Thanks so much for submitting a report. It has been emailed to the Rum Captain and will be actioned shortly.
Tasty, but not quite great
I'll admit, I'm a cocktail wonk, so I was hoping that this was going to be something close to the 17 yo. or at least the 15 yo. Wray & Nephew Jamaican rum Vic Trader used for the original Mai Tai cocktail. After having tested it, I'm quite sure it isn't. I first tried it with some water, diluted down to approximately 45% vol. It had a very strong smell of glue, not at all pleasant. And the taste was very bitter, tannic from the long tropical aging in oak. I'm no hater of bitter drinks, but this was really strikingly bitter. I then used it in a Mai Tai, again diluted down to approximately 45% vol. It was OK, I'm sure the original Mai Tai didn't taste like this, but this tasted interesting, not sweet nor heavenly, but more wine-like, spicy, aromatic, a bit grassy.
EDIT: Well, there you go, testing a 14 years old pot still Jamaican after a mostly dry January! I gave it another try now and I have to relativise my first impressions; it is somewhat tannic, but not really bitter. The esters do have a glue-like punch, but the esters in the Appleton 12 yo. rare blend are also quite stingy and not fruity (although much less intense!). There is a deep, dark, wooden character to this rum, a smell reminiscent of old books.
Aroma is complex and gentle, not so "wild" like Continental version.
Taste is fruity and floral, followed by alcohol kick (69,1% is on the edge for me) Aftertaste is longer with wooden tones.
I got the opportunity to attend a rum tasting with Daniele Biondi from Velier were we tasted 9 different rums. This was the seventh rum of the night, that we tasted side-by-side with its brother, that it identical to this one in every way apart from the aging on that one is continental. It was impressive to see the difference between these two "identical" rums. The two rums were very different both in taste and color (this one had a nice golden dark colour).
Nose: Apricot, camphor, rice pudding, ripe bananas, wax and a heavy floral overtone
Taste: Cocoa, mushroom, tobacco, wood and orange
Overall: This is a completely different story then it´s brother. There is a lot going on in this one and maybe to much for my taste. The floral notes are a bit to much, but the power from the 69+abv and the overall aroma is fantastic. Try this side-by-side with the continental aged one. You won´t regret it.
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