RumFest 2016: Day 1, Part 1

The sun is out, jumpers are off and even Ralfy has his rum hat on. June may be an ideal time to bring out the lime & the coconut but RumFest 2016 was last October and i’m only now catching up with my scribbling. Here comes rum wave #1:


Wood’s 100 Old Navy Rum 57% WF74

Wood’s is a blend of three Guyana rums made from Demerara black strap molasses, a high percentage of which is distilled in the [Demerara Distillers distillery] Port Mourant double wooden pot still – favoured by the British Navy and ‘Navy style’ blends since 1732.  Further reading: DDL Wooden Stills TFRS

Wood's old navy rum.jpg

  • N: A dessert nose consisting of Demerara sugar and vanilla cream in the main.
  • T: Notes of fruity sherried chocolate. No sickly sweetness but its more than bracing – somewhat ’stripping’ you may say.
  • F: More vanilla cream, some bitterness and an illusion of some kind of maltiness.
  • C: Astringent & doctored rum that has quite some appeal. Good to see you Luke.

Scores 81 points


Penny Blue XO BBR Batch #004 [10,000bts] 43.3% BBR

Mauritian Rum. Cask type: Whisky & bourbon. Blended by Doug McIvor. For more info: TFRS, From that excellent article is info on how this rum [and many other rums], is made:

Penny Blue XO.jpg

A classic 4 column continuous still. This follows 4 steps:

Firstly, fermented molasses at 8% is distilled in the wash column to separate the alcohol and the volatile compounds. The residue or slops are reused on the sugarcane fields as a renewable fertiliser. Next, in the concentrator, the rum will reach 94% ABV. In the third column, the purifier, water is added to remove undesired flavour compounds (heads and tails). The rectifier is the last distillation step where the water is removed and the rum is concentrated to its final strength of 95% ABV.

  • N: Light & grain [whisky] like.
  • T: Sweet & grain like with a hint of oak spice. Sweet cream later on.
  • F: ,…. continues softy.
  • C: Good neutral one. A rum with decorum.

Scores 80 points


Penny Blue VSOP BBR 40%

Penny blue VSOP.png

  • N: Honey biscuits slightly tainted with smoke.
  • T: Briefly a little more smoke. This transpires to be rather similar to the previous Penny Blue XO though with more simple spirit/grain whisky characteristics – specifically Greenore 8yo WB.
  • F: Short and clean.
  • C: Neat.

Scores 78 points


Berry Bros. & Rudd Fijian rum 2003/2015 11yo 46% WF87

Fijian rum 11yo BBR.png

Fuji is geologically a very new island with a heavy volcanic soil. As a result, the sugar cane there grows very quickly and juicily.

  • N: An oily rubber tyre job.
  • T: Different to the nose now the [fruity=copper] molasses is showing. Moves sweet to sour.
  • F: ,…. more movement…… staying with rubber – rubber toffee.
  • C: A very decent journey rum.

Scores 87 points


Port Mourant White Guyana Pure Single Rum [2015] Velier 59%

Back to the [Diamond] Demerara Distillers distillery [the home of El Dorado], the only surviving rum distillery in Guyana. Further reading:  Diamond Distillery tour TRH.

Port Mourant white rum 2015.jpg

  • N: This is essentially rum new-make, bottled soon after being distilled. It noses of funky socks and crazy metals – must be all those congeners, 537,59gr/laa to be precise.
  • T: Amazingly soft for 59% alcohol and surprisingly gentle & sweet with mineral notes.
  • F: Finishes initially with a soft funk before concluding with clean chocolate.
  • C: Ive no idea how to score this but its high up there with regards to life experience.

Not scored


Foursquare 2013/2015 2yo Barbados Pure Single Rum Velier 64% ralfy90

Foursquare 2013 2yo barbados.jpg

Hats off to Velier for stating the age, however low. They even state the Angel shares >15% – in only two years! The label also states that this rum is sugar free, natural colour, un-chill filtered, barrel proof – ticking all the boxes.

  • N: Clean yet robust with plenty of sweet vanilla.
  • T: Same again. Lovely form.
  • F: ,…. same
  • C: Lovely, quality rum with consistent form.

Scores 83 points


Foursquare 2006/2016 10yo Single blended rum Ob. [2400 bts] 62% W&C87

3 years in bourbon & 7 years in ex-Cognac casks. This is a pot still & Coffey still blend from Richard Seale’s Foursquare distillery, situated in Saint Phillip Parish, Barbados.

Foursquare 2006 10yo blend.jpg

  • N: Given the skill & craft thats gone into this bottle and given the cask[s] influence over time, unsurprisingly this rum is more like whisky. Nose-wise its a colourful & fruity one.
  • T: A characterful-sweet arrival helped enormously by those cognac cask. Molasses sugars come through later. Theres an illusion of porridge mash.
  • F: Molasses=honey sweet from the spirit and a woody cognac<bourbon-sweetness from the cask[s].
  • C: Colourful and balanced despite all that sweetness – but then, it is rum! For what little i know about rum, this seems like the business.

Scores 87 points


More from/about Foursquare and Velier next time.

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