What is it? Molasses based rum from Cuba. It’s “triple aged” which I understand means that it’s the base juice that makes up the 7 year old (1), casks are then selected by hand from this stock, vatted and put into other casks to marry (2), at the point of maturity certain casks are selected and transferred to white oak casks for an undisclosed finishing period (3). There isn’t much detail on the cask types but from the way this rum behaves it seems like they were either new oak/virgin or 1st fill ex-bourbon casks (my guess only!).
As the casks are selected, married and selected again on merit there is no set aging period, as such there is no age statement for this rum. Sticking point: it says on the carton that it’s bottled “straight from the cask”, well that’s balls – there isn’t any way that the casks selected for the final bottling all match up to produce a rum at 45%, consistently, from batch to batch. It’s clearly diluted to a bottling strength of 45% abv. There also appears to be some colouring and a level of chill filtration, so it’s not “bottled straight from the cask” is it……
Coloured, filtered and bottled at 45% abv.
Sugar? From what I’ve found online, no, there isn’t any added. There is some sweetness to this, but it feels like it’s coming from the natural sugars in the casks used in the finishing process.
Nose: Very “rummy” and slightly grassy to start, then comes plenty (a shovel load) of caramel and some vanilla, fresh oak and some stone fruits (apricot/nectarine/peach). This reminds me of some younger high rye bourbons like Old Granddad. There are some cigar leaves, wooden boxes, cedar, and a touch of freshly brewed Colombian coffee. Woody spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and clove appear but in quite a mellow manner.
Palate: Medium mouth-feel, spirity, semi-sweet (cask sugars). Quite a spicy delivery (that high rye bourbon again), caramel, toffee, vanillas, touch of leather, mixed nuts and some smoke/char. As with the nose there are some mild baking spices and a big squeeze of lime juice mid-palate – get’s really quite zesty and lively.
Finish: Medium. Quite drying, tart with green apples, apricots, limes and buzzing spicy oaks. There are some musty, dusty sacks (that’s good by the way), cigar smoke and plenty of caramel as it trails off with more spices prickling.
Thoughts? Good. It’s a good solid rum. There is plenty on offer, maybe a tad too much oak but it plays if off nicely with tart and zippy citrus and creamy fruit. I’m enjoying this rum and it’s very easy to sit and sip but also gives you a bit more if you want to go looking for some interest. The problem for me is the price; it’s £50 a bottle (as this is written), which is far too expensive for just “good”, and is competing with some other really outstanding rums at this price. As much as I like this I won’t be buying again at this price, not because it’s shit rum but because it’s over priced and there are others I’d rather have if I were spending the money. If this was £35-£40 a bottle I’d be going back time and again, but it’s not.