Chances are that you are not familiar with “Airprib’s” Rumexpert blind tastings but that’s not a problem, you can find out more right here. Disclaimer: As always, I didn’t spend as much time with these rums as I would like to (and should) but what can you do…!?
Schwarz New Grove (Grays) 2009 9YO (Mauritius, 54,7%): Let’s start! Unfortunately I don’t have the labels of these newish Schwarz rums. Nose: At first I was thinking that this might be a caries-bomb but this impression quickly fades away and opens the path sugar, peach, candied peaches, canned fruits and some matches (sulphate). It kinda smells like a bad version of a rum I actually like. Palate: Much better and drier than the nose suggested. Still the candied peaches and canned fruits but dry, almost adstringent notes of tannins, pomace, wood, junipers and plums join the party. Quite nice! The finish is dry and slightly bitter with the tannins. The distillery (Grays/ New Grove) is clear as this is a very unique and characteristic profile but this one is a bit too unbalanced for my liking and, again, it really feels like we’ve had essentially the same rum in a much, much better version before. (73/100)
Foursquare Zinfandel Cask Blend 2004 11YO (Barbados, 43%): Nose: Plenty of caramel, vanilla, wood and some dried fruits but that’s it. Very flat, boring, uninspiring and irrelevant. Oh my… Palate: Extremely sweet, boring but very creamy, especially given the low abv. I get something slightly mineral (TDL!?), more caramel and Crème Brûlée but once again, there isn’t a whole lot to this rum. The creamy texture makes me think of an old rum but this is definitely a very column-still heavy English style rum, which makes me wonder if it is TDL, Westerhall, or even Foursquare. Finish: Short and boring with toffee, vanilla and caramel. Now what can this be? TDL is usually a bit different and even Foursquare typically isn’t quite this bad and one-dimensional, so I settled with an old rum from Westerhall in the end. (65/100)
The Overseas Trail (for Alba Import) 1996 17YO (Trinidad, 46%): Nose: So I have been sniffing for quite some time and couldn’t really figure out what this might be but then all of a sudden it struck me: The dirty, tar and burnt rubber like notes are just too obvious, even though they really only play second fiddle in this rum. Initially I was getting a rather fruity column style profile with apples, pears and raisins. Palate: Or am I still wrong!? It’s not an easy one so nicely chosen. Definitely a very atpical Caroni, if it is one. You really don’t get these apple-like fruits paired with the dirty aromas very often. Finish: Medium long with tar, apple tart and vanilla. Not bad! It took me a while but at the end of the day I think we will always recognise true HTR (Heavy Type/ Trinidad Rum) Caronis. But yeah, the excessive dilution ruined this one by the way. (78/100)
Worthy Park Sherry 2003 5YO (Jamaica, 57%): Nose: Ah, this one is just too obvious. This is another distillery which produces a flavour profile like no other. Banana, apples and kerosene, paired with the herbs in the background can only come from Worthy Park in this form. But there’s more than that and with Worthy Park it is clear that it has to be a finish. I take a sip to find out. Palate: Yes, this has to be a finished Worthy Park, but it isn’t Sherry (ouch! -SCR). Something closer to Madeira or Port I’d say. The dark fruits (on top of the notes from the nose) make me choose the latter. This is very good stuff and the Port was my favorite from the trio of fortified wine finished releases so it does make sense. What doesn’t make sense is the colour since this is way too pale, eliminating the Port one as an option. But yeah, since this is just great and because I don’t want to look deeper into that, let’s just stick with that. Finish: Extremely nice with bananas in all different forms and fortified wine. Easily the best rum of the session. (86/100)
Schwarz C.A.C.D. 2004 14YO (Venezuela, 55%): And finally there’s a traditional Spanish-style rum and the smell (cherries, Mon Chérie, chocolate, berries) paired with the colour immediately make me think of Venezuela’s C.A.C.D. I’ve had a very similar rum not too long ago with the Rum Artesanal C.A.D.C. 2004 14YO. Palate: Ah, yes, that’s definitely it and I get the Mon Chérie again, even though I don’t really think this one has received a finish…. What is more, it is way better than the Rum Artesanal and much closer to the very nice 2005 batch. The obvious parallels make me guess 2004 anyway. Finish: Short and sweet with cherries and dark chocolate. So either I have misjudged the Rum Artesanal 2004 last time, or it is simply a different and indeed quite nice rum from C.A.C.D.. (76/100)
It was a rather average session quality wise but it got a lot better towards the end. While I am very satisfied with my analyses and blind tasting results (4 out of 5 distilleries), I once again fell short of the amazing tasting skills of Thomas “The Professor” from Rumboom, who has yet to find his master in Germany. Maybe next time 😉
Addendum: Rumboom have added their tastings notes in the meantime as well.