A while ago I got two samples from rums released late last year by The Duchess. The Dutch bottler regularly puts out awesome rums and when I got these I planned to review them soon-ish, but things happened and life got ridiculously busy.
As in, for the last couple of weeks I’ve mostly been publishing tasting notes I’ve written months ago, just because I barely get around to anything. It’s a good thing I’m quite thorough in not throwing out old notes, I guess.
But anyway, two rums released in 2022. One Uitvlugt from Guyana, distilled in 1995, in a Port Mourant still. Wooden still, that means, which is not something that happens in the world of whisky. For a variety of reasons, but it has proven to make for interesting rums.
The other is a rum from La Reunion from Savannah Distillery, although it’s not saying that on the label. The website of Best of Wines isn’t really making it a secret though.
Let’s dive in!
Uitvlugt 27, 1995-2022, Bourbon cask 36, 56.9% – The Duchess
Very funky with lots of sugar cane juice. Oak, leather, some green mosses, molasses. The works. Burnt caramel, slightly charry and hints of beurre noisette. Very yeasty, the brewed sugary wort has clearly left a mark.
The palate continues down the same line, but brings a bit of heat. Sharp oak and red chilies. It mellows pretty swiftly and goes back to funkiness. Yeasty chocolate and buttery and hints of slightly burnt molasses.
The finish is very similar to the palate. More mellow, but very long with lots of those yeasty flavors.
It’s exactly what you hope old rum is like. Lots of sweet and funky notes. And with rums like this it is absolutely not ‘just sweetness’ like you would expect from a sugar based distillate, or any mainstream rum. Lots of weird things are happening and the buttery notes work well with the yeast and chocolate flavors. Cool stuff!
Available at Best of Wines for € 240
La Réunion 19, 2003-2022, Cask 5, 67.2% – The Duchess
Very oak focused and initially, caramel and dark molasses. Not very green and therefore not very sugar cane like. Dark cherries, dark oak, golden syrup.
The palate is dark with oak, black cherries and molasses. Red chilies and quite some heat after a while. It does mellow, but it takes quite some time. Lots of oak, all the way through.
The finish is largely the same as the palate, albeit a bit more mellow. Quite warming, and long, but it does get a bit more narrow towards the end with the focus on the oak.
My sample stated 57.2, but the website states 67.2. I’m not sure which is correct, but I would assume the website has been checked more meticulously. There’s heat, of course, but not as much as I would expect from something that is over two thirds alcohol. Lots of great fruity flavors are showing up, and it’s more sweet than the Uitvlugt. Good stuff, but the alcohol does push some notes back that would have made it a bit more complex, I’d imagine.