Providence Estate 1990/2012 – Bristol Spirits

20170928_140132.jpgWhat is it? Molasses based rum from Trinidad. This was distilled by way of a Patent Still (Coffey still or Column still by any other name) and the bottle states “The Providence Estate” and mentions use of the distilleries low mineral content water. It doesn’t say this was distilled at the Providence Estate distillery but implies it, and I’ve not been able to find any real tangible information around a Providence Estate distillery; basically, this is a column distilled Caroni rum. Now, the website does say that this rum is a heavier style rum, however I’m not 100% sure on tasting. The reason for this is that the rum is finished in Oloroso sherry casks for a period of time and it will become clear later on the impact this has had.

The rum was distilled in 1990 and bottled in 2012 after 22 years of aging in the UK.

Chill filtered, not coloured (as far as I’m aware) and bottled at 46% abv.

Sugar? Yes, unfortunately; 26 grams/litre as tested by Wes at TheFatRumPirate. Now I don’t believe this is added sugar, I believe this is sugars left over from a wet cask fill (where the previous sherry casks were emptied but some residual sherry was still in the cask) – but that’s just what I’m getting on tasting.

Nose: Ok, not what I was expecting at all; masses of raisin, those big fat plump and juicy Californian ones and also a mix of those tiny Corinth ones that a very concentrated. Lots of sherry cask going on. Sweet molasses, some treacle toffee and a little oak – not much for a 22 year old. Under this there is some lovely rolling tobacco, wet leaves, tree sap and a little mushroom’y rancio note. A touch of sulphur on the back end but it doesn’t stray the flow. Lots of sherry, may have mentioned that, not very “rummy”.

Palate: Medium, not as oily as I was expecting, certainly not cloying at all. A bit more rum here than on the nose and I can pick out a few Caroni notes with petrol, tobacco, a little liquorice, very light tar and a touch of clove. Big fat raisins again, maybe even some dates and prunes creeping in, chocolate coated raisins and that mushroom note from the nose. The palate is again dominated by the sherry but you do know you’re drinking a rum here.

Finish: Long, less sweet than the nose and palate. Treacle toffee and tobacco again (lots here), old warehouses, sacks, forest floors and some sour cherry that just lifts it. Sulphur from the nose makes an appearance but again does not derail the finish, but adds a nice meaty edge.

Thoughts? Where do I start? It’s a Caroni but it’s not. I love it, a really enjoyable drink but not something I’d recommend to a person who was after a rummy rum. This isn’t quite a rum, the sherry is too much and the spirit isn’t heavy enough to get through it. I’d imagine there was a lot of sherry left in the casks this was filled into (wet fill), which as I covered up top, and would explain the sugar content. It’s not “sweet” per-se but it does over dominate. I’d be inclined to think I was drinking a Mortlach or 15 year old Glendronach (Scotches) – that’s a big compliment, trust me!

It’s just not….well….rummy enough.

For the price? Well worth it at the £90 I paid for this back at the start of 2016, just for the chance to try something different and have a change or pace. God knows how much these are going for these days.


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