Review: Hamilton St. Lucian 2006 rum

Review: Hamilton St. Lucian 2006 rum

I seem to have missed reviewing this rum and thought I’d better get to it while I yet have some left. Edward Hamilton is a modern adventurer of the old school. He has been everywhere and done a lot. Eventually he found his way to the Carribbean and fell in love with rum, its history, and its making. Sometime later (2006) he started “The Ministry of Rum” website (and then taught himself enough computer coding to make it better). The sight is a fantastic source of rum information. A lot of its categories are inactive. If you look at his “rum of the month” you discover that only two were ever entered, the latest in 2006! But the forums are very active with hundreds of rum and whiskey subjects discussed, and his informational essays (dozens of them) about rum will always remain relevant. There is a lot of education to be had here. Membership, allowing you to participate in the forums, is free.

Edward eventually put together a collection of rums under his own name. Alas this is one of the moribund parts of his website, only 4 of his collection listed and described. There must be nearly a dozen now, but all (I’m not sure of that) limited bottlings some no longer easily found. The nice thing about buying any Hamilton rum is that you know you’re getting something honest, unadulterated, well made, and not on the mass market. His labeling is among the best in the industry. On the front of my bottle it says:

Hamilton St. Lucian Pot Still 2006
Distilled by Lucian Distillers batch 813-7CS Aged 7 years
63.8% ABV

Supposedly you can put that batch number in some field somewhere on his website and find out more about that particular batch, but I have been unable to find that entry point. Perhaps one of my readers here will have better luck. The back label says this:

Back label: Hand selected by Edward Hamilton for the Ministry of Rum collection from the cask aging warehouse at St. Lucia Distillers Ltd for its flavor and authenticity. Distilled from fermented molasses in a Vendome Pot Still, this medium-bodied rum was imported in the cask in which it was aged in St. Lucia.

As I understand it the barrels are imported in New York where they are bottled. Let’s get to the rum.

Color: Medium amber, copper a little organge rather than red. The rum in my glass is just slightly cloudy. Mind I opened this particular bottle about 3 months ago and I do not remember the rum being cloudy when it was fresh. I have one more bottle, I’ll try to remember to update this review when I get around to opening it.

Legs: Swirrled it forms the tiniest of droplets at the front of the glass that only slowly coalesce towards the back in thick legs that slowly drop down the glass.

The aromas of this rum are fantastic. Only a little alcohol (interesting considering the almost 64% ABV), no acetone, no “young rum notes”. It smells rich and sweet with ripe but not overripe fruit: apricot, orange, banana, allspice (or something like it), and a noticible “pot still” funk so up front in rums like Pusser’s and Appleton 12.

The flavor strikes me as nothing like the aroma. The contrast is jarring. This rum is not sweet; very dry. I cannot taste any of the fruit I get on the nose. There is burnt brown sugar that isn’t sweet, tobacco, and a meld of oaky smokey (as smokey as rum gets) notes I can’t tell apart but I can tell there is a lot of nuance here I am not qualified to reach. The alcohol makes its presence known. It isn’t in the least harsh, but it comes up across the mouth and down the throat with a medium finish that speaks of oak. The fire stays with you for a bit after the swallow slowly fading. The texture wants to be creamy but the alcohol cuts through the cream. There are lots of contrasts in this rum but they don’t fight, they get along and sum to something interesting and different.

Given the high ABV I had to see what a little water did to the flavor. Turns out not a lot! Adding 5 or 6 drops and then twice that to an ounce brings out a little fruit from the nose but only by a little. I get a little banana, maybe raisin but it’s hard to tell. There is less heat but not by much. All the melded richness, the flavors I can’t separate, is still there, the funk is even a bit stronger. The rum still isn’t sweet, but maybe not quite so dry. Perhaps there is a little less oak bitterness, and the aftertaste gets a little longer.

At around $50/750ml here I’m on the fence with this rum. I have one more bottle to try, but not sure I would buy more even if I can still find it. I think the price is very good given the complexity, depth, and balance of the rum. It is a very good rum if you like this kind of profile. I can enjoy it, and I can appreciate it because to really get in to rum you have to stretch your palate. But it isn’t something I sip and say “wow I love this”. I have to work at it.

There is a good review of this rum by Inu Akena at his website. Hit the link.

