After Johannes gave me a week off with his third book review it is time for some rum again. Today we have the Rum Nation Enmore 2002 14YO. Sorry that the review became so lengthy again.
This is one of the first three rums Rum Nation released for their new Small Batch Rare Rums series. The others were one of these two Port Mourants and this Diamond. Both were very good rums but if you ask me, this must have been the best of the bunch. It’s an Enmore. At least Rum Nation state so on the label. Knowing that the Enmore Distillery has been closed for about eight years already in 2002 it stands to reason that they mean the Enmore Wooden Coffey Still instead. Putting the actual still instead of the distillery (which would be Diamond Distillery of course) makes a lot of sense with Demerara rums that have been distilled after Uitvlugt closed for good in 1999. I wish that more producers adopt this practice but chances are that they do not always know the actual still and style. With this rum, Mr Rossi fortunately did and let us know after we have inquired about it. It is a KFM. Why don’t they put the information on the label!? My guess is that that most connoisseurs don’t really care about and/ or are at loose ends with the marks. For the few freaks of us it is a real pity of course. So what is KFM? You might know the Cadenhead’s rums from 1991 (12YO and 16YO) which had this mark. Unfortunately I don’t. However, these rums came with the information of a pot still. At Enmore, the only pot still at this time was the Versailles still. So why did they switch to producing this style with the Wooden Coffey Still? Well, I am pretty sure that they did not and there are two reasons for it. First, there is this table which links the stills operating at the Diamond Distillery to the marks and it clearly says Versailles Single Wooden Pot Still. Second, my taste buds leave absolutely no doubt that this is a Versailles. Why did Rum Nation then put Enmore nevertheless? Maybe they didn’t know better and simply linked the mark “KFM” to the Enmore Distillery. We should ask them next time.
The original sugar estate of “KFM” is Lusignan, who must have produced a somewhat similar rum style back then. At least DDL is trying to replicate it. Unfortunately we will probably never know what it tasted like since even the two Enmores by Cadenhead’s are likely only imitations. All we know is that Enmore must have absorbed Lusignan long before Versailles shut down. Perhaps they even acquired Lusignan’s still(s) but if so they could not have survived for very long. My guess is that when the Versailles still got to Enmore in the 1970s, it was simply better or more efficient than the respective Lusignan still and that it could mimic the KFM style adequately. If Lusignan’s still even made it to Enmore, that is. One final question remains: What is the difference between the styles produced by the Versailles Still, VSG and KFM (let’s leave out SXG and S&G since I don’t know which rums have this mark)? Well, I am not exactly sure. The KFMs by Cadenhead’s were very dark and most likely coloured whereas the VSGs are not but there should be difference in the rums’ profiles as well. So let’s try it!
Dégustation “Rum Nation SBRR Enmore 2002 14YO”
Key Facts: The Rum Nation Enmore 2002 14YO must have been distilled by the Versailles Single Wooden Pot Still at Diamond Distillery in Guyana. Rum Nation mention a “single wooden column still (that would be Enmore) but I just don’t believe it (for what it’s worth, they also say it’s a “rum from Enmore distillery”). In 2016, cask 77 and 82 have been bottled at 56,8%, yielding 442 bottles. By the way: Where are the other barrels? Besides a couple of exclusive single cask bottlings I have no clue…
Colour and viscosity: Jonquil/ ripe corn. The rum flows back down rather moderately; thin pearls at the rim of the glass.
Nose: As described above, this has to be Versailles, not Enmore. I can smell fresh, slightly bitter fruits such as grapefruit, pomelo or minneola. Then scents of citrus and very faintly also spices. Cloves, anise and vanilla are my impressions. Again, there’s no doubt that this is a Versailles but the typical pencil sharpenings are almost missing completely, as are the prunes. Instead we get a few herbs which I cannot specify further, then more of the pomelo again. A decent amount of oak rounds of this very lovely nose.
Palate: A mix of spices (pepper, anise) and bitter fruits (grapefruit, pomelo) is what I get at first. Then immediately cookie dough. That must be what the pencil sharpenings taste like this time. Raisins and small chocolate chips add to the dough, as well as some wax (think Clynelish for the Whisky folks). Now again the citrus notes from the nose and slightly medical herbs. There’s so much in here, I get even associations of forest fruit tea now. All in all, it doesn’t work quite as well as the nose but it is amazing stuff nevertheless. I have to repeat myself: Why don’t we get more of this?
Finish: Relatively long with herbs and spices as well as some of the bitter fruits. Funnily, these seem to be a bit sweeter now, like oranges, say.
What shall I say? My guess is that you already noticed that I love this rum. The Rum Nation Enmore 2002 14YO is one of if not the best Versailles distilled after 1990. At least I am not aware of a better one but as said above, I also do not know the two KFMs by Cadenhead’s. Anyway, I have had four other Versailles next to this one, two old and two young ones, and this one places itself in between the two camps. Quality-wise it can easily match the old Versailles from the ’80s and 1990 but its profile is very different. Most notably it is not as dominant on the pencil sharpenings and comes with the bitter fruits which the old Versailles lack. The new Versailles are simply no match in all aspects. I hope that DDL recognized this but given that they still mostly care about their blends I kinda doubt that they even care and think about it but who knows.
Other impressions: Quite to my surprise, a lot of people have reviewed this. Marco loved it (just like me) and so did Lance and Tiara. Henrik ‘only’ kinda liked it. Rum Gazette also has a few lines on the rum and the entire series in general.