Old Jamaique Long Pond 1977 Aged 35 Years

Old Jamaique Rum Aged 35 Years Long Pond 1977 review by the fat rum piratOld Jamaique Long Pond 1977.  A rum older than me – just.  From the Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica.  A distillery which I have become increasingly interested in, over the past year or so.

Old Jamaique is a collaboration between Scottish bottling giant Ian MacLeod and the Belgian Independent bottler Corman-Collins.

I’ve not previously reviewed any of the Independent bottlings from Corman-Collins. Who often seem to collaborate with other independent bottlers, such as Samaroli for instance.

I have however reviewed a few Ian MacLeod bottlings.  Though none as “high end” as this one. Ian MacLeod caters to the budget end of the rum market.  I have reviewed both Watson’s Demerara and Trawler rum.  They are predominantly though a whisky bottler.  With a portfolio of malt and blended whisky such as Tamdhu, Glengoyne, Sheep Dip and Black Shield.  They also have numerous gins and even some vodka.

From the information I have been able to find on this rum, it is 35 years old. Well it was aged for 35 years anyway.  Distilled in 1977 and bottled in May 2013. Aged in an ex-bourbon barrel.  It is single cask (#10) and comes from an out turn of just 229 bottles.  It is bottled at a very rounded 50% ABV, so I assume it is not fully cask strength. The reduced ABV may have yielded a few extra bottles.  When released it would set you back around £400.  You’d be hard pushed to find a bottle now. If you do want one you may find yourself paying a lot more at auction.

Finding rare pot still rums such as this especially from the Long Pond distillery is difficult.  Long Pond is due to re-open but has been out of commission for a number of years. Much of Long Pond’s output historically has been in the sale of bulk rum for blends. As far as I am aware there has never been a commercially distillery release of a “Long Pond” branded rum.  I’ve started buying any Long Pond rum I can find.  Such is the enjoyment I’ve had from the few I’ve been lucky enough to try.

Long Pond rums are similar to Hampden. From my limited experience I have found them to be slightly more fruity but as I explore both distilleries more (and not forgetting Clarendon) I am finding more expressions which I could easily confuse for either distillery.

Anyway I’m quite keen to put this rum through its paces so lets crack on with the nosing and tasting.

Old Jamaique Long Pond 1977 presents itself in the glass as a light golden rum. As stated on the label no colourant has been added.

The nose reveals the extensive ageing (albeit it a lot is European). It has quite high weight of oak on the nose.  It’s initially more Appleton Estate 21 than the more zesty, medicinal Long Pond I am more familiar with.

A touch of pine cone, quite a bit of vanilla and spicy bourbon barrel.  Hint of char it’s clearly a very mature rum.  Heavy barrel influenced distillate.Old Jamaique Rum Aged 35 Years Long Pond 1977 review by the fat rum pirate

Sipped it hits you with an initial tropical sweetness- mangoes, passion fruit and some black mushy banana which fades into a very oaky and rich toffee and caramel mid palate.

It’s not the funkiest Long Pond. Lacking some of the dunder/esters I have tried before but it is certainly a very complex sip.  There are some notes of stewed English Breakfast tea and a hint of pipe tobacco.  I’ve noted Dave Broom refer to rums before as being like old leather sofas.  I’m with him on that with this one.

It’s not what I was expecting from a Long Pond rum.  It definitely has more similarities to Appleton 21.  But it is excellent and very rewarding. Really tasty, oaky and a very rich rum – touch of Christmas pudding alongside those tobacco notes.  Plums, dates and more than a touch of raisin.

The finish was nice, long, rich and warming.  Probably the most medicinal part of the experience as well.  As the finish progresses the oak subsides slightly and reveals just a touch more tree sap and a bit of the sweet funk. Black banana and pear drops.

It’s expensive but its just about unique.  The Whisky Nectar bottled a 1977 Long Pond a few years ago that was aged until 2012.  Like this one you’ll struggle to find one of those.

Really great stuff but take care, its not Long Pond as you might recognise.

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