We’re in the midst of this Black Friday/Cyber Monday thing (No, I didn’t buy anything and don’t plan to buy anything. Unless you consider a holiday tickets as part of this shopping craziness), So I thought it would be great to try and inject some sanity into this time period (at least for me) in the form of a new review – habits helps stabilize the mind I hear…
But it’s a Sunday and since It’s been half a year since my last non-whisky review (I should be ashamed, I know) it makes sense to go and review a non-whisky spirit so I’m going with another Rum from The Duchess (which I already reviewed a few rums previously), a 13 Year Old Barbados Rum from Foursquare distillery.
It was specifically selected and bottled for the “Whisky & Rum aan Zee” Festival 2018 in the Netherlands (where it was launched a few months ago). The beautiful label is all about the flower which is named ‘The Pride of Barbados’, and since Foursquare distillery is on big roll, we can apply the same title to the distillery as well.
This rum was distilled in 2005, filled into cask #44 and was bottled September 2018 so it’s 13 Year Old and total of 294 bottles were made at 59% ABV.
The Duchess Foursquare 13 Year Old (59%, €75)
Nose: Sweet rich caramel, some wood glue and varnish, cream, butter and marzipan-y, pears and peaches are in there as well. After a few minutes it’s getting sugary, fruitier and less woody with more honey and inching forward official foursquare territory with sweet fruity perfume. Continue reading
Today we have another Caroni Rum review. Following the 1998 19 Year Old reviewed yesterday, now we have a 1998 20 Year Old Caroni Rum bottled by The Duchess (which I reviewed their Belize rum a few weeks ago and loved it). Like the 19 Year Old, it was mostly aged on the continent and not at the Caribbeans. This is cask #19 that yielded 288 bottles.
Yesterday we had cask #6 and today it’s #19 so I’m wondering if it’s the same distillate batch or an altogether different distillate. There’s one major difference between those casks and it’s the strength. This 20 Year Old was bottled at a very high strength of 64.6%. Can we brave it neat?
Caroni Rum 20 Year Old (1998-2018) The Duchess (64.6%, €195,00)
Nose: Sweet brown sugar, quite hard to nose with that ABV but after letting it rest in the glass for a few minutes there’s also toasted wood, plastical sweetness. Have to add some water and then it’s magical: there’s finally complexity and depth (not on Mariana Trench level tho), far less plastic relaxed sweetness, lots of brown and demerara sugar, crushed blueberry and cranberries, perfumey edge.
Palate: Sweet, tar, oily, wet sandy beach, a bit of plastic, a touch of black olives, pepper, oak spices. With water: relaxed, more fruit and berries, sugar sweetness, tar, oils and engine metal parts, black olives.
Finish: Medium long length, lingering sweet sugar and red fruit paste.
Thoughts: That’s a great Caroni once you add a few drops of water. It’s too though neat but with water it’s far more balanced and showing out all great fruitiness and subtle Caroni characteristics. Great stuff Nils!
A wee break from whisky before the Feis Ile 2018 hailstorm hits us with some Rum goodness. In the coming week (even along with the Feis Ile posts), I’ll review a few Caroni rums that I was fortunate enough to taste lately, starting with this Caroni 1998 Vintage.
Caroni distillery, located in Trinidad was closed in 2002 and the demolished, therefor many refers to it like the Port Ellen of rums because of the striking similarity between them: Caroni being dirty (PE was peated) Substantial stock waiting to be bottled and rapidly increasing prices. Flavor-wise I think the Caroni flavors (especially when it’s heavier distillate) are more of a cross between Ardbeg and Springbank whiskies.
This 19 Year Old Caroni is a joint bottling of a Caroni cask by Kintra and The Rum Mercenary. The Rum was distilled back in January 1998, filled into cask #6 that was bottled on 22/09/2017 after 19 years (Mostly on mainland Eruope) to yield 158 bottles at 55.1%. Our Rum club had the Rum Mercenary bottling which is presented with the lovely label shown on the right, while the Kintra label is more conservative (shown below in the notes).
Caroni Rum 19 Year Old (1998-2017) Kintra/Rum Mercenary (55.1%, €151,25)
Nose: Sweet wood and raisins, almost sherry like. Then there’s that Caroni dirtiness, tar, diesel oil fumes, salted fishes, black olives, brown sugar, toasted oak and sweet burnt plastic. Continue reading
We’re in the midst of Passover holiday which means no whisky for me at the moment so let’s explore something else today – Rum.
It’s been ages since I reviewed Rum on the blog, but I explore Rum in my local (and great) Rum club and even have a few rum bottles at home. A while ago I got a surprise in the mail – a Rum sample from a Nils, a Dutch friend who also also operates as an independent bottler, bottling Whisky and Rum under ‘The Duchess’ brand name.
It’s their second Rum release, a 10 year old rum from Travellers Distillery in Belizé. It was distilled in October 2007, matured in cask #14 until it was bottled on 22.12.2017 at a whopping 66.6%, a real beast 😉
The Duchess Belize 2007 10 Year Old (Travellers Distillery) (66.6%, €69,00)
Nose: Intense and sweet, ripe mango, canned fruit galore with apricot, peaches and all that tasty sugared juice. Cookies dough, vanilla and white flowers petals. After a few minutes in the glass (maybe even 10-15 minutes) there’s honey with some oak bitterness in the background. with water (mandatory with such high ABV): fruitier, more mango, apricot and peaches, even a bit more floral. Continue reading
How about we take a break from Whisky this weekend? I mean, from reviewing, not from drinking mind you.
Despite this blog revolving around whisky, I do sin in reviewing some other spirits from time to time. (Hey, if Serge can do it, why can’t I?)
So it’s time for the first Gin review on the site – the newly releases The Lakes Gin from the Lakes Distillery.
The Lakes Distillery first whisky distillation run and cask filling is almost here as it’s planned for this upcoming week (with the first 100 casks goes toward their Founders’ Club program which looks like a great idea if you want to track their first whisky maturation and own a set of bottles along the way. see here). But just before they (and this blog as well) focus earnestly on their whisky, let’s review their Gin, after all it’s a good Sunday drink (like all other spirits 😉 )
At first I thought I’ll nose and taste it at room temperature but the folks at The Lakes Distillery told me to stick the gin in the freezer before I try it as it’s their recommended serving suggestion as it help to enhance the taste. It surprised me a lot as with single malt whisky, chilling it that way will shut out all the great flavors it has to offer us, so to be on the safe side I tried it both very chilled and at room temperature.
The Lakes Gin (43.7%, £29.95)
As I said in my last review, I like Rum. It’s my second favorite spirit after whisky and I I think I tasted around 30 or so different rums so far and I’m a proud owner of 3 different Rum bottles distilled locally by a friend (I’ll post notes for those sometime soon).
About a month ago, another friend of mine received from Havana Club representative a bottle of Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros and he was kind enough to share it with me and some other bloggers (Thanks Shai!) but due to the unreliable post system I got them only after Easter/Passover. But as they say, better later then never so let’s talk some Rum!
I’ve tasted the popular Havana Club 7 years in the past but this one is on a higher grade and as the name says – it’s the work of Havana Club Master Roneros – he selected some finest aged rums, put them in specially selected barrels (for best wood impact and maximum aroma) and from those to build the final expression. Seems like lots of work go into this one, so lets go ahead and taste it. Continue reading
So here we are in 2014 (Armageddon didn’t happen) and we want to start it with some new review/tasting notes, but this time not Whisky but Vodka!
What? Do I hear you mumble blasphemy? Yeah I know this blog is dedicated to whisky but it’s a new year and I decided to review some other spirits once in a while. And to top that – one of those is aged in cask vodka!