RumFest 2017: Kill devil

Hunter Laing’s Kill Devil series has enjoyed much exposure and deserved praise from rum & whisky fans over the last few years. With a no-show by Berry Bros & Rudd at this years RumFest, it was good to see at least one independent whisky bottler pushing ahead with single cask, craft-presented rum. In the show atmosphere I found their labelling confusing, especially after i’d ‘had a few’ and there were 6-7 almost identical looking bottles lined up side-by-side. Bear in mind that the country of origin takes precedence over the name of the distillery which may or may not be stated underneath in a significantly smaller font. That’s fine until you’re faced with rums from different distilleries from the same country. The issue is confounded when the distillery/distilleries are undisclosed. Really confusing, but once I’d got used to the format things became much clearer. All the bottles in the Kill Devil range stated a vintage year, an age statement, the number of bottles produced and where possible, the type of distillation used. Fabulous! I’d like to see more information specific to the actual rum on the back label instead of generic blurb. Gripes over, let’s try the juice!


16 KD Guatemala.jpg

[Darsa] 07/2007 9yo HL Kill Devil ‘Guatemala’ [356 bts] 46% 

  • C: Good rum but with too much first-fill vanilla talking.

Scores 82 points



14 KD Guyana 17.jpgUitvlugt 12/1999 17yo HL Kill Devil ‘Guyana’ [341 bts] 46% RR70[1] MoM

  • C: Similar action to the Darsa but with an improved & varied form.

Scores 84 points



Kill Devil ‘Nicaragua’ 01/1999 18yo HL [257 bts] 59.2% MoM

13 KD Nicaragua.jpg

From either Flor de Caña or Mombacho Ron, my money is on the former.

  • N: Dry, bready.
  • T: Deliciously malternative.
  • F: Sour sweet spirit finish.
  • C: Good all-round, dry-ish, sweet-ish whisky-rum.

Scores 84 points


[Hampden] 12/1998 18yo HL Kill Devil ‘Jamaica’ [381 bts] 46% TWE

14 KD Jamaica 18 hampden.jpg

  • N: A rum cocktail nose with buttered acetone, but the most striking note is sandwich pickle.
  • T: Full on ready-made cocktail rum – dense, beefy.
  • F: Creamy & salivating buttery/oily mouthfeel with a burned spent lees note and more sandwich pickle.
  • C: Me like.

Scores 86 points



[Worthy Park] 06/2006 10yo HL Kill Devil ‘Jamaica’ [338 bts] TWE

Kill devil worthy park.png

  • N: Potent sweet & dry dunder notes with an Irish-style fruity<squidgy putty character.
  • T: Malty-squidgy.
  • F: Rich vanilla cake.
  • C: A complex rum that is faithful to the fundamental spirit.

Scores 87 points


[Enmore] 02/1992 24yo HL Kill Devil ‘Guyana’ [338 bts] 46% MoM£192 [Oct ’17]

KD Guyana Enmore 24.JPG

Unbelievably, this 24yo Enmore was a three token pour at the show due to RumFest’s extremely tight token policy:

  • 1 token for rums RRP £80 – £100
  • 2 token for rums RRP £101 – £150
  • 3 token for rums RRP £151 – £200
  • 4 token for rums RRP £200 and over

Compare this with TWE Show:


  • WHISKIES WITH RRP £500 – £1000 = 1 TOKEN
  • WHISKIES WITH RRP OF £1000 – £2000 = 2 TOKENS

As a result, we passed on the Enmore as did our possible purchase of it. Shame. I’m not certain whether token values between RumFest & TWE Show are the same, but let’s remember Karuizawa was being poured for three tokens at TWE Show 2017 and all the Pappy for free! Velier, generous as always was pouring Caroni 23yo without charge. Amazing!


BLOG: RumFest 2017: Velier


Hunter laing Kill Devil

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