South Pacific Distillery is another of our secret favourites. Their style is just so unique and aromatic that it is almost always worth checking them out. I just found some of their column still rums rather boring but as we are about to see today, they can even produce good column still distillate. All hail, proper fermentations!
Compagnie des Indes South Pacific 2010 8YO (44%): An new Fiji vintage, at least for me. Nose: Huh, this is weird. At first I was thinking I am having some odd Whisky here but it is clearly a rum. And it is relatively heavy on the Caroni elements such as engine oil, burnt rubber or scrap metal. Behind that I find a pronounced citrus note, a bit of acetone, suplhur, quite some alcohol (just 44%, remember!?) and orange bitters. Weird, just weird. Palate: Still rather strange and not your typical rum from South Pacific Distillery. It reminds me of young Port Mourant perhaps… The dirty notes aren’t as strong now and I get lots of continental fruits (sweet pear, sour apple), plenty of vanilla and citrus, cinnamon, apple sauce and herbal notes here and there. Finish: Relatively short with the apple sauce, vanilla and cinnamon. It’s okayish, not good but not terrible either. Just too young for my liking and crucially, it doesn’t do a great job at demonstrating the distillery’s distinct profile. I’ll give it a pass. RTN (73/100)
Moon Import Fiji 2001 14YO (45%): Let’s have a pair from the magnificent 2001 batch then. Nose: This is familiar territory! Plastic, foul pineapple, wild honey, herbal notes such as parsley or thyme but also rosary, oak, iodine and medical plaster, and, with more time in the glass, more and more honey. A really good one, it is just the usual complaint, you know… Palate: What we’ve feared: The is quite good but too thin. What is more, I feel like the water has destroyed or rather taken away some aromas. It is now incredibly herbal, much more so than what we are used to with the batch. In that sense, it is leaning slightly towards some rums from Saint Lucia. Very mildly honey in the background and few of the ester and plastic notes. Too bad! Then oak, more herbs and vaguely also fruits such as apricot or grapefruit. Finish: Medium long and once again dominated by the herbs. Every now and then some oak and spices from the cask (nutmeg, pepper). This is, or perhaps rather could have been, a really good rum, but once again, our good buddy the water had other plans. I am pretty sure of this because the nose was really, really promising. RTN (86/100)
The Rum Cask South Pacific 2001 16YO (57,4%): Fortunately there are also cask strength expression of this amazing batch. The nose starts off with a mix of esters and burnt plastic, followed by olives, rubber, medical herbs, smoky barbecue, sandal wood and rum soaked raisins. This doesn’t really leave anything to be desired and it is immediately clear that the rum doesn’t have to hide behind its magnificent predecessor. Palate: Rather spicy and a little sharp at first. The esters make you think Jamaica, the barbecue and medical herbs Rockley-WIRD and the burnt plastic and rubber notes Caroni. Then olives, more herbs, oak, port wine-esque notes, hints of leather, toffee and wild honey. The texture is just perfect as the mouthfeel is thick and oily. Finish: Really long and shifting through all the above mentioned associations like a chameleon. Towards the end it becomes more dominant on the sweeter notes of caramel and honey. Few rums manage to combine some of my favorite distilleries just like these South Pacific Distilleries. Maybe we should try doing our very own blend!? RTN (91/100)
Holey Dollar (75,9%): Did you read this??? 75,9% abv. Oh my tastebuds… But since we’ve just been complaining about dilution, we really shouldn’t be complaining again. Nose: Well, not too much alcohol can be found here actually. What is more, I am sensing quite some column still distillate but this clearly isn’t lifeless juice. I get a mix of ripe papaya, tobacco, jack fruit, burnt butter, butryate… there are definitely some elements in here that I’d usually associate with Monymusk. Then plums, vanilla, fruit cake and candied fruits. Certainly interesting but we have to taste this for a final verdict. Palate: Really not too sharp. Plums and the candied fruits, muscovado, licorice, fruit cake, leather, lavender and spicy barks. A quite interesting rum that isn’t really lacking anything, but I must say that this is not necessarily my favorite profile either. The finish is medium long with licorice, rubber, and elements of the fruit cake here and there. It is cool that we now have access to rums like this, especially at its price. RTN (78/100)