Old Monymusks (1970s)

We’ve only had one Monymusks from the 1970s so far, which we couldn’t figure out in a blind tasting. At the same time, that was the oldest Monymusk we’ve had to date (concerning the vintage). Today we shall taste a trio from the second half of the 1970s.

mm79moonb (2)Moon Import Monymusk 1979 10YO (46%): The rum has been bottled for Moon Import‘s 10th anniversary. Nose: Very fruity with plenty of pear, tangerine, grapefruit and other citrus fruits. The relative juvenility is apparent but at least in the nose that’s not a major issue. However, the cask clearly wasn’t the most active one and young age and sucked-out cask typically isn’t the best combination. Palate: Soft, sweet and fruity with a combination of vanilla and pear. Then apples, different citrus fruits (clearly lime), tonka, a very subtle bitterness, gooseberries and even a touch of oak. It’s not too bad but I am missing a few additional layers. Finish: Short and more of the same, i.e. the vanilla and pear combination. Every now and then the lime comes up, as well as notes close to white chocolate. A really nice rum but I am missing a few things here and there (e.g. intensity, maturity, more facets). thumb-60x60 (83/100)

mmbristol7720 (2)Bristol Monymusk 1977 20YO (46%): Oh what kind of rums Bristol used to have… Nose: Slightly sour with green apples, unripe pineapple, a bit of butryate, jackfruit, oak, a hint of spices that have to come from the cask, ever so faintly some alcoholic notes and perhaps even green tea. A rather typical Monymusk that’s in the middle of the distillery’s fruity side and the butryate notes that some people tend to describe as vomit. Judged by the nose, the maturity seems to be spot on but let’s take a sip. Palate: At first, I get a lot of vanilla before it is joined by different green fruits (apples, jackfruit, gooseberries), esters (butyric acids), raw, unripe plums, light green tea, oak and some herbs far, far away in the background (you might also call it “botanical”). To me, this is what Monymusk is all about, too bad that it has been diluted though as it really could be a bit more intense for my liking. Finish: Medium long with the light green tea (as in a second or third brew) and the potpourri of fruits. At a higher abv this would have been amazing. Oh how I hate mourning this wasted potential but it is what it is. thumb-60x60 (86/100)

mmbristol7625 (2)Bristol Monymusk 1976 25YO (46%): Once again, what a bottler Bristol has been! What happened to that?? Nose: Very full, mature and quite oaky, without losing any of the fruity elements though. I get wood, unripe pineapple, a similar set of green furits as with Bristol’s 1977 20YO, basically none of the butyric notes which may be tuned down over time (after all this is a 25YO rum!), cloves and once more this faint impression of herbs deep in the back. I am reall looking forward to finding out what this might taste like. Palate: Very full and creamy and at this maturity I don’t get the feeling that the dilution has been a huge deal. Next to wood and the by now familiar green fruits I get red pepper, unripe pineapple, citrus, the herbs from the nose (rosary!), fresh tea leafs and seemingly random spices from the cask. Whatever these are, I feel like the rum should have been bottled a bit earlier… Finish: quite long but not very interesting. I get wood and vaguely the green fruits but that’s about it. While I did get the impression that a lot of potential has been wasted with the 1977 because of the dilution, I think that this rum is pretty much as good at this abv as it would have been at a higher one. However, it might have crossed its zenith a few years ago. thumb-60x60 (84/100)