Cadenhead’s FSPD Fiji South Pacific Distillery Aged 13 Years

Cadenhead's FSPD Fiji South Pacific Distillery Aged 13 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateCadenhead’s FSPD is another Cask Strength bottling from in their Dated Distillation range.  This time hailing from the South Pacific Distillery, Fiji.

To date I haven’t tried a lot of rum from Fiji.  The only Fijian rum reviewed thus far have been Independently bottled from Berrys’ and Ultimatum.  The Berrys’ rum was considerably younger than this one at only 8 years old.  The Ultimatum more similar in terms of age, at 12 years old.

At London Rumfest in October 2016 I tried Berrys’s 11 Year Old Fiji rum – which I though showed a lot more maturity and complexity than the 8 year old.  A couple of months later I was tipped off about a Worthy Park release by Cadenhead’s and I noticed this Cask Strength 13 Year Old which I wanted to try.

Also present at London Rumfest last October were Fiji Rum Co.  With so much going on at Rumfest I never did get around to visiting them.  I understand if memory serves me correctly that they are something to do with Coca-Cola.

The South Pacific Distillery is actually the only distillery on Fiji.  So any rum you see will hail from this distillery.

I’ve seen over the past couple of years rums from St Lucia Distillers and Worthy Park grow in popularity and stature. It is my opinion that Fiji could well be the next island to see a real surge in the popularity of its rum internationally.  South Pacific Distillery are producing full flavoured Pot Still distillates. Which, if handled correctly could become very much sough after.  In particular amongst Rum Geeks and Enthusiasts. The rums might not prove as popular in the more casual end of the market but certainly I think one day bottlings, such as this one will be very desirable.

Presentation wise the rum comes housed in Cadenheads standard brown, yellow and orange bottle cardboard sleeve (slightly flimsy I must add). The bottle is a dumpy affair with a nice plastic topped real cork stopper.  This rum retails at around £50-55 a bottle.

Information on the contents is as follows.Cadenhead's FSPD Fiji South Pacific Distillery Aged 13 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

Matured in wood, Produce of Fiji, FSPD from the South Pacific Distillery, Pot Still, Bonded 2003 and bottled December 2016,  13 Years Old, ABV 59.6%.

“The rum has been bottled from a Specially Selected individual cask, it has not been reduced with water and is bottled at natural strength.  It has no added colour and is not chill filtered.”

“It remains the authentic product of its distillery”

Sound good?  Well here we go and let see what the juice is actually like.

In the glass the rum is light golden brown – almost straw like.  It is a touch darker as it is a little hazy (no chill filtration).

The nose is strong and almost Agricole like.  Very vegetal – lots of pine and tree sap. Wet grassy fields.  It also has an almost menthol kick to the nose – which reminds me of Fisherman’s Friends.  The nose actually grows on you.  It has an almost savoury whisky like note.  I’m reminded in equal parts of St Lucia Distillers 1931 series (especially the 1st one) and a Cadenhead’s rum from Worthy Park.

The nose doesn’t seem all that different to the Berrys’ 8 Year Old  It is markedly different to the Ultimatum 12 Year Old though – perhaps surprisingly. I would have expected the two with the similar age to well, be most similar!  This effort is the first Cask Strength Fiji I have tried to so maybe that has a big influence.

Sipped the rum is initially very spicy, unsurprisingly at Cask Strength. It more than makes your tongue tingle. Especially one the first couple of sips.  It is clearly European aged for probably the vast majority of its 13 years. It’s a very clean and an almost clinical kind of spirit.  There isn’t any warm fruity richness that Tropical ageing often brings to the table.  I’m thinking in terms of the marked difference in European aged Demeraras and Velier Tropical aged rums as a reference point.

It is from the first sip clearly a Pot Still rum.  Its big and challenging and at first quite difficult to get a handle on.  There is a lot of flavour coming from the rums interaction with oak.  It’s spicy – ginger, some very clean tasting oak. It’s got an almost minty flavour to it.  The FSPD is a deceptively complex rum.  The extra years ageing seem to have made the spirit cleaner more defined but no less “funky” than the eight year old Berrys’.

Cadenhead's FSPD Fiji South Pacific Distillery Aged 13 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateWe are in Hampden territory funk particularly on the finish.  You get a really huge funky spicy kick on the exit.  Big Jamaican pot still collides with vegetal St Lucian notes to give a very potent and long lasting finish.

It’s quite a dry rum with little by way of fruity flavours.  It’s very much defined by the casks it was aged in, quite a savoury tasting rum.

The Fijian rums whilst “similar” to a lot of other Pot Still rums are distinctive enough to enjoy their own identity.  On re-visiting this bottle I was quite surprised to see how much I had drank of it over the past few months.  It’s a bit like Smith & Cross – once you get a taste for it one glass just doesn’t cut it.

I feel that maybe a blend of pot and column or even a totally tropically aged Fijian rum might work better than this single cask offering.  However I still feel this was more than worth the £50-55 I paid for this bottle.

At the moment there are a lot of Fijian rums available amongst independent bottlers.  If you are serious about your rum I would pick up a couple.  This is a pretty good example to start with.  Thanks to the relatively low profile of Fijian rums this is still available despite being released early this year.

 

 

 

 

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