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This blend is from my perspective much more harmonic than Vendome, the Cuban and Panamian parts play well together for me. The nose profile is mixture of a generic Panama style (think Abuelo, Malteco, etc) and certain branch of Cuban style (Havana Club), with pronounced oak and tobacco. The taste is surprisingly dry comparing to what the nose suggests (the above mentioned brands usually add 20g/l of sugar, Abuelo adds even more), but not super dry. The taste is along the line of the above mentioned styles, oak (with a bit of a char), tobacco, spices, the absence of sugar I consider a plus. The taste profile is quite smooth for a blend of 5y rums, it is harmonic, although not very complex, can be sipped and works also well when mixed. Solid quality for the price.
With the Vendôme (renamed E8 Gold) on the way out, as it is a limited edition according to their website, this appears to be their new dry unadultered rum. A blend of a Panamese single cask rum and a Cuban single cask rum aged on barrel for 5 years. 100% column still so totally different from the St. Lucian Vendôme I love so much.
On the nose the Panamese part is clear; the same warm notes of (for lack of a better description) sweet rotting wood, baked fruits and vanilla. Pleasant and rather light but also warm and inviting. On the palate the oak is more prominent with quite some pepper there as well. Almost an agricole like hint of grasses is followed swiftly by more fruity notes (pineapple/orange) and this rum becomes almost mouth-drying dry. It has a nice long ending with salty caramel and pepper as well as a light (tinned-) fruity note.
This is not just a dry rum, the only rums I really like, it is bone dry. Sahara dry. I really need a few sips to adjust my mouth and saliva-production to this rum. It is not unpleasant but I like them a tad more comfortable in this respect. A totally different animal than the Vendôme it replaces (?) and for me not as good as that one (I am in love with St. Lucia rums) but still very nicely done.
At €22 overhere it is more than a decent rum that I will probably buy again but I also make sure to stock a healty quantity of the Vendôme before that one goes out.
"You get more of the grassy, earthy notes coming through the finish is slightly herbal and quite spicy."
Try to get a well lit shot from the front of the rum label
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