Jamaica

Review: SMWS R1.4 21 Year Old Jamaican Rum by Jason Hambrey

SMWS R1.4.jpg
ABV
66.2%
Aging
21 years; Ex-Sherry Butt
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller N/A (Jamaica)

A SMWS old rum, from some time ago - not sure where it is from, but I'm always up for Jamaican pot still rum! One of 696 bottles.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: R1.4

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

The nose has butter, and a slightly herbal, sharp molasses character, dried rose, and smoked almond. It's a bit perfumed too. The palate is rich and savoury - a bit like the sour almonds you find at middle eastern grocers. Interestingly, a very different palate than the nose with the savoury and salty notes. The finish is toasty and remarkably herbal, the characteristic growing throughout the drink. Berries and molasses grow out of the finish too.

Assessment: Very Highly Recommended.

Value: N/A. This one is long gone…


Review: Smith and Cross Pure Pot Still Traditional Jamaican Rum by Jason Hambrey

ABV
57%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
From molasses
Distiller Hampden Estate (Wakefield, Jamaica)

I had this rum in a bar in the US and promptly bought a bottle. I've never had high proof rum, and, like bourbon, the sweetness of the spirit balances the powerful flavor of the high proof. It is a brilliant mixer, indeed, it is one of the most revered rums in bartending (subbing it out for gin in a negroni will blow your mind). It is made from Jamaican rums with a mix of two types of rum distillates - Plummer and Wedderburn (defined by the amount of esters in the final spirit) and it is fairly young (<3 years).


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2016

A spicy, medicinal, waxy nose that I love. Molasses, anise, dried blueberry, oak, pencil shavings, candle wax, cinnamon, brown bread...a gorgeous nose. The palate starts with medicinal notes, then merges to dried cranberry and very gently to pumperknickel bread, fancy molasses, candied orange, oak and baking spices. The finish carries the medicinal notes, the oak, and the brown bread and molasses notes to perfection. Oak, and oxidized notes (like vermouth or sherry) on the finish. Balanced, interesting, well delivered, so flavourful, and so rummy. An incredible rum!

The sweetness balances the proof so well – it is a new side of rum to me. This is a bomb in cocktails, I can’t even express that enough. If you mix it in for gin in a negroni, you get a wow cocktail – and there are few of those. Seriously, try it. I bought a bottle in the US just to use in negronis...

Assessment: Highly recommended.

Value: Very high. This often goes for around 30$ usd, and for a very nice nearly cask strength rum!


Review: Appleton Estate 12 Years Old Jamaican Rum by Jason Hambrey

ABV
43%
Aging
12 Years
Recipe
From Molasses
Distiller Appleton Estate (Nassau Valley, Jamaica)

The Appleton Estate has been distilling rums since 1749, and they have certainly grown in production since then. This represents the lowest of their age stated range. The rums are all pot distilled, and, though still sweet, they aren't relatively as sweet as many rums - a good thing in my book.


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

 Nose: Fabulous! a great rum nose - oak, brown sugar, candied orange peel, and slight vanilla - still with some nice orange notes and sharp molasses. The sweetness and woodiness comes out, almost as maple.

Taste: This is quite delicious, and it is complex and evolves. Quite sweet, and it starts lightly with some citrus, vanilla, and oak before turning darker with some more spices including somegreen cardamom.

Finish: Dark, thick molasses with some spices - a bit like clove, perhaps - they're somewhat darker than in whisky. This is very nice. The molasses lingers for some time. It has quite decent weight and length too - very enjoyable! Fruity, woody...it's quite nice, I must say!

Assessment: Recommended. Not far from being a notch higher, either.

Value: Average. A good rum for the price.