Rumanicas Review 024 | 0424
Like with many old rhums one is sent or which one finds in shadowed corners of sleepy back-alley shops, it’s almost impossible to track down the provenance of rhums like this one. I mean, do a search on “Rhum St James 47%” and see how far that gets you. As far I know this is not a millesime (it’s not the superb 1979, or the 1976 for example), not a massively aged old rhum (in fact, its profile suggests the opposite), and was noted simply as being from the 1970s or 1980s. Not much to be going on, I’m afraid. And yet, and yet…it’s such a lovely product. Let’s just sadly pass its unknown pedigree by, and appreciate it for what it is.
Colour – Amber
Strength – 47%
Nose – Sweet, delicate, crisp nose, that deepens as the minutes tick along – by the time you’re ready to taste it’s almost a different rum than the one you start out with. Faint brine and dusty hay, bags and bags of a lawnmower’s fresh grass collection. And it just keeps coming, with peaches, apple juice, and the musty tones of damp black earth and rain striking hot red bricks.
Palate – All that musky depth seems to vanish in an instant on the sip. Amazingly, the delicacy returns, and the 47% hardly burns or scratches at all, so well controlled is it. It marries the subtlety of ripe cherries, honey, potpourri and a little mustiness. There’s even some soap and air freshener in here somewhere (in a good way). Smooth and elegant, with some of the sprightliness of not-too-aged youth. Whatever oak there is in this thing, it’s held at bay very nicely. It’s cheerful rumlet that just wants to play and mix it up with the boys.
Finish – Medium length, no surprise. Closing aromas of citrus, light honey, grass, fanta and light florals, all in a very well handled amalgam (where did the rain and black earth go?). But never mind, still a lovely fade.
Thoughts – A little ageing, a little more beef, and this rhum would have been superb. As it is, it is merely very good, and I wish there was a bottle, not a mere sample in my collection. It may be young, but it’s good young, know what I mean?
(Note: there are some basic company notes in Rumaniacs #23)