Rumaniacs Review #30
This rum is one of the reasons I love the spirits made so long ago – they shine a light into the way things were back in the day. Alfred Lamb started making dark rum from West Indian bulk rum back in 1849, ageing his barrels in cellars below the Thames and laid claim to making “real” Navy rum. These days the company seems to make supermarket rum more than any kind of serious earth-shaking popskull…but the potential remains, as this rum (almost) points out. It’s issued by United Rum Merchants, who trace their own heritage back to Lyman “Lemon” Hart in 1804 (yes, that Lyman Hart). Back during WW2 and the Blitz (in 1941) Keeling and Lamb were both bombed out of their premises and URM took them under their wing in Eastcheap. It’s a little complicated, but these days Pernod Ricard seems to own the brand and URM dissolved in 2008.
Put to rest in Dumbarton (Scotland), matured in three puncheons and 510 bottles issued around 1990, so it’s forty years old…with maybe some change left over. It’s from Jamaica, but I don’t know which distillery. Could actually be a blend, which is what Lamb’s was known for.
Colour – gold-amber
Strength – 40%
Nose – Well, unusual is a good word to describe this one. The leather of old brogues, well polished and broken in with shoe polish and acetone, perhaps left in the sun too long after a long walk in the Highlands. Old veggies, fruits, bananas, light florals, all perhaps overripe – kinda dirty, actually, though not entirely in a bad way – somehow it gels. Vanilla, brine, a certain meatiness – let’s just call it funk and move on. Wish it was stronger, by the way.
Palate – Ahh, crap, too damned light. I’ve come to the personal realization that I want Jamaicans to have real torque in their trousers and 40% don’t get me there, sorry. Oh well. So…light and somewhat briny, citrus and stewed apples, some flowers again, some sweet of pancake syrup and wet compost, leather. It seems to be more complex than it is, in my opinion. Plus, it’s a bit raw – nothing as relatively civilized as another venerable Jamaican, the Longpond 1941. Still, big enough, creamy enough for its age and strength.
Finish – Pleasingly long for a 40% rum, yay!. Vanilla, leather, some brine and olives and fruits and then it slowly fades. Quite good actually
Thoughts – A solid Jamaican rum, feels younger and fresher than any forty year old has a right to be, even if it doesn’t quite play in the same league as the Longpond 1941. Makes me wish Lamb’s would stop messing around with “everyone-can-drink-it” rums, which are made for everyone, and therefore no-one.