Category Archives: Rum

Saison Rum Tasting, 40% to 48%, Barbados, Jamaica & Trinidad

The diversity & quality of rums within the Saison Rum range impressed me very much.

Saison rum tasting c/othewhiskeynut

Part of the excellent Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder tasting series. As usual I missed the actual live Zoom event – but tuned in later on YouTube for more information about Saison Rum.

My brief tasting notes – in italics – were gathered catching the last of the summer sun in my back garden before watching the video.

Saison Pale Rum, 40%

Pale straw, lovely fresh pungency, reminiscent of sugar cane rum, grassy. Soft, mellow & mouth coating. Gorgeously warm spiciness on the finish.

Lovely!

Saison Rum, 42%

Golden brown, inviting hint of funk in a rich demerara cake. Sweet, smooth & warming. Dries out on the finish in a lip smacking finalé.

Gorgeous!

Saison Sherry Cask Rum, 42%

Golden brown, soft, sweet juicy fruity wine gums. Mild & mellow. Quite light on the finish with a lovely dry tingling.

Grand.

Saison Reserve Rum, 43.5%

Golden brown, soft sweet funk. Richness & depth. Mellow funky finish. A luxurious rum – well balanced & civil.

Saison Barbados 5yo, 46%

Pale brown, sweet fruit cake. Mild. Combination of sweetness & spice with a tingling finish.

One for the sweet tooth!

Saison Trinidad, 7yo, 48%

Pale brown, mild & sweet. Soft palate. Sugar & spice & all things nice.

Dessert rum!

A very enjoyable tasting indeed!

From a funky start to a dessert finish with extremely well balanced & complex rums inbetween – Saison Rum have a bottle to suit every taste.

Using rum sourced from Barbados, Jamaica & Trinidad, French Cognac House Tessendier have recently branched out into rum blending with this gorgeous Saison Rum range.

The rums are shipped to France in bulk at cask strength for careful blending & further maturation in cognac casks. Presented non chill filtered with no added sugar – the results are full of flavour & joie de vivre that my palate enjoys.

Personally my preference veers towards the younger – more brasher – funkiness of the non age statement offerings.

I found the sweetness of the Sherry Cask & Single Origin bottles a touch too much.

Flavoursome rum c/othewhiskeynut

In a close contest Saison Rum won the day with it’s solid dollop of Jamaican dunder.

Which one would your palate pick?

Hat’s off to Saison Rum!

Santé!

Bottle shots courtesy Vintus & Celtic Whiskey Shop.

Quinn’s Old Sailor Rum, 37.5%, Guyana

I couldn’t leave Cushendun without calling in on Randal’s Bar.

Randal c/oWallStreetJournal

Character driven underestimates the experience.

It’s almost like entering a time capsule – which is to my advantage – as an unusual bottle caught my eye.

Quinn’s Old Sailor Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Offered no explanation of where or when the rum had been acquired – other than a customer used to enjoy it with milk? – I duly ordered a tot.

A lovely sweet & heavy treacly aroma greeted me – which was very reassuring – as I had misgivings it wouldn’t have aged well.

The palate was soft, smooth & silky mouth coating.

Very nice!

The treacly body gave way to hints of spice & suggestions of oak aging.

A suitably seafaring spirit to round up my Northern excursion.

Sláinte

Quinn’s of Cookstown (1964) Ltd were bought up by Britvic in 2011.

Does anyone have memories of this rum?

Symphonia, Irish Apple Rum, 40%

It’s great to welcome new innovation into the spirits category.

Irish Apple Rum c/othewhiskeynut

The Woodlab Distillery in Co Tyrone have released this Caribbean Rum infused with Irish Jonagold Apples grown in Co Armagh to create Symphonia Irish Apple Rum.

I picked one up in my local Aldi for appraisal.

Technically I suppose it’s a spiced rum – which as the fastest growing rum category is no bad thing.

Info c/othewhiskeynut

Initial nosing is full of sweet nutmeg & assorted spices – much like a liqueur – with a hint of apple purée.

Smooth on the palate. A lovely mixture of golden apples & a warming spiciness which grows to dominate the finish leaving a soft tingling caressed with baked apple.

I may not be the target audience – but it’s certainly an entertaining tipple.

Personally I’d have preferred experiencing the apple influence on it’s own – but as the spiced category is booming it’s fabulous to see a new Irish player on the scene.

Congratulations to The Woodland Lab & their Symphonia Irish Apple Rum.

Sláinte

Black’s 18 Year Old, Irish Rum Cask Finish, Single Malt, 56%

Black’s Brewery & Distillery have been satisfying thirsty drinkers for nearly a decade.

Their beers proved a hit on the growing craft beer scene with hop forward offerings – sadly not to my tastes – building a loyal following.

Black’s moonshine c/othewhiskeynut

Moving into the distilling scene Black’s excited me more with an early BlackMoon XXX release which pleased my palate.

Black’s Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Several entertaining whiskeys of sourced distillate also went down well.

Black’s Rum. c/othewhiskeynut

Black’s own wholly Irish produced Golden Rum certainly wowed my senses – as well as The World Rum Awards!

Black’s 18yo Rum Cask c/oBlacks

This latest premium 18 Year Old Single Malt has been finished in barrels used to mature that Irish Golden Rum – a world first!

Luckily a sample from Black’s of this limited edition release came my way.

Black’s 18 c/othewhiskeynut

A lovely golden hue.

Gorgeously rich aromas. Thinking rum & raisin, gentle woodiness – yet almost earthy.

