The Ten Cane (10 Cane) brand was introduced by Moët Hennessy in 2005 and was (discontinuously) in production until 2015. The distillery was built in 2003 and then didn’t even last for a full decade. Not a good return on investment, folks. Anyway, it’s a light Trinidad Rum that has first been aged and bottled by Angostura and later even been produced by Trinidad Distillers Ltd. The product is made up of 75% Rum that has been distilled from fermented cane juice from local Trinidad cane which has been cut by hand and 25% traditional molasses based Rum. It was then double distilled in a French Alembic pot still, making it a rather unique product. However, demand was never high enough so that Angostura decided to cancel the existing contract with LMVH (Louis Vitton Moët Hennessy). The original Rum, which I’ve never tasted unfortunately, was aged for about six months in ex-Cognac casks but todays IBs are obviously older and chances are that they all matured in ex-Bourbon barrels. The idea behind the name was that it supposedly takes the juice of about ten cane stalks to produce a bottle of this particular Rum. Anyway, we have a trio of Ten Cane IBs on the agenda today that have all been distilled in 2008.
Compagnie des Indes Ten Cane 2008 11YO (43%): The reduced version. Nose: Very heavy and aromatic. As I’ve said above, I never had the original 10 Cane bottling, but reading about it and knowing that it was supposed to be a rather light style Rum, I think it is safe to say that these Rums don’t have a lot in common with the OB. I get Port wine-esque notes such as prunes, plums, raisins, leather and cherries but also ripe banana, quite some glue, grilled pineapple perhaps, a good amount of oak, grenadine syrup and a mix of dark berries. It’s a very interesting and indeed great nose. Palate: The Rum is sharper than the nose suggested but the Rum is relatively complex. It starts with those Port wine notes again, followed by blackberries and black currants, slightly grassy notes, smoky BBQ, licorice and now more and more blackberries. Not bad at all! Finish: Medium long but slightly sharp with more alcoholic notes than we like. Flavourwise, blackberries, plums and dark cherries are my most important impressions. A pretty good Rum that’s not only interesting, but also a lot of fun. However, it only makes me wonder how good the sister casks at full proof will be. (83/100)
The Duchess Ten Cane 2008 11YO (63%): Nose: Drier and more woody than the Compagnie des Indes. It starts with a mix of plums and blackberries, comes with charred oak and then some Caroni-esque notes as well (think burnt rubber, petrol and engine oil). Pretty dope stuff! Next we get fruitcake, spices such as cloves and cinnamon, brine/ olives and foul banana. It is very complex! Palate: Once again, the integration of the alcohol could be better as I can only cope with tiny sips. Those are really layered and intense though. Baking dough, fruitcake, prunes, rubber and engine oil again, plum juice, oak, burnt sugar, blueberries and baked banana are only some of the notes that can be used to describe the profile of this Rum. I must say that I like it quite a bit! Finish: This is where things get a bit worse again, as the finish is way too boozy for my liking. While it comes with all those lovely sweet and dark fruits one more time, the alcohol really hampers the enjoyment. Nevertheless it is a very interesting and “new” (read unique) profile. (87/100)
Rom DeLuxe Ten Cane 2008 12YO (61,5%): The most recent bottling I am aware of. Nose: Way more alcoholic than the The Duchess even. The profile is similar, but the sharpness of the alcohol is omnipresent. We get plums, prunes, glue, banana, notes we typically associate with relatively dry fortified wines, dark berries and fruitcake. After about half an hour or so the Rum has settled a bit and isn’t as sharp anymore. I now also get rubber, olive oil, that certain whiff of tar, fresh soil and more vegetal, perhaps even grassy notes. Palate: Slightly sharp but very intense with ‘dark’ grenadine, plum juice, fruitcake, rhubarb, water melon, dry oak, spices and ginger from the cask, lemon and something slightly akin to balm perhaps. Cool stuff and a good addition to the The Duchess, as both boast in different categories. Finish: Medium long with raisins, plums, oak, cinnamon and leather. It certainly gives me those fortified wine impressions again. Another pretty cool Rum which raises the usual questions: What would have been, had the distillery been doing aged expressions like this to start with. But as we’ve learned, that’s often times not economical. I am sure that this would have been a very successful line of Rums though! (86/100)