Black Tot 40 Year Old Demerara Rum

BLACK TOT 40 Year Old Demerara Rum Review by the fat rum pirateBlack Tot 40 Year Old Demerara Rum is the latest release from independent bottlers Elixir Distillers.  The rum has been released to pay homage to the British Royal Navy.  Unlike the original Black Tot release which was released in 2011 this is not a rum which was available to the Royal British Navy.

There are several “Navy style” rums on the market.  Brands such as Woods , Skipper and Lambs are common place in the UK.  Just about every rum released as Navy rum is presented as a very dark, at times almost viscous rum.

Demerara Rum is usually at the heart of such blends.  This 40 year old rum rather than being a blend of rums from various distilleries/islands is a 100% Demerara Rum from Guyana.

The rum was originally distilled back in 1975 and has been aged for 40 years.  I do not have any firm details on where it was aged but it is thought much of the ageing has occured in a European rather than Tropical climate.

I assume it was aged in ex-Bourbon casks though again I do not have firm details on this.  Of the historic stills at DDL – Port Mourant, Versailles and Enmore this is a blend of six casks from the Port Mourant still.  ABV of 44.4% and 606 bottles produced.  The price?

It’s available from the Whisky Exchange from 31st July 2017 priced at £1500. Presentation wise I have only seen the above bottle shot.  The original Black Tot had a case etc to store the rum  in so I would imagine this will also have some pretty nifty presentation bottle aside.

So this rum does not purport to being an authentic Navy rum.  However it does offer the buyer the opportunity to own a very rare 40 year old rum, from one of the most respected distilleries in the world.  Clearly any buyer will not really worry too much about the price.  For a lot of people £1500 can’t be justified for a bottle of booze.

July 31st 2017 represents the 47th anniversary of Black Tot Day which was 31st July 1970.  This was the final day a rum “ration” or tot was given to sailors.

With this in mind the Black Tot 40 Year Old is being released on the 31st July 2017.  As mentioned already it will initially be available exclusively at The Whisky Exchange.

So with nothing else to note about this particular rum we best move onto the nosing and tasting.

In the glass the rum is a very dark brown with red flashes.  It is likely it was coloured at some stage by DDL with a touch of caramel.

The nose is very rich and warming.  Full on raisins and currants.  Almost like chocolate covered raisins at time.  It’s undoubtedly a Demerara rum.  It’s extremely rich for a Port Mourant and it reminds me more of an Enmore or even a Versailles still marque.

Unsurpringly after so long in the cask the rum shows a lot of oaky character.  It’s almost musty and even smells a little old.  Leather, tobacco and some more familiar Port Mourant anise.  Its a big fruity rum but the oak character stop it getting too close to a red wine or port in terms of sweetness.  It’s a big almost Velier-esque nose.

When sipped the rum is considerably less sweet.  It’s very spicy.  There is quite a lot of heat going on.  It’s a very oak centric rum.  It certainly dominates the initial few sips.  It’s also quite a bitter rum.  Unfortunately the raisin and currants so dominant on the nose have slipped away.  I’m not getting a lot of sweetness with this rum.

It’s quite a dry rum and the mustiness and age of the rum really shows.  It has a very smoky and relatively short finish.  It doesn’t linger or hang around.  Overall the rum is quite short and bitter.  Even though it is only 44% ABV its a very drying rum. The mouthfeel leaves you feeling strangely thirsty.

Its not my favourite Demerara.  I don’t know if it is has been aged for too long or if it would have benefited from being blended with another marque.

Having said that it is still quite an interesting rum to try.  It’s pretty distinctive and the chances of trying Demerara rum from 1975 won’t come along too often.  The mustiness and the more familiar anise from the Port Mourant still are not unpleasant.  The nose perhaps led me to expect more from the rum.  It’s still pretty good but sadly not the Velier beater I was hoping for.

Still for anyone looking at spending £1500 on a bottle they should have a rough idea what to expect and are likely not buying it entirely for the taste experience.

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