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Recommendable to most
In their 'Estate Blend', which is more interesting than great, I found some qualities that needed more research so here I am, with a glass of their 12yo 'Rare Blend'. It is not typical Jamaican in the sense that it is relative low on esters; it is much closer to St. Lucia's 'Chairmans Reserve' or Mount Gay's XO as far as pot still influence goes.
I am halfway my second bottle and it still surprises me but I can tell for sure this rum has gotten it's own altar overhere.
It is a dark blend with murky flavours and a little rough around the edges. Apart from the usual suspects (vanilla, oak, fudge and various fruity flavors) it has dark tobacco, smokey and leathery notes and a very pleasant oaky kind of finish. The strange thing is that for me its closest competitor is Mount Gay's XO which is also a darker, murkier kind of rum. The 'Rare Blend' is slightly rougher and darker and , at least for me, delivers more. So I accept the lower price, the simpler screwcap and simply accept that this affordable rum is in truth a stunning expression of a not that easy rum. It needs a bit of an acquired taste but if you are into dry rums and you like a bit of roughness in your rum this is a must try! A keeper for sure!
Notes of ripe banana and some vanilla on the nose. Smells sweeter than it tastes on the palate (which I so not mean as criticism). Nice taste with some some tobacco-ish overtones, has some alcoholic burn stronger than, say, an El Dorado or a Diplo.
I bought a bottle of this for my birthday as i saw it in Tesco on sale for £30 so thought i would give it a shot without knowing much about it. I normally enjoy any rum anyway so didn't mind the risk of a blind buy. The flavour in the initial mouthful is fairly good but the finish when you swallow is quite incredible! I am not an expert in notes and flavours etc so i do not know what this is but damn, does it taste good! It is not that sweet and has a nice dry oaky taste and is practically a glass of heaven when a single ice cube is added. I have tried about 20 rums now and at the time of writing, this remains in my top 3 due to that fantastic finish. I definitely want to try some of that Joy anniversary blend!!
It’s together with Chairman’s Reserve and the 5 year old English Harbour my best every day rums by moment.
Th balance is good, it’s fruity and spicy and you can taste the barrel.
Picture: My Appleton shelf.
The funk is there, but 12 years have taken the edge off and left a very smooth, well-rounded versatile product. It's not often I reach for a funky rum, they are generally not my favorite, but this is the one I go for and it does everything well. SUPERIOR mixer.
sugar test- 0
There is little or no added sugar in this. And they bottle at 43% ABV, even in Germany, where 40% is the norm for spirits (and where rum can go as low as 37,5%). That alone is a reason to like this stuff.
But it does not stop there, oh no. At a very reasonable price, you get a rum that was aged 12 years. No solera bullshit, no "oldest rum" bullshit, just solid 12 years. And that is great, as it shows in the taste.
In the nose you get funk, wood (12 years!), molasses, spice, heat, and just a little bit of alcoholic bite, which fits perfectly in. This is not a smooth rum, and it should not be. If you are afraid of slightly rough rums, add 10-30% of water, that will help you out.
Mouth-feel is sharp at first, but then becomes very pleasant, as the dundery funk kicks in and begins to tickle the tongue with hints of over-ripe fruits, dark dried fruits, mud, molasses, a hint of sweetness, something remotely smokey (BBQ sauce is close, I would say) and some vegetal notes. Something grassy is also to be found. And a lot that I find hard to put into words. Wonderfully complex.
Could be double the price and people would be more poetic about it. Not sure if I would buy it at double the price, but currently it is a bargain in comparison to other rums.
While it is funky, it is also relatively well-behaved. I think that everyone who is not afraid of some flavour in their (dry!) rum, will like this.
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