What is it? Guyanese rum from the Port Mourant Estate, distilled from molasses in the double wooden pot still. Cask mark is MPMC (not much information around this one). There is no distillation date but the label states that it was matured in American oak for 2 years before being moved over to Cognac casks in 2000, and released (bottled?) on 16th July 2013, so I assume it was distilled in 1998 – thus making it 15 years old (ish). Outrun of 274 bottles released. Aged in Europe somewhere.
Natural colour, no chill filtering and bottled at cask strength of 56.46% abv.
Nose: Tar, smoke, black olives, their brine, capers, their brine too, Black Jack sweets. Vegetal. Concentrated, intense and full. Under the slap in the face there are some tropical fruits (Fruit Salad sweets now!) and something tart. Ah, oak appears, toasted and warm though, not raw and cut. Caramels sit in the back and some evidence of sweetness from somewhere. A touch of marzipan. Quite outstanding.
Palate: Full mouth feel, oily and semi-viscous. Off dry delivery. Seawater, seaweed, salted liquorice, olives again. Tar, petrol and then a burst of high tone fruits like limes, green apples, cigar and some grapefruit. Very light caramel (maybe from the Cognac cask?) and then some pencil shavings.
Finish: Looooooong. It’s so long it’s way over there somewhere. Tarry, liquoricey, briney, almost a sweet grape to it – well, I know it’s spent 13 years in Cognac casks so that may be leading me somewhat. Oh yeah, some lemons and limes pop up with some grassy/caney notes to try and do their best to keep some freshness, and they manage it….just about. Don’t bother drinking anything else after this, my palate is fried. I finished drinking this 2 hours ago and it’s still all I can taste.
Thoughts: Bloody brilliant. Let’s get this out there first; it aint cheap; we’re talking just over £100 when I bought this and I think it’s all sold out now, which for a 15 year old rum by an Independent bottler is pretty pricey stuff. Is it worth it? Hell yeah, id buy another without a second thought (and I’m tight!). It’s a big rum, it’s pretty raw, but there are loads of other elements to balance out the brute force which give it real depth and complexity. Now when I first tried this on it’s own I was a little bit indifferent, I mean it was very good but not great. After a third of a bottle and a few back to backs with benchmark rums it really comes into it’s own and you realise what you’ve got tucked away there on your shelf.
Note: there is also a version I have reviewed that spent its maturation time in malt whisky casks (MPMM mark at 59,58% abv).