We’ve already done a session featuring the 1993 Port Mourant vintage but a pair of old Rums have been released in the meantime. Plus we’ve managed to score a sample of a rather young (in comparison) Rum that we still had to review so that sets the stage for today.
Compagnie des Indes Uitvlugt (Port Mourant) 1993 21YO (51%): I did have this many years ago but have little to no memories, and I do not know why. Nose: Slightly smoky wood, iodine, salted pretzels, anise, wet wood, fresh lemon, oysters and a rather good Riesling are my main impressions. It smells very nice and I couldn’t say why the palate shouldn’t be able to match this. Palate: Drier than the nose, i.e. it comes with more wood and less fruity notes. For instance, the lemon notes can only be found way in the back and come in the form of lemon custard rather than fresh juice now. The anise is very dominant, but joined by other spices such as cloves, cinnamon and bitter vanilla. Other notes include, but are not limited to, oak, vanilla pudding, fruit cake and the oysters again. Finish: Medium long with anise, lemon, oak and salty popcorn. Pretty good and straightforward stuff that doesn’t need any gimmicks. Port Mourant as it should be, we might say. (88/100)
Plantation Extreme No°4 Port Mourant 1993 27YO (51,9%): This one is rather wild on paper: After eight years in the tropics in an ex-Bourbon cask, the Rum spent the next >15 years in Europe in an ex-Whisky cask before Plantation did what they always do: put it in an ex-Cognac cask. This was another > three years. Nose: That must have been a peated Whisky cask! Actually, I’d attribute the smoke more to agave spirit/ Mezcal-like notes than to peated Whisky but it is what it is. Behind that still clearly a lot of Port Mourant with anise, salted wood, citrus and peaches. There’s actually a lot of wood in this one already but at least in the nose it is not too much – well, a bit too much of that Whisky cask actually. Palate: At first Port Mourant with anise, mango and that wooden ship’s plank, but then dry smoke akin to an ashtray, cold ash and old coffee dregs that have been lit on fire. I don’t really mind that at all, even though the balance between the Rum and the barrels could have been a tad better. It’s really first the one and than the other here but besides that, this is definitely a high quality spirit. Finish: Long with dry, cold ash, lit cigarettes, agave, hickory wood and a slight bitterness coming from the wood. It is a tough one to grade, but I think the following score sums up what I think relatively accurately. (84/100)
Rum Sponge Uitvlugt (Port Mourant) 1993 27YO (47,6%): What do you guys think of this label? Rum Sponge is the Rum line by Angus MacRaild by the way, if you didn’t know. And if you don’t know who that is, I cannot help you, but let me refer you to his magnificent blog nevertheless. Nose: A bit tuned down, not sure if that’s the result of the relatively low abv or the indication of a sucked out cask though. We start with salted lemons, anise, a whiff of vanilla, cucumber, caramel, white wine, slate and wood. The Rum is actually quite complex, it is just that the individual notes are quite subtle. Then something between butternut pumpkin and sweet potato, smoked salt and an undefinable mix of spices. Palate: My first thought is easy drinking but within a few milliseconds that impression is totally negated: This is highly complex and layered juice. Anise, salt water, iodine, medical herbs, smoky wood (think hickory) and dry, non-sour lemon start the transmission of the flavour profile. The second act is shaped by vegetal flavours (broccoli, plantains) and more notes from the barrel. We often times have Rums that grow on us with every sip, here it is a bit of the opposite, despite the complexity. I hope that does make sense to you. Finish: Relatively long with spices, wood, a fresh herbal note and towards the end also an increasing bitterness. Here and there also a hint of lemon and white wine again. A fine Rum; a very relaxed kind of Port Mourant if you want. Not exactly my favorite one but still very good. (87/100)
The featured image shows the Uitvlugt sugar estate. Photo credits belong to Joshua Singh.