The cigar by the way is a “Cinco Maduro” from Rodrigo Cigars. Medium strength with wrapper, binder, and all the filler blend made from maduro (5 different) leafs if I recall a “lost creation” of Island Jim. Don’t know if there are any of these left but George has a lot of good cigars and frequent discounts. It’s worth getting on his mailing list.

Comparing Foursquare Port to Zinfandel Cask Rum

Comparing Foursquare Port to Zinfandel Cask Rum

Foursquare seems to come up with an endless variety of good rums. I discovered the Port Cask Finish last year, and then found a retailer who also carried the Zinfandel Cask Blend. I’ve reviewed each of these separately and also the Foursquare 2004. But these two in particular seemed so similar I wanted to see what they were like side-by-side.

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As goes information concerning the production and aging of these rums I can do no better than to quote the blog site of the fatrumpirate. The links following the quotes will take you directly to his reviews of these two rums as my own are linked above.

“The Port Cask Finish is a blend of pot and column distilled rum all distilled, blended and bottled at Foursquare. The Port Cask Finish is actually a bit misleading. Many producers would rate it as “double aged”. The rum is aged for 3 years in Bourbon Barrels and is then re-casked into 220 litre Port Casks for a second maturation of 6 years.”

“[The] Zinfandel Cask Blend is a mix of Pot and Column distilled rum which has been first aged in Bourbon casks before being finished in Zinfandel casks. In total the rum has been aged for 11 years.”

Both rums are produced at the Foursquare distillery in Barbados. The Port Cask comes at 40% AVB and the Zinfandel Cask at 43%. This isn’t much of a difference, but it is noticeable on the swallow. I am operating on the assumption that both of these rums start out in the same distillate and the whole of their differences comes from the aging process, 9 years for the Port and 11 years for the Zinfandel. The above linked website does not say for how long the zinfandel version ages in ex-zin barrels, but I have to believe that it is for many of those 11 total years.

Both rums come without additives, no extra sugar or coloring. “Honest rums” as this phrase is used on all the blogs these days. I have read that the ex port and zinfandel barrels used were dry. There was no wine sloshing around as is often the case with other wine-finished rums. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing by the way. I suspect there is a little bit of Spanish sherry in Dos Maderas 5+5 (review linked) and that is one delicious rum.

I’ve been through one whole bottle of the Port Cask at this point, but so far only this (pictured) bottle of the Zinfandel Cask. As a result, this particular Zin version has evolved for about 3 weeks in its opened bottle, but the Port Cask only a week and as you can see I’ve had only 3 or 4 glasses from the pictured bottle. So to some extent I am comparing apples to oranges, but I hope the comparison will still be useful.

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I’ll not go into all the swirling legs business here I did that in the earlier reviews linked above. But I do want to call attention to the color of these rums which you can see from the photos is as nearly identical as it can be. I sometimes think the Port Cask is a tiny bit darker, but some photo experiments suggest this is just a trick of the light.

On the nose, the Zinfandel Cask is sharper, there is more alcohol. There is also raisin, grape, some burnt caramel and light brown sugar, more than a hint of tobacco and oak. There isn’t a lot of sweetness in the aroma and only the barest hint of “pot still funk”. Oak is more prevalent but the aromas are nicely distinguished. By contrast the Port Cask is much more mellow and melded. It’s harder to tease out separate notes, but they are definitely sweeter. No oak to speak of in the Port Cask, some dark fruit, molasses, a little vanilla, and maybe almond. I don’t notice any tobacco or funk, but something like a hint of milk chocolate. I don’t think of rums as smokey compared to bourbon, but between these two, the Zinfandel has more burnt notes.

The flavors are as different as the noses. The Port Cask is smoother with less fire on the swallow and a short to medium but sweet finish. There is dark plum and raisin, brown sugar, black cherry, and chocolate, but like the aromas, they are more melded than the flavors of the Zin. The Port gives very little alcohol taste on the tongue and no funk. The rum is creamy and gets creamier as you go through the glass. I don’t detect any oak in it.

The Zinfandel Cask is less sweet and less creamy but it has some of both. It has a much longer after taste carrying a bit of oak bitterness as does the initial flavor. It is a little less smooth and the alcohol makes it hard to find distinct fruit notes, but I do get burnt brown sugar notes even without any sweetness. There is no funk I detect in the flavor. Although less sweet and more distinctly oaky than the Port Cask, the Zinfandel Cask is bolder, a more manly rum. It carries a forceful flavor kick compared to the subtlety of the Port Cask which is more rounded and nuanced. At least this is so at their bottled strength.

