In a way this is the announced follow-up to the 2003 Monymusk cross-tasting. However, I was under the impression that I have a few more samples from the batch but well… you can see for yourself. The benchmark Monymusk from 2007 is still the L’Esprit Monymusk 2007 9YO for me but these rums should get better as they get older. Youthful Monymusk is usually a bit too extreme in many regards. Batch-wise, the fruit composition is a bit different in this batch compared to the 2003 and the butyric elements are more pronounced here. As we are about to see, todays expressions differ quite a bit from one another as well.
Ultimatum Monymusk 2007 9YO (46%): My association with Ultimatum is basically low-cost single casks at an average quality (that’s not a bad thing at all!). Let’s see. Nose: Butyrate and plenty of fruity esters in the form of sweet pineapple, peaches, lychee and candied apricots. The alcohol is a bit strong given the low abv but I can live with it. Then more and more sweetened canned fruits, more acid aromas and nail polish. It’s very solid. Palate: Uh, this isn’t what I expected. The nose was quite full and intense but the rum is rather thin and not very tasty. The fruity aromas don’t translate into the corresponding flavours at the palate. Instead I get what some people dub “vomit-scents”, shale and extremely bitter notes of unripe quince and weird, random fruits as you get time in the very last corner of exotic markets. I don’t know where things went wrong here but we’ve had way better Monymusks from this vintage. The finish is still ultra bitter but not at all in a good way. Young wood and unripe fruits. The nose was quite nice but the rest doesn’t deliver. There’s not a lot of what we like about Monymusk and it’s not an interesting new side to the distillery either, unfortunately. (73/100)
Compagnie des Indes Clarendon (Monymusk) 2007 11YO (55%): Compagnie des Indes just keeps on bottling. It’s like we get a new release every week and on average that might actually be true. Nose: The fruity version. I get sweet pears, ripe quince, unripe pineapple, canned fruits, peaches and actually quite some wood behind all of that. Now also apples, butyrate (already more scaled down with these two additional years) and hot butter. Palate: Where’s all this wood coming from? It’s not excessive but more than you’d expect at this age. The overall profile is still rather fruity but it kinda has to hide behind this rather bitter wall of cupboard. A few sour notes here and there (unripe apples and quince, most notably), more bitter compounds as you’d get them from the stem of a fruit-bearing tree, caramel, toffee and spices from the cask are my next associations. It’s not terrible but this just wasn’t a good cask. Finish: Medium long with Rivaner white wine and the bitter and fruity combination from fruit-bearing trees. (75/100)
S.B.S Monymusk (PX Finish) 2007 11YO (59%): No one does finishes better than S.B.S in my humble opinion and generally speaking it often helps elevating average rums into the “good” category. Come on, S.B.S, save our day! The nose is already a lot thicker and fuller with corn-syrup-like note. Besides leather and a perception of dried fruits I don’t get many of the typical Sherry aromas but there also isn’t a whole lot from the original distillate anymore. I get a mix of pears and quince, a slightly menthol-y note, quite some herbs (mint, rosary) and foul strawberries perhaps. Palate: The PX cask definitely left its mark but not like we are used to. Mint, menthol, dental bubblegum, wood and leather are the dominant notes here, while chili flakes, a mix of nuts and some additional herbs play second fiddle. The texture is really thick, which is great, but unfortunately we’ve lost many of the fruity flavours. Only later do I get some green apples and rambutan perhaps. The finish is actually rather long with many of the mint/ menthol-like notes, some wood and raw apples here and there. So what do we make out of this? The finish has improved the rum indeed but not to a level where it could have been. It just lost too much of the actual distillate but nevertheless, the resulting rum is quite interesting and different, a big plus in my book. (79/100)
A rather average batch overall, but maybe it will get better with time. Sherry finishes seem to work really well with Monymusk, as the Rum Nation Supreme Lord VIII or Adelphi Monymusk 2003 15YO demonstrate and here it’s a Sherry finished bottling once again that gets the top spot.