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That's some good stuff
I was excited to try this Rum made from Guyanese molasses, always looking for the funk and character associated with these rums. This is a pot still rum and the nose gives it away. The first nose is full of cane and spice, licorice and banana. The mouth feel is thin, and the bitter comes on soon, followed by the sugar, but the bitter last a while. The after taste is a little burnt and maybe harsh for some palates, but not mine. If you like your rum to be serious then this will be fun to drink, highly recommended.
So after searching for 2 years I finally tracked down a bottle of Hamilton St. Lucia 10 Year. Frankly, I only found this rum after I had entirely given up on being able to acquire a bottle. This rum seems to be legendary with very polarizing views. Some rummies swear by it and others write reviews whereby they are utterly repulsed by it. I have not yet had a Caroni but many reviewers write that this is rum is pretty similar in its notes to some of the Caronis. After trying it, I can see why from my reading of Caroni reviews.
This rum is produced on a Vendome Pot Still by St. Lucia Distillers and aged at full cask strength for 10 Years before being bottled at 67.4% (the bottle states 9 years but then says it was distilled in 2005 and bottled in 2015 which is actually 10 years). This rum is untouched and straight from the aging casks. I don’t know what the ester count is on it, but it seems very high. Merely opening the bottle I was nearly floored by the heavy industrial funk emanating from the bottle. From the scents coming off the bottle and the high ABV, I knew I was going to need some time to really sit with this.
I am observing the nose from a Glencairn neat. Given the strength of this I will be enjoying it over an ice ball to allow for some water influence (and also because that is simply my preference from high ABV rums). So take a deep breath and let’s dive in.
On the nose I get absolutely smacked in the face with the smell of new tires, plasticine, and Cherry cola. After a second, Acetone appears along with dried Ancho chiles accompanied by beef jerky and tiramisu. Haha, wow….that’s um…an interesting combination. It is ridiculously funky, as in one of the funkiest rums I have ever observed, but not in the Jamaican sense. It is heavily industrial funk mixed with meats, chiles, and just the hint of desert lingering in the background. It’s very intriguing and somehow it just works.
Taking a sip with some dilution I get a powerful punch of rancio accompanied by new tires and Cherry cola. Then I start to notice a unique dried cayenne pepper musty spiciness. Wild. I have never had that on a rum before. Then a rush of vanilla accompanied by plasticine and antique wood lacquer(?). As that fades I get tiramisu, a bitter dark chocolate, and powerful oak with mint covered in molasses, cinnamon sugar, and finally a powerful burnt sugar note.
As the rum begins to exit my mouth I catch a dual sense whiff of tire fire followed by new tires which then fades into a very long finish of Cherry cola, menthol, vanilla extract and burnt sugar. After setting the glass down I get burned rubber and diesel fuel still accompanied by burnt sugar.
This is absolutely wild! Normally, I do not like industrial funk, but this is somehow awesome. Its like I was invited to a company meal of Cherry cola, ancho chiles, beef jerky, mint, molasses and tiramisu…but the meal is held on the production floor of an active tire factory….Yet somehow it works, and works brilliantly. It’s so compelling to my senses that I went back for 2nds and then 3rds despite the strength.
This rum is crazy funky but not in a Jamaican sense. It is its very own style of funk, but dialed to 10. It is equal parts industrial, savory, and desert notes at full strength. The only thing I can say is that Mr. Hamilton has done it again. This is a masterpiece and finally a heavily industrial funk that tickles my fancy. I can drink this all day (as long as I have some ice). This easily ranks as one of the best rums I have had, up almost on par with Habitation Velier Forsyths Worthy Park 2005. This is funkier than that and equally compelling, though I might like that one just a smidge more than this. But man, this is a keeper and because of the strength this one is going to last a long time. Bravo Mr. Hamilton you somehow convinced me to fall head over heels for a heavy industrial funk rum. I love it!
Short Description: A fine company meal of fine aged beef jerky, ancho chiles, Cherry cola, and burnt sugar tiramisu held on the production floor of an active tire factory.
Nose: New Tires, Plasticine, Cherry Cola, Acetone, dried Ancho chiles, beef jerky, tiramisu
Palate: Rancio, New Tires, Cherry cola, cayenne peppers, vanilla, plasticine, antique wood lacquer, tiramisu, bitter dark chocolate, oak, mint, molasses, cinnamon sugar, burnt sugar
Finish: (long) Tire fire, new tires, Cherry cola, menthol, vanilla extract, burnt sugar, after some time burned rubber and diesel fuel
Country of Origin: St. Lucía
Distillery: St. Lucia Distillers
A lot of flavor going on here. Funk and strength is the word. I had to water it down(69% ABV) a bit. Took a while but after it cools down its good.
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