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I did try an experiment, adding just enough water to a half ounce of the Zinfandel Cask to bring it down to 40% ABV. As expected there was less alcohol on the nose and a little less fire on the swallow, but still not as smooth as the Port Cask. The water maybe brought out a little raisin in the flavor of the Zin, and there was some funk there too, but way in the background. The Zinfandel Cask was still more oaky and not as creamy as the Port Cask though. The two remained quite distinct so it isn’t only the ABV making these two good rums different.

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These are both excellent rums and both on the distinctly drier side of the rum world. In some ways they come out the way you might expect. Port is sweeter and less acidic than Zinfandel and this comes across in the noses and the flavors. Both in the mid $40 price range near me, I will certainly be keeping them around as long as I can. As I understand it both are generous (thousands) if limited bottlings. Once they are gone, well, you know…

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Rum Review: Real McCoy small batch 12 year old rum

Rum Review: Real McCoy small batch 12 year old rum

Back in the days of prohibition in the U.S., the spirits sold in the speakeasies (or maybe from the back of a truck) were frequently watered down. The story goes that one particular rum runner, Bill McCoy, loaded a boat with rum in the Caribbean, and sailed it up to New York where he remained in international waters (the 3 mile limit) and passed his rum on to boats that came out to meet him making I would think a tidy profit in the process. Bill McCoy gained a reputation for moving only honest unadulterated product into the black market channels for distilled spirits. “The real McCoy” became American idiom for “honest whiskey”, and soon after for anything genuine.

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The Real McCoy rum series (there is a 3 year, 5 year, and 12 year) is the creation of Bailey Pryor who did a documentary on Bill McCoy and in the process met R. L. Seale of Foursquare rums. The Real McCoy is a result of their collaboration, a “Barbados style” (it says so on the label) rum mixing pot and column still distillates. According to the website (linked here) a good part of the idea was to keep the rum honest. Each of the age statements represent the youngest rum in the standard blended product. It is also made without added sugars or anything else.

A picture of the standard 12 year blend (black label) appears at the end of the review. There are reviews of the standard 12 year on several well known rum sites like Inu Akena and The Fat Rum Pirate. It appears to be a very good rum, but alas I have not tried it…

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What I have tried, pictured here, is a special “small batch” 2016 release aged in both charred American bourbon, and Portuguese Madeira casks for a full 12 years (total). I assume it is a blend, the label makes no mention of a single barrel. The white label sets it off, bottled at 46% ABV (as compared to 40% for the production blend). The price of this special product is about $50, while the standard blend is about $40. It comes in a nice old fashioned sort of bar bottle, with a plastic-capped cork stopper that gives a satisfying pop when pulled. Let’s get to the rum…

Color: Medium amber, slightly red. Very appealing.

Legs: When you swirl the rum in the glass the tiniest droplets form and take forever to coalesce into very thick drops that run very slowly down the glass.

Aroma: Apricot, burnt sugars (treacle), molasses, raisin, some alcohol, tobacco. As always there seems to be something different in every whiff. Good smells though. Want to keep breathing it in.

Flavors: Very creamy from the beginning. There is the burnt sugar from the nose, but also a distinctly cinnamon note, some chocolate, tobacco, ripe grape, apricot again, and a little touch of oaky bitterness. The finish is long, smooth, and sweet. Some heat comes up but gets spread out over the finish and never burns. Very nice. The Foursquare pedigree is notable in the creaminess and depth of the flavors. Very nice.

For the price ($49) at my retailer this is close to as good as the slightly less expensive ($42) Foursquare Zinfandel and Port cask products. Purely a matter of taste here, I think the Real McCoy is a little more complex perhaps but less cleanly refreshing. In any case it is a very good rum and I know I will have to pick up a bottle of the standard black label 12 year on my next visit to my local retailer so I can review that one too.

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The cigar pictured above is a Rodrigo “Corona Project” house blend I reviewed before over here. The rum goes well with every smoke I’ve tried with it. If there’s a little roasted nut or sweet woodiness in the cigar, this rum will bring it out a bit.

Drink up me hearties!

