When I started with this hobby, getting rums from the 1980s was absolutely no problem. These days, it is getting more and more
difficult expensive. That said, I feel like the 80s have been an extraordinary time for rum, a period where some distilleries have been at the peak of their abilities, it seems. Well, let’s not mourn that, since others are just starting to make the ascend but yeah, remembering certain bottlings, what we’ve done when we tasted them, whom we’ve been sharing them with etc. is a great part of the hobby, you cannot deny it. So today is going to be a pair from Long Pond. I am not aware of many bottlings from 1985 and these two are actually the only ones I have and ever had (if you do not count the Rum Nation Jamaica 30YO).
Bristol Long Pond 1985 13YO (46%): Bottled in 1998, this one was still not too difficult to get even a couple of years ago. Oh how times have changed… Nose: The Long Pond I adore. Green apples, sour kiwi and pineapple, mild chili and quite a few citrus fruits. The profile is very sour and in a sense reminds me of 1970s Monymusk, if only it weren’t for that particular, extremely interesting note in the background which I just cannot name. It is somewhat close to Butyrate, a mix of foul and fresh papaya and a hint of Durian perhaps. I know what you are thinking, that sounds awful, but it really isn’t. Palate: Quite mellow and the rum didn’t lose too much to the dilution. Again the green apples, sour citrus fruits, quite some esters and after a while, almost in the finish, these weird notes from the nose. All hail muck and dunder, folks. With the second sip also ever so slightly bitter notes and wood, at just 13 years it definitely isn’t too young. Maybe they have been having better barrels back then as the rum business wasn’t as big yet, who knows… Finish: A mix of the fruits (apples, citrus and Durian), wood and now also vanilla and other spices from the cask. A good rum and indeed a product of its time. I’d say the history aspect and the drive along memory lane are always worth it. (85/100)
Rum Nation Supreme Lord V (Long Pond) 1985 25YO (43%): This one should be slightly sweetened I think. But as with the other Lords that have been adulterated, let’s hope that it is within reasonable limits as well for this one. Nose: Tamer and less intense than that of the Bristol. Not sure if it is because of the lower abv, the higher age, or the (potential) adulteration. Somehow it has lost all of its characteristic markers. Now it isn’t bad and definitely “Jamaican” but next to vanilla, mango, pineapple and the green apples I cannot find a whole lot. Sure, there are the wood and the esters, but few to none of the “unique” notes of the Bristol. Palate: Extremely pleasing and accomodating, definitely a bit too much so for my liking. Somehow they managed to smoothen all the rough spots of the rum, which is a real pity. It’s a mix between sweet (sugar, mango) and sour (green apples) at a high age (wood, vanilla) but frankly, that’s a mix that’s neither unique, nor interesting. Too bad. Now lime and other citrus fruits as well as a few bitter elements here and there. Oh dear… Finish: Medium long, slightly bitter with some wood, green apples and vanilla but it is absolutely nothing to write home about. Somehow I get the feeling that a lot of potential has been wasted here but of course we cannot say for sure. A rum like the Bristol definitely had the potential to get a lot better instead of worse over time, but perhaps I am wrong… (81/100)