Whilst watching yet more snow & frozen rain fall upon my already snowed in car, what better time to crack open a random bunch of rums to counteract the feel of plummeting temperatures.
Seven miniatures [mostly from the 1970’s], all of which may be duffers, can be picked up cheaply at auction. I’ve a mild hope a least one of these is going to be worth the effort. Either way, it’s rum time!
Lime Grove ‘Demerara Rum’ Low Robertson & Co. 40%
The label reads: Produce of Guyana. Colour-wise, the Loch Dhu of rum.
- N: This speaks of cask action in the current-modern style. It would seem the bourbon has touched this one though there’s heaps of oloroso too. Reminds me of SMWS’s 28.33 ‘Temptation to the Dark Side’ [Blog86 & Blog87].
- T: A peppery resinous attack with more modern cask action – the oloroso revealed. Strength-wise, 40% is more than adequate.
- F: Fades quickly but naturally. With a little vanilla, it’s much more like whisky>>cognac at the end.
- C: This one is all about the sherry casks. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless the balance is lost and the spirit hardly has a say. Scores well as an oloroso-matured whisky-esque spirit, though a total fail with regards to Luca’s classification blog.
Scores 81 points
Let’s stay in Guyana
Cameron’s Red Label ‘Fine old rum’ 70 proof
The label reads: Distilled in Guyana. It’s funny to think how differently ‘Red Label’ speaks to the masses as opposed to the enthusiast. It’s the same with cigarettes, whisky, tea,… You’d think the colour would act as a warning.
- N: A fruity one on oranges, lime cordial and tomato juice, besides fruity varnish, treacle, honey blossom, fusty wood dust, smarties and some boot polish.
- T: A bit dusty/fusty>thin, like stale fly biscuits dunked in winey/fruit juice – clearly with some OBE. Moreover, there’s a rough/dry salivation with a bite of Shredded Wheat, flint and a glug of lime>fruit honey punch drink.
- F: A slight ashy finish with hints of apricot juice, sour grapefruit and metallic sour cream. Ashley adds ‘dry ice’. Neatly out.
- C: Somewhat tired and somewhat basic but with glimmers of hope. For once, the OBE here didn’t help the cause.
Scores 77 points
S. K. Williams Ltd. Celebrated Demerara Rum 70 proof
The label reads: Produce of British West Indies – which currently includes a number of islands such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the Virgin Islands. The BWI used to include amongst others, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.
- N: Another current/modern cask-centric styled rum on honeyed honeydew melon, cinnamon-spiced whisky[>liqueur], fusty wood shavings, resinous raisins and mild creamy blossom. This is all cask cask cask, but quality appears decent.
- T: More cask action here, 100% bourbon. The sugar cane is nowhere to be found. This is cask spirit.
- F: Short finish on more cognac-y<whisky cask action showing a little varnish and honey>butterscotch.
- C: Perfectly acceptable as a cask-led spirit drink, though the essence of rum is incidental.
Scores 80 points
Now to Jamaica where we shall say for the duration.
Captain Morgan Black label [1970’s] 70 proof
Given the market share, it’s only fair I try this once – albeit a sample from the 1970’s. These 70 proof miniatures pop up from time to time on the online whisky auctions. The label reads: Produce of Jamaica – though in reality it’s a more convoluted blend than that.
- N: With slow~minimal signs of revival, this miniature may well be too oxidised. Nosing anyway, we have soft aromatic curry spices, wax-y capacitors, all sorts of dusty fruits, dried coconut pieces, lime,… but to some extent we are clutching at straws – it’s flat.
- T: Mild, soft & watery at first, reluctantly stirring from its slumber. Though still watery, somewhat dusty and somewhat rough, it does manage to muster a dry yet salivating arrival. Follows with a small cola note, the caramel encouraging that reference.
- F: A little old-waxy mouthfeel, dry vanilla and Frazzles – the oily beetroot coming to the fore.
- C: Despite the poor sample, this is more than I was expecting to get from ‘the Captain’. Sippable for sure.
Provisionally scores 80 points
As I’m only going to do this once, let’s grab the other one [yep, two for a fiver], to compare alongside the first.
Captain Morgan Black label [1970’s] 70 proof
- N: Certainly a more intact sample than the last. Initially stalwart is the Demerara sugar syrup & molasses before giving way to rotting sweet fruit sugars, prune juice, murky plum and apricot juice. It’s literally a fruit-crazy syrup/juice. Later on however, this murky complexity simply reverts to black treacle and> scorched oven-baked aubergines [Ashley].
- T: A syrup-y arrival [reminiscent of the Courantin blog], brings another [sweet-sour] stew of rotten fruits, featuring prunes and banana juice. Black treacle confuses the situation. An hour later it’s all black treacle.
- F: Bitter E150a, Fruit decaying compost/dunder.
- C: Seemed ok at first but turned out to be ghastly. One for throwing into a late-night punch.
Myers’s Rum ‘Planters’ Punch’ [1960’s] Ob. 70 proof
The label reads: Distilled in Jamaica.
- N: Starts off as a vegetal-decayed, vinegary old Bloody Mary. Served alongside notes of Worcestershire sauce and decaying vine tomatoes is a Gregg’s cheese/vegetal/tomato pasty – the pastry starches talking strongly. Becomes far less confrontational after a while. This could go either way.
- T: Though somewhat ropey, it follows on from the nose without any dramas – the spirit blend, possible cask action and additional caramel contributing to a blandification of things.
- F: Short blended, rum & coke style with a dash of root beer and a strong lactose finish.
- C: “It’s like the Greggs of rum”, says Ashley. In other words, it’s cheap crap that can sometimes hit the spot in the right situation – whilst stuck in snow near Lindisfarne for example link.
Scores 76 points
One last go then before we return to herbal tea.
Orange Grove ‘Old Rum’ Low Robertson & Co. 70 proof
The label reads: Produce of Jamaica.
- N: Finally a ‘proper’ rum, one with a vegetal sweet pong accompanied by a little rubber. As a nonchalant nose, it whispers complexity. Namely; pickled artichokes, cider vinegar, malt vinegar, putty biscuits, rotting satsumas, sweet lemons, brown mushed bananas [hinting at waxy candy ones], picked swede, pickled broccoli stalks, lime cordial, glycerol and pear tart. Minimally doctored if at all.
- T: Displays further vegetal-sweet provenance. Though a little dusty/soft, it pushes on with soft/dry fruit juices and bone-dry & tempered sugars. Continues with soft whispering notes that include mushed brown bananas and apricot juice. With fine form throughout, we loved the soft & dry-as-a-bone yet salivating mouthfeel.
- F: As the mouthfeel turns slightly dryish-waxy, almost rubbery/synthetic, we’ve a short but clean finish that offers soft-dry dunnage-y notes and a touch of coffee liqueur=caramac as it passes by.
- C: Bordering a ready-cocktail in a glass – au naturel, this is hinting at SMWS’s ‘Jamaica me crazy’ [link] territory. A perfect place to stop.
Scores 85 points