It’s time for some new, young Port Mourants. These 2008s wear the mark MPM (the “light” Port Mourant style) and were rather rare until about a year or two ago, when they were perhaps too young. Now they seem to pop up with more and more bottlers. Let’s check if the batch has the potential to be a good one.
Kill Devil Diamond Distillery (Port Mourant) 2008 8YO (59,3%): Extremely pale juice, indicating a subpar maturity but let’s not take that as an indicator. Also, the wooden-still distillates are usually way more aromatic than other, comparable rums. Nose: Still rather raw but not exactly juvenile. Even though I cannot find the characteristic anise note it’s clearly PM. Instead a lot of fruits (pears, apples, apricots), some wood, toffee, candied apples, heather, simple syrup and matcha perhaps. A rather wild combination but quite nice for “just” eight years. The palate follows pretty much in a similar fashion. I get a continental fruit basket, matcha, some wood (from the distillate, mind you), toffee and candied apples but few of the spices we usually attribute to PM. With the second and third sip I can get a glimpse of a few of them (vanilla, cloves) but at least the distillate seems to be mostly driven by the fruits. The finish is short and a major weak link here but I believe we can look past this. All in all I am pleasantly surprised. (81/100)
The Rum Cask Diamond Distillery “MPM” 2008 9YO (62,2%): Very pale once again. The nose starts sweet-ish with vanilla, red apples and ripe pears, hints of candyfloss and candied apples as well as mirabelle. It is a very straightforward and simple nose but it kinda represents the side of PM that I do not like too much; the characteristic anise note can only be conjectured deep in the background for instance. The alchol is integrated very well for such a young rum however and the shortcomings seem to be in the lack of complexity department instead. Palate: Finally the alcohol! It was too good to be true. After all, nine continental years are still relatively young. I get candied apples, vanilla, a baked apple spice mix, fresh hay, slightly grainy notes and something close to the familiar wet wood – it’s not your traditional “ship’s plank” PM though. Finish: Short, dry and uninspiring with some of the typical cask aromas (spices, wood), hay and apple. The rum has some of the necessary ingredients but this one just doesn’t get me excited at all, unfortunately. (76/100)
Whiskybroker Diamond Distillery (Port Mourant) “MPM GY” 2008 10YO (60,1%): No idea what the GY might stand for here. Funnily (or rather purposefully), the rum has been bottled just one day after its 10th birthday. Nose: So the The Rum Cask bottling wasn’t to our liking but this is just faint, pale and flat. Oh dear. It’s relatively alcoholic but I can pick up the apples, some of the vanilla (I guess it is a cask aroma after all here, which makes sense), pepper, nutmeg, a wee bit of glue and a whiff of hay. Meh. Palate:
Not much better, but it has power, at least. The texture is very oily and I get a mix of olive tapenade, parsley, red apples, the spices from the nose and quite some wood. Let’s erase the “not much better” part, it is actually a lot better than the nose! Not great but drinkable. Unfortunately it is not extremely complex and a touch of herbs as well as some more oily components aside, that’s about it. But let’s not complain too much, shall we!? Finish: Clearly the strong point here. It’s medium-long duration is filled with spices, raw continental fruits and oak. You may say that I am not doing the rum justice and it might be true. In the grand scheme of Port Mourants, it just cannot compete, however. (76/100)
The Rum Cask Diamond Distillery “MPM” 2008 10YO Sherry Finish (53,6%): The Sherry finish might be very nice but where has all the alcohol gone??? Anyway, nose: The Sherry is really only a nuance here, not a decisive element. The distillate shines with the red apples, wet wood, candied apples, caramel, cinnamon and other spices such as nutmeg or even cloves. A touch of cherries accompanies us in the background, which has to be the finish (finally!). This subtle sweetness actually lifts the rum quite a bit. After a few more minutes I also get some herbs, but once again only way in the back. Palate: I think we have found a winner today, Port Mourant and Sherry just seems to be a match made in heaven. The rum is incredibly creamy with dried fruits (cherries, plums, grapes), some gorp mix, ripe red apples, vanilla, nutmeg, green tea and more, all embedded in a floor of cherry-flavoured vanilla sauce. A nice rum! The finish is medium long and comes with much of the awesome cherry/ vanilla combination (it’s like sipping molasses J.M if you want) and oak. I guess the lesson is as always: If you have a subpar rum, give it a nice finish! It surely worked once again. (84/100)