Do you also sometimes get the impression that some batches are just… “odd”!? Well, I do, for different reasons. With this one, its because I am not really aware of many other bottlings. There have been rums by Cadenhead’s and The Secret Treasure but give or take two or three other bottlings, that has been it so far. So what happened to the rest!? I doubt that most of it is still gathering dust in a warehouse in Liverpool so probably the majority went into blends. Oh my… But actually, we don’t even know if these rums are any good so lets find out.
Murray McDavid Port Mourant 1991 13YO (Guigal Hermitage Syrah Finish) (46%): Murray McDavid, an later Renegade, have always been pioneers with wine cask finishes and they still stick to this practice today (in case you don’t know, the man behind these rums is Marc Reynier, who is running Bruichladdich, one of Scotland’s finest distilleries). Nose: Really cool I must say. I can’t even say what my first impression was: the influence of the cask or the character of the distillate. Probably notes of raspberry, cherry and raisins hint at the former. Next to that we get the typical anise, slightly salty and maritime notes, wet wood but now also plums, leather and even grassy notes. An extremely cool and complex nose. Palate: Surprisingly creamy, something we don’t get often with these types of rums at this abv. Vanilla joghurt, raspberry mash, cherry marmelade, salted butter, anise and wet wood as well as the mix of plums and raisins again. All of a sudden also milk chocolate and crème brûlée. Mmmhh. Finish: Sufficiently long with more creamy notes, raspberry, wood and dry plums. Just as good as the rest. I’ve never been the bigggest fan of these wine finishes but this one is just great! (88/100)
Berry Bros & Rudd Uitvlugt (Port Mourant) 1991 26YO (55,3%): Sometimes rums like these just come out of nowhere. What I don’t understand in these cases is what took them so long!? But I guess that’s a topic of its own. Nose: Somewhat surprisingly, this is not more aromatic or intense than the Murray McDavid, quite the opposite actually. It is slightly alcoholic and, given a Port Mourant, relatively timid. Sure, we get anise and wet wood but besides, pepper, caramel, a fresh sea breeze and a certain smokyness I cannot find too much. Now it is not bad, but after having so many layers with the Murray McDavid this just doesn’t seem to be enough. Palate: Just as with the previous one, the texture is really nice and creamy. This time we get a mix of spices (those from the nose), plenty of salt and the sea breeze, smoked salmon, citrus, a whiff of cane juice and sour green mango. Next to that again the light but not too subtle smokyness, not unlike some lightly peated Whiskies. Finish: Short to medium long with the smoky notes, salty aromas and wood of course. I guess the cask was quite sucked-out already but on the plus side that didn’t make this one too oaky. All in all, it is a slightly different Port Mourant that is definitely worth checking out but that lacks what makes some other rums from this iconic still legendary. (85/100)