El Tiburón 18 XO, Cigar Blend, Limited Edition, Cask Strength

IMG_20170220_212732.jpgA bit of an oddity here. I was browsing the shelves at a local liquor store and saw this very odd bottle of rum I’d never heard of or seen before. I asked the guys in my rum club but no one knew much about it. The bottle seemed to just be loaded with buzzwords like XO, Limited Edition, Cask Strength, Cigar blend and so on. Suspicious, but interesting.

On the back label it stated that the rum came from Hampden estate in Jamaica, quite reputable, and was imported by Caspi, which made sense. Caspi carry several of these weird labels no one really knows about, something I’m quite familiar with in the whisky scene, and as odd and suspicious as they can be, sometimes they actually turn out to be pretty good (they carry a blended malt called Blackface, named after the Scottish sheep breed, which I really like). So some of us decided to split a bottle and see what it’s about.

Aged 18 years. 46.5% ABV.  

Nose: Fresh natural rubber. Green bananas. Sultanas. Wood glue. Tropical fruit punch. Stewed fruits.

Palate: Oily, rubbery herbal notes. Slightly briny. Sour pineapple. Bitter wood. Quite a bit of an alcoholic burn if you let it sit on the palate too long.

Finish: Long. Bitter. Very herbal. Slight notes of aspirin. Interesting but not entirely pleasant. Wash of ethanol right at the end.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 4/5

It was hard for me to pin down some of the flavours on this as I’m quite new to rums, especially the unsweetened ones. There was a somewhat distinct ethanol bitterness on the palate and finish but it did not make with rum wholly unpleasant. There was some interesting complexity to this one and I’m quite happy we decided to try it out.

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