Part one of “The Darién Gap” was fun. Well, actually not, but it rhymes. In this session we shall have a few more rums from Panama and Columbia. Probably more of the former but since our buddies from S.B.S have released a rum from Columbia, it felt like the right moment to continue with the topic that divides Middle and South America. Let’s see what we have.
A Dream of Scotland Panama 2007/8 11YO (63,2%): Labels sell. That’s pretty much as true with books as it is with spirits and rum is no exception. Nose: At first I thought that this one is ultra-flat but then it quickly reveals notes of tobacco, citrus, pomegranate, soft fir wood, vanilla and also some slightly alcoholic notes, but that’s only a small issue so far. Sometimes these Panamanians can taste so much better than the nose suggests so let’s see. Palate: A bit sharp, yet quite sweet. I get a very equal mix of pomegranate and sulphur, as well as sweet cherry and grenadine. The flavour profile is fine, the maturity and integration of the alcohol not so much. It did have some potential but it doesn’t have been seized entirely. Too bad. Finish: Short to medium long with sugar, wood and tobacco. Every now and then sweet, red berries pop up. It could have been quite nice and I feel like another barrel from this batch may very well be. It just shouldn’t be this boozy. (73/100)
Compagnie des Indes Panama 2008 11YO (61,2%): Since we were talking about labels, I’ve always liked the ones by Compagnie des Indes as well. Nose: Tobacco, hay, grain, sulphur and alcohol. I think we can keep things short here: This one just doesn’t work for me. It is too flat, too alcoholic and even if it were more aromatic, the aroma profile still wouldn’t be to my liking. Palate: At first I was about to say that we can forget about this one entirely but then, after about two to three seconds, nicer, sweeter (candyfloss, grenadine) notes pop up. I am starting to think that water might be very helpful and indeed, bringing this rum down to about 50% makes it a lot more enjoyable. I wonder why they didn’t reduce this particular one as they usually seem to faour that practice. I now get pommegranate, raspberry, white chocolate and caramel on top. Well, still nothing that gets me excited, I am afraid. Finish: Relatively short and somewhere between boozy and sweet. One of the lesser barrels of a lesser batch. (68/100)
S.B.S Columbia 2009 10YO “Port Finish” (46%): A rum from Columbia by an established IB is a very rare sight. And given what I think of the country’s rums, I don’t have a real problem with that. But perhaps the finish helped here. Nose: Really sweet with mocha, pepper, muscovado syrup, caramel and latte machiato. While I am reading this, I must admit that it sounds quite good, but so far this is a rather interchangable, seemingly random Latin-American rum. Palate: Still pretty much on the sweet side but not as sweet as you might expect when only knowing some of the highly adulterated Columbians out there. Flavourwise, it is a rather simple profile with wood, pepper and other spices such as cloves or nutmeg, mocha, tamarinde and surely also rich tobacco. This is all very solid, but frankly not very exciting. Finish: Longer than I expected after the simple palate with some bitter notes from the cask. Spices, cocoa and freshly brewed coffee are other obvious associations. I know that there are many people out there that will love this rum. Me, and I would bet the vast majority of my dear readers, do not fall into this category however. (71/100)