Duncan Taylor Single Cask Rum – St Lucia 11 Year Old (Cask 5)

Duncan Taylor 11 Year Rum Review by the fat rum pirateDuncan Taylor are primarily an Independent Scotch Whisky bottler, whom like Wm Cadenhead also dip their toes in the rum market.

Formed in 1938 the company transformed itself from a broker of whisky casks to distilleries and Independent bottlers, to producing and marketing their own brand bottlings.

Duncan Taylor boasts one of the largest privately held stocks of rare Scotch Whisky in the world,  The company is based near one of the largest whisky producing regions in Scotland – Speyside.  Their current base is in Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

As far as rum goes Duncan Taylor bottle Single Cask rum usually at Cask Strength or very close to it.  They also have a Caribbean Blended rum.  As you can see the title for this bottle is quite long.  That is because Duncan Taylor are very informative about what goes into their rum bottles.  For this they should be applauded.  If you would like more information on Duncan Taylor you can visit the website.

This bottling is one of only 242 bottles – long since sold out I must add.  It is 100% Pot Still rum from St Lucia Distillers.  Bottled at a very precise 52.6% ABV.  When this was available it cost around £50.  Duncan Taylor’s bottlings cost typically nowadays around £55-60.  Some bottlings are still around the £45 and a few can be around £80.

It is fair to say that the UK Independent bottling scene is up there in terms of choice and value with anything else in the world.  Even taking into account our high taxes.  As Velier have now lost their arrangement with Demerara Distillers Limited I expect interest in UK bottlers to increase and their products to become more sought after by collectors.

As you can see from the photo I only have a small sample (3cl) of this rum to go by.  Fortunately it is just enough to Hydrometer Test and review.  If I hadn’t tried other Pot Still St Lucian rums or blends with Pot Still in them – I would probably have had to park this review.  However, with something to “benchmark” against this rum I am confident that I will still be able to assess it.  In reality it is the only chance I am likely to get!

As mentioned earlier this St Lucian Rum comes in at 52.6%, so one of the most important things to do before delving into this rum is to give it time to settle in the glass.

The initial nosing when it is first poured is full on Pot Still rum – in this instance St Lucian Pot Still Rum is a mix of Jamaican “funk” like notes and strangely some almost petrol like Caroni notes which were column distilled rums.  This is a feature of Pot Still Rum from St Lucia Distillers.

When rested in the glass the nose is much more defined – initially it has a clean almost whisky like note.  Followed by some familiar oak aged smoke which reminds me of Chairman’s Reserve.  The nose ends with those slightly tar/petrol like notes – burnt rubber almost.  Throughout the nose is a gentle waft of sweet vanilla notes.Duncan Taylor St Lucia Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

At 52.6% ABV the rum is perhaps not enjoyed at its best neat.  For my money whenever a spirit begins to numb the tongue and palate it is time to add a little water.  With such a small sample this will also help spread the rum out a bit!

Without some added drops of water you are missing quite a lot of the rums complexitiy and are left with what tastes mostly like a very salty almost rubbery whisky like spirit.

With some added water you are able to appreciate the depth of the rum.  It’s sweetness becomes more apparent – nice vanilla and a little hint of toffee.  The oakiness and smokiness in the profile beguns to overtake the “off” notes – the burnt rubber flavour is not up there with one of my most favourite or sought after notes.

This is a dry rum, which in many ways you can tell has been aged in the UK.  It’s very clean and slightly organic.  Tropical ageing seems to give rums more depth whereas ageing in colder climbs seems to leave the spirits less affected by the cask.

It’s quite a nice example of Single Cask rum but it also showcases why so much rum is blended.  It doesn’t have everything you might want and look for in a rum.  It isn’t blockbuster.

Decent well crafted rum but nothing to get too excited about.  Better than average for sure but you can find better 11 Year Old St Lucia rums on the market.  That said I will certainly be looking to try more of the Duncan Taylor offerings in the future.

3 stars

 

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