Diamond 2001 (Diamond)

A batch of rums from the Diamond Blair still. There has been some confusion if it is a Diamond or an Uitvlugt (Savalle), but recently, the latter has been confirmed. What is more, the word on the street is (or much rather some very shady back alley) that these rums wear the marque SWR – you know what that means, right!? Anyway, it seems to be a rather nice batch no matter what. But let’s see what we’ve got.

Kill Devil Diamond (Diamond) 2001 15YO (46%): Drinking strengths first, even though this was not the first Rum in my tasting order. Nose: I am actually not sure if I should call this mature or not – it might also simply be the character of the distillate. There’s (salty) wood, coffee, chocolate, peanut butter, something close to thyme, olive oil, soy sauce and hints of forest honey perhaps. It is a really layered one, but I feel that it lost quite some intensity because of the dilution. I wonder what the texture is like. Palate: Initially not too thin, with a tickling note on the tongue that doesn’t come from the alcohol, slightly reminiscent of woodruff. Oha, I did love this as a kid! Then chocolate, coffee, caramel, citrus (a nuance, if anything), and a whiff of molasses. Pretty good! In a sense, this is the rare sight of a present day, old school type Demerara – this might also be some sort of old Green Label Cadenhead’s. Not the Enmore/ Versailles type quality, but really good. Finish: Medium long with citrus, wood, molasses and spices such as vanilla or nutmeg. A very nice rum and a real bargain at its price for lovers of Demerara rum. The dilution is a bit annoying but it kinda sets you back to the way Rum has been 10 years ago. Way to go! (86/100)

Valinch & Mallet Diamond (Diamond) 2001 18YO (52,5%): Nose: The difference in abv makes a big difference here. On the one hand, the Rum needs much more time to open up, on the other hand it really does emphasise a few different aspects of it. We are much closer to the drier notes of spices and wood, without losing out on the distillate. I get coffee, muscovado, dark chocolate (no, we do not belong to those milk chocolate-boys!), pepper, nutmeg and clearly also allspice. A profile that’s really to my liking, even though it comes essentially without any fruits. Palate: Quite bitter and woody, but always on the good side of things. The chocolate is very dark, rich and bitter, but you’ll notice that its a really good one. Likewise, the wood just screams in your face but you are willing to welcome it with open arms. While we’ve said that the Kill Devil reminds us of an old Cadenhead’s bottling, this is essentially an old Duncan Taylor, from the time when they still had an amazing stock of barrels to choose from. Finish: Long and bitter, with cold brew coffee, molasses, wood and dark chocolate. Clearly better than the Kill Devil and the lack of citrus really changes the feeling of the Rum. (89/100)

Wild Parrot Diamond (Diamond) 2001 18YO (57,3%): Look at this difference in abv relative to the Valinch & Mallet! Nose: Right on. This is not what I expected, but I am glad that this is what we’ve got! I get a mix of coffee and cocoa, molasses, Marmite, muscovado, wood, different spices and palm oil. This is really, really cool. Especially the mix of molasses and Marmite hints at a rum which I didn’t believe to get again in this form. That said, it is definitely an incredibly promising nose, the only downside is the presence of the alcohol here but that can be totally different at the palate. Palate: Well, kinda, at least it is not a big deal. Flavourwise, we are all in the molasses and Marmite territority again. Beet syrup, palm oil, muscovado, wood, varnish, bitter oranges and walnuts. Nice! Finish: Medium long with many of the notes from the palate, some more wood than before and now also the bitter oranges again. A really cool rum, that is just slightly too immature, thin, and boozy. I believe that a slightly older version of this or simply a different cask (such as the Valinch & Mallet) has the potential to be really special, but so far that is merely wishful thinking. Which raises the usual question: Where is the rest??? (87/100)