As 2019 is coming to an end, it is time for me to take a look back at the releases that we in one way or the other were blessed with. Before I go down that road, I want to welcome you into my rum world. This year have been a special one regarding the Danish market where we have seen some new and one of the establish raise the bar of what to expect from Danish independent bottlers. The first one I would like to mention is the guys from Romdeluxe, who have really made an impact with their Wild Series, that offers cask strength rum from Jamaica, Guyana and their newest one from Panama, which we might return to a little bit later.
The second one are the guys from Aurhum, which have a focus to bring some great rum at affordable prices and the have succeeded with the DOK that really challenged my pallet. They donate 5% of their earning to veterans from the Danish army.
The last Danish bottler on my list is 1423 which is the most establish independent bottler on the Danish rum scene with their SBS series that have raised the category of rum both local and and international. My two favorite bottles of 2019 are without a doubt SBS Jamaica 2004 and SBS Mauritius 2008 from Grays distillery.
The three bottles are listed in random order.
The first time I tasted this was at Rhum fest Paris in April 2019 where I met the guy that represented the brand Dany Danjan and I was blown away by complexity this bottle offers and the story behind the bottle. If you ask me the grogue from Cape Verde will the country to watch in the future. This year we have seen 3 release, one from Velier (Barbosa) MG and Vulcao, all are made from premium handcrafted pure cane juice. The rum is made from wild yeast pure cane juice distilled in Local pot stills and a year rest in glass casks. It’s a blend of a local black cane and a local striped cane selected and blend by Maison Ferroni from a local remote village of Santo Antao called Tarrafal Monte Trigo. To start off the nose is like a beautiful woman dancing mildly in both nostril with lemon zest and elder flower to dominate the dance floor and slowly the smell evolves to something more complex and a fudge with salt grains, vanilla and chocolate notes takes over. The first sip of the rum really gives my palate takes my on a trip a meadow filled with flowers and it continues towards the back of my mouth it is very smooth almost like macaroons covered with whipped cream. The finish is rather great where I sense some honey roasted almonds, peach and thyme and I must admit that even though it only states an abv of 45% it has a lot to offer.
S.B.S Jamaica 2004 or 2005?
The next one on my list is from 1423 and their Single Barrel selection brand and it does not mention anything about the distillery on the bottle and if you ask me it should have stated Worthy Park. The rum comes from a single cask and is bottled at cask strength with a total of 229 bottles and not from 2004 stated on the bottle it is actually from 2005. The nose was love at first sniff because right there was the sweetness of marzipan, almonds, papaya and the love fruit itself Lychee. The nose gives you that feeling when a beautiful woman caresses your inner thighs. I wanted the whole thing and my first though after the sniff give me more. So I took my first sip and wow because the palate gives away the Jamaica funk and I was ready to get up find a great dancehall song on Spotify and dance all night long with an abv at 58,7% it would not be difficult. The palate gives away fresh coconut, dried fruit, rubber and green apples. The finished does the job with ripe bananas, a hint of cinnamon caramel and the fruitiness of peaches and nectarines.
Wild Series No.3 Panama, 20 Years
Panamanian rum does not have the best reputation in some part of the rumworld and I do not understand that because I have tasted some very good bottling. In a blind tasting last year among 12 people the SBS Panama 2006 from 1423 was actually rated better then the Triptych from Velier just to give some perspective on the subject. Now back to what it is all about drinking great rum. This starts of in the nose with cinnamon, all spice, cream caramel, green apple and a hint of star anise and when I close my eyes, I get the feeling that I am walking through a bazaar in Marrakesh, so many interesting impression. I want to know more, so I take my first sip of the rum and what a ride, right when the first drop hit the tip of my tongue, I get the image of taking a bite of an American pancake covered with maple syrup and with small pieces of dark chocolate on top. I get the sense of burnt oak wood, caramel and a coca cola without carbon acid. The finished gives me a nice tickling sensation with some pink pepper and candied fruit.
A few last words before this rum year for me comes to an end. I hope that this top 3 will help open people’s eyes for all the exiting independent bottlers out there that keeps on bringing some great stuff to the market.