Zuidam Distillers

I’ve always had a weakness for windmills. There’s just something cool and aesthetic about them. In fact, we are building them for a living, it is just that we call them turbines these days, you know!? Anyway, Zuidam is a Dutch distillery that’s quite familiar to us, even though it is basically for their Genever and Millstone Whisky. I didn’t even know that they are producing Rum as well but given that their Whisky isn’t terrible at all, I do not automatically expect their Rum to suck either. But hey, aren’t we here to give it an objective and fair chance!? Right! So let’s see what the Flensburg Rum Company, who have been very hit and miss in the past, have selected here. By the way, these are all pure pot still single cask bottlings at cask strength!

Flensburg Rum Company Zuidam 4YO (53,4%): This one matured in a PX Sherry cask. The label shows the Oranjemolen, which is of historical importance as the battle that has been fought here in 1944 was of great importance for the Dutch liberalisation in WWII. Nose: Very Whisky-like and blindly, I surely would have called it one. Barley, lots of rye, multi-grain bread, plenty of millet as well and then leather, dried fruits and generally sweeter notes from the cask. Oh dear, this is kinda what I feared, but what I wasn’t hoping for. Palate: Very similar to the nose. Now this isn’t bad, but just not a good Rum. A decent Whisky, probably, but with the context we have rather odd. Rye, millet and those sweet notes of dried fruits from the Sherry are the main actors, with support from dark chocolate, wood and barley. Okay… Finish: Same story, but it doesn’t stick around for too long. To keep it short: This is why I always say that those Whisky distilleries (if we can call Zuidam one…) should keep away from Rum. It isn’t bad, it just isn’t what I have in mind when thinking about Rum. (68/100)

Flensburg Rum Company Zuidam 8YO (52,2%): Here we have the Kinderdijk windmills, which might be the most famous windmills in the world. As far as the Rum is concerned, it matured in an Oloroso Sherry cask this time. Nose: Totally different from the 4YO. Very sweet and almost artificial (it isn’t, of course) with sugar, candy floss, sweet toffees (think Werther’s Original), caramel and a touch of honey. Very crazy but I want to taste it first. Palate: It has an incredibly sweet profile (caramel, toffee) but it isn’t a sweetened Rum. This is going to be a real treat for every lover of unadulterated sweet Rums, and lovers of butterscotch. Holy cow, how do you produce a profile like this? I don’t really find the typical Oloroso notes but I think it has to to have something to do with it. This isn’t a complex spirit but boy it is unique. In a sense, it reminds me of Aultmore (Scotch Whisky, in case you really are a Rum purist). Towards the finish we find those Rye and millet notes again but they are very subtle. Finish: Sweet with butterscotch, oak, caramel, sugar and rye. Go and taste it already, will you!? (79/100)

Flensburg Rum Company Zuidam 10YO (52,8%): The oldest bottling of the trio has the picturesque De Gekroonde Poelenburg windmill on it and matured in a virgin oak barrel. Nose: The most subtle expression of the bunch doesn’t really stick out in any way, neither for the better, nor for the worse. It is relatively mature and cask driven, with oak, spices and different grains dominating the profile. Solid, but rather dull. Palate: This is the logical consequence of the 4YO now. Very Whisky-like with plenty of rye and grains, spices, oak and chocolate. It also has these glue-like vibes that you get with certain Ryes. Give me some coconut. Now that I think about it, this is quite Bajan, somewhere between the Last Wards and a Rum from the distillery whose name ought not to be mentioned. Once again, solid, but dull, just like, well, you know. Finish: More of the same, which sticks around for about a good half a minute. The coconut is definitely the best part here but I definitely prefer the 8YO. (73/100)

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