Travellers Today

Travellers is a distillery that’s always on the edge of greatness if you ask me. Some bottlings could hold their ground between some of the best Guyana column still Rums while others seemingly fall apart between multi-column nonsense. That shows again how important cask management or the quality of a barrel is. By the way, we have new vintages, that’s always exciting.

S.B.S Travellers “Rum Depot” 2014 7YO (67,2%): The first new batch for us. Nose: Quite alcoholic but strong on glue and particularly resin. Give me that characteristic fir cone, salted licorice and leather. I am wondering if this is one of those rare occasions where water helps opening it up!? Palate: Much better than the nose with many of the same notes, however. Add chocolate/ nougat, more fir and resin but also a hint of caramel. Interesting, even though it doesn’t convince us entirely. The integration of the alcohol is insane by the way. With water: The nose immediately becomes more accessible and now reveals those same chocolatey notes that we also found at the palate. While the Rum becomes way more sippable now, it also loses some of its intensity. I guess you can never have it all. Finish: Relatively short with chocolate, roasting aromas and fir resin. A nice and solid Travellers that sits somewhere in the middle of the pack. (79/100)

Compagnie des Indes Travellers “For Salon du Rhum” 2012 10YO (62,5%): And another first. Nose: Very thick, creamy and balanced with a very good integration of the alcohol. I get caramel, milk chocolate, coconut (Bounty anyone!?), a few spices that are tough to pin down and oak. It is very straightforward, smooth and without any surprises. I don’t think I could have detected this as a Travellers blindly. Palate: Quite different from the nose. Milk chocolate, peanuts (Snickers now!), a rather odd herbal touch (think along the lines of thyme and oregano), oak and vanilla. This kinda lacks everything that makes Travellers so special in my book. Finish: Very short with a fresh apple, oak, milk chocolate and vanilla. The problem here is definitely the distillate and not the barrel which means that this isn’t a batch where I’ll be looking for more I think. (72/100)

Compagnie des Indes Travellers 2007 14YO (60,2%): We are starting to approach solid age statements here. Nose: Fir cone, lots of resin, some glue, caramel, cocoa, red currants, sweet cherry syrup and dry oak are my main associations. What’s cool about this one is that the sweetness slowly emerges with oxidation here. Palate: A lot spicier/ more peppery than the palate. I can definitely detect chili, allspice, conifer, resin, peanuts and cocoa. With the third sip also caramel and minimally fruity notes. Solid stuff. Finish: Medium long with chocolate, spices, oak and peanuts. I don’t know if this just wasn’t the best barrel or if age doesn’t really help these Rums but there were younger Travellers from this batch that I liked more than this. That doesn’t mean it is bad though, ok!? (79/100)

Ultimatum Travellers 2006 11YO (46%): I have a feeling that Travellers only really works at cask strength but let’s see. Nose: Yeah, the dilution did destroy the profile I’d say. It kinda feels as if the profile has broken down into different components that don’t reflect the actual character anymore. Unripe apples, a whiff of glue, sulphur, tobacco, wood and fir cone are my associations, meaning that there are some familiar elements and some that don’t really belong here. Well… Palate: Wood, tobacco, sulphur, vanilla, oak and conifer. Very standard and boring – clearly not the Travellers profile we enjoy. We cannot say for sure if that’s the result of a bad barrel or the dilution, but this is definitely not it. Finish: Short and flat with unripe apple, oak, conifer and resin. The good news is that we can probably only go up from here. (70/100)

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