Released late in 2016 The Copper Stills is the second in the Origin Series from Bajan rum producers Mount Gay. Origins Volume 2 focuses on the differing styles of rum produced from a traditional Pot and Column still.
A limited edition of 4800 bottles. In this release you get two rums – both in 350ml bottles (two half bottles – you will get two 375ml in other territories). The retail price is around £60. The ABV for both rums is 43% As you can see from the photos the rums come in an attractive brown presentation box, along with a series of informative cards.
The two rums are identical in ingredients, fermentation and maturity, but differentiated by one thing – distillation. One rum is 100% distilled in a Copper Pot Still and the other is 100% distilled in a Copper Column Still.
I’ll write about each separately but I’ll give an overall score to the package and treat the rums as just the one review. I’m hoping one day to get my hands on the First Series but sadly it was never released in the UK.
For those unfamiliar with Pot and Column distillation I will explain the differences in simple flavour terms only. A Pot Still rum is more “intense” and “heavier” than a column distilled rum which is “subtler” in flavour and “lighter” on the palate. Often producers use a blend of the two to produce their rums. This is especially common in Barbados.
So first up we’ll concentrate on the Copper Column Distilled Rum.
Both rums are same colour – as is also common amongst rum producers it is likely some caramel colouring has been added to the rum, for consistency and customer expectation.
So in the glass you get a classic straw/golden brown hue. I’ve not been able to find any information with regard the rums age, sadly.
On the nose the rum is very approachable and easy going. It’s not a huge nose but what is there is light and fruity. You get the usual Bajan aromatics – Vanilla, a little toffee, with some fruit notes all rounded off by some nice balanced oak.
On the palate, it is surprisingly sweet. However, it is relatively short and it gives way to quite a heavy oaky finish, which tingles for quite some time. The sweetness – toffee, chocolate, a touch of grape is very enjoyable – while its there.
It is more flavourful and punchy than I was expecting. It reminds me a little of the Mount Gay Black Barrel. It’s quite spicy and oaky.
On its own I wouldn’t class it above the likes of MGXO or the Black Barrel. However I have enjoyed it a lot more than the Mount Gay Eclipse. That is one Mount Gay rum I have never really enjoyed. ‘d say this is a pretty solid 3.5 to 4 stars rum.
We’ll move onto the Copper Pot Distilled rum now. As mentioned already, in the glass it is nigh on identical to the Copper Column rum.
The nose however is very different. Now to my knowledge (discounting Independent bottlings) I don’t think a Bajan rum producer has an entirely Pot Still Distilled rum in their portfolio. If I’m wrong let me know.
A few years ago a rum was released that kind of was (and wasn’t) a Mount Gay product. Mount Gilboa, which I reviewed a while back. That was entirely Pot Still distillation. Sadly that rum is no longer in production.
Now this Copper Pot distilled rum is very punchy and reminds me very much of Mount Gilboa. It isn’t as fierce as a Jamaican Pot Still rum but it is still pretty “big” in terms of what is best termed as “funk”.
A bouquet of apple, coconut and overripe even bruised bananas combines with nail varnish and a touch of tar.
Sipped the rum is a little sweeter than I had imagined and actually quite nicely balanced. The finish is particularly long and satisfying. It’s quite intense for a Bajan style rum and pretty complex. It has a sweet nuttiness running through it which rubs along nicely alongside the barrel aged notes.
Arguably the better and more complex of the two rums I would probably score this around 4 stars out of five.
So in the package you are getting two very decent rums. Both in terms of style quite hard to come buy as most Bajan rum is a blend of the two distillations as already mentioned.
This I suppose is for the rum geek and an education as much as anything. It won’t be for everyone. I found it a really interesting tasting experience. As time goes on I will probably try my own little tot blends of the two.
Overall and taking the price into consideration, I think this is a nice little package and something out of the ordinary. It’s also really good that a rum producer is producing something like this. Kudos to Mount Gay for this.