Category Archives: Rum

Liberté White Rum, 37.5%, Réunion.

I thought Liberté was a yoghurt brand with TV adverts from a few years ago?

Yet here in my local Lidl was a simple & sparsely labelled bottle of white rum bearing the same name.

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Liberté Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Liberté is a nod to the French connection that still exists on the tiny island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean.

There are 3 rum distilleries operating on Rèunion; Isautier, Rivière Du Mât & Savanna – take your pick as to the source.

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I like it neat myself. c/othewhiskeynut

A clear colourless rum with distinctively fat oily legs.

A very soft mild & mellow nose didn’t give much away – but there was a suggestion of overripe fruits glimpsing through.

Extremely easy on the palate – slightly oily mouthfeel with a gently warming heat.

Letting it linger gradually opens up those funky fruit flavours – not overpowering – just pleasantly attractive – followed by a touch of tingling spice adding some flair to this endearing rum.

The 300 year history of rum distilling on Réunion is quietly imprinted on this charmingly beguiling Liberté White Rum.

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Ship ahoy! c/othewhiskeynut

It floats my boat!

Slàinte

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Blacks Golden Rum, 40%

Despite visiting the Sunny South of Ireland – I’ve yet to encounter the sugarcane plantations of Kinsale.

Blacks Brewery & Distillery – based in the town – imported the molasses to make their Golden Irish Rum.

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Ahoy mateys! c/othewhiskeynut

Presented in a distinctively shaped bottle – common across the Blacks Gin & Whiskey spirits range – with an elaborately designed label bearing both the Blacks Crow & a pirate ship – along with other steampunk style contraptions – the suitably golden liquid lured me in.

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Irish Rum c/othewhiskeynut

A heavy funk on the nose – Jamaican style – with a hint of ripe fruitiness on top.

Luscious on the palate – the fruitiness puts in more of an appearance.

A gorgeously growing softly tingling spiciness rounds up this delightful rum – as the gentle funk slowly fades away.

I can see why it achieved Gold at the recent World Rum Awards.

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Intricate design. c/othewhiskeynut

It’s beautifully balanced with a complexity of flavours resulting in a charismatic characterful spirit.

Rum ahoy!

Sláinte

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Goslings Black Seal, Bermuda Black Rum, 40%

Goslings are a long established name in Rum.

Now part of the Castle Brands portfolio – which in turn is owned by Pernod Ricard.

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Bermuda heritage, Irish distribution. c/othewhiskeynut

This Black Seal Bermuda Black Rum is a popular seller from their varied range.

A decent pungently dark molassey treacle on the nose.

Easy delivery on the palate.

Mild mannered with a touch of spice at the end.

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Distinctive labelling! c/othewhiskeynut

No rough edges & perfectly balanced.

A pleasant easy sipping rum that just lacked a little character for me.

Sláinte

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Pirate’s Grog Rum, Aged Honduran v’s No 13, 37.5% & 40%.

There’s going to be a lot of ‘Sitting Round At Home’ in the next few weeks – a cue for the classic Buzzcocks tune.

It also gives me the opportunity to work through a selection of miniatures.

A pair of Pirate’s Grog Rum in attractively labelled dumpy bottles took my fancy.

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Arrgh! A mighty fine pair ‘o’ rubies! c/othewhiskeynut

The Aged Honduran Rum gave no age statement.

The No 13 states ‘Fine 13 Year Aged Rum’ – plus ‘All Natural and Organic’  &  ‘Handmade in a Single Batch’.  Very promising.

No 13 was a slightly darker shade of golden brown – while the Aged looked cloudier. Both gave good legs.

On the nose Aged had a sweet molassey note combined with an attractive funkiness. Very alluring.

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Aged Honduran Rum c/othewhiskeynut

No 13 by comparison gave more vanilla with a touch of woodiness.

Both were soft & easy on the palate with a silky mouthfeel – but took different directions thereafter.

The Aged funkiness opened up & grew into a delightfully prickly spice which teased my senses. Very enjoyable.