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Rum Review: Smith & Cross

Rum Review: Smith & Cross

There is a comment to a review somewhere that begins “anyone who says they drink this rum neat is a lieing sack of…. “. No need to complete the sentence this being a family forum and all…

But I’m here to tell you that it ain’t so! Not only do I drink this rum neat, it is actually best that way. I expected something harsh. That is not what I get here… But let’s take things in order.

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Bottled at 57% ABV there is going to be some fire here. The back label says it is a mix of Plummer and Wedderburn pot still rums. It is 100% pot still. “Plummer” and “Wedderburn” turn out to be names in a classification system used (perhaps) by the British admiralty and I cannot find much else about this particular system, but I’ll keep looking. Smith & Cross is a 50/50 mix of Wedderburn aged less than 1 year, and Plummer aged from 18 months to 3 years. It seems to me that these age ranges leave a lot of room for flavor and texture differences from batch to batch. I imagine each rum might be blended with various barrels of itself before the two types are mixed. In any case this is a young rum compared to most of what I’ve been drinking lately.

I did learn that this is a “high ester” rum (you can taste that) and that these esters come from the distillery’s use of dunder. Esters are molecules formed from combination of various alcohols and acids. Our nose happens to be sensitive to esters. That is, we smell them, they are an important part of what we call flavor, and their aromas are like all kinds of ripe fruit. If I recall my chemistry years butyric acid and ethyl alcohol form a banana smelling ester. Esters come from a few places in the production chain, notably fermentation. They are volatile molecules and so come over from the finished mash to the distillate. Some also develop in aging depending on the barrels. Ester production is greatly enhanced if the distiller uses dunder.

A dunder is what is left over from a previous fermentation run. It tends to be pretty disgusting, and often some of this stuff is left to age in pits for a while where it gets even more disgusting. I’ve never been there but I’m told the smell of ripe dunder will make you sick. If true it’s because of all the esters, an extraordinary number and density of esters! It turns out that if you take a little bit of this stuff and mix it into the still along with a fresh batch of sugars and yeasts (Smith & Cross use natural yeasts native to Jamaica), those esters get into the distillate and from there into the barrels where they end up producing an incredibly rich and usually fruity rum. Let’s get to the rum!

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Color: Pale light amber, almost yellow
Legs: The rum forms tiny droplets that take forever to form into legs and run thick and slowly down the glass

The nose is full of ripe fruit. Pineapple dominates and there is grape, banana, and rich brown sugar. There is alcohol on the nose but not as much as I expected from a young 57% ABV, and there is also a little of that Jamaican funk but not a lot.

Flavors reflect the nose well. Pineapple comes first followed by other ripe fruits, dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, and caramel. This rum is creamy from the first sip. I don’t know how they do that without any additives but it’s amazing. On the swallow there is fire, but it quickly transforms into a smooth and sweet medium finish. The funk is there too, but not overmuch and the fruit definitely dominates over the funk. I tried adding a little water. That brings out the funk a bit more but at the cost of diluting the fruit. I prefer this rum neat despite its ABV.

This is the second fruity rum I’ve come across lately, the other being the Mezan Jamaican. The flavors seem related. The Mezan also smacks of pineapple and other tropical fruits, but in the Mezan they are fresh fruit flavors while in the Smith & Cross they come across very ripe. There isn’t any dark fruit in the Mezan and the funk while present there is lighter, but the up-front pineapple definitely ties the two rums together.

At $40 locally I will surely be buying more Smith & Cross.

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Rum Review: Foursquare Zinfandel Cask Blend

Rum Review: Foursquare Zinfandel Cask Blend

In the closing months of 2016 I discovered 10 delicious rums all new to me. Three of these were from Foursquare distillery of Barbados under the direction of R. L. Seale. I reviewed two of these, the “2004” and “Port Cask Finish” last year calling them possibly the best rums I’ve ever had. At the time of their discovery I learned about this third member of the group but until recently couldn’t find any. That changed a few weeks ago and this offering is even better than the others!

So what do we have here with this Foursquare Zinfandel Cask Blend? Aged 11 years in bourbon barrels and then [dry] zinfandel wine casks, bottled at 43% ABV. The label says clearly that there are no additives in this rum just like its cousins.

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Color: A beautiful medium amber
Swirled: Forms tiny droplets a few coalescing into thin and slow running legs.
Aroma: Brown sugar, maple syrup, raisen, and only a little alcohol. There are no burnt notes in the aroma, only sweetness. This perhaps the best smelling rum ever!

