Diamond 2004 (VSG)

We’ve already had a session with a bunch of 2004 Diamonds but those Rums seem to amass faster than the Roadrunner runs. Spoiler: Fortunately, they seem to be getting a lot better with time!

Rum Artesanal Diamond (VSG) 2004 16YO (58,2%): This is already the second Rum Rum Artesanal has bottled from this batch. Nose: And it is so much better than the first one! We get plenty of ripe fruits (mango, papaya, oranges), marzipan and almonds, prunes, baked apple and a tiny bit ultra ripe raspberries. Where are the pencil shaving though!? There’s really only an idea of them and here they are probably closer to used pencil rubber. Then definitely also grapefruit, very much like we’ve had it with the 2002 KFMs. Palate: Quite smooth and somewhat dirty. Muscovado, lots of burnt wood, that pencil rubber again, definitely grapefruit and ripe oranges but also this note slightly reminicent of furniture polish that I often times find irritating with this batch. This is clearly one of the better expressions for me so far, however. It just has this certain something that especially the younger Rums have been missing. I guess some of the edges just had to be polished first. For the record also the finish: Medium long with grilled vegetables, coconut chips, bamboo and pepper. (86/100)

Tamosi Kanaima Diamond Versailles 2004 16YO (58,9%): This is not the first time I am having this Rum and last time I’ve tasted it, I thought it was the best DDL era Versailles to date. Let’s see if that thought was correct. Nose: Very smooth and not very alcoholic. For the first time with these modern Versailles, I get a pronounced note of pencil sharpenings, which is probably the common descriptor for these types of Rums. Then a mix of red fruits and their juices, amarena cherries, plums, wood, syrup-y notes (such as the juice from the amarena cherries), not too much wood, a few herbal notes, and quite a bit more. It is a very good, almost even amazing nose but for whatever reason, I already feel that the palate won’t be able to keep up. Palate: Partially correct. While the palate isn’t as good as the nose anymore, we were right in that this is probably the best VSG to come from DDL to date. It starts out dry with wood (that ship’s plank…), prunes, just some pencil sharpenings, highly condensed and syrupy notes of those fruits we’ve had, dark cherries and a few more, rather fragile notes that are hard to capture. I really like this! Finish: Short to medium long and more “boozy” than the palate. It comes with wood, some of the fruits, herbs and now also spices from the cask. A great barrel of otherwise mostly “only” good juice! (87/100)

The Rum Cask Diamond “Black” (MDXC) 2004 16YO (61,7%): Already the second double cask maturation The Rum Cask release from this batch. Nose: Yes, in direct comparison you can definitely notice the Sherry notes of red fruits, leather and that mix of nuts but the characteristic notes of prunes, muscovado sugar, dark cherries and wood can all be found as well. At 16 years, this is still slightly boozy, but way less so than its little brother. Palate: Quintessential Demerara if you want, with its mix of sweet, woody, spicy and oaky notes. Salty popcorn, wood, caramel, dark cherries, that whiff of whipped cream, hazelnuts, leather, leaves and branches as well as chocolate. It’s actually a very nice profile, but the integration of the alcohol is still not on point, which seems to be a rather common problem of this batch. The Sherry notes work very well with this particular profile though! Finish: Medium long with sweet, almost syrupy Amarena cherries, dry wood, salt, pepper and other spices. The sweet notes vanish rather quickly and leave an exceedingly dry impression, which is quite nice. Actually there is not too much to complain about here, it is just the slight boozyness that’s a small drawback. (85/100)

Golden Devil Diamond (Versailles) 2004 16YO (61,4%): This one has been released exclusively for K&L Wines. And it has not been coloured. Nose: A bit alcoholic, something that’s reminding us more of the 12-14YOs than to these 16YOs. The profile is slightly herbal with caramel, wood, hazelnut and at least initially not that much more. After a while more spices (pepper, nutmeg) and a hint of cocoa perhaps. Palate: Very sharp, yet heavy and creamy at the same time. Salty popcorn, wood, herbs and pepper are my main associations, but with the second sip we also find hints of chocolate, chili and oat. One of the lesser Rums of the batch if you ask me. Finish: Chocolate, oak, vanilla and pepper don’t stick around for very long. Here and there also an idea of barley or oat. It is probably one for Malt Whisky lovers, I think. (78/100)