Monthly Archives: March 2017
What we taste today is a Jamaican ‘rhum’ bottled by Italian liqueur producers Ercole Gagliano in the 1960s. They would later be taken over by Marcati in the 1980s.
In 1919 the Marcati brothers, Pietro and Luigi, began their business in the family-owned pharmacy, which soon became their first craft workshop. In 1929 the first industrial plant was established in Verona, but was destroyed during World War II. Following the post-war reconstruction the company continued to grow and during the Eighties it began to export, first to European countries and later to various other continents. Today, the Marcati brand is present with its products in 25 States throughout the world. Brothers Pietro, Andrea and Maria Paola are the latest generation that is running the company.
Those products are mainly grappa, cream liquors, sambuco, limoncello and amaretto, and also gin and vodka.
The Rum: Liquore Jamaica Rhum di Fantasia
Nose: pfeww…what a bomb of vanilla and tangerine. Imagine Don papa but a bit more subtle and natural, more elegant. Also notes of coffee and baking powder, with a summer meadow on the background: warm and vegetal notes. But let’s be honest: you really have to search for these notes beyond the powerful vanilla and tangerine.
Taste: Sweet, tangerine and loads of vanilla again, with big fat hints of caramel. There’s actually nothing more to say about it. It is what it is. No subtle tastes on the background, no evolution in the glass.
Finish: Rather short on the same notes as the taste. Slightly drying towards the end.
Our Score: **
These bottles are sold now for about 200-230 euro. But believe me, the price says nothing about the quality but more about the scarcity of the product. If you like Don Papa, you are going to love this. If you like rum, you won’t.
Pott rum has a bit of a confusing history, it seems.
Pott was a rum distillery on Sint-Maarten, the Dutch Antilles. “The success of the island is due in large part to its duty-free status. Alcohol, for example, can be imported, blended, and sold without the usual red tape. In the 1980s, the aging Potts distillery, the last to operate on the island, closed because it was too small to compete with untaxed imports from other islands.” it says on the website of the Ministry of Rum.
So Pott was a Sint-Maarten rum, distilled on the island up untill the early 1980s. But Europeans, and especially Germans, still now Pott rum today as a German brand of rum (at 40 and at 54 abv). And what do we read on their site : that the Pott distillery was founded in 1848 in Flensburg – Germany. And there isn’t a confusion between two different brands of Pott, since the logo of the ‘German’ Pott is the same as that of the ‘Sint-Maarten’ Pott..
Now to confuse things even more, we also found info that “the typical Flensburger rum” is made today at the Pott distillery in…Sint-Maarten.
So to conclude :
- Pott was closed at Sint-Maarten in the 1980s.
- Pott was a German rum from Flensburg
- The German rum is made today (2017) in Sint-Maarten in a distillery that closed in the 1980s.
Very confusing indeed.
Now let’s try a Pott that we can be sure of that was made in Sint-Maarten : a Pott light Rum bottled around 1980.
The Rum: Pott Light Rum
Distilled and bottled: ca 1980
Nose: Light rum indeed! Very light and fresh with sweet fruits and a hint of mint in the nose. Soft floral tones and delicate sugarcane on the background. Very pleasant nose…but after a few minutes I have some cleaning products in the nose. Soapy. And no, it was not the glass.
Taste: Again very light, rather sweet and soft fruity notes. Rather consistent with the nose, but luckily no soap here. A bit of a weak rum though. Too weak to be very present when drinking it pure, but also to weak and delicate to use as a mixer. The taste isn’t bad at all, but lacks some character, some ‘oompf’ and some depth. A bit boring.
Finish: Haribo sweets with a touch of aniseed. A medium long finish (rather surprising for a weak rum) without any alcohol at all. Or without any evolution. Again: the finish isn’t bad, but boooooring monotone.
Our Score: **
Last week we tried the Royal Blend by New Grove for the 60th anniversary of la Maison du Whisky in France HERE . Their Belgian colleges from The Nectar are celebrating their 10th anniversary and also bottled a New Grove.
The Rum: New Grove 2005 10th Anniversary The Nectar cask 68-16
Bottled: 2016 – 392 bottles
Matured: Limousin oak
Nose: A rum with a very rich nose. I’m having soft molasses and a nice herbal touch, but also fruity. Warm hay, a little wood and some moss. On the fruity side we have overripe passion fruits and a big but subtle basket filled with all kinds of tropical fruits and warm pears in syrup. Give it some time in the glass and this Mauritian rum even gets a bit of a maritime salty touch in the nose.