Sipped it is very smooth and creamy. There is a nice warmth going down the throat, but it comes up gradually and never burns. Every sip has hints of brown sugar, dried apricot, coffee, raisen, and maybe a little chocolate (or I imagining that?) along with the maple syrup I noted in the aroma. The finish is a bit short, but still sweet with no bitterness. Like the aroma the flavors have no burnt notes in them.

As I finish the glass the creaminess grows richer, the sweetness and other flavors fade back a bit, and the aftertaste gets a little longer. All in all this is one hell of a rum and with no sugar or other additives must get its sweetness from its time in the zin barrels. It is my understanding that these are dry barrels too imparting flavors only and not mixing the rum with a little zinfandel remaining in the barrel.

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At $45 here in California, this has got to be one of the best rum deals in the world! I cannot recommend anything more than this. It isn’t always easy to find R. L. Seale’s work here in the U.S. and this group of three rums seems to have popped up in California fairly recently. Seale is a well known name in unadulterated rums these days and I’m very glad to have discovered his work at last.

Zinfandel cask blend, as good as rums get!

Rum Review: Mezan XO Jamaican

Rum Review: Mezan XO Jamaican

This is something different. I’ve encountered that a lot lately. Investment grade Caroni (interesting, but not for me at its price), two Foursquare rums (both fantastic), Pusser’s Gunpowder proof (fantastic), and now this Mezan Jamaican XO. Different would be an understatement, not only compared to the last few, but to everything else I’ve ever had. Only a Papa’s Pilar light has been this pale, and I haven’t had one of those in a couple of years now.

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Mezan is known for its single barrel rums from Jamaica, Guyana, Panama, and Trinidad. This is not a single barrel rum but a blend from Jamaican barrels. Mezan finds and buys rum from various distilleries then ages and releases them under their own name. Their expertise seems to be in the selection of barrels to buy and they’re pretty good at it.

The Mezan website declares the rum free of additives and but “lightly filtered”. The XO has no age statement, and other than being a blend of “various ages” no information on the actual ages of rums in the blend is given on the label or Mezan website. The label does say that aged rums are here blended and then re-aged to meld them. An honest rum is worth a try and Mezan has the street cred to be experiment worthy. Even better this rum was $40 which puts it in the high end of the low-price price range for me (English Harbour, Pusser’s Gunpowder, and Mocambo 20 are also about this much), affordable if I really like it. The Mezan website says it should be even less at $30, but then this is California . The XO is bottled at 40% ABV and has a tight plastic cap.

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Color: very pale straw, only slightly yellow.

Legs: Tiny droplets form all along the border when you swirl it. A few slowly coalesce into a few thin legs that run slowly.

Nose: Less alcohol than I expected from the color but I remind myself this isn’t a “young rum”. There is lots of fruit on the nose: pineapple, apricot, white grape, and orange along with burnt sugar and light molasses.

Flavor: Bright and fruity. Some cherry, the pineapple, apricot, apple (??), grape, banana. Lots of fruit and also light brown sugar, something like a sweetened coffee, a hint of tobacco, and even some lemon. This is a very “bright rum” with lots of sparkling fruit notes. It is a little fiery going down, more than most 40% ABV rums, but that might be some of the young rums in the blend. A medium finish that turns slightly bitter. The texture is creamy and gets creamier as the rum mixes with air. The fruit and sweetness dials back near the end of the glass and a little oak comes out. But the creamy texture hangs out on the tongue and holds some of the fruit sweetness with it.

All in all a very different rum experience for me. Again worth being aware of how varied even honest rums can be. I’m used to the dark and over-ripe fruits but I don’t find those here. I also expected some “Jamaican funk”, but there is none to be found in this rum. For the price this is a great change-up from the darker rums I usually drink.

As usual I’ve paired this with a few cigars, but I haven’t found anything outstanding yet in any of the pairings but I have most of the bottle still, so there will be more to try. I’m also interested in how this rum will evolve in the bottle. Will let some sit for a while.

Worth $40? You bet! Not something I would drink every day, but a refreshing difference from time to time. I wonder how this will be on a warm day over a little ice.

