With all the bottles the rum world has to offer, it’s hard to choose a real top ten. taste varies from person to person and therefore this list is not definitive, but rather a reflection of rums that have been tested and approved by rumporter in each category.
DAMOISEAU 1995 CASK STRENGTH – 66.9%
Nose: Secrestat bitters, notes of coffee and Chinese rhubarb both bring a slight bitterness. A discrete apple-cinnamon aroma reveals itself in the background.
L’ESPRIT DON JOSÉ 2000 – 46% & 57,8%
A single cask bottled at two different degrees. A pure rhum, smooth and not too sweet. Notes of citrus, pepper, vanilla, honeysuckle, cumin, ginger, liquorice, oak, almond, walnut, chocolate, tobacco… a never ending bouquet.
FAIR BELIZE 11 ANS SMALL BATCH – 50,7%
With its undeniable quality, the 5-year Fair Bélize rhum deserved a vintage superior in both degree and age. After the 10-year batch, still at 40%, we now have an 11-year batch bottled at 50.7%, reminiscent of the casks from Traveller’s distillery (the same ones that are used in L’Esprit range). The rum is evocative of the excellent Japanese malts, particularly Miyagikyo and its relative dryness, its subtle spices and vegetal notes, with metallic, sharp notes close to Sichuan pepper.
FOURSQUARE HABITATION VELIER 2013
Nose: fresh at first, with notes of sugarcane and cinnamon and hints of café macchiato.
HSE SMALL CASK 2007 – 46%
Nose: aged in 55 litre kegs from Limousin this rhum has a long fruity finish with notes of white peach and prune. A touch of ginseng arrives at the end.
LONGUETEAU VSOP – 42%
This Longueteau is a high quality VSOP as it consists of a blend of 6 year old rhum (50%), 7 year old rhum (40%) and 8 year old rhum (10%), meaning it can be classified as XO, which explains the price tag. The nose is complex, fine, and elegant with notes of caramel, spices, dried fruit (marzipan, walnut) and floral aromas. The mouth is delicate with notes of ripe fruits; banana, quince, and melon with hints of chocolate, liquorice, clove, and nutmeg. The finish is rich and long and particularly complex and pleasant, with notes of tobacco and chestnut. Very sophisticated!
NEW GROVE, DOUBLE CASK MERISIER FINISH – 47%
Nose: aged naturally in French oak barrels for 7 years, then finished for 1 year in cherry wood barrels, this rum offers a radiant flavour profile that is smoother than the last two rums. The effect of the wood is clear- all aspects are more extensive. A mosaic of aromas include, in order of appearance: red cherry, sweet cinnamon, blueberry honey, wild cherry, and a hint of banana once the rum opens up.
RHUM RHUM MULLER HABITATION VELIER
Nose: A delicate attack full of floral notes and pleasant aromas with hints of sugarcane juice and freshly cut pineapple. Cherry, bitter almond, and fennel round out the aromatic profile.
TROIS RIVIÈRES CASK STRENGTH 2006 – 55,5%
Nose: 8 years of barrel aging softened this rhum around the edges but had no effect on its body. The rhum presents a smooth aromatic profile concentrating on quinine and fresh sugarcane juice.
WORTHY PARK ESTATE 151 PROOF, HABITATION VELIER – 75.5%
Nose: After a first whiff dominated by the presence of alcohol, you’ll find that the fresh sugarcane is clearly present, as well as exotic fruits, particularly pineapple, making an altogether enjoyable rhum.