No 13 didn’t particularly take me on a journey. The long time in ex-bourbon barrels imbued it with attributes more akin to a single malt whiskey rather than a rum – & I was a tad deflated by the experience.

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Pirate’s Grog No 13 c/othewhiskeynut

Both were fine, easy & approachable rums – but for me the funkiness of Aged Honduran was a more characterful example of the genre.

Despite the extra fancy labelling, more refined product & reassuring marketing of No 13 – the plain old NAS pleased my palate better.

Sláinte

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Fife Whisky Festival 2020

The 2020 Fife Whisky Festival was my 2nd visit to this wonderful show – and it’s 3rd successful outing held in the Corn Exchange building in Fife’s former County Town of Cupar.

My agenda – as always – is to taste as many new whiskies as I could safely manage – using the water stations to rehydrate along the way.

Spotting a newcomer straight away – I wasted no time in getting stuck in.

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Langatun Old Deer, 40%.

My 1st foray into Swiss Whisky – and very good it was too! Nice clean flavours & a lovely long finish. Old Deer is the sherry finished version – I think the peated Old Bear would have been more my style – but it wasn’t available on the day.

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Angel’s Nectar Rich Peat, 46%.

Rich Peat had a more smoky rather than medicinal quality  & was perfectly balanced with some heavier toffee notes. I found the black bottle & design very alluring too.

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Adelphi Dancey Man, Blend, 40%.

The fancy design caught my eye but the liquid inside was a more mediocre affair and failed to excite my palate.

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Holyrood Distillery Smoky & Sweet New Make, 63.5%.

Part of the next generation Scotch Whisky makers & not around for long enough for whisky so a trio of new makes were offered to entertain. Smoky certainly spoke to me with it’s strong powerfulness & drying peat hit. Sweet didn’t captivate me as much.

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Inchdairnie Ryelaw 2yo 59%.

Inchdairnie continue to excite with their mysterious black tent into which you are invited to nose the marvelous mixed grain mash bills including oats, rye & the more traditional barley. Very impressive & innovative. The Ryelaw was young, fresh & spicy with a good body. I can’t wait for future releases from this ground breaking distillery.

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Matugga Golden Rum, 42%.

Rum made a welcome appearance too. Matugga’s Golden Rum had a smoky funk on the nose, a softly smooth palate & a nice warming finish.

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Matugga Mavuno Rum, 46%.

The innovative aging in Acacia Casks has added a lip smacking dry spiciness to the soft funk. Lovely stuff!

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Cardrona Just Hatched, 64.4%.

All the way from New Zealand came this youthful yet powerfully flavored cask strength single malt. One to look out for.

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James Eadie, Cameronbridge 22yo, Marsala cask, 59.6%.

Stopping by the James Eadie stall to congratulate them on their Trade Mark X Blend. 45.6% enjoyed previously here led onto a wider tasting.

The Cameronbridge was the aptly chosen Fife Whisky Show exclusive – although I found it a bit too sweet for my palate.

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The BenRinnes 11yo Sherry Cask, 59.9% was of similar style.

Meanwhile Caol Ila 9yo, 46% won me over with it’s soft peatiniess & dark fruits.

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Lady Of The Glen, North British 26yo, 49.2%.

Obviously an exclusively bourbon cask matured grain suited me better as I enjoyed the combination of vanillas & woody tannins in this attractively bottled offering.

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Old Perth, Sherry Cask, 43.7%.

This revived blend comes in a variety of styles. Despite not being a favourite finish of mine Old Perth had great flavour that would encourage me to try out the others.

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Kirkwall Bay, 46%.

Independent bottlers Morrison & Mackay release this delightfully dry smoky blended malt.

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Tullibardine 15, 43%.

I’d only recently visited this often overlooked distillery & was pleasantly surprised by the attractiveness & enjoyability of their blended & single malt portfolio. This 15 year old only further cemented my appreciation of this hard working distillery.

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Penderyn Peated 46%.

Penderyn had a large presence at the show. Only when being poured their Peated Gold Range product did I notice the bottle sported angular ‘sides’ with etched lettering. A lovely little attention to detail that matched the attractiveness of the liquid inside.