Initially sweet & easy notes of soft caramel infused with stronger oakiness coat the palate before the 56% ABV kicks in with a joyful explosion of power.

A prickly tingling of gently drying spiciness faded slowly away.

A very attractive & alluring malt indeed.

Pity it’s a bit beyond my price range!

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Black’s Brewery & Distillery kindly supplied the sample.

All views – as always – are my own.

Bacardi, The Hidden War, Hernando Calvo Ospina.

Every brand has to have a good story – but I’m not sure the one told in the pages of this compelling book will feature on the back of Bacardi labels.

Bacardi the book c/othewhiskeynut

Essentially it’s a well documented exposé of the Bacardi family’s consistent attempts – ever since the Cuban revolution of 1959 – to undermine, weaken & generally destabilise the Cuban regime.

A lot of it can be put down to big multinationals protecting their profits over and above any rules individual states may have.

Bacardi the rum c/othewhiskeynut

Some could be political ideology.

But it doesn’t particularly paint a pretty picture.

Events took a turn in 1993 when Pernod Ricard entered a joint venture with Cuban company Havana Rum & Liquors to produce & market the Havana Club range of Cuban rums – to great success.

Havana Club rum c/othewhiskeynut

Bacardi have consistently challenged the right of Pernod Ricard to do so.

Bacardi often drape their advertising in Cuban imagery – despite the rums not being made in the country – & there have been claims to say this is misleading & manipulative.

Cuban rum authenticity c/othewhiskeynut

In these times when ‘transparency’ & ‘honesty’ are attributes to be exalted in the spirits world – I’d suggest pouring your preferred tipple & sitting down to read this riveting book.

It may not change the flavour of that tipple – but it might colour the experience.

Sláinte

Coop Smooth White Caribbean Rum, 37.5%

I do love trying out these entry level own brand offerings.

There’s no pretence, airs & graces or big price tag.

Smooth Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Just plain & simple no nonsense spirit.

There’s a smidgen of information with this one.

Info c/othewhiskeynut

Blended in the Netherlands using Caribbean Rum & bottled in the UK for the Co-op.

A fairly soft & subtle nose with a faint kiss of funk.

Nice mouthfeel.

Growing heat on the finish with a soupçon of spice to keep it entertaining.

A pleasant easy drinker.

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The Legendary Alnwick Rum, 43% vs The Duppy Share Caribbean Rum, 40%

Nearing the end of my lockdown miniature selection are these 2 rums.

Alnwick Rum c/othewhiskeynut

The Legendary Alnwick Rum immediately brought back memories of my days at sea aboard the MV Alnwick Castle bulk carrier whose parent company hailed from the same area this Dark Rum emanates from.

Deep reddish brown in colour, heavy molasses on the nose. Good solid mouth feel – oily & viscous – with a lovely flourish of spice on the rear.

A very decent dark rum.

Duppy Share c/othewhiskeynut

The Duppy Share also took me back to my days in London where the vibrant & colourful Carribean culture enlivened the otherwise grey streetscape.

Light straw in colour, a clean & clear funk on the nose. More fruity on the palate, a mellow funk fusing with a sprinkling of spice & sweet caramels to round up this very easy & approachable golden rum.

‘Duppy’ has a number of meanings – one being a playful spirit – & this rum toys with that association.

A lovely little duo to appreciate the diversity of styles & influences within the growing rum category.

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Havana Club 7, 40%, Cuba

I couldn’t review Bacardi’s 8 without looking at Havana’s 7.

Cuban rum products aren’t readily available in America – ever since the 1959 revolution.

Bacardí assets were nationalized & they set up business abroad while Pernod Ricard latterly took a stake in Cuba & released Havana Club.

Havana 7 c/othewhiskeynut

Despite no longer producing in the country Bacardí claim Cuban heritage & there is a long running dispute between the 2 companies over labelling & trademark.

Cuban rum meanwhile has a set of rules – one of which is only rums produced there can display the ‘Republica De Garantia’ logo – as shown on Havana 7.

Guaranteed Cuban c/othewhiskey

Golden brown in the Tuath Glass exhibiting thick legs.

Sweet dark caramels, toffee & hints of woody oak on the nose.

Easy enveloping mouthfeel develops a tingling spiciness which grows towards the finish.

Gentler, sweet dark fruitiness fades away softly.

Back label c/othewhiskeynut

A characterful rum.

Havana Club 7 is readily available in Ireland.

Sláinte

Sources;

Cuban Rum Embargo – https://globalcompliancenews.com/us-government-further-tightens-cuban-sanctions-targeting-cuban-travel-hotels-cigars-and-rum-05102020/

Havana Rum Wars – https://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/01/08/the-rum-war-rages-bacardi-insists-its-havana-club-forever-cuban-despite-criticism

Cuban Rum Rules – https://www.cubaron.com/en/our-company/dop-cuba-menu-en/505-la-denominacion-de-origen-cuba-para-el-ron

Bacardí Reserva Ocho, Rare Gold Rum, 40%, Puerto Rico

Bacardí Ocho is one of those rums whiskey drinkers can easily appreciate.

Bacardi Ocho c/othewhiskeynut

A dark sweetness of butterscotch & toffee on the nose.

Soft & smooth palate replete with heavy fruits & a touch of nuttiness.

Growing woody spiciness from 8 years in oak barrels add some flair to the long finish.

Label info c/othewhiskeynut

An easy going sipper of a rum found widely in stores around Ireland.

Sláinte