Stefan had his first rum involuntarily in 2006 during a visit to River Antoine Rum Distillery in Grenada. But it wasn’t until his trip to Jamaica in 2013 to Appleton Estate when he really forged a growing interest in the noble spirit. His rum journey has taken him to many rum festivals and distilleries throughout the world. Along the way rum became more than a spirit to Stefan and each of the bottles in his vast collection hide an emotional story and links to the great friends all created from rum.
2017 was a year filled with so many personal highlights. Therefore trying to narrow down the entire year into just 3 rums is very difficult. My rum friends often ask me ‘if you could only take 3 bottles onto a deserted island, which 3 would they be?’ You would think narrowing this down to just rum from 2017 would be easier? Not necessarily!
Diamond H 2010 – 70th Anniversary Velier
All previous rums with the mark HLCF (Samaroli Hampden Full Proof 1993, Cadenhead Hampden HLCF, Berry Bros. Hampden 1990, Duncan Taylor Hampden 1990) always had a certain amount of acidity that wasn’t present here. Even though this rum is “only” 7 years old, the tropical ripeness beats any continental aged rum even if it is 20 years or older. For me this is the best Hampden I ever had in a glass. Enough said!
Caroni 1996 Single Cask no. 5623; Selected by Kirsch Whisky
If you have been drinking Caroni for many years and have actually had a variety of different bottlings in your glass before, then you know the typical taste of smoke and burnt rubber that is common with this rum. However, the profile of this rum is complemented by a third component that has never been so strong before. Where in God’s name is this sweetness coming from? I can only explain this by the relocation of the barrels to Guyana. In conclusion, I’m falling in love with Guyana Stock!
Neisson 2005 – 70th Anniversary Velier
I have to admit that my Agricole experience is nowhere near as deep as rum made from molasses. Maybe they were always too soft and I could not get excited about them? However, the J.Bally 1998 – Brut De Fût awoke a renewed interest in me, thanks again to Sascha. Now I was able to try some Neisson and I found my darling here as well.
I would like to add that if I was asked me about the 3 bottlings with the greatest story and the biggest emotions, my selection would be very different. I would like to take this opportunity to thank two great friends for the unique and amazing 2017 and may the rum journey continue in 2018!