The label doesn’t say it explicitly but the reference to a pot still and the mark are telling enough. The Cadenhead’s Diamond Distillery “MPM” 2003 14YO is another rum from the unique Port Mourant Double Wooden Pot Still.
2017 was not only the year that marked Velier‘s 70th anniversary but also Cadenhead’s 175th jubilee. While Velier celebrated with tons of different releases, Cadenhead’s was mostly releasing Whiskies and just a handful of rums. As long as the quality is right we don’t mind of course but personally I was hoping for a few older and special releases, especially from Guyana. To add to the disappointment, some bottlings didn’t even make it to the European mainland and having rum shipped from the UK can sometimes turn out to be rather difficult. Anyways, we will encounter a few of these Cadenhead’s bottlings in the weeks and months to come.
I’ve already introduced Port Mourant and its history in this review so I shall not repeat the same wonky gibberish but I guess it is worth pointing out that this rum, contrary to the two Rum Nations in the link above or the Whiskybroker Uitvlugt 1999 17YO has been distilled at the Diamond Distillery and not at Uitvlugt Distillery. When Uitvlugt closed in 1999, the Double Wooden Pot Still from Port Mourant has been brought to DDL’s headquarters, who use the same fermentation methods and wines for all of their stills. I am not exactly sure how this has been handled at Uitvlugt but given that it seems likely that different operatives were responsible back then this might explain differences in the general character of the distillates. The mark doesn’t provide us with much further information unfortunately as “MPM” should stand for Main Port Mourant, meaning that Cadenhead’s bought it from the Main Rum Company.
Dégustation “Cadenhead’s Diamond Distillery “MPM” 2003 14YO”
Key Facts: This single cask rum has been distilled by the Port Mourant Double Wooden Pot Still at the Diamond Distillery in Guyana in 2003. After 14 years, it has been bottled by Cadenhead’s as part of their 175th anniversary in 2017. It measures 59,1% abv.
Colour and viscosity: Old gold/ amber. A very thin crown at the top of the glass.
Nose: Oh yes, this intense (or is it due to my short abstinence!?). I get the oh so typical Port Mourant wet wood, spices such as (the again very typical) anise and cardamom, chestnuts and more fruity elements in the form of papaya and honeydew melon. All in all this is quintessential Port Mourant as we’ve had it time and again already, but it comes with a certain fruitiness which is lacking in some of the older expressions. The downside is that it is not extremely complex.
Palate: Again, it is all very typical and familiar. The first sip slightly burns my tongue but it doesn’t leave any negative impressions. Then dry wood and anise, cinnamon, raw cookie dough and papayas. Then more salty elements. Basically the rum has everything that you are looking for in a Port Mourant but you really shouldn’t compare this to some of the more mature Port Mourants from the ’90s. It is not as intense as some tropically aged PMs and not as elegant as the older conintenally aged ones. Instead it is an easy sipper that’s not too demanding and a very nice rum to drink in the cold season while turning up the heating.
Finish: Rather long for a 14YO rum. Lasting impressions are wood, dry cheese, different spices and salt.
The Cadenhead’s Diamond Distillery “MPM” 2003 14YO is a solid yet unspectacular rum. It’s main upside is its price: It has become rather rare to get twelve+ year old single cask bottlings at cask strength at this price (about 60€), especially from pot stills and/ or Guyana. I am very happy that Cadnehead’s still offer these kind of products from time to time as I believe that this might actually be the most important segment of the rum market. A vanishing middle class if you will. Unfortunately the rum loses out the direct comparison with a comparable Port Mourant which I have yet to review but that one also costs almost twice as much. Therefore, at its price, this one gets a clear recommendation from my side.