What is it? Molasses based rum from Jamaica, distilled at the Long Pond distillery. This rum was distilled in June 2000 and was bottled by independent bottler Hunter Laing after 15 years of aging, going by the colour of this I’d say that almost all the aging was done in Europe. Long Pond have a combination of pot stills and column stills at the distillery and whilst there are no details on which still type this is from I’m pretty certain it’s pot still rum.
This is a single cask and my bottle is one of 292 bottles from that cask.
Natural colour, not chill filtered and bottled at 46% abv.
Nose: Despite the very light appearance there is immediately a lot of sweet oak and vanilla on first nosing, then the Jamaican pot still notes start to come out; light tar, some brine, green olives, capers, and that interesting seaside mix of warm sand and crushed shells – quite coastal. After a while, once my nose has got used to the smell I can start picking up quite a lot of fruity notes – fresh and sharp fruit; peaches, limes (loads of limes!) passion fruit even, and some under-ripe green bananas. There is a grassy background at this point and a slight vegetal, almost agricole type note.
Palate: Medium full mouth feel, dry delivery and on the savoury side at first matching the nose progression; the tarry, briny start and the taste you are left with after blowing up a balloon. A little bit of smoke, char, vanilla, a touch of golden syrup and a mix of strawberry, banana and pineapple keep things interesting.
Finish: Medium length, just about – it’s not a massive finish in length but there are lovely flavours to be had; banana again as it moves from palate to finish, oaky buzz from the cask, a tingle of cooking spices (mild and quite subtle), some salted limes, tar and this rubbery taste similar to the palate that tastes like bicycle inner tubes – sounds weird but it’s actually quite nice.
Thoughts? Gorgeous nose, fair old flavour in the mouth but not massively complex and the finish is a little short. I think this was going for about £60, which is a bit steep for a 15 year old European aged rum, but it’s certainly very tasty and has plenty going on to keep you interested. If you’ve got £60 knocking about and want to try some naturally presented Jamaica pot still then it’s pretty good stuff and I’m sure you’d be happy with the purchase, I know I am.