herbal notes remind me of rue (Ruta Graveolens) on a hot summer day. Also some fine sawdust. Soft tropical fruits (green banana, papaya) and subtle molasses, with a hint of cigar box and sweet perfume. Despite the abv, no alcohol bite. A very soft and pleasant nose, although rather simple. After 15 minutes more pisang and even some mocha lingering through.
Taste: Rather sweet, and this time the alcohol is well present. Candy syrup and molasses. The herbal touch is sweeter now, and the fruit is there (banana) but gentle. Surprisingly little wood influence for a rum this age. This was either a very inactive cask, or a cask that matured in Europe. Or both. A very tasty rum, but lacking just that bit of depth. Oh… and if you ask me, this could well have been distilled at Long Pond Distillery. Or not 😉
Finish: medium long, sweet, almost no wood, and again rather herbal. Honey bonbons. The lack of cask influence makes it less chewy than some of its siblings. Good or bad thing? That depends on your taste only…
Our Score: ***
Cachaça Brasiliana by the Araxa distillers is the kind of cachaça you can pick up at the tax free zones in Brazilian airports. And that’s exactly what we did when I saw this bottle for sale at Brasilia DF airport. A commercial cachaça, but according to the label artisan and 12 years old! So let’s try it.
The cachaça: Brasiliana Gold 12 yo
Region: Minas Gerais
Fermentation: indoors, with corn flower
Distilled: n.i. – copper pot stills of 1500 litres
Maturation: oak, for 12 years
Bottled: november 2013
Nose: the first impression is very soft and gentle. I’m looking for that typical vegetal cachaça notes but no… Vanilla and soft oak shavings confirm the maturation on oak. Also some dried fruit and a soft mineral touch. After a good 10 minutes I finally start to notice some fresh sugarcane juice, together with a slightly perfumed aroma.
Taste: Now this is rather sweet for a cachaça. When cachaça producers add sugar, they have to mention it on the label (cachaça adoçada), but nothing mentioned here. Still I have the impression that a good amount of sugar was added here. This is very un-cachaça indeed. Maybe one for the true rum drinkers? The mouthfeel is very soft, with fine hints of white fruits, but it lacks depth and complexity. Especially for a 12 year old cachaça. Again I have the feeling that the 12 years old might be a bit exaggerated on the label. I guess there’s some 12 yo in it, along with a big quantity of much younger cachaça. It’s either that, or they are using some very old, exhausted casks to mature their pinga.
After about an hour, the taste becomes very flat with astringent bitter tones.
Finish: Sweet and short, with – yet again – surprisingly little wood influence and almost no vegetal cachaça flavours. Fruits? Yes, a bit: overripe pears mainly.
In short: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this cachaça. No off-notes. But it’s an a-typical cachaça. Not vegetal enough. Too sweet (again, I might be mistaken, but I suspect added sugar) and ..well…disappointingly flat for a 12 year old (is it really?)
Our score: ** – despite the fact it’s from tax free… around €30 (1 litre bottle) is simply too much for this cachaça !
Our good friends at Cadenhead’s (best known for their independent whisky label) also did and do quite some rums. Remember that pleasant range of rums (Haïti, Panama, St Lucia, …) with the yellow-blue labels; or their ‘green label’ series.
Now they are hitting the liquor stores with a ‘Classic Rum’ at 50 abv; origin not indicated. I wasn’t sure whether to buy this rum or not, since I like to know where my rums come from. But a good soul provided me with a sample, so let’s see if this is a bottle that will join my collection one of these days..
Before coming to the actual tasting notes, let me tell you that according to a source at Cadenhead’s, this is in fact a Guyana blend, containing Demerara rums between 5 and 7 yo, and sometimes even up to 10 to assure consistency.
The Rum: Cadenhead’s Classic Rum
Bottled: ca 2015 by William Cadenhead’s
Nose: Molasses, caramel and a nice vegetal touch, accompanied by a fresh sea breeze. I also got some roasted peanuts and honey bonbons. After a good 15 minutes, more dried fruits are coming through. I also tried to add a few drops of water – at 50 abv one might expect a rum could handle it – making the rum much softer, with the vegetal notes becoming a bit sour.
Taste: strong, vibrant alcohol, sweet and herbal. A very intense first mouthfeel! I also get some dried fruits again, and a whiff of tobacco – think of a cigar you re-light after a few minutes. Adding a few drops of water helps the fruitiness developing in the glass. The whole gets a bit less herbal, but also slight bitter touches appear now.
Finish: A rather long finish, less sweet than the initial taste, with a lingering warm wood influence. Some typical demerara notes keep you company right till the very end. Raisins, light brown sugar. Adding water makes the finish short and a bit one-dimensional.
Our Score : In doubt….*** or **** ? Considering the origin, the high strength, and the quality, this is a very fair priced rum (around €50). So considering price-quality range..heck why not. Four stars it is !! One bottle for the collection coming up! Despite its higher alcohol volume, I prefer it neat: water makes it softer but also a bit ‘flatter’.