To keep the standards high, there’s only one place to go after that thrilling Ian Burrel rum tasting [WLP]. LM&V! Let’s ease our way in.
Barbosa Grogue Pure single rum  Ob. 45% tLC81
thelonecaner.com tells us: ‘the lost world mystique hanging around them [Barboso] creates an aura about these almost unknown rums made in remote lands in traditional ways, in a way that make them rums of real interest. They’re supposedly throwbacks to the way “rums ought to be,” the way “they were once made” and all sorts of stuff like that. Artisanal, untamed, simple rums, brewed the same way for generations, even centuries, akin to Haiti’s clairins or the original cachacas‘.
- C: From Cape Verde, this is less industrialised/traditionally produced rum in keeping with clairin [WLP]. Smells clairin-esque too, though far easier to drink with a simpler journey and a metallic/coppery finish.
Scores 78 points
Hampden Great House  Ob. Distillery Edition 59%
€89 NAS rum anyone?!
- N: Husky grape juice.
- T: Husky funky arrival leading to an easy/accessible and tasty cane/grape juice experience for the palate.
- F: The top coat harks to Long Pond-esque brilliance with bitter molasses and clean industrial strong putty notes behind the surface.
- C: For those wanting Hampden light perhaps? For a few dollars more you get the full Hampden experience.
Scores 86 points
Savanna Herr  Velier 100% Pot Still 62.5%
- N: An unusual nose on watermelon, unfamiliar old sweets with pharmaceutical roots, palo santo, medicinal sherbet,…..
- T: The unusual weirdness continues on the palate with cinnamon, soaps, aniseed, spearmint and Fisherman’s Friend for example, all mixed together as an odd combo inside a bag of palo santo.
- F: Finish after finish over industrial cleaning & washing products with medicinal & confectionary sweets.
- C: Nothing available from the big rum brands prepares you for these extraordinary rum styles. I reckon even the Long Pond’s may appear more normal after this. Let’s find out.
Scores 90 points
Long Pond Jamaica Pure Single Rum  Velier 100% Pot Still STCE 62.5%
- N: Though there’s a woody presence early on, it’s the spirit that talks of a husky fruity [coconut/pineapple) funkiness. I also noted sweet herbal (mint), warehouse hues, suede, leather jackets, husky soot, boot polish and petrol pollution.
- T: It takes a few sips to get my head around this one given the dense concentration of varied flavours. Let’s try adding water. Now it’s coppery with various hints of this & that including sour salty oysters, aniseed, plasters and medical [bathroom] cleaner.
- F: Out of nowhere we’ve a tutti frutti finish coupled with another moderate hit of medical solution.
- C: A crazy crackerjack that I find difficult to score.
Scores 89 points perhaps?
Let’s try another LP.
Long Pond 2007 12yo NRoJ TECA 1200/1300 Continental Flavoured [3560 bts] 63%
From a stock of 11 barrels.
- N: I’m told this is not as crazy as last year’s offerings [WLP]. Nosing, I find this release moderately bonkers and I love it for its chalky damp fungal mouldiness growing on rotting banana skins.
- T: This is certainly less weird compared to last year’s 2007 vintage 11yo, but it’s still giving out plenty, all on rotting fruit and vegetal skins.
- F: The previous ‘white’ Long Pond is a reminder that the funk is borne from the spirit. Here too, the distillate is carrying all the rotting fermenting banana-like funky vegetation but the wood is certainly promoting it. Slimy/briny mouthfeel by the end.
- C: Love it. Stands up on its own despite its ‘for blends’ freakiness.
Scores 89 points
Monymusk 2010/2019 9yo NRoJ Column still MBS [4660 bts] 62% WF85
Staying with National Rums of Jamacia, I’m told Monymusk is now a brand made at a distillery within a distillery. Clarendon to be precise. This batch of 4660 bottles equates to 15 barrels in this case.
- N: Guess I was expecting some craziness given my the association with these simple and highly regarded B&W labels and their blenders codes. Inside the bottle we have husky savoury-sweet rum.
- T: Rich huskiness.
- F: Balanced with form.
- C: Excellent rum with no funny business.
Scores 88 points
I’ve left off the Caroni’s. Find them HERE