Two real heavyweights from days looong gone. Both of these Rums have been distilled before we were even born!
Rumclub Gardel 1983 38YO (46,6%): Did you believe that we will see such a bottling in 2021? Personally, I did not. Such old Rums in general are getting rarer and rarer and if you consider that the Gardel Distillery is now closed for almost thirty years, that’s pretty crazy. Nose: Lots of glue, first and foremost. It takes a lot of time to get past that, but then we are embraced with what me might call the typical Gardel profile including bamboo and vegetal notes, pepper, muscovado sugar, milk coffee and in a sense very elegant and old wood. It really has quite a few similarities with the legendary Cadenhead’s Gardel 1982 20YO and at least so far it doesn’t have to hide behind it at all. With more time in the glass we are shifting more and more to brown and caramalised sugar, chocolate and dark toffee. This is almost too lovely to take a sip but we will have to. Palate: A lot more bitter and woody than the nose. This is definitely way past its optimum maturity and the flavour profile has almost been destroyed entirely. Going back to the nose once again makes that even clearer. Stale black tea, ultra dark and strong cocoa, wood, wood and more wood, a few spices and here and there a glimpse of those vegetal notes. The astringency is even a bit too much over the top here. Nope, the palate simply isn’t any good. Finish: A lot like the palate with your living room wall unit, brandy-soaked wood and bitter chicory. The nose was close to perfection, the rest almost feels like a slap in the face. Old Armagnacs definitely do a much better job at delivering this particular kind of experience if you ask me. (75/100)
Silver Seal Gardel 1977 32YO (50,8%): So back to a bottling from when times were still more chilled. Nevertheless, this is one quite old as well and dates back to the time when I just started taking a more serious look at Rum. Nose: Very dark and woody, but seemingly not bitter. Caramel, nougat, chocolate, toffee, sugar and plenty of wood shape the profile. All of this is quite nice, but in a sense also very simplistic. It kinda lacks the complexity, intensity and most importantly also the glue-like notes of the Rumclub bottling. Palate: Quite woody and bitter again, with cold coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate, pretzel sticks, burnt sugar, more coffee (both very nice and too bitter) and a glimpse of those vegetal notes (bamboo, cauliflower, soil). It also has a relatively high astringency. Finish: Long with wood, cocoa, the pretzel sticks and then the bitter notes again. I must say that I am quite underwhelmed, even though this is a lot more drinkable than the Rumclub release. The latter did have that magnificent nose, however. (78/100)