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Rum Review: Caroni AD Rattray Cask Collection 18 year rum

Rum Review: Caroni AD Rattray Cask Collection 18 year rum

My first venture into “investment grade” spirit is not for the purpose of investing, but reporting. Why investment grade? Because the Caroni distillery (Trinidad) shut down in 2002 (or 2004 depending on your source) and there is no more of this being made. This particular bottle cost $100 from a San Francisco retail outlet in late 2016. Was it worth it? Well what have we got…

A.D. Rattray 18 yr old single (bourbon) barrel rum. The A.D. by the way stands for Andrew Dewar who with William Rattray conspired to produce this spirit. This by the way is not the same Dewar (John) of the Scotch brand, but perhaps they are related. The bottle itself is plain, but the label contains real information. There is also a nice cork, a nice touch these days. The label (Notice the English spelling and International date format) on the bottle says:

cask 118, 307 bottles
Distilled 24.06.1997
Bottled 01.06.2016
Uncoloured and unchill filtered
The ABV comes in at 46%, a bit higher than most rums, but not by a lot.

On the back there is a label that gives some tasting notes

Color Burnished Copper
Nose: Coconut, vanilla, and toffee apple
Palate: Pear drops, pineapple, guava, lime alongside lingering toffee with hints of tobacco. A kaleidoscope of tropical flavors.

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I’ve had three glasses of this now, and paired it with three cigars (more on that below). Here’s what I get out of it so far…

Color: Medium amber, a little gold, and light copper would be about right.

Legs: Fast medium legs when swirled. I’m always amazed at how much rums differ in this even if it has little bearing on flavors

Aroma: Here it gets interesting. Alcohol distinct but not over powering, there is something like glue here too, but more like over ripe fruit than acetone, perhaps dunder. Plenty of brown sugar, perhaps burnt sugar, and there is ripe banana on the nose, apricot (overripe) orange. There is a hint of funk in all this over-ripeness of the aroma, but it isn’t up front.

Flavors: On the palate the funk is more up front, like Pusser’s blue label, and almost as strong but in some way more crisp, backed by a glassier texture that hides a lot of potential but doesn’t give much away at first. At first I can’t find any fruit in this taste other than the overripe funkiness of what might be spoiled fruit. I do find oak, lots of oak, bourbon-like smokiness, and lots of tobacco. There isn’t any sugar added to this rum so it is dry, but there is a thin brown sugar sweetness to it offsetting the somewhat bitter tobacco notes.

What about the bottle’s own tasting notes? Coconut? Vanilla? Maybe but a stretch for my palate, maybe charred vanilla, but I don’t get any fruit out of it except of the dunder-like overripe sort. If I’ve ever experienced an over-oaked rum though, this would be it. 18 years in a barrel is a long time for a rum. Still some people go for that flavor and my palate is maturing to the point of appreciating the effect of the slightly sweet and bitter together. Toward the bottom of the glass I begin to sense banana and a little more sugar than at the beginning. A little water dials the funk back a bit and brings out more sweetness. I’ll experiment with that a bit more.

Texture: Starts out oily in a strange way I’ve not every noticed before. It looses some of that as you drink it but gets creamier in a sugary way as the glass rests in the air. The rum comes across very smooth for its 46% ABV with no added sugar. Perhaps 18 years adds that. The alcohol does give a very warm cast to the finish, your mouth seems to heat up with it, much more than I’ve noticed with rums at the usual 40%. Other reviews say the finish is medium, but the warming effect lasts a long time and flavors on the back of the tongue fade slowly. Seems like a longish finish to me combining the sweet and the bitter all the way to the end. I know there is more complexity here than my palate can find. I have the remainder of the bottle to find out.

I’ve paired three cigars with glasses of this rum. They were all good, but a Drew Estate Liga (Papas Fritas) stood out. These sticks have a nice nut and dark-chocolate sweetness to them, and the rum brought both out well.

So is it worth $100 a bottle? Not by my palate, though I can appreciate it. Like Pusser’s blue, it is a rum I would drink from time to time to keep my palate honest and remember what a wide variety of flavors can be found in rums. I know a rum drinker who absolutely loves Pusser’s blue and thinks rums lacking its funk are not worth the time. He would want to add this one to his list I am sure. But Pusser’s blue is $25 a bottle, little enough for that reminder. If I’m going to spend this much on a rum, I’d rather it not make me work so hard to find all the flavors. But yes it is good, yes it is complex, and yes its oak and (to me) tobacco notes dominate, but that isn’t all bad. It is definitely unusual, different, and rare. That is sometimes worth a high price.

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