J. Gow Fading Light

J Gow Fading Light Rum Review by the fat rum pirateJ. Gow Fading Light. Something is happening up in Scotland – besides the casual attitude towards cardiac arrest and the terrible football. Over the past 2 to 3 years a number of rum brands and distilleries have burst out of that part of the world. Think Dark Matter, Sugar House and Wester.

Many of those have been on the mainland, a few brands are housed at Strathearn Distillery, in Perth. However, VS Distillers, whose owner is a Mr Collin Van (Mc)Schayk, produce the J. Gow brand of rums on the the very beautiful Orkney Isles. The Orkney Isles are 16 kilometres from the mainland coast at Caithness.

J. Gow have been making a name for themselves with a Spiced Rum (I can hear the groans already). They are now looking to produce some aged rums and rum with a bit of a twist. The name J. Gow is derived from the “infamous” Orkney pirate John Gow.

This is their first aged rum release. J. Gow Fading Light has been aged for 12 months in Chestnut casks, rather than oak. It is the belief that with Chestnut being a more porous wood, the rum will mature/age quicker than it would in oak. The Angel’s Share in the Orkney Isles is very low – around 1% per year even less perhaps. So it is difficult to produce a mature product in such an environment.

J. Gow Fading Light has been bottled at 43% ABV. It contains no additives or colourings. The rum was twice distilled on a kind of hybrid Pot/Column still –  I am assured this was distilled in a Pot Still manner. Prior to distillation the sourced molasses was fermented for 14 days – twice as long as they ferment the rum used in the Spiced J. Gow.

A bottle in the UK which has quite a distinctive design will set you back around £35. I really like the presentation this rum it’s really eye-catching. Nice chunky cork stopper as well.

In the glass it is a straw/white wine colour. The nose is full of slightly bitter toffee and sweeter caramel notes. Quite treacly but with an almost fermented yeasty note to it. The chestnut cask seems to give it a slightly floral note on the nose.

This is quite a full on funky style of rum. There are a lot of similarities with Jamaican rums.

Sipped the rum is pretty sweet with heavy notes of thick treacly molasses. Burnt caramel and some hints of dark chocolate. It has a slightly flowery note to it and a touch of peanut and some light creaminess.

This creaminess comes more into things once the initial sip fades. Double cream and some mascarpone cheese. There is a fair hit of vanilla as well, especially on the finish. The finish itself is fairly short but a note of white pepper does linger alongside some lighter notes of toffee and drinking chocolate.J. Gow Fading Light Rum review by the fat rum pirate

Mixed, it works best with a lighter mixer like soda or lemonade. Cola overpowers it a little.

Being honest though this works best neat. It’s quite a nice little palate cleanser. It seems quite heavy on the first sip but it soons shows a more refreshing and laid back style, once you get past the initial burst of intense molasses.

Not a bad little effort at all. The chestnut cask adds a distinctive note to this rum which is really nice to try. Hints of tar and a slightly salty briny note, as well. Similar to Old Salt from the English Spirit Distillery but a bit more refined.

A really good first effort. A really nice flavourful pot still rum with a really nice balance and complexity for what is a pretty young rum. Looking forward to future releases from VS Distillers.

 

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