Cadenhead’s BMC Epris Distillery 15 Years Old

Cadenheads BMC Epris Distillery Rum Review by the fat rum pirate CachacaCadenhead’s BMC Epris Distillery is another offering from the Scottish Independent bottler.  More famous for their numerous whisky bottlings Cadenhead’s regularly release rums.  Many are your usual Demerara and Bajan offerings but they also bottle rum from more exotic locations such as Belize, Nicaragua and with this offering Brasil.

Brasil is more famous for Cachaca than rum.  For those who are unsure about Cachaca it is essentially rum or at least rhum.  It is produced like Rhum Agricole from Cane Juice rather than molasses.  What makes Cachaca distinct though is the use of native Brasillian woods during the ageing process.  These woods are very floral and as a result Cachaca can be aged for relatively short periods yet take on a lot of flavour from the wood.  There are probably a few other little things about Cachaca but that is the short, simpler version.

I am unsure what the Cadenhead’s BMC Epris Distillery “BMC” stands for (Brasillian Made Cachaca?) its more likely a marking on the barrel which could mean pretty much anything really.  The BMC is bottled at 45.4% ABV and is denoted as Cask Strength.  This is another little pointer which leads me to think I am reviewing a true Cachaca rather than a straight rum.  Cachaca is often released commericially at only 38% ABV.  Cadenhead’s BMC Epris Distillery will set you back around £50.  The “rum” has been distilled on a Column and is 15 years old.  It was distilled back in 1999 and bottled in November 2014.  I believe it is still available on the Cadenhead’s site.  Which shows how unadventurous people can be. The presentation is also unadventerous and is very much 70’s living room chic. Awful colour scheme.

Obviously in order to review this “rum” I have had to try it already.  For me it ticks all the boxes which would make it an aged Cachaca.  A 15 year old (even European aged) Cachaca is not common place so this is a very interesting bottling to review.

The Epris Distillery I have been unable to unearth any information on.

Cadenheads Epris Distillery BMC Rum Cachaca review by the fat rum pirate

I assume they will bottle some commercially available Cachaca but my brief search just turned up links to bottlings from Duncan Taylor, L’Esprit and the long departed Renegade Rum Company.  Lance over at The Lone Caner reviewed a 13 Year Old L’Esprit bottling and found the whole Cachaca issue a bit confusing as well.  He found that Epris distill for Bacardi but quite what remains unclear.  I am sure some Cachaca expert will fill in some blanks when they read this.

This is a review I am pleased to have taken time to put together.  When I initially tried this Cachaca I was unsure and unfamiliar with the spirit.  I do feel it needs addressing and treating seperately to Rum or Agricole Rhum.  I now have a better understanding and appreciation of it.

In the glass Cadenhead’s BMC Epris Distillery is a very light straw colour, a shade or two darker than a white wine.  The nose is light and very floral. It smells a bit like pot pourri.  Initially it seems quite strange when compared to rum but it works surprisingly well. It’s a very clean, fresh smelling nose with just enough aggression – in the form of a slightly soapy varnish like note to make it interesting.

The nose is very good and you will find yourself drawn into extensive nosing with this spirit.  I’m no expert on Brasillian wood but this has definitely had a lot of interaction with something way different to a bourbon or whisky barrel. Very flowery with a nice hit of Citrus makes this a nose which is very enjoyable.  It’s not a huge nose but its complex and very pleasant.  There is a nice play off between complexity and balance.

At the ABV of 45.4% you can sip this straight from the bottle.  No need for any dilution.  It works very well at its “natural” strength.

It’s quite a light, very citrus forward spirit.  There is a twang to it of Lemon and Limes which plays nicely along side the floral almost perfumed wood.  There is a fair bit going on with this and it really does make a nice change.  This does show the kind of diversity within the Rum/Cachaca category that can be achieved without the use of additives.

At first this Cachaca may seem a little on the light side and uninteresting. Persevere though and you will find it is complex if lacking in aggression.

Cadenheads Epris Distillery BMC Rum Cachaca review by the fat rum pirateWhen sipped it is very zesty with a lot of sweetness coming in the form of Citrus fruits – this is balanced by the wood notes from the native Brasillian barrel which really gives this Cachaca a very interesting profile.  There is a nice note of vanilla which balances the spirit nicely.  A touch of nail polish and slight soapyness to the mouthfeel.  Which is unusual and more pleasant than it might sound.

The finish is quite uninspiring and without doubt the worst part of this Cachaca.  It’s just to light and disappears to quickly.  A bit more oak and bite would have been nice.

Overall however this offers a very interesting take on an aged Cachaca.  Unless you are a Cachaca fanatic you will likely find this a relatively new experience.  It is a drink which is more complex then you might first realise. An alternative review from Master Quill is available here.  He didn’t enjoy it as much as me but our notes are fairly similar.

I really enjoyed it and am pleased I tried it.  If you can find a bottle I would recommend it.

 

 

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