Leaving The Real McCoy stand and the ‘Craft Rum Area’, I wonder what’s left to see with cachaca, LM&V, Foursquare, and Worthy Park all done. Hastily passing RumJava, I take a sharp u-turn and once again, end up in front of the Marussia Beverages stand, a far more modest/simplistic affair in comparison to their fine efforts the year before [see pic below]
We start with Mezan, an independent bottler who tell us their rums are “unblended, unsweetened, uncoloured and only lightly filtered” [with no chill-filtration], and typically presented as vintages from a single distillery. Let’s begin.
Mezan Guyana 2005/2019 Ob. [single distillery rum] 40%
- C: Much like TBWC’s Diamond bottling [WF91 / tOMoh6] on the nose though it doesn’t translate quite so well on the palate by comparison [quibbles]. Still, it’s a Daiquiri in a glass which is always a thumbs up in my book and a fine rum in its own right. Remarkably, abv-wise I’d have guessed nearer 50%.
Scores 85 points
Mezan Jamaica XO  Ob. batch #6002 40%
- C: Whilst Mezan predominantly bottle single estate rum, the exception is this XO which is a blended rum from more than one distillery [pic below left]. Monymusk & Hampden rums have been used for the XO in the past. The result is an effortlessly drinkable cocktail in a glass, but the profile is very light and easily overshadowed by the previous Guyanese vintage.
Scores 78 points
Monymusk 2007/2019 Mezan [btl #0349/5040] 46%
- C: Profile highlights include a rootsy herbal > medicinal fruitiness, cherry wood and orris root with a light detergent-y note lurking in the shallows. Quirky/interesting stuff [pic above right].
Scores 82 points
Angostura 2003/2019 16yo Mezan 46%
- C: Overall, simple but with an involving form. This is what Angostura is/can be before it gets dumbed down. Well worth a look.
Scores 84 points
Now to Doorly’s which people rate highly. After all, like The Real McCoy [WLP], it comes from the Foursquare distillery in Barbados. This year I skip the 3, 5 & 8yo and head straight to the older 12yo.
- C: After my first attempt in 2016 [WLP80], I found the 12yo had improved in 2018 [WLP83]. In 2019, I’m instantly enjoying Doorly’s deep dark oaky-fruity bitter-sweet rounded character. A compromise between ageing, cask types and the underlying spirit brings an interesting woody sweet dryness with just a touch of greenness. Fairly short after the arrival but a highly enjoyable experience. Scores for this rum go up and up!
Scores 85 points
I tried an unreleased version of Doorly’s 14yo in 2018 and found it to my liking [WLP86]. Let’s see what an official 2019 bottling with its stunning blue-throated macaw livery has in store.
- N, T, F: Whilst the 12yo holds onto some greenness, at 14 years, Doorly’s is a fully ripened rum offering a bit of everything. An exemplar of rum if you will that offers the funk, the sweet tropical fruits, the banana-y dunder & mushroom sweetness, the molasses complexity, the soft rocket-fuel punch, a touch of petrol, gunpowder, aromatic Heinz sandwich spread, cracked varnished oak, spice with a heavy sprinkle of powdered black pepper,…. well-aged, softened and desirable rounded off and presented as an accessible/affordable package. Now, this all sounds just awful, doesn’t it? It isn’t. Mouthfeel-wise, we’ve a deep soft fruity oaky chew.
- C: A 14yo rum with a bit of everything [for £60]. I had to buy a bottle [review to follow].
Scores 88 points