Monthly Archives: April 2016
The rum: Renegade Grenada 1996
Origin: Westerhall Distillery- Grenada
Distilled: 1996 in copper pot stills
Matured: Bourbon casks + Château Margaux casks, partly in Scotland
Bottled: 2008 by Renegade, Scotland
1600 bottles – 46%
To be honest…I’m not always the biggest fan of these winecask finished rums. I often suspect bottlers to use winecasks to camouflage what is often a mediocre rum, or worse. I mean: why else start playing with casks if the rum is already great after the initial bourbon cask maturation?
Nose: brown sugar, verbena and rue. The wine influence is presence in the nose, together with some fine sawdust. Also hints of white pepper and vanilla, with the vanilla becoming more dominant after some time. Leave it in the glass for half an hour, it even gets some maritime aromas, like iodine. The empty glass reveals after a few hours very strong aromas of sweet white wine.
Taste:the initial mouthfeel is rather punchy on alcohol, and medium sweet. It lacks a bit of body though, it surely isn’t the mouth covering kind of rum. A bit of dark, overripe fruits lingering through. The verbena we found in the nose, is also present in the mouth, giving the rum an overall herbal touch. Bitterish clove goes alongside the light brown sugar. The initial maturation was on Bourbon casks, but somehow the taste reminds me of some good old rye whisky.
Finish: Medium sweet and medium long, with little wood influence. At the very end some bitter woody notes though. The finish is rather flat and dull, no surprises, no wow-effect. Château Margaux may be a very fancy and expensive wine; this rum – although finished in casks from that château – is ..well…rather boring ! Not bad, but boring.
Our Score: *** A fancy packaging and fancy caskfinish – alas no fancy rum
I always had some mixed feelings about Mezan. Not when it comes to taste, I cannot say I tasted one ‘bad’ rum from this UK based company. But some of the Mezan rums I tried before lacked a bit of punch, a bit of ‘oompf’. Especially the Guyana Diamond 2005 (Port Mourant still) I found to be too watery (see https://sugarcanecollection.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/mezan-guyana-2005 )
They also did a Jamaican Rum distilled at Worthy Park (see: https://sugarcanecollection.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/jamaica-2005-mezan ) which I found very pleasant. So I was rather curious to see what the Jamaican 2000 from Long Pond would be like.
The rum: Mezan Jamaica vintage 2000
Origin: Jamaica, Long Pond Distillery
Distilled: 2000 – double distilled in pot still
Bottled: 2014 at 40 abv
Nose: yes! Fruity all the way, and that’s what I like. Banana, mango, papaya accompanied by some warm vanilla and butter. I even get some mascherano cherry.
Taste: A rum with two faces indeed. The first impression is very fruity again. Lots of passion fruits now, again accompanied by that warm vanilla and clothed cream. But just when you start thinking ‘oooh, what a lovely fruity rum’, it comes back with spices. Pepper, herbal, warm, intense; with subtle oak lingering through
Finish: Medium long with a bitter woody touch. The finish is a bit flat maybe…there is that 40 abv again. Too bad, since the aftertaste is very consistent with the initial taste; so one would only hope it would stay in the mouth forever.
Our Score: **** – a lovely rum indeed, despite the – here we go again – low abv. Expect to pay around €50 – all by all a fair price !
Ah…Caroni…the almost iconic distillery in Trinidad that closed its doors more than a decade ago.
In fact, there are two different types of Caroni: heavy and light. And this has got nothing to do with the alcohol strength, but everything with the rectification of the rum. A light rum means distilled at …a higher alcohol percentage, but with higher rectification; and thus less “unwanted” congeners in the spirit. A heavy rum is distilled at a lower abv, but with more congeners; resulting in a more “dirty” rum, containing more sulphur and fusel oils, giving Caroni its typical tar, smoke and oil taste.
The rum: Caroni Rum Nation 1998-2014 2nd batch
Distilled: 1998 – no type of still indicated
Bottled: 2014 – 4580 bottles
Maturation: 9 years in Trinidad and 7 years in Europe – American oak
Nose: the first impression is soft and fruity, with some pepper, burnt sugar and a medium alcohol feeling. Rather fruity for a Caroni indeed, and really not aggressive. I also got a whiff of mocha and some liquorice, together with lamp oil and a vegetal touch. Camphor. After a good 15 minutes some orange peel and grape fruit. Adding some water makes it much softer, with vanilla playing a more dominant role now.
Taste: Firm alcohol now, but still rather sweet – brown sugar. Much more wood influence than expected. Fruity notes, but a bit more on the bitter side. Orange peel and grapefruit again. Herbal too. Adding some water makes the wood less dominant, with the fruits playing their part now – mainly papaya. More liquorice, and the water camouflages that little bitter side note. Pleasant rum…but where’s that typical Caroni flavour of smoke and fusel oils? This actually goes in the direction of a light Caroni.
Finish: Again lots of wood and herbal, without becoming too dry. The finish is rather long and warming. With some water it becomes a bit shorter and less powerful. Coffee with lots of milk.
In short: A rather a-typical Caroni, and certainly not the best Caroni around – but for this price (expect to pay around €56-60) a must have. If you still can find a bottle, don’t hesitate to buy!
Our Score : **** thanks to the excellent quality-price ratio