Monthly Archives: December 2017

Rum-Bar Gold (Worthy Park)

rumbar-goldThe Rum: Rum-Bar Gold
Origin: Jamaica – Worthy Park Estate
Raw material: Molasses
Distilled: Pot still
Maturation: minimum 4 years old, Jack Daniels casks
ABV: 40 %

The Nose: Rum-Bar can’t hide its Jamaican origin. Lots of so-called funk (mind you, no dunder pits were used) and sweet banana. Loads of stewed fruits almost smelling like an apple-pear compote. Also some white stone fruits and a touch of mango. The oak is only secondary present. A marvellous smell, fresh and rich at the same time. After 15 minutes the cane becomes more obvious.

The Taste is fruity and medium sweet with a funky and slightly sour undertone. Reminds me a bit of peaches that are just not 100% ripe yet. The alcohol is very soft (I’d love to try this rum at let’s say 43 or 46 abv) and some hints of light honey makes it a very smooth rum. Worthy Park, but definitely the low ester kind. Medium bodied.

The Finish stays on those sweet fruits with a bit of a funny metallic touch. Fades away (a bit too quick) in the direction of those soft Dragibus sweets from Haribo.

Our Score : ***

For about €30 definitely worth every cent!

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Ron Aldea Caña Pura

A 100% European rum? Yes, it’s possible: on the Canary Islands where sugarcane is grown.

Ron_Aldea_Cana_Pura_rum_400pxThe Rum: Ron Aldea Caña Pura
Origin: Canary Islands (Spain)
Raw material: sugarcane juice
Distilled: double column copper still (Egrott, France)
Bottled: n.i.
ABV: 42%

The Nose: the initial aroma is rather alcoholic, camouflaging the more subtle aromas. As it should be for an Agricole style rum, the Aldea Caña Pura is vegetal and grassy with the sugarcane character being well present. I also have some red pepper combined with a muddy (or is it dusty?) touch. It goes a bit towards olives, but more earthy. I agree it’s a bit of a strange note in a rum but I really don’t mind; it gives the rum some character. There’s a very faint watery fruity aroma too.

The Taste: the first sip is again rather alcoholic and definitely not too sweet; even a bit dry. In this light bodied rum we taste this watery fruity notes again. Pears or water melon, with a bit of a zesty citrus side.

The Finish is rather short with a bit of a sweeter touch and again that watery fruity side. A subtle mineral touch stays on the pallet until the end.

Our score: **

Atlantico Platino

atlantico-platinoThe Rum: Atlantico Platino
Origin: Dominican Republic
Raw material: both molasses and sugarcane juice
Distilled: Column still
Maturation: 12 months American white oak + 6 months Tempranillo casks
ABV: 40%

The Nose starts a bit vegetal grassy with a slight herbal touch. I also have a bit of citrus and some winegums. Vanilla and caramel are well present and accompanied by the aroma of some freshly cut green wood. Apart from the vanilla the wood influence is non-existing. Tempranillo casks…really? Used for the 87th time maybe… .

The Taste: surprisingly sweet with loads of vanilla. There really is no correspondence between the nose and the taste, apart from that vanilla. The body is very light. And again… tempranillo? That surely must be a joke, right? Being a rather aromatic raisin variety, there is really no influence in either aroma or taste. None whatsoever!

The Finish is rather short. This isn’t a bad rum, there are no flaws or off-notes. But this is once again such a very boring rum. It lacks character, it lacks depth, it lacks body.  Commercial? Maybe…but a rum WITH character can be commercial too!

Our Score : **
Yet another rum trying to surf on the name and fame of Dominican rums without adding any value.

By the Dutch Batavia Arak

arakThere’s always a first for something. I know cachaça, rum and clairin rather well, but Arak is new to me. Let’s find out!

