Port Mourant 2002

There are so many Port Mourant batches/ vintages and as you know, we gotta catch taste ’em all. 2002 was one of the better DDL-era Port Mourant vintages if I remember correctly by the way. Probably even the best but still, when it comes to PM: 1960s/ 70s Uitvlugt > late 1980s/ 90s Uitvlugt > 1980s Uitvlugt > DDL, in my book.

The Rum Swedes Guyana Port Mourant 2002 10YO (61%): Most Port Mourants only get any good after a certain age (and maturity), but knowing this Rum already, we also know that there are exceptions! Nose: Indeed, much more mature and balanced than the age suggests. We get a mix of apples and anise, seaweed, saltwater, oysters, Riesling and oak. For me, this is the typical profile of this batch, even though older bottlings tend to add a few layers. But yes, this base character is already extremely good! Palate: Strong on anise and oysters, but quickly followed by mustard and fennel seeds, seaweed, white wine, oak, vanilla and pepper. You can already notice the dryness and a slight astringency, which is a real rarity with such young Rums. By the way, the integration of the alcohol is just insane and almost unheard of at this age. This must have been a very active and simply outstanding barrel. It is too bad that we never know what went in there next. Finish: Relatively long with oak, spices, unripe fruits and mustard seeds. Also Dijon mustard I guess. Extremely good stuff, even though we aren’t necessarily dealing with the Port Mourant profile that you might be used to here. (86/100)

Samaroli Demerara (Port Mourant) 2002 13YO (45%): Samaroli and dilution, I think that will always be a story. Nose: The profile seems to be fine but the integration of the alcohol isn’t perfect, especially at only 45%. We get sesame, seaweed, mustard seeds, anise, scents of oranges, a whiff of cardamom, not too much oak, a mix between olive and engine oil, oregano and thyme. Not bad, actually. Palate: A bit too thin, unfortunately. The problem is less in the loss or texture but in intensity and complexity. The argument often goes that water helps opening things up, this clearly isn’t the case here. It starts with mint, the herbs from the nose, a certain spiciness (think ginger, chili), generally different Mediterranean flavours (olive oil, the characteristic herbs, grilled fish etc.), salted crackers and once again ginger. Well, it is actually more complex than I initially thought but the intensity is still lacking a little bit in my book. With the third sip I also get a sweeter, red-berry-like note. Finish: Short to medium long with flavoured water, olives, oak and a few spices here and there. It could have been a really nice one. Add another year or two, don’t dilute it, and I think we would have been dealing with a darn fine Rum! (82/100)

Silver Seal Demerara (Port Mourant) 2002 17YO (50,7%): A rather low abv. Nose: Plenty of anise – that’s familiar territory. Then wood, salt water / a sea breeze, a hint of seaweed even, mustard and mustard seeds, papaya, mango perhaps, more spices such as pepper or fennel seeds and a very light herbal touch. It’s very standard on the one hand, a bit “unique” on the other. Palate: Quite dry and even less fruity than the nose. Here and there the mango pops up but all in all we are dealing with a Rum that’s mostly shaped by woody notes (from the distillate) and spices. We also get notes of green tea, salty marshmellows, sweet bellpepper and indeed, oak. I really like this profile and it tastes more like a Port Mourant from Uitvlugt than its companions from DDL, which is pretty much the opposite of a bad thing. Finish: Medium long with wood, ripe and unripe mango, vanilla, toffee and spices. A really nice Rum. Well done! (86/100)

Aurum Diamond (Port Mourant) 2002 17YO (51,8%): The label says tropical aging here but I don’t think that can be correct. Partially for sure, but if the Rum is similar to the rest of the session it cannot be more than that. Nose: Pretty sure this is more or less the same stuff. This particular one is quite soft and mellow with vanilla, lemon pie, more citrus, green tea, olives, anise and fennel. Very good as far as my nose is concerned. Palate: Very dry, every so slightly bitter but highly approachable. Oak, lemon and lemon zest, Riesling, green tea, pepper, allspice and even a hint of chili are really nice. I am not sure what it is exactly but here everything just seems to interact much better than with most of the other Rums of the vintage. You definitely do have to like that pronounced dryness, however. With the third sip we get more herbal notes such as dill, oregano or thyme, which kinda don’t belong here but which I do not mind either. Put differently, it doesn’t do any harm. Finish: Medium long and surely shorter than I was hoping for. The palate was just screaming long and rich finish, instead we get only a mix of oak, dried lemon, spices and more dried fruits/ vegetables. A top notch Rum and one of my favorties of the batch. (86/100)

Samaroli Demerara (Port Mourant) 2002 19YO (48%): 48% seems like a very odd abv. Let’s hope that it has been chosen for a reason. Nose: Quite tarry and briny, with green olives, crustacean, white wine, plenty of oregano, extremely dry wood and a melange of spices that’s more balanced than what else we are having. I clearly like the nose. Palate: 48% seems to be a nice drinking strength, even though the Rum still has a certain bite to it. I wasn’t expecting this at this age and abv. Flavourwise, we deviate a bit from the nose, both in terms of quality and profile. All in all, it is more mossy and humid, with a certain bitter vegetal note (think Pak Choi) that is a bit irritating if you ask me. It kinda blends in with the rather salty soy sauce but it isn’t a good match with the spices mix that we find as well. Then a hint of citrus, cheap Vermouth, the green olives and oak. After the nose I am really underwhelmed I must say. Finish: Very long with those briny notes, oregano and oak. Once again, this isn’t what you’d expect after the palate. It is a Rum that definitely doesn’t feel as old as it is and while it isn’t bad per se, you know that this isn’t a good sign. (79/100)

Adelphi Diamond (Port Mourant) 2002 19YO (59,5%): Adelphi doesn’t enter the stage of Rum very often but when they do, they usually have some dope stuff for us. Nose: I don’t even know where to start. We get lots and lots of spices such as vanilla, anise, cardamom, cumin, allspice and whatnot, but also olives, brine, papaya, oak and oily nutes. Add orange peel, fermented walnuts and fermented pepper, bitter hops and IPA as well as green tea. Oh yeah. The nose is definitely promising. Palate: Very rich and creamy and cream might even be one of the components here. We get many (and more, and different) of the spices from the nose again, with a stronger emphasis on pepery notes now, pumpkin (butternut I guess), sweet potatoe, extremely dry wood which gives you a very furry mouthfeel without the attached astringency (well, not as much at least), smoked paprika and Gunpowder tea. That’s a seriously wild ride! Finish: Relatively long with the smoky notes and spices, mostly. I realize that this is a Rum that many people will dislike, but I think that it is very good. You just have to have a fondness for these ultra dry Demeraras without any fruity notes whatsoever. (87/100)

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