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Rhum Chantal Comte Tour de l’Or 2006

Tour delorThe La Mauny distillery, which received its AOC in 1996 has three distillation columns, including one that is completely made of copper. It’s there that Chantal Comte selected this single cask, traceable to the Section T of the La Mauny cellars.

The Rum: Chantal Comte Tour de l’Or 2006
Origin : la Mauny – Martinique
Raw material: fresh sugarcane juice
Distilled : 2006 – column still
Matured : 20% new French oak (Tronçais Forest) and 80% ex-cognac casks
Bottled: april 2017 – 2000 bottles
ABV: 57.7%

The Nose: the first impression is rather agricol-y, but in a subtle way. It’s not the in-your-face sugarcane but more a soft herbal, grassy kind of rum. It has a rather sweet floral perfume with hints of tropical fruits. In the nose also an autumn forest: wet leaves and humus. Dried prunes and sultanas and some sour cherries. Despite the high alcohol volume, the nose is rather soft. At the end it reminds a bit of a cigar box with soft cedar wood and a whiff of smoke. Adding water brings out more nutty flavours.

The Taste is firm with pungent alcohol. A soft swet touch and a big wood influence, but not bitter. The wood is spicy. After adding some water the rum gets very dry (ah, the irony!) bringing back the humus and a basket full of mushrooms. An autumn rum with a firm herbal touch.

The Finish is rather long with vibrant wood until the very end, turning just a very little towards bitterness. The herbal taste is now accompanied by some mocha.

Our Score: ****

Havana Club Selección de Maestros

488753Let’s admit it… as rum lovers we often look at big brands like Bacardi or Havana Club with a certain dédain.  But what about their ‘better’ expressions? Drinkable or not? Let’s find out with the Havana Club Selección de Maestros (a rum that replaces the Havana Club Barrel Proof in the range) for which the casks have been hand-picked by the maestros roneros from the company’s finest aged stocks. The rums selected by the maestros roneros are finished in special casks of white (American) oak chosen for their aromatic properties before being bottled at a higher strength than the standard range for a more intense, immediate flavour on the palate.

The Rum: Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros
Origin: Cuba
Raw material: molasses
Distilled: n.i.
Bottled: ca 2017
ABV: 45%

The Nose starts with pleasant floral notes accompanied by a slight vegetal sour touch. Spicy oak, nutmeg and a whiff of aniseed. After about 10 minutes in the glass it gets much fresher. Confit lemon peel, raisin and even a bit of a salty aroma. After 10 more minutes also some spicy ginger and a delicate touch of green tobacco.

The Taste is medium sweet with toasted sugared almonds, nicely balanced oak with soft bitters, and a touch of leather. Fine tobacco leaves and peach on syrup. The alcohol strength is perfect!

The Finish is rather long and slightly drying with well-integrated wood. Definitely not too sweet, but with a touch of sweet sauced pipe tobacco. Also orange peel, and at the very end some juicy white fruits (peach, nectarine).

Our Score : ****. A very nice Havana Club? Yes, it does exist!

Ron Jaguar Edicion Cordillera (Turrialba)

The Jaguar Edicion Turrialba is also bottled under the name Jaguar Cordillera. It’s branded as a rum from Costa Rica, but is actually a blend of rums from diverse countries. Colombia and Peru for sure, and maybe Venezuela – info on that is contradictory.

___rx_exhibitor_data_public_product_11067_640_640The Rum: Ron jaguar Edicion Turrialba
Origin: blend
Raw material: molasses
Distilled: column still
Matured: 10 yo, ex-bourbon casks
ABV: 43%

The Nose: a lot of oranges and dark sugar with some warm vanilla custard, a bit of a nutty aroma and some slightly sour vegetal notes.

The Taste: sweeter than the nose predicted. Strong taste of tangerine and vanilla, and a very pronounced taste of soft mocha. Is this the Colombian rum in the blend maybe? Because if you like Dictador rum, you’re going to like this one too.  Bot the nose and the taste is rather good, but they don’t match. A delicate whiff of tobacco gives it a bit more depth.

Finish: medium long, sweet with lots of mocha again.

Our Score : ***

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!

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 : ***

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 : **

Rhum Domaine de Séverin XO

24 Days of Rum – Day 4

severinThe Rum: Domaine de Séverin XO
Origin : Guadeloupe
Raw material : sugarcane juice (agricole)
Distilled : column still
Bottled : 6 yo
Maturation : bourbon casks
ABV : 45%

The Nose : Pleasant floral notes with a delicate vegetal grassy side. Loads of vanilla custard and warm spices, with some cinnamon. This rather delicate Agricole gets a bit more fruity after 5 minutes, but quickly fades away after 15 minutes.

The Taste: no surprise there, this is indeed Agricole. It’s soft vegetal with a subtle sour undertone. The alcohol (45%) is there with a mild tingle, but without being aggressive. Give it some time to breath and the sugarcane starts popping out, together with a whole basket of soft fruits.

The finish is rather long, with a bit of a bitter woody touch at the very end. The balance between the sugarcane and the wood is almost perfect, but the whole is a bit monotonous. I wouldn’t say dull…but still.

Our Score : ***

Rum Bristol Spirits – Mauritius

24 Days of Rum – Day 3bourdonn

The Rum: Bristol Spirits Reserve Mauritius

Origin: Mauritius – Domaine La Bourdonnais
Raw material : sugar cane juice (Agricole)
Distilled : 2010- Column still
Bottled: 2015 – 5 years old
Matured in the UK, in sherry casks
ABV: 43%

The Nose: now this is a very strange aroma for a rum. I get some brine and sea weeds, with white pepper. Reminds me of some island whiskies in fact. After a few minutes more soft fruity notes and a vegetal touch. Grassy. After about 10 minutes it all gets a bit softer and more round, with pleasant hints of herbal honey.

The Taste: again very vegetal and grassy, with a lot of funk. While the initial nose was a bit whisky-like, the taste is more cachaça-like, with the sugarcane coming through in full force. After 10 minutes sweeter and less grassy, with the honey gaining control again.

The Finish: Medium long, with those grassy cachaça notes again. A little bitter, like biting raisin seeds. The last word is for some overripe fruits.

Our score: ***
A rather strange rum in both smell and taste, but not too bad.