Thanks to /u/gregbenson314 for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap’s Secret Santa on reddit.
This is the last of the very cool samples I got from my Secret Santa gift. Unlike the others this one is a rum, not a whisky. I started dabbling in rums somewhat recently so I’m always glad to broaden that horizon. This is from Venezuela. I’m still not 100% familiar with each rum producing region’s character but this is the first time I’m really sitting down with a Venezuelan rum, so no idea what to expect (I usually do my tasting notes before looking too much into the background behind what I’m drinking).
This is a special release to celebrate a particularly good sugarcane harvest in 2000. It was aged 12 years in ex bourbon and single malt Scotch whisky casks and then finished in sherry and as far as I can tell has had no sugar added to it after distillation.
EDIT: It was brought to my attention by /u/TheDunderhead on reddit that Diplomatico add a sweetened rum liqueur to many of their rums to sweeten them and when tested this one had about 15g/L of added sugars, still a good deal less than the Demerara rums I like, but not a negligible amount.
Seems to be quite a whisky drinker’s rum.
Aged 12 years. 43% ABV.
Nose: Nutty wood, like a sherried whisky (makes sense given the casks used). Burned brown sugar. Candy apple. Caramel. Light woodspice. Honey nougat. Something slightly astringent and rubbery lurking in the back.
Palate: Cherry cough syrup. Quite a dry yet very fruity character. Light woody notes along with some bitter green herbs, mainly fennel, and uncured olives.
Finish: Short-Medium. Bitter herbs follow through from the palate. Dried dark fruits. Licorice pastilles. Slight lingering woodspice.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was quite a departure from the sweetened Demerara rums I usually drink. Very bitter, but oh so complex and interesting. It felt quite like a whisky on the nose, but then after taking a sip I realised that it’s very much a rum. There’s a good amount of stuff going on here and quite a nice play between the dark sugary notes and the light fruity notes, all under an overtone of bitter green herbs.
The only fault I could find is that the low ABV leads to a slightly underwhelming finish.Pity that for such a special release they chose to dilute it down. Still a fantastically interesting drink nonetheless. Thanks to much to /u/gregbenson314 for such thoughtful gifts, they have been surprising, enlightening and so enjoyable.