More from Monymusk! This time featuring a ‘new’ vintage and a rather young expression. It’s the L’Esprit Monymusk 2007 9YO.
Even though L’Esprit is not really a new bottler, they somehow feel like one. Starting in 2010, Tristan Prodhomme, the man behind L’Esprit, steadily released Whisky and Rum bottlings more or less one at a time. The reasons are twofold: First, he was lacking the cash to invest heavily in many barrels and second, he wants to release products that he personally enjoys as well. What’s interesting is that both channels seem to be leading in the same direction: He’s mostly releasing relatively young and characterful single cask rums at cask strength. Even more importantly, I have been liking what I was tasting, Tristan seems to know what’s good! The only downside really are L’Esprit’s asking prices, which are quite high for rums of such young age. On the other hand, you get what you pay for.
This is the first Monymusk from 2007 that I know. Since it is ‘only’ a 9YO I am not going to ask where the rest is hiding. I am quite sure that we will be getting more in a few years. Nevertheless, I am very happy that L’Esprit released this one since it is always interesting to compare how a batch evolves during different stages of maturity. Every cask is different of course but you can still get a general idea. Typically, younger distillates are a bit more aggressive but they also tend to have more character and rough spots, which makes them more distinct. Having this paired with a decent maturity often makes for a very nice rum in my book. But let’s see.
Dégustation “L’Esprit Monymusk 2007 9YO”
Key Facts: This single cask rum has been distilled at Jamaica’s Clarendon Distillery on 29.03.2007 and bottled in France after nine years on 1.12.2016 at a respectable 67%. The standard information apply: It is not coloured, non chill-filtered and cask strength (obviously). The reference number for the cask is BB 11, which yielded 226 bottles.
Colour and viscosity: Pale staw/ pale gold. A large amount of very thin pearls at the rim of the glass. A few thin streaks moderately flow back down.
Nose: Lots and lots of butyric acids and warm butter. Then sweet honey-dew melon, candyfloss and toffee apple. This is my kind of rum. I would not have believed that this is 67% if I hadn’t known by the way. Especially the toffee apple, even though it was one of my last associations, is starting to push itself to the fore over time. Perhaps also some popcorn and vanilla in the background. If they were to serve rum at a funfair this is what I would get!
Palate: The alcohol gently numbs the tongue for a second, only to spread flavours of toffee and sour apples across it. Then the butyric element and a touch of spices, cloves most prominently. Now also pineapple and slightly mineral notes. The palate offers an impression which is very different from the nose. It’s weird to describe it but the profile is relatively sour (green apples) and feels very warm (melting butter). There’s also a slightly disturbing element which I cannot name (after about 15 minutes I came up with banana) but it doesn’t “ruin” the rum for me.
Finish: Dry and hot. I guess there’s a lot of alcohol after all. Green apples and a few random spices. Also a few woody elements pop up out of nowhere.
Now what do we make out of the L’Esprit Monymusk 2007 9YO? I am not exactly sure to be honest as I am having a hard time to be objective here. For my personal palate, it is a good rum. Sometimes perhaps even more than that. Fanboyism aside, it might not be that great for most of you. Solid might be the more appropriate word here. Then there are some who will probably never take to it. What you cannot take away from this rum is that it has character, that it is distinct and definitely not boring. Personally, I do not regret this purchase at all and would recommend getting a sample if you can. I am definitely having high expectations for older and more mature Monymusks from this vintage but this young fellow certainly also deserves its spot on the shelves.
Other impressions: I am not exactly sure what to make out of it but L’homme à la poussette thinks it is very atypical (I certainly agree) while this guy thinks its dispensable (whaat?). Last but not least there’s Rumporter but their description doesn’t really surpass that of an advertisement if you ask me.