A bunch of young Port Mourants from 1985 is on the agenda for today. They all come in at 46% and are between 10 and 12 years old.
Bristol Port Mourant 1985 10YO (46%): Many of these old Bristols are surprisingly good, despite the dilution, and I don’t expect anything else here. Nose: A bit aggressive at first. I get quite some alcohol, which might be an indicator of a low maturity or, seemingly contradictory, the result of dilution. It is not uncommon for diluted Rums to be sharper than their “raw” counterparts. After about half an hour, that sharpness has gone entirely however. Next I get anise, unripe pineapple, wood, pepper, something close to white grapes. Palate: At first I get tropical fruits such as mango or the pineapple from the nose, but then also vanilla, oak or anise. As we are about to see, this is all pretty much standard here, but with this particular bottling I find that the intensity is lacking a bit and that the alcohol isn’t integrated very well. Put differently, it is a bit too juvenile for my liking. Finish: Medium long and not offering any new elements. A very straightforward Rum with a very average quality. (79/100)
Bristol Port Mourant 1985 11YO (46%): An incredibly rare single cask from Bristol that I haven’t seen very often. Nose: The additional year in the barrel surely left its marks and I guess we are also dealing with a better cask here all in all (this has been released as a single cask, after all…). The fruity notes have moved way to the back and we are getting more dry and woody notes instead. The wooden ships plank meets anise and other spices if you want. Later we get more and more fruity notes however, most prominently banana. A very nice nose! Now also this certain smokyness that seems to be a common feature of the batch. Palate: It starts with the banana again, but other fruits such as jackfruit, mango, papaya or pineapple can be found as well. Then dry wood, salty pretzel, a hint of butter, slightly smoky notes from last night’s bonfire, seasoning and more jackfruit. Quite cool! Finish: Medium long with the fruits and a subtle support from the cask. A slightly different Port Mourant, but I think it is really good. It is really crazy though how much better this is compared to Bristol’s 10YO bottling. (87/100)
Velier Port Mourant 1985 11YO (46%): A small batch release coming from two barrels, from back in the days before the full proof bottlings that lifted Velier into the “Rum Olymp”. Nose: Not very intense at first and with just eleven years at drinking strength I don’t think that time will do much here. It starts with a mix of unripe fruits, hints of brine, more (salty and wet) wood than you’d think (but hey, it is Port Mourant, right!?), some sugar with its byproducts and now also buttery bread like Brioche. All in all, it is a very balanced Rum but not quite what we were hoping for with a Port Mourant from the 1980s. Palate: More characteristic and intense than the nose. What is more, the texture is very creamy and the 46% don’t feel thin at all. Regarding the profile, we start with the unripe fruits again, which are quickly followed by wet wood, anise, pepper, prunes and a few more spices from the cask. Finish: Short and merely an extension of the palate. A real weak spot here. A good Rum, but nothing out of the ordinary. (83/100)
Bristol Port Mourant 1985 12YO (46%): I don’t have a picture of the label of this last expression by our British friends from the town of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and unfortunately, there do not appear to be any on the web either. Nose: Another fella that might need some time but even after half an hour it still did not open up. Here and there fruity notes shine through but a mix of dusty and dry as well as wet wood seem to dominate the profile. Besides that, I cannot name much more. Palate: In direct comparison with the three other Rums of the session, this one is slightly more smoky, which had to be pushed by the the cask somehow and potentially also by whatever has been in there before. Going back to nosing, I can now also find these smoky notes right there. Then wood, an olive or two, more herbal impressions but frankly, not too much more. Finish: Short, dry and slightly adstringent. While the adstringency sticks around for quite a bit, it isn’t accompanied by any flavours, which is a real pity. Nope, we are underwhelmed, nicely said. (80/100)