Finally some Rum again! And I thought I should start with a Rum that no one really talks or talked about, despite being one of the very best to come out within the last twelve months if you ask me. I am talking about the S.B.S Guyana 1998 19YO.
Usually, whenever I am reading “Uitvlugt 1998”, I just move on without raising an eyebrow. The multiple, dismal bottlings of the Uitvlugt 1998 column still batch I’ve tried were all so weak, tasteless and boring that I’ve decided never to borrow with them again. Now, at first glance, S.B.S released another such bottling… until you read on to notice that the label reads ‘pot still’ as well. Knowing that many bottlers get their labels wrong I was still sceptical but of course had to try this nevertheless, finding out that S.B.S isn’t one of them. Alas, we have a 1998 Port Mourant, the, to the best of my knowledge, first and only released by an independent bottler to date. That’s already interesting by itself but Joshua from S.B.S didn’t stop here: He decided to finish the rum in a former Oloroso cask. Port Mourant with a Sherry finish/maturation!? Yes, we’ve had that already with these two excellent Rum Nations, which proved that Port Mourant is one of the better (or perhaps even the best!?) Rums to be paired with fortified wine barrels. The spices and woody notes of this particular distillate just create an absolutely heavenly product when matched with the sweetness and dried fruits that typically come from these Sherries/ Port wines etc. Bristol already realised this in the past, and I definitely have to catch up with their finished Port Mourants as well. But for now, this S.B.S has to suffice.
Dégustation “S.B.S Uitvlugt Distillery (Port Mourant) 1998 19YO”
Key Facts: This Single Barrel Selection Port Mourant by 1423 World Class Spirits has been distilled in May 1998 in Guyana‘s Uitvlugt Distillery. After 19 years, including a timespan in which the Rum has been finished in a former Oloroso cask, it has been bottled in November 2017. The outturn were a mere 157 bottles at 62,4%, the full cask strength.
Colour and viscosity: Auburn/ polished mahogany. Plenty of medium-sized streaks that leisurely descend back to the bottom.
Nose: Exactly what I have been hoping for! The perfect symbiosis of Port Mourant’s spices such as anise, cinnamon and cloves with the dark fruits and berries of the Oloroso cask. I get fresh leather, wet wood, raspberries, a mix of sweet and sour cherries, dried plums and more salty notes. This is my kind of Rum, and I know this before even taking a sip. After some more time in the glass I also get a few wild, herbal notes (spicy oregano), but they are really staying in the background only. On a side note: we’re in 60+% territory here and I don’t get the slightest indication of any alcohol here. Amazing!
Palate: At the palate I get a creamy mouthfeel, with sweet, red berries and the cherry mix being my first impressions. Only then do I get the more typical Port Mourant notes such as anise, wet wood or salt but the Rum’s origin cannot be mistaken at any time! Then caramel and crème brûlée, whipped cream, leather and different sorts of wood. It’s a magnificent drop! Eventually, with the fourth sip or so, I can also get a glimpse of the herbs that I detected in the nose but once again, they only play a very minor part here.
Finish: Relatively long with a mix of sweet and salty notes, anise and wood. Every now and then some fresher, minty notes pop up. It’s a bit unusual but I like it.
An absolutely amazing Rum and it is absolutely beyond me why this hasn’t sold out yet. Maybe the bottler still isn’t too well-known but this is an extremely high quality Rum that has been aged and finished for just the right amount of time. Hence my advice: If you like Port Mourant and ideally also the fortified wine finished/ matured expressions we’ve got in the past from the likes of Bristol or Rum Nation, don’t hesitate and get it while you can. Personally, I’ve stocked up.