Two more rums from Hamilton, both related to the Pot Still Gold I reviewed previously and one also to the Hamilton St. Lucian rum also reviewed — see links below for these reviews. I include both Black and Blonde in the same review here because while related (both rums start from the same stock) they could not be more different. Price on these is moderate, about $35 U.S. for each 750 ml bottle.
Pot Still Black 46.5% ABV
Color: Dark copper reddish. The rum, while not sweetened is colored with what the Ministry of Rum calls a “double strength black sugar-based caramel”.
Legs: Thin fast
Aroma: Some pot still funk, dark fruit raisin, prune, alcohol, burnt caramel.
The label and Ministry of Rum web site says this is a blend of light, very light, and heavy pot still rums aged “up to 5 years”. There is no mention of the sort of barrel (ex bourbon, or something else) used. The feed stock is molasses.
Flavor: raw sugar cane, burnt caramel, black molasses, coffee, tobacco, over-ripe banana and a little sherry-like smokey oak. A bit of fire on a medium and sweet finish, not bitter. The funk is present but only underneath the sweetness of this rum. This is not a dry rum but distinctly sweet. The funk comes up as a background to the sweetness.
Texture: A little creamy, not very, but there is some body here. Not glassy or crisp or dry. Distinctly brown-sugar or raw sugar sweet.
This rum is delicious and reminds me of the Dos Maderas 5+5 if a more sophisticated (and unsweetened) version of it. Like the Dos Maderas, this is a great cigar pairing rum. I will be buying more of this one!
Pot Still Blonde 45% ABV
Color: very pale yellow tinge, more pale than the Hamilton Pot Still Gold (barely) but not all the way to clear.
Legs: Thin fast
Aroma: Funk of a sort I do not know. Rich rotten pineapple or lychee fruit. There is alcohol on the nose but all of it is overwhelmed by the aroma of rotting fruit which comes out a little like the smell of ether and old airplane glue.
The label and Ministry of Rum website say there is no coloring added to this rum which begins with the same rum stock as the Black (above) and Gold (see review) pot still rums. Then aged 18 months in barrels formerly used for Hamilton’s St. Lucian rum, finally being married for 6 months with a 1-year aged light pot still rum.
Flavor: A watery sort of dryness that fills your mouth with the funk of spoiled grape, way over-ripe pineapple, and lychee fruit. This might be the most awful funk I’ve ever tasted. Undoubtedly there are some rum aficionados who will relish this, but I’m not one of them. The finish is short and dry but not bitter. There is no dark fruit here, nor coffee or tobacco flavors, nor caramel, molasses, or brown sugar. The over-ripe bright fruit funk dominates everything except the alcohol which is smoothed by the fruits. Possibly the aging in barrels used previously for Hamilton’s St. Lucian, among the funkiest rums I’ve had (see review) explains this strange and unfamiliar kind of funk but yikes, this is way over the top.
Texture: Thin, watery, not creamy. There is body here but it is all in the funk.
Perhaps my taste will evolve or the rum will evolve in the bottle. Right now, having had 3 glasses, I do not much like it at all.