T.D.L. (#nocaroni)

Despite the hashtag, these Rums are not for sale. Let’s start with a pair of 2009s before moving over to the other pair of Rums that you and me came for.

Anam na h-Alba T.D.L. 2009 11YO (65,7%): So yeah, while this is clearly not the Rum we are here for, it should be a nice sparring partner nevertheless. After all, we have learned that T.D.L. can be full of surprises! Nose: Multicolumn? Caramel, tobacco, waxy notes, vanilla, matches and burning candles. I think it is safe to say that this is the dull side of Angostura, i.e. the world of their OBs. And their multicolumn… Palate: Quite sharp, but at 65% not excessively so. I get vanilla, smooth waxy notes, caramel, Crème Brûlée, oak and a few spices from the cask. This isn’t exactly a dead distillate but it isn’t anything special either. Clearly not something I’d enjoy neat. Finish: More of the same and definitely not worth writing about. To repeat myself: This isn’t terrible stuff, but it has absolutely no soul. This could also be aged grain Whisky, aged Korn or maybe even a very good aged Vodka. But come on… (65/100)

Plantation T.D.L. 2009 12YO (51,8%): The reason why we’ve included this is because a) it has no dosage and b) because Plantations homepage claims an ester count of 205 g/hlaa. They also claim that it is “limited to just 24 cask”. Right, “just”. Whatevs, it is not a small batch. Nose: Where are those esters again? Anyway, all hail the multicolumn. Not. I get vanilla, caramel, pear, waxy notes oak and a few floral scents but that’s it. Oh boy – why are we doing this again!? Palate: A lot better than the nose. We get pear, a hint of mint (yeah), vanilla, tonka, oak, light fruits (think Cognac) and oranges. Nope, I actually don’t mind this, but we clearly aren’t fans either. It is drinkable though. Finish: Vanilla, pear, oak and olives don’t stick around for too long. Towards the end of the finish also slightly fresher notes akin to lemon. Well, it isn’t terrible, but the world hasn’t been waiting for this either. (69/100)

Rum Artesanal T.D.L. 2002 19YO (63,4%): The early 2000s was a great time for T.D.L.. The Rums they produced back then were just so different from all other T.D.L.s I know, and frankly much better. Specifically, I am thinking about the 2001 and 2003 batches, so let’s see how 2002 fits into that era. Nose: Oh yeah, exactly what I am talking about. Mint galore, and more and more mint even. Because of these Rums, Rum-based Mint Juleps will never become a thing. It would be redundant. Behind that we find different citrus fruits, not all that much wood actually, yellow stone fruits, fresh sugar cane and high quality grapes grown on slate. It’s probably a one-trick pony, but I don’t think I’ll mind it. Let’s see. Palate: Mint, vanilla, citrus and green Ahoi Brause (sweet woodruff) are my main and only associations, but I love it! It are Rums like these that make us checking out the third and fourth tier distilleries time and again, because you can still find real gems where you typically do not expect them from time to time. Finish: Long with mint and other herbs, lots of wood, citrus and slate. In direct comparison, the 2001s are more mature, woody and “dirty”, while this 2002 vintage seems to be fresher and more citrussy. Both are just great though! (89/100)

Transcontinental Rum Line T.D.L. 2001 18YO (59,9%): I think we all remember this bottling. This one should come from the same batch, confirming that T.D.L. is indeed capable of producing Rums like this (i.e. these more than likely aren’t barrels bought from Caroni). Nose: If you have a cold and cannot smell anything, this will cure you. Mint, menthol, Mint Julep, a whiff of glue, olive oil and fresh rubber make you breath normally again. Oh dear, this is great stuff, even though it is very straight and direct. Palate: Incredibly similar to the Rum Artesanal 2001. Honey, mint, a hint of sweet licorice, olive oil and a drop of orange bitters. There’s no need to say more I think. We know what we are dealing with and we love it. Finish: Long with mint, oak, honey, orange oils, pepper and an idea of cocoa. It’s very mouth-watering. Quality-wise, the Rum is a tad better than the Rum Artesanal 2001 because of the stronger intensity, I do prefer that amazing 2002 however. (88/100)

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