We continue with doors seven to twelve of the 2018 edition of the Advent Calendar Blind Tasting by the German Rum Club. You can find an overview of all blind samples here:
- Advent Calendar 2018 Blind Tasting Part I (1-6)
- Advent Calendar 2018 Blind Tasting Part II (7-12)
- Advent Calendar 2018 Blind Tasting Part III (13-18)
- Advent Calendar 2018 Blind Tasting Part IV (19-24)
Originial Royal Navy Rum 1954 (Navy Blend, 53,7%): Huu… this one smells kinda… antique. A bit like r(h)um from 50 years ago. I get lots of liquorice and wood, algae, seafood, soy sauce/ terriyaki and wood. I have no clue. An old Guadeloupean molasses rum perhaps? Old Enmore might also be a possibility. The nose is so-so but we need to taste it before making a final judgement. At the palate I can again find many old notes, hints of wax, wood, liquorice, drip coffee, some herbs, molasses and now also clearly sour citrus. The texture is very thick (think the molasses) and creamy. Wow! While my description hints at a considerably complex rum, I don’t really think it is. There are just a lot of elements to it but otherwise it is not too interesting. The finish is medium long, heavy and dark (wood, licquorice, drip coffee). This might be some blend from the ’50s since I can find elements from different countries here. It also reminds me a lot of the 2x St Gilles (1950s) I have tried some time ago. It’s texture is amazing but the rum is rather uninspiring all in all. Good juice nevertheless. 6/10
Well, I have nailed quite a few of the details and I actually did have this exact rum before and thought it was rather great. The power of blind tastings, my friends!
Kill Devil Bellevue (Damoiseau) 1998 19YO (Guadeloupe, 59,7%): In the nose I get dark, heavy and herbal notes. Bitter wood is paired with tobacco, sugar cane, muscovado and palm sugar as well as hints of tar. It’s rather clear to me where this is heading, even though it smells a bit unusual for what I believe this is. The palate welcomes us with rather ‘dirty’ nuances (think tar again), herbs, liquorice and coffee but also fresh cane juice, mint and wood. The finish is driven by the herbs, with quite some support from the wood and some bitter notes. Great stuff! This should be Damoiseau but I am not sure if it’s a 1998 (“Bellevue batch”) or one of the more recent vintages. 7/10 (closer to a 7,5 though)
One of the few 1998s I haven’t tried and it is one of the better ones. The rums are slowly but steadily reaching an age at which they don’t really improve anymore though.
Clairin Ansyen Casimir 1YO #CARCA1 (Haiti, 50,1%): Today I actually didn’t manage to taste the rum so unfortunately these notes are not ‘blind’. After a wee sniff and nip from the sample bottle I got plenty of esters and thought it should be a Jamaican but yeah, these Casimirs must go through some crazy fermentations. Anyway, I had to run to catch a train and therefore couldn’t taste properly. Nose: A crazy whirlwind of aromas. The two additional months relative to the other Ansyens we’ve tried are really noticeable (yes, I know how stupid that sounds but here that’s more than 10% after all): Rotting pineapple, foul vegetables, dill, cauliflower, grass and green banana are just some of my associations. Palate: A bit more grassy than the nose but with the same crazy, mostly vegetal notes. I also get a few earthy and mineral elements but nothing really that would remind me of Caroni to be honest. Finish: Rather short with vegetal and earthy notes. As far as Clairin and Casimir are concerned, I usually prefer the unaged ones but this is really good and indeed a bit ahead of the other aged expressions I have tried so far. 7/10
Compagnie des Indes C.A.C.D. 2005 13YO (Venezuela, 60,6%): A relatively simplistic one I think. Tobacco, leather, caramel and alcohol dominate the nose. Behind that smoked ham and a few exotic fruits that don’t really want to reveal themselves. I think we need to use our palate here. I detect citrus notes, toffee, caramel and slightly smoky nuances in the background. Then more mineral and slightly sweeter elements. I tried so hard to figure out what the rum might be that I finished my sample before I was able to write down some more notes. The finish is well-balanced between sweet (toffee, caramel) and slightly sour elements (citrus). Not bad at all, a nice and easy sipper. I didn’t really know where to put this and ultimately settled with TDL. 5/10
A nice one. Way ahead of virtually all other C.A.C.D. bottlings I know and I probably would have bought it if the price had been right. Unfortunately it is a bit overpriced.
Velier Royal Navy Rum (Blend, 57,18%): Here we have a combination of all sorts of different elements in the nose. I get mostly esters and fruits but also fresh herbs and a few other aromas I cannot specify more closely. Then cocoa and roasting aromas as well as chocolate. This is all really, really nice. At the palate more of the fruity esters and milk chocolate, followed immediately by the herbs. Right now I am going back and forth between Long Pond (VRW), Mount Gay/ Gilboa and some odd St. Lucian. The finish is exceedingly dry and now closer to rums from Guyana I guess… This one isn’t easy but I have a feeling that it might be the VRW, even though I cannot find the characteristic lavender this time, but that might just be the mood of the day… 8/10
Oh dear, another one we’ve had already and one that should have been possible to figure out. I must say that I liked it even more this time than when I’ve reviewed it, fully aware of what it is. But as I said above, the mood of the day is often times very decisive.
Malecon Seleccion Esplendida 1979 29YO (Panama, 40%): A very dark rum in terms of both, colour and aromas. I get burnt caramel, cappucino with cinnamon topping (who does that, really…), vanilla, hazelnut syrup and aged amaretto if such a thing exists. It’s a very “Spanish” profile, a bit too sweet but not terrible. The palate makes me want to say that this rum is adulterated, although we did have way more extreme ones. Cold latte machiato, hazelnut, pine, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon and crispy (dry) bacon. It is not complex but this latte machiato/ mokka note is rether nice, even if it is not entirely real. The finish is a mix of the dry coffee notes and sweet (hazelnut) syrup. I actually like the general profile, it is just that a) I don’t think it is entirely natural and b) the rum is not too great overall. My guess is a ron from Columbia, something along the lines of Dictador. 3/10 (at best)