Uitvlugt 18 year old (1997) – Kill Devil review

W20160317_131452hat is it? Molasses based rum distilled in the four-column Savalle still at the Uitvlugt distillery in Guyana. The Uitvlugt distillery was capable of producing various types of rum using their still but this is the light style. This rum is from a single cask, distilled in November 1997, matured for 18 years (in both Guyana and the UK) and then bottled by independent whisky bottlers Hunter Laing. An outrun of 357 bottles produced. There is also an 18yo from 1998 in the same range.

Natural colour, not chill-filtered and bottled at a sensible strength of 46% abv.

Sugar? No.

Nose: Lots of wood straight of the bat, and some nail varnish, spirity. On to fresh cut grass in the summer, even hay maybe, white flowers (Lily of the Valley, Jasmine, Sweet Pea) and sugar cane – almost agricole like. There are some blanched almonds, apples/cider, apricot, a little bit of spent coffee ground and some briney seaside notes. It’s all very light, fragrant, fresh and summery. Sitting here nosing this it’s a bit odd, as it’s really big on wood at first encounter but then the floral notes really dominate, then all of a sudden there is a massive hit of wood cinnamon – like pure cinnamon stick and then a bit of unsweetened vanilla iced cinnamon bun, if such a thing as unsweetened pastries existed!

Palate: Light body and mouth-feel, almost shimmers over the top of your tongue. Very floral, as in the nose, raw sugar cane juice, rosewater, under-ripe green banana, and a touch of light honey/thinned out golden syrup. Green apples and some dried apricots, maybe some elderberries too. There is a tartness like gooseberry or rhubarb lurking around in the middle. The briney notes from the nose come out with a hint of olive, maybe only even olive oil actually, light licorice and eventually some woody spices. Actually, no where near as much oak on the palate as I expected given the initial nose.

Finish: Medium. Actually fairly robust given the palate, quite some baking spice/woody notes with some nutmeg, cinnamon, marzipan and a little bit of fragrant clove but still the flowers remain. It’s still really quite grassy all the way through and that’s what it ends on. Despite the oak on the nose it never really quite dries or becomes bitter and stays lovely and light.

Thoughts: First of all I though someone had blended some cane juice rum into this bottle, I was expecting a light Demerara but this was very fragrant and there isn’t much molasses coming through. This is a really nice summery rum, it’s refreshing and complex. I do feel though that it has spent a little bit too long in the cask, the initial nose is really quite overly oaked – maybe that’s just because the spirits itself if quite light. I’d love to try this upped to 50% abv too, a bit of extra power from the proof would help on the finish.

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