With only the good vintages, eh!? I.e. those that might actually be blends including good distillate. But wait, there is also a vintage that we didn’t encounter so far. Let’s start with that one.
Compagnie des Indes T.D.L. 2006 15YO “For Premium Spirits” (60,6%): What I have learned so far is that there hasn’t been a post-2003 T.D.L. worth tasting but we are here for science. And to take the disappointments away from you. Not really, actually, but maybe we did safe you from a bad purchase before, who knows. Nose: No mint but much rather a soulless, cask-driven multi-column distillate. Vanilla, oak, a hint of wax, some pepper and this typical sulphur-like note that is very common with multi-column juice. This smells like a big pass to me. Palate: More or less identical to the nose, but we can definitely add a slight and fresh fruitiness. Finish: Short with vanilla, sugar, sour apple, oak and pepper. Probably the best part of the Rum. I guess your average Speyside Malt Whisky drinker will like this (cause what do they know, right!?). I think it is very dull. (70/100)
Compagnie des Indes T.D.L. 2003 15YO (44%): Compagnie des Indes seems to love T.D.L., or what do you think!? I wonder how much they loved this particular barrel as they decided to reduce it to 44% drinking strength. Nose: Waxier than we are used to with these 2003s. Perhaps this isn’t one of these famous Caroni/Monymusk blends!? Mint play a very minor role here and candle wax, vanilla, oak and even sulphur shape the aroma profile. I am not impressed at all… Palate: Still not impressed, but satisfied. This tastes like a blend of the typical wax and vanilla T.D.L.s and those mint bombs we are so font of. At this point I am just not sure if that’s the result of a subpar barrel or the dilution but I have a feeling that the added water may actually have done more good than harm. Cheesecake, cloves, allspice and clearly jostaberry are other notes I get. Finish: Medium long with those additional notes I just mentioned, first and foremost the jostaberry. I actually like this about the Rum, even though it ain’t one I fancy. (73/100)
Samaroli T.D.L. 2003 19YO (55%): We are approaching age statements of legal drinking age here, which might really suit these Rums! Nose: Holy mint. Mint, mint and mint. We know that this batch is a one trick pony but this is extreme. Add a whiff of honey, perhaps some oak but give me more mint! I like it, even though it really could be a bit more diverse, admittedly. Palate: Way drier than the nose and more shaped by strong spearmint now than by the soft and sweet honey-dipped mint from the nose. We also get quite some wood and a pronounced astringency. It seems to be one of the lesser casks however, especially if you compare it directly with its siblings (see below, for example). Finish: Drink as much booze if you want, the mint will always dominate. Forever. Bubble gum meets toothpaste I guess. Given that this is priced rather ambitiously, I’d say you can safely skip this one, even though it isn’t bad at all. It is just that we’ve had much better already. (82/100)
Compagnie des Indes T.D.L. 2003 18YO “For Caksus” (56,3%): A bottling for Caksus. Nose: Immediately much better than the Samaroli as it is much more layered and not as focused on the mint. Sure, the mint is clearly playing the first fiddle here but it is nevertheless only one of the elements. Next to that we find some lid matches (a faulty note I think), caramel, lots of sweet peach, oak and grenadine I think. So far so good. Palate: Better than the nose as it is not as sweet and artificial. Instead, it comes with a pronounced dirty note (soil, scrap metal) that I like quite a bit. Next to that we find caramel, waxy notes and a hint of anise. Before I forget: Yes, there’s mint of course. Finish: More of the anise, but also still mint, Wick Blau and honey. Another good bottling of this great 2003 batch and in direct comparison so much better than the Samaroli. (86/100)
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