Monymusk from the 1990s

After having “in-depth” looks at the 1995 and 1997 batches, I thought it was about time to check out what else Monymusk has been like in the 1990s. We didn’t find too many expressions, only “one-ofs” in fact, but I believe all three of today’s Rums should be real bangers.

Flensburg Rum Company Clarendon “JMM” 1999 21YO (56,2%): JMM isn’t a Monymusk but a Main marque of course (Jamaica Main Monymusk). I have no idea what the actual marque is. Nose: A mix of continental and tropical fruits. Especially apple, pear, guava and papaya are my associations. Behind that quite some wood and subtle spices from the cask. This is very light in style and is much closer to the Rums from the 1970s than to the more recently released EMBs or MMWs, say. Now also a pronounced citrus note and quince. Palate: Slightly sharp at first with this characteristic butyric note. Interestingly, it is quite different from the nose, even though the notes sound very similar on paper. I get somewhat nutty notes, spices (anise), quince and pear, grilled pineapple, dried oranges, Rooibos and oak. This is all good and indeed, we do not have much to complain about but I must admit that I prefer different Monymusk profiles. But that’s really just a matter of personal taste. Finish: Short to medium long with oranges, nuts, oak and Rooibos/ vanilla. It is definitely worth checking out but it doesn’t really stand out in any particular way. (84/100)


Origin R. Monymusk 1998 16YO (60,3%): Had you asked me what’s the best Monymusk I’ve ever had, I probably would have given you this one a few years ago, but things have changed and we’ve got plenty of new high quality releases subsequently. Let’s see how it holds up today. Nose: Plenty of fruits, especially pineapple (ripe and raw), but also orange and related citrus fruits, kiwi, vanilla, oak and a mix of herbs. Deeper in the glass then also nail polish remover. This is really good and you barely notice the high abv here, which hints at a high maturity. The profile on the other hand is rather raw and unpolished – a rare mix. Palate: Very thick and creamy. We get those notes of pineapple, vanilla and oranges again, paired with greek yogurt, oak, honey, thyme and oregano. The palate is very similar to the nose but I didn’t expect this creaminess. Finish: Medium long with the herbs, honey, pineapple and dry wood. It is a very unusual Rum. While it clearly adheres to the Monymusk profile it is quite different from every other barrel at the same time. What is more, having such a raw profile with this maturity and smoothness is very rare. Very cool! (88/100)

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Rum Nation Supreme Lord VIII (Monymusk) 1991 25YO “Sherry Finish” (55,7%): It is high time we review this one. I cannot believe that it has already been released more than five years ago. Time flies… This marked the end of Rum Nation‘s Supreme Lord series, which featured a few beautiful, old Jamaican rums over the years. Unlike some of the other releases, this one has not been sweetened by the way. As another small anecdote, I remember my mum finishing my entire sample back then when I only gave her a sip to try (she really liked the Rum apparently), so I had to get another one. Nose: Sherry meets… well a Jamaican Rum, but not necessarily Monymusk. Creamy berries (raspberry, strawberry), ripe cherries, smooth leather, milk chocolate and tropical fruits come out first. It really has this creaminess of soft vanilla ice cream. You actively have to look for the underlying Rum, but eventually we find a few herbs, pineapple and, of course, oak. Later coffee, almond milk and allspice. While the finish has clearly taken over the Rum, I must say that I like it quite a bit nevertheless! Palate: Still full of Sherry, but with decidedly more Rum than before. The body is very heavy and the profile pleasantly sweet, just as you’d expect it from this type of aging. Flavourwise, we get a combination of anise, banana, black tea, red berries, leather, vanilla yogurt, definitely cinnamon, oak and much more. The palate is extremely complex and I like it much more than the nose. Finish: Quite long with anise, a hint of mint, ripe oranges, oak, vanilla and camphor. It is one heck of a Rum and probably even the highlight of said Supreme Lord series. While the nose was a bit too heavy on the Sherry notes for my liking, the fortified wine really enhanced the palate I must say. Nicely done, Rum Nation! (91/100)

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