The Arak: By the Dutch – Batavia Arak
Origin: Indonesia
Raw material: molasses
Fermentation: red rice
Distillation: Chinese pot still
Maturation: 8-10 months on Java, 8 years in Amsterdam
ABV: 48%
The Nose: oh yes, I think I’m going to like arak. It has those nice vegetal grassy sugarcane notes that cachaças has, but just softer. I got a whole pallet of more earthy aromas: moss, wet leafs, autumn forest. But also some wet slate and a touch of iodine. Intensel herbal and earthy, with after a good 15 minutes some floral fragrances. Complex. Love it!

The Taste: dry, rather punchy and very herbal. Again grassy, earthy, vegetal. It’s packed with character, rich and full. What a powerful mouthfeel too! Who would have thought something this good would come from Amsterdam (yes, I know… I really DON’T like Amsterdam. At all. Crowed hellhole!)

The second sip is a bit sweeter, les dry and earthy with more sugarcane lingering through. This arak leaves a warming herbal sensation in the back of the throat.

The Finish: the herbal grassy taste stays, without becoming bitter. A touch of verbena and wet wood closes the debates of the medium long to long finish.

Our score: ****

Oh dear…after rum and cachaça I’m starting to love Arak too. Damn you, Dutch guys!! Where can I buy this stuff in Belgium?

Wild Tiger Special Reserve rum

Wild-Tiger-tilpasset-størrelseLet’s turn away from Latin-America and the Caribbean for a moment, and turn our eye and tastebuds towards India. India is a big rum producing country, making so much more rum than Old Monk alone. In fact, in terms of volume, India is the biggest rum producing nation worldwide – not taking Brazil and the cachaça into account that is. In the old days of rum, India produced an Agricole style rum, nowadays they mainly use molasses.

The Rum: Wild Tiger Special Reserve
Origin: India
Raw material: Molasses with some fresh sugarcane juice spirit blended
Distilled: mainly column still, small part pot still
Matured: 2-4 years in charred American oak
ABV: 40%

The Nose: The first impression is a rather closed and shy nose, with some grassy vegetal notes. Secondly comes lots of vanilla and lots of the good light brown toffee caramel. A third wave of aromas provides more sour vegetal notes and even some light iodine. Overall, the nose promises a rather sweet rum. Give the rum 10 minutes in the glass, and it becomes intensely perfumed. Not really fruity or floral, but a more synthetic kind of perfume. I do like how the aromas keep changing in the glass; that’s what makes it more exiting.

The Taste: sweet, with lots of vanilla and tangerine juice, strong hints of mocha and almond. It’s a bit liquor-like, but without being extremely sweet or artificial. Imagine a much improved and much more elegant version of Don Papa. The mouthfeel is rather creamy.

The Finish: The aftertaste starts with an explosion of mocha and toffee. It stays rather sweet in the mouth, with once again lots of vanilla and almond. Reminds me a bit of marzipan. The finish is medium long.

Our Score : ***

Well, this kind of sweet vanilla rums aren’t really my favourite style of rum. But it’s not too extreme. Plus the fact that 10% of sales goes to the preservation of the wild tiger in India makes this rum a 3-star.

Malecon 12 yo

6897_ron_malecon_12_jahre_miniThe Rum: Malecon 12 yo
Origin: Panama
Raw material: molasses
Distilled: column
Maturation: 12 yo – ex-bourbon casks
Abv: 40%

The Nose: soft gentle molasses with new leather and some milk chocolate. Delicate floral aromas, butterscotch, herbal orange zest. After 10 minutes more mocha notes and some vanilla.

The Taste: medium sweet and fruity. Orange again, but also some fresh green apples, and a subtle touch of coconut shavings. A medium bodies rum. The presence of some vegetal notes in the taste indicates that the sugar isn’t overwhelming.

The Finish: rather short and flat, but with the sweetness, the wood and the fruity flavours well balanced. The mouthfeel is a bit too thin.

