Bottle Polishing: Summer 2018, Rum

Caroni 18yo [2017] BBR Guadeloupe 46% [WF]90 [W&C]88 RMW

  • N: The nose is great, everytime. Unfortunately I know what’s coming. And once you know what’s coming, those moorish oaked & tarry caramel sugars are forever tinged with a slight aspirin-fresh medicinal sour, or at least the expectation of. Hindsight aside, enjoyable notes on offer include oily/earthy-sweet-vegetal tutti-frutti<tropical fruits [dried brown apricots] and seasoned vanilla wafer oak. Secondary notes include trombone valve oil, vegetal/violin bow resin, green-yet -ready coconut, a savoury-sour Pina Colada, Brasso, [elbow] grease, vegetal [asparagus] toffee, dried sawdust/coconut shavings…… Really a splendid nose with a minimal detergent note, but brace yourselves.
  • T: A promising few seconds quickly changes into a rummy-detergent punch in the mouth, and it doesn’t change or improve – it is what it is. The aspirin/cinnamon heat leads to the inevitable conclusion. Despite all this, i’m persistent if not diligent. So with that in mind, the aspirin/detergent could also be translated as very dry oak with heat. In fact the more I explore this neat, the more the vegetal waxy toffee vanilla complex [~turning buttery] comes to light, but it’s tough love indeed. The drying bitter oak resins sit awkwardly, and on the next sip my optimism subsides once again.
  • F: Actually finishes well enough although short as is often the case with older rum. With the detergent-y palate softening, those delicious oaked sugars from the nose return alongside burned vanilla-sweet vegetal~herbal vanilla with spices, all of which are just reward after that troubled palate – though you may find you’re doing all the work. An oily oaky deep/bitter/heavy cedar & generic wood stain=varnish character then resides. We see wafer-bone dry vegetal=creamy-sweet=sour, dry walnut [oil]>>vanilla & cinnamon notes at the tail, which is a big plus, though it finally rests back with detergent at the death.
  • C: Can this be the same rum that whiskyfun reviewed? Surely not. From memory, Ralfy tells us there are some great Caroni and some terrible Caroni. Scoring ranged wildly, almost all for the nose and some for the finish, but life is too short. This is not a good rum, and hey, I’ve given it almost a year of reflection. Try washing the glass!

Scores 76 points

 

Ron Los Valientes 2007 20yo [btl #1247] 43% [50cl] RR7.3[7] RSB80

Containing 70% double pot-still rhum agricole from sugar cane juice and 30% traditional column still rum from molasses, this batch was bottled in 09/2007.

  • N: With little-to-no bubbles & reluctant legs, I find a reluctant nose that is fruity fructose-sweet with cloves & mince pies. On opening, It’s fairly oaky and caramel-y though the spirit certainly isn’t lost to the casks.
  • T: Reluctantly again, it creeps in with little intent. With an understated demeanour, it speaks of berry fruits and cocoa powder with bourbon-matured & grain whisky references. Later it’s evidently more woody with caramel-y/brown treacle. This works alright as a ‘quick hit’ tipple session/celebratory swigger, but I don’t find myself needing to meticulosity analyse it.
  • F: Woody yet also spirity, so there is a balance of sorts, though this also translates as a cancelling out too. Tobacco notes, dried spices and coffee caramel [E150a] were noted. There’s no bad rum here, it’s simply lacking and somewhat empty.
  • C: This comes across like an Aldi Christmas special to me, and Christmas came early. It’s reasonably convincing as a 20yo, being woody enough, soft enough [from old refills certainly], also fairly jagged/untempered and with a washy/natural-looking colour – but who actually knows? Further reading: an excellent and thorough review by rumshopboy.

Scores 80 points

 

Cadenhead’s 1842 Caribbean Rum [08/06/2018] 59.9% FRP5/5

Filled direct from the cask at the Campbeltown shop.

  • N: Full on distillate & cask driven rum smelling of nutty, spicy, banana-y vanilla cream and woody vanilla plastics.
  • T: Very spicy with waxy/plastic-y banana notes. Water management is key to promoting the distillate away from that incredible spice. Within the storm, there is a tannic-sweet, aniseed-based sugar cane haven, but work you must.
  • F: Once the hot spices have subsided [neat or not], there’s a final settlement of banana/cherry-fruity<vanilla [sawdust-y] cream, eventually finishing clean after a bracing ride.
  • C: This seemed better at the time/in the shop. Some issues stick out, though occasional mouthfuls shine just as I remembered it.

Scores 84 points

 

There’s no doubt the rum of the summer has been Adelphi’s Monymusk: Blog90

 

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