This is part II of the Selected Cask Community bottlings from 2018, spanning the months July to December plus two bonuses. For more information and the bottlings from January to June, click here.
SCC Martinique Le Galion 6YO (60,1%): No fancy barrel this time, just a simple ex-Bourbon cask maturation (finally!). Le Galion is interesting since they are the only Martinican distillery that typically distills from molasses and we aren’t getting that much from them. Nose: A bit candy-like with canned fruits, candy floss, vanilla and also candied fruits. All in all it smells quite perfumed but it isn’t too artificial. A rather unusual one and I am looking forward to the palate. Here I am still getting the canned fruits but a somewhat spicier, gingery version of it. Candied ginger is an obvious impression here but I also get other notes such as rich cinnamon, exotic woods, lemon grass, lavender or very clearly sage! The finish is medium long and dominated by wood and spices, which have to come mostly from the distillate I believe. A really nice one. We are getting too few rums like these. (85/100)
SCC Panama Pilsa 9YO (60%): Again a simple ex-Bourbon maturation. Pilsa should be a company rather than a distillery and if I am not mistaken this ron should come from Don José aka Varelo Hermanos and based on the nose there’s no reason to doubt my judgement if I may say so. It is this very typical, dry tobacco, leather, sulphur and caramel column still profile I associate with the country. Then some burnt sugar but there isn’t anything interesting which separates this one from other Panamanians. Palate: Very sweet with lots and lots of tobacco, sugar, caramel and really, not much more. The finish is medium long and again very typical with more and more tobacco. I believe I say this every time I review a rum from Panama but from time to time I like rums like these and they are good companeros to a nice cigar but that’s about it. A solid expression though, just not something that I care about that much. (74/100)
SCC Compania Licorera de Nicaragua 6YO (3y ex-Bourbon + 1y ex-Sherry + 2y Guyana cask, 56,1%): It’s becoming increasingly fancy cask-wise. Concerning the rum, probably not so much and I am wondering if this is the same base spirit as the January bottling. While that one was quite nice, it would be rather disappointing to get a different maturation again. Nose: Right now I am not sure if it actually is the same distillate though. It has been quite a while since I’ve had the January bottling. It’s rather fruity and sweet, with lots of grenadine syrup, red berries, slightly medical herbs, wood, leather and oh so sweet sherry notes. I must say that Sherry maturations really seem to benefit these Nicaraguans. Palate: Now it went kinda over the top. While I stick to my claim, this is just too sweet for me. I am inclined to believe the no-bullshit statement but where is all this sweetness coming from? Raspberries, grenadine syrup, ripe brambleberry, rich cherries… accompanied by some wood. It is too good to be true if you are into these rums, I am not. Nevertheless, once again this is quite a lot better than the Flor de Cana rums I know. I forgot to mention the finish, right!? Rather short, sweet and syrup-y. (72/100)
SCC Blend 11YO (58,4%): This blend contains rum from Barbados, Nicaragua, Belize and Jamaica from different barrel types (ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry, German Oak, Sauternes). It’s getting tougher and tougher to believe that “no bullshit” slogan as they apparently just threw together all of their barrels. I wonder if anyone has tried to recreate it. Nose: Exactly what I’ve feared – basically it smells like we have had this one already. Tobacco, leather, some glue, brine, sweet liquorice, some vanilla and nutmeg as well as a solid amount of wood. It’s not terrible, but I doubt this is something the rum world has been waiting for. Palate: Very close to the palate, just a bit sweeter. I guess we should add some red and dark berries here and there and deduct some of the tobacco and brine but otherwise you can just more or less copy the notes from the nose, even though that was quite a bit nicer. Finish: Medium long but not very nice somehow. I get dry liquorice, oak, brine and spices from the cask. The rum actually lost a few marks here. A good blend is more than the sum of its parts. This is way less than that. (60/100)
SCC Barbados Foursquare 11YO (ex-Bourbon + Jamaica Finish, 58,05%): Nicaragua, Foursquare, Nicaragua, Foursquare…. do you notice something? Well, it makes sense since this is the stuff that is flooding the market these days. I am a bit surprised that we didn’t have any Worthy Park so far. Anyway, the rum spent eight years on Barbados before it was moved to Germany for further ageing. It also received an eight months finish in a barrel which previously contained Jamaican rum (the February bottling I guess). Nose: While the March bottling was unmistakably Foursquare, with these rums it is sometimes hard to tell if they hail from countries such as, say, Belize or well, Foursquare. There has got to be a lot of column still juice in this one. Very flat and boring, little to no Jamaica cask, some vanilla, tobacco, brine and conifers…. let’s take a sip. Very similar to the nose. Lots of vanilla, Crème Brûlée, caramel, conifers in the background, red berries here and there and a hint of coconut perhaps. A very standard profile if you want, but a rather boring expression of that. The finish is short to medium long with berries-flavoured vanilla pudding and some oak. Foursquare is surely the most “overhyped” distillery these days, but not because of bottlings like this. (67/100)
For December SSC released something rather special, rum from an old British Royal Navy flagon. However, they adjusted the amount to 1cl (rather than 10cl) which made splitting rather hard. Given that the promise was to deliver 10cl samples, this has move has to be added to the “bullshit” list, despite all good intentions…
Instead, we have two bonuses. The first is the January bottling from 2019, the second one is some “excuse-gift” since apparently something went wrong at the beginning of the subscription with deliveries or something like that. I don’t know. A nice move either way!
SCC Trinidad Angostura 11YO (ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry + New Oak, 56,06%): Again, we have a multitude of different barrels here but my understanding is that it were two barrels (one ex-Bourbon, one ex-Sherry) which were “married” in a new oak cask. Anyways, it is another one from Trinidad Distillers Ltd. The first one was rather good, even if only because of the Sherry content. Here we don’t find as much Sherry in the nose. Rather some mineral and waxy notes. This is much much closer to the standard Angostura profile (unfortunately). Behind that we find vanilla, an unripe fruit or two and a bit of oak. The palate is better as we get many of the typical Sherry notes, but it’s not too obtrusive. Then again the mineral elements as well as vanilla, caramel pudding and quince perhaps. The finish is medium long, a good balance between sweet and dry and driven by the mineral notes such as leather. It gets a bit too bitter towards the end though. All in all it’s a decent rum, just not something that suits my personal palate. The Sherry-bomb from March ’18 was just so much better if you ask me. (72/100)
SCC N. Kröger PX Cask 12YO (WIRD (Barbados), 43,2%): What the heck is this? In the nose I get candyfloss, sweet, dried plums, simple syrup, Sherry, candied red fruits… I am almost afraid to take a sip and as we are about to see, rightly so. Where’s the next dentist? Caries awaits. Or diabetes. This is just awful. Sugar, syrup, candyfloss, plums, candied red fruits and similar stuff. To be honest, I don’t really care. Sorry guys and Nicolas but that’s it with “no bullshit” for me. (no score)