Our score : ***

Maximo XO Solera

MaximoThe Rum: Maximo XO
Origin: Dominican Republic
Distillation: pot and column still
Maturation: 15 yo solera method
ABV: 42%

The Nose: the first impression is punchy with dark fruits, rich oak and a bit of vanilla. I also have cocoa, nutmeg and some cold coffee. The molasses is there, but not too prominent. After some breathing in the glass, the rum gets a bit more fresh and clean.

The Taste: a rather sweet start but still punchy. Nice oak influences and a fruity taste. A medium bodied rum with a delicate touch of tobacco.

The Finish
: Medium sweet with a bit of a metallic touch to it. The wood is nicely balanced. At the end of the medium long finish more wood.

Our Score: ***

Spirit of Old Man Project One – Caribbean Spirit

-rum-old-man-project-one-1-caribbean-spirit-40vol-07lThe Rum : Spirits of Old Man, Project One Caribbean Spirit
Origin: Caribbean Blend
Distilled: column still
Bottled: n.i. 10 yo
ABV: 40 %

Nose: the first attack is rather alcoholic, with some faint coconut. The vanilla is weak…that’s to say, it’s very present but it’s a soft, weak kind of vanilla. Also some undefined fruits lingering through. Give it 10 minutes in the glass, and the coconut opens up nicely and the whole gets much less alcoholic, but round and soft.

Taste: extremely sweet with shiploads of coconut and vanilla. Much more than the nose predicted, actually. I suppose this is a nice rum if you like this style, but to me it’s boring. There’s no complexity whatsoever, there’s no evolution in the glass or any depth in the rum. On the positive side: the coconut  tastes more ‘genuine’, or less artificial than in some other rums. Not saying it really tastes like coconut though.

Finish: remains very sweet with big coconut, slowly turning more fruity (apricot). Medium long to long.

Our Score : **

Don Pancha Origenes 18 yo

don PThe Rum: Don Pancha Origenes 18 yo
Origin: Panama
Raw material: molasses
Distilled: Column still
Bottled : n.i., minimum 18 yo – uncharred Kentucky casks
ABV: 40%
The Nose: starts with some spicy herbs and firm wood. Some rather unpleasant aromas reminding me of a cowshed (not to say…’organical manure’). Strong white pepper camouflages a lot of the aromas at first nosing. Not the cow poo, alas. Also hints of old leather and dried figs. After 15 minutes in the glass more warm fruit compote, some cane honey, soft vanilla and vegetal notes. This is a rum that needs time to go from rather …well…unpleasant smells to OK-ish.

The Taste: A sweet start that’s quickly getting dry and is taken over by leather and wood. There are some fruits, but it’s hard to tell what kind. It’s a bit of a mixture of tropical fruits, orchard fruits and acid berries. The whole is rather flat and, well: boring actually. Not really what one might expect from an 18 yo rum.

The finish is rather long, medium sweet and fruity. It fades away on herbal honey, hints of green tea, and gets a bit sour at the end.

Our Score : **

Don Q Añejo

24 Days of Rum – Day 6

don-q-don-q-anejo-rumThe rum: Don Q Añejo
Origin: Puerto Rico
Raw Material: molasses
Distilled: column still
Bottled: blend of 3-10 years old
ABV: 40%

The Nose: a Don with a very pleasant aroma. It starts on soft molasses, old leather and a hint of metal polish, with a good firm wood influence. The nose evolutes towards more floral perfumes with a touch of bourbon vanilla. It even gets a little soapy. Give this rum a good 15 minutes in the glass and out comes a delicate acidity, with even some cabbage.

The Taste: kudos to the master blender, the balance between sweet, herbal and wood is almost perfect. Sweet fruits, delicate tannins and some burned sugars, all combined with a whiff of the finest Virginia pipe tobacco. The vanilla notes, rather discrete, indicate bourbon cask maturation. The mouthfeel is rather light and thin.

The Finish: Medium long to long, with again those sweet fruits, fading away in a pleasant bitter woody aftertaste.

Our Score: ***
This Puerto Rican rum (by Serrales) could be well mistaken for a Bajan rum when tasted blind.