Howdy folks – t8ke here. Recently, a group of fellas, myself included, were given the honor of helping select r/rum’s first rum barrel. We were sent 5 samples, from the bottler and broker, completely blind.
Here are my notes from that sampling and the rankings. I also took a stab at guessing the origin of most of the samples despite having no idea of the provenance at the time of the tasting. I will post the reveal for each sample down at the bottom for you all to see as well.
|Number||Nose||Palate||Finish||Overall + Guess||Score + Rank|
|1||Melons, funky, caramel, meaty, overripe bananas, death||Medium mouthfeel, some heat. Rich fruits, burning rubber, overripe fruits, caramel, bread-y, toffee, vanilla, sulfur||Long, sweet, fruity and meaty||Really good. Absolutely Jamaican. Guessing Hampden, 50% ABV – 55% ABV, 9-10 Years Old|| |
|2||Faint ethanol, caramel, malty. Muted. Some oak, some pepper, some cocoa||Oak-y caramel, vanilla. Bit of heat on the palate. Pepper, cloves. Very bourbon-y. Super reminiscent of Foursquare 2004. Some faint melon.||Caramel, vanilla bomb. Oak and pepper. Some heat, good rich finish.||Also good. Very bourbon-y rum. Guessing Barbados, specifically Foursquare 55% ABV – 60% ABV at 10-12 years of age.||6/10, #3|
|3||Rummy. Caramel nougat. Sticky sweet fruits. Molasses, brown sugar. Cocoa, oak, pepper. Rich maple.||Sweet and rich. Thick, oily mouthfeel. Molasses, brown sugar. Mild funk. Cocoa is present here also and plays really well with crisp fruitiness.||Short in length, but complex. Bourbon cream, nutty, molasses forward. Syrupy fruits.||Phenomenal. Easily my favorite of the bunch. Guessing Guyana, 55% ABV – 60% ABV, 8-12 years of age.||7/10, #1|
|4||Buttered popcorn, nutty and floral. Mildly fruity.||Fruity, dole fruit syrup. Taffy. Lots of artificial fruit notes – cherry, lime, berries, floral.||Short, astringent, really fake tasting||No idea what this is, but it’s easily my least favorite of the bunch. Hard pass.||4/10, #5|
|5||Melon, meaty molasses. Fruity and funky. Oak-y with some faint pepper.||Thick, but hot. Rich caramel, fruity overripe essence. Really funky here too but in a more meaty / oak driven way.||Long finish but punishingly hot, lots of fruits, oak and pepper.||Guessing Worthy Park, 9-10 years of age, 60% ABV – 63% ABV||6/10, #4|
Alright, so lot of rum there. Let’s unpack the reveals.
- Rum #1: Diamond Distillery, Distilled in May 2005 and tasted at 59% ABV
- Rum #2: Foursquare from Barbados, Distilled in December 2007 and tasted at 54% ABV
- Rum #3: Foursquare from Barbados, Distilled in November 2005 and tasted at 63% ABV
- Rum #4: Undisclosed Jamaican Distiller, Distilled in December 2007, tasted at 56% ABV
- Rum #5: Undisclosed Jamaican, Distilled in March 2006 and tasted at 61% ABV
All in all, I’m happy with my guesses although none were dead on the money. I’m alright with that. My favorite pick for the rum selection was definitely #3, which was heavily agreed on by the majority of tasters.
The dram provides what I think a quintessential rum should be, while also being approachable to just about anyone. I really liked the #1 Diamond Cask, but that had a face searing funk that would have likely been highly divisive. #3 had the same level of quality in a package that I thought was the most versatile. For the very first community barrel, broader appeal seemed to be the most appropriate, with future releases honing in on certain other profiles that may be more polarizing.
Our settling on #3 was pretty controversial for a short period of time, but it easily won out in a community group vote by significant margins, so it was relieving that a clear favorite existed during the entire tasting timeline.
Bottles should hit this late Fall, and I will be sure to do another review when my bottle lands since the cask got to potentially age a little more before being dumped and bottled.
Thanks for reading folks!