Taste: Firm alcohol without being aggressive. First impression is rather herbal with hints of verbena and rue, followed by a pleasant fruitiness of ripe pineapple, a bit of mango and goyave. The molasses is there but subtle, and definitely not too sweet. Add some water and the punchier herbal side makes way for the fruits to pop out even more. And amidst this all, the wood is in perfect balance.
Finish: Again nice and fruity with the wood more present now, turning slightly bitter towards the end. Retro olfactoric tropical fruits and spices like clove. The finish is very long with the wood taking the lead, pushing the fruitiness a bit away.
Our Score: *****
This kind of fruity rums is straight up my alley. I find it richer and better than the LMDW Royal Blend. And since this one is at least 30% cheaper, this is a no-brainer: a rum you just have to have in your collection. provided you still find one of course.
Well done The Nectar, and well done New Grove!
The Rum: New Grove Royal Blend
Distilled: 1969-2005-(2006)-2007 – column still
Matured: French oak
Finish: Acacia, chestnut, port barrels
Bottled: 2016 for LMDW – 800 bottles
From a blend of three New Grove vintages (2005, (2006), 2007) matured in French oak barrels and then finished in acacia, chestnut and port barrels with a some (how much…nobody knows or tells) 1969 New Grove. 2006 between () because the website of LMDW mentions it, the label doesn’t.
The Nose: rich and aromatic, with distinct hints of melasses, heady flowers with a whiff of lime, heavy honey, a bit of vanilla, dark chocolate and soaked wood.
The Taste: Yes! Those lovely exotic fruits we love so much in some of these New Groves. Mango, passion fruits, banana. Royal indeed! Also firm wood influences with a clear influence of the port barrel. Rancio, sultana, dark fruits, 80% dark chocolate. Spicy but round.
Finish: mediumlong to long with the wood and the melasses in balance. Also some hints of pipe tobacco. Also some dried fruits and a bit nutty (almonds)
Our Score : ****
A very nice expression of New Grove…just too bad the price tag (around €100-110) is a bit too high. I have tasted better New Groves (single casks) for less money.
The Cachaça: Magnifica de Fária Tradicional
Region: Miguel Perreira – RJ
Distilled: 2014 – pot still
Matured: for two years in ipê wood tuns of about 50.000 litres
ABV: 40% (This 40 abv version is for the European market; the same cachaça in Brazil has 43 abv)
In the mountains surrounding Rio de Janeiro at an altitude around 800 meters we find the Magnifica de Faria distillery, active since 1985. It’s the only cachaça distillery in Brazil using the ‘alegria’ distillation : 3 pot stills, with the first one acting as a ‘chaufe vin’.
It’s an artisan distillery that manually harvests the sugarcane without the use of burning techniques and without using chemicals.
Each batch of cachaça is about 2000 litres.
The cachaça gets its name partly from the family producing the cachaça (Fária) and partly from the fact that the lady of the house was the very first female ‘Rectora Magnifica’ of the Santa Ursula university at Rio de Janeiro.
The Nose: When you open the bottle it’s immediately very clear that the nose of this cachaça is very pronounced. The aromas really pop out of the bottle. They start with very refined sugar cane and rather fruity influences. A complex nose indeed, with hints of fine saw dust, green bananas, white pepper, stewed greens and a very light acidic touch.
The Taste: as a cachaça should be – with a strong grassy, vegetal touch. But this one is rather sweet for a (unsweetened!) cachaça. Some haribo sweets playing on the tongue. The taste is again rather fruity with a pleasant woody touch. It actually reminds me of grape seeds when you bite them. There’s also some olive-like touch in this cachaça. This is the kind of cachaça that preserves the best qualities of un unaged cachaça (the grassy side) combining it with the best qualities of an ideal natural fermentation (the fruity notes) and the best qualities of a tun or barrel maturation (the woody notes).
The Finish: is rather long and again with a pleasant sweet touch. At the very end again a bit woody and drying without becoming bitter. Especially this woody touch seems to linger on forever and just fades away very slowly. Overall a round and bit sweet cachaça with nice fruity tastes and woody underones. This might not be a Number One sipper, but it definitely is the kind of cachaça you want to make high end cocktails!
Our Score: ***