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Rhiannon, 46%.

I didn’t realize Penderyn’s Icon Of Wales series was still going strong after my happy encounter with the 1st Red Flag release here. Rhiannon is the 7th offering and very attractively labelled too – although she didn’t quite win my palate over.

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Royal Welsh Whisky, 43%.

Modeled on an unearthed original Welsh Whisky bottle from the Frongoch Distillery this Icon Of Wales No 6 was much more up my street. A delightfully balanced peat smoke with heavier, dark fruity notes.

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Daftmill 2007 Winter Batch, 46%.

It wouldn’t be a Fife Whisky Festival without the highly esteemed local distillery.  I’d only sampled straight from the cask before when on a visit prior to their whisky being released here. Now was my chance to sample the finished product. A very finely balanced, even well cultured bourbon cask matured malt with depth & complexity.

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Kilkerran Heavily Peated Batch 2, 60.9%.

Sometimes I just love a bold, brash & youthful ‘in yer face’ kind of whisky. Heavily Peated provided that in bucketloads. Gorgeous.

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Kilkerran Heavily Peated Batch 3, 60.9%.

An as yet unreleased slightly older version of Batch 2. This possessed a more balanced peat hit contrasting with the underlying biscuity malt & sweet vanillas from the bourbon casks. Even more gorgeous.

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Nikka Days, 40%.

After discovering the delights of Nikka From The Barrel on my London walkabout here – the garish label of Days pulled me in. I wasn’t disappointed. A fine blend offering rich vanillas & fruitiness with a hint of smoke from some Yoichi malt.

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A group of merry imbibers shared the  last stall & we partook of a Nikka Coffey Grain, 45%.

I found the whisky an apt dram to raise a final glass.

We toasted another fabulously organized Fife Whisky Show.

I toasted the enduring legacy of Irishman Aeneas Coffey to the modern whisky industry.

And we toasted the return of the show in 2021.

Sláinte

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Bacardi Carta Blanca, White Rum, 37.5%

I do love miniatures.

It’s a handy way of trying out spirits – in this case Bacardi’s entry level white rum – Carta Blanca.

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Bacardi Blanca c/othewhiskeynut

Now although it appears clear & transparent – this rum is aged for 1 to 3 years in bourbon barrels – the resulting colour has been extensively filtered out  – often using charcoal.

This potentially strips out some flavours too – so what did I find?

Well the nose was very soft & muted. A slight spirity element with a little fruity funk.

This followed into the palate – which had a rich mouthfeel – before it began to open up on the finish.

A pleasant prickly tingling, a touch of fruitiness, a touch of vanilla & a little spice.

Very easy drinking – nothing offensive or off here.

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Puerto Rican Rum c/othewhiskeynut

I can see why it’s the perfect blank canvas for cocktails.

Sláinte

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Adventures into Rum, North London, Feb 2020

I usually scan the shelves of any bar I enter – The Mossy Well in Muswell Hill in this instance – to see what whiskies are available. If there’s nothing to entice me – I move onto rum.

Lamb’s Navy Rum caught my eye.

Lambs Rum
Lamb’s c/othewhiskyexchange

A brand proudly proclaiming it’s British heritage – not normally found in Ireland. Featuring up to 18 individual rums from the Caribbean – this blended dark rum was muted on the nose. Sweet caramel & heavy funk. The taste was smooth – but not exactly exciting. The treacly funk came through on the finish – with a little woody spice.

Entry level stuff.

Captain Morgan’s Dark Rum came next.

Morgan's
Captain Morgan’s Dark Rum c/othewhiskyexchange

A similar affair. Perhaps slightly smoother. Less pronounced – with a heavier dose of sweet caramel.

Neither engaged me.

Later the same evening a meal in Banner’s was arranged.

Along with the great food – curried goat if yer asking – I thought an Appleton White Rum would keep the theme going.

Appleton white
Appleton White c/othewhiskyexchange

Fruity sweet, slightly oily, yet possessing an attractive vegetal funkiness. Much more pleasing to my palate!

This was followed by afters in the nearby Harringay Arms. Another Appleton graced my glass. Their Signature Blend.

Appleton Blend
Signature Blend c/othewhiskyexchange

An easy going dark rum this time. None of that ‘burnt rubber’ experienced elsewhere. A captivating funkiness with a hint  of woody spice entertained.

From these brief encounters I’m already honing down my preferences.

Contrary to the ‘aged is better’ mantra of whiskey circles – it’s becoming clear the young white rums posses an array of flavours in their clean, clear spirit that’s reeling me in.

Sláinte.

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Wray & Nephew, Overproof Rum, 63%

My journey into Rum was signposted by a particular flavour – Jamaican funk.

Several rums had given me a burnt rubber note – not particularly enjoyable.

One rum kept being mentioned – Wray & Nephew Overproof – and here it was before me.

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Time to get funky? c/othewhiskeynut

Said to be the epitome of Jamaican funk.

Would it deliver?

Or was my palate just not amenable?

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Enjoy! c/othewhiskeynut

The clean, clear & fresh non aged rum possessed a vegetal earthiness combined with a richness – like a Jamaica Cake – that pulled me in.

Surprisingly easy on the palate. A sweet, smooth & ripe fruitiness together with that funkiness – reminiscent of the gorgeous Brett Saison from Wide St Brewing – but without the bubbles!

Brett Saison
Brett Saison c/oWideStreetBrewing

The 63% alcohol made it’s presence felt on the finish – and those fruity flavours danced merrily away for a long time.

Overproof isn’t over cooked,

It’s a fantastically balanced rum displaying complex flavours , richness & depth.

I think I just got funky!

Slàinte

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Ron Rumbero, 4 x 40ml miniature pack, 15% to 38%

I don’t know if Lidl are ahead of the posse predicting a Rum revival – but they have another miniature selection I couldn’t resist.

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Cuban Rums Ahoy! c/othewhiskeynut

Comprising of 4 x 40ml servings under the Ron Rumbero label – courtesy of Bimmerle KG, a German spirits producer & importer – with Cuban Rum being the source.

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Spiced c/othewhiskeynut

Ron Rumbero, Spiced Spirit, 37.5%

An attractively well balanced spiced rum offering. A bit too sweet for my liking – but a dark chocolate start contrasts with a gentle chilli led spicy finish.

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Cream Liqueur c/othewhiskeynut

Ron Rumbero, Cream Liqueur with Rum, 15%

An easy going creamy liqueur that provides an entertaining alternative to the whiskey derived offerings. Sweet, thick & creamy with a decent hit of rum on the finish too!

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3 Anos c/othewhiskeynut

Ron Rumbero, 3 Años, 38%

Now this one surprised me! A definite vegetal funk on the nose. Slightly sweet yet smooth palate with a lovely flourish of spice on the finish. A great combination.

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7 Anos c/othewhiskeynut

Ron Rumbero, 7 Años, 38%

Rich, warm & inviting. Slightly oaky. Smooth delivery. The dry oaky tannins are reminiscent of a good whiskey. Not bad.

Thoughts

A lovely little quartet of rums to whet your appetite.

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The back label c/othewhiskeynut

When choosing my favourite I had a little surprise. Normally I’d go for the aged version – but with these – the wonderful balance of the funky start & gorgeously spicy finish of the 3 Años won out in this instance.

If only I could get a full size bottle for the shelf!

Sláinte

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Crossbones Premium Dark Rum, 40%

Ahoy mateys!

Shiver me timbers & splice the mainsail.

The Jolly Roger is back with this strikingly designed bottle of rum.

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Shiver me timbers! c/othewhiskeynut

I couldn’t resist.

A rich ruby red glow lured me in.

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Ruby ruby ruby! c/othewhiskeynut

A smoky funk on the nose.

Blended Jamaican Rum from both pot and column stills

Dark sweet caramel – almost treacly liqourice to begin with.

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Set sail for Aldi! c/othewhiskeynut

Softly smooth mid palate.

A warming oaky spice on the long finish.

Yo ho ho an’ blow the man down.

A gem of a rum to raise the sails!